If you have information, stories, photographs, etc., to share about anyone in Jim Howard's family, please contact me - howardka at earthlink.net. If you use anything from this blog, please contact me for permission to post/use elsewhere. I don't mind sharing but would like credit for these original posts and for the family photos.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Lot of Learning Goes a Long Way

It's been way too long since I last posted to this blog. I've not stopped researching Jim's ancestors. I've actually done a lot in the past 18 months. One thing I've concentrated on is my ongoing genealogy education through classes. That's what I want to write about this post.

Since I moved to North Carolina after retiring from 30 years in education, I've become a student. After starting in the fall semester of 2009, I've taken a total of 13 classes, plus two I'm taking this semester. Tri-County Community College, where I take my classes, has a very knowledgeable and experienced instructor who teaches all the classes . . . Larry Van Horn. Everyone who's taken his classes over the years has not only gained a lot of knowledge but also knows his family almost as well as our own. These classes have been the best thing that could have ever happened to me as a budding genealogist.

Here are the classes Larry's taught and I've attended since 2009.

Beginning Genealogy
Searching for Your Family History on the Internet (Have taken this class three different years because what's available on the internet concerning family history changes often)
Advanced Genealogy
Legacy Genealogy Program Basics
Researching an American Genealogy, Part 1
Researching an American Genealogy, Part 2
Google Earth (how to use for genealogy)
Hidden Sources
Discovering Your Female Ancestors
Genealogy - DNA (Spring 2014)
Introduction to Ancestry dot com (current class)
Genealogy - DNA (Fall 2014 - starts in October)

I also go to a Genealogy Discussion Group that meets once a month and a Legacy (genealogy program) SIG, also a monthly meeting. Thanks to Larry and my genealogy friends, I'm getting a fine education. I'm so glad to have found a community of friends through these classes and groups.

 If you are interested in finding out about how to begin your family history or you have already started, I recommend that you educate yourself on how to research properly by taking classes, using genealogy websites research help or using excellent print resources. Learning good research techniques is very important. Also see if there is a genealogy group that meets in your area. Not only will you find others interested in genealogy but also experienced people who can help you. At least, that is how the group I go to operates.

First, my favorite website is Ancestry dot com. You have access to Ancestry's educational programs without becoming a paying member. You have to have an account which you can get for free. On the home page you can click on the Learning Center tab for webinars, first steps and more. Check your local library to see if they have Ancestry Library Edition. If you have an Ancestry account (again, it's free), you can use the site at the library to search for your family and download records. You can also use their international side as well. You don't get all the privileges of a subscriber, but you can get a lot of information, records, etc. This is how I started out on Ancestry before I decided to become a subscriber (US only). It's worth a trip to the library to try it out. Make sure you take a thumb drive in case you want to download anything. Just make sure you learn how to research correctly by taking time to go to the Learning Center. You can also put a family tree on this website to keep track of who you've found.

Another good website is FamilySearch dot org. It is free to register and use. They have a lot of indexed records but also many digital records to search and to download. The Wiki tab will take you to the how-to's of how to do genealogy and more. Again, it's good information.

Find a Grave is another excellent resource. Go to findagrave dot com. This information is from their website. "Find a Grave's mission is to find, record and present final disposition information from around the world as a virtual cemetery experience. Find a Grave memorials may contain rich content including pictures, biographies and more specific information. Find A Grave is a resource for anyone in finding the final disposition of family, friends, and 'famous' individuals." Put in some names of your ancestors to see if their information and even some photos are on the website.

Besides the above online resources, there are two good books I recommend. The first is Genealogy, 2nd Edition, by George G. Morgan. The back cover says, "This genealogy guide helps you tap into the wealth of global ancestry records and offers proven strategies for both traditional and electronic research. It explores basic rules of genealogical evidence, evaluation of source materials, research methods, and successful techniques for web-based research."

