Tag Archives: Emanuel County Ga


Tessie Lee Whitehead Stroud
May 17 1902– April 2 2002

Grandmas Guitar

My grandma Stroud loved music, guitar music especially. She could pick out some tunes and even taught me some chords and Wildwood Flower. Once during a visit, I laughed at someone on TV boisterously tapping their foot-or rather, their entire leg- in time to music. No outright mockery was intended on my part in my amusement, but it must not have seemed so to her. She gently reproached me by stating that ‘some people have music in them and they just can’t help moving’.

Some of her favorite artists were Merle Travis, Doc Watson, Chet Atkins and one she mentioned often- Elizabeth Cotten.  They were all talented musicians. Ms. Cotten’s  ability to play acoustic guitar left handed and upside down was a remarkable talent to add to her songwriting skills. It would be reasonably easy to figure out additional reasons why Ms. Cotten struck a chord (sorry, I had to) with Grandma and some of those would likely be right, or in the least, quite close to the mark. Grandma loved Ms. Cotten’s song Freight Train.
Read more about Elizabeth Cotten here:

Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten, Smithsonian Folkways 

Time goes on. Girl grew into teen and things caused less time to be spent at Grandma’s hearing her stories of ‘old times’ and music. Failed attempts to learn Freight Train and Wildwood Flower on the guitar became embarrassing, regardless of how good the teacher was.

The love of good acoustic music with good harmonies never faded.

The need came for Grandma to live in a nursing facility. She held up pretty good and needless to say enjoyed visits. She always seemed to have a joke or a good tease handy. Then time caught up with her and the body began to fail. Comments from her might be in the present or of something only she understood, from past days. Visits would end with her asking my Pa to play the train song. His piano repertoire didn’t include the train song.

Then, her medical condition worsened. Visits were more seldom than they should have been, and difficult not only for the visitor, but for her. She would look into her visitors face, who could see frustration and confusion in her eyes. It seemed as if she both recognized that she knew the familiarity of you, but didn’t know your name or exactly who you were. Her eyes would wander, or close in sleep, her mind wandering through the years of memories, or perhaps not wandering at all.

Coping with infirmities that come with the body’s aging, or sudden catastrophic illnesses are difficult for the person immediately affected and for those close to them. Who knows how the mind and senses work. How can we know for certain of what the ill and infirm are aware of, when others in the room think they are asleep or unaware of their surroundings?  Somewhere deep inside themselves, do they feel that their mind is perfectly fine and hampered by a failing? Do they truly understand us, or do we appear and sound distant and unfamiliar?  Do they dream of times that were good? We can only hope they do dream of pleasant things.

The last few times I saw Grandma, there were no gentle teases or jokes. She didn’t ask for the train song. I’m sorry she didn’t get to hear it one last time.

For those who suffer dementia, alzheimers, for the ill, for the infirm and for their caretakers, I dedicate this song. It’s not about illness, but some of the words can be viewed as  eerily metaphoric for those whose minds visit other things and other times.

For my Grandma, Tessie Lee Whitehead Stroud

The train song


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July 2 1863. Gettysburg Pa

John Stroud (youngest son of Thomas and Emilia Stroud) joined the McLeod Volunteers and went off to fight in the war between the states. The unit became Co H, 48th Georgia Infantry, Army of Northern Virginia and served under Ambrose R. Wright during the Gettysburg battle as well as other campaigns.

I will revisit this subject later on in more depth, since it was ‘grandaddy John’ that primarily got me into genealogy, and subsequently gathered information regarding the unit he fought with and their movements during the war.

Today is the anniversary of the 2nd day of Battle at Gettysburg.

Wright’s Brigade formed lines abt 5-6 pm and advanced past the Codori Farm to briefly route Federal troops and artillery at the crest of Cemetery Ridge.
Unsupported, they were forced to retreat, but they had succeeded in advancing farther to the ‘clump of trees’ and the stone wall than any other unit during the Battle of Gettysburg.
According to Hardee’s Tactics, Co H was the immediate right of the color guard.

