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"How did my People Die?"
There could be many unidentified bodies in this old German cemetery. The genealogist does not always locate a death certificate which mentions the ailment. Yet there are other means of discovery. As diseases such as measles, diptheria and the whooping cough swept the children of old farms and communities, one can ascertain the date of the event by viewing old tombtones. Events spaced within several days or weeks were times of sickness. A careful search within family plots is even more revealing, as unmarked graves are represented by sunken soil. There may have been a wooden marker placed at the head of the grave on that unpleasant day, now hidden in the soil. On the day that Tom Clements of Forsyth, Georgia died, it rained all day. He was to be buried inside the old Davis Smith cemetery at Brent, sittiing at the top of a hill, and enclosed by a wall of white rocks. The grave had been dug, however, was filled with rain water. Hence, the day in burying him. There are many similiar stories, no longer remembered because the generations all are gone.
Madison County People
Many families in Madison County came from Pennsylvania to the 96th District of South Carolina. An example in the Revolutionary War application of Robert Carithers who enlisted during the Siege of Ninety Six which last 28 days led by Major General Nathaniel Greene. Carithers participated in several skirmishes with the Tories by whom he was wounded in thigh at the Siege of Ninety-Six. The Revolutionary War applications for Pensions by the soldier as well as his spouse or other family members provides details that might not otherwise be discovered. Since so many of the Scotch-Irish and Germans took the old wagon trail from Pennsylvania into South Carolina, Pennsylvania is a good place to begin the research. However, one must consider the history of that era when people left Europe with large groups of people, like religious congregations, and traveled to America seeking freedom. The 96th district was created in 1769 and included the current counties of Abbeville, McCormick, Edgefield, Saluda, Greenwood, Laurens, Union, and Spartanburg counties; much of Cherokee and Newberry counties; and small parts of Aiken and Greenville Counties. Carithers must have resided in Abbeville County because that is where he married. Irrespective of the circumstances, one must research the following counties in Pennsylvania: Burke, Burks and Lancaster as well as the South Carolina counties.
Where to Look for Ancestors in Rural Areas
If your ancester's home of yesteryear is located in a rural area, that does not mean that he "lived in the sticks", so to speak. As settlers flowed into the American colonies, they established farms and communities which supported the agricultural industry and made room for craftsmen. Farm animals were mules and horses used for plowing, chickens (eggs for breakfast), milch cows, pigs, and even goats. Pigs helped the farmer by rooting out weeds, bushes and everything inside the sty. Goats were handy to clear wooded areas. On Sunday, the ole' cart and mule served as transportation to attend church. All social activity centered around the church, such as parties, weddings and funerals. One always dressed for the occasion. Funerals called black clothing, a ring, and a pair of white gloves, known as "funeral gloves." Sometimes the genealogist notices these items being passed on and detailed in the last will and testament. If these communities did not survive, it was because of war. After the civil war, there were virtually no workers on the farms. Former slaves were to be hired and paid, yet Sherman left nothing to work it, having stripped the land of its animals, fruits and vegetables. His path through Georgia burned homes and farms at a steady rate. Carpet-baggers came from the North and bought up land for back taxes. By the turn of the century, just about everyone had moved into cities, seeking work in cotton mills. So, where does one look today? First, in the deed records to ascertain the district and land lot numbers. A map located in the tax office will reveal the approximate location. Another place to look is the tax digest, which lists the number of acres, rivers and streams, and the names of adjoining neighbors. Now we are ready to make a trip to the old church and peruse the graveyard. The names which were on the deeds and in the tax digests will suddenly appear on tombstones, and the realization that it was these people who built a life for themselves in a wilderness country. Can you envision it yet?
The War of 1812 in Georgia
This war was primarily protecting Georgia ports and the frontier against Indians who sided with the British. The Seminole Indians located in East Florida were urged by the Spanish and the British to attack Georgians. Many volunteers came forward. In 1812, William Golden enlisted in Lincoln County and served under Captain Read and Colonel Blackshear from 1812 to 1815. They defended the southern and western borders of Georgia against hostile Indians, constructing a number of roads and a ferry to expedite troops. As the Creek Indians entered the fight along the southern frontier, Governor Mitchell ordered ten forts in Twiggs, Telfair and Pulaski Counties to be constructed as a defense.
Then, during November of 1813, 700 Creeks massacred 300 men, women and children at Ft. Mims in Alabama. The troops of Georgia and Tennessee were ordered out and General John Floyd was sent to drive the Creeks from their towns and burned their homes. Another assault by General Floyd occurred the following year against the Upper Creeks who had gathered in great numbers at Hotle Craulee. A victorious battle at Challibbee was fought which ended the Indian hostilities. Protecting Georgia During the War of 1812
Why the War of 1812 is Rarely Discussed
Prices of Commodies Jumped During War of 1812
The Blackshear Trail
The Role Georgia Military Forts Played During War of 1812
The Battle of Cold Harbour
Madison County Wills, Estates, Marriages, Plats
Many of the settlers to Madison County went westward into Paulding County, Georgia. Madison County was originally inhabited by the Creek and Cherokee Indians. but by the year of 1773 most of this land was ceded by the Cherokees to the Colonial Governor of Georgia, thus opening the area to frontier settlement. The earliest permanent settlement was in the Paoli area, settled mainly by pioneers from Virginia, Pennsylvania and the Carolinas.
Early Settlers: William Anderson, William David, Thomas House, John Palmer, William Simmons, Jacob Strickland, Pleasant Bone, Ezekiel Williams, Tolbert Strickland, William Evans, Jacob Moon and William Adair who removed to Paulding County.
Madison County Probate Records Available to Members of Georgia Pioneers
- Index to Madison County Marriages 1812 to 1889
- Madison County Marriages from Newspapers (1885-1886).
Images of Wills 1842 to 1855
- Wills 1812-1841 (abstracts)
Testators: Allen, Gray;Black, Thomas;Bolton, Leonard;Bridges, Ben;Carithers, Mary;Carithers, William;Collum, Samuel;David, Berry;Dawes, William;Embry, John;Everhart, George;Graves, Samuel;Griffith, James;Hart, Archibald;Human, Susanna;Johnson, Jane;Long, James;Jordan, Thomas;Long, James;McLeroy, James;
Meaders, Berry; Moon, Archilaus;Moon, Archilaus (2); Moon, Pleasant;Moon, William F.;Nash, William;Sanders, James;
Scarborough;Spratlin, Francina;Strickland, Solomon;Strickland, Tolbert;Tait, Robert;Thompson, James;Thompson, William;
Towns, James;Vaughan, William;Ware, Elisha;Whitehead, Henry;
Williams, Birdy;Williams, John Sr.
Indexes to Probate Records
Miscellaneous Wills and Estates
- Annual Returns, Book A, 1816-1826.
- Annual Returns, Book B, 1826-1830.
- Annual Returns, Book C, 1830-1834.
- Annual Returns, Book D, 1834-1837.
- Annual Returns, Book E, 1837-1841.
- Inventories, Appraisements, Bills of Sale, Book B, 1813-1829.
- Inventories, Appraisements, Bills of Sale, Book D, 1841-1857.
- Administrators and Guardians 1818-1888
- Administrators and Guardians 1818-1888
- Evans, Thomas, Estate (1841).
- Ware, Edward, LWT, 1838 (image).
- Williams, Elijah, LWT, transcription (1879.
- Plats 1813 to 1832 (images)
Madison County Families