Rockdale County Genealogical Society Publication

                                                                    February,  2006

                                  February 12, 2006, Meeting

The Rockdale County Genealogical Society will meet on Sunday, February
12, 2006 at 3:00 P.M. at the Nancy Guinn Memorial Library, 864 Green
Street, Conyers, Georgia.

The topic of this meeting is “The Origin of Surnames” presented by
Bertha Little. Mrs. Little is retired from DeKalb County Schools,
and spent much of her career teaching Georgia history. She has a Master
of Education degree from Mercer University and is a member of several
genealogical societies including Rockdale Genealogical Society and
East Georgia Genealogical Society.

The public is encouraged to attend. There is no attendance fee, however,
donations are appreciated.

                   Swann Assumes Presidency

Norman Swann has assumed the office of president for 1906. Mr. Swann
brings a history of genealogical experience to the office. He and
his cousin, Billy Baker, now deceased, worked hard to compile the
most complete work of genealogy for the Sheffield District of Rockdale
County. Mr. Swann is a descendant of one of the oldest pioneer families
of Rockdale County. They were original land owners; and, some of the
family still reside on the original land lot which was awarded in
the 1821 Georgia Land Lottery.

Mr. Swann is a retiree of the Dekalb County Tax Commissioners Office
after twenty-five years of service where he was a manager of the back-tax
and Auto Tag offices. We are fortunate to have a man of his experience
to lead the Genealogical Society in 2006.

                     Rockdale Genealogical Society Has New Board

Norman Swann - President 770-483-4820
Bill Freese - V. President
Jane Conn - Secretary
Jackie Smith - Treasurer
Sherry Pierce - Program Chair
Gerre Byrd - Membership Chair
Norma Owens - Membership Comm.
Jenel Ship - Membership Comm.
Martha Brown - Trip Coordinator
Marion Farmer - Newsletter
Bertha Little - Board Member

                               2006 Scheduled Speakers

March 12 - Larry Guzy “Spies in the Revolutionary War”.

April 9 - Chris Zawadzki Latter Day Saints “Letter Writing Guides
in Different Languages”.

May 21 (3rd Sunday) - Susan Sloan “The Census Takers Tracks”

June 11 - “Show off and Share Day” Society members share research
and tips.

July 9 - Dale Couch “Georgia State Archives”

August 13 - Walter J. Freeman, Ph.d. “Using Your Genealgoy Software
to prepapre a Manuscript for Publishing”

September 10 - Ken Thomas, AJC Genealogy Columnist (topic to be determined)

October 8 - Bill Freese “Using the Federal Census”

           Library Visitors Share Surnames Researched

Marvin Nash Worthy, Lilburn, Ga. Researching Worthy, Brooks, Nash,
Bennett of Gwinnett County.

Jeanna Williamson, Conyers, Ga. Researching William R. Schaife in
the Campaign for Atlanta.

Toney W. Poole, Covington, Ga. Researching Poole, Pool, Phillips,
Garner, Kilgo, Kilgore,

A. B. Fulbright, Lilburn, Ga. No names given

            An Inquiry From Mr. Moore of Idaho

Mr. John S. Moore of North Fork, Idaho is looking to contact anyone
who has information concerning his great grandparents who resided
in Conyers from 1850 to 1880. The names he is looking for are: Sarah
Ann Mann, Sarah Jane Mann (Richardson), George Smith, Thomas L. Richardson,
Samuel and Elizabeth Richardson, Willie G. Smith (Bostwick).

Sarah Jane Mann and George Smith were married in Conyers on February
11, 1864 by J. L. Stewart, Methodist Minister. Willie G. Smith (daughter)
was born to them in December, 1865. George Smith disappeared from
the record and Sarah Jane remarried to Thomas L. Richardson on April
16, 1867. Mr. Moore seeks any information available on George Smith
or any of the names mentioned above.

Mr. Moore can be contacted at:

                           Census Information

Definition: A primary source is a record of an event written, spoken,
or photographed by an eyewitness to that event at or near the time
the event occurred.

This would seem to include census as a primary source. Some authorities
call it that - others do not, mostly because we cannot be sure who
gave the information to the census worker.

However, another wrinkle: it’s not widely known that the census images
you see on your screen (or on microfilm) are not the originals. The
original census forms were kept at the state level (and just try to
find any of them now): copies were made and sent to Washington. Some
states kept the copies and sent on the originals. There are ways to
tell if you are looking at one of the rare original census pages from
the markings on the page; a good resource for information is Wm Dollarhide’s
excellent book on The Census.

So, mostly what we see and use are second or even third generation
transcriptions. The mind boggles at the possibilities for errors,
omissions and just plain laziness (one census I saw had an enumerator,
or probably, a copier, who abbreviated all the surnames if they were
more than two syllables!).

Not only are the original pages as written by the census enumerator
mostly gone, but the Washington copies were destroyed after microfilming
(years since 1900).

Census isn’t worthless, of course, but it has to be taken into the
mix with many other sources we have available. I am frequently astounded
at the people attempting to work on their family history who have
never looked at a census page.


