Wolfscratch Wilderness Covers North Georgia

February 19th, 1995


“Wolfscratch Wilderness”, written by Charlene Terrell, has just been published. It’s subtitle “A backward walk in time in an Old North Georgia Settlement” leads one into the rich history of the area where Big Canoe, in Pickens County, is located north of Atlanta. The author has written a narrative history of the area from the Indians to the recent past. The book includes many historic photographs and stories about old times and customs, an era that is fast disappearing as the area is developed into a resort community. A great portion of the book contains specific family narratives, but they are more than family histories, as the chapters relate to the life and times of these people, not just who begat whom. The Tate marble family, the major owners in the area, are also covered. There is a surname-only index. This book should be required reading for the newcomers to the area, since it captures the rich history of North Georgia from bygone eras. It is a good example that others could follow to capture lost “civilizations” from their own areas where modern development has changed the area forever. The 680-page work is available for $25 postpaid from the author, Charlene Terrell, 2000 Wildcat Dr., 162 Big Canoe, Big Canoe, Ga. 30143 and at area bookstores.


“Researching in Georgia: Some Unique Sources” is the Georgia Genealogical Society’s seminar topic. Speakers are: Frances Beckemeyer (Colonial Georgia), Jane Nardy (tax records), Delia Gilliland (military records), Joye Quinn (land lottery records), as well as the Founding of Georgia and court records. 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. includes lunch. Saturday, March 4. Members $12 non-members $15. Peachtree Presbyterian Church, 3434 Roswell Rd. NW, Atlanta. Send checks to Georgia Genealogical Society c/o Robert Warnock, 302 S. River Farm Dr., Alpharetta, Ga. 30202 or call 449-8228.

“Heritage Quest Seminar” . Leland K. Meitzler, editor of Heritage Quest, will speak on a variety of topics. 9-4:30. Saturday, March 4. $40 includes year’s subscription to Heritage Quest. Hotel at corner of Shingleroof Campground, Ga. Highway 155 and Campground Rd., north of McDonough. Limited to 100. Mail checks to sponsor, Genealogical Society of Henry and Clayton Counties, P.O.Box 1296, McDonough, Ga. 30253 or call 954-1456.


The Georgia Archives has the following free Lunch and Learn Seminars scheduled from 12:15-1:15 at 330 Capitol Ave., Atlanta. Light lunch provided. Feb. 28: Native American Research by Martha Redus; March 14: Computers, CDs and the Archives by Jan McLendon. These lectures are well worth your time. Ms. Redus’ lecture last year opened many new avenues for those attending. Ms. McLendon is securing new CDs for the Archives from several genealogy sources and can discuss their pros and cons.

UPDATE: Martha Redus died some time ago.


McIntosh County, Georgia’s historical society is the Lower Altamaha Historical Society, P.O.Box 1405, Darien, Ga. 31305. They have quarterly meetings and are recording the county’s cemetery records.

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Georgia Day Marks State’s Settlement

February 12th, 1995


On this day in 1733, the settlement of our state began as a colony under a Board of Trustees. One of these men, James Edward Oglethorpe, arrived with the original 100 plus settlers. Landing in Savannah, they set up tents, met with the Indians, and were treated to a bar-b-que. The definitive list of these brave settlers: men, women and children is still University of Georgia professors E. Merton Coulter and Albert B. Saye’s “A List of the Early Settlers of Georgia” reprinted in 1983 by the Genealogical Publishing Co. of Baltimore. Anyone who can prove direct descent from one of those on the original boat, the Anne, should write. Only a few have direct descendants, most notably Noble Jones (the DeRenne-Barrow families of Savannah and Dr. George Fenwick Jones), and John Milledge, with descendants here in Atlanta.

The First Families of Georgia, 1733-1797, a membership organization founded in 1986, has established as its requirements for membership lineal (or direct) descent from anyone who lived in Georgia during the years stated. This includes many who arrived in the first land rush after the American Revolution (ended 1781). The society has a newsletter, holds meetings, offers a scholarship, and donates genealogies in memory or honor to the Genealogy Room of the Statesboro Regional Library. For information write Mrs. John A. Dunaway, 1604 Executive Park Lane NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30329-3115.

UPDATE: Mrs. Dunaway died in 2006, but Mrs. Homer S. Durden at that address is still the contact for this organization.


A videotape, “The Founding of Georgia”, was recently produced by the Publications Program, Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia, 201 North Milledge Ave., Athens, Ga. 30602. Information about it can be obtained from them. A year ago they published “Georgia’s Boundaries: The Shaping of A State” which includes some wonderful new maps of Georgia and a rich history of the colony/state’s growth from the original settlement in Savannah to its present boundaries. That volume, edited by Marion R. Hemperley and Edwin L. Jackson, is available for $29.50.


