Friday, June 26, 2009

Sharing Our Pictures, Letters, Documents

These are the pictures that got me started on this genealogy journey. (Click to enlarge.)

They are my great-great-grandparents James Henry Reed and Martha Cook Reed. The information you see written on them was the oldest I had when I started. The handwriting is my Grandfather Reed's. Grandmother Reed told me James's middle initial was H. And that's it!
I remember the afternoon in the late 1970s when Grandmama and I sat down and went through her old pictures. They were just stuck in a box way back in a closet. She asked me to keep them in a nice big album I had. No problem! I was happy to. I felt honored.

I scan everything I can get my hands on and post pictures on PhotoBucket for all to see and use. Click here for a link to my PhotoBucket albums.

See the list of albums to the left. Some even have sub-albums. When you open an album, I recommend using the "grid" feature towards the upper right. After you click on that, click on the first photo, and it'll show them larger with the full captions (usually). If it doesn't show the full caption, just hold your pointer over the comment, and it will show a box with the full comment. Navigate with the arrows on each side.

I like PhotoBucket. And it's FREE. There are other free sites for sharing your photos. comes to mind.

Let's Get Sharing!
If you use a photo site you would like to share, let us know! If you don't, consider starting one.

If you have family photos (or letters or documents) you would like to share through this blog, please let me know. I'll be happy to help you share them!

This morning I ran across a very good site for information on sharing, organizing, and preserving photographs and documents. It's called and has a wealth of helpful information. Please take some time to check it out.

The site is extremely well done - the best, most inclusive site I've seen yet regarding this subject. As they say on their homepage: "With some basic knowledge, guidance, and inspiration, it is easier than ever for families and community historical societies to organize, preserve/archive, and creatively share their most valued photo and document images."

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I love to go graveyarding! It's not unusual for me to grab a son or two, my camera (extra batteries, of course), a few supplies, and take off as early in the day as possible. I can spend quite some time planning such a trip. Many resources are available online to help me find GPS coordinates for just where I want to go.

This list is particularly helpful: Barnwell County Cemetery Locations. It doesn't have them all, but it has some that are very important to us.

Many Barnwell, Bamberg, and Allendale cemetery lists are available here. Many thanks to volunteers who made these lists possible.

And, an all-time favorite is Here's a link to memorials I've added there. Not too many Reeds yet, but I'm working on it!

Great Reed info on FindAGrave is here (Hugh Reed's Family) and here (my own GG-Grandfather, GGG-Grandmother et al). This wonderful contributor who lives in New York is a descendant of Samuel Reed. She made a trip down to Barnwell this past spring looking for her multi-great-grandfather Hugh Reed's family cemetery. Along the way, she went to a cemetery I've seen several times. Here are pictures I got from it.

We saw about eight stones through the bushes but were quite intimidated by the thickness of the briars. Not so this girl! She hadn't come that far to let a few thorns get in her way. She found graves I've longed to find since I started this genealogy journey. Thanks to her I have some extremely important birth and death dates that had heretofore eluded me! I'm forever grateful.

Now, 85 year-old my dad wants to go clean it up. Me, too, but we'll have to wait 'til this fall when it's cooler and the snakes might be more timid.

How NOT to Go Graveyarding

On Thursday, April 10, 2008, my son Ian and I took our first major graveyarding trip down to Barnwell County. It was very successful on most counts. More about that part of the trip another time. The rest of the story is to demonstrate how NOT to go graveyarding. When we were ready to head home from Barnwell County, it was only 2:30. So we decided to go back up through Blackville to Hwy. 3 to catch a section of Rd. 389 that was supposed to have the Jeremiah Jones family cemetery (my mother’s side of my family).

The only info I had was that it was on Rd. 389 near Sawyerdale, and I had looked it up on Mapquest. We rode through looking and had seen nothing by the time we got to Neeses. I stopped at town hall (offices close at 1PM on Thurs & Fri) and talked with the magistrate who recommended I go talk to the manager at the Piggly Wiggly. He sent us back to 389 to a church we’d seen where a funeral was being held to ask folks there. Nobody knew, including a lady who had grown up on that road. I couldn’t hang around any longer though, because my low fuel light started beeping!

