31 January 2011

My Genealogy Plans for This Week

     My mom has the week off from work, so I've drafted her to help me with my genealogy research. We'll be doing some things that I've put off - again and again. One of my personal hurdles with research is my hesitancy to do new things, especially new things on my own. So I'm taking Mom with me. Also, I'm broadcasting my plans to the world, which is further incentive to follow through.  So, what am I doing?

     Wednesday, I have the day off. I'll be going to the local Family History/FamilySearch Center. That's right: I still haven't been to the location three miles away. I'm the queen of procrastinating! Though it doesn't hurt that the center is open only two days a week, which doesn't often fit with my varying work schedule. I'm not sure what to expect, but I have looked up some microfilm records online that I'd like to request. (The FamilySearch Center locator on the new FamilySearch.org was broken. I sent an email about my problems using it and was told that, for now, the old Family History Center locator on the old site is the best option right now).

     Friday, I've requested the day off from work. Bright and early, I plan to travel down to the Georgia Archive in Morrow. They're open from 8:30 am to 4 pm and I hope to make use of most of that time. I'm currently trying to use their website to plan my visit, though I find their Finding Aids hard to understand. The Georgia Archive is right next door to the National Archive's Southeast Branch. We plan to stop by to get information, but we'll have to visit gain to do actual research. Friday evening I'll be doing what everyone else reading this blog will be doing: Watching the first episode of season two of Who Do You Think You Are.

My New MacBook

     This is my new computer: a MacBook Pro. If you read my post from earlier this week, you might remember that I planned to by a basic MacBook, feeling that a Pro was too expensive and unnecessary. And I honestly didn't plan to buy a Pro, until I got to Micro Center and realized that they were selling the Pro for the same price that the Apple store was selling the basic. A free $200 upgrade is always awesome.

     So I'm now running on a MacBook Pro, Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz processor, 4 GB Memory, 250 GB Hard Drive. I also purchased an 640 GB External Hard Drive, which teams up with the Time Machine program to constantly back up all of the files on my computer (so pretty much every day is Data Backup Day). I was also able to purchase a warranty that covered accidental damage (not available from apple).

26 January 2011

Cherokee in the Family?

     "What's your ethnicity? Where are your ancestors from?" These are questions that come up often, in idle conversations or school projects. I remember multiple times this question came up in writing assignments in elementary and middle school. When I asked my parents, they would say English, Irish, German and Cherokee. But where did this information come from? No one in my family had ever done any genealogy research.

     After about eight years of research, I can say that the English, German and Irish ancestry have been confirmed. But the Cherokee? I've yet to see any evidence. Where do these stories of Cherokee heritage come from?

     On my maternal side, my Aunt June says that she was told that there was Cherokee ancestry in our Dorn family. Well the Dorn family has been tentatively traced back to George Dorn, born in Germany in 1728 and likely died in the Edgefield County, SC area. If there's any Cherokee in this family, it came in via a female line - and likely a few generations back on that line.

     On my paternal side, I've been told that there's Cherokee ancestry on our Britt family line. My aunts recently told me that they believed that their grandfather, Nathan Britt, had spent some time living in Florida near Lake Okeechobee with his grandmother, who had been Cherokee. I know that Nathan's family came from Edgefield County, South Carolina, but I'm fuzzy on any of his grandparents. Also, lot of the "proof" of cherokee ancestry seems to come from photographs of the family. "Look at those cheekbones!" Um, yeah... that's not proof.

     Could there be Cherokee ancestors in my family? Absolutely! The vast majority of my ancestors came over from Europe in the late 1600s and early/mid 1700s and settled in middle and west South Carolina and north east Georgia. There was plenty of opportunity for someone with Cherokee ancestry to marry into one of my European family lines.  But I haven't found any proof of this. But, I can honestly say I haven't been specifically looking either.

     Recently, I've come across a few resources that might help me discover any native american heritage. At the Atlanta Family History Expo, I learned that Footnote.com hosted a number of resources. Also, a few weeks ago I found a blog, Thoughts from Polly's Granddaughter, that showcases Cherokee research.  I think it would be awesome to find some diversity in my family and find that at least part of the family stories are true.

Wordless Wednesday

Roy Albea Sr. & Linda Clary

25 January 2011

Shopping for a New Computer

     My current computer, a 2008 MacBook laptop, has been going slowly down hill since it was six months old and water spilled directly onto the power port and into the computer. That destroyed the laptop's ability to support batteries and it will instantly destroy any battery that is installed.

     When I took my computer into the Apple Store, I was told that it was corroded inside and would slowly die. They suggested that I should replace it, or at least make sure that my data was backed up at all times.  Aside from battery issues, I've experienced only intermittent problems, though they have been increasing over the past few weeks (rainbow whirly ball of doom! constantly!). I honestly don't think that this laptop will be working a year from now. And this time of year, tax return time, is the only time of the year that I'm able to afford a new laptop. So, it's time to start shopping for a new computer.

     I'm going to replace my Mac with a Mac. There is no other option. Yes, it would be cheaper to buy a PC, but I would need to buy new software, I'd loose the ability to use all of the software I already have, and I'd have to adjust to a new way of using a computer. I've been using Apple Computers since I was 10 years old - I'm not about to change now to save a little money. (I've been talking about buying a new computer with my co-workers, who don't understand why I don't just save money and buy a PC).

   So, what exactly am I going to buy? There are three basic options: MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro. I already know I don't want a MacBook Air; they just seem too fragile. And the difference between the MacBook and MacBook Pro boils down to tech specs in the Pro being top of the line and more than I need. So, the basic MacBook it is. When purchasing the laptop, I have the option to add extra Memory and Hard Drive Space.  To understand what I need I decided to see what I already have.

  • Processor: 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Due
  • Memory: 2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
  • Hard Drive: 160 GB Serial ATA Drive 
    • In Use: 93.02 GB
    • Free: 66.67 GB
     And the basic MacBook currently comes with:
  • Processor: 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Due
  • Memory: 2 GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM
  • Hard Drive: 250 GB Serial ATA Drive 
     From looking at my usage, I see that I'm already taking up over half of my current 160 GB Hard Drive. There are a lot genealogy photos and documents on my computer that take up a lot of space. The current macs come with 250 GB to start with, but for only $50 I can upgrade to 320 GB. Also, I can upgrade my Memory from 2 GB to 4 GB for an extra $100.  I know that this effects the speed at which the computer runs, and I'm not sure that I really need any extra. Also, this is pretty expensive, and I'd like to save money where I can. I think I should upgrade the Hard Drive but stick with the basic memory.

     I'll probably buy my new laptop any time between tomorrow and Sunday. Any computer buffs out there who want to comment on the tech specs?

24 January 2011

Are You My Smiths (Pt 4)

     This is part three in a series detailing the research I did on my Smith family. Check out parts onetwo and three.

     Having explored all population census records on the life of my Great-Great-Great Grandfather, Richard T. Smith, I decided to move onto city directory records to see if I could flesh out his life. I'd browsed Atlanta directories at the Fulton County Library Central Branch, but had been looking for other families and not Richard, at the time. Luckily, many directories of the appropriate time period have been placed online recently at Internet Archive.

     I started with the 1899 Atlanta City Directory. This was the year before my Great-Great Grandmother Louise would marry and leave home and the year that her twin sister, Louisa died (btw, who decided on such identical names?).  In the 1899 directory, there were 7 Richard Smiths, two with the middle initial T recorded and none with wives listed. In order to confirm which Richard Smith was mine (if any), I needed to match the address given for him with another member of his family who was living with him. City directories are different from census records: not everyone is listed; usually only home owners and those in the work force are recorded in directories. Based on census records from this time, I knew that Richard worked in a cotton mill, as did the rest of him family. Those working should be listed and should share an address with their father. Sure enough, this was how I was able to identify Richard.

     The following individuals were listed as living at 63 Organ in the 1899 Atlanta City Directory:
  • Aaron, wks Expo Cotton Mills, r 63 Organ
  • Albert, wks Expo Cotton Mills, r 63 Organ
  • Miss Eliza, wks Expo Cotton Mills, bds 63 Organ
  • Miss Louise, wks Expo Cotton Mills, bds 63 Organ
  • Richard T, wks Expo Cotton Mills, r 63 Organ

     Ok, wait - who's "Miss Eliza?" Could this be Louisa? The only information I have on Louisa comes from Louise's family bible and the fact that my grandmother told us that her grandmother, Louise, had once had a twin sister (I'm a twin, so the topic of twins in the family tends to come up). But for both her birth and death, the name Louisa is given, not Eliza. But honestly, how can you tell Louise and Louisa apart? It would make sense that one would go by anther name. I can't find an Eliza Smith with this family in any other directory. I think that this is likely her, but it's impossible to confirm right now.

     Going back to Richard, I followed this same strategy throughout the available city directories. He stayed on the same street with his family for a number of years.
  • 1898: 63 Organ with sons Albert and Aaron [earliest confirmed appearance]
  • 1902 : 67 Organ, as a shoemaker, with wife "Efeline," son Aaron and his wife Sarah, son Albert, and son William with his wife "Versa"
  • 1903: 63 Organ, as a shoemaker with wife Rachel, son James H and his wife Sallie
  • 1904: 67 Oragan, as a shoemaker with wife Evelyn, son Aaron, James H and his wife Sallie
  • 1905: 67 Organ, as a laborer, with wife R Evelyn
  • 1906: 92 Center, at a "mach wks" with wife Evelyn
  • 1907: 92 Center, at machine works, listed alone
  • 1908: 92 Center, as machinist, listed alone
  • [In the 1910 census, Richard and family had moved a few miles east to Rockdale County to work in a mill there.]

     From these entries I can see that many of his children are moving in and out of the home (though there may be errors in the listing). Also, Richard's wife, Rachel, goes by different names at different times. I knew that her middle name started with an 'E' from her headstone, but now I know it to be Evelyn.  Also, with her name going back and forth, it adds evidence for this being the correct family.

     It's also very interesting to note something written in the 1899 directory, regarding the accuracy of the listings: "In comparing the present work with that of 1898, we find less than thirty-five per cent. of the population are at the same address."  This is something that I've come to discover on my own while researching. Louise Smith Waters appears with her husband each year in the Atlanta directories. And it almost never fails that they will be at a new address. Usually they are in the same neighborhood or just down the street, but sure enough, the move constantly.  I think it's a product of mill workers who don't live in mill villages. They are constantly on the move to find cheaper rent and possibly better positions.

     In part five, I'll continue to explore facts about the Smith family's life using these directory listings.

17 January 2011

Ida Leaphart Guardianship Papers - Amanuensis Monday

     This is another page in my Great-Great Grandmother Ida Leapheart Hyler's guardianship papers. I appears shortly after this page, in which W.C. Jumper was named guardian of Ida and her brothers, Wade and Pierce.  Census records show that Ida and Pierce were indeed living with D. I. Drafts in the 1870 census.

The State of South Carolina \
Lexington County                   /

To S.P. Wingard Probate Judge for Said County.

     The petitions of W. C. Jumper respectfully shows to the court that Ida Leapheart is a minor Twelve years of age, that her Father, F. E. Leapheart and her mother are both dead, that the Said minor is entitled to an estate of the probable value of three Hundred dollars derive from her Said father.
     That the Said minor resides with Mr. Danl I. Drafts in said county; and that she has no Guardian, and that the said Drafts desires your petition [appon enter??] the guardianship of the said Ida Leapheart to Take charge of and manage her estate. This your petitioner prays for + he will pray the.
   Decr 13th A.D. 1875. W. C. Jumper.

   I Danl I. Drafts with whom the above named Ida Leapheart minor, do humbly consent + request that W. C. Jumper be appointed the Guardianship of the said Ida Leapheart; and I also certify that she is about 12 years of age. D. I. Drafts [signature]
   Decr. 13th A.D. 1875

Leaphart Children Guardianship Papers

16 January 2011

Are You My Smiths (Pt 3)

     This is part three in a series detailing the research I did on my Smith family. Check out parts one and two.


     In my previous research, I uncovered my Great-Great-Great Grandfather Richard T Smith's life from the time of his marriage to Rachel Garman in 1870 to the end of his life in 1920. But Richard had a number of children in his home before his marriage to Rachel. Who was his first wife, the mother of these children?

     I looked for Richard in the 1860 census on Ancestry.com (old search), but was unable to locate him. I tried searching for Richard, Richard T, and R. T. Smith with no luck. I couldn't find any of the children's names either. I ended up doing a search for 'Smith' in Milton County, Georgia.  I saw an R. L. Smith, five years younger than my Richard, which turned out to be him. Although none of the names or ages matched exactly, this was the family I was looking for. Here's a breakdown of the family in 1860, compared to 1870.
  • 1860 = 1870, age difference
  • R.L = Richard T, 5 years off
  • Priscilla = Paulina, same age
  • Lowery = Lucresy, 2 years off
  • Dilmus = Dumas, 2 years off
  • Arminda = Amanda, 2 years off 
     By finding this record, I also found a name for Richard Smith's first wife: Eliza. I have to make a guess that Eliza died before the 1870 census, leaving Richard with the children. I wonder, did Eliza answer this census and Richard the next? Is that why the ages are so different? Or perhaps a neighbor answered one?

