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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
Coastal Georgia Genealogical Society
News Update March 2003


MARCH 16TH MEETING at College Place United Methodist Church on Altama Ave. in Brunswick will be headed by our very own, Jerry Martin at 2 p.m.  He will be showing us a video on “Using the Family History Catalog” and giving a short presentation that he calls:  “What are you leaving behind?"

JANUARY 26th MEETING at College Place United Methodist Church on Altama Ave. in Brunswick, was directed by Darren Harper of the Bryan-Lang Historical Library in Woodbine, Camden Co., GA.  For research in the surrounding counties, this is the place to be.  See article within for more details.

To those of you who are not familiar with recent events, Jim Wroton has passed the torch, actually the newsletter, on to me, Amy Hedrick.  I can not make any promises, but I will try my best to live up to Jim’s legend.

I am going to take this space to introduce myself to you fine people, I won’t take long.

My name is Amy and I was born in Marion, Grant Co., Indiana on 11 August 1975.  That’s right, I am just a baby.  When I was 12 years old, my father bought H&T Locks here in Brunswick and moved myself and my mother and brother to this fine town.

I am a graduate of Glynn Academy and am currently employed at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel as the overnight baker.  I make all of those yummy cookies and pies that you see in the Café Solterra.

Around 1997, when my last grandparent passed away, I became interested in my family history.  A little too late to talk to the ones who would have been able to help me.  My aunts and uncles on both sides of my family “know nothing” about our families.  I started with two bibles, and the information that each of my relatives could provide about themselves, and that is it.

Five years later, I have over 1500 names in my family tree, all from internet searching.  I have gotten in contact with cousins I have never met, and I finally got to meet my uncle that the family never talked about.

Currently I am doing some volunteer research for people who do not live in the area, and I am also transcribing pre-Civil War estate records.  I also have been transcribing abandoned cemeteries that are hidden within our little county.  And finally I will be starting a new project indexing the ancient criminal records from the Superior Court that are in storage.

I would also like to take this time to introduce some new ideas.  Nothing frightening, just something to add to the newsletter that could help us all in our pursuits.

Many people have come up against a brick wall in their research.  Mine was my great-great grandfather, Jacob J. HEDRICK born about 1798 in Giles Co., Virginia and died between 1870-1880 maybe in Grant Co., Indiana.  Through census and estate records, the bricks have been chipped away to reveal yet another wall:  “Who were HIS parents?”

What I would like from you, the readers and members of this Society, is to tell me about your brick wall and allow me to include it in future newsletters.  I know we tried this before, but, maybe it was just me, the last time I saw a posting, it was just names and dates.  I didn’t know where these people were supposed to be found, or what records were already searched for them, or what the dilemma was that needed to be overcome.

Email the newsletter at:  <> and tell us about your research and where you are stuck.  In the subject line type in “My Brick Wall” so that I will know what your are sending, and let me know if you would like for it to be featured in future newsletters.

Sometimes an outsider can help break down that wall by offering a fresh perspective and new ideas.

I would also like to involve everyone in our newsletter by providing some topics to be mainstays within this publication.  One being “The Brick Wall“.

Number two being “The Internet” highlighting websites that we use or problems that we have.

Number three “Publications”.  I, and possibly others, would like to know what your are reading to help with your research, new books that have come to light, or old books rediscovered.

Number four “Upcoming Events”.  Let’s hear about family reunions, festivals, meetings, or any event involving Glynn County or genealogical pursuits.

Together we can make this newsletter a useful and informative tool.


Tucked away, in a tiny little corner of Camden County, GA, is a treasure waiting to be found.  The Bryan-Lang Historical Library in Woodbine, GA just might hold the key to your family research.

Started in 1984 and named after it’s main compilers of data, Beatrice “Bebe” Lang and Mary Givens Bryan (Georgia State Archives Director from 1951 to 1964), this small non-circulating library is now bursting at the seams with books, maps, and many records of historic and genealogical value.

Resources include:

The entire private collection of books and records belonging to Ms. Lang (mentioned above).

The collection of Mrs. Kenneth Berrie, longtime head of what is now the Chamber of Commerce.  Collection includes books, papers, and photographs of the lower Georgia coast and the original papers of the Fort Frederica Assoc. that helped establish the Fort as a National Park.

Coastal Highway District Data.

Lillie Slade Harris educational documents.

Over 1400 family histories, including African-American families, for the surrounding counties.

Timber, logging, and naval store records.

Newspapers starting from 1895.

Every name census indexes for Camden County up to 1930.

And so much more that you will have to come and see it for yourself!

