|Rev. Henry Holcombe, DD|
So far I’ve discussed male ancestors and their descendants almost exclusively. I’ve mentioned their wives and their parentage hardly at all. In part this was because with the blog being so new I wanted to establish the two primary lines, Jones and Perry. Now that I’ve done that so far as I’m able at this time I can branch out and I can explore individuals in depth. I’d like to start with Joshua Perry’s wife, Louvicia (or Luvisa) Ann(e) Wade. Her name is written as "Louvicia Ann Wade" in the Screven County marriage record from 1832. The 1850 census lists her as "Lavisa A Perry", while she's "Louvicia A Perry" in 1860, "Louvisa A Perry" in 1870, and "Lovisa Perry" in 1880. For simplicity’s sake I’ll call her Ann Wade here.
When I first started working on my genealogy I was fortunate to have access to family histories put together by a previous generation. This is all I had to go on initially:
JOSHUA PERRY was born December 6, 1805 in Warren County, GA. and died March 29, 1868 in Calhoun County, GA. He married LOUVICIA ANN WADE October 2, 1832 in GA, daughter of REV PEYTON L WADE. She was born September 26, 1806 in Screven County, GA, and died October 9, 1884 in Camilla, GA.
Joshua Perry died Calhoun Co. March 29, 1868. Buried at Edison, GA. He had a throat infection causing death. He married L. Anne Wade from Screven County, GA. They lived in a home which stood where the present cemetery in Arlington. GA stands. He was well educated. a teacher, was business and legal advisor of neighbors, drawing wills, deeds, etc.[Descendants of Humphrey Perry, received from Barbara Perry Walker, based on research by Ruth Perry Irwin]
|Men of Mark in Georgia|
Besides some interesting details about Joshua Perry, this bit does have some errors. She was still living in Calhoun County in 1880, with her son William Preston Perry, and there is no documentation to indicate she moved in the last four years of her life. She is buried in Edison, Calhoun County, at the Salem Baptist Church Cemetery. I have a picture of her gravestone, which I showed in an earlier post.
I found an index listing the marriage of Joshua Perry to “Louvicia Ann Wade” in Screven County in 1832. It would be a while before I could obtain a copy of their marriage record because the books digitized online and posted to the Georgia’s Virtual Vault website only go back to 1837 for Screven County. I had to order the Microfilm from the Family History Library, but I finally got it (image is in the same post as the gravestone cited above). Next I tackled the person mentioned as her father, Rev. Peyton L. Wade of Screven County.
|A Standard History of |
Georgia and Georgians
It turns out that the Rev. Wade is quite a famous person in Georgia. A quick Google search turns up a lot of information (the books available through Google Books are particularly interesting, though they repeat a lot of information: Men of Mark in Georgia and A Standard History of Georgia and Georgians, among others; both of these are available for free download or can be read online). Wade was a well-known Methodist preacher who became a wealthy plantation owner. There’s only one problem here. He was born in 1797 and died 21 December 1866. A quick glance at Ann Wade’s tombstone shows that she was born 26 September 1806 and died 9 October 1884. Cousins they may be, though I haven’t found the link yet, but it is almost certain he isn’t her father. No matter how great a man Peyton Wade was, I doubt he was so precocious as to father a child at the tender age of nine! I must keep looking.
When I searched for Ann Wade's name in Ancestry.com the majority of family trees indicated she was the daughter of John McGruder Wade and Nancy Anne Holcombe. That rang a bell because in the Descendants of Humphrey Perry document mentioned above, under William Preston Perry, it says:
William Preston's nickname was "Press". Reverend Davis gave the funeral eulogy - said "Press" was a direct descendant of Rev. Henry Holcombe.
I still didn’t have a positive link to John M. Wade, but I spent several days researching the Rev. Dr. Henry Holcombe. He was a fascinating figure. This is when Google Books really became my friend! There is a wonderful book called History of the Baptist Denomination in Georgia, a 2-volume work originally published in 1881. It can be found on the Google Books site (click here), which has a limited view of the 2001 reprint (Volume 2 can still be ordered from Amazon.com). But there is a free version you can view online or download as a pdf, epub, or other file format, available from the Internet Archive website (click here). Volume 1 has a history of Georgia Baptists through 1880, and Volume 2 has biographical sketches of early Baptist leaders both in and out of the pulpit. The sketch on Henry Holcombe can be found in Volume 2, pages 2/2-275. Page 273 has one of my favorite lines, full of insight into the character of early 19th century Georgians, “Indeed, in those early days a very large proportion of the Baptists of Georgia entertained a prejudice against education, and took no interest in institutions of learning, except to oppose them.” There is also a typescript on the Ancestry.com website called The Holcombes, nation builders which spends several pages on Henry Holcombe and his children (you need a paid subscription to access this document).
