Apr 16

Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center

Imagine spending a perfect spring day with dear friends at one of Georgia’s loveliest gardens. It can’t get any better than that!

One of the many attractions at Callaway Gardens (a 2,500-acre garden) is the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center, a large conservatory. In this post I’m sharing some of the shots I took with my Nikon D3200 camera.

Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center, Callaway Gardens Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center, Calloway Gardens Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center, Callaway Gardens Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center, Callaway Gardens Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center, Callaway Gardens Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center, Callaway Gardens Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center, Callaway Gardens Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center, Callaway Gardens Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center, Callaway Gardens

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved.

Apr 10

Trail from the Base of the Falls Revisited

Spring has decided it may come to the North Georgia Mountains after all. Hooray! Although the spring wildflowers have a ways to go, the little sprouts and blossoms make me happy.

Some days you just can’t win. I managed to leave home without charging the battery for my Nikon camera so I only captured a few shots with it; I had a small Cannon with me, but managed to leave its battery home.  None-the-less I’m fairly happy with the following pics with my iPhone.


Violets always make me smile

Violets always make me smile

Wildflowers at Amicalola Falls

Birdfoot Violet



Toadshade Trillium

Toadshade Trillium







Great Chickweed

Great Chickweed

Wildflowers at Amicalola Falls

Foam Flowers

Dutchman's Britches

Dutchman’s Britches


Blood Root

Blood Root


© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved






Mar 19

Amicalola Falls: Trail from the Base of the Falls

Spring is so near, but seems so far away. The North Georgia Mountains continue to be colder than usual for this time of year and the spring wildflowers are not making their normal progress.

On the 9th of March, I traversed some of the Trail from the Base of the Amicalola Falls and was surprised to see very little–only a few plants tentatively poking their delicate leaves above soil—leaves of the Whippoorwill (Toadshade) trillium; trout lilies, and Virginia Bluebells. During a normal spring the wildflowers sprout rapidly, but not this year. When I returned to that same area this morning in the cold misty rain, I saw little progress. Here are images of the few things I found.

Yellow Trillium

Yellow Trillium

Whippoorwill (Toadshade) Trillium

Whippoorwill (Toadshade) Trillium

Trout Lillies

Trout Lillies

Rue Anemone

Rue Anemone

Dutchman's Breeches

Dutchman’s Breeches

Cutleaf Toothwort

Cutleaf Toothwort

un-opened Blood Root (Whippoorwill Trillium in the background)

un-opened Blood Root (Whippoorwill Trillium in the background)

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved.

Mar 16

Spring Is Finally in the Air

Gibbs GardensSpring plants are a little bit behind schedule here in the North Georgia Mountains this year—our winter has been a bit colder than usual. I’ve been waiting and waiting for the wild flowers to waken at Amicalola Falls and the daffodils to strut their stuff at Gibbs Gardens. After closely watching both areas for two weeks, I’ve finally been rewarded.

Friday morning (14 March 2014) I stole an hour to film some of the daffodils at Gibbs Gardens.

I completely agree with the wording that appears on the Gibbs Gardens website

Gibbs Gardens is the best place to be as winter fades and spring bursts forth. There is absolutely nothing that compares to the singular beauty of 20 million daffodil blossoms—flowing in waves of sunbeam colors—across 50 acres of hills, woodlands and valley.

Daffodil, jonquil, narcissus … I confess I don’t have a clue with respect to their varieties, but I do so appreciate their beauty.

Gibbs Gardens Gibbs Gardens Gibbs Gardens Gibbs Gardens

It’s raining here again, but I’ll be driving over to Amicalola Falls as soon as the precipitation ceases—I just know that the warmer weather during this last week will have been a magic tonic to the whippoorwill trillium, trout lilies, and wood anemone that were just pushing their way out of the soil a week ago.

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved.

Jan 19

FamilySearch Catalog and Digitized Books

While preparing my research plans for a trip to Salt Lake City, I frequently depend on the Family History Library (FHL) online catalog at FamilySearch.org.  I want to know the call numbers for books and microfilm that I want to view when I get there. Since I’m a firm believer in being as prepared as possible before I begin my journey. I certainly don’t want to use valuable time at the FHL to look up information that I can find at home.

Currently I’m preparing research plans for my trip to SLC in a few weeks when I will attending RootsTech 2014 and several days of research at the FHL. My focus for this research trip is on my Woodward family. I’ve several burning questions in addition to my brick wall.