The second book is, Genealogy Online, 8th Edition, by Elizabeth Powell Crowe. On the back cover it says, "Using this guide and your computer, you can successfully embark on a genealogical research project, locate family roots, and possibly find new family members. You will discover how to begin your search, find specific types of genealogical information on the Web, and use online tools effectively and efficiently. Techniques for tracking, organizing, analysing, and sharing research are included."

If you've ever wanted to find your roots, give it a try. Be warned, though, that it can be an addictive endeavor. I went from knowing very little about my ancestors to learning so much about them, and I haven't stopped yet. You might like it, too.

Friday, April 13, 2012

More About the Bomars (and Rices)

In that last post, "First Mention of the Bomars," I included a link to a Douglas County, Georgia history column in a local newspaper (http://douglasville.patch.com/articles/yankees-sing-dixie-in-douglas). The author of that article is Lisa Cooper. I sent an email to her through the "Email the Author" link on the article page.

Here is what I wrote to her:

I am a genealogist researching my husband's family. Following up on some information I found about Armstead Bomar, my husband's 4th great grandfather, sent me on a search for the Bullard-Henley house that he once owned (before it was the Bullard-Henley house). A Google search led me to your April 25, 2011, article "Yankees Sing 'Dixie' in Douglas." I enjoyed reading it very much and was elated with the comment at the end written by Jeff Champion. What he wrote about A. R. Bomar and the Rices confirmed the information I have about the house and family. Parker Merimoth Rice bought the home from the estate of Armstead Bomar. According to my information, Parker Rice sold it four years later (perhaps to Mr. Bullard?). Armstead Bomar's daughter, Leah Armstead Bomar Rice, my husband's 3rd great grandmother, owned the ferry until her death in 1906. She lived in Douglas County at the time of her death. I am wondering if you have any information on the Bomars or can guide me to other resources. Also, do you have any other photos of the Bullard-Henley house besides the one in your article? Do you know Jeff Champion who wrote the second comment? If you have a way to contact him, I would appreciate you giving him my email address as I would like to find out other information he might have about the Bomars. Could you give me the name of the Organic Farm on the north side of Hwy 166 that is connected to the Rice Family. Queen Victoria Rice Parker, daughter of Leah Bomar Rice, is my husband's 2nd great grandmother. Thank you for taking time to read my email. I look forward to hearing from you. Karen Howard, Murphy, NC

I was very excited to receive an answer from her. Here is her reply:

Hi Karen.....-

Thanks for contacting me.  I love writing about history and your email is one of the reason why I enjoy doing it so much....being able to connect people to the missing pieces they need.  :)

I will contact Champ1964 aka Jeff Champion and let him know you need to reach him. 

The Bomar-Bullard-Henley home is a fascinating bit of history.   I believe I have some images of the home I actually took from a book.....I'm bad about using my iphone to snap pictures of pages and then cropping the picture down.   :)   I'll look for the pictures I have and send them under separate cover. 

A Henley family member was very good at documenting some of the family lore concerning the home.  It can be found at the Douglas County Library.....I'm right before typing it up for my own personal use with my Douglas County history site, and when I have it done I can forward it to you. 

Also I've written about the Rice family connection a little bit in a new article.    In January, I stopped posting my columns at Douglas Patch and went to a stand-alone site you can find at this link:


The particular article that mentions the Rice family connection is found here:


The above article mentions Zechariah A. Rice or A.Z. Rice...he was a grandchild of A.R. Bomar and took over the Green Mill along Anneewakee Creek close to the Bomar-Henley-Sprayberry home.   He was a Major in Cobb's Legion and during the siege of Atlanta he was in charge of the home guard in Atlanta.  Prior to the war I found a reference that said he was a slave dealer as well.

The Glover family.....owns what is left of the property from what I understand.   I think there is a website for their family farm....I'll see if I can find it. 

