Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday- Bessie Ellenburg

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This is my great-grandmother, Bessie Ellenburg of Rabun County, Georgia. She was born on 4 March 1897 and died on 23 March 1919 in Jackson County, Georgia.
Her son Roy is my paternal grandfather.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Transcribing Help for a busy Genealogist

I am so excited to find this transcription program! I first heard about it when listening to a “Family History: Genealogy Made Easy” Podcast: Episode 40: Why You Need to Blog and How To Do It Part 1

The Transcript software mentioned by Denise Levenick can be found at

I downloaded the free program yesterday and am amazed at how much easier this is. I am currently working on a land deed for my Willis C. Chandler in Greenville County, South Carolina from 7 January 1845 and have been able to transcribe it in about a fourth of the time it would have typically taken me. Now if I had only listened to my father and taken typing in high school- I’d really be able to get these out fast!

The land deeds I am transcribing can be found online at

Friday, September 25, 2009

Desperately Seeking Willis

I am searching for any information that could help me shed light on the parents of Willis C. Chandler born 28 December 1807. South Carolina Census records say that he was born in South Carolina. The first record that I have found shows Willis signing as a witness to a Codicil added to the will of William Devenport (also an ancestor of mine) between January 1840 and July 1842. The Codicil states that Devenport purchased a tract of land from John Kirby and his children were to divide said land equaling among themselves. The 3 witnesses were listed as Lewis H. Shumate, Nimrod Donaldson and Willis Chandler.

On 12 October 1845, he and his wife Leanna Campbell Chandler joined the Fork Shoals Baptist Church in Greenville County, SC. They are listed as “RWD” in the church minutes, which means “received without detail.” No children are mentioned in the church minutes. Leanna Campbell is the daughter of John Richard Campbell and Virginia Jane Barnett.

Willis and Leanna had 3 children. Mary Jane (26 April 1837- 19 May 1884) married Mark L. Davis. Sarah Ann “Annie” (23 April 1841- 1 April 1874) married Frank M. Austin and is buried at Fork Shoals Baptist Church. My great-great-grandfather, Pinckney Lafayette Chandler was born in 29 December 1842 and married Susan Elliotte Vance (granddaughter of the William Devenport I mentioned earlier). Pinckney died on Christmas Day 1868. His only child, my great-grandfather William Vance Chandler was 17 months old.

Willis remained in Greenville County until his death 13 February 1887. He and his wife Leanna are buried at Fork Shoals Baptist Church. She died 15 January 1876. He was active in the church and served a many committees. He appeared as head of household in the 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 South Carolina censuses (in the Oaklawn Township) as well as the 1860 Slave Schedule. His name appears in the Greenville County newspaper “The Southern Enterprise” on 8 September 1869 when serving on the grand jury. He appears in the 1843-1844 Greenville City Directory, as a land owner in the Fork Shoals area.

I have been unable to find him in the 1840 census or at any time before witnessing Devenport’s will between 1840 and 1842. I have been in contact with a few of his daughters’ descendants and they have no information on his parents. I have been told that he may be the son (along with Allen, Josiah and sister Rachel) of Henry Chandler, grandson of William Hampton Chandler of Greenville County, SC but have found no proof for my Willis or the others. I have long suspected that he and Allen Chandler may be brothers or first cousins but have no definite proof of that either.

I would appreciate any suggestions you may have in determining a family for my Willis. Thank you in advance for your help.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bertha Lee Cox at age 16

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This photograph says "Bertha Lee Cox, age 16" on the back.  I'm so excited to have it labeled but am unsure about who Miss Cox is and how she relates to my family.  She possibly lived in or had family in Habersham County, Georgia, Hall County, Georgia or Greenville County, South Carolina.  If you have any idea, please let me know!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The 1st Thompson Reunion; 7 August 1938

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This is a list of people that attended the first Thompson Family Reunion held at the home of Mr. Roy Thompson at Rabun County, Georgia on August 7, 1938. I was told this reunion was held in honor of Sidney E. Thompson, as he was getting older and wanted everyone to get together when he visited Persimmon Valley. He was living in Marble, North Carolina at the time.

He attended this reunion and then died before the second reunion was held the following year. Thank you to Jimmy Thompson for sharing this wonderful list with me.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Gillsville Society Section; The Gainesville Eagle, 6 Oct. 1932

The Gainesville Eagle
Gainesville, Hall County, GA
Thursday, Oct. 6, 1932
Section: Down the Valleys of Hall

Gillsville Route 2

Mr. and Mrs. Ollin Johnson of Columbia, SC visited Mr. and Mrs. Royce Griffin last week.

Mrs. O.D. Buffington returned Saturday after visiting in Atlanta.

Mrs. J.B. Buffington is visiting her daughter, Mrs. George Martin in Gainesville.

Miss Mary Griffin visited Miss Sara Griffin last week.

Mr. and Mrs. Noah Martin spent Wednesday here with home-folks.

Mrs. Payton Tanner visited Mrs. Frank Buffington last week.

There will be prayer services at the home of Mr. Johnie Buffington’s Saturday night, October 8.

Source: The Gainesville Eagle is on microfilm at Hall County Library, Gainesville, GA