Darren Harper, director of the Historic Library, is dedicated to preserving and compiling our history in order to bring it, and keep it, closer to home. This has proven to be a monumental task, but the only obstacle in Darren’s way is the space to keep these records for the public to view.

This editor would love to see the people of the surrounding counties get together and help fund a new building that will allow future expansion.  Many of coastal Georgia’s records are kept in repositories far away, some in other states.  Having historic records and documents in one location makes research a lot easier and allows more time to browse, time that would usually be spent on driving from one county library to another.

The Bryan-Lang Historic Library is located at 311 Camden Avenue in Woodbine, GA.  They are open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  If the flag is hanging outside, the doors are open.  Their mailing address is P.O. Box 715 Woodbine, GA 31569 and their phone number is (912)576-5841.  Donations in the form of money, books, maps, or any historic or genealogical records, are gratefully accepted and appreciated.

If you are stuck at a brick wall with your coastal Georgia ancestors, or you just want to learn more about the history of this area, a visit to the Bryan-Lang Historic Library should not be passed up.


<> This is one of two popular websites for photographs.  This site features family photos, stories, recipes, places, links, and forums.  There are military photos, mystery photos, and special collections involving themes, like marriages, anniversaries, etc.  Some of these photos are wanting to be returned to their owners, others just shared with distant lines.  I found one of my Dooley ancestors here!

<> This site is set up the same as the above.  I did a small search around the page, and I found a picture of an R.L. Rea from the Alabama Club, maybe he is related to Dot Fowler‘s Rea family.

<> “…the site for history fans, enthusiasts, and students.” War, war, war, war, and more war.  Almost everything you wanted to know and more.  You can do a surname search for your ancestors!  Or look up their Regiment.  There are articles, biographies, books, maps, world history, ancient history, Civil War, Vietnam, the list goes on.


Since I rely on my cyber-self so much for research, I sometimes need a little extra help on where to take my physical-self to find the originals to the many transcribed indexes and records found on the web.  The editors of “Family Tree Magazine” have produced just the book for me called “The Family Tree Guide Book” published by the editors of the magazine and Betterway Books.

This book contains a state by state “guide” to addresses for family history centers, libraries, archives, web sites, and even suggestions on where to stay and eat while visiting these places.  This information will come in handy, as I am at the point in my research where I need to find the actual records involving my ancestors.

Although I lack the funds to make a road trip, I can afford a stamp!

You can find or order this book through any bookstore or on the web at or <>


22 March 2003 Cemetery Preservation Workshop:  The Bryan-Lang Historical Library will be hosting Ms. Debi Hacker, Conservation & Education Coordinator & Cemetery Preservation Specialist, from the Chicora Foundation, Inc. of Columbia, South Carolina.  She will be teaching us the history and lore of cemeteries, inventories & mapping, appropriate conservation and preservation of tombstones, and other perpetual care concerns.  The class is $30 which covers materials, lunch, and breaks.  You must register by MARCH 14TH.  For more information or to register, contact the Bryan-Lang Historical Library at (912) 576-5841.  This class will be held at the Woodbine City Hall Meeting Room from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Unfortunately, if there aren’t enough registrants, this meeting will not be held.


Have you ever wondered what is was like for your ancestor to cross the “big pond” to America?  Who was on board the ship, what was the weather like, should you believe that family yarn about great-great grandpa being a stow-away?  For many of us, there may be answers to these questions.  All you need to start on this quest are the facts.

My great-great grandfather, Friedrich Christian Christoph Schaper (aka Chris) left his home in, of all places, Braunschweig (translated Brunswick), Germany in the year 1868 from the port of Bremen.

>From locating church records in Germany, it appears that Chris’ mom, dad, and siblings had passed away when he was 24, leaving him an orphan.  The only family member left was a brother, Christian Christoph Schaper who lived in the US.  The choice for Chris was obvious, move to America to be close to your one remaining brother.

Chris hopped aboard the New York vessel SS Herman and left the port of Bremen and landed at the port of New York around 15 June 1868.  Family tradition had it that he was a stow-away, but the location of the ship’s passenger list from the NARA, proved that theory wrong.  He was passenger #178 in steerage.  But what I would really like to know, is what was that trip like?  Was it a smooth trip?  Did they encounter storms?  Was there sickness on board?

If you know the facts of your ancestors’ arrival, you may be able to find out what that incredibly long voyage was like.  All you need is the date and place of arrival, plus the ship’s name, and the local newspaper for that time.

Some early newspapers had a column dedicated to ships arriving and leaving ports in the area that can prove to be a genealogical boon to researching your immigrant ancestors.

Through the website: <> you may be able to find the newspaper published when your ancestors came to America.  You can purchase a one day pass for $4.95 to quickly look up this newspaper.  This is a great price for those of us who don’t want or need a complete newspaper subscription that costs over $50 at most websites.  Many newspapers can also be ordered on microfilm from various repositories.