We were ready to go find some ice cream and gasoline and go on home. BUT, at the gas station, I talked with a fellow that gave me directions to two possibilities. Take Begonia Road, go up a two rut road in between . . . cinder block house . . .

On one two rut road we drove into a sort of enclave with a couple of nice houses, barns, garages, farm equipment, and an Esso station. Yep, it was truly picturesque. Had TONS of very old service station collectibles all over the place. I would like to have stopped & taken a picture, but I felt like someone somewhere was pointing a gun at me. We didn’t see or hear a soul. (Maybe they were all at the funeral up the road.)

On another two rut road we saw a sort of turn-in where Ian thought he saw tombstones. I turned in on what was just a path (no ruts) in the woods. No stones. I kept going (optimist that I am) and came out in a large grassy clearing with a very large mobile home. I pulled up to it and a teenage girl came out smiling. As I was starting to tell her I was very lost, her mama comes around the back corner of the house, arms folded over chest, accompanied by two big black dogs, saying very sternly, "You better have a good reason for being back up in here."

"Yes, ma’am. I’m very lost. I’m looking for the Jeremiah Jones family cemetery." Smiling big. My 19 years in a school office where the parents got bolder, meaner, ruder, and more irate with each passing year was really paying off.

"I ain’t never heard of it," she barked.

"Ohhhh, well [disappointedly] if you’ll just tell me the best way to get back to Begonia Road, I’ll be out of here," thinking that surely they didn’t get to & fro this lovely trailer through those woods.

"Just go back up ‘ere through ‘em woods where you come in, where you had no bidness being, and take that two rut road right back to Begonia Road."

"Yes, ma’am. Thank you soooooo much. And God less y’all."

Ian & I hightailed it outta there! I really didn’t get too nervous ‘til we were back to Begonia Rd., whereupon I had to pay close attention to my driving not to have a full fledged panic attack! We made a pledge right then and there: no more two rut roads unless I know exactly where I’m going AND the folks around there know I’m coming!

Samuel Reed's Will

The South Carolina Department of Archives and History (SCDAH) has a wonderful website. Link here to search their databases.

Among the treasures to be found are images of many wills (1782 to c. 1855) transcribed by the Civil Works Administration (CWA) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the 1930s. Land plat images are available, too.

I'm delighted to have permission from SCDAH to post their images here! Here is a link to Samuel Reed's will.

Click on the image above to make it much larger.

Check out SCDAH if you haven't already. It's a gold mine!

While you are there, search on Malcom Clark, too. As most of you know, Malcom Clark was Mary Clark Reed's father. He was a surveyor. You not only find images of plats for Malcom's own land, but dozens of plats surveyed and signed by him. Note that he signed his name "Malcom" instead of "Malcolm" as you usually see online. Also, when you're looking, be sure to use every variation of "Malcom" and "Clark" that you can think of, including Malcomb, Malcome, Clarke, Clerk, etc.

Please share with us in the comments the treasures you find!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What's Your Line to Samuel and Mary?

Here's my line to Samuel and Mary:

Samuel Reed & Mary Clark
>John Reed & Julia F. Odom
>>James Henry Reed & Martha Cook
>>>John William Cook Reed & Nan Jerusha Beard
>>>>John Osborne Reed & Carrie Belle Strickland
>>>>>John Osborne Reed, Jr., & Mary Duke McLeod

What's yours?


For the last 18 months, I have been on a thrilling journey discovering my family tree. It's truly a journey that will never end. Along the way I've met some wonderful relatives all over the world. These contacts have helped me "grow" my tree, and I've been happy to share my findings with them as well. In the past month, my group of contacts descending from Samuel and Mary Clark Reed has grown to the point that I can no longer put off using a blog to share my information.

I will be posting as often as possible, but I pledge to post at least weekly. At this point I'll aim at posting every Thursday, if not more. I want to share with you everything I've found that I can legally put out there.

Please feel free to comment on what you find here. Bear with me. You may already have a lot of what I'll be posting. And share with me. This could be great fun!