                1880 Census Enumerator Visited Rockdale

It is reported that the Devil was seen in the Alsace District in this
county one day last week. A little boy was plowing and in approaching
the end of his row, he saw something at the fence which he thus describes:
It had the body and legs of a man. Its hands were long claws; on the
top of its head were two large red eyes. He says the demon spoke to
him and told him he was the Devil and had come for him. This frightened
the lad. When he unhitched the mule from the plow, he flew to the
house and told his father what he had seen. The old man seized his
gun and hastened to the spot; but, his Satanic Majesty had disappeared.
The phenomena can only be accounted for by the fact that the census
enumerator is abroad stirring up the people in that section; and,
the supposition is that the boy got a glimpse of him in passing a
by-path near the field and mistook him for the Devil!

(Taken from the Rockdale Register of June 11, 1880)

           Federal Land Patent Site On-Line       Click here to visit the site

My name is Todd Bocik. I am the SAIC Project Manager for the development
of the scanning and indexing applications as well as the development
of the Official Federal Land Patent Records web site.

The Bureau of Land Management has maintained the Official Federal
Land Patent Records site ( since 1998. The        
website was down for months, but was made publicly accessible on December
23. Since then, thousands of people have visited the site. With the
renewed interest in the website, I would like to take this opportunity
to thank all of you who have used this website and ask a favor.

During the websites history, we have modified the look and feel twice.
The first version had very little searching capabilities and few options
for you to get the images of the patents. The second version (the
one you currently see) has many more searching capabilities geared
towards genealogists and those searching for title information. Plus,
more image viewing capabilities. The current version has been in place
for about 4 years now and we want to make sure that we are not missing
any capabilities that you would like to see.

We would like you to provide us with features, enhancements or aesthetic
changes that would make this site better.

There are a few things that we can not change:   

1. We can not get  data on the site any faster.

2. We can not do different types of documents at this time. The BLM
staff are diligently trying to get all the serial records on the website.

3. We can not do additional states. here
shows the 5 million state patents and land patents that are, or will
be, on the website. The General Land Office has very few patents from
Texas and the original 13 colonies.

4. We can not do Full Text searches of these documents. The BLM staff
are not transcribing the entire documents, but indexing key fields.
If you feel uncomfortable posting in this news group and would like
to send me an email, please send it to

Also, if there are any other newsgroups or websites I should post
this message on, please let me know.

Thanks again for your support of the website. I will review the postings
with the BLM Project Manager. Based on the budget and current technology,
we will get as many new features into the next version as possible.
Todd Bocik

“Todd Bocik” <>

Ed: Georgia is one of the original colonies. Its records are not on
this site.

                 Biographical Sketches On-Line

Genealogy Today announced the availability of Biographical Sketches
Online, a free service offering researchers access to images of short
biographies published in various books by different groups and organizations.

Biographical Sketches Online, accessible from the Genealogy Today
home page, is a collection of images scanned from original materials
owned by Genealogy Today. The index is fully searchable and integrated
into the main site search. Instead of having to browse through pages
of images, you can find out in seconds if any possible ancestors are
in the collection.

The database launched today with several hundred sketches from three
different books: History of Southwest Virginia and Washington County
[VA]; 150 Years of Lodge No. 43 Lancaster [PA] (1785-1935); and Fitchburg
[MA] Past and Present. Additional sources will be uploaded on a regular

To access the Biographical Sketches Online database, visit the Genealogy
Today home page at or go directly to Click here
the search page at  Or Here

“illyad” <>

             Digitized Books Available On-Line

LDS Digitizing Books, on-line NOW at BYU !!!!
A dream coming true. The Family History Library is starting to digitize
their book holdings, mostly family histories to date, and they are
putting them on-line, fully searchable by any word or advanced search
combinations. Five thousand plus of these books are on the Brigham
Young University Library servers and readily accessible, NOW! Here
is a partial clip of an announcement I just received and I have only
made a quick check of how to find them and how to search, but it is
very exciting “the LDS Family History Library has announced that it
has begun the process of digitizing and making available on the Internet
all of the Family History books in their collection. These are primarily
books in the “929.273 Series” that are currently housed on the first
floor of the Family History Library (previously housed on the fourth
floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building). At the present time
(September 2005), about 5000 books have been digitized and are available,
and they have announced that they are adding about 100 titles a week
to the on-line collection. Copyright issues are playing a role in
determining the order in which they progress through this task; books
out of copyright are being done first.” Go to the web site of the
Harold B. Lee Library at BYU at , then on Click here
the home page, follow the links: Find Other Materials; Electronic;
On Line Collections at BYU; Text Collections tab; Family History Archive
from the list of collections that are displayed. The search box on
the left seems to be the one to find your books at and the search
box on the right is for searching within the pages on screen. I have
not used it enough yet to be proficient, but you bet I’ll be checking
this little treasure out, a lot!--Dick Hillenbrand Dick Hillenbrand

JEANS & GENES is a publication of the Rockdale County Genealogical
% Nancy Guinn Library
864 Green St. SW
Conyers, Ga.  30012

President:  Norman Swann
V. President:  Bill Freese
Treasurer: Jackie Smith
Secretary: Jane Conn
Program Chairman: Sherry Pierce
Membership Chairman:  Gerre Byrd
Membership Committee: Norma Owens
Membership Committee: Jenel Ship
Trip Coordinator:  Martha Brown
Board Member: Bertha Little
Newsletter: Marion T. Farmer
                   1500 A. Pine Log Rd NE
                   Conyers, GA. 30012