Archive for the Category »John Wesley Taliaferro «

Lizzie Taliaferro, My 2nd Great Grandmother. Have I found her?

In November 2009, I wrote about my 2nd great grandmother, Lizzie Taliaferro.  You can read that post .  As I stated there, Lizzie was the mother of my great grandfather John Wesley Taliaferro. I know nothing about her except that she was born in either Georgia or South Carolina, and that she was sold away or died prior to 1856.  The chances of finding any additional information on Lizzie were slim and I had pretty much given up.  I am learning more and more along this genealogy journey that you should never give up hope.

Background

As I am writing this post, it occurred to me that I need to give a little background before I proceed. Thinking about that, I realized that I have accomplished another research goal that I had not shared or written about and this needed to be talked about in order to properly lay out my case for finding Lizzie.

My 2nd great grandfather Miles Taliaferro and his son John Wesley Taliaferro were slaves of Richard Taliaferro and his son Edward Mobley Taliaferro of Fulton County Georgia.  Richard was married to Susan Mobley and her father was Edward Mobley of Chester, South Carolina.  I won’t go into the details here, but through my research I can document that a slave named Miles was owned by Edward Mobley at the time of his death in 1839.  I can also document that a slave named Miles was owned by the Richard Taliaferro family here in Georgia in 1856, and that the family had a direct relationship to Edward Mobley – his daughter Susan.  Based on those facts, I speculated that Susan Taliaferro had received Miles in the final division of her father’s estate.  But, I did not have a paper trail to document this because there was no final division of slaves in the estate packet for Edward Mobley that I received from the South Carolina Department of Archives and History (SCDAH).  I emailed the Archives requesting any other records for the estate of Edward Mobley, but was told there were none. There were some loose paper files, but I would need to come to the Archives and search them myself.  Short of taking a research trip to South Carolina to search the records for myself, I had hit a brick wall.

I knew in my heart that the “Miles” in Edward Mobley’s 1839 will and the Miles in the 1856 inventory and appraisement of the estate of Richard Taliaferro was the same person; the same Miles living near Edward Taliaferro in the 1870 and 1880 census.  I just had this feeling I was right. But, feelings are not proof and that’s what I needed – proof.

The paper trail for Miles leads to finding Lizzie.  Maybe.

Earlier this year I was elated to read that had online digital images of South Carolina estate records. This was my opportunity to search for more estate records for Edward Mobley. After searching for less than an hour, I hit the jackpot! The documents in the estate packet that I received from the SCDAH were there, but there were also other records that were not included in the estate packet, including a final division of slaves. This was just what I needed to prove and document that Miles was one of the slaves received by Susan Taliaferro.  Here is the list of “Slaves Allotted to Susan Taliaferro” (click to enlarge):

Source: South Carolina Probate Records, Files and Loose Papers, 1731-1964, Chester, Probate Court, Files 1788-1866, Apartments 049-050, Packages 776-813, Estate of Edward Mobley, Images 159-203, (digital image, Family Search,   :assessed 12 May 2011).

There he is on the next to last line “Miles 775”. I was so excited. But, wait!!  Listed right next to Miles is “little liz” and then “Elizabeth”. Could one of them be my great, great grandmother Lizzie?  I know very little about equating the appraised value of a slave with their age.  Miles was born about 1824, so at the time of the final division, 31 December 1839, he would have been about 15 years old.  He is appraised at $775.  Little Liz is appraised at $500 and Elizabeth at $300.  It saddens me to think of my ancestors in terms of a dollar amount. It brings tears to my eyes.  It is a very, very uncomfortable feeling.  Unfortunately, it is a necessary element in the analysis as I try to determine an approximate age for Little Liz and Elizabeth to further narrow down which is more likely my Lizzie.  I am thinking that Little Liz was a little younger that Miles and then Elizabeth a bit younger than Little Liz.  Some of the slaves in this group are listed in terms of their relationship to each other.  Could Little Liz and Elizabeth be related?  I ruled that as unlikely since other relationships were indicated.  Hopefully, someone with more knowledge on this subject will comment with their thoughts.   I welcome your input.

