Brick Wall

So this week I want to talk about Granpa Jack. John Worsham. The son of Daniel Worsham.

His son John (Granpa John) married the daughter of Jesse Hobby (Granpa Jesse).

I’d be most interested in finding proof that Granpa Jack fought in the Civil War. But what I’ve found mostly has been his brothers. Like this picture below.

As best I can tell or know so far, all four of the oldest brothers fought in the war AND MADE IT HOME! (I’ve found descendants, including living ones.) And I can find things that link the brothers to the war, etc. But I just can’t find anything on Granpa Jack.

One of the biggest things I’ve done that helped was to use a website I found – I think just by searching Google? It’s the Soldiers and Sailors Database from the National Park Service. When you search “Worsham” under the Confederacy and Georgia, you get about seven Johns listed.

The information there and on Fold3 helped me pick a “best guess” of which one he was and find out a bit more. I’m still stuck behind a brick wall of sorts without something to give me more if an idea it’s him for sure though.

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In the Paper

You can find all kinds of tales in the newspaper. Some good. Some bad. Some mundane. Some exciting.

I found the tale of my third great uncle shooting his father-in-law. It was a surprise that I didn’t even know to look for. Isn’t that the problem sometimes? You don’t know to look. You don’t know to ask the question.

If you joined me last week, you know a bit about my grandmother. I feel like I know a good bit about her. I mean, I grew up knowing her. Her name is my middle name even. I know who her birth mother was and even where she worked in 1930, thanks to Federal Census records. I know she was left at the telephone company. I think she told me and wrote it in what she wrote of her memoirs.

But then THIS was posted in a group I’m in…

WAIT, WHAT?! Could that be my Tata? Let’s see, of course this is Cochran. That’s the group this was posted in. The year? Yep, that’s right. The month? Close enough if she was “healthy”. My aunt and uncle, her children, agree this has to be her!! (Also, how many babies would have been left at the telephone company in Cochran?! Not just this year but in the history of Cochran?!)

I had to share that picture of my Tata as a baby again! This would have been not that long after she was left on the porch.

To see that article from the paper was ASTOUNDING! This is outside proof of what my grandmother told us. I just hadn’t even thought to look for it. I’m not sure I would have know what search terms to use?! I guess “baby” in the year 1931 in the town of Cochran might have gotten me somewhere. I know there were two papers over the history of the town and at least one would have been in print at this time. I just never would have even thought to look. You can bet I’ll be looking for follow up stories now though!

I can use what I said before – baby, 1931, Cochran. But need to use “telephone company”, Mrs. J.A. Sikes, and maybe the sheriff’s name (W.H. Jones). Who knows?! Maybe I can find even more!

So what’s the question a newspaper can answer for you?

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So this weeks 52 ancestors prompt is “12.”

Uhh, that’s all? What’s that supposed to mean? Well, that means that I get to decide! So this weeks is going to use the number 12 AND lead up to next weeks “In the Paper”!

We always new my grandmother was adopted. She was older than 12 when she found out – “accidentally on purpose” from (I think she said) a mean little boy down the street. I hate that she was upset. She either ran away or wanted to run away. Gigi had to settle her down, I’m sure.

The photo above is my grandmother as a baby. I think she’s younger than 12 months but older than 12 days – to put it in 12s!

This is my grandmother before she was 24 (two 12s, get it?). She went to college at Middle Georgia College. I’ve got another picture of her that’s from her time there as well.

I definitely get my love of reading from my grandmother, so it’s no surprise this is her with a book! Honestly, my other grandmother loved to read as well and they both worked for the library for several years.

She sure loved her daddy! This is her and my Granpa Toombs. He passed away before she was 36. He was born in Hamilton, Georgia, in 1903.

Next week, we’ll talk about where my grandmother was born and when!

But before I leave, one other 12. Amy Johnson Crow said that 12 can be/ would be your mother’s father’s father. For me, that’s Harry Stone. He’s another story for another day though! Stay tuned and maybe we’ll come back to him another week!

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A large family…

So this weeks 52 ancestors prompt is “Large Family”…

I grew up in an average sized family. There were five of us – two parents, three children. I also grew up not knowing much definitively about my grandmother’s family. Oh she talked about them lots! We just didn’t really get to meet or spend time with them – not us grandchildren at least. So this was one of my reasons and projects when I started doing genealogy.

I did find them in the 1940 U.S. Federal Census!

