Rockdale County Genealogical Society Publication
                                        May, 2001

           Jackie's State of the Society Message

  My heartfelt thanks to each of you for making this a great year for
our Society. Your generosity with time, talent and money has been
a great factor in our accomplishments and enjoyment.

  We have had a year of excellent programs thanks to Judy Bond’s efforts.
Our newsletter, edited by Marion Farmer reates an A+. We get all the
news plus some history and gain helpful genealogical information and
tidbits. We look forward to each one.

  Our Family File Folders in the Special Collections Room is growing.
I still expect all of you to add yours. And of course, if you check
the shelves in the genealogy section you will discover quite a few
and varied additions added to our collection. Thanks to the Heritage
Book Committee for their efforts.

 I would like to issue an invitation to all of you to go on our research
trips. We carpool and leave early on selected Saturday mornings to
visit different libraries and the Archives. (We usually have) A brown
bag lunch or a fast meal close by. We pity the one that has to reshelve
all the books, films, and magazines we use. We have been to Marietta,
Georga Archives, Rome, Gainesville, Elberton, Vidalia, Macon, Winder,
McDonough, Watkinsville, LaGrange, Augusta, Athens, University of
Georgia and even to several places in South Carolina. A wonderful
day for “digging up bones”.

  Several projects hve been started for the new year. Come join us and
get involved. - Jackie Smith, President

             New Books on Shelf for Use in Research

Cobb County, Ga. Deed Book A. Vol.1 Ga. R 929.3758 Lis
Barrow County, Ga. Marriages 1915-1932 Ga. R 975.8195 Bar
Cobb County, Ga. 1840 Census Ga. R 929.3758 Wat
Virginia Tax Payers 1782-87 Ga. R 975.5 Fot
Walker County, Georgia Messenger 1916-1921 Ga. R 975.833 Wal
Cobb County, Ga. Index To White Marriages Ga. R 929.3758 Han 1865-1937
Cobb County, Ga. Index to Colored Marriages Ga. R 929.3758 Han 1865-1966
Early Settlers of Alabama (Notes & Genealogies Ga. R 929.3761 Sau
Barrow County Georgia Cemeteries Ga. R 975.8195 Bar
Guide to Naturalization Records of US Ga. R 929.373 Sch
Town of Suwanee, Ga. Early History Ga. R 975.8223 Plu
Cherokee Roots Fourth Edition Vol.2 Ga. R 929.3 Bla
Some Emigrants to Virginia Second Edition Ga. R 929.3755 Sta
Memorial and Genealogical Record of SW Texas Ga. R 929.3764 Mem
Colonial Records of Virginia Ga. R 929.3755 Col
North Carolina Land Grants In South Carolina Ga. R 929.3756 Hol
Eastern Band of Cherokees 1819-1900 Ga. R 975.0049 Fin
Histories of LaGrange and Troup County, Ga. Ga. R 975.8463 Joh
Reconstructed 1790 Census of Ga., The Ga. R 929.3758 Cen 1790
Jackson County, Ga. Early Court Records Ga. R 929.3758 Pos
Jackson County, Ga. Will Abstracts Books A&B Ga. R 929.3758 Pos 1803
- 1888
Jackson County, Ga. Deed Abstracts Books A-D Ga. R 929.3758 Pos 1796
- 1808

       Library Visitors List Surnames Researched

Joan Garrison, Conyers, Working on materials

Charles K. Newman, Conyers, Researching Newman, Hutchison, Kabler,
Donaghy of Va
Betty Montgomery, Grayson, Ga. Researching Elam, Flournoy, Fitts of
Baldwin County

Margene Chandler, Loganville, Ga. Reserching Elam, Flournot, Fitts
of Baldwin County

Barry Miller,, Researching Truckenmiller/Druckenmiller,

Linda Elumbaugh, 3421 Deer Trace, Conyers, Ga., Researching Cooper,
George, Cofer and Byrd.

William R. & Sally Evans, 2239 Lochlevin Dr., Memphis, TN 38119, Researching
Deckners, Marston, Henderson.

Lynn Williamson, 75 Saratoga Way, Covington, Ga. 30016, Researching
Musick, Fling.

Leann Thompson, 1681 Richard Rd, No names given

Ashley Harper, 5047 Kurt Lane, Researching Harper

Randy Rogers, Jackson, Ms., Researching Almand, Crossley, Guinn, Gregory

M. Liz Layson, 1562 Bentwood Dr., Lilburn, Ga. 30047, Researching
Chafin, Almand.

Lisa Wagner, 2434 Country Club Dr., Conyers, Ga. 30013, Researching

        Confederate Memorial Day Articles Noted

Rhoda A. Bowen has put together a collection of newspaper accounts
of the observances of Confederate Memorial Day from the old Conyers
Newspapers. These began as of May 8, 1897, and continued until April
28, 1922. The collection is located in the miscellaneous file folders
under Confederate Soldiers.