The person referenced above, Jeff Champion, contacted me. Here is what he wrote (edited):

Hello, There is not much I can tell you but Skip Gxxxxx 770-920-xxxx, lives at the Farm. His Grandmother was a Rice and he owns the last bit of where the Rices lived, including the old Mill property. The Bomars still live in the area, too. AR Bomar died in 1840 and I assumed that the Rices inherited the place from them. AR had run the Ferry and owned the properties. Then it became the Rices'. There is an old Parker Wilson cemetery close by, too. May be of relation. A friend of mine has all the old family photos of the Bomars and Henleys at his home. They grew up near the old house.

Here is the link to see the house now http://maps.google.com/maps?q=33.665531,-84.673101&hl=en&ll=33.665546,-84.672891&spn=0.002737,0.004823&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=42.495706,79.013672&t=h&z=18

You can do a street view, etc.

Here is the Ferry location. http://www.panoramio.com/photo/10941816
You can zoom and see back in time to 1938.

Sorry, I don't have more to offer. Attached a few photos From AR Bomar Cemetery. There are only 3 scribed stones. The rest 80 or more are just rocks. The stones are broken up due to pulp wooding and trees falling, etc.

Armstead Bomar SR. Departed this life Jan 15 1840 in the 72nd year of his age

Elisha P Bomar Departed this life July 29 1839 in the 23rd year of his age

Fielding B Rice - Son of Parker M and Mary Rice Oct 22 1825 - Nov 30 1833.

Armstead Bomar, Sr. Burial Place, Austell Plantation Cemetery, Campbellton, Georgia
Here are the comments Jeff Champion wrote about this photo (above):

champ1964, on May 7, 2009, said:
Franklin Garrett Surveyed this Cemetery January 13, 1934. His notes listed the Location as: "On Old Austell Plantation. Campbellton Road between Camp Creek and Deep Creek, About 2 miles from old Campbellton" The Cemetery is situated on what at the time was the Austell Plantation (1870 - 1945). Previously this had been the Gorman Plantation since 1837 until Gorman's Death in 1869. It is likely that Armstead Bomar was the previous owner of this Property prior to his death in 1840. There are dozens of graves here, Some marked with stones, some not. There are three scribed markers and one base without the rest. The scribed stones are: Fielding B. Rice - Son of Parker M. & Mary Rice - Born: Oct 22, 1825 - Died: Nov 30 1833. Elisha P. Bomar - Died: July 29, 1839 at age 23. Armstead Bomar SR - Died: Jan 15, 1840 at age 72

champ1964, on May 11, 2009, said:
Armstead Bomar Sr. owned the first Ferry (1835) from Old Campbellton Georgia across the Chattahoochee River to What is now the Douglas County side.

Street View, Armstead Bomar, Sr. Burial Place, Austell Plantation Cemetery, Campbellton, Georgia
Here are the comments Jeff Chamption wrote about the above photo:

 champ1964, on May 7, 2009, said:
Old Austell Plantation Cemetery rest beneath the canopy of trees you see here. Marked by a Man Hole Culvert and a 25 mph street sign. From Old Campbellton Square it is a 2.5 mile drive. Leaving the Square, you are following a dirt road, you will cross a wood bridge over Deep Creek then the road will become paved. Cross a open area and look to the right where the trees start back, you are there.

champ1964, on May 7, 2009, said:
For those that remember this Cemetery being on the River side of the road, well that is because it was the old road bed which rests just east of the Cemetery. No travel on it for a long time now.

champ1964, on May 11, 2009, said:
There is a well defined pre civil war road bed that lies on the east side of the cemetary. The road is slightly visible in 1938 aerial photos but hasn't been a main ford for over a century.

