Madison D. Cody

A View Inside the Confederacy: Ordinance of Secession Milledgeville, Georgia – 21 January 1861


What a surreal experience to read family centric, first person accounts of the same historical period from both sides of slavery — hearing the voice of the slave and the slave owner.

By way of a WPA Slave Narrative, my 4th uncle Pierce CODY (brother-cousin of Catie and Ailey) gives insight to my family’s daily work and spiritual life on Robert D. CODY’s plantation.

Bob CODY was the grandson of Edmund CODY. Pierce was owned by this line, as were most of my maternal Ancestors — Catie, Ailey II, Ailey I, Dicey (Dorothy) and Rachel. Uncle Pierce lived to be an old man, his narrative recorded May 8, 1937.

MDCody_1858AugustaI’ll be writing more of Uncle Pierce’s story in the days ahead. What I’d give to have a picture of him!:)

From Claude Carr CODY, son of Madison Derrell CODY, I’ve an insider’s view of the other slave holding family of my Warren County Ancestors.

Me and My Folks is C.C.’s family journal, relaying Madison’s narrative and sharing his correspondence to family, friends and prominent politicians of the time. It’s intimate and often very uncomfortable for me to read.

Madison initially owned my paternal CODY Ancestors — Pierce’s father (my 5th […]

ROSE CODY: She Saying Something Now!:)

It has been a SURREAL few days.

On Monday night, deep in the midst of final #DREAMFORWARD preparation I found myself on GOOGLE poking for family slave document leads on Emory University’s President James Edward DICKEY, son of James Madison DICKEY, the Methodist minister who was the second owner of my 4th Grandmother Catie WINGFIELD-DORSEY.

How I landed on the AJC article referencing Emory’s slave history and research work by Emory Professor Leslie HARRIS, I cannot tell you. However that lead to my emailing Ms. HARRIS, which lead to additional outreach to Mark AUSLANDER, author of The Accidental Slaveowner. Which leads to a currently running research email thread on its 12th iteration!:)

On the other side of my Ancestor breadcrumb trail there’s Lisa HENDERSON of Scuffalong: Genealogy (our newest AAGSAR member) who inadvertently connects me to an acquaintance, artist Lynn Lynn Marshall-Linnemeier of Miss Kitty’s Cloak believing our Emory, Oxford, Methodist-church research might somehow be connected.

And guess what? It is! Every person I’ve bumped into over the past two days leads back to the exact same Ancestor — Rose CODY!:)

Rose was the first slave purchased by Michael CODY of Warrenton Georgia and many of the CODY slaves descend from her. Rose summoned me in 2009, and I produced these now archived posts […]

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 […]