Little Liz or Elizabeth – either one of them could be my 2nd great grandmother Lizzie Taliaferro.  Of course I realize it might not be either one.  But, this is probably as close as I’m going to come to finding my great, great grandmother and it’s just too much of a coincidence to ignore.

Documenting Slave Owners Using The Confederate Citizens File At Footnote.com

Yesterday, Robin of posted an article on the blog titled . These records are mostly alphabetized vouchers that show goods furnished or services rendered by private citizens and businesses to the Confederate government. These records are digitized on . After reading Robin’s article, I surfed right over to Footnote to check out this collection. Robin had found info that documented the slave owner of one of her ancestors, and I hoped to do the same.

 I searched in the Confederate Citizens File using the name Taliaferro and then added Georgia to narrow the results. After clicking through a few documents I found several for an “E. M. Taliaferro”.  I recognized the name immediately. E. M. is Edward Mobley Taliaferro. The Taliferros, Edward and his father Richard lived in Georgia and were the slave holders of my paternal great, great grandfather Miles Taliaferro and his son John Wesley Taliaferro, my great grandfather.  I have an 1856 Inventory and Appraisement that documents Richard Taliaferro as the slave owner of Miles and John. You can see that inventory in this previous post .

The document I found shows that on 9 July 1864, E. M. Taliaferro was paid 280 dollars for 8,615 pounds of oats sold at 31/2 cents per pound. 1

Wait! As soon as I saw this image I realized I had actually found this document before and it was in my gallery on Footnote.  Lesson: Keep a research log and document what you find (and don’t find).

 I continued to search; I replaced Taliaferro with “Gates” but kept Georgia as a search term.  Jack Gates was my maternal great grandfather; he was my grandmother’s father. I strongly suspect his slave owner was Benjamin Gates of Meriwether County, GA.  I found records for a Benjamin Gates in Meriwether and Troup Counties.  Then I substituted “Middlebrooks” for Gates. Alexander “Alex” Middlebrooks (my great grandfather) was born in Harris County, GA.  A possible slave owner is John Middlebrooks and I found a record for a John Middlebrooks of Harris County, GA. Harris County borders Alabama. I believe my Middlebrooks ancestors have an Alabama connection.  I saw several records for Middlebrooks in areas of Alabama around and near Harris County.

 There is no shortage of records to pursue for more clues to possible slave owners.  The Confederate Citizens File is a rich genealogical resource. But, it will require patience and persistence to reap the rewards.

 Several of the records I found mentioned other individuals and referenced additional records that can be checked for further documentation.  For example, there was a document for Gates, Benj K of  Meriwether Co GA that referred you to the case of Alfred S Greer, and a record for Middlebrooks, John A that referred you to the case of Henry T Huff.  These records could hold information that can help me identify and confirm my ancestor’s slave owners.

 Of course, there is much more research to come before I can document, with any certainty, the slave owners of my Gates and Middlebrooks ancestors, and I continue to look for additional doumentation on the Taliaferro slave owners. The records I found do provide more avenues to pursue before I can add another piece to the puzzle.  My thanks go to Robin and her article for leading me to these records, and for motivating me to continue the search to document my ancestors.

                                                    

  1. “Confederate Papers Relating to Citizens or Business Firms, 1861-65,”  digital images, Footnote.com ( : accessed 19 January 2011), record for E. M. Taliaferro, Atlanta, Georgia, page 3 of 3, a payment of 280 dollars on  9 July 1864, citing National Archives Record Group 109, (also known as the “Citizen File” NARA M346).

On 15 September 2009, I posted on my blog for Tombstone Tuesday On 17 November 2009, I wrote, again for Tombstone Tuesday, . On 2 February 2010, in observance of Black History Month, I posted on Tombstone Tuesday . These three posts were about my search for Rock Springs Cemetery the burial place of my great grandfather John Wesley Taliaferro, his brother Bob Toliver (aka Robert Taliaferro), and another relative Alex Poole. 

