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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Going South

The country is shivering under the influence of the blast our Canadian neighbors directed toward us (thanks a lot!). This is the time of year people's thoughts turn to the south. We are heading that way tomorrow. Unfortunately, that blast of cold air is reaching so far south it looks like we aren't going to escape much of the cold, or else we're just not going far enough south.
We are invited to a nephew's wedding in Georgia on Saturday and are stirring a few other things into the mix to get more milage from the trip. We will be visiting one of my cousins in Albany and spend one night with her. And of course, you know I can't go anywhere without walking through a cemetery or two. That will be in Fitzgerald, GA.
My great-grandmother's sister, Louisa Powl, was born in Lancaster County, PA, moved to Lyon County, KS around 1876, and to Ben Hill County, GA in 1896. The last trace I have of her is in the 1900 Census. Her husband remarried in April 1902, so she must have died in the last half of 1900 or 1901. Louisa is the only one of my great-grandmother's siblings whose death date and burial place is unknown. I aim to find out on Friday. I have a hunch she may be buried in the Evergreen Cemetery at Fitzgerald so I will check there first. If I can't find her there I will go to the public library in Fitzgerald and search in the cemetery records and old newspapers.
Louisa has a life story that would make a trashy romance novel, but that's not the kind of book I want to write. I just want to be able to fill in her death date in my Powl genealogy. This is a family no one has ever researched before and I've been having lots of fun doing it the last five years. The search has taken me to several cemeteries in Lancaster County, PA, Stark County, Ohio, Edgar and Jackson counties in Illinois, and now to Ben Hill County in Georgia. I learned a lot more than I wanted to know about the Powl/Powell family. I am thankful my great-grandmother broke the cycle and became a dedicated Christian when she married Joseph Burkholder and joined the Mennonite church.

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