Monthly Archives: July 2009

Pretty Doggone Surreal! What A Week, Huh?!

Emory Pitts LibraryAs I walked through the campus of Emory University in torrential rains {yes TORRENTIAL!} in search of the Pitts Theology Library, it resonated with me what a surreal moment-day-week-life this is…

I’m walking the university campus that in 1902 the Son, Bishop James Edward DICKEY, of the man who owned my Grandmother Catie DICKEY, Rev. James Madison DICKEY, helped to establish!

That some 107 years later, in 2009, my Son & his Fiancée are beneficiaries of the nurturing care provided by Emory’s Nursing staff {Hi Carol & Shelley!} & blessed to be under the care of Emory’s gifted Transplant Surgeons, Doctors Larsen & Tso!

And long before Genealogy was my passion or James Madison DICKEY a notion, in 1991, Emory was a safe-haven for my Grandmother, Fannie Louella Barwick & our family, during her challenge with Lung Cancer.

Who would have EVER known that Emory University would play such a prominent role in my family’s past, present & future history?!

As I sit here, blogging from inside Pitts Library, I am convinced that this is just the way it was supposed to be. The Emory “connection” is as much MY family’s destiny & inheritance, as it is James Edward’s.

I may never know HOW James Madison came to own my Catie but I DO know that his actions shaped the destiny of ALL those to come – be they black or white, free or enslaved.

The Church manuscripts were minimal but moving nonetheless. No membership rosters or minutes mentioning my […]

Will of Samuel ARNETT – 1834 Wilkes Co.

This is the transcribed Will of Samuel ARNETT, Wilkes Co. 1834. It was originally posted to GenForum by Walter L. CULLARS on Jan. 23, 2001.

I have taken the liberty to “bold” all mentions of respective ARNETT slaves.

It’s been established that our Wilkes Co. ARNETT Ancestors “adopted” the surname COHEN in the late 1890’s. Another new discovery – in 1817, John QUERNS willed slaves to his nephews Samuel & William Arnett as a part of his estate.

That said, I think for posterity sake, it’s important to document all findings of ARNETT slaves.



Georgia, Wilkes Co.: In the name of God Amen. I Samuel Arnett of the county and state of aforesaid being of sound mind and disposing memory calling to mind that it is appointed for all men to die, do make and ordain this my last will and testament revoking all others. First, I commend my soul to God who gave it and my body to be decently buried. As to my earthly property I wish to make the following disposition of it.

Item 1st: I give and bequeath to my son Henry W. Arnett’s children the following property, Sunthia Eady and her three children James, Green, Caroline, and three hundred dollars in cash he has heretofore received and receipted for; and I give and bequeath unto said children one negro boy, John, at my death and I also give unto my son Henry W. Arnett fifty dollars for his__________use.

Item 2nd: I give and bequeath unto my son Seaborn Arnett the following property, Sally a woman, Peter a boy, and five hundred and fourteen dollars and seventy cents in cash, three negroes, Stephan […]

A Wing & A Prayer…

After a long {but blessed} week, I’m going to wake up tomorrow & head over to Emory’s Pitts Theology Library in search of a few old, dusty records from The Smyrna Church in Washington, GA.

In 1860, Rev. James Madison DICKEY traveled from Augusta, through Warren Co. {I assume this was his route} & into Wilkes Co. to oversee the reconstruction of The Smyrna Church.

What I know…

  • Along his way, Rev. Dickey acquired my 4th Grandmother Catie from a CODY in Warren Co.
  • The Smyrna Church of today, has no records from the period 0f 1860-61 when Rev. Dickey pastored the church.
  • The UMC NGC Local church histories, 1812-. MSS 028 collection contains a box I am very, VERY interested in – 27/31 Smyrna United Methodist Church, Washington; 1788-1974. Photo enclosed.

What do you think it contains?

Maybe church minutes or membership rosters? Maybe somehow proof that my Catie continued to “work” in the church when Rev. Dickey departed in 1861? Maybe an old, archaic image of the Minister or the church as it appeared in the mid 1800s?

I have no clue! All I know, is that when all you have is a wing & a prayer, you just have to be prepared to take a leap of faith.

The next time I post I may be ecstatic with a new find or thoroughly disappointed that the keys to Rev. Dickey & Catie’s relationship still remain in the hands of Rev. Dickey’s living descendants – who to date, have been less than forthcoming.

It’s a toss-up!


Not So Wordless Wednesday: Jay & Hollie

Jay_HollieI am far too blessed today to be “wordless”! I am so proud of my Son, Jay & his fiancée, Hollie.

Amazing day!:-)


Madness Monday: Sarah Elizabeth WINGFIELD

Sarah Elizabeth WingfieldSarah Elizabeth WINGFIELD was the Daughter of Mingo & Sarah COHEN WINGFIELD of Washington, Georgia.

She was a School Teacher & supported her Father in his role as Church Secretary of Jackson Chapel. Washingtonian’s have describe her as a smart, meticulous record keeper.

But I doubt it would shock ANYONE to hear me say Ms. Elizabeth was not known to be an especially “friendly” person!

In all fairness, I was forewarned by her Niece, Malinda to not expect the “warmest of welcomes” when making contact with Ms. Elizabeth so yes, I called her at my own risk.

And let me also say, she was not mean-spirited or rude to me when I did call – just really, REALLY absolute & blunt.

Truth is, Ms. Elizabeth lived in a period of time where she would have known my 4th Grandmother Catie & her children. At the very least she would have known about my 4th Grandfather, James WINGFIELD & his relationship to her Grand & Great Grandfather’s, John {Jack } Jr.; John {Jack}; Sr.

You see, I’ve had an “inkling” for ages that John Sr. & Jr. were my Grandfather’s Father & Brother. However, the fact that he was lynched in 1885 makes that relationship almost impossible to validate without firsthand knowledge.

The problem? While Ms. Elizabeth knew the answers to my WINGFIELD mysteries, she had no intention of sharing this information with me or anyone else!

She was CRYSTAL clear… “I know exactly who owned my Great Grandfather & Grandfather & who your Grandfather was, I just don’t intend to tell you” & “you young people […]

History Time Stamp: Rev. James M. DICKEY 1859

Augusta GA 1859I’ve literally read the transcribed version of the 1859 Augusta, Georgia {Richmond Co.} City Directory {page 61} a few dozen times!

I know that it reflects the time period when Rev. James Madison DICKEY, owner of my Catie DICKEY WINGFIELD, resided in the St. John’s Parsonage while Pastoring Ashbury Mission {now Ashbury Methodist Church}.

I’ve even gone as far as to outreach Ashbury in the hope that records from its first Pastor still exist but nope, there is nothing of Minister Dickey’s tenure at the church.

However seeing the original version of the Augusta Directory, complete with water stains & the marks of aging, made me pause  & acknowledge – this is a historical time-stamp – not only for James Madison but for my family too.

Sometime between the time when James Madison ministered at Ashbury, married Ann Elizabeth THOMAS EVANS in May 1859 & relocated to Wilkes Co. in time to be counted in the June 1860 Census, he acquired my Catie.

I don’t know how or from whom {although I believe it was a CODY in neighboring Warren Co.}. Can’t imagine how a man who from all appearances, never owned any slaves until that time, felt about becoming the owner of a 10 yr. old girl or when he acquired his 2nd slave, a much, much older woman. Who was she? Was she any relation to my Catie?

I just know that this is the physical time-stamp of one of those actions that shaped the landscape of my family.

My Catie never saw […]

Chasing The Slave Owner

JCarter_1860SS_WilkesCo.Researching Slave Ancestry is painful, stinging & frustrating. I’ve resolved myself to the fact that’s not going to change.

BUT for me, it is also fortifying, enlightening & destiny fulfilling. I am breathing life into my Ancestors memories. I’m not allowing the dearly loved to be forgotten, nor the unknown to remain unnamed.

One of my biggest pain-points is arriving at 1865 & knowing that NOW my success is contingent upon the thoroughness of the slave owner’s personal & estate records, as well as the openness & willingness of his living descendants!

Whew! Aside from the dependency on the living descendants of my Ancestors slave owner, there is the issue of figuring out which surname my Ancestor chose after Emancipation, the disappearing act of the 1870 Census & then the challenge of chasing a fragmented people who survived without realizing they were living history.

They didn’t know I’d come along, asking all these questions & needing all these answers. They didn’t know that the more they moved, the harder it would be for me to follow their footsteps.

They just didn’t know…

Tonight identifying as much information as possible about John R. J. CARTER of Wilkes Co. was my #1 priority.

I believe John Carter {and wife Mary STONE CARTER} were the owners of my 4th Grandfather Philip CARTER .

Estimating Philip’s birth to be some time around 1826, it’s easy for me to believe that he is one of two 37 yr. old BLACK MALE slaves listed in John Carter’s 1860 Wilkes Co. Slave Schedules.

It’s also easy for me to see, how my CARTER Ancestors inter-mixed with FAVERS, WRIGHTS & BOLTONS – these white families […]

Mamie FAVORS Bolton 1891-1982

bolton19820118-001What would Genealogy be without the persistent mysteries each new “find” presents? BORING!:-)

A couple days ago I was thrilled to discover an image of Mandy FAVER BOLTON & her Husband, Henry BOLTON online at the Digital Library of Georgia.

Without doubt, I believe Aunt Mandy will lead me to learning more about the family of my 4th Grandmother, Annie FAVER CARTER {b. 1850} from Wilkes Co.

So how cool was it to also discover this funeral program {also via the DLG} of Mamie FAVORS BOLTON in 1982?!

For a second I thought Mandy FAVER BOLTON & Mamie FAVORS BOLTON could be the same person, but that would be impossible. The funeral program says Mamie was born in 1891 which would have meant she was 11 yrs. when the image with Henry Bolton was taken in 1902.

Hmmm… so who was Mamie? The Daughter of Mandy & Henry Bolton? NOPE! From the funeral program it looks like Mamie was Henry’s WIFE too!

Okay, I need a timeline!

FLASHBACK: Wordless Wednesday: Whitehall District Church Gathering c. 1905

Whitehall District

With Genealogy treasures like this manifesting, there’s no way my Wednesday can be Wordless!:-)

Yet another gem pulled from the Digital Library of Georgia as part of a collection of Wilkes County images from J.W. Stephenson {trust I will be digging-up his roots further too!:-}

The image description reads:

“Wilkes County, ca. 1905. Whitehall district (negro) near Washington- Blacks gathered in front of the church.” –from field notes

Whitehall is the main street that courses through the African-American section of Washington-Wilkes.

My WINGFIELD Ancestors built a historic church in 1863 at 318 Whitehall Street that still stands today – Jackson Chapel AME {scroll down to ‘Churches & Religion’ section}.

To my knowlegde there is only one church in Washington-Wilkes that would be considered “Whitehall District” & that is Jackson Chapel.

I just can’t help but wonder how many of my Ancestors I am gazing at in this image!

My, my….

I pay homage to the Unknown Ancestors.


The Road To Annie FAVER CARTER…

BOLTON, Henry & FAVER, AmandaThanks to Joyce McCollum of, I received a link to a new Georgia Genealogy resource today – the Digital Library of Georgia.

As usual, the first thing I did was start searching for my folks – WINGFIELD, CARTER, DICKEY, FAVER, WRIGHT & COHEN. I always hope that one day, I’ll turn up that previously undiscovered family image that will make my day!:-)

Well, after searching for Wingfields & Dickeys with no luck, I did a search for FAVER.

Annie FAVER CARTER was my other 4th Grandmother from Washington-Wilkes & aside from remembering as a child her long braid of hair kept in a jar by my Great Grandma Annie CARTER JACKSON {Her namesake}, I know very little about her.

My search yielded the above image with the following description:

“Wilkes County, ca. 1902. Henry Bolton seated weaving white split oak cotton baskets used when picking cotton. Aunt Mandy in background. Aunt Mandy FAVER Bolton was mother of 18 of her own and 18 step-children. Located on Herbert and Robert Spratlin homestead on Sardis Road.”– from field notes

Wow! I’ve seen this image before & remember pausing on it – SEVERAL TIMES. However the image I’ve seen, didn’t have the description & the FAVER name called out!

FAVER, spelled exactly the way my Annie’s FAVER surname is spelled on her 1869 Marriage License?!

With my WHOLE heart I do believe that Mandy & Annie FAVER are connected.


  • 1859 – In the estate of Thomas Faver, […]