Rockdale County Genealogical Society Newsletter February 2017
From our President, Chris Zawadzki
In a Ken Thomas AJC article dated September 18, 2016 Mr. Thomas mentions a family’s use of term alias in front of a maiden name, i.e., Lydia Smith alias Buck. I did not think too much of that naming practice until I recently encountered it when helping a family with their genealogy work. When I asked the family why the term alias was being used for their ancestors they were not sure. This led me to do a little research on its origin and nature. The weblink https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/Use_of_Aliases_-_an_Overview
provides us with some answers and useful research tips. I pulled the following from this link… The period during which aliases were most used in the U.K. coincided with the development of surnames, approximately 1460 to 1650, and continued to be used for much longer periods, even into the 1800's. The practice seemed to originate in the southern areas, and slowly moved northward; in 1575, John Vovvel alias Hooker, gentleman, published "Order and Usage of keeping the parlement in England" in London. 74 years later, in 1646, a genealogist/curate in Yorkshire wrote "surnames are just settling into common usage in this section of rural Yorkshire, and parish records contain many alias names." The use of aliases seem to fall within one of five basic reasons:
1. Retention of patronymics. During the 16th century, many men were reluctant to abandon ancestral names, and consequently retained the forenames of their fathers or grandfathers as surnames. For example, William HARRY of Luxulyan, Cornwall, in 1547, was described (in a legal document) as William HARRY alias WATT - Watt being his grandfather's forename.
2. Retention of topographical reference points - especially in relation to a manor or place name from which some families derived their surnames. A case in point is that of John RICHARDS of Bosavarne (1547), who had a son Thomas BOSAVARNE (1570), who had a son Martin THOMAS alias BOSAVARNE(1620).
3. Commemoration by descendants of a marriage to an heiress or to a member of a "socially superior" family.
4. Illegitimacy. For example, John Reskymer had an illegitimate son with Margaret Gerber named John Reskymer alias Gerber. In later generations the son may well have been baptized as John Reskymer Gerber which, as with the use of an alias, served the purpose of publicly proclaiming his parental origins. 5. Rights of inheritance, and other economic reasons. In the days of copyhold land, a persons' entitlement to land was only recorded in the manor court rolls. Deeds as they are known today, did not exist. The only "proof" one had that one owned particular land was in the "copy" rolls held by the manorial clerk. If a woman was widowed, and later remarried, the children of her first marriage often took the name of the step-father. But, to maintain their right to their inheritance, they would use the step-father's name as an alias. There were variations in this practice. In one well-documented case circa 1558, William Camborne married Elinor Wilton Paynter, a widow with seven children, and adopted the surname of her first husband, becoming William Camborne alias Paynter of Trelissick, St. Erth. Their descendants used both Camborne and Paynter, with the use of Paynter eventually completely overtaking the use of Camborne within three generations. In some cases, persons legally changed their names to obtain an inheritance from a line in their family which was in danger of "dying out." For instance, a man would take the name of his maternal uncle to become his legal heir. Of course, aliases might be used in cases of adoption, as well. It must be kept in mind that not everyone in a particular family used the same, or any, alias, and an alias might be used by someone who married into the family, not just those born into it. The use of particular aliases could be a long-lived practice; in one known case, the alias was maintained for 221 years. Fortunately, the use of two (or more) surnames sometimes appear in wills, the benefactor wishing to be unambiguous about the potential beneficiary. Manorial records, and, later, land records may also be sources of information. Spelling, however, was fluid, and most frequently records were in Latin. By the mid-1800's, the practice of using aliases had diminished to the point of obsolescence, except in the criminal classes, and as noted in the definition first given, court cases where it was paramount to identify an individual.
2017 Already. When you read this newsletter, you will already been to 2 meetings with expert speakers. I hope they helped you further your research on your ancestors.
If you would like to contribute, please contact Ellen Blakeslee, ceirrageorgia.antq@gmail. We would love to hear from our members
March 10, 2017 Preserving Your Photographs: Handling, Caring for and Storing Your Family Photographs Stephanie Watkins, Conservator
April 14, 2017 Georgia's Rural Churches: Historic Treasures or Relics of the Past? Sonny Seals and George Hart, co-authors, Historic Rural Churches of Georgia
Lunch & Learn Lectures are free and no reservations are required. Bring your lunch and join us from noon to 1 PM.
