Kemper Resident To Speak To Genealogical Society
The childhood stories of her ancestors heard at her grandfather’s knee sparked an abiding interest in family history and genealogy for Jo Church Dickerson and led to her development of research skills. At the meeting of the Pee Dee Chapter of the South Carolina Genealogical Society on Sunday, June 10, 2012, Jo will share her expertise in genealogical research in a presentation on “South Carolina’s Century Farms Program”. The meeting will begin at 3:00 p.m. in the conference center of Pee Dee Federal Savings & Loan, 106 East Court Street in Marion, across from the Marion County Courthouse. The public is invited to the meeting.
Using examples from research she conducted on the late Billy G. Rogers family farm in Dillon County, she will explain practical methods of title research for genealogists. Located near Gaddy’s Mill, the lands previously belonged to Billy’s Barfield and Rogers ancestors. Her presentation will include information on how to document and apply for a Century Farm (or bicentennial farm) designation; step-by-step instructions on simple title searches; and, a brief introduction to the early Barfield family on Bear Swamp and their descendants, the families of Dew Rogers and his son, Robert Hampton Rogers.
Dickerson partly grew up on her Church family farm near Lake View in Dillon County. She was interested in her ancestors from her earliest memories. At her grandfather’s knee she first heard stories about his grandfather, Jim Church, who came from Pitt County, North Carolina following the turpentine industry, and once here married the “Brewer woman” with the farm. Stories were told around the fireplace about all their kith and kin. She was hooked!
As a young adult Jo discovered the records in “all those libraries and courthouses,” and began serious research, seeking her ancestors in them. She spent many years working with her mother, genealogist Marie Gulledge Wiggins, researching their Gulledge and related families in Chesterfield County, SC and Anson County, NC.
After years of travel, in 1984 she moved back to her ancestral home at Lake View. Since returning home Jo has actively searched the original records of Marion and Dillon counties for any traces of her paternal ancestors, finding a little here and there, but also learning a great deal about ancestors of most everyone else in the process – information she loves to share. Her sharing of information with others seeking their ancestors has helped many people who were at “brick walls” to further their research.
Jo’s involvement with the Pee Dee Chapter began in 1984. By 2001 she had become a volunteer, assisting Archivist Maxcy Foxworth at the Marion County Archives. In 2003 and 2004, she held the office of President of the Chapter. In 2004 Jo began an eight year stint as Editor of the Chapter newsletter, “The Pee Dee Queue”, and further developed it into a top notch publication. She also developed and still maintains the Chapter website at www.peedee.scgen.org. With her emphasis on documentation, she has set a high standard for genealogical research for herself and others.
Jo has been closely involved with several genealogical publications of the Pee Dee Chapter. She transcribed and compiled “1810 Census, Marion District, South Carolina” published in 2002. She was editor of the 677 page “1870 Census, Marion County, South Carolina” by Members and Friends of the Pee Dee Chapter, Helen B. Moody, Project Director, published in 2010. The census books and other Chapter publications are available through the Chapter website, at the Marion County Archives, and at Chapter meetings.
In addition she wrote “Lake View & Page’s Mill – A History of the Land” published in 2007 as a section of the Lake View Centennial book, “Do You Remember? The Story of Lake View, South Carolina 1907-2007″.
The Lake View Centennial Book is available from Wendell and Marie Grainger of Lake View.
Jo resides on her grandfather’s lands – the old Church/Brewer farm in Kemper Community – where she is instilling the love of that land and the lore of the ancestors to her great grandchildren (and anyone else who will listen).