If you're wanting to read/see more, check out the links above and also this one that has many more photos of the area:  http://www.panoramio.com/user/570043?comment_page=1&photo_page=1

I am very appreciative to receive information on Jim's family from Lisa and Jeff. I've found history buffs and genealogists to be generous in sharing their information. These two have opened up new horizons in my research.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

First Mention of the Bomars

Last week, March 15 to be exact, I started entering Bomar family members into my Legacy genealogy program data base. The closest Bomar in Jim's family is his 3rd great grandmother, Leah Bomar Rice, mother of Queen Victoria Rice Parker, his 2nd great grandmother. I was using information Jim's distant cousin, Gail, sent me. Leah Bomar and her sister Mary (Polly) Bomar married brothers. Leah married Rev. Thomas Sherod Rice and Mary (Polly) married Rev. Parker Merimoth (Merimuth) Rice. As I was putting in the names I read some of the information from Gail for Leah Bomar Rice that looked interesting. Here it it:

Leah Armstead Bomar was born 17 July 1804, Spartanburg, SC and died 2 September 1884, Douglas County, GA. She married Rev. Thomas Sherod Rice, who died in 1843. At the time of her death, she owned the ferry at the town of Campbellton, which had formerly been owned by her father, Armstead Bomar, Senr., and apparently lived nearby.

So I stopped entering names and started looking on the internet for the Campbellton, GA ferry. Please understand these findings didn't happen within a short time span. It took several hours looking at all kinds of web pages and records. But the payoff was HUGE!

Campbellton is no longer a town. There's not much there now. Below are some photos of what's there currently. Campbellton was founded as the county seat of Campbell County around 1830. It's now part of Fulton County (Atlanta). The Chattahoochee River is nearby, which is why there was a need for a ferry back in the 1800's. I didn't find the ferry landing, stay with me 'cause this isn't the most interesting part of the post.

Campbellton Lodge (not a hotel!)

The Campbellton Baptist Church is on the right. The Campbellton Lodge is behind the church sign.

Site of the Campbellton County Court House
Where the Baptist Church used to be.

I looked further for more information on the Bomars and found something in Douglas County, GA, just across the Chattahoochee River from Campbellton. In the 1800's this part of Douglas County was part of old Campbell County. This is where Leah Bomar Rice's father owned property.

Home owned by Armstead Rice

The home pictured above (which I think is still standing) was once owned by Armstead Bomar, Jim's 4th great grandfather. It was built in 1835 and he bought it in 1838, living in it about two years until his death in 1840. It was then bought from his estate by his daughter, Mary (Polly) Bomar Rice and her husband, Rev. Parker Merimoth Rice. They sold it four years later to a Mr. Bullard and later the home was known as the Bullard-Henley House.

I found out some of this information from a comment to a history column in the Douglasville, GA newspaper in April, 2011. The gentleman who wrote the comment also confirmed Armstead Bomar running a ferry.  Here is the comment that made me jump for joy:

The old Henley House is quite a treasure. I forgot the name of the man who built it in 1935 [should be 1835] but A.R. Bomar Sr. bought it in 1838 and only lived in it only 2 years as he Died in 1840. He had Operated the Campbellton ferry and owned properties on both sides of the River. His descendents the Rice's inherited the property and later sold the home and the main plantation for a huge sum $4500 Quoted from the book "Indian Trails to I20" The Rice's retained several hundred acres and ran the Ferry and a farm and mill all along the East side of Anneewakee creek. Descendents still run the Organic Farm on the north side of hwy 166. Bullard's became Henley after Dr. Henley married Sarah Bullard's Daughter and Moved into the home and remained after Her Death. I think the Henley's lived there for 125 years. Should be on the Protected list for sure.
                                                                                       Jeff Champion

The history column that generated the comment above is very interesting. It tells the story of the Bullard-Henley House during the Civil War. This incident happened, of course, after Polly and Parker Rice sold the home to the Bullards. It's a very interesting column. Here is the link:



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Old Photos

Jim's brother, Steve, is scanning old family photos that their mother put in an album she made for him many years ago, probably in the late 1970's. He sent several to me via email, and I got so excited I could hardly stand it. Steve has more photos to scan. I can hardly wait to see all of them. I will share a few now.