Those posts reflect the disappointments of the journey, but also my faith that one day I would find Rock Springs Cemetery.  Along the way, I talked to many experts and those knowledgeable in cemeteries in the metro Atlanta area; none of them knew anything about Rock Springs-had never heard of it. I contacted the Georgia Archives and several local Historical Societies, but no luck. I was advised to give up.  They felt the cemetery was gone, most likely lost to progress. But, I could not let go.  Something kept nagging at me- a strong feeling that it was out there somewhere, and one day I would find it. Well, that day is finally here, and I am filled with a sense of peace and satisfaction that I have finally found Rock Springs Cemetery.

On Wednesday, 25 August 2010, I received a tweet which said – “I know where Rock Spring cemetery is located. My relatives are buried there.” I could not believe what my eyes were seeing. I had waited for, prayed for, hoped for this moment. Quickly, I sent a direct message back with my email address.  “PLEASE contact me!”  I waited.

On Thursday afternoon, 26 August 2010, I received an email inquiring if I was really interested in finding Rock Springs Cemetery.  Really interested??  Are you kidding me? That was an understatement if I ever heard one. The sender also gave me their surname which I knew from my research belonged to some of the people buried in Rock Springs.  My excitement was growing; this just might be the real deal. OMG!!!  Anxiously, I emailed back with a few more details about my interest in Rock Springs and my relatives who are buried there.  I waited.

Later in the day I received another email asking whether I was from Atlanta, and telling me that “if we are on the same page” Rock Springs Cemetery was in Forest Park, GA. YES!!! Same page, same paragraph, same sentence, same place…Rock Springs Cemetery. Chills up my spine…goose bumps!!  This was great news, but WHERE in Forest Park, GA??

I frantically emailed back. “Yes, from Atlanta…, live here now…, born and raised. My brother and I have traveled up and down Jonesboro Road, including the Forest Park area, up and down the side streets too, many, many times. Very excited…really appreciate you contacting me. Can you PLEASE give me the location of Rock Springs Cemetery?” I waited…and waited..and waited.

Friday, 27 August 2010. I don’t remember sleeping, but I must have ‘cause I remember waking up. I decided not to check my email first thing, just in case there was no response.  I did a few other things then casually opened my email….la de da.  A quick glance..nothing.  My heart sank. Exhale.  Another glance, and there it was with the subject line – Directions to Cemetery.  My brother was dressed and ready in his “cemetery exploring” clothes with camera in hand before I could finish reading the directions, and sending out a quick thank you email.

The directions were incredibly easy to follow.  In no time we were there…off the interstate, three lights, a right,  pass the cement wall and there it was…the dirt road leading into Rock Springs Cemetery…on Conley Road in Forest Park, GA. There are no signs or markers pointing “this way” to Rock Springs, but there it is.

On the day of our visit, Rock Springs was overgrown with weeds and littered with limbs and debris. However, my contact (who I won’t name for privacy reasons) informs me that this is not the normal condition of the cemetery.  The cemetery was cleaned to perfection in early Spring, and what we witnessed on our visit was  new vegetation that has grown in since that time.  A lawn service is scheduled to come for another clean-up very soon.  Once the clean-up is done, I’ll be sure to post updated pictures.  It’s great to know that this historic African American cemetery is loved and has not be forgotten.

I now know some of the history of Rock Springs Cemetery; two acres were purchased for the cemetery by my contact’s ancestor, it was deeded in 1893, and it is also known as Macedonia Cemetery. I have seen that name in my research, but never made the connection to Rock Springs.  I know that a relative buried their infant son in Macedonia, and I thought it interesting that he was not buried at Rock Springs, but he actually was I just didn’t know. Talk about pieces of the puzzle coming together. It’s funny how you know more than you think you know, but you don’t know that until you find out what you don’t know.  Does that make sense?!?

