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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
Beth's Weekly Moultrie Observer Column - Week 83
(This appears here courtesy of The Moultrie Observer)

We’ll finish Great-Grandmother McNair’s adventure this week. Mrs. McNair was the great-grandmother of Moultrie’s Tom Vereen. Mr. Vereen has been so kind and has allowed me to share this wonderful letter with you all.
The adventure continues: We made a brave start early the next day, but took the wrong road and went and wound up at an abandoned saw mill. We turned about, drove all day – and could find no place to stay before dark. We were turned away several times and it was nine o’clock p.m. before we secured shelter.
They could give us no cooked food, so we bought some bacon and made cornbread and sweet potatoes over a camp fire. Myself and children slept in a narrow bed, but we got along all right – when things looked so gloomy (???) dangerous and we could not discern the road in the night – the colored driver and gentleman friend who made the trip with me and the children would carefully search for our wagon tracks in the dried (??? – mud?) and I drove the mules with my feet over the wagon (???) front until they found the right wheel tracks in the darkness. This kept us going with frequent halts.
We drove into Albany about 4 p.m. at the close of the fourth day and failed to secure lodging – according to our friends, previous directions. The main hotel in Albany had been burned – but there was a big house with windows overhead like a warehouse, and we saw such a room and a breakfast next morning. Bill $80 – “to be exact, $82.”
We started out very early next day from Albany to Macon. We had all sorts of delays – hard luck – cold, with a piting (sic) snow.
And finally were stalled by a wreck – which had slashed several cars laden with salt and the rain was pouring in tourents (sic) when we left the railroad train in Macon.
It was not possible to hire a chair to sit in. In the Brown House that night. My husband hunted up a friend to find where we could sit and might get shelter and he took us in – and they fed us – and (???) us and comforted us – until we sat up until after midnight relating adventures – mishaps, etc., and the more we told, the more we had to tell – and could finally quit the conversation to even get to bed. We were joyous and happy – this was my first, but last visit, to Moultrie – but I am here at 86 years of age telling you (???) about the early days of Moultrie.
Letters such as the one by Mrs. McNair give us a peek into a time that is long past and a feeling of what life was like for those who came before us.
Have you ever thought about how the most precious thing you can leave your children, grandchildren and all the rest of your family is a record of your family history.
Money can be spent, property can be sold, jewelry can be lost or sold…but family history is something that can be forever passed down from generation to generation.
Today, genealogy is the most popular hobby in the United States! Genealogy has long surpassed former favorites stamp collecting and gardening to be number one!
With the popularity of genealogy – the study of family history – comes support for researchers in the form of books and records and forms and genealogy programs and publication…and so much more designed to make the discovery of your own roots just a little bit easier.
It’s really not complicated. It’s really fun. It’s a hobby that you will enjoy forever and one that will lead you to new friends who happen to be kin to you…and new friends who aren’t kin…and adventures and experiences that will enrich your life.
We’re so fortunate in Moultrie to be the home of The Odom Library. It is one of the best genealogy libraries in the South – at least – if not the best in the entire Southeast!
It’s free…there’s no charge for using the library. Copies are a dime. Irene Godwin, Ann Glass, Monique Green and Catherine Bryant are always delighted to help you begin your own journey into the past of your own kith and kin!

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