Georgia Pioneers

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Finding the Way Home

broken tombstones Somewhere there is a road to the old home place. It may be covered over with dirt or cement, but it exists. The past is not completely hidden. We learn that in archaeological digs. As erosion, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, storms, lava and fire help sweep away former times, we forget. As communities and villages disappear into towns and cities, the world turns. Somehow we think that we are the substance of all civilization. Yet the surface has not been touched so far as discovery is concerned. There still remains the written records which genealogists crave to help explain and complete their own history. Despite the loss of important documents, clues remain. At this moment, genealogists are beginning to share their information over the internet. A recent discovery of my own was that someone had shared a photograph of my great-grandfather over the internet. For years, I searched for this soldier who died during the Civil War. Seems that he was a surgeon who served in an Alabama regiment. Imagine the joy which I experienced in seeing this photograph! Did you realize that people hid important documents behind wooden walls, under floorboards and in wells? An afternoon in the woods near the the old home place might turn up broken tombtones buried in pine needles, or tincans buried in the dirt containing items of interest.

Both Legs Mashed Off!

Western & Atlantic Railroad "About dark this evening, Sam Weller, the yard engineer of the Western and Atlantic railroad, ran over Dr. John S. Wilson, a real estate agent of this city, and mashed off his legs just below the knees. The accident occurred at the Whitehall street crossing, and Dr. Wilson was in the act of crossing the track when the engine struck him. Tonight his condition is regarded critical. Dr. Wilson came to Atlanta from Augusta many years ago and for some time was a member of the drug firm of Pemberton, Willson, Taylor & Co." Source: The Headlight, published Gray, Georgia, August 11, 1888.

A Midnight Duel

dancing "I remember it as though it was yesterday, the march of Hill's corps along the winding Shenandoah, up to the famous Luray gap. Who could ever forget that march? The road winding with the beautiful river, and overhung with a majestic chain of Blue Ridge mountains, while across the crystal water the magnificent valley, with its charming cottages dotting the bounteous land with white-like balls of snow robed in flowers. But the most engaging and lovely objects paled into significance beside the peerless women of this blessed country, and you may well believe that when the camp was struck that the soldiers lost no time in making their way to the surrounding cottages. Soon the music of the violin was heard, and the shuffling feet kept time to the music, while, for a time, the soldier's face was lit with old time joy. At one of those cottages the belle of the valley reigned supreme, while several southern soldiers vied with each other in paying homage to the queen. Among others were two young soldiers, one from Georgia and the other from Mississippi; who were specially energetic in their attentions, and so marked had this become that those present watched the play with constantly increasing interest, fulling believing that both exhibited a case of love at first sight. The surmise on the part of those present was only too true, as the tragic event which followed fully proved. The Georgian seemed to have the lead on the Mississippian, and when the dancers were called to take their places, he led the belle of the valley to a place in the set. At this point the Mississippian was seen to approach the couple and heard to claim the lady's hand for the dance. An altercation ensued, but both were cool, brave soldiers, two of the best shots in the army, who did not believe in a war of words. So it was ended by the Georgian dancing with the lady and the significent remark of the Mississippian that "I will see you after this set." When the dance was over the Georgian was seen to seek the Mississippian, and together they called each a friend from the crowd and departed. When outside, both claimed that an insult had been passed, which could only be wiped out in the blood of the other, and that a duel to the death should be arranged at once. A full moon was just appearing above the tops of the surrounding forest, and I tell you this talk of blood in the silence of the night was anything but pleasant. No argument, however, would avail with these men, so it was arranged that the duel should take place at the top of the Blue Ridge, near the center of the road that passes through the gap; that the weapons should be pistols at fifteen paces, and to fire at or between the words one, two, three, firing to continue until one or both were dead. The point was reached, the ground measured off, and the men took their positions without a tremor. The moon shed its pale light down on a scene never to be forgotten. A moment or two and the\ silence was broken by the signal: one, two three. At the word one the report of two pistols rang out on the midnight air, but the principals maintained their respective positions. The left arm of the Georgian was seen to drop closer to the side, but the Mississippian was immovable, and still held his pistol to the front. Again, a pistol shot was heard, coming from the Georgian, and the Mississippian still held his position, but he did not fire. The Georgian protested that he had not come there to murder him, but no answered was returned. The Mississippian's second approached his principal and found him dead, shot through the eye on the first discharge of the weapons. Death it seems has been instantaneous so much so as not even to disturb his equilibrium. I may forget some things, but the midnight duel on the top of a spur of the Blue Ridge, with its attendant circumstances, is not one of them." Source: Written by an anonymous Confederate veteran. Published in The Constitution, Atlanta, Georgia, 26 January 1885.