The first photo is Jim's great grandfather and great grandmother's family. I knew it had to be them because I had seen a picture of him before. The photo was probably taken about 1906 or 1907. Margaret Gaines (younger girl) was born about 1905 and the youngest child, Richard Gaines, Jr., wasn't born yet. He was born about 1908. I wrote about Richard and Willie Vandivere Gaines in January, 2012, in "Happy Dance 1" and "Happy Dance 2." Guy Gaines (the young boy in the photo) was Jim's grandfather.

The Richard M. Gaines Family, L to R Mattie, Richard, Guy, Margaret, Willie

The second photo is of Guy Gaines and Daisy Victoria Parker Gaines. I think this was taken at their home in Wilmington, North Carolina. They are Jim's grandparents.

Daisy and Guy Gaines

 I don't know the year the third photo was taken, but it looks like it was taken at Christmas time. Jim and his brothers called Daisy Victoria Parker Gaines "Granny." The house in the previous post, "The Parker Home in Taylorsville, Georgia," was where Granny grew up. She was probably 8 or 9 years old when her family moved there.

Daisy Victoria Parker Gaines

The Parker Home in Taylorsville, Georgia

On February 18 I wrote an email to Vivian Alexander in Taylorsville, Georgia. She is the listing agent for the house I wrote about in a post titled "A Great Find" on Wednesday, November 9, 2011. My email said:

Dear Ms. Alexander,

I am interested in finding out more about the property at the address above. (http://listings.listhub.net/pages/FMLSGA/4221674/?channel=homes)

I believe this house was my husband's great grandfather and great grandmother's home, James T. and Cora Parker. I wanted to know if you know any history of this house and/or have the abstract.

I have a post card that was made when the home was new. The roof line of the house, the porch, and the footprint in the advertisement are very similar to the old post card. The post card postmark is Dec 22, 1908 5 PM Taylorsville GA. On the front is written "Residence of J. T. Parker Taylorsville." Their address on the 1910 census was listed as Stilesboro Road. Was the house moved from this location to the current one or did the road name change?

I would appreciate any help in confirming or not if this is the same house.

Thank you.

I sent her pictures of the original house and two that were posted on the realtor's web page.

On the evening of the same day I received a reply from her. She wrote:

Well, it really looks like the same house.  It is a bank foreclosure so I really do not have much info.  I would think that probably was Stilesboro Road and that is the correct age. 

Have you been to the courthouse?

I've got some history books on Bartow and will check them.

Vivian Alexander

So it looks like the houses in the two photos are one in the same!!! I love it when a hunch pays off. 

I would love to see the house. It's just too bad some of the lovely exterior details don't exist anymore.

Original home built in 1908, Taylorsville, Georgia

The home as it looks today.
Back and side view.

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Genealogy Tools

If you read Karen's Family Files (karensfamilyfiles.blogspot.com), please note that this post is adapted from one with the same title on that blog.

I really enjoy researching Jim's family and here are a few reasons why . . .

I have several tools that are essential to what I do. First and foremost is my MacBookPro. Mostly I use it at home, but I can take it with me anywhere I need when looking for information. This is my Number One essential tool.


I use a genealogy program called Legacy. (Go to http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/ for more information.) It's a PC program. Well, my Mac laptop doesn't take well to PC programs. Jim bought me Parallels and Windows 7 for Mac  which allows me to run PC stuff. I like Legacy a lot. So, that's where I enter and keep my genealogy information and documentation.

The software I use

This is what a family page looks like.

A third tool is my Canon desk/portable scanner. I use it at home and have hauled it on trips to Florida when I visit family. If something turns up, I'm ready to scan in a moment. Great tool!

Canoscan Lide 700F

Another tool is a recent acquisition - a Flip Pal portable scanner. It can be used to scan photo albums when photos aren't easily removable. It can also be used to scan large items. I'm still learning how to use this tool.

