Ben Nelms: Officials continue to ignore Fayette’s, South Fulton’s ‘canary in a coal mine’

Ben Nelms's picture

As far back as the 19th century coal miners used canaries as an early warning system and a life insurance policy. The reason was simple.

Judy Fowler Kilgore: Finding Your Folks: Westmorelands, Tidwells, Arnolds in the mailbag

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

The Westmoreland ancestry question last week drew a response from one of my main contributors on that family — Robert E. (Bob) Johnston of California.

Judy Fowler Kilgore: Finding Your Folks: Westmoreland ancestry questioned

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

I received an interesting e-mail last week from David Hancock (, a Westmoreland researcher who questioned some of the information included in Ettie Tidwell McCall’s book, “McCall, Tidwell and Allied Families,” written in 1931. Mrs. McCall’s book has been the basis for many of my columns published during the last year on the Westmorelands, Tidwells and Moodys (and many other allied families) who settled in our area of Fayette, Coweta, Campbell, Spalding, Pike, and Meriwether counties.

Judy Fowler Kilgore: Finding Your Folks: A Tidwell tidbit and upcoming events

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

Except for tying up a loose end on a Tidwell family member, I’m going to forego a specific family story this time and tell you about two upcoming events in our area which some may be interested in attending (including me).

Judy Fowler Kilgore: Finding Your Folks: Byram property in Coweta and Campbell

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

When I first got into genealogy, it took me a while before I was able to get excited over land records but when it hit me — boy! I learned very quickly that you can really get a lot of information from them.

Michael Boylan: On a school banning a kids’ game

Michael Boylan's picture

It hit the papers last week that a school in Massachusetts banned the game tag from recess.

As I read the story, I thought, why couldn’t this have happened somewhere like Delaware. It embarrasses me that this happened in my native state. I couldn’t believe what I was reading at first and then, upon further review, I could definitely believe it. This is just the latest in a war on childhood, a war that featured a salvo against dodgeball several years ago.

Judy Fowler Kilgore: Finding Your Folks: Nancy Byram — the lost daughter in the will

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

I had such great plans for this Byram family. Since many of them stayed in Coweta County and I have access to all kinds of records just a few miles from my home, I was going to get the final disposition of all who stayed here and their children — wills, estates, etc. — but, alas, my plans were thwarted. I drove to the courthouse last week and discovered that it is being remodeled. The clerks in the probate office have been moved to a teeny room in another area and the vault where the records are kept is off limits. I was told this may go on until after the first of the year, so if you are planning to do probate research in Newnan, hold off for a while.

Judy Fowler Kilgore: Finding Your Folks: Susan Byram and Robert Rush Robinson

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

Once again we can thank Jackie Lambert of Palmetto for bringing us out of the darkness and shedding some light on this Robinson situation. This family happens to be her line.

Judy Fowler Kilgore: Finding Your Folks: More on the Byram family

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

I’m still trying to juggle these Byram kids around and figure out when they were born so I can get them in some semblance of birth order. It’s very difficult when you’re working that far back in time (James and Hannah were married in 1808) and there are no census records to give you specific ages. All you get before 1850 is a “range” of years when the children might have been born.

Judy Fowler Kilgore: Finding Your Folks: The family of James and Hannah Byram

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

This will probably turn into another series since there is much on this family to be learned. I was disappointed to find that although many people have this family in their tree, few have any documentation or sources. The family is fairly well documented in Coweta County and I thought I’d dig into some of that documentation.

Ben Nelms: The difference between spinach and onions

Ben Nelms's picture

Nearly everybody in the country has heard about the E. coli outbreak responsible for more than 170 illnesses and at least one death in 25 states, all attributed to eating fresh spinach.

Judy Fowler Kilgore: Finding Your Folks: Byrams, Tidwells, Brocks, Lees, Todds and Hammetts

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

I received sort of an odd lot of responses from last week’s column, as you can see by the title above. And, since I have already started on the Byrams, I would like to continue their story in future columns. Many of them remained and are buried in Coweta County. Others headed for Carroll County and points west ... very west!

Michael Boylan: Mr. President, stop the speeches and do something

Michael Boylan's picture

Temperatures soar in Iraq and U.S. soldiers suit up and admirably do their duty, trying to quell the seemingly unending insurgence and periods of civil unrest and merely survive until their tour of duty is up.

Judy Fowler Kilgore: Finding Your Folks: The estate of John F. Byram

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

When I am lucky enough to be able to get away and do some hands-on research in the courthouses around here, I always try to share what I find. Original court records are scarce on the Internet and you never know when someone from California or Texas might be able to use the court documents you have.

Ben Nelms: No records on plant: ‘Breathe deep the gathering gloom’

Ben Nelms's picture

Listen up, Fayette County! You’ve got a problem. And it may be bigger than you could have realized.

You now know from the front page of this edition that Georgia Environmental Protection Division cannot account for a single annual report on waste products accepted by the treatment plant on Ga. Highway 92 just inside Fulton County since Philip Services Corp. bought the place in 1997.

Judy Fowler Kilgore: Finding Your Folks: William Tidwell and Nancy J. Orr

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

As I struggled and plowed my way through these many Tidwell families over the past months, I took some comfort in a message Phil Tidwell left on one of the Internet message boards. Phil is probably one of the best and most thorough Tidwell researchers I know. He has been doing this for many, many years and said something to the effect that these south Atlanta area Tidwells had such large families, named their children similar names and lived so close together, that it was difficult even for their descendants to get them straight.

Ben Nelms: Answers to onion-odor illnesses will be found

Ben Nelms's picture

In this line of work you see the best and the worst, the ordinary and the extraordinary. You travel from boardrooms to living rooms, from roadside tragedies to hillside wonders. You stand witness to forces that tear people apart, but you also witness the unrivaled glory of the human spirit.

Kristine Loughman: Kristine gets her gun ... and shoots it

Kristine Loughman's picture

My New Year’s resolution from last year was to learn how to knit. I barely squeaked under the deadline, since I only remembered at Thanksgiving what the resolution even was, giving me a scant month to learn how to knit.

Judy Fowler Kilgore: Finding Your Folks: A Byram-Tidwell heads up

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

Byram and Tidwell family members might want to pay particular attention to this week’s story. It concerns an error in their family lineage which has been propagated over and over on the Internet and in some print resources.

Judy Fowler Kilgore: Finding Your Folks: Narrowing the ‘Mary Tidwell’ field

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

I couldn’t stand it. After finishing the column last week and still having so many unanswered questions, I trotted down to the Coweta County Courthouse last Friday to see if I could find anything that would throw some light on our Mary E. Tidwell situation.

Michael Boylan: South of the border: A tale of 2 cities

Michael Boylan's picture

I got back from my first trip south of the border on Sunday night and I am no worse for the wear.

No Montezuma’s revenge and no really bad security stories (although taking the sippy cup that was filled with bottled water from the airplane after we got back to Atlanta is a bit much).

Ben Nelms: The future is being written today

Ben Nelms's picture

The summer of annexation is seeing a flurry of activity in south Fulton County as cities rush to bring targeted areas into their respective cities prior to the Oct. 30 annexation deadline. Large land owner/developers with swaths of land near Union City and Palmetto have recently petitioned to come in to the cities under the 100 percent method, a move that left frustrated, small property owners living near both cities up in arms at planning commission and city council meetings. For the developers involved, the mantra is the same. They and their clients have decided they want to be a part of those cities. And in the background, adjacent property owners in the unincorporated areas wonder out loud how long it will be before high density, low quality development will dot the landscape of the still pristine South Fulton. And with the track records of both cities, it will be interesting to see how the bold pronouncements of “community-minded” developers and elected officials salivating over thoughts of increased tax revenue will play out near the end of 2007, when some of those annexed properties will likely be proposed for rezoning into high density residential neighborhoods.

Judy Fowler Kilgore: Finding Your Folks: The many Mary E. Tidwells

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

I hate to tell you this, but we’ve got some refiguring to do on statements made in last week’s column about Mary E. Tidwell, identified as the daughter of Benjamin Tidwell and Martha Moody. It appears there are several Mary E. Tidwells and two families are laying claim to the same one.

Judy Fowler Kilgore: Finding Your Folks: Benjamin Tidwell and Martha Moody

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

I had a delightful conversation Wednesday with Lurline Dickinson of Union City about her Tidwell ancestors. Lurline is descended from Benjamin Tidwell and Martha Moody through their daughter, Luraney Tidwell who married Daniel G. Gilbert. Benjamin was the son of William Tidwell and Mary Amelia Jones. We had mentioned him a couple of weeks ago and questioned whether he was married once or twice. I think we have our answer.

Michael Boylan: Diary of a would-be juror: Waiting ... and waiting

Michael Boylan's picture

I was recently released from what amounted to a monumental waste of time.

No, I’m not talking about a viewing of Rob Schneider’s latest film, nor am I talking about the umpteenth discussion of Mel Gibson’s apology to people of the Jewish faith on the Fox News Channel.

Ben Nelms: A mockery of the public trust

Ben Nelms's picture

Do you ever wonder if elected or appointed city officials care much at all about residents? I don’t mean only what they say, but also what they do and how they do it. Do you think they are concerned about your wishes on how your city is run, about your desire to understand the decisions being made and how those decisions directly affect your life? Well, some do care, and their efforts should be remembered the next time they run for office or the next time their re-appointment to a board comes up. Forthrightly and professionally conducting the business of the city, they prove themselves worthy of the public trust. But what about the others?

Judy Fowler Kilgore: Finding Your Folks: Robert Tidwell and the wild goose chase

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

I have just been on the second worst wild goose chase of my genealogy “career” trying to track a child of Mark and Frances Boyd Tidwell. The worst was several years ago when I tracked an Owens family for two years before I found out it was the wrong one.

Judy Fowler Kilgore: Finding Your Folks: Frances Boyd and Mark Tidwell

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

For those who may be curious, my mystery caller did call back and I pointed her to the Old Campbell County Historical Society’s research room. She was thrilled to learn about it.

Finding Your Folks: Seeking a mystery caller

I know I promised you Frances Boyd and Mark Tidwell this week and the above is a strange title for a column, but a situation has come up and this is the only way I know how to handle it.

Michael Boylan: My baby’s got ‘The Wiggles’ — and sometimes, so do I

Michael Boylan's picture

Today I would like to talk about a scourge that has affected nearly everyone in the known universe: The Wiggles.

They are not a new threat to the sanity of adults everywhere, but I have only recently felt the dastardly effects of the uncannily catchy tunes from four “mates” from Australia, and I feel that it is my duty as a journalist to warn everyone who may not know about this quasi-rock band and their non-threatening (but mind-crushing nonetheless) brand of comedic mayhem and musicality.

XML feed