Died and Gone to Heaven!
Archives | 02/25/2011
In February, 2011, we had an unusual string of visitors in our library, within two weeks’ time. All were from out of town and all were seeking the same ancestor! First, a lady from Maryland came. She heard that her great grandfather, William D. Page, had been among the wounded in one of the Confederate hospitals in LaGrange during the War Between the States. She said her family always said that the hospital he was in was in the basement of the Baptist Church. We know from church minutes that the Baptist basement was used as a hospital and we found his name in the Stout Collection, which is a record of those hospitals kept by the commanding physician. We bought copies of these records from an archives in Texas and had them indexed. The record gave his company and unit from Arkansas as well as the date of his discharge to return to duty. She then told us she had always heard that her soldier-ancestor married in LaGrange to one of the young ladies who was serving as a nurse, and therefore returned here after the war to live. We knew many LaGrange women, matrons and maidens, especially members of the Nancy Hart Militia, served as nurses during the months when the Confederate hospitals were in LaGrange. We checked our marriage records and found the marriage of the young couple, which occurred a few months before his discharge to return to duty. His bride was Margaret V. Goode. We also found her parents and grandparents who were among the pioneer settlers of Troup County, located their land, and showed the researcher exactly where on the map it was. We gave her directions to find it, and she went and found her ancestor’s grave.
The next week, a sister and niece of the earlier lady came in. They were also from Maryland and were returning home from some genealogical research in Alabama. They had not planned to stop here but enthused by the first woman’s success, they did. In addition to what we had already found, they were looking for information on other family members. We located several obituaries and burial locations for these other members of the family. We were also able to give them detailed directions to locate their graves in Shadowlawn and Hill View Annex Cemeteries in LaGrange, with plot maps which the City Cemetery Office had supplied us. The niece, as it turned out, is a professional genealogist on staff at the Daughters of the American Revolution Headquarters in Washington, D. C. She literally has the world at her fingertips, genealogically speaking, and has researched all over the country. She was very impressed with our facility, the way we make our records accessible, and how helpful we were. It was praise, indeed, when she exclaimed, while researching here, “I feel like I’ve died and gone to Heaven!”
A week later, three more cousins of this family came from above Atlanta to see what the others had found, too. They, in turn, found additional things on other branches of their families, which included the Estes, Halls, and Howells of Big Springs. We were able to furnish them with copies of Family Bibles, deeds, and obituaries on these branches of their family. We were able to extend their family tree back to Daniel Wagnon, a Revolutionary soldier buried in Troup County. We do not always have this much success in so short a time, but we never know what we’ll find. And, we get as excited as the researchers do when we do find things for them.