J B Waters, Odessa Waters, Willard Waters, John N Waters, Winnifred Waters, Cortez Waters, Helen Waters, Elizabeth Waters, Mary Nipper

I KNEW THESE NAMES! This was them. It matched all I knew from what Grandmama had told me.

This was already a pretty large family to me – two parents, six children, and a grandmother! (Mary Nipper is Grandma Dessa’s mother.)

The photo above is one of only a few of this side of my family. Papa would be the J.B. Waters from the previously referenced census. Mama would be Odessa Waters. Nip is what John N. went by. And Grandmother Nipper would be Mary Nipper.

From what I’ve found, and I could be wrong, Grandma Dessa had a total of 14 children that I count. While this is between two marriages, this is still a large family! I know I don’t have a photo of them all together, partly because a couple died young and partly because there’s so many.

I think a future project needs to be a collage (or photo book at least!) of all I can collect of them!

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So connections to a courthouse can be scary – depending on which side of the law! I’ve got some of both, to be honest, but we’ll still with a pleasant surprise out of Cochran, GA.

So above is a photo of the Bleckley County courthouse in Cochran. It’s actually across the street from where my Granpa Toombs had a Standard Oil station. But wait, what’s that plaque there in front?!

Well now, I KNOW that name! Uncle Jim as I’ll call him was Granpapa Elijah’s brother. The brothers were businessmen in town running grocery stores and Cook Banking Company. I think that in addition to what the plaque lists Uncle Jim was also editor of a paper in Cochran, but I’d have to find that info again.

This plaque was dedicated to Uncle Jim partly as a prominent citizen but also because he served as mayor at one point. Below is a photo I have the original of.


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Family Photo

So week 8 of #52ancestors is family photos. I have or have seen or scanned or some combination of those several family photos. They range across my family lines. Across decades or centuries. Across generations. However, they don’t cross the Georgia state line for the most part.

The only exception is the ones from my great grandmother, Gunga as we called her. I have some from her that were taken when she and Granpa Toombs went to Havana, Cuba. One even notes they were staying at the Hotel Seville!

That said, I want to share this one and talk about the work I ended up doing with it.

The photo above is my Powell family. It was labeled on the back – “Brother”,”Powell Bro_”, Aunt Tince Powell Massey, Jack Powell, “Powell”, Molly Powell Massey, Caroline Mae Powell, “baby”, “child” and Elmore Massey.

It helped that I knew Jack and Caroline Powell were the parents of Molly and Tince. I also know that I’m decended from Elmore Massey and Molly. (Note, when Molly died he married Aunt Tince not long after.) Know those names and dates in general, I had some info to go on in order to fill in some of the specific names for the general ones on here.

I managed to find them in the 1900 Federal Census. So based on that record:

Back Row
Benjamin J.
Francis D.
David G.
Mary S.E.E. (Powell) Massey
Elmore Massey

Front Row
William B.
Jackson Powell
Minda D.
Francis C. (Caroline Mae?) Powell
Ida M.

This means that the baby Granma Molly has would most likely be Willie M. Massey and make this picture circa 1901/ 1902.

I managed to make pretty quick work of this search project because I had names. We’re not always that lucky with photos. A lot of being able to research without specific names is learning how to make a good guess at the ages of people in a photo. Are they 5 or 15 or 65? You can usually do just fine getting within about 5 or 10 years without much help. Then you can use clothing or surroundings for help figuring out a year. The clothes in this picture just seemed to fit about 1900.

If the photo is completely random and you have no names at all, that would make it difficult to identify the people in it, but you could get to at least a rough estimate of the year – which can help if you find other photos that are labeled!

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Surprise and Love

I’m going to combine two weeks with this post for #52ancestors. This will get me caught up! Also, I’m not sure I have a lot to say about either topic.

Week 6 – Surprise

I’m not sure there’s been anything too surprising for me. Maybe that’s the surprise? I haven’t found anything that I don’t feel like others have found in researching. One gentleman killed his father-in-law – it’s a story, there are newspaper articles. There’s also a disappearance and discovering the body – again, a story and articles. My DNA results were surprisingly boring as well – just what I’d have thought from what I already knew. *shrugs* I guess I’m just really typical American.