     The children from this first marriage have proven harder to trace, thanks in part to the name and age variations. Also, my Great-Great Grandmother Louise did not seem to view her older half-siblings the same way she viewed her full siblings. There is no mention in her bible records of these children, which made me doubt my research at first. But I believe my research on Richard is correct: a farmer and mill worker with two wives and at least 14 children (likely more: in 1910 Rachel indicated she'd had 13 children with eight living).

     But what about Richard's life before marriage? Who were his parents?

     I know from his death certificate that his son, James Henry Smith, believed Richard's parents to be George Smith and Mary Lane of Georgia. I'm not sure when Richard and Eliza married, but their first known child was born in 1854. In the 1850 census, I had a chance of finding Richard with his parents or his spouse.

     Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find Richard in the 1850 census.  There was no Milton County in 1850. Looking at maps, it appears that DeKalb County sat there instead. I did find a Geo P and Mary living in Brownings, DeKalb who were a good fit to be Richard's parents, but Richard was not with them. I've searched the counties surrounding the area where Richard would appear in the 1860 census, but have so far come up cold. A search of the rest of the state didn't provide any likely results either.  I even searched the 1850 census for Richard's neighbors from 1860, with no luck. I wish I knew the names of any siblings that Richard might have had, but so far have no proof of any. 

     For now, it looks like I've done everything I can with census records. But there are a lot of other resources out there. Next up, city directories.

11 January 2011

Winter Memories

     Growing up in Georgia means that we usually have somewhat mild winters. We might get an inch of snow every other year and a larger snow storm once in a while. Usually, the kids rush out to play the second it starts accumulating because it could be gone in a few hours and it will be gone the next day.

     There are few exceptions. I have vague memories of the Blizzard in '93 with drifts of snow in the back yard almost hip high (I was about 10 years old).  I remember an ice storm a few years later that kept us trapped in the house where we played board games (Risk got thrown across the dining room).  But the biggest winter storm that I can remember? It's happening right now.

     Atlanta is pretty much shut down right now. It snowed 6 inches Sunday night and then iced up another inch. My work hasn't opened these past two days - and it takes a lot to close a movie theatre! I've worked there for 10 years and this is the first time I can think of that we haven't at least opened for a few hours. We've been watching the local news, seeing the highways covered in ice and people literally ice skating down major downtown streets.  People always say that Southerners don't know how to drive in snow. It's not that - it's that we don't have enough snow plows to clear the roads.

     Here are some photos of the Snowmagedon:

Looking down the street from in front of my house

Trixie, breaking through the ice and into the snow (not happy)

10 January 2011

Ida Leaphart Guardianship Papers - Amanuensis Monday

     My Great-Great Grandmother became an orphan in 1875, after the death of her father in the Civil War and her mother shortly after. The following comes from the estate papers filed for her father, regarding the guardianship of herself and her brothers.

The State of South Carolina  \
Lexington County.                 /

 By SP Wingard - Judge of Probate
      To W C Jumper

 Whereas, Frank E. Leaphart, Late of this county & state deceased, died having Wade, Pierce & Ida Leaphart, minors, entitled to his estate and also to a portion of their grand father David Craps' Estate & the said W. C. Jumper said minors, has applied to me, to appoint the said W. C. Jumper to be their Guardian. For the better securing the said estates for the benefit of the said minors and for their more careful maintenance and education, I do hereby commit the tuition, guardianship and education, of the said Wade, Pierce & Ida Leaphart, minors, to you, the said W. C. Jumper, Guardian, charging you to maintain them in meat, drink, washing, lodging, clothing, and such good education as may be fitting according to the circumstances of the interest of said Wade, Pierce & Ida Leaphart, minors, during their minority, take charge of their estates, do such things as a Guardian should and render a true and faithful account of the said estates and of your management thereof, when thereunto duly required. GIVEN under my Hand and Seal, this fifteenth day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sevety five and in the one hundredth year of the Independence of the United States of America.
 Judge of Probate's

      Book: "A"
       Page: 583                                                          S. P. Wingard
 .                                                                                           judge


09 January 2011

Are You My Smiths (Pt 2)

     This is part two of a series that details how I researched my Smith ancestors. See the first post here.


