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?
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!
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!
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.
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!
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?
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.