The soldiers are named who participated in the services. Some of them
were singled-out to receive the Southern Cross of Honor. This was
a medal presented by the United Daughers of the Confederacy.

It is interesting to note that the whole community was involved in
these observances from the churches to the students of the Conyers
Institute, the school of the period. In the earliest account a procession
formed in front of the school including the mayor and councilmen along
with school children which moved down Decatur Street (Main) to the
cemetery where an elaborate ceremony with singing and oratory ensued.
Flowers were placed on graves and a ten-gun salute was fired by volunteers.

A researcher may find a name in these accounts along with the unit
in which the soldier served. It may also indicate when he received
the Southern Cross of Honor.


       The Southern Cross of Honor Story

Mrs. Alexander S. (Mary Ann Lamar Cobb) Erwin of Athens, Georgia,
conceived the idea of the United Daughters of the Confederacy bestowing
the Southern Cross of Honor on the Confederate Veteran while attending
a reunion of Confederate veterans in Atlanta, Georgia, in July of
1898. Mrs. Erwin and Mrs. Sarah E. Gabbett of Atlanta are credited
with the design of the Cross. The design was the Maltese Cross with
a wreath of laurel surrounding the words “Deo Vindice (God our Vindicator)
1861-1865" and the inscription, "Southern Cross of Honor" on the face.
On the reverse side is a Confederate Battle Flag surrounded by a laurel
wreath and the words “United Daughters of the Confederacy to the UCV.”

Mr. Charles W. Crankshaw of Atlanta was chosen to manufacture the
Crosses, but the first order was not given until a copyright was secured
by the UDC on February 20, 1900. During the first eighteen
months of the Cross’ availability, 12,500 were ordered and delivered.

Only a Confederate veteran could wear the Southern Cross of Honor,
and it could only be bestowed through the United Daughters of the
Confederacy. Money could not buy the Cross; they were bought by loyal,
honorable service to the South and were given in recognition of this
devotion. The first Cross ever bestowed was upon Mrs. Erwin’s husband,
Captain Alexander S. Erwin, by the Athens Chapter, Athens, Georgia,
on April 26, 1900.

The Crosses of Military Service and Medals currently awarded by the
United Daughters of the Confederacy are an outgrowth of the Southern
Cross of Honor. These Crosses and Medals are awarded to veterans who
have served or are serving in defense of America. They are the most
prized awards conferred by the UDC.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy presents complete sets of
the Crosses to libraries and museums if they agree to display the
sets. The Southern Cross of Honor is always included if it is available.
Should someone owning a Southern Cross of Honor wish to donate it
to the UDC it can be included in a set to be presented to a museum
or library. If you have such a Cross and wish to donate it, please
contact the UDC Business Office.

The UDC Business Office does not have applications for the Southern
Cross of Honor; however, it does have ledgers compiled by Mrs. Anna
Davenport Raines during her seven-year term as Custodian of Crosses
of Honor. Mrs. Raines recorded every recipient of the Cross bestowed,
beginning with Number One, until she resigned in 1913, for a total
of 78,761 Crosses, and the ledgers provide the name and unit of the
recipient. They may identify the date and place of the award. An accumulative
index was developed by the Caroline Meriwether Goodlett Library Committee
in the 1980s to cross reference the information contained in the ledgers.

To request confirmation about the bestowal of a Southern Cross of
Honor between 1900 and 1913, and/or if there is any information available
for subsequent years, please send name of the veteran and the unit
in which he served, a check made payable to “Treasurer General UDC”
in the amount of $5.00 per name, and a self-addressed stamped envelope

UDC Memorial Building
 Southern Cross of Honor Research
 328 North Boulevard
Richmond, VA 23220-4057        (Thanks to the UDC for this information)

              How to Identify Age of Gravestones

One way to help find the era your ancestor was buried is to examine
the material from which the tombstone is made. If your ancestor has
a stone made of slate or common fieldstone (except wood used by pioneers),
chances are the stone daes from 1796-1830.

If the stone is flat-topped hard marble, dates are about 1830-1849.

If the “mystery” stone is round or pointed soft marble with cursive
inscriptions, look for a date of 1845-1868.

Masonic four-sided stones began in 1850 are still in use today.
Pylons, columns and all exotic-style monuments are usually dated 1860-1900.

Zinc monuments date from 1870-1900.

Granite, now common, came into use about 1900.

If the writing is too faded to read, use a 75 watt black light bulb
in any lamp that casts light directlly on the written message. The
writing will miraculously appear. (It would be a miracle, what cemetery
has electricity? - Jackie Smith)

               Some Members Have Extensive Research

Many of you may not be familiar with the work of a few of our members.
Mrs. Wanda Hoffer is one. She retired from the State of Georgia Archives
and has worked as a volunteer with the LDS Church in their Family
History Center. Mrs. Hoffer has accumulated extensive files in her
personal research. She and Mrs. Leoda Sherry are both members of the
Farmer family and have much information on the Farmer name. Mrs. Sherry
has been a speaker at one of our meetings. She spoke to us about her
visit to Ireland. She, too, is a retiree of the State of Georgia Archives
and has extensive knowledge of methods of genealogical research.