Nancy Guinn Library has added new books donated by RCGS Jefferson County Inferior Court Minutes 5 volumes Genealogical Publishing Company Lowndes County Deed Records Tax Digests 1830-1844 Coweta County Newspaper Marriage & Death Notices Ted Brooke SC State Grants, Vol. 1-5 Brent Holcomb Free Persons of Color 4 volumes covering different GA counties Genealogical Publishing Abstracts of Deeds DeKalb County, GA Books O&P (1854-1857) Mitchell County Marriage Book 1867-1940 Paulk Research
Nancy Guinn Library Happenings - Martha Brown Researching Your Family History in the Special Collections Room at the Nancy Guinn Library - Rockdale County, GA, and Beyond The goal of “The Heritage of Rockdale County, GA” Book Committee, formed by the Rockdale County Genealogical Society, is to add to the collection in the Special Collections Room that provides materials showing places where folks in Rockdale County came, to places that they then followed the western migration. Since the publication of “The Rockdale Heritage Book” in 1998 the committee has provided over $8,000 worth of books with subject matter ranging from Native American to materials from most of the 52 states of these United States. If you haven’t been to the library lately, I encourage you to check out our genealogical resources. Highlighted are some of the publications that might interest you, and call numbers are provided to help in identifying the section you need. Once you get to that section you will likely find other resources that have a gold mine of information and maybe break your brick wall. How exciting would that be! As you enter the door to the Special Collections Room, Rockdale County and the State of Georgia publications begin on your right and continue to the back wall as the progression goes to other States and countries. The first group of books I’ll focus on are those of the people who were here long before the Europeans settled Rockdale County. “The Federal Road through Georgia, the Creek Nation and Alabama, 1806-1836" GA R 975.803 SOU, “Crisp County, GA Historical Sketches”, W. P. Fleming, GA R 975.8 CRISP FLE, “Dawes Roll Plus of the Cherokee Nation” 929.1089 DAW. A group of lottery books chronicles the families who through “draws” settled Georgia. Beginning with the “1805 Georgia Land Lottery by Graham, the books continue through several years until you come to a compilation by Secretary of State Ben Fortson, for the years 1779-1895. Call numbers begin with GA R 975.803. As immigration came into Georgia, the Pennsylvanians came down the Wagon Road through the Southern States, settling in what was Newton and Henry Counties, portions of both becoming Rockdale. Those having Pennsylvania roots will want to check out “PA Vital Records from the PA Genealogical Magazine and PA Magazine of History and Biography”, v. 1-11 (1983) GA R 929.3748 PENY, “Memories in Stone, Tombstone Inscriptions in Montgomery County, PA, West Norriton Township”, GA R 929-5097.TAY, and if you are in a quandary regarding your Smith family you may find your missing relative in “Ancestors and Descendants of Smiths”, compiled by Cheek. GA R 929.2097 SMITHCHE. Our ancestors peeled out of Virginia and on down the same trails that the Pennsylvanians came. Nancy Guinn has a wonderful collection of Virginia records. Perhaps the most popular are: “Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers”, 1607-1635 GA R 929.3 VIRGINIA MCC; “Cavaliers and Pioneers, abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants” GA R 929.3755 NUGV.1; and “The Douglas Register, being a detailed record of births, marriages and deaths together with other interesting notes as kept by The Rev. William Douglas from 1750 to 1797, and an index of Goochland Wills, notes on the French-Huguenot Refugees who lived in Manakin-town.” GA R 929.3097 DOU. There are about 40 Virginia resources on the shelves at Nancy Guinn. Leaving the trail that got us to Rockdale and focusing on the County itself, did you know that we have most of the yearbooks from Rockdale, Salem and Heritage High Schools? We also have copies of both the “Blue Book” and the “Red Book”, chronicles of Rockdale County and its people. You’ll enjoy “Looking Back, The Story of Milstead” by the unofficial mayor of Milstead, Frank D. Smith GA R975.8 ROCKDALE SMI. Marion Farmer, a member of our Genealogical Society has compiled “Index of the Rockdale County Cemeteries”, GA 975.8, and Tom Ivey also a member but now deceased has his “Long Shoals’ (Milstead) Contribution to Rockdale” GA R 975.8 ROCKDALE IVE. The Rockdale Citizen’s columnist and retired FBI agent Jack R. Simpson’s interview on “Old Timers View of Rockdale County” is a VHS tape you can find at, VHS PROF975.829552JS v.1. A blast from the past hits you as you watch a silent film from 1931-1948, VID975.8215 ROC. Can’t find gg-Grandpa? You might be surprised to find him in a book in The Law Library’s collection, located in the center of the room. You’ll find the “Official Code of GA Annotated”, Vol., 1-14, “GA Reports”, Vol. 1-295 encompassing the years of 1846-2014 and “Georgia Appeal Reports” Vol. 1-328, beginning with 1907, “Black’s Law Dictionary” and others. GA County histories, film copies of newspapers and maps complement those resources and materials are continuing to be purchased by the staff. A copy machine is right outside the Special Collections Room. If you have questions or need help, one of the Library’s able staff members will be happy to help you. In a subsequent issue of this newsletter more resources will be highlighted. As the last carton of “The Heritage” books is being sold, the Rockdale County Genealogical Society is continuing to look for and purchase the books that we do not have on our shelves. And those shelves are filling up!