The Fort Peachtree Chapter of the DAR has written to direct readers to the genealogy room recently created in the Atlanta History Center’s Library and Archives Department. The chapter has donated several recent publications and the Georgia SAR (Sons of the American Revolution) have made it a depository for much of their material. The Atlanta History Center of the Atlanta Historical Society welcomes donations of genealogy works, especially family histories. It would be a good place to donate books as a memorial to a deceased friend or relative, or money for the purchase of books in their memory. The society’s archives is a rich resource of Atlanta’s history, especially with its computerized necrology of records collected and indexed by Franklin Garrett. The library is open 6 days a week, and is at 130 West Paces Ferry Rd. NW, Atlanta, Ga. 30305. The number is 814-4000.

UPDATE: The genealogy room is going strong, hours vary due to budget issues, always check the Internet for the current hours or call the library at (404) 814-4000.


Anyone with interest in or knowledge of anyone who was on any orphan trains which operated from 1853-1929 taking nearly 200,000 children to the west, should contact the Orphan Train Heritage Society, 4912 Trout Farm Rd., Springdale, Ark. 72764.

Black Family Research Help Available

February 5th, 1995


Black History Month is a good time to reflect on the progress many people with African-American ancestry have made since the publication of “Roots” in 1976. The African American Family History Association, Inc., based here, has been active for 15 years. The organization, through regular meetings, seminars, research trips, and its newsletter has helped many people begin researching genealogy. The newsletter is always full of useful clues to new sources, new publications, and questions from members seeking lost kin. The fall newsletter contained an article about AAGRI: the African American Genealogical Research Institute an organization devoted solely to African-American research. Anyone wishing more information on the African-American Family History Association should contact the newsletter editor, Skip Mason, at P.O. Box 115268, Atlanta, Ga. 30310. Dues are $12.

William James Jefferson recently published “Hupuewa: A Legacy of the Hooper Family of Nassauville, Florida”. The author traveled widely to research his African-American roots after receiving encouragement from the late Alex Haley in 1990. The author adds the history of slavery and its African roots to the family’s known history. Included are many interesting tales handed down about the ancestors, many of which would have been lost in another generation. Over seventy family photos were also included. The book shows what a valuable record can be created from one family’s saga and in that it should stand as a model of what others should strive for. Published through W. H. Wolfe Associates, the book is available from the author, William J. Jefferson, at P.O.Box 12776, Jacksonville, Fla. 32209.


Sharon Thomason has announced plans to publish a newsletter, “Grave Matters”, consisting of interesting stories about southern cemeteries and related topics. Premier issue is due this month. Subscription is $12 to Grave Matters, Rt. 7, Box 1620, Dahlonega, Ga. 30533.


A brochure on the “National Cemetery System” is available from the Department of Veterans Affairs. It includes a map of the location of all National Cemeteries. Georgia’s only one is in Marietta, Alabama’s are in Mobile and Fort Mitchell (Phenix City). There is at least one National Cemetery in every state but some in the northwest. Many are already closed for new burials, while many are still open. The brochure answers questions such as “Who is Eligible for Burial in a National Cemetery?”; how to be buried in one if you are eligible. The brochure includes interesting details on many famous cemeteries. For a copy of this brochure or other information contact the National Cemetery Area Office, 730 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30365 (call 347-2121) or through a Veterans Affairs Regional Office, one in each state.


The Sons of the American Revolution’s national headquarters is at 1000 South Fourth St., Louisville, Kty. 40203 and the number is (502) 589-1776. Brochure available.

Queries Can Find Your Answers

January 22nd, 1995


Placing a query or a question in a genealogical journal or newsletter can often be the only way one ever finds other people who are working on the same family that you are. Sometimes they may know less than you, but since you did not know about them, they could have started from an entirely different source of information. A typical query might read: “Looking for relatives of Georgia Governor James Milton Smith (d. 1890).” Over the recent holidays, I found several important queries in Georgia’s most important query source, “Family Puzzlers”. Edited for 20 years by Mary Bondurant Warren, it is mailed weekly (making it Georgia and the south’s only weekly genealogy magazine) to about 10,000 subscribers and thus a query placed there has a much better chance of producing a reply. A query is limited to 50 words, but is free to subscribers. All previous queries are on file by surname. Subscription is $37.10 for Ga. residents at Heritage Papers, P.O. Box 7776, Athens, Ga. 30604-7776. There is also a catalog of books available on a variety of topics.
Update: Family Puzzlers is no longer being published. The files related to this publication can be found at the Hargrett Library at the University of Georigia.