My great grandfather Daniel R. Woodward served in Company E of the 16th Regiment of New Hampshire Volunteers (as did several of his brothers, cousins, and nephews). I know from his pension application[1] that he was injured at Camp Parapet in Louisiana, when he fell over a stump in camp. What I want to know, is how did Company E travel to Louisiana—did they travel by train, did they travel by sea? My plan was to identify a regimental history of the Sixteenth New Hampshire Volunteers and if one existed to determine if it is available at the Family History Center in Salt Lake City. Not only did a find a regimental history, I found (via the FHL online catalog) a copy of that history that I could download onto my computer. Let me share the steps I took to find the record.

1) Take advantage of my subscription to Mocavo.com and search for Daniel R. Woodward with the keyword “New Hampshire” (hoping to locate sources that contain references to my Daniel R, in addition to a regimental history of the sixteenth NH volunteers).




2) Search WorldCat.org for History of the Sixteenth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers so I could locate all the information I needed to write a source citation for the book.

Mission accomplished: L.T. Townsend, History of the Sixteenth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers (Washington, D.C.: Henry L. Johnson and Luther T. Townsend, 1897).

3) Search Google Books for the History of the Sixteenth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers. Perhaps I could locate a free downloadable PDF file of the volume.

The book was listed in several forms on Google Books, but no downloadable copy was found

4) Search the Family History Library online catalog (FamilySearch.org) to determine if a copy is available at the FHL; if so, record the form and call number).




Yippee! I can read the regimental history here at home in the North Georgia Mountains instead of using my very valuable time at the Family History Library.

[1] Union Pension File of Daniel R. Woodward, File Number: #WC-711-973, Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs (RG 15); National Archives, Washington, D.C.

© Linda Woodward Geiger, CG, CGL. All Rights Reserved

Dec 04

The Allan Kendall Orchestra and Santa Claus in Disguise

This morning when I opened a 6″x9″ envelope from a stranger named Arthur from Swanzey, New Hampshire. I was stunned to find two photographs of the Allen Kendall Orchestra taken in 1956 and a CD of their event on New Years Eve 1955. Tears flowed (and continue to trickle down as I write this post) as I read the accompanying letter.

“I was looking up Allan Kendall on the web the other day and up came your REMEMBERING WHS, CLASS of ’59….”

Arthur you have made me believe in Santa Claus once again. I’m so touched by your taking the time to send me the CD from the 1955 reel-to-reel tape and the photographs. This is the best present ever!

The original post that Arthur found can be read by visiting http://www.musingsbylinda.com/MyFamily/?p=500.

Wishing all of you a wonderful, memorable, and safe holiday Season

Nov 10

New Georgia Will Books by Ted O Brooke

Ted O Brooke has had a busy year completing several books on Georgia wills that have been in progress for several years. Now it is a time for celebration!

  •   Georgia Will Directory, 1733-1860 by Ted O. Brooke
    Includes all 15,271 testator references from both colonial records and all Georgia counties created before 1861, including all testator references for 1733-1860 from Georgia Stray Wills, 1733-1900. Arranged in a user-friendly format, self-indexed with all names in alphabetical order by surname and given name. Complete source reference for every will, giving county, date of probate, source record and exact page number where will is found.
    2013. 412 (+xxxxii) pages. Hardbound. $35.
  •   Georgia Will Directory, 1861-1900 by Ted O. Brooke
    Includes all 20,097 testator references from all Georgia counties created before 1901, including all testator references for 1861-1900 from Georgia Stray Wills, 1733-1900. Arranged in a user-friendly format, self-indexed with all names in alphabetical order by surname and given name. Complete source reference for every will, giving county, date of probate, source record and exact page number where will is found.
    2013. 529 (+xxx) pages. Hardbound. $35.

Special, Ted is offering the two directories (when purchased together) for $60.00 postpaid!!!

  • Georgia Stray Wills, 1733-1900 by Ted O. Brooke
    Collected and abstracted from 541 Georgia wills dated prior to 1901, located in Georgia Supreme Court case files, Superior Court records, original wills filed in county probate offices and the Georgia Archives, private papers, secondary published records and various other obscure and inconspicuous sources which, with very few exceptions, are not found recorded in Georgia colonial or county probate records. Fully indexed for all names including slaves.
    2013. 548 (+xxiv) pages. Hardbound. $35.