Flip Pal

Flip Pal scanning a photo album

The last major genealogy tool is my HP C7250 All-in-One printer. I use the printer and copier features the most. It's indispensable for sure.

Family members have been very helpful. I've been able to scan photographs and documents from my sister-in-law. Jim's uncle has provided me with information. Cousin Gail has given me a lot of information she's gathered on the Parkers and the  Tuckers, especially. She's sent me photocopies of photographs of Jim's maternal great grandparents and many, many documents. Family members sharing is key to my research. While not exactly a family member, I've gotten a lot of information from the person who has the private Bomar Family Tree on Ancestry Family Trees.

I use the internet for most of my research. I have paid subscriptions to three websites: Ancestry (USA only), Fold 3, and Genealogy Bank. Of those three I use Ancestry the most. I also like FamilySearch, which is a free website. I have found many other free resources including GenWebsites for Georgia and some county GenWebs, Find a Grave, and more. Google Search is another good resource. I also subscribe to a print genealogy magazine, Family Tree Magazine.

Education is critical to my genealogy research. Taking classes at my local community college, Tri County Community College, has helped me tremendously. I'm taking my sixth class since I moved to Murphy. The current class is "Researching an American Genealogy." Other classes I have taken are: "Beginning/Intermediate Genealogy," "Legacy," "Advanced Genealogy," and two different "Genealogy on the Internet." These classes have had a huge impact on my genealogy life. Ancestry, Family Search, Legacy Family Tree, genealogy blogs and other sites have free tutorials that very informative.

In my next post I'll write more about my research process.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Happy Dance 2

Jim's uncle, Jim Gaines, read the previous post, Happy Dance 1, and contacted me via facebook. He wrote:
Saw the post about the marriage. Richard Gaines Jim's great grandfather was known in the family as Daddy Gaines, she known as Mamma Lucy. He became a County Judge in Bartow County, Georgia. The lived in Cartersvile in a beautiful home near town. I visited them often as a young man, they were wonderful people.
I mentioned in Happy Dance 1 about finding the marriage license for Richard M. Gaines and Willie Vandivere Gaines. They had four children: Guy Vandivere (1899), Mattie (1902), Margaret (1905) and Richard M., Jr. (1908). Sadly, Willie Vandivere Gaines died in 1914, leaving one teenage son and three other children ages 12, 9, and 6.

Richard M. Gaines, Sr., did not remain a widower long. In 1915 on December 31 he married Miss Lucy Donahoo (full name Jemima Lucinda Donahoo). In the 1910 census, Lucy was employed as a milliner in a dry goods store. They had a daughter, Mary, born in 1919. Lucy Donahoo Gaines is the grandmother, Mamma Lucy, that Uncle Jimmy knew.

Marriage License for Richard M. Gaines and Lucy Donahoo, right page, middle

I was curious about Richard M. being a County Judge in Bartow County since he worked in the marble (stone) business, according to the 1900, 1910, and 1920 censuses. In the 1930 census his occupation was listed as "Ordinary." I looked up the word "Ordinary" and found this definition:

a. A judge or other official with immediate rather than delegated jurisdiction.
b. The judge of a probate court in some states of the United States.
 I also noticed on the marriage licenses in the picture above that a person signed each license as an Ordinary. I searched online for Richard M. Gaines, and I found an old book about Bartow County, Georgia. There I found a photo of some Bartow County Officers in 1933. Low and behold, there was my husband's great grandfather pictured with the Bartow County Tax Receiver, Sheriff, Tax Collector, Commissioner, Clerk of the Superior Court, Chairman of Board of Education, Coroner, and School Superintendent. He was the Ordinary.  He first became an Ordinary in 1928. I still would like to know what he did in this position.

Richard M. Gaines is on the front row, first one on the right

Richard M. Gaines' name is listed under the Ordinaries