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Genealogy History

blog Jeannette Holland Austin
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Think of the Internet as a Genealogy Vault

vault The technology of the internet moves civilization forward and is a blessing because it is where we discover forgotten members of the family and more about our past. And, it is a place to post important genealogy data. As time moves forward and more people share their family histories, the internet will contain the most valuable documents on earth. All that we need to do is to continue to share and add our information (no matter how trivail) to lasting websites. Initially at the first onset of the user experience, there was a rush of family group sheets added from computer programs. However, most of those have been taken down. Therefore, it is important that we post our information on more than one website. All over the Nation there are public libraries with a surprising amount of file folders containing family genealogy. I have found that people are still donating some pretty interesting to libraries and archives. Hopefully, the data will be digitized on library websites. Actually, local libraries are beginning to write their own websites and (for now) contains only a small amount downloadable data (usually out-of-date books). How much genealogy will bes digitized and preserved on the internet is a question of budget. We should continue to be supportive with our genealogy donations and attend local libraries. I have personally gathered and preserved a great deal of genealogical data over the years and those books which I published are contained as databases on my genealogy websites, viz: Georgia Pioneers Kentucky Pioneeers North Carolina Pioneers South Carolina Pioneers Southeastern Genealogy and Virginia Pioneers

1940s. The Past was only Yesterday

40% The trolley on Edgewood Avenue near the car barn. Not too much time has passed before we boarded trolleys to go downtown and shop in one or two stores, Richs or Davisons. There were few automobiles and no expressways or ells. In Atlanta, it was simplier times, with Piedmont Road a far distance away. Little did I know but what after the war, we were transitioning into a new era. Certain laboring jobs like ditch-diggers gave way to modern equipment. When we visited the country, tractors were rusting in the year. Although black coal continued to be dumped down the coal shute, and the ice man delivered his hunk of ice, an era of hard physical labor was depositing a visual of poorer times with unpainted houses and the paperboy on a bicycle. Too, the dismal display of black smoke puffing out of the furnace, train tracks, overhead trolley lines and telephone polls delivered the general impression of a colorless world. Inside, homes were paneled with dark wood, or decorated with floral wallpaper, a ceiling light of one or two bulbs lit by a ""punch button." Downtown, Five-Points was a conglomeration of tracks where five trains met. A great tragedy was citizens jumping from the windows of the Kimbal House as it burned down. Does anything last? No. However, it still lives in our memories.

The Evacuation of Atlanta

In 1864 when General Sherman was en route to Atlanta, its citizens were panicking to leave. The general exit plan was to hide all precious commodities, such as silver and coins and this was usually done by digging holes in the garden. Some families carried precious items on the train to Kennesaw and when word came that the enemy was nearby, the train stopped and allowed people to hide their stuff. One known stop was along the Chattahoochee River near the Atlanta Water Works. Afterwards, they returned to sweep up the ashes of a burnt city and to suffer the repression of Northern politicians during Reconstruction Days.

Evacuation of Atlanta

Evacation of Atlanta

Atlanta Terminal Station

Atlanta Terminal Station

Margaret Mitchell Home

Margaret Mitchell, the author of Gone with the Wind, resided for many long years in this home on Peachtree Street in Atlanta. Oakland Cemetery

Fulton County Wills, Estates, Marriages, Tax Digests, Churches, Births

New Fulton County Court House Fulton was created in 1853. In 1857 Milton County (now now Fulton County) included parts of Cherokee, Forsyth and Cobb Counties. Milton was named for John Milton, Georgia's first Secretary of State and was located North of the Chattahochee River (now Fulton County). Fulton was named for Robert Fulton, the famous inventor who experimented with a submarine boat in 1801 in France and built the Clermont, a steamboat which sailed up the Hudson River in 1807. During the Revolutionary War, Milton traveled to Charleston, South Carolina, and New Bern, North Carolina before moving to Maryland with the official records of the state while Georgia was occupied by the English. Campbell and Milton County merged with Fulton on January 1, 1932. At this time Roswell was ceded from Cobb County.

