31 Days to Better Genealogy – Day 14

31 Days to Better Genealogy – Day 14


I’m taking Amy Crow’s challenge for 31 Days to Better Genealogy and blog Amy’s questions, with my answers; I plan to make one blog post, adding daily. Hopefully by the end of the 31 days, I will learn how to better solve some of my genealogy questions. If you haven’t signed up yet, just click on the link below… never too late to catch up!

31 Days to Better Genealogy by Amy Johnson Crow gives you practical steps to make your research more productive. Whether you are just beginning to climb your family tree or have been doing this for years, you can adapt the tips and methods in 31 Days to Better Genealogy to suit your needs.

Day 14 – Plan a Research Road Trip

I think Amy must have sent her office fairy to my house and discovered my plan…. a plan with notes for a road trip. How sneaky she is…. keep your notes under lock and key!

Amy’s plan and tips today involved having a goal in mind before planning that road trip. Not everything you may be looking for can be found online, and sometimes you just like to see it in person. Even though someone may take a photograph of a church or gravestone for me – I just like to see it for myself and take my own photo; I’m a wee bit stubborn, guess it’s the Irish in me!

Set Your Goals: Nothing like arriving at the cemetery, and discovering you have forgotten your camera! I write more notes than I usually need, but you can never have enough notes – isn’t that what the office fairy is for – to keep me organized?

My Southern research often finds several ancestors in one cemetery – lucky for me; so decide days before on who all you are searching for – no one wants to be left out!

Plan your route – know the addresses of where you are going. Time’s a wasting if you are sitting on the side of the road googling an address – and what if there is no phone service – maybe even bring a map of the area;  sometimes there is nothing like pen and paper! Internet is great when it works, but when it doesn’t…. well it turns me into mama bear!

So What’s My Plan? I’m going on vacation and my goals are….


Hancock County, Georgia

  • Photograph War Memorial Square – across from courthouse (Sparta)
  • Photograph Hancock Co. Courthouse (Sparta)
  • Visit Alexander H. Stephens museum (Sparta)
  • Photograph Powelton Baptist Church (outside of Sparta)
  • Powelton Community Cemetery (outside of Sparta) McKinley & Sharp graves – photograph and check area for other Sharp gravestones
  • Photograph local places and center of town
  • Photograph Hilsman – Lary Family Cemetery (outside of Sparta)

Lumpkin County, Georgia

  • Cane Creek Church and Cemetery (photograph church and cemetery)
  • Photograph Lizzie Gooch and all Bryan gravestones
  • Photograph town square and places in Dahlonega – Gold Museum

Union Point/ Siloam, Greene Co., Georgia

  • Photograph around the Chipman Hosiery Mill – mill houses: Union Point
  • The old home on Binns St: Union Point
  • McKinley farm – inside of farmhouse – Siloam
  • Find area where original McKinley farmhouse was – Siloam
  • Presbyterian Church Cemetery – Siloam

Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co., N.C.

  • Steele Creek Presbyterian Church and Cemetery: photograph church and McKinley graves
  • Photograph of Mecklenburg Co., N.C. sign

I try and plan small “research” side-trips when I head to Georgia to visit my mother. Some I do alone and some I plan with mom. She has traipsed along with me in many cemeteries, but she will only take so much, before asking me – you done? If you’ve read my blog, you might have read “Conversations with Mom.” I have blogged our conversations for several years and they are often full of family stories, southern sayings and the daily happenings from the senior center. I’m never surprised at what she tells me!

When I mentioned going to Hancock County, she suggested visiting Alexander H. Stephen’s museum, telling me she had been by there on several school trips, but never went inside; so I’m taking mama inside.

The war memorials in Hancock County are for an upcoming contribution to the Honor Roll project that I contribute to during the year; I mostly blog them on Memorial and Veteran’s Day.


The Hancock County Courthouse burned on August 11, 2014. It has since been rebuilt, so I’m looking forward to seeing it.

I also plan to search out the graves of Bennet and Mary (Harvey) Hilsman, my ggg grandparents. Their grave is in a private area, surrounded by a five foot stone wall, so I’m not sure how close I can get; I’ll never make it over that wall, hoping to find a gate!

I don’t have any courthouse trips planned on this trip, but you never know! I have learned in the past, especially in visiting Southern courthouses…. they often close a half day on Wednesdays or often not open at all. Best to always call ahead to plan the best day; time is valuable.

My vacations home to Georgia doesn’t usually allow much research except for easy trips like cemeteries or museums. When I came alone, years ago, I often spent the entire day at the University of Georgia library – all by myself – and against my mother’s objections and muttering….

After my vacation, I will link blog posts of my finds back here.

Click Here For More 31 Days to Better Genealogy

© 2016, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved



About Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

My blog is at: https://everyonehasafamilystorytotell.wordpress.com/
This entry was posted in 31 Days to Better Genealogy: Ver. 2.0, Daily Writings and funnies... and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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