Rockdale County Genealogical Society Publication   August, 2000

Members of the Heritage Book Committee and Officers of the Rockdale
Genealogical Society look on as Jackie Smith, President, presents
Deborah Manget, Library Director, with the first of the books to be
given to the Nancy Guinn Memorial Library by the Society. The books
were purchased with funds from the sale of the Rockdale Heritage Book.
From left to right are: Claudine Jackson, Secretary; Jarrett Wigington,
Vice President; Linda Ethridge, Past President; Judy Bond, Program
Chairman; Martha Brown, Past President and Chairman of the Heritage
Book Committee; Deborah Manget, Director of the Nancy Guinn Memorial
Library; Jackie Smith, President; Beverly Beale, Immediate Past President.

                                    Athens Research Trip

Thank you, Marion! As usual you do an excellent job! For your next
newsletter you might mention that a group of 5 of us went to the UGA
library in Athens and found lots of good resources. The newspaper
collection is excellent and the Hargett collection has a lot of stuff
including yearbooks for lots of the state’s colleges and universities
and city directories. They also have family and local histories. We
hardly scratched the surface. There are wonderful resources in the
main part of the library. Copies are very cheap - .07 on a copy card
and .10 otherwise. We made that trip last weekend. Those who went
were Jackie Smith, Beverly Beal, Anne Walker, Claudine Jackson and
myself. Martha   (Martha Brown)

              Library Visitors List Surnames

Al Sorenson, 529 Valley Woods Cir., Conyers, Ga. 30094 Researching
Johnson, Sorenson, Eubanks

Katie Sluder, 1010 Oakland Ave., Conyers, Ga. 30012 No Surnames given
Mary & Stephen Pincek, 25407 Kelli Ct., Taylor, MI 48180 Reseaching

Ida Boyce, Loganville, No surnames given

C. P. Parris, 168 Gibson Way, Covington, Ga. 30016 No surnames given

Ellis or Ellen Bateman, Researching Speirs, Cousin, Bateman

Elizabeth Sims, 1137 Pine Valley Rd., Griffin, Ga. Researching Bartow

Carolyn Wellborn Haskins, 269 Gardenia Rd., Sparta, Ga. 31087, Researching
Wellborn, Jesse Mercer

Joyce Morgan, 2689 Millside Dr., Conyers, Ga. 30094 Researching Morgan,
Chandler, Ayers, Parmley

Jan Cofer, 1544 Reagan Cir., Conyers, Ga. 30012 Researching Cofer
of Gwinnett Co., Ga. Also Maryland and Virginia

Brenda Whitaker Collins, 622 N. 11th St., Jacksonville Beach, Fl 32250
Researching Whitaker, Lucker, Mitchell, Lindsey

Ronnie Wilson, 1041 Havenridge Dr. SW., Conyers, Ga. 30094 No surnames

Robert Herndon, 2065 Lake Sorrento, Conyers, Ga. 30012 No surnames

Dr. Robert L. Bledsoe, 2024 S. First Ave., Sioux Falls, SD 57105 No
surnames given but commented that the library was very helpful

Jennifer Schoolfield, 1125 Northlake Dr., Conyers, GA. No surnames

Kenyon Mills, 1902 Courtney Lake Dr., Conyers, Ga. Says helpful

Peggy Jumper, P. O. Box 1206, Conyers, Ga. 30012 Jumper, Parnell,
Stacks, McFaer, Kitchens, Bridges and lots of others