Another major query source is “Southern Queries” now beginning its 6th year. The editor is Steve Smith. There are six issues a year, each with an introductory essay about a record source or a visit to a particular library in the southeast. There are also book reviews and a calendar. Each issue contains about 300 queries. It well worth the subscription to place your own query as often as possible. Usually, I find so many queries I want to reply to that I get bogged down trying to respond. Its worth a try for a year. A subscription is $24, to Southern Queries, P.O.Box 726, Durham, N.C. 27702-0726.

Veterans Project

The Odum Library in Moultrie, one of the fastest growing genealogy libraries in Georgia, has recently announced a new project, through their free newspaper/newsletter “Family Tree”. The library is sponsoring a local history project to collect information on and to honor the veterans from Colquitt County. Any veteran with any link to the county: birth, marriage, residence, or enlistment, or their kin, are invited to send information. They would also like a photograph. This could be a good model for other communities to follow. This one originated through a high school reunion. For further information, or to get on the mailing list for their free newsletter, write the Odum Library, P.O. Box 1110, Moultrie, Ga. 31776.


Genealogical abstracts from the “Georgia Journal”, published in Milledgeville, then the state’s capital, have been published in a series of books. The first three volumes are once again available for purchase, since they were originally published in a limited edition. Vol. I covers 1809-1818, Vol. II (1819-1823) and Vol. III (1824-1828). Each is $60 plus $4 for postage and tax. The series, originally abstracted and published with a Taylor Foundation grant by Fred and Emilie Hartz, is being reprinted and continued by Tad Evans, 1506 Stillwood Dr., Savannah, Ga. 31419.
Update: Address valid in 2011.

Family Histories Are Important Books

January 15th, 1995


Published family histories are important works and many local genealogy collections have a great number of them. One should always check out these collections, for you should never assume just because you do not know about a family history book on your family that one was never done. Recently-published family histories include those on the Elder and Glenn families. “The Elder Families” was compiled by Lee M. Elder and done on a microcomputer. It is a barebone computer product, with no illustrations but a full-name index. An introductory chapter includes wills, etc., from Georgia and other states, and the remainder of the book is the descendants of Peter Elder. Anyone with this surname should check. It is available from Lee Elder, 1636 Utah Ave., San Angelo, Tex. 76904 for $25 postpaid. “Glenn and Kin: The Descendants of James Glen of Hanover County, Virginia, 1717-1993” is the work of Jeannette Christopher. It is hardback, with an index, but also has no illustrations. It covers all collateral descendants, no matter what surname, as well as many prominent branches of the Glenn family, including those of Glennville, Russell County, Alabama. Because the Glenns tie in with so many other prominent lines, and the author traces all collateral lines, such as Sims, you never know who might be in the book. One Atlantan of note is Rebecca Young Frazer. It is available for $44.50 postpaid from Annie Glenn Howell c/o the publisher, Genealogy Publishing Service, 448 Ruby Mine Rd., Franklin, N.C;. 28734


“Beginning Genealogy”. Frances Beckemeyer, 1:30-4:00 PM, Thursday, Jan. 19th for 8 weeks. $60. To be held in Rockdale County on West Ave., Conyers. Through Clayton State College, call 961-3550 for registration. Class will help you trace your ancestors prior to 1920 through all sorts of records, both private and public and include tours of Georgia Archives, National Archives, Atlanta History Center, and a Mormon family history center.

“Beginning Genealogy” also by Frances Beckemeyer, 7-9:30 PM, Monday, January 23rd for 8 weeks. $60. Taught at Clayton State College, Morrow, off I-75 south. Call 961-3550 for registration.

“Intermediate Genealogy” a more advanced class than the other two, is also being taught by Frances Beckemeyer, 1-3:30 PM, Tuesday, Jan. 24 for 8 weeks. $60. At Clayton State College, Morrow, off I-75 south. Call 961-3550 for registration.


The Georgia Division, United Daughters of the Confederacy published “Anna Mitchell Davenport Raines, Co-Founder of the United Daughters of the Confederacy” compiled and edited by their immediate past national president, Tommie LaCavera of Athens. Mrs. Raines’ role in the UDC’s founding has often been overlooked. She was a descendant of Isaiah Davenport of Savannah, whose house is a museum there. She is buried in Savannah’s Laurel Grove Cemetery. The book contains the genealogical notes Mrs. Raines prepared for her family and are very important for anyone with links to the Blackshear, Mitchell and Raines families.