Visit Ted’s website at http://tedobrooke.com/
or order directly from him at
2055 Foster Drive
Cumming, GA 30040-3549

About Ted

Brooke_05Theodore (“Ted”) Owen Brooke was born 1943, Atlanta, Fulton Co., Georgia. He graduated from Tucker (DeKalb Co., GA) High School in 1961 and attended Georgia Tech. He was married in 1968 and has two children: Robert, born 1970, and Ashley, born 1974, who married Matthew Baughman and they have two children, Carter and Harrison Baughman. Ted retired from AT&T in 1996 and has been engaged in genealogical and historical pursuits since then.

Ted is a member of the Georgia Genealogical Society since 1976, having served as Treasurer and Vice President and is a member of the East Georgia Genealogical Society, Carroll County Genealogical Society, Coweta County Genealogical Society and the Virginia Genealogical Society.

Ted is the author or co-author of twenty books, including the latest, Pickens County, Georgia Cemeteries, published in 2009 with co-author Linda Geiger.

He was listed in both editions of Who’s Who in Genealogy & Heraldry, Volume 1 (1981) and in Volume 2 (1990).

Oct 06

Georgia’s Virtual Vault

Now that the Georgia Archives is a part of the University System of Georgia rather that the Office of the Secretary of State, the website is being revised under the University System — not an easy or quick task!

This post is written to assist individuals who are trying to locate the online images, but are now having difficulty doing so. I know that I became rather frustrated until I finally discovered that the following steps would get me to those files, I love so much.

  1. Go to http://cdm.sos.state.ga.us:2011/cdm/
  2. Select the first option, “Ad Hoc Collection”
  3. Locate the Gray bar immediately under the header, “Georgia Archives University System of Georgia
    Select “Browse All”
  4. You’ll notice about four options in the vertical bar on the left
    Click on “Show 33 more”
  5. You’ll now find all of the categories that you may wish to use.

For example, you might be interested in the collection called, “Georgia Death Certificates.” If that is the case, the from step #5,

 Click on the box in front of “Georgia Death Certificates”
  2. Click on “OK” in the bottom right corner of that box
  3. Now you may scroll through the certificate images (in alpha order)
or type in a name in the search box at the top of the page. I suggest typing in only the surname. If you can’t find what you want, then try a spelling variation of that surname. If that search is too much, then add search by “surname, given name.”

Note: Something Cool! When searching by surname alone, you may get more hits than you think you want, but there is a silver lining! The surname search will frequently include names of parents with that surname of informants. What a wonderful way to determine maiden names of mothers. I’d be re-missed, however, if I didn’t offer a word of caution. the names of parents offered on death certificates are not always correct. Use your newly found piece of evidence with extreme caution.

© Linda Woodward Geiger


Jul 15

FGS Announces Two Free Genealogy Webinars

Note: Copy originally published by FGS, 10 July 2013

The Federation of Genealogical Societies announces two new webinars focusing on the use of military records in genealogical research.  These webinars are FREE and open to the public!


  • Discovering Local & State Militia Records
    Presenter: J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA
    Date: Tuesday, 16 July 2013, 8pm Eastern / 7pm Central

    Take a closer look at the wide variety of records documenting our local militia companies. From annual muster to supplies and appointment of Officers, learn how these records may be used in your family research. Learn more about the military organization of citizens called for the purpose of local defense, who served this country from the Revolution through 1812 and on to the development of the National Guard.

    J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA a full-time professional researcher & educator, formerly APG President and FGS officer. You will find him researching for clients including Who Do You Think You Are?, African American Lives or Biography’s uneXplained. With his love for teaching, you will see him at SLIG, IGHR, numerous webinars or at your local society.

  • Researching in the Post War Records of 1812
    Presenter: Craig Scott, MA, CG
    Date: Wednesday, 7 August 2013, 8pm Eastern / 7pm Central

    This lecture will focus on the records created by the War Department after the War. It will include compiled military service records, pensions and pension payments.

    Craig Roberts Scott, MA, CG is the President and CEO of Heritage Books, Inc., a genealogical publishing firm with over 4,900 titles in print. A professional genealogical and historical researcher for more than twenty-eight years, he specializes in the records of the National Archives, especially those that relate to the military. He is the Coordinator of the Advanced Military Track at IGHR and SLIG.

Jun 15

Longer Hours for the Georgia Archives

Good News about the Georgia Archives may be found at http://georgiaarchivesmatters.org/.

As of July 1st the Archives will be increasing hours and adding staff!

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