There are others who have large collections of genealogical data accumulated
in years of research. Roberta Wingo is one. We were exposed to her
collection when she spoke to us at a recent meeting. She has to have
one of the largest genealogical files among our members. Mr. Norman
Swann and Mr. Billy Baker have been working to a large extent on the
families who resided in the northern part of Rockdale in the Sheffield
District. They have built what amounts to a necrology of the families
in that section. The Farmer family, for instance, is one of the names
which they have worked on and accumulated significant amounts of data.
Along with the Farmer name, they have information on names such as
Baker, Swann, Chandler, Owens, Eubanks, and others who resided in
this section. If you are looking for information on a family name
from the Sheffield District, Zingara, or Bethel Community, it is likely
that these gentlemen may have what you need.

A glance at our surname file which is sorted by researcher name will
provide you with a good indication of the information which our members
have in their collections. Our surname file provides the addresses
of the members and an e-mail address if we have it. We encourage our
members to share data; and, hopefully, those individuals who enquire
will have data which they can share as well.

             Present Family File Folders Available

Agor, Alexander, Allan, Allen, Almand, Askew, Baker, Beale/Adams,Pearson,
Bell,, Blankenship, Blankenship/Lane, Bledsoe/Winburn, Bohanan,, Britt,
Byrd, Campbell, Cardin, Cawthon, Chambers, Cooper, Cowan, Crawford,
Crowell/Puckett, Dailey, Dial,, Dixon/Sosebee, Egner, Etheredge/Smith,
Farmer/Camp, Farmer/Hawkins, Freeman, Gailey, Gray, Gregory/Longshore,
Hammonds, Henry/Pickens, Hollingsworth, Houston/Almand, Hudson, Jackson,
Kitchens, Knowles, Lackey, Lee, Lester, Longshore/Reagan, MacCarthy,
Marston, Martin, Matthews, Mayfield, McCallum, McElhannon, McElroy,
McElroys, Meriwether, Moon, Neal, Overton/Cofer, Phillips, Quillian,
Redding, Richards, Rivers, Rogers, Scott, Simonton, Smith/Jackson,
Vivian/Smith, Smith, Henry/Smith, Hannon/Smith, Stephens, Taylor,
Thrower/Dial, Dennard/Ivey, Tinsley, Tucker, Turner, Waldrop, Williams,
Williamson, Wilson, Worthington, Yohner.

As you can see, our family file folders have been growing by quite
a bit.  We have a complete file drawer now.  We probably should be
able to completely fill the cabinet if every one of our members were
to contribute.

Putting your family in our family files may help someone find your
missing link.  Think about it.

                  Ann Foster Remembered

One of our beloved members, Ann Foster, passed away recently.  She
was one of the first editors of this newsletter.  In recent years
she resided in Pinehurst, North Carolina.  Even though she was not
with us, she continued to receive the newsletter and follow the progress
of the club. A book has been purchased by the club and inscribed to
her memory. The book is "Forsyth County Georgia Marriage Records 1833
- 1933" by Ted O. Brooke.  The book is available on the library shelves.

 Some Suggestions on Reading Tombstone Inscriptions

A good way to read the inscription on an old stone is to do a rubbing.
You will have a nice piece to take home. This is sometimes more readable
than a photo when dealing with old stones covered with lichen.

If necessary, use crumpled pieces of masking tape to remove some of
the lichen. Never use a wire brush or sharp object to remove lichen;
but, 3M Scotch Brite can be used on some stones.

Use a non-woven fabric such as mediam weight Pellon, rather than paper.
If necessary, wash the stone with water, and tape the fabric to the
stone while still wet. Use a block of colored wax or the side of a
crayon to do the rubbing. You will have a masterpiece.

             May Meeting Date Changed

The meeting originally scheduled for the second Sunday has been changed
to May 20th to allow for Mothers day. The speaker will be Mr. Ken
McLaren.  He will speak on "Scottish Tartans".  Bring your tartans
to the meeting.  The public is encouraged to attend.  We will look
for you at 3:00 p.m. in the meeting room at the Nancy Guinn Memorial

           Salem Baptist Church Records Progress Noted

Work on the records of Salem Baptist Church has been completed with
the exception of the binding.  That part is to be done by the library
before the records can be shelved and made available for research.
The committee consisted of Jackie Smith who did the original copying
of the records, Norman Swann who did the organizing and numbering
of the pages and the final copying , and Marion Farmer who indexed
the names  and printed the table of contents , acknowledgement, and
index pages.

Much interest has been expressed regarding when the records would
be available.  Hopefully, this will be soon.


Jeans & Genes is a publication of the Rockdale County Genealogical

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