Finding Your Folks: Winding things down

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

I messed up last week when I said that was the next to last column. Actually, this one is. I also promised you an explanation. I have already received a couple of concerned but kind-hearted phone calls and several emails and I will be happy to explain why we are discontinuing the columns.

Later, I'm going to discuss a few families so those of you who are about to turn the page or click the corner may want to stick around. I looked for Neal's Crawfords (from last week) at the Coweta courthouse but found none, although there were Crawfords in land records that I will mention. Also, I found some information on Lewis Brandenburg's brother, Alexander. Both brothers did quite well for themselves financially.

But first, why are we discontinuing the genealogy columns?

As most of you know, I have been trying to retire for several years now. I am fast approaching the big seven-oh (just six more months) and really should have already retired by now. But I love what I do so I kept plugging. Then the health problems started, as they tend to do when we grow older … first the quadruple bypass two years ago … then the radical cancer surgery last June … then more heart problems … and, well, it's time to start winding down. I want to have at least a few years of just puttering around and doing household projects before I leave this ol' world.

And so, cutting back on my duties is the first step. I will still work part time as religion editor for a few more years (if Cal will keep me in his employ) but this will give me one more day off. I will still be on the Internet, on the message boards, on the email lists and in touch via the email address. My big sprawling tree will remain on Rootsweb and Ancestry, with all those local daisy-chained families on it, and the columns will remain online so that others may find information we've discussed over the past eight years that may help them in their research. I will still be doing genealogy on my own family and will be happy to share any information I have that you may be able to use. So, it's not really good-bye, but sort of "… Talk to you later …" I'm really just an email (or phone call) away.

Now, with that said, I want to share what I found at the Coweta courthouse last week … both in probate and land records. I actually went to try and see if Neal's "McCommic" (actually I think it's McCormick) Crawford died in Coweta and left a will or estate settlement. He was in the Haralson District (which is in the First District of Coweta in the lower southeastern corner) in 1860 and then disappears.

Well, we all know what that time frame usually means - the Civil War and casualties. Neal said he had found a "Mac" Crawford who served from Coweta and died during the war and, after searching on Ancestry and the Georgia GenWeb Archives, I found him too.

"Mac" Crawford enlisted 30 April 1862 with Co. G, 53rd Infantry Regiment and died of disease in Fredericksburg, Va. The year of death wasn't given. There was no estate in Coweta and my best guess is that his records are probably in Spalding County. Although he and Sarah lived in the Haralson District, they more than likely were right on the Spalding County line since that is where Sarah is for the next 20 years. County lines were still shifting at that time.

Another clue was in not finding any land records for "Mac" in Coweta, even though his 1860 Coweta census reflected he owned real estate.

Again, I believe he was enumerated in Coweta but may actually have been in Spalding. This happened to James Boyd who was enumerated in Pike but whose land was actually on the (Flint) riverbank in Meriwether. I feel that the records in Spalding County may reveal the information on this Crawford family.

The Crawfords I did find were mainly in the Fourth District (northwest of Newnan), with one Crawford who bought and sold land in the Second District in Grantville.

Hardy Crawford was the first Crawford to buy land in Coweta, purchasing 202.5 acres in Land Lot 238 in the Second District from Archibald Smith on 1 Jan. 1831. Three weeks later on Jan. 20, Hardy sold the land to James Shaddix. I did not see the actual deed, these figures are from the Deed Index, so I don't know what the purchase or sale price was.

The other Crawfords who were landowners in Coweta were Augustus, Eliza and Christopher C., who all owned land in the Fourth District northwest of Newnan toward Carroll County. Christopher even owned land on Peachtree Street (Lot 106, Fulton County) in Atlanta.

There were no Crawfords at all in the probate records and neither Christopher nor Augustus was found in Coweta cemetery records.

And, to wrap up the Brandenburg family, I found out that Alexander was, indeed, a brother to our Lewis and that they came with other family members from Orangeburg District, South Carolina through Augusta where a sister, Barbara Brandenburg Garrick, died. Barbara was the wife of Daniel Garrick.

Alexander and Lewis both settled in Georgia while other family members continued into Alabama. Alexander married Mary Carlton but had no children. Alexander's estate was as large as his brother's when he died in 1900 (both more than $30,000) and he and his wife (who died in 1901) are both buried at Haralson Baptist Church. While Alexander died intestate, his wife made a will leaving her estate to her brothers, sisters and cousins. Both estates are in the probate records in Coweta.

Next week I'll do the final column and look back on some of the families we've studied over the years.

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