Tuesday, December 1, 2009
The Northeast Georgian Newspaper
Old photos of Baldwin sought for Facebook page
By- Rob Moore
Baldwin has special meaning for Julie Ellenburg Wingate of Gainesville, whose ancestors lived there for many years.
“Years ago at special times, my grandfather would go to his father’s old desk and open a few ‘secret’ compartments to reveal four beautiful daguerreotypes for me to see,” she says. “These pictures were unknown relatives from a century before, their names lost when my great-grandfather died. Staring into their eyes I felt so close to them, intrigued to know more about them- who they were, how they spent their days, were they happy? As I looked at these people, my ancestors seemed to be trying to tell me the answers to all my questions and asking me to find all the answers and more. I was instantly hooked and my fascination with my family history began.”
Now, that family history search has expanded not only to include he blog, http://mypapasbook.blogspot.com, but also to a Facebook page of old Baldwin photographs.
“I still look at those daguerreotypes and have so many questions,” Wingate says. “Copies of those pictures hang in my hallway so I see them everyday. If only I knew their names for sure, I might be able to piece together the rest.”
“I started my family history research to help answer some questions my grandfather, W.P. Chandler, had about his ancestors,” she says. “He was very interested but as he had gotten older his vision was deteriorating, making it difficult for him to read. As a recent college graduate, I volunteered to find some basic records about our family members. I never knew how much I'd enjoy it! My grandfather was so impressed with the research I'd bring to him that he repeatedly told me that I should write a book. After a few months of research I gathered all the information I had gathered and put the facts together in a short document titled ‘Papa's Book.’ For years I have continued my research and now have gathered enough information to write an extensive book for all 4 of my grandparents. I have created two blogs to share some of my research with others and in hopes meeting some cousins I've never met. I have included some of my pictures from Baldwin on my blog at http://mypapasbook.blogspot.com”
The Facebook page came about recently after Wingate saw another similar page about Cornelia.
“When I was working online, I was so excited to find Ken Morris' page of photographs of Cornelia- what a wonderful way to share our treasured photographs!” she says. “I was impressed by the wonderful pictures on the "Cornelia, GA- Home of the Big Red Apple" group on Facebook. I wrote to introduce myself to Ken and he suggested that I start a similar group for Baldwin.”
“Although I have never lived in Baldwin, my family has lived there for over 113 years,” Wingate says. “My great-grandparents, Dr. William Vance Chandler and his wife, Tallulah Christine Jones, were active in the Baldwin community from the time they married in 1897. Our family is fortunate to have lots of Dr. and Mrs. Chandler's pictures from the area.”
“I would like to share their pictures here and hope that members of the Baldwin group called ‘Historic Baldwin, Georgia in Habersham County’ can work together to identify both the unknown people and places in our photographs of Baldwin,” Wingate says. “Please add your own photographs, as well as memories, you have of Baldwin.”
She also knows that the city of Baldwin is split between Habersham and Banks Counties, but named the group the way she did because during her genealogical research for Baldwin, she kept coming up with Baldwin County. Those interested can upload their photos to the Facebook page. Also, Ken Morris has offered to scan and post Baldwin photos for those who need him to.