Bulloch County- Historical Society seeking documents

Historical Society seeking documents about 1904 tragedies

Book to spotlight Hodges family murder, subsequent lynchings

Statesboro Herald
January 31, 2016

The Bulloch County Historical Society is in the process of gathering factual information to be published in a book about the 1904 Hodges family murders and the lynching of Paul Reed and Will Cato, two of the most horrible episodes in Bulloch history.

The basis of the book will be the more than 40 years of research and writings of Georgia Southern professor emeritus of history Dr. Charlton Moseley. Moseley’s first published writings on the subject appeared in 1981 in the “Georgia Historical Quarterly” and in 1985, he presented his paper to a meeting of the Southern Historical Society in Houston, Texas.

The Historical Society has asked Jenny Foss, editor of Statesboro Magazine, to serve as editor for the project.

“We hope to add pertinent legal documents, photographs, court transcripts, letters, and other supporting documentation to the original text, expanding on Dr. Moseley’s work on the subject,” Foss said.

In the introduction to the transcript Moseley stated:

“One hundred and twelve years ago, in 1904, two related incidents of great horror occurred in Bulloch County. The first of these involved the murder of a family of five and the burning of their rural home near Colfax in the western area of the county. The second horror saw the lynching of the two men held accountable for the crime, Paul Reed and Will Cato, by burning alive. Both the murders and the lynching were sensationalized locally and nationally. Few incidents in Bulloch County history have held a greater fascination than these two incidents of human atrocity and suffering.”

Moseley, the author of this paper, is a native of Bulloch County and for many years had heard stories handed down by word of mouth about the killing of the Henry Hodges family and the subsequent lynching of the two murderers, itinerant workers on the farms of two prominent citizens in the remote western part of the county.

“About 1972, I made a decision to investigate these crimes and as accurately as possible try to ascertain the basic facts about what really happened during those hot and frightening weeks of July and August, 1904 in Bulloch County,” Moseley said.

“As a historian primarily interested in local history I learned early on that there are often folks who believe that unpleasant history should not be exposed but rather kept under cover,” he said. “Indeed, in 1972 when I made a public appeal for information on those sordid events in our history involving murder and lynching, a prominent county leader tried to dissuade me from the task on the grounds that it would bring embarrassment to the community.  I chose to ignore the suggestion and found that there were large numbers of people who supported my efforts and many brought pertinent information to my attention.

“While murder and lynching are not ‘good’ history, nevertheless such subjects are still history and must be examined and considered along with those things in our past which are praiseworthy and which bring us pride and pleasure. May we examine all of our past activities as a community, good and bad, and may we learn to profit from all of them! It is with this sentiment in mind that this paper is offered to the members of the Bulloch County Historical Society.”

The Historical Society will honor Moseley’s vision by continuing to research all aspects of the tragedy that unfolded in the summer of 1904, expanding on his original investigation. Community participation is invited.

“We’re looking for supporting documentation that will help us tell the story of what led up to the tragedy at the Hodges home, the search for suspects, the apprehension of the defendants, the court trial, the mob’s actions, and the impact on the community overall,” said Joe McGlamery, Historical Society. “While examining such terrible events from our past is painful, we believe it is necessary to tell the bad with the good to get a true historical perspective on life in Bulloch County during that time.”

Anyone who would like to share family history, photographs, or related documents from the incidents is asked to contact Foss atjfoss@statesboromagazine.com; McGlamery atjoe@morrisnews.com; or Moseley at cjmoseley@bulloch.net.



Free database access during Black History Month


Fold3.com and American Ancestors are opening their African American databases for free access during the month of February 2016.  At Fold3.com some of the databases include other than African American records. For example, the Southern Claims Commission Records and the WWI “Old Man’s Draft” Registration records are complete collections. 


Fold3.com free databases include records documenting slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, the World Wars and the Civil Rights Movement.

For example:

  • Court Slave Records for Washington, DC
  • South Carolina Estate Inventories and Bills of Sale, 1732–1872
  • US Colored Troops Civil War service records
  • Southern Claims Commission records
  • The Atlanta Constitution newspaper
  • WWII “Old Man’s Draft” Registration Cards

Click here for the Fold3.com Black History Collection home page to see samples of the records and links leading to more information about each collection. You will need to obtain a free registration to search the databases.


As part of their Black History Month promotion, guest users of AmericanAncestors.org will have free access to the following databases:

To help your research efforts, American Ancestors has created a guide to two of these databases, both focused on African American families in Massachusetts: Hampden County, MA: Black Families in Hampden County, 1650-1865 and People of Color in the Massachusetts State Census, 1855-1865.

