Mr. and Mrs. Carlton Montgomery of Rome announce the engagement of their daughter, Brandy Reshunna Montgomery, to Clifton Relayne Dudley, son of Mattie Dudley of Cedartown.
Miss Montgomery is a 2002 graduate of Rome High School, a 2006 graduate of Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a 2012 graduate of Argosy University with a master’s degree in Community Counseling. She is employed as an addictions counselor in Rome.
The bride-elect is the great granddaughter of Lorene Edmonson, and the granddaughter of Mary Lee Chubbs and Mr and Mrs. Charles Montgomery, all of Rome. She is the sister of Natalie Ellis and Carla Montgomery of Rome.
The groom-elect is the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dudley of Gadsden, Ala. He is the brother of Tiny Lewis of Piedmont, Ala., Frankie Wheeler of Cedartown and William Dudley of Rockmart. He is a 1993 graduate of Cedartown High School and served in the United States Navy. Dudley is employed by Meggitt in Rockmart.
The couple will exchange vows at Belle Terra in Cave Spring on Saturday, June 29 at 6:30 p.m. with a reception immediately following. Formal invitations will be sent.
Uncovering the Past: One woman’s quest to uncover her family’s past sparks a resurgence in interest for lost local community Freeman Town
Severo Avila, Features EditorRn T.Com
May 26, 2013 | 61 views | 0 | 3 | |
Bits of information about the black community of Freeman Town (on what is now Berry College property) are finally coming to light. This photograph shows the sons of Freeman Town resident Sanford Freeman, brother of the community’s founder, Thomas Freeman. Their names are Arthur, Everette, Wesley, James and Otis. Everett’s granddaughter is the catalyst for much of what is now known about the community.
As a child, Cheryl Freeman Snipes would sit next to her grandfather’s recliner as he cut slices in a Red Delicious apple and shared it among his grandchildren. He would tell them of a place they had never been, a place he grew up — Freeman Town, Georgia.
“He would say ‘It’s a beautiful sight to see the red clay dirt in the morning shine like gold’,” Cheryl said of her grandfather, Everett Cathey Freeman. “We all grew up in Michigan so we had no clue where this place was. But my grandfather never forgot Freeman Town.”
In fact, Everett Cathey Freeman was doing his best to pass on the legacy of Freeman Town. One hundred and fifty years ago, Thomas Freeman — Everett’s great uncle — established a settlement on what is now Berry College property, where six black families would eventually live and flourish.
Two years ago the Rome News-Tribune ran an article about the forgotten community whose residents, cultures and stories were all but lost to history… until Cheryl decided it was worth saving.
“I started doing a little research and came across the article in the Rome News-Tribune,” Cheryl said. “Berry College had very little information about Freeman Town and was asking for descendants to share what the knew.”
Freeman immediately contacted Rebecca Henry at the Martha Berry Museum. That was two years ago.
Since then she has enlisted the help of Berry College employees including Sherre Harrington to piece together the history of a small community and the families who lived there — her family.
Using court records, deeds, marriage licenses, death certificates and any other bits of official information they could get their hands on, Cheryl, Harrington and other researchers slowly pieced together bits and pieces of information about Freeman Town and its residents. Of the entire community — it’s houses, school and church, all that remains is a few graves in a neglected cemetery.
“From records we know that Thomas Freeman bought somewhere between 330 and 500 acres which then became Freeman Town,” Cheryl said.
But Freeman’s own past came to light as well. Military records show that in October 1864 he was captured as a prisoner of war and remained as such until April 1866. In October 1871 he purchased 80 acres of land from a G.B. Gentry for $130. In 1889 he applied for pension for service during the Civil War and his Civil War pension file shows that he died on April 18, 1893. He was buried at Freeman Town and has a military headstone.
A part of Cheryl’s search wasn’t just for information, but for people. She wanted to construct a family tree, and as relatives came forth, so the tree began to grow. The families of Freeman Town — the Montgomerys, Joneses, Rogers and Sanfords, and of course the Freemans began coming forward.
“What we came up with was that the Freeman family, Thomas’ brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, married into the other families.”
The researchers found that the descendants of Freeman Town residents had scattered to almost all the states in the South and even the Midwest.
Cheryl, a Michigan resident found Freddie Freeman Dye in the same state.
Freddie, who was raised in Rome and attended Main High School, is Thomas Freeman’s great granddaughter. Her father Frederick was Thomas’ grandson.
“When I learned Cheryl was trying to put all this together I thought it was marvelous,” Freddie said. “I gave her all the information I had. And the things I found out about my great grandfather really surprised me. He was able to accomplish so much at a time when those things seemed impossible.”
The information coming to light is not just a family history. It’s also a history of the Freeman Town community and the Rome community. Cheryl, Harrington and the other researchers are compiling all their data, including documents, photos and a family tree, on the genealogy web site Ancestry.com.
And in what could prove to be a very special event, Cheryl has organized a family reunion for the known descendants of Freeman Town. For two years she has been sending letters and emails and seeking out family across the country.
On July 20, more than 175 people will at Berry College, at what was once Freeman Town, to meet — most for the very first time — and share a common ancestry.
“My daughter and I will definitely be there,” said Freddie Freeman Dye, who will make the trip from Michigan. “I’m very excited to go. This is a part of me that I’ve never known. I’m thrilled to know more.”
W.C. and Dorothy Dunaway of Rome announce the engagement of their daughter, Ashley Marie Dunaway of Atlanta, to Hollis Wyatt Rish of Flowery Branch, son of Bobby and Beverly Rish of Arlington. Who’s announcing the engagement: Brides Parents
The bride-elect is a 2004 graduate of Armuchee High School and a 2009 graduate of Georgia Southern University where earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing and was a member of the Kappa Delta sorority.
She is employed as a nurse clinician at Northside Hospital in Atlanta.
Miss Dunaway is the sister of Jessica Leigh Dunaway of Birmingham, Jennifer Lynn Dunaway of Savannah and Larkin Albert Dunaway of Rome. She is the granddaughter of mr. and Mrs. George Albert Bourne of Rome and the alte Mr. and Mrs. Larkin Jackson Dunaway.
The groom-elect is a 2002 graduate of Southwