The Smyrna ChurchIf you’ve been on the Our Georgia Roots journey since its inception, sometime in 1998/99, you know I sought Ailey, my 4th Grandmother Catie’s Sister for a very long time before discovering her in 2010 via the 1870 Warrenton Census married as Ailey DAWSON, and then eventually being connected to Ailey’s descendant Gwen and my DAWSON/DORSEY/JONES family in 2011.

Even longer than seeking Ailey, I’ve sought to understood how it came to be a family not known for selling slaves (CODY) somehow allowed a 10 year old Catie to leave Warren County Georgia in 1859, to accompany Rev. James Madison DICKEY as he traveled to Wilkes County to oversee the reconstruction of The Smyrna Church.

Did Minister Dickey purchase Catie or was she loaned by her CODY owner? Where did Catie go, once Reverend DICKEY left Wilkes in 1862 — still 3 years before Emancipation? How did Minister DICKEY cross paths with Catie’s owner anyway? What was their connection?

So no one could have been more surprised than me when recently working on the Ailey & Catie post, the Sisters began whispering in my ear. Subtle thoughts yes, but clear as a bell — “you know Madison Derrelle CODY didn’t own Catie, it was Robert Donnelson CODY. That’s the connection you’ve been missing with the minister. Go back to Pierce’s narrative, it’s there…”

Just like that, in the […]