Find a Grave & the Cobb County Cemetery Book.

Find a Grave & the Cobb County Cemetery Book.

I regularly volunteer to fulfill requests with Find A Grave. I love them and what they are doing. They are a great resource for unofficial death records.  They provide a great place to remember people who have past, and, most importantly, they are a source for photos of the markers of your ancestors.  If there is not a photo there, you can request one and a volunteer, like me, will go to the cemetery, take a photo of the marker, and upload it to the website. 
Some time ago I volunteered to photograph a marker.  I walked the entire cemetery and couldn’t find it.  I put it back into the queue figuring someone else would find it. Another person tried and marked the memorial that he couldn’t find it either.  Every time I went onto the Find A Grave site looking for markers that people want photos of there it was, staring at me.  Then I had an idea….
The Smyrna Historical and Genelogical Society has a small research library filled with books of genealogical interest.  Among the many books and magazines I found a book on Cobb County Cemeteries. Back in the 1980s, surveys were taken of the various cemeteries in Cobb County. This individual died in 1922 so she should have been listed.  She was listed as being in plot 12.  I also found that the other people in plot 12 were N.C. Meadows and Mattie Meadows.  Also in the plot were Catherine Loveless and Lula West. It is not a huge cemetery, but it isn’t that small either.  I wondered where plot 1 was so I could find plot 12 easily. 
From the book I wrote down…

1 – Pinson
2 – Byers
3 – Hanson
6 – Rakestraw
9 – Brown
12 – Meadows

I figured that with that information, I could find any of them and figure out the numbering scheme. 
I went up to the cemetery, drove slowly through the cemetery and didn’t see any of the names. I figured that meant that the numbering didn’t go horizontally across but rather from one corner away from the road. I parked the car near one of the corners and started to head to the corner. On the way I saw the Rakestraw marker and made a beeline to it. Yup. It looked about six plots away from the road. Three more markers up the hill was a Brown plot, I was getting close.  There they were, N.C. Meadows, Mattie Meadows, and a small unreadable marker.  Getting close to it I could just make out “AT REST”.  It was knocked partially over (down to about 30 degrees). I gently reached behind it and could feel lettering.  I carefully lifted the marker upright and could see it was the marker I was looking for.  I photographed it and set the marker back to vertical. It still faces out of the cemetery.  I figure that is what the family originally wanted. So, little infant Pauline remains “at rest” but a photo of her marker is now on Find A Grave.
Smyrna Museum
The Cobb County Cemeteries Book at the Smyrna Museum is one of many books that that can be of great assistance to your genealogical and volunteer activities.  Stop by during normal hours of operations and someone can assist you in the reference room. Stop by on a Tuesday morning (when I volunteer) and I’ll give you a brief tour.

Smyrna Historic Preservation?

Last October there was a pair of wonderful presentations regarding
historic preservation.  First was Leigh Burns,
Preservation Planner, at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.  Mandy Elliott, who is a Historic Preservation
Planner for Cobb County, followed her. 
I knew very little about historic preservation and the meanings of “historic districts” and how they can fulfill an important
role in protecting our heritage.  I was very pleased to learn about the
differences  between a National Register District and a Local Historic
District.  I also learned the benefits
of Smyrna becoming a Certified Local Government (CLG) Program.  We are not one now and becoming one is quite
involved, but, it would benefit the city immensely to provide the framework for
protection of our historic past.  Cobb
County is a CLG and supports historic preservation in unincorporated Cobb
County; however, Smyrna is behind.  Other
area cities such as Kennesaw, which is a CLG, and Marietta and Acworth, who
have Historic Preservation Ordinances, have taken the initiative and have
committed themselves to historic preservation. 
As such, I encourage our city council and mayor to pursue the process of
becoming a CLG.
Leigh provided a one-page flyer about the key personnel
involved in the Historic Preservation Division. 
A more detailed version of the information is in the Staff Directory on the Georgia DNR, Historic Preservation Division website.
We learned a lot about the CLG Program. There is a great flyer about the CLG program on line.
We were enlightened regarding what the differences in
capabilities and authority are between a National Register Historic District
and a Local Historic District. (See
The Georgia DNR – Historic Preservation Division provides a
roadmap to success at
It starts with public education.  I encourage everyone to learn
about the process, understand what the benefits are, and see how the actions affect
property owners. It is not as impactful on property owners as you might expect.  For example, I
learned the program does nothing about the insides of the building or a building’s use.

Next, the city needs to draft a Historic PreservationOrdinance.  The Georgia DNR-HPD has a model Historic Preservation Ordinance for entites to use.  They also have other information that shows the
basis for preservation ordinances
 and Public
relations tips

In the second presentation, Mandy Elliott talked about
various projects of historic preservation that have occurred in unincorporated
Cobb County and there are a lot of them. 
She also mentioned driving tours of Cobb County; there are three
of them.  She had flyers for them after the meeting; however, route maps and information are
available at the Cobb County Community Development Agency webpages,  
I can’t wait for the next free “top down” day
to begin my historical driving tour of the county. 
Again, I think Smyrna should pursue becoming a Certified Local Government.  The process will help the city define more sites that are truly historic and might even bump up our number of historic sites on the driving tour from a paltry three locations. 

Where to begin….

Last Wednesday I did my first volunteer shift at my local Historical and Genealogical Society.  Interesting.  I spent a good amount of time in conversation with the Society’s curator and Vice President.  Very enlightening.  It appears that they have a lot of records and documentations that have never been digitized nor indexed.  From a genealogical perspective it appears that there is a lot of really great things that can be done.  I’ll be very interested to see what may have been done in the past and what might be done in the future.  It appears to me that they may have many newspapers.  Stacks and racks of them from many years ago.  Certainly, it seems to me that if we could capture images of the births, marriages, & obituaries we’d have a place to start from.  Anyone have ideas about what might be a good way to begin?