Monday Musings – Share that research!

Today, only a short post. It has been quite a week, or perhaps ten days – full of business, and busyness.

Wilson, M.E. Waycross 1898

I spent time updating a biographical document I compiled on a Savannah photographer some time ago. I had a lot of new information, more than I thought.  A descendant, a great, great granddaughter of this photographer, asked me some specific questions, and I knew I had to update the document before answering her and sending it to her.

I believe it is my “duty” (if you will) to provide the results of my research to anyone who has a legitimate need for it. It is the duty of any historic researcher or family genealogist to do the same.

I have been lucky.  When I have contacted family members or descendants of Georgia photographers, they have been generous with their information and their time. Usually we exchange information and it is a win-win proposition. We all must do this for each other – it is a small world, after all (sing it Mr. Disney!). If you are not sharing, why in the world are you doing this research? If your reason is that you want to keep it in the family, remember that we are all family.

This has also been a good time for my research. As I was updating my document on J. N. Wilson, I did more research on his son, M. E. Wilson, and in the process I turned up two more Georgia women in photography, in Waycross!

This always excites me – the two new finds are Mrs. L. C. Wooley, 1908 (I already had a record for her husband but I was not aware of her involvement) and Mrs. W. S. Murray, who had assisted, then bought out, Mr. G. H. Hinman in 1898. Wilson then bought out Mrs. Murray. His first advertisement announcing the takeover, published in late December 1898 in the Waycross Weekly Herald, is above.

And I spent an entire day at the Georgia State Archives. This was my first visit since they became part of the State University System. A wonderful change – in attitude, in environment – in every way good. I enjoyed my day and got a lot done. The staff is wonderful, and it seems that more hires are on the way. There were tour groups coming through, and a lunch and learn taking place, the day I chose to go.

Do not hesitate to return to our “renewed” State Archives – things have changed for the better. Go, do your research, and learn something new while you are there.

I spent my day continuing with my list of individuals who paid a photographers’ tax in various Georgia counties.  These “Ledgers of Individuals Paying Taxes / Registry of Special Taxes” which date from 1889 to 1910, is in Record Group 8-1-22 (RGS-034-00-000). It is cited in Georgia Research, Second Edition (2012), by Davis & Brooke on page 60, but other researchers have missed it – you must read that paragraph closely, and ‘pull out’ these particular tax ledgers.

For those of you who do research on anyone who, if not a Photographer, was an auctioneer, owned billiard tables, was a doctor, or a brewer, was a merry-go-round operator, sold lightening rods, or was a meat packer, or a peddler, or — all kinds of occupations are included.

Here is a fun one we found (Steve Engerrand, assistant director, was helping me in time for this one) – a fellow listed as “Professor Gentry’s Educated Dogs and Ponies,” paid his 1892 tax as a traveling show (I think) in Chatham County. So if you are researching Showmen, check these ledgers out!

I am soon off to New Orleans for a meeting and some R&R, so I will wrap up my series on “Researching Photographers Working in the South,” in early December. Until that time, happy Hunting and Gathering!

© E. Lee Eltzroth and Hunting & Gathering, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without  written permission from this blog’s author is prohibited. The piece can be re-blogged, and excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to E. Lee Eltzroth and Hunting & Gathering, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


  1. Rebecca Watts · · Reply

    Good post! (Sorry I don’t get around to reading them all.)


  2. Tina Wilson Callen · · Reply

    Thanks for your information on J N Wilson. Enjoy reading your blog, learning a lot of new ways to search. I certainly will continue Hunting and Gathering with new ways now.


  3. I agree wholeheartedly that sharing is something researchers should do!

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