As many times as my brother and I traveled Jonesboro Road, and even Conley Road, for some reason we never turned down that end. Each time we would ride around searching I kept saying “I think we’re missing something..I think we’re missing something.” It’s amazing. I guess things don’t happen until it’s time. (Or, maybe I am guilty of not conducting a reasonably exhaustive search.) Whatever the reason, I guess the ancestors thought it was time for us to find Rock Springs Cemetery. 

I am sure there are over 100 graves in the cemetery, but we did not find a headstone or marker for my great grandfather John Wesley Taliaferro, his brother Bob Toliver (aka Robert Taliaferro), or Alex Poole.  There were no Taliaferros, Tolivers or Pooles among the many readable headstones.  It would be a lie to say that I was not a little sad at not finding physical evidence that my ancestors are buried here.  We always want that final piece of proof; the one thing that undeniably confirms “this is the right place”. 

Surprisingly, that does not tarnish what I consider a great victory in my research. This is an incredible blessing from my ancestors. Not finding evidence of them does not diminish the thrill of the hunt. One more brick wall has come down. There are headstones for some of the other people I know from my research are buried at Rock Springs, and that I listed in my post Rock Springs Cemetery- Lest I Forget. I will have to use them as proof, along with other circumstantial evidence, that this is the same Rock Springs Cemetery where my ancestors were laid to rest.  I know in my heart that it is.

Last year I wrote about my search for , the burial place for my great grandfather John Wesley Taliaferro, his brother Bob Toliver, and Alex Poole another relative whose relationship remains undetermined. I am still trying to confirm the exact location of the cemetery. I thought if I found others who were buried at the cemetery their records might give some clue to the location. I did find other burials, but all that’s stated on these death certificates is the name “Rock Springs” – no exact location. In my November 2009 post I promised to find and honor others buried in Rock Springs Cemetery, specifically those who lived in the same communities as my ancestors. I have searched through hundreds of Georgia death certificates available online in the . So far I have found 15 persons, including my ancestors, whose death certificate indicates the burial place was Rock Springs Cemetery. Not a very large number, but I am proud. I wish I could identify with certainty their burial place. Maybe it is the Rock Springs Cemetery in Henry County, McDonough, GA that was the subject of my November 2009 post. It seems the most likely candidate. Yet, none of these names appear on any of the headstones. There is no finality. Maybe their remains are covered by the soil, weeds, and grass of the many unmarked graves. Maybe they lay beneath the graves marked only with a crude rock or stone. I picked this photo because of the little pink and white flower to the right of the stones that just happened to be there the day of my visit.  Maybe it was a sign that someone was buried there…Maybe he was…Maybe she could be…Maybe they are… Maybe….Maybe… Maybe….

Here, at the beginning of Black History Month, it seems an appropriate time to honor those buried in Rock Springs Cemetery. No, they are not the “typical” persons we think of during Black History Month. But, that does not diminish their importance as people- as African Americans who shared our history, our culture, our struggle. Each was someone’s child, and probably a mother or father, sister or brother. Some were most likely friends and neighbors. East Point and Hapeville were and still are neighboring communities here in the Atlanta metro area. No doubt some were probably related-Davis…Jackson…Wilson. Definitely, others were-Taliaferro…Toliver…Poole. All were God’s children who lived, loved, laughed, cried, and died. Gone, but remembered and loved by somebody, somewhere:

*DAVIS (née Ross), Mary Alice (d. 1926) East Point, GA


*DAVIS, James A. (D. 1926) East Point, GA


*DORSEY, Dennis (d. 1922) Atlanta, GA


*FULLER (née Jackson), Lizzie (d. 1925) East Point, GA


*JACKSON, Marry C. (d. 1923) East Point, GA


*JACKSON (née Johnson), Cornelia (d. 1925) Atlanta, GA


*JACKSON, Mary (d. 1927) East Point, GA


*POOLE, Alex (d. 1923) East Point, GA


*ROSS (née Jackson), Dollie J. (d. 1927) East Point, GA


*SEAGRAVES, Rueban J. (d. 1922) East Point, GA


*TALIAFERRO, J W (d. 1922) East Point, GA


*TOLIVER, Bob (d. 1920) East Point, GA


*WILSON, Ison (d. 1921) Hapeville, GA


*WILSON, Robert (d. 1923) Hapeville, GA

*WILSON, William (d. 1926) Hapeville, GA

Maybe someone will happen upon this post and reclaim their long lost ancestor.  THIS IS MY PRAYER.

