Our First "Ancestor Field Trip" & Buried Treasure  

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This last Sunday was an absolutely gorgeous day here in sunny Atlanta. We had to get out and do something so I came up with the brilliant idea of finding Cynthia's ancestors' homes in the city of Atlanta. I had found some of the addresses in the US Census images on Ancestry and remembered that most of them were easy to find. So with a 1/4 tank of gas we set off on our first genealogy road trip.

What struck us as very interesting is that these folks had moved from outside the city closer in over the years and eventually from the west side to the east of the city. Here's a map of our route that shows that west-to-east path:

I have a lot more investigating to do, as you will see, but here is the preliminary trip report:

A) 6 Edwin Place, Cook's District, Fulton County, Georgia. 1910 home of Emily Greenawalt, widow of Alexander McD. Wiley, parents of James Tecumseh Wiley Sr., husband of Pattie Stone Tuggle. Pattie, or as I found out this weekend was lovingly called 'Mama Pat', was my wife's great-grandmother. I need to do some digging to find out exactly what Cook's District was, but it was in Fulton County and is now part of the city of Atlanta. This house was on a beautiful wooded looped street that had a park inside the loop. Here's the picture:

B) 44 Neal Street, Cook's District, Fulton County, Georgia. 1900 home of Milton B. Tuggle, Anna Frances Dean and their daughter, Pattie Stone Tuggle ('Mama Pat'). Looking back on my notes, I have no idea how I came to the conclusion that this was the correct address. I have added this to my to do list. We couldn't find the actual house because the street numbers had changed. They are all triple digits now and that part of the city is not one where I wanted to get out and investigate. Does anyone know where I should look for house number changes? My guess would be somewhere in Fulton County. Right before we got there, we found an open gas station, but our luck ran out and the car in front of us was the last one to fill up.

C) 256 E. Fair Street, Atlanta, Georgia. 1920 home of William T. Brannon and Selena Bishop, parents of my wife's elusive grandfather, Lawrence Jefferson Brannon. This one was another no go. Fair Street is a fairly short street sliced in half by rail tracks with no crossing. The lower side had been torn down and some sort of warehouse has been built in it's place. That half of the street doesn't exist any more. The good news was that we found another open gas station and filled up!

D) 1186 Stewart Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia. 1930 home of Selena Bishop and her son Lawrence Brannon. Both Google Maps and my GPS found this address even though the street is now called Metropolitan Parkway. I was telling this story to a father of one of my daughter's friends and he said they changed the name to try to revive that part of town. The house was boarded up and up for auction after being foreclosed. As we drove off my wife saw a sign that read: "Pittsburgh Community est. 1883 - "A Weed & Seed Community". I need to check that out as well. Here's the picture:

E) 17 E. Ashland Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia. 1920 home of James T. Wiley, Pattie Stone Tuggle and their daughter Emily Anne Wiley (my wife's grandmother). Once again, we couldn't find the actual house because the numbers have been changed. It's a tiny street in the Inman Park / Little Five Points area. Pattie's parents, Milton and Anna lived in the house in 1910 and after Milton passed away in early 1910, Anna ran a boarding house at this location. By 1920 their daughter Pattie is living there with her family.

F) 215 Winter Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia. 1930 home of James and Pattie. This house was in the family for several decades and was owned at a value of $6000 with a mortgage in 1930. I have found correspondence in the late 1950's for the same address. The house is on a beautiful and quiet side street in Decatur and both Cynthia and her older brother Frank remember it from their childhood. Here's the photo:

At the end of this trip down history lane we decided to go pay a visit to Cynthia's brother, Frank, and his family. We haven't seen them in a long time and wanted to see the renovations they have been doing to their house. We asked Kiki whether she wanted to go to Fernbank Museum or go visit her cousins and the decision was quickly made. And this is where the buried treasure part comes into play.

Frank had a box loaded with pictures, letters, love letters, memory books, and even old audio records (electronic transcriptions) that Emily Anne recorded especially for her husband who was a career military officer and stationed all over the world.

This is not a shoebox. This is a BIG moving box and it will take me a lot of time to go through it, scan, catalog and store everything. I will have a few posts detailing what I find, but for now I will leave you with a beautiful colored photo of Emily Anne and her second husband, Wallace H. Brannon. This was originally a black & white photo and on the back it lists all the colors that were used to paint it:

E. Hazel
H. Brown
Sweater Yellow
Dickie White

E. Blue
H. Brown
Bars Silver
Pre-Pearl Harbor
Leave last one uncolored

It also has the numbers 5-14 and 156787 on the back in pencil.

The photo is in a cardboard case and the only details is a small stamp at the bottom that reads: Dunbar, Charlotte, N.C.

I just ordered "Preserving Your Family Photographs: How to Organize, Present, and Restore Your Precious Family Images" and "Uncovering Your Ancestry through Family Photograph" both by Maureen A. Taylor. Maybe I can start using the correct terminology and figure out a little more about these amazing photos.

Well, that's it folks. Our first ever "Ancestor Field Trip" was a huge success and we look forward to many others. If you have any comments or ideas about how I should proceed with some of this new information, please let me know.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 10:21 PM and is filed under , , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


Congratulations! Sounds to me like you had a very good day! Wishing you luck in sorting and organizing all your treasures.

October 1, 2008 at 5:45 PM

That is amazing. I've always wanted to go back to the homes and places of my ancestors (mostly OK and TX, some MO and SC) but I've never had the time or money really to make that trip. I hope to some day do exactly that. See where they were born, lived and died. For me it's not enough just to find their names and dates. I want to know their lives as well. Good luck on all of it.

October 3, 2008 at 6:19 PM

I am now 63 years old and am adamant that I am going to get some history about my mother, her family, and my fathers family for my 2 daughters. My mother was Beverly Louise Brannon, the only daughter of Lollie Brannon (and Ann Nicholson Brannon) who is one of the sons of William T Brannon and Selena Bishop Brannon (or 'MeeMaw', as my mother called her). MeeMaw and her daughter Leila Elizabeth Brannon Orr Pendergrass (who my mother called 'DeeDee') raised her and I met both of them prior to their deaths. I remember visiting their home on Fair Street. In fact it was this home I was brought to at the age of about 10 to meet my grandparents, Carl and Mary Newton, who I had no contact with since a divorce between my other and father in 1954. The more I learn, the more excited I become. I appears from GENI pictures of their grave markers that the Brannon's are buried in the same cemetery. Do you know which one? If you know, please send an email to me at theicguy@aol.com. (Terry Alan Newton)

July 26, 2015 at 5:01 PM

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