Jimmie Lee’s Location

According to the New Georgia Encyclopedia, Moultrie, Georgia, was founded in 1859 and is the Colquitt County seat.

We find Jimmie Lee JOHNSON in “Moultrie Town” at age four, in a home his father is listed as owning in the 1900 U.S. Census. Jimmie’s older sister Geta is also listed in this Census; at some point there may have been two other children, one named Carrie Belle.

Following are clues and facts that are useful in thinking about what sources to use in a location guide to track Jimmie Lee across the Florida-Georgia line.

The first clue is a name my mother always brings up: “Aunt Thomasina.” We will look at Aunt Thomasina later on; after years of ignoring her, she will prove to be key.

Facts from the 1900 U.S. Census include: Father Thara is a brick mason and owns a home; the enumeration district includes Militia District 1151; Jimmie’s birthdate is listed as 1895, although we have recorded 1896; Grandfather Josiah lives in Hartsfield, Ga., about ten miles west.

Based on the 1900 Census, we will be use Colquitt County as our main location and look for materials and records that cover this area. Based on the information about “Aunt Thomasina,” who may or may not have run a boarding house in Lakeland, Florida, we will also be pointing to some resources in and around that area. Later we move to Hillsborough County, Florida, where Jimmie Lee lived from the 1930s to his death.

Revisiting Jimmie Lee

My notes are sketchy, many from years of fast and loose online searching.

Jimmie Lee Johnson was born in the vicinity of Moultrie, Colquitt County, Georgia, in 1895/1896. He is listed as four years old in the 1900 U.S. Census, living “in town” with one sister and his parents.

The 1900 U.S. Census record is something discovered many years ago when first using the Ancestry databases; I’m not sure I would’ve sought out help or known how to find any of these records if not for the Internet and its zig zagging way of connecting materials. (The past few years are the ones in which I’ve begun to learn better about how to look at a Census sheet and find the clues throughout.)

It was many moons before I really took a look at Jimmie – a sort of ongoing discussion of “finding” my mother’s father has taken up many telephone calls between us. My mom, now 78, doesn’t nor has ever travelled well and doesn’t use the Internet, so this project is something that I’ve taken over in that way that daughters do.

In truth, I didn’t plan to pursue this line because of the common name and the seemingly dead end in the middle, but here I sit mulling over these sketchy notes and giving them some semblance of order.