Every Saturday presents . The topic for Saturday, November 21, 2009, was “Who Is Your MRUA”. I’m a few days late, but here goes. The mission:

1) Who is your MRUA – your Most Recent Unknown Ancestor? This is the person with the lowest number in your Pedigree Chart or Ahnentafel List that you have not identified a last name for, or a first name if you know a surname but not a first name.
2) Have you looked at your research files for this unknown person recently? Why don’t you scan it again just to see if there’s something you have missed?
3) What online or offline resources might you search that might help identify your MRUA?
4) Tell us about him or her, and your answers to 2) and 3) above, in a blog post, in a comment to this post, or a comment on Facebook or some other social networking site.

Lizze was the mother of my great grandfather John Wesley Taliaferro. I know this because in his biography my grandfather, John Robert Taliaferro, said his grandparents were Miles and Lizzie Taliaferro; there was no surname for Lizzie. He also indicated that Miles and Lizzie were both born in Georgia. However, this may not be accurate. My research indicates that Miles was actually born in North Carolina, so it’s possible that Lizzie was born elsewhere as well. I do know that John Wesley was born in Georgia about 1844. By the 1870 census, John Wesley was married to Martha Jane Dorsey, and living right next door was his father Miles and wife “Mary” along with three children. Mary was born about 1835 in Georgia, but of course was too young to be “Lizzie” mother of John Wesley. In an 1856 Inventory and Appraisement for the Estate of Richard Taliaferro of Fulton County, Georgia, there is listed among the slaves- “Miles and son John” – there was no Lizzie.

I believe that Lizzie was probably dead by the time of this inventory. Of course, I cannot rule out the possibility that Lizzie had been sold to another owner. The thought that John Wesley could have been separated from his mother in that way makes me sad beyond words. I am still searching for any earlier Taliaferro slave records that might name Lizzie, and give some clues to her family, but so far I have not had any luck. Since I bellieve that Lizzie died (or was sold) sometime before the 1856 inventory, I need to look for records prior to that date. Prior to 1852 Fulton County was a part of Dekalb County which suffered courthouse fires in 1842 and 1898. There may be no extant records. Unfortunately, I may never find any information about Lizzie- mother of John Wesley Taliaferro.

These are photos of the cemetery at Rock Springs Baptist Church located in McDonough, Henry Co., GA. This is an active African American Church and Cemetery. Sadly, there are numerous graves marked only with stones, others with unreadable funeral home markers and, of course, many with no markers at all.

My search for the burial place of my great grandfather, John Wesley Taliaferro, has become somewhat of an obsession. I have this nagging feeling that just will not go away; I know that cemetery is out there somewhere just waiting for me to find it. My ancestors’ Taliaferro slave owners and their collateral families lived and owned land in the McDonough, Henry Co., GA area along Jonesboro Road. Some of my ancestors were born in Henry Co., and many lived on Jonesboro Road, so this cemetery was a real possibility for the burial place of my ancestors. Unfortunately, the transcription for this cemetery did not contain the names of any of my ancestors. Other than the cemetery transcription, I have not found any records on the church or cemetery. A trip to the Georgia Archives did not produce any additional information. I am searching for something to connect my Taliaferro ancestors to this church/cemetery.