Further reading and photos of Wright’s Bridage monument markers at Gettysburg

The Battle of Gettysburg. Panoramic view of the position along Cemetery Ridge reached by Brigadier General Ambrose Wright, CSA on July 2nd, 1863, Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania

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Posted by on July 2, 2011 in family history, genealogy, history


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Off the chartz; things you won’t see on the family tree chart

Edited  to add:

I originally stated my intention to blog about my family history research. I will continue to do so, at some point.  A few have noticed that my recent blogging has rambled off into related but separate subjects which will continue as well as including other ramblings, as the notion strikes me. I didn’t name it ‘off the chartz’ for nothing! 🙂
Thanks for reading. Happy blogging. BLS 6-30-2014


These pages will contain information gathered in genealogical research of the descendants of Thomas and Emilia Stroud. Though a family tree website does exist for this and related families, I needed  a different type of space to share information with those who are interested. Thus, I have arrived  at this blog spot which I dub “off the chartz“. (‘charts’ was taken, hence the misspelling).

Thomas and Emilia Stroud were the parents of my great great grandfather John Stroud (md to Susannah Drew) in addition to Thomas (md. Martha Rich), James (md. Sabra Drew) Sarah (unmarried) and Mary M. (md.  ** Scott).

Thomas & Emilia Stroud are hard to track down, in fact, they are my genealogical ‘brick wall’. As of today, the earliest located date of residence is for Thomas Stroud in Jefferson County, GA. He is listed in Jefferson County, Ga and some surrounding areas, Land records Vol. I Mid 1700s – mid 1800s by Daniel Crumpton. Whew! That’s quite a long title isn’t it? The book explains that some people were listed in the tax digest without owning land, and indeed Thomas shows up with lots of blanks beside his name. This is usually because the individual has either just moved into the area and/or had just come of age (21) to be a taxpayer or landowner. Since Thomas Stroud was born appx 1774-1780 the latter is probably true in his case.

Thomas also shows up on land plats in Jefferson County Ga dated 1817, as a ‘cc’ or chain carrier. The property he was assisting in survey of belonged to  William Daniel,  was adjoined by Nathan Bostick, and consisted of 58 acres in Williamson Swamp on the Ogeechee River between Louisville, Ga and NE of Coleman’s Lake.

Thomas next shows up in the 1820 census of Jefferson County ga which lists in household: males 45+ one, males less than 10 yrs old 1, females 45+ 1, females less than 10- 1, females between 10-16 – 1. This would place Thomas year of birth at least 1775, and Emilia about the same, though hers is debatable since later census records indicate her year of birth to be about  1786.

By 1830 the family had moved to Emanuel  County near Blun, in the the pine forest, wiregrass meadows  and brier creek swamps.  Emanuel County census of 1830 shows:


  0-05   1

  5-10   1

10-15   1

20-30   1

50-60   1


15-20   1

20-30   1

40-50   1

While it is not known the exact location of their homestead, it would be a good guess that it was somewhere -or anywhere- near the area between Blun, Old Dellwood, and  the Summertown-MIdville areas towards the Ogeechee river.

*****10-8-11: I have done a bit more research into the ‘nearbys’ of the 1830 Emanuel County census. Preliminary results indicate that Thomas & Emilia’s earliest home place in Emanuel county was in the general area of the property that their son John later acquired and lived on with his family and is buried there. To be more specific, between John Stroud’s  ‘old home place’ and  the Summertown/Midville area.

By 1840, Thomas had passed away.  Emilia is listed in the 1840 census with one other female in the household.

*****10-8-11: After reviewing more records, I’m comfortable with stating that Thomas likely died before the Georgia land lottery of 1832, since the ‘boys’ were listed as orphans both in the record of lottery winners and later as described below.*

The sisters were over 18 years old and where therefore ineligible to participate in the 1832 lottery.

Mary born abt 1808-1810 and living in her own household was married at the time to John Scott.

Sarah born abt  1812, living at home with Emilia , John, Thomas and James until such time as the boys likely were sent to stay with friends and/or relatives until they came of age  (James, Thomas and John do not show up in the 1840 census-John Stroud shows up again in the 1850 census in the household of White {aka Whit} Smith).

*Robert Higdon was appointed guardian of the boys and in 1837 advertised for auction land to be sold for the benefit of the ‘orphans of Thomas Stroud, deceased, Thomas, James and John Stroud.”

Thomas’ parents names at this time has not been discovered or proven. Emilia, Sarah and Mary M. have been noted as being from South Carolina.

Sarah never married.

The search will continue.


Posted by on June 19, 2011 in family history, genealogy, Uncategorized


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