Thursday, August 1, 2013

Something Old, Something New

First something old.  Last week I spent a few hours at the T. Elmer Cox Historical and Genealogy Library in Greeneville, Tennessee.  This branch of the Greeneville Greene County Library is housed in a beautiful old home and was named in honor of a town historian.  In the late 1700s, the town was the capital of the State of Franklin before this area became part of Tennessee.  Later, Greeneville was the home of Andrew Johnson, our 17th president.  It wasn't surprising that a town so steeped in history would have a gem of a genealogy library.

T. Elmer Cox Historical and Genealogy Library
Greeneville, Tennessee

Something else old, my reason for visiting the Cox Library was to hopefully locate more information about my husband's Great Grand Uncle, Humphrey Padgett.  According to information I found in a variety of sources, Humphrey Padgett married Mahala Holston in Greene County in 1848.  I went to the Cox Library to see if I could locate more than an index listing of their marriage.

Shortly after I arrived, the helpful lady in the library office pulled an index for me which listed this marriage.  She asked if I wanted a copy of the county's paperwork for this marriage.  Oh, yes!  Within a few minutes I saw her walking toward the library's copier holding two pieces of brittle, tan paper with frayed edges - the original marriage bond and marriage license documents for Humphrey and Mahala.  It is one thing to read historical facts in a published index.  It is quite another to see the actual 165-year-old paper even if it was only for the length of time it took her to make my copies.

Marriage License (inside) for Humphrey Padgett and Mahala Holston (copy)
original housed in the T. Elmer Cox Library, Greeneville, TN

Marriage License (outside) for Humphrey Padgett and Mahala Holston (copy)
original housed in the T. Elmer Cox Library, Greeneville, TN

Now I have great support for saying that Humphrey Pagett (sic) and Mahala Holston were married in Greene County Tennessee on 28 September 1848 by Justice of the Peace George Kenney.  Furthermore, I appreciated those in Greene County, Tennessee who decided to move so many of the old records from the Courthouse to be stored at the Cox Library.

Now for something new.  I upgraded to a smartphone last month, and I put it to great use at the Cox Library.  I took pictures of a number of pages from some of the library's collection.  Another researcher started doing the same thing at her table, and for a few minutes we sounded like "dueling iPhones".  Once home I moved the photos to Dropbox, and now I can look at them on my desktop monitor.  Sweet!

Something else new, the two computers in the Cox Library were in constant use throughout my visit.  No problem.  I used my smartphone to log into the regional library consortium and hunt for resources using the online catalog for the Greeneville Greene County Library System.  I just might not grumble so much about the cost of my data plan when I get the next bill for my new phone.

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