In September 2009, I posted My brother Bernard and I thought we had found “the” Rock Springs Cemetery, but we were wrong. According to their death certificates, John Wesley, his brother Bob Toliver (aka Robert Taliaferro), and another relative Alex Poole (exact relationship undetermined) were buried at Rock Springs Cemetery. Recently, I discovered that several of their neighbors were also buried there; they are Ison Wilson, Robert Wilson and William Wilson. I’m not sure if my Taliaferros are related to these Wilsons, but you know I’m checking into that as well. So far I have found six people who are buried at Rock Springs Cemetery, including my ancestors.

 
 

Unintentionally, I think I have made finding this cemetery, and honoring all those who are buried there, one of my research goals. It just doesn’t seem right that these six people, and probably many others are buried in this cemetery and no one knows (or cares) where it is, or who they are. I hope to find out. Wish me luck in my quest.

Proximity of polling place to residence plays a vital role in voter turnout. My voting precinct just happens to be right around the corner from my house in easy walking distance. But, for many of our ancestors such convenience was not the case.
 
In a September 11, 1881, issue of The Atlanta Constitution, a legal notice from Fulton County, GA, addressing the Commissioners of Roads and Revenues, contained a petition signed by citizens of old Blackhall district asking the Commissioners to sustain the new district laid out by the ordinary of said county. The petitioners were also seeking to have laid out another new district and requested that three commissioners be appointed to lay out the district. The first two names on the petition were S. M. Taliaferro and E.M. Taliaferro. They were Edward Mobley Taliaferro, former slaveholder of my Taliaferro ancestors, and his son Samuel Mobley Taliaferro. Also among the signers were my great, great grandfather Miles Taliaferro, and his sons John Wesley Taliaferro (my great grandfather), and Alex Taliaferro.

Edward Mobley Taliaferro was one of the three commissioners appointed to lay out the new district. Two of the commissioners, Samuel Hape and T.A. Poole, objected to the new district stating it would be “a matter of public inconvenience”; they gave their recommendation for a change in the lines between the two districts. Edward Taliaferro disagreed with his fellow commissioners stating “I beg leave to report that, in my opinion, it is the wish of a majority of the people of said part of the county, and it would certainly be to their convenience to have a district laid off,….” and he went on to give his recommendation for the lines of the district. Taliaferro further stated “[t]he reasons for wanting a [n]ew district are that a majority of the voters and the people are remote from the places of holding court and voting, to wit: East Point and West End.” The Commissioners approved the new district as recommended by Edward Taiaferro. The new district was known as South Bend district. My research shows that my ancestors and many of their relatives lived in this South Bend district.

One can only speculate as to the reasons why Commissioners Hape and Poole objected to the formation of the new district, or why Edward Taliaferro did not side with his fellow commissioners. The politics of this would surely make interesting reading. Considering the time period, a trip from South Bend to either East Point or West End was probably more than a mere “inconvenience”. Realistically, the eventual formation of this new district was probably not for the convenience of my ancestors and their African American contemporaries. Nonetheless, I cannot help but feel a certain sense of pride knowing that my people were actively participating in this process during a time when I am sure they continued to face many of the injustices of that era.

**Click on image to enlarge.

Source:The Atlanta Constitution, 11 September 1881, p.5, digital image, Footnote.com (http://www.footnote.com : accessed 31 October 2009).

In genealogy we research to find out the Who, What, When, Where, and Why. Those are the basics. But, if you are like me, you often wonder what everyday life was like for your ancestors. What did they do; where did they go; and who did they see. We know that they had to work and take care of their families; deal with the struggles of day-to-day living. Of course, many attended church and school, and were probably involved in community activities. I am in constant search of anything that can shed more light on the daily life of my ancestors, and their extracurricular activities. I have found that historical newspapers are an excellent source for conducting this type of research. You never know what you might find…..and, as they say, be careful what you ask for.