Week 7 – Love

I know one thing I’d love is to visit places my ancestors lived. My Worsham ancestors in Virginia and England. (Okay, I’d love to visit Rhodt, Germany and Rodez, France, too!) I’d also love to find the court records for the two gentlemen’s cases I mentioned above to know more about what happened. And love number three is more information on the bank or grocery store my Cook ancestors owned.

If you’ve done genealogy or any kind of family research, what’s been a surprise or something you’ve loved?

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So I’ve talked about libraries and databases before. But this week I want to share what I love about the ones I frequent!

I LOVE that my local branch of the library is right near by! We can run over on a Saturday to check out books. Internet out? Stop by and use the computers there! I have two routes home from work and one of them makes it actually on my way home.

I live and work in Cobb County, Georgia. The main branch of our libraries is named Switzer. They have what’s called the Georgia Room. That’s the genealogy and family history treasure trove! I recently found a book there on the parish my ancestors lived in just browsing the shelves.

I also LOVE when I can make it to the Georgia Archives! Okay, so technically they’re not a library but they have books and that’s close enough! The ladies in the research room are so nice and helpful. If you’re in the area of Morrow, Georgia, you might want to keep an eye out for any Saturday tours coming up. They had them once a month this past year for their anniversary and they were incredibly interesting. This year, I think they’re moving to just quarterly. Definitely check them out online! They have a Facebook page AND Virtual Vault.

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I’d like to meet…

So #52Ancestors challenge, week 4. I’m not sure who I’d want to meet. Not without just saying all of them! I probably have a question I want to ask any one of them if I had the chance.

This is some of Grandma Lizzie's Powell family.  Her parents are in the top right.
This is some of Grandma Lizzie’s Powell family. Her parents are in the top right.

So I guess I’d want to start with my great grandparents – Thomas Edgar Wishum (“Granddaddy Buddy” as we called him), Mary Lizzie (probably Mary Elizabeth) Massey (“Grandma Lizzie”), James Benjamin Waters (“Granpa Waters”), Willie Odessa Nipper (“Grandma Dessa”), Harry Thomas Stone (“Granpa Harry”), Eunice Irene McDonald (“Nana” as we called her), Toombs Haywood Kimbrough (“Granpa Toombs”), Madge Elizabeth Cook (“Gunga” as we called her), and Una Bollinger (“Grandma Una”).

Granpa John, Granma Lou, and their children.  That's Granddaddy Buddy in the middle.
Granpa John, Granma Lou, and their children. That’s Granddaddy Buddy in the middle.

Of all of those, I only met Granddaddy Buddy, Nana, and Gunga. I only met Granddaddy Buddy a time or two since he passed away when I was young. But I knew Gunga and Nana fairly well.

Granddaddy Buddy and Grandma Lizzie.
Granddaddy Buddy and Grandma Lizzie.

I’d want to know what my grandparents were like. What were their own lives like as well? What about their parents?

"Papa, Mama, Nip, Grandmother Nipper"
“Papa, Mama, Nip, Grandmother Nipper”

Yep, start with them and work back meeting and getting to know them all! Oh the stories I’m sure they’d tell!

Granpa Toombs and Tata.
Granpa Toombs and Tata.

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Unusual Name

Week 3 of the 52 Ancestors challenge is an unusual name. Eliza Lucretia is probably the most interesting or unusual name I have in my tree.

Eliza Lucretia (“Lu” or “Lue”, Grandma Lu to me) Hobby is the daughter of Jesse Hobby and Eliza Amanda Simpson. She was born in Colquitt county, Georgia on February 9, 1877 and died in Worth county, Georgia on September 9, 1922. I managed to find her in every Federal Census for when she was living with the exception of the 1890 one that burned. I’d likely find that she lived in roughly the same area her whole life if I research the few counties, their histories, as well as the militia districts and towns she’s listed as living in.

Grandma Lu married John Collier Worsham sometime in 1895. Grandpa John’s parents were John “Jack” and Elizabeth (Johnson) Worsham. Grandma Lu and Granpa John’s fathers (Jesse and Jack, respectively) both fought in the Civil War as best I can tell – but that’s another story for another post. I do have a photo of them both together that’s also been edited to show them individually. (What I’ve posted below is not a very clear version.)

I think it’s Granpa Jesse on the left and Granpa Jack on the right.

Grandma Lu and Grandpa John, great great grandparents, had twelve children that I can find record of – which is plenty! Most of them were boys, including Thomas Edgar (“Granddaddy Buddy” as we called him), my great grandfather.

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