RootsTech 2023

The family history conference is coming soon on March 3-4. Along with FREE online classes, gathering in person has returned! The non-virtual conference will cost $98, transportation, and lodging costs if needed.

Click HERE to register – FREE online.

There is an ‘ON DEMAND” Library from past conferences. You can search by topic, speaker, language and more.


Robert Hackett 1782 – 1832

Much can be learned from a will and an obituary. The following information is obtained from both documents for Mr. Hackett:

  • Robert was born in Richmond Virginia
  • As a child, he moved with his family to Abbeyville District, SC, near Cambridge
  • He moved to Anderson District, SC in January 1829
  • ‘Lucinda’ was his wife
  • He had at least 4 children: Harriet, Francy, Sophrona, and Albert
  • A member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Ebenezer
  • He was a land owner
  • He owned slaves. One of them named Sarah who had children
  • His friend was Garrison Linn

The beginning of Robert Hackett’s Will from South Carolina, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, 1670-1980

1880 Map of Anderson County, SC (Partial)

“If Hurt, Notify. . .” A 16 Year Old’s Request

The first year Georgia mandated a driver’s license was 1937 but a driving exam was not required.  1937 is the same year Charles Hopkins created this I.D. card for himself.

Charles Hopkins ID Card

Charles Hopkins ID Card

The advent of the automobile in the first decade of the 20th Century created a lot of problems especially with accidents.  60% of motorized vehicle fatalities involved children in the street.  There were no traffic laws and cars were the newcomers onto the street full of animal powered vehicles.  ‘Serious debate was held in courtrooms and in editorials over whether the automobile was inherently evil. The state of Georgia’s Court of Appeals wrote: “Automobiles are to be classed with ferocious animals and … the law relating to the duty of owners of such animals is to be applied … . However, they are not to be classed with bad dogs, vicious bulls, evil disposed mules, and the like.”‘ from an article in the Detroit News.


When Alma Jackson Holder Died – A Letter and an Obituary


Painting by Eugene CarriereAlma Josephine JACKSON HOLDER was born in 1882, married very young and had four children before she died in 1906.  Her obituary is the basis for the letter below.

Dear Alma, 

You were so young when you left your babies. . .  married with four children when you were barely 24 years old. What did you look like?  I’ve never seen a picture of you.  I wonder what your life would have been like had you lived longer?  You had already done so much.  Maturity and responsibility were upon you but illness stepped in your path and changed your direction. Beloved by those who knew you both in and out of your family, I wish I had known more about you.  Thank you for living and birthing my grandmother even though she only had 6 short years with you . . . I think you would have been proud of her.

Sincerely, Your Great Grand Daughter


Alma’s obituary gives the details for the letter written above.  From the Henry County, GA Obituaries 1900-1907 we read:

“Mrs. Jim Holder died at her home near this place on the 30th ult* after a painful illness of several weeks’ duration.  She was the wife of our clever blacksmith Jim Holder who is left with several small children to mourn her loss.  The broken-hearted husband has the heartfelt sympathy of the entire community in his sad bereavement.”

*’ult’ is a typing error for ‘July’

1900 U.S. Census of Henry County GA

1900 U.S. Census of Henry County GA




Two Rebellious Sisters

Celia and Dicey were sisters in the LANGSTON family.  The colonies of America were in rebellion against the British and the LANGSTON family was fully entrenched.  Dicey or Laodicea was the 5th child (born 1766) and Celia was the 7th child (born 1771).

At the ripe and daring age of 16, Dicey was a Revolutionary spy while her 11 year old sister Celia was watching. Continue reading

Melvin Gilreath – A Walking Encyclopedia

Greenness, trees,  and mountains surround the people who visit Amicalola Falls.  They gather to enjoy nature or be with friends and family.  Some might hike the start of the Appalachian Trail. It was at this place a group of near and distant kin gathered August 12th, 2017 for the 39th annual Gilreath Family Reunion.  Visiting and eating potluck lunch after a beautiful prayer of thanks have always been the mainstays of the reunion.  Pictures and records of ancestors grace the welcome table.  That’s a Gilreath reunion. Continue reading