              New Books Are Added to The Library

Cherokee Land Lottery Ga. R 929.3758 Smi

The Georgians Ga R 929.3758 Aus Pioneer Settlers

Reading Early American Handwriting Ga. R 427.973 Spe

Kansas Territorial  Settlers of 1860 Ga. R 929.2097 Rob

Genealogical Register of The First Settlers of New England Ga. R 929.374

Tennessee Genealogical Records Ga. R 929.3760 Whi

History of the Huguenot Emigration to America Ga. R 929.3088 Bai

They Went Thataway Ga. R 929.1097 Ham

A North Georgia Journal of History Vol. IV Ga. R 975.8 Nor

A North Georgia Journal of History Vol. III

Cemeteries of Oglethorpe County, Georgia Ga. R. 929.509 Cem

Genealogical Records in Texas Ga. R 929.1072 Ken

Georgia Confederte 7,000 Army of Tennessee Part III Ga. R 973.7458

Georgia Cemeteries Volume 1 Fulton County Ga. R 929.5i097 Wes V.1

Who’s Who of Slovene Descent in the United States 1995

Genealogical Research in England’s Public Record Office

      Newton History Provides 1821 Land Lottery Info

“The History of Newton County” (GA R 975.8593 His) has information
on the 1821 land lottery. It was this lottery that distributed the
land that later became Rockdale County. In a previous article we covered
the extent of the lotteries and how they could be used to track your
ancestors. We noted at that time that the Nancy Guinn Library did
not have a copy of the book which details all of the names of the
lottery winners in that particular lottery. This book has since been
ordered. It is hardly necessary, however, since the Newton History
details all of the relevant information about the drawers who may
have acquired land in Newton and that which later became Rockdale.

The land lottery information is listed on pages eleven through twenty-nine
in the book. The listing is by districts and separates those disticts
which later became Rockdale. The headings detail the history of each
district, i.e., which came first either Newton, Walton, or Henry.
Of course, the districts which are now in Rockdale are the fourth,
tenth, eleventh, and sixteenth. None of these districts are wholly
in Rockdale. They extend into Gwinnett, Walton, Henry, Dekalb and
Newton as the case may be. The fourth is in the northernmost part
of Rockdale north of Hightower Trail. This is the area that was first
Walton County in 1818. The sixteenth is the area south of Hightower
Trail and reaches southward to a point just South of the City of Conyers.
The tenth and eleventh districts divide the southernmost portion of
Rockdale. The tenth is on the east and the eleventh is on the west.

Within the districts the listing is by land lot. What is shown is
the lots that were drawn. Each lot had 202 1/2 acres. The name of
the fortunate drawer or person who later acquired the property is
shown for each lot. As a general rule, each drawer received a whole
lot. There were exceptions and these are shown. Likewise, the people
who acquired the land later is indicated. The numbers of the land
lots are still in use. You can look at an atlas of the county and
follow the lots as they run north and south. They are exactly the
same as they were when the lottery was first drawn. The original survey
drew the land lots just after the land was ceded by the indians.

Several atlases are available in the map cart just to the right outside
the door of the special collections room. These can be used to find
the exact property that the ancestor acquired. Page 141 of the atlas
contains the City of Conyers in the sixteenth district. From this
point you can turn the pages to find the corresponding pages as indicated
in the margins of the pages. To go north from Conyers you must turn
to page 137. For example, Elijah Swan drew land lot 280 of the sixteenth
district. Humphries Road crosses this land lot. David Owens drew land
lot 179, the adjacent land lot. Some of the Swan descendents still
occupy property that was part of the original draw. The Swan and Owens
families intermarried and some of these descendents are still in the

“The History of Newton County” has an index where you can look for
the name of an ancestor who may have drawn land now in Rockdale. The
index would have to indicate a page number between eleven and twenty-nine
in order for the name to appear in the 1821 land lottery.

                    Full Census to be Available On-Line

Heritage Quest is going online with the entire US Census, all 12,555
rolls of film. The U.S. Census from 1790 to 1920, fully digitized
is going online. You can get more information at a demo during ALA
in Chicago, on Saturday, July 8, from 9:30 - Noon in the Hyatt Regency
Grand Ballroom E, or stop by the Heritage Quest booth, #3625. It will
be available by subscription to libraries when it is up this Fall
at: This is expected to be the largest data
base of any subject on the Internet.

Bob Telephone: (770) 393-0215 Fax: (770) 393-0215 Visit Our Web site:

The Nancy Guinn Memorial Library has already received information
regarding this availability and we anticipate that it will be made
available on one or more terminals at the library when the system
is up and running this fall.  How does that sound fellow rooters!
Wonders will never cease.

