Ailey

Mystery of The Smyrna Church: Retracing Rev. DICKEY’S Historical Footprints

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 […]

Sisters Ailey & Catie CODY: Separated By Slavery, Connected By Love

Ailey & Catie CODY“You & Gwen are the glue holding this family together… Keep Sticking!” ~ Cousin Ed, Family Patriarch

Though I’d attempted to research a few random Ancestors, my “calling” didn’t really kick-in until the day my cousin Elbert STRINGER, 1 of 2 living Grandchildren of my 4th Grandmother Catie WINGFIELD DORSEY, shared the story of how Catie would reflect on being owned by “Master CODY” in Warren County. Grandma Catie told of how she’d been sold, leaving behind her Sister Ailey. The year was 1859. My Catie was 10 years old and Ailey 12 years old.

That was 1998/99 and aside from knowing Catie had been taken to WILKES County and somehow acquired the surname WINGFIELD, I had no more real information about our family history.

Over the years with the assistance of Elbert, Johnnie Mae (the 2nd living Grandchild of Catie’s and Elbert’s baby sister), Washington-Wilkes hometown elders and the WINGFIELD Family Society, I discovered and introduced my living family to our Washington-Wilkes and Warrenton heritage.

I progressed fast, filled many historical gaps and collected BEAUTIFUL vintage images that gave me a glimpse of the proud, hardworking folks I’d descended from.

But still no Ailey.

From 1999 until 2009 I researched numerous CODYS of Warrenton, Georgia to find the original slave owner of my Catie. Without question, Madison Derrell CODY and/or Robert D. CODY. And though I would find many family members, Ailey was not among them.

In 2010 by way of Ancestry I helped another non-related DORSEY confirm that his Rachael DORSEY of Rockdale, Georgia was not my Rachael DORSEY, Daughter of Ailey […]