A few days ago while on Footnote.com, I came across this interesting notice in the March 24, 1902, issue of the Atlanta Constitution:

My Taliaferro ancestors have a history in East Point, GA. The WHERE of this story fit with my research facts. Alexander “Alex” Taliaferro was my great, great uncle; son of Miles Taliaferro, my great, great grandfather; brother of my great grandfather John Wesley Taliaferro; uncle of my grandfather John Robert Taliaferro; and great uncle to my father John Lawrence Taliaferro. Alex was born about 1858 in Fulton, GA, and died sometime after this 1902 incident, probably in or close to East Point, GA. That’s the WHO and WHEN. But, WHAT in the world was a “blind tiger” and WHY was Uncle Alex running one?
I had never heard or seen the term “running a blind tiger” before. A quick search on Google revealed the following definitions: Blind Tiger – a place where illegal intoxicants were sold; Running a blind tiger - selling liquor without a license. So, now I have the WHAT. Uncle Alex and his buddies were selling liquor, illegally!!!! As the old folks say..they were running a liquor house. That really cracks me up, especially considering his brother John Wesley and his nephew John Robert were ministers.
All that remains unanswered is the WHY. Why was Uncle Alex selling illegal liquor? Was this a way to make extra money? Probably. Was he just in the wrong place at the wrong time? Maybe, but maybe not. Or, were dear Uncle Alex and his cohorts just up to no good? Possibly. I wonder if I can find out the outcome of the case. Like so many other questions in genealogical research, the WHY will unfortunately probably remain unanswered. At least I know something about one day in the life of my great, great uncle..Alexander “Alex” Taliaferro. I think I’ll go and have a glass of wine (or two) in honor of Uncle Alex!!

Last week for Wordless Wednesday I posted a picture of my grandfather John Robert Taliaferro with the following source note: From: Arthur Bunyan Caldwell, ed., History Of The American Negro And His Institutions, Georgia Edition (Atlanta: A. B. Caldwell Publishing Co.,1917), 353 It did not occur to me to post the entire article from the book because it was “Wordless” Wednesday. My intention was only to give credit for the source of the photo.
Well, several people were curious and actually googled the book and read the entire feature. My friend over at Our Georgia Roots, encouraged me to step outside the box, make my own rules, and write as much as I want or need to write regardless of theme. Luckie continues to inspire me to become a better researcher, and to be more diligent in documenting my family history. So, I decided to post the entire biography of John Robert Taliaferro from the book History Of The American Negro And His Institutions, Georgia Edition. The book features African Americans who were making significant contributions to their communities, and who otherwise may not have been recognized or even known. As the title implies, there were also editions for other states, including South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington D.C., and West Virginia. There were a total of seven volumes the Georgia edition was two volumes. If you had ancestors in any of these states, I would encourage you to seek out these books. Unfortunately, the books are very rare and not readily available. The Georgia edition has been digitized and is available online.
The article on my grandfather was sent to me by my cousin back in 2005. It was her way of sharing some family history with me. Thinking back on my first reading of the article, I felt as if I was sitting at my grandfather’s feet listening to him give me an account of his life up to that point in time. I was AMAZED at the amount of history on those few pages. A researcher’s dream!! I am posting the scanned pages from the original book a copy of which is in the possession of my cousin. It is literally falling apart, but is still a treasured family heirloom.
**Note: Click on each page image to enlarge.

I have been searching for the burial place of my great grandfather, John Wesley Taliaferro, for months. According to his death certificate John Wesley is buried in Rock Springs Cemetery. Also buried there is his brother Bob Toliver and another relative Alex Poole. This summer I thought I had found Rock Springs Cemetery at the end of a residential street off Old Jonesboro Road in Clayton County, GA. Many of my relatives lived along Jonesboro Road. Someone who has lived in the area for a long time even stated that it was Rock Springs Cemetery. Boy, was I excited. So, my brother walked around and snapped some pictures. Unfortunately, there were no names that I recognized. Also, many of the graves were marked only with stones. Since then further research indicates that this is not Rock Springs Cemetery, but Elam Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery. I have also been told that there are probably no African American graves at this cemetery. I’m still researching, and continue my search for Rock Springs Cemetery.