Early settlers: Laughlin Arendall, Stephen Aldredge, Washington Archer, Aaron Alexander, George H. Brown, Michael Bloomfield, William L. Baldwin, F. N. Chisholm, James Campbell, Meredith Collier, Frederick Deckner, Reuben Dunning, Jerry Freeman, James Franklin, William Gray, Solomon Hopkins, William Hill, Willis Johnson, Benjamin Johnson, Thomas Kennedy, Benjamin King, Alexander Luckie, Aaron Merriam, Aaron Nunnally, Basil Overby, Poole, Ephraim, Joseph Robinson, Welcome Sparks, James Turner, William Underwood and Samuel Walker.

Also, see Campbell and Milton County Records, which counties were once part of Fulton. Fulton County records begin in 1854. Fulton County's First Rural Mail Delivery

Fulton County Court House Records Available to Members of Georgia Pioneers


  • Fulton County Wills 1854-1882 (abstracts)

Online Images of Fulton County Wills 1854 to 1866

Testators:Abbott, Albert; Bemelmaus, Henry; Braden, Joseph; Carter, Rhonda; Charpentier, Alexander; Clark, Jesse; Coleman, Frances; Collins, Merideth; Combs, Mary; Connally, Christopher; Dennis, Joseph H. ;Donehoo, James; Fair, Elizabeth; Franklin, James; Gideon, Francis; Haggard, Green; Hargraves, Mary Ann; Holbrook, John; Hopkins, Solomon ;Hoyt, John ;Hornsby, Sarah; Howard, Greenbury; Kennedy, Thomas; Loyd, James; Luckie, Alexander; Lynch, Michael ;Mason, Ann ;McMaster, John; McMurphy, William; Mead, Joseph Hays; Meadows, Margaret ;Morrison, J. E.; Neece, Andrew; O'Gilby, William; Orem, J. C.; Paradis, Elizabeth; Poole, Adam; Sheffry, Daniel; Smith, John; Solomon, Owen; Stone, Flora ;Suttles, Micajah; Underwood, Judge William ;Wilson, James; Winship, Caroline; Wright, Elizabeth


  • Atlanta 1886-1889
  • Atlanta Births 1905-1910


  • Fulton County Marriages from newspapers 1869-1906

Indexes to Probate Records

  • Will Book A, 1854-1882
  • Will Book B, 1882-1894
  • Annual Returns, Bk A, 1854-1861
  • Annual Returns, Bk B, 1861-1865
  • Annual Returns, Bk C, 1866-1888
  • Inventories and Appraisements, Book A, 1854-1866
  • Inventories and Appraisements, Book B, 1866-1883
  • Miscellaneous Estates 1870-1935
  • Indentures of Apprenticeship 1899-1913

Military Records

  • Rosters of Confederate Soldiers from Fulton County

City Directories

  • 1941 Atlanta City Directory (partial neighborhood)

Images of Miscellaneous Wills and Estates

  • Kennedy, Thomas, LWT (1860)
  • Long, Lunsford, LWT (1883)
  • Rosser, Isaac, Estate (1864), image of original documents


  • Minutes and Memberships 1824-1833 (old DeKalb County)
  • First Baptist Church of Atlanta
  • Druid Hills Baptist Church of Atlanta
  • Trinity Methodist Church of Atlanta

Tax Digests

  • 1854 Tax Digest for Atlanta

Traced Genealogies of Fulton County Families

  • Austin
  • Bleckley
  • Candler
  • Carr
  • Chapeau
  • Connally
  • Denson
  • Golden
  • Hill
  • Holland
  • Kennedy
  • Kontz
  • Maddox
  • Prince
  • Richardson
  • Rollestone
  • Schikan Slaton