These resources provide users with the ability to trace families throughout this period of history. American Ancestors will walk you through a case study of using both of these databases, and we’ll talk about other database collections available to research African American families. Search Spotlight: African American Records



Atlanta- Aiken Lecture- Jim Wallis- America’s Original Sin

Atlanta History Center – February 11th- 8:00 pm  RESERVATIONS REQUIRED

The Aiken Lecture features Jim Wallis speaking on his book America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America.  Wallis offers a prophetic and deeply personal call to action in overcoming the racism so ingrained in American society.  Whenever divided cultures and gridlocked power structures fail to end systemic sin, faith communities can help lead the way to grassroots change. Probing yet positive, biblically rooted yet highly practical, this book shows people of faith how they can work together to overcome the embedded racism in America, galvanizing a movement to cross the bridge to a multiracial church and a new America.  Admission for this lecture is $10 for nonmembers. Reservations required.
Where: Atlanta History Center, 130 West Paces Ferry Road N.W.,  Atlanta, Georgia
When: 8 p.m.
Admission: $5.00 members, $10 non-members – call 404. 814.4101 or reserve online Click  here to purchase tickets. Reservations Required.

For more information on Atlanta History Center – Aiken Lecture Series

GIG_Atlanta History Center -logo_2

Georgia History Festival Colonial Faire & Super Museum Sunday

Georgia History Festival – Bringing history to life for all ages

The Georgia History Festival is the signature K-12 educational program of the Georgia Historical Society. Beginning with the new school year in September, a variety of public programs, exhibits, in-school events, and educational resources bring history to life for students of all ages and encourage Georgians to explore the richness and diversity of our state’s past. The Festival culminates in February, the founding month of the Georgia Colony, with Founding City events like the popular Colonial Faire and Muster living history program held at Wormsloe State Historic Site, Savannah’s colorful Georgia Day Parade, and the annual Trustees Gala.

Georgia History Festival Colonial Faire & Muster- Wormsloe State Historic Site- Savannah Sunday, February 7, 2016 12:00-4:00-  Experience the everyday life of colonial times through historical re-enactments, cannon firings, demonstrations of cooking and craft techniques, music and dance. Free and open to the public.

Georgia History Festival’s Super Museum Sunday

Sunday, February 7, 2016- 12:00-4:00

Georgians and visitors alike experience our state’s rich history and cultural life as historic sites, house museums, art museums, and other points of interest in Savannah and throughout Georgia open their doors to the public, providing an exceptional opportunity to experience the history in our own backyard. Over sixty cultural institutions participate in this popular annual family event.

Multiple sites throughout Georgia -Free and open to the public.

List of sites

Georgia History Festival – Bringing history to life for students of all ages




Family Tree Maker is BACK! Breaking news from Rootstech!

and RootsMagic will will connect to Ancestry by the end of 2016!

News from Ancestry.com:

New Family Tree Maker Options

Kendall Hulet for Ancestry.com

Since our Family Tree Maker announcement last December, we have continued to actively explore ways to develop and support Family Tree Maker and ensure you have choices to preserve your work in ways that matter to you.

Today, I am pleased to announce two options for desktop software that will work with Ancestry.

Software MacKiev

Software MacKiev, with whom we have a long-standing relationship, is acquiring the Family Tree Maker software line as publisher for both Mac and Windows versions. Software MacKiev has been the developer of Family Tree Maker for Mac for more than six years and is thrilled at the opportunity to publish future versions of Family Tree Maker for Mac and Windows.

This new agreement means you will receive software updates and new versions from Software MacKiev, and have the ability to purchase new versions of Family Tree Maker from Software MacKiev as they are released.   You will have continued access to Ancestry Hints, Ancestry searches, and be able to save your tree on Ancestry with Family Tree Maker moving forward.


We have made an agreement with RootsMagic, a leading genealogy desktop software program publisher, to connect Ancestry with the RootsMagic software by the end of 2016. With this new relationship, RootsMagic can serve as your desktop family tree software, while having access to Ancestry hints, Ancestry searches, and the ability to save your tree on Ancestry.

We have heard your concerns and are working to provide the solutions you requested. These new agreements will make it possible to preserve your work on Ancestry and Family Tree Maker and enable future features and benefits to help you discover your family history. Be assured that Ancestry, in cooperation with Software MacKiev and RootsMagic, will continue to support you as you discover your family history.
We ask for your patience as we work diligently through all the details to make these solutions available. Be sure to check back on our blog as we share more information about Family Tree Maker in the next few months.

For more information on Software MacKiev and RootsMagic, click below: