Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What kind of work does amateur historians do to find information?

i've been doing a little work on Georgia Universalist congregations,.

What this generally means is
(1) finding mentions of Parishes
(2) finding out what city and town were nearby
(3) finding out what years those Parishes existed
(4) finding out who attended

Let me give some examples of what I do --

I found a mention that Rev Lake officiated at a funeral in Edgefield, SC pre-Civil War.
There is no record of any actual Parishes in Edgefield, although several Universalists are known - Tillman and Teague. The deceased is not in the 1850 census under her married or maiden name. Later, i find her listed in the cemetary listings for Edgefield Village Cemetary (which is behing the Edgefield Baptist Chruch) - her tombstone mentions the name of her husband. she is burried near a known Universalist. this found information tells us a couple of things - There is no Universalist cemetary prior to the Civil War in Edgefield. We do not know if she or her husband were Universalists or just picked a traveling minister (we assumed one of the former, but we dont know).

I've know that an "Alford Chapel" existed in Meriweather County, Georgia - but I didnt have a
town nearby. I knew who the church was founded by, and when - but not where or who was there. I then found mention of an Alford who was an officer of the Georgia Universalist Convention just prior to the founding of the Church. I find that he lived in Meriweather County and burried in the "Alford Cemetary" and find the location of the cemetary. We take this as a tentative location of the church.

I get an email from someone asking about membership of a Universalist Church in Rome Georgia, which their family had attended, until they moved west. The information I find is scant - but it does confirm a Church in that location - about the time that that family was there. We now have a tentative family to have attended that Church.

Then I find webpapges to search for more info -- I just found these and have done no research on the information

Elbert County Georgia Universalist Cemetary
about here
not that incredibly far from Canon -no doubt a church that ended in the 1920s farmers depression. Hard to say if folks burried here are Universalists or family members.

Macon County Georgia "Mt. Zion"
while not giving us a location other than Macon County, these incorporation notes do give us names of the Board. Macon County was formed two years earlier in 1837. County seat in 1839 was Lanier. Parts of what was Macon County in 1839 are now in Peach and Taylor counties.
I (or someone) will have to research these trustees. Obviously they would be Universalists in 1839.

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