Just my luck, the New York Times was available online for June 12, 16, & 20th of 1868.  I automatically went to the 16th as it was one day after the ship’s manifest was signed by the captain.  I didn’t find any mention of the steamship.  So I went to the 20th, no luck there either.  Then I slowed down and curbed my excitement and thought for a minute, just because the manifest was dated June 15th, doesn’t mean the SS Herman arrived in port that day.  Why not check out the 12th or earlier or later?

Well, my search proved unfounded on the web, I will have to write to a library and have someone research other papers during that time period that would have shipping news.

But, just so you are not disappointed, here is an excerpt from the “New York Times; pg. 8 col. 5; 16 June 1868”

“Ship American Union, Grant, London and Isle of  Wight May 3, with mdse. And 263 passengers to Grinell, Minturn & Co.  Had light winds most of the passage.  May 8, lat. 42 30, lon. 63 30, Jan. Chris. Flishen, passenger, native of Holland, fell overboard and was drowned:  a boat was lowered, and every exertion made to save her, but was unavailable, as she never rose to the surface after falling.  The A.U. did not arrive on the 13th, as reported in the Herrald.”

I have recently visited the library in Darien, GA and they have newspapers from the very early 1800’s, so if your ancestor came to Georgia through McIntosh County, you may be in luck.

Brunswick also has early papers with a shipping news section that lists passengers and ship names coming in to port here in Glynn County.  All you need is the date of arrival, and a ship name, and maybe, just maybe, you will be lucky enough to learn what kind of trip your ancestor had coming to America.


A couple of years ago when I started transcribing abandoned cemeteries, I came across the historic town of Bethel here in Glynn County.  There were several plantations here, some of the biggest being Anguilla and Dover Hall.

In early newspapers you will find mention of meetings being held in this town and correspondence from citizens like Job Tison, Thomas Dover, and Robert Hazlehurst.  One of the most interesting things I learned was of a small skirmish during the Civil War that happened here, in our community, at the small town of Bethel, Georgia:

“Boat expedition under Commander Colvocoresses, U.S.S. Saratoga, composed of men from Saratoga, U.S.S. T.A. Ward, Acting Master Babcock, and U.S.S. Braziliera, Acting Master Gil-lespie, engaged Confederate pickets along Turtle River, Georgia.  The expedition aimed at the capture of an encampment at Bethel, Georgia, but the Confederates there were alerted by the firing downstream and escaped. On 15 September the daring and resourceful Colvocoresses was commended by Secretary Welles for his three successful forays into Southern territory.”

August 1864 (<> under “Naval History”)

While talking with Patricia Barefoot at Fort Frederica, she showed me an interview that they have in their extensive data collection about a personal experience of one of the citizens of this small town.  This interview is from “Reminiscences of Georgia” by Bessie Wright (copyright April 1962).

Ms. Wright tells of her father, George Washington Wright, being in the Army during the War Between the States, and that her mother was home alone at Dover Hall, which her parents bought with every gold piece that they had saved since they were married, from Robert Hazlehurst.  Mrs. George Wright was home with her---

"---three little boys when the gunboats came up to shell Dover Hall and that was the time that she gathered the three little boys and ran across Cabbage Bluff to a farmer’s home, whose name was Blount, and when she got there she fainted dead away.”

Dover Hall Plantation is now paper company land and a hunting club.  My cemetery buddy Chrissy Chapman and I went out there to see what we could see, and we found two graves.  One for Thomas Dover, the founder of Dover Hall Plantation, who died on 13 June 1845, and another for John Vickery.  The graves were bulldozed over and pieces of Thomas Dover’s stone are about 200 feet away from the original grave!


Let me know what you think of this new format.  If you have suggestions, articles, information, or anything that you think will be of interest to the group, please email the newsletter at:  <>

In the subject line type “feedback” for suggestions or opinions.  (Suggestions and opinions may be included in future newsletters, your name will remain anonymous unless otherwise stated).

"The Brunswick Advertiser & Appeal"

The girl who married Phil SHERIDAN recently sent to another lover, Capt. BROWN, a ring with the following inscription:  "Be satisfied."  He swallowed the ring and then cut his throat with a razor.  Cruel woman that.

Vol. 1 No. 15; Wed. Morning, 30 June 1875

"We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another." --- Luciano de Crescenzo


Annual membership to the CGGS is only $15 for one person or $18 for a family.  Membership extends from 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2003.

Remit payment to our treasurer:

Barbara Baethke
119 Bayberry Circle
St. Simons Is. , GA 31522

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