|Louisa Calvin Wade Collier's obituary|
Looking further into the matter, this time I made use of the facilities available through the Wisconsin Historical Society library in Madison, Wisconsin (you can search it through WorldCat or MadCat). I found a set of books compiled by Mary McKeown Overby which index (and sometimes summarize) marriage notices and obituaries from much of the 19th century that were published in The Christian Index, the Georgia Baptist paper. In one of the volumes, Obituaries Published in The Christian Index, 1880-1899, (1982, Georgia Baptist Historical Society) I looked up “Wade” in the index of the book and found two particular items of interest:
COLLIER, LOUISA CALVIN WADE, 71 yrs, b. 12-7-13, Screven Co, Ga., d. of Nancy W. and John McGruder, niece of Rev. Henry Holcomb, D.D., wife of: John Scott, Ed. Morris, and Jesse Collier; d. 12-6-1884, Early Co, Ga., 5 children. 11-25-1886
PERRY, LOUVICIA ANN WADE, 79 yrs, b. 9-26-06, Screven Co., Ga., d. of John McGruder Wade and Nancy Holcombe, w. of Joshua Perry d. 10-7-1884, niece of Rev. Henry Holcombe. 03-25-1886, p.15[Overby, p. 182]
In looking for the availability of a digitized, online version of The Christian Index, I was only able to locate the issues available through ProQuest (a service available through many public and university libraries), which I accessed through the Wisconsin Historical Society library. This is an extremely limited set of issues from scattered years, but I was able to locate Louisa Collier’s obituary, which says, in part:
Mrs. Louisa Calvin Collier was born December 7th, 1813, and died Dec. 6th, 1884, being 71 years old, lacking one day. My precious mother's maiden name was Wade, the youngest child of John McGruder and Nancy Wade, many years ago residents of Screven county, Ga. She was a niece of Rev. Henry Holcombe, D.D., and was proud of the relationship she bore to that great and good man.[The Christian Index: Thursday, November 25, 1886; p. 15]
|John Wade & Nancy Holcombe|
marriage notice, 1796
(image courtesy of GenealogyBank.com)
I plan to acquire the obituary for Ann Perry when I visit Georgia in April. The Jack Tarver Library at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, is the official repository for the Georgia Baptist Archives, and has “as complete a set of The Christian Index as is possible to secure” on microfilm (Jack Tarver Library Special Collections webpage: http://tarver.mercer.edu/archives/formats.php). I haven’t found the marriage record for John Wade and Nancy Holcombe, but I was able to find the marriage announcement for John and Nancy from the Georgia Gazette (9 Jun 1796):
Savannah, June 9Married on Tuefday laft [Tuesday last] in Screven county, Mr. John Mc Wadeto Mifs [Miss] Anne Holcombe, fifter [sister] of the Rev. Henry Holcombe,of Beaufort, South Carolina.[Georgia Gazette (Broughton St, Savannah, GA; James & Nicholas Johnston) Tuesday, 9 Jun 1796; No. 698); p 3; image from GenealogyBank.com (paid subscription required)]
|Dixon Hollingsworth card on John M. Wade|
Another valuable research tool for Screven County, Georgia, is The Dixon Hollingsworth Surname Cards Collection “contain[ing] names and information about families in Screven County” from its origin through about 1994. I did a surname search on both Perry and Wade and came up with many interesting factoids to pursue. Among them were summaries of the obituaries for both John and Nancy Wade (Ann Wade’s presumed parents), and the fact that John Wade remarried after Nancy’s death. Plus an interesting tidbit, that John Wade may have represented Screven County in the Georgia Legislature. The obituaries specifically reference The Christian Index, so I have more issues to look up while I’m in Macon. When you click on your results from a search you see PDF images of the actual 3x5 index cards, like this example of one of John Wade’s cards. I looked up John Wade in the Georgia Official and Statistical Register, which lists most of the people who have ever been elected to state offices in Georgia, and wasn’t able to find him. However, there is a “John McWade” listed as representing Screven County from 1811 to 1814. I think that whoever transcribed the names from the written lists read the written “John Mc Wade” and took out the space. Having seen pages of the Screven County Returns where John Wade was a principal or witness in a legal proceeding, I know that his name was written with the “Mc” abbreviation of his middle name “McGruder”. This was common well into the 20th century, usually with the "c" written as a superscript but not always. You can find numerous examples of indexes where the “Mc” names are listed separately from the “M” names, instead of between the “Ma” and “Me” names as is the modern practice. I want to find the original handwritten lists of legislators someday so that I can confirm this, though.
Sorry this post was late; I was a bit under the weather. Hopefully you weren’t too bored by its length!
Here’s your summary:
- Even though they are usually very suspect and you must validate the information with your own research, the family trees posted in Ancestry.com, Rootsweb.com, and other online websites and forums can provide valuable pointers when you might otherwise be at a dead end. Don’t ignore them completely just because they often don’t cite sources. Evaluate them as you would any other reference you find.
- Contemporary books, modern indexes and abstracts, and other printed sources can be a valuable resource. Many of these can be located with place and/or surname searches on Google Books, WorldCat, Internet Archive, and regional archive, library and university websites. Some surprising resources are online, such as The Dixon Hollingsworth Surname Cards Collection which targets eastern Georgia, specifically Screven County. It is hosted online by the Screven-Jenkins Regional Library System. There are probably others if you just look.
- Also, don’t neglect traditional booksites such as Amazon.com, AbeBooks.com, and Barnes and Noble, plus you can sometimes turn up good finds on eBay. That’s where I found two out-of-print books that have been invaluable to me as ready references: Bulloch County, Georgia Genealogical Source Material, compiled by Alvaretta Kenan Register (1985, Magnolia Press, Swainsboro, GA) and 37,000 Early Georgia Marriages, compiled by Joseph T. Maddox and Mary Carter (1975, Georgia Pioneer Genealogical Magazine, Albany, GA).
- Newspaper resources online include GenealogyBank.com, the Google News Archive, Chronicling America from the Library of Congress, and regional sites such as Georgia Historic Newspapers. GenealogyBank is a pay subscription site; others are free.
- State resources such as the Virtual Vault, the Georgia Archives and the Digital Library of Georgia can provide more than just vital records. Don’t neglect these just because you can’t get a birth or marriage record from them. Contemporary newspapers, books and official publications can often lead you in unexpected yet rewarding directions.