LOVE OF THE HUNT
Love of the Hunt by Ellen Blakeslee, Genealogist
Survival Kit for the Road The summer months are not far away, are you thinking about taking a genealogy trip out of town? Are you planning to go to the State and National Archives, State College Libraries, out of town cemeteries or Probate Court Office? Wherever you go, you will need a survival kit and be well prepared. Before you plan this trip, however, ask yourself can I find this information at my local library or maybe I can order through the local LDS Family History Center, the microfilm I need? Searching for your family records in your ancestor’s local town or city should only be done after you are sure you cannot acquire the records through easily accessible means. Do you want to spend the time and money traveling when you can access the information on line? After careful planning, make a survival kit.
Survival Kit Tips: 1- Lots of pencils and paper - Most State and National Archives, college libraries, city libraries do not allow pens. Always go onto their website and read about what is allowed in their Genealogy Room. 2- Change - You will needs lots of change for making copies, parking, refreshments, etc... 3- Family Group Sheets - These sheets should be filled out with updated information so that you can access dates easily. Do not take your whole genealogy file with you. Take only the pertinent information you will need. If you use Rootsmagic or any other database program, you can print these sheets out easily to take with you. 4- ToDo List - Know what you are looking for. Is it a birth certificate or a newspaper article? Are you looking for a local cemetery? Always make a to do list and follow it so that you don't get sidetracked. 5- Forms - Print out blank forms such as: research calendar, research extract, source summary for family information, correspondence record or other forms that you deem necessary to record the information you are looking for. Check online for other forms Use a cemetery form, probate office form depending on where you are going. Forms keep you organized for when you get back to your room or home so that you can transcribe easily. 6- Camera - (digital preferred) voice recorder, portable scanner - when visiting cemeteries it is a good idea to take a picture of the entrance to the cemetery plus any gravesites you fmd. Making note of where the grave sites are located is also suggested. A voice recorder te great if you happen to come across an old timer in the city you are visiting and he/she has lots of stories to tell you. You can use the portable scanner at the Probate Office to scan wills, death certificates, etc.. 7-Laptop Computer - In the evenings, if you’re not exhausted, you can sit down and sort through all the information you acquired throughout the day and input the information on your database. 8-Travel Journal - Keep a travel journal of all your research. This journal can be a digital or a written one. You will be surprised at how many times you will refer back to it. But most of all, don’t get overwhelmed and do too much. Enjoy the experience. Even if you don’t get all the information you want, you have had fun at what you love most, Genealogy.
Free Webinars Georgia Genealogical Society 22 March 2017 Deborah R. Abbott, PHD "Going Beyond the Basics: Vital Records & Related Sources" 26 April 2017 Donna Bachowski EPOCH - Electronically Preservice Obituaries as Cultural Heritage 24 May 2017 George G. Morgan State-Land States and Federal-Land States; Researching US Land Records
SPEAKERS FOR 2017
March 2017 - TBD April 2017 - TBD May 2017 - TBD June 2017 - TBD July 2017 - TBD August 2017 - TBD September 2017 - TBD October 2017 - TBD November 2017 - SHARE