     Richard T Smith was born in 1829 and died in 1920 at the age of 91. I had found him in census records from 1900 to 1920 and then found evidence of his death. Now, I wanted to find records of his earlier life, which left a number of census records left to research. With such a common name, and living in a metropolitan area, I knew that in order to guarantee that I was researching the correct man, I would need to search for the family as a unit.
     I started with the 1880 census and worked backwards. At least three of Richard and Rachel's known children were alive at this time, so I used the children to target the correct family. I was quickly able to find the entire family in 1880 census of Milton County, Georgia. In addition to the previously known children, there were two others: Richard and Sarah. However, these children had been born before the 1872 marriage date given for Richard and Rachel in the 1900 census. Had Richard been married before he married Rachel or could their marriage date be wrong? Also, there was another Smith, Delmus, listed just below Richard's family. Could this be a relative?

     Going backwards in time, I next found Richard in the 1870 census of Milton County, Georgia. With him were two of the previously known children, Richard and Sarah, as well as four new children: Pauline, Lucresy, Dumas, and Amanda. This Dumas was very close to the same age as Delmus from the 1880 census.  I'm pretty certain that it is the same person.

     Interestingly, there was no adult female listed directly under Richard, where the wife is usually listed. Instead, the last individual in the household was a Rachel Garman, age 20, occupation "at home." This had to be his wife. Armed with a maiden name, I quickly found a marriage record for Richard F Smith and Rachel C Garmon from Milton County in August of 1870 (only 16 days after the census was taken). It seems that Rachel lived with the Smith family before marrying Richard. She wasn't listed as a servant, so I'm not sure why she was there.

     So, I have information on Richard and Rachel's life together. I can infer that all of the children living with him in census records who were born before August 1870 were from a previous marriage. Who was Richard's first wife, the mother of Pauline, Lucresy, Dumas, Amanda, Richard and Sarah?

07 January 2011

A Few Pieces of Advice for Beginner Genealogists

     I often offer to help friends or co-workers start their own genealogy research. While doing this, I've noticed a few researching ticks that those new to genealogy tend to get hung up on.
  • You know more than you think you know.
    • Often, to get folks started, I ask if they know their grandparents or other relatives who would have been alive in 1930 and would have appeared on the 1930 census. I ask if they know any maiden names, great-grandparents names, the names of any siblings, and birth or death dates. Most folks claim not to know these more specific details. However, when I present them with a few options, they immediately pick one out because "that was her maiden name" or "that's his brother and sister!" It always turns out that everyone knows more than they thought they knew. 
      • Try and brainstorm everything you know about a particular ancestor. Think back on family events or stories the ancestor told and you might be surprised about what you know.
  • Not everything you know is true.
    • Although many people have a smattering of information on their ancestors, if this knowledge isn't backed up by documentation or previous research, it might not be true. Really, some of the information that you know, might actually be inferred or mis-remembered. Just because your grandfather lived his entire life in Kansas City, KS, doesn't mean he didn't die in Kansas City, MO.  Maybe you remember going to an ancestor's funeral when you were a small child - do you know 100% that you remember the correct funeral or location for the ancestor? It can be easy to confuse childhood memories.
      • Don't limit your research just because you know something is true. Be willing to research outside of the box.
  • SC PronunciationsJust because it's spelled that way, doesn't mean it might not be found spelled this way.
    • I know that your family spells their name McGuire doesn't mean that it won't be spelled Macguire on a record. Names were often spelled differently at different times, before standardized records became common. Your ancestor might have spoken with an accent and a clerk wrote down the name oddly. Or perhaps your ancestor changed the way their name was spelled - I know mine did! Could your ancestors even write their name? And this applies to more than just names. Any small details might be a little different than you know.
      • Don't overlook a record just because a small detail is different than you know it to be. Look at the rest of the record and see if other details add up to match your ancestor.
  • There's a lot of genealogy online, all over the internet.
    • Before getting started in genealogy, many folks don't realize how much information is readily available online, both for free and for a cost. And it's not just in one location - it's all over the internet. 
      • Make use of the large database websites, as well as state run or genealogical society sites.  Try Google or another search engine to find smaller sites.
  • Just because a database is online, doesn't mean it's a complete database.
    • Very often there will be a database online, such as Georgia Deaths, Texas Marriages, Ohio Births, etc. Databases such as these are goldmines for genealogists - but they may not be complete. You ancestor might have been born or died inside the timeframe for the database, but are nowhere to be found. But that might not mean the record doesn't exist. 
      • Check the details of the database to ensure that there aren't gaps in the database that would cause your ancestor to excluded. You might try locating the original records to see if you record can be found. 
  • It's not true just because it's on the internet or in a book.
    • There is a plethora of information out there, from written histories to online family trees. But before you blindly add this information to your own family tree... just don't! Do you know where this information comes from? What are the sources? Likely, there aren't any - so why would you believe the information?
      • Although the information might be true, you can't trust it blindly. Find the sources they used or use their information as a blueprint for your own research. You don't have to completely disregard the info, just don't blindly trust it.
  • Georgia RoomIt's not all online.
    • This is one that can't be stated enough. When getting started, there's so much genealogical information online, that newbies might get tunnel vision. With so much available, they might start thinking that if it's not online it's not available. So not true!
      • There is so much available in libraries or archives that has to be seen in person or might be available by research request. Don't ignore the real world records.
    Anyone else have any other tips for those new to genealogy?

