Great Turnout at the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Wilson County Genealogical Society


Last Tuesday there were 50 people in attendance for the 25th anniversary celebration of the Wilson County Genealogical Society, which is a great turnout.  There were tables set up for attendees to peruse some of the highlights of the Society’s 25 years.  The president, Joan Howell, eloquently recollected all the great work that the Society has done over the years and then drew names for a raffle that gave out genealogical books that the society has published during the society’s quarter of a century.  I played a Power Point on the new cataloging rules (people were mesmerized!) and then led a couple of tours of local history room.  Also, there was  diversity in the attendees.  And it wasn’t only cultural diversity, but also age diversity.  I think there were quite a few people under 60 there, which along with cultural diversity is important if the society is going to survive for the next ten years.

WWI 156th Depot Brigade, Camp Jackson, SC

WWI Fort Jackson

Click photo to embiggen. The photo had been tightly rolled up for years, leading to some difficulties in scanning it as you can see from the ghostly visage on the right.

Here is another panoramic photograph that I digitized recently from the same patron.  Supposedly, Wilson County resident,  Fate Bass, is in this photo and you will win the prize if you can find him.

This is of the 156th Depot Brigade.  The depot brigades trained and outfitted troops to be sent to the front lines of France during WWI.

Below is a panoramic photo of the 156th and their bivouacs from the Library of Congress, also at Camp Jackson and dated September 5, 1918.

156th depot brigade

Photo borrowed from the Library of Congress

World War One Camp Jackson, SC

Fort Jackson Co

Fate Watson is seated on the front row, the eighth from the left. Not sure where Frank Lamm is located.

One of my patrons just let me scan two WWI panoramic photos that include her father, Lafayette (Fate) Watson and her uncle, Frank Lamm, both from the Black Creek area of Wilson County.  Her father served on the board of trustees and was very integral to getting the Wilson County Public Library built in the late 1930’s with the help of the Works Progress Administration.  His name is on a plaque at the old front of the library (now the new back).

Irish Genealogy


My mother, Katherine Robinson with her namesake, grandmother and Irish immigrant Katherine Quigley. She was in her 90’s in this picture.

If you are interested in Irish Genealogy then next month will be reason to celebrate, because Ancestry is adding the searchable Irish Catholic Parish Registers to its database.

This is going to blow down many brick walls for a lot of descendants of the great Irish diaspora, of which I count myself among.  Most of my ancestors were Protestant Ulster Scots who came to America in the mid 1700’s from Ireland and this is not going to help in my search for them….but my great-grandmother, Katherine Quigley, emigrated from County Roscommon, Ireland in 1893 to Philadelphia.  She was Catholic and would have been included in the Catholic parish records.

On a related note, I am traveling to Ireland at the end of May to stay with some friends in Dublin and then meet my extended family in Roscommon, where I can peruse the actual records if I wish.  But I will probably be too busy dowsing for gold hoards, scuba diving for bog mummies and inspecting tapestries.

Actually, I might look at some records, but mostly I will be concentrating on oral histories from my kinfolks that I am very excited to meet.

Reference: Genealogy Insider


Kate Quigley on the ship she immigrated to America on in 1893, the Lord Clive. It says that she is traveling to Philadelphia and staying with her sister Mary. It even lists Mary’s address, which according to Google Maps is now just warehouses.  The record also state that she left form Queenstown, a city that has now reverted back to its original Irish name of Cork.


Black Wide-Awake Program on Front Page of Wilson Daily Times

tracing wilsons roots tracing wilsons roots2

Our program the night before last was on the front page of the Wilson Daily Times today!  They did misspell the title of the program as “Black Live Awake” instead of Black Wide- Awake and the surname Artis as “Artists”  but hey most of it was right.