Monthly Archives: August 2008

FLASHBACK: 1 Post Can Change Your Life!

Why is the ability to research Genealogy online such a PHENOMENAL gift?

Earlier today I received a comment on OGR from A. Spence – a NC Genealogist whose post about having a GHD {Genealogy Haters Degree} struck a familiar cord with me about how frustrating this work, of connecting the ancestral dots, can be at times.

As I was exiting A. Spence’s blog, I realized that one of her Family surnames is DANIELS – my maiden name.

Knowing that genealogy “jewels” can appear at any time, I called my Mom to query her about the origin of my Father’s family roots. Did she know where the family of my Grandfather, William DANIELS was from originally? No. Did she remember my Father’s Mother’s maiden name? COBB. Did she ever know any of my paternal Grandparents? No, not really – just my Father’s Grandmother who she called “Grandma Cobb”.

So I made a comment about this information being long gone with the passing of my very, VERY distant Grandmother, Lovella Cobb DANIELS last year, and hung up the phone.

But Google was calling my name – I entered a query for “William Daniels Lovella Cobb”. That search produced this link as the FIRST result: http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/COBB/2003-06/1056461415

This is MY Family folks! Can you believe it?

The people listed as appearing in this COBB Family Bible are my Grandfather, Grandmother, Father, my Brothers & Sisters – who I have never met, Aunts & Uncles – who I never knew existed. Heck it even names 4 {YES 4!} generations of my Paternal Grandmothers!

It appears that “Debbie” had the Bible in 2003 & posted this to RootsWeb in the hope of finding a Family member to give the Bible to. I have an email (or 2) out […]

Slave Narratives & Freedmen Bank Records {1865-1874}

For an African-American researcher, few resources are as valuable as the Slave Narrative Project or the Freedmen Bank Records of 1865-1874.

If you are blessed to have an ancestor captured on either of these records – feel charmed!

The Slave Narratives help us to truly understand what our ancestors endured on a day-to-day basis. They are also packed with intimate details relating to extended communal & family relationships that as slaves, would not be documented anywhere else.

The Freedmen Bank Records provide ALL of the personal information of the account holder including, Spouse, Parents, Siblings, year of birth, and county/state of residence.

Ancestry.com provides online access to both databases (for a fee). The Library of Congress link above provides free access & download to the Slave Narrative records – although these seem to vary from the records on Ancestry. Of course – they are both available via the Federal/State Archives.

I have gone through the Ancestry database & identified the Narratives of individuals from Wilkes or Warren County and/or who had an “Wingfield” or “Favor” association. If you’d like to see – click on the “Slave Narrative” page to the left.

I haven’t found any of my ancestors in the Freedman Bank records, yet – but I’m still searching!

Of just 480,000 records, it’s a needle in a haystack BUT just imagine what it means if you happen to be blessed with one of those needles!

Good luck!:-)

Cousin Mechie

FLASHBACK: Wilkes County Inventory Records 1853-1860/1860-1869

During a recent visit to the GA State Archives, I began reviewing the “Wilkes County – Inventories, Appraisements and Sales of Estates 1853-1860/1860-1869” record. This massive reel is packed with hundreds of estate records from Wilkes County Georgia property & slave owners.

I was amazed at how well-preserved this record is & how extensive the slave data.

I located the 1854 estate sale for James Nelson WINGFIELD – the man who owned my 4th Grandfather James. It appears that even when James died, his widow Susan did not sell any of their slaves – as only property was sold.

I also located the 1859 estate sale for Thomas FAVOR – one of the Wilkes Co. Favors that I’ve identified as having possibly owned my 4th Grandmother, Annie. Unlike James N., Thomas was very wealthy & 62+ slaves were sold – this including 2 “Annie’s”.

I am still trying to digest his full record (some 11 pages) & see how I can begin to assess if either of these Annie’s is my Grandmother – on first glance the ages don’t align but who knows?

Because I did not want to rush reviewing the record (it’s not indexed) or incur the gas costs for repeated trips to the new Archive.

FLASHBACK: Greetings Cousins & Fellow Researchers!

Howdy Family!

Well it appears that my “hiatus” from Wilkes County Georgia genealogy has officially ended! I’ve been away from the message boards & GA Archives for 3+ years now but once again, have returned to try to answer the unanswered…

My Washington-Wilkes Ancestor surnames are WINGFIELD, CARTER, DICKEY, FAVER/FAVOR, WRIGHT & DORSEY.

For those new to me & my genealogy research, I am Mechie Taylor, an African-American descendant of emancipated slaves from Washington-Wilkes, Georgia {Maternal line}.

I have been researching my Maternal Family line for 10+ years. I have answered many questions that until I began my research, were complete mysteries to my Family.

I have also “connected” with MANY “cousins” both white & black (yes, really!) & discovered INVALUABLE resources that make our effort as researchers so much easier – thank you Afrigeneas.com, Ancestry.com & Wingfield.org!

So let me begin my work again… My Ancestors {nor I} will rest until their stories have been told & I still have many good years of researching left in me before I pass the torch to my Niece, Gina Amechia.

Join me please, I have missed you.

Cousin Mechie