     Historical Society Trails Committee Continues Work

The committee of the Rockdale Historical Society which is researching
Conyers’ Civil War involvement as part of General William T. Sherman’s
March-to-the-Sea Heritage Trail met on June 22, 2000, and several
reports were given which are interesting. Primarily the committee
determined the date of the burning of Conyers’ depot occurred on July
22, 1864. This was the date of the battle of Atlanta which was fought
along what is now Moreland Avenue.

The Union cavalry commander, General Kenner Garrard, was ordered by
Sherman to cut the Georgia Railroad to prevent reinforcements from
Virginia. He left Decatur the morning of July 22, 1864, and proceeded
along the railroad to Conyers where he captured a locomotive and train
which he burned along with the depot. He proceeded to the bridge on
the Yellow River and burned it. He continued to Covington and burned
several hospital buildings, the depot and cotton warehouses. Parts
of his command visited Madison and Oxford. He returned to Decatur
by a northern route which passed through Loganville.

Although there is no mention in any of the accounts which were researched,
later newspaper articles indicate that the downtown business district
of Conyers was also burned. Those buildings may have ignited from
the train and depot fires.

July 22, 2001, has been chosen for the dedication of the Heritage
Trail in Conyers. Markers will be placed at the Depot and at Dials
Mill in North Rockdale which is on the route of Sherman’s Twentieth
Corps during the march to the sea.

       The LDS Church May Help Your Research

The Mormon Church also known as the Church of the Latter Day Saints
maintains a family history center in Rockdale County on Flat Shoals
Road. This center has numerous micofiche files and computer disks
which can be used in genealogical research. The church has done much
work to copy information from original documents throughout the United
States and the world. The bulk of this information is stored in the
church’s center at Salt Lake City, Utah.

Regional centers such as the one in Rockdale County house indices
which can be used as a starting point allowing you to obtain films
of the document copies held in the church’s vaults in Salt Lake City.
Some information is on CD-Rom and is available at the local center.
Of particular interest is the IGI fiche files (International Genealogical
Index). This is nothing more than an alphabetical listing of all of
the surnames by location for which there is information at the headquarters.
It details the original sources of the information. This can be an
important reference since it can tell you where information was originally
found. If you are well into your research, you can use this reference
to determine if you have sources which you have not tapped. Likewise,
if you are just beginning your research, you can use this reference
to tell you where to begin your search so that your efforts will be
quickly rewarded.

For those people who have reached the end of their rope in their search
for specific surnames using traditional sources such as the census,
there is hope to be had. The church has a fiche file called a locality
file. This has much information about obscure sources such as bible
records and estate papers. In the case of the records for the State
of Georgia, much information is filed in various categories under
Georgia at the beginning of the file. Each reference should be read
carefully to determine if it has any posibility of holding significant
information. Of course, the particular roll of film needed must be
ordered from Salt Lake City. Takes about a week to get the film delivered
to the local family history center.

My thanks to Mr. Charles Read for spending an afternoon with me at
the center. I am sure that if you have any questions or would like
to visit the center, Mr. Read can point you in the right direction.
Mr. Read is our capable treasurer.

          JEANS & GENES Now on the WEB

Jeans and Genes is now on-line at the site your editor maintains at: You will be able to
access the newsletter if you are unable to obtain a printed copy.
Printed copies are distributed at the meetings. The meetings are held
at the Nancy Guinn Memorial Library on the second Sunday of each month.

Past issues are not yet available at the web site. If you would like
to be able to access the previous issues, send an e-mail to:
and let it be known. Also, if you have any information which is newsworthy
to be included in the newsletter, you can address these to the editor
at the same e-mail address. Every little bit helps; and, the membership
needs to be informed.

Suggestions to improve the newsletter are always welcome. Contributions
will be included as space allows. So far we haven’t had much in the
way of contributions from the membership. The editor appreciates photos,
articles, and on-line information to be used in the newsletter.

Jeans & Genes is a publication of the Rockdale County Genealogical Society

Editor:  MarionT. Farmer   770-483-7180
    1500 A. Pine Log Rd. NE
            Conyers, GA  30012