04 January 2011

Are You My Smiths? (Pt 1)

     Like most every other genealogist, I have Smiths in my family tree. Here's how I've traced my Smith family so far.


     My grandmama told me that my Great-Great Grandmother was born Louise Smith and was married to Leverett Waters. Their children were Ruby, Ethel, Alma, Ruth, LC, Milton and Jack. I was easily able to find this couple in the 1910 - 1930 censuses, living with their children in a different location each time. 

     But what about Louise's parents - the Smiths - who were they? I wasn't able to find a trace of Leverett Waters in the 1900 census and hoped that Louise was living with her parents at the time. She was born in 1881, so the 1900 census would be the only census for her to appear with her parents.

     My grandmama knew Louise's death date and place, so I started my research by requesting her death certificate. It listed her father as J. Richard Smith and her mother as "Don't Know." Next up: her obituary. Aside from her children, others listed in her obituary were Millard Waters (known to be her brother-in-law), Charles Smith, Aaron Smith, M. Smith, and Mary Hollis. Could these people be her siblings? I knew that in order to be able to say with 100% certainty that a particular Smith family was the correct one, I would need to utilize collateral line research.

     I started searching the 1900 census for Louise, paired up with names from her obituary. In the Atlanta, Georgia there was a Louiza N Smith of the correct age with a brother named Aaron and a father named Richard T. Could this be her? It looked good, but I really didn't have any concrete proof that this was the family I was looking for.

     Luckily for me, I had a happy dance moment in my research: my grandmother had Louise's family bible. On the New Testament introduction page, there was a list of names: Will, Mary, James, Aaron, Louise, Albert and Clarence. The family believed that this was a list of Louise's siblings. I was able to find Aaron, Albert and Clarence listed in the bible and the Deathsages certainly lined up for these to be siblings. Going back to the possible 1900 census listing, I found that this list supported the record that I had found, which showed these names as the children of Richard T and Rachel Smith.

     With this family now defined, I was able to find Richard and Rachel together in the 1910 Rockdale County census and Richard as a widower in 1920 Rockdale County Census. I was able to confirm that these were my GGG-Grandparents since they consistently appeared with their children.

     Next I wanted to find information on Richard and Rachel's death. In the bible, I had a record of "R. T. Smith - Died Oct 24, 1920," which was probably Richard. I confirmed that this was a Richard from the Georgia Deaths Index on Ancestry.com and ordered a copy of his death certificate. Richard's death certificate indicated that his parents were George Smith and Mary Lane of Georgia. He was listed as having been buried in Milstead, the town where he last appeared in a census. Some research on the town of Milstead showed that this had been a mill village, complete with cemetery. Sure enough, graves for Richard, Rachel and son, Albert, were found in the Milstead community cemetery.  The gravestone provided information on Rachel's death, which I had been unable to find. Unfortunately, she died a few years before death certificates were required in Georgia.

Having created a brief sketch of the Smith family from the time of Louise's childhood on, now I would start to locate the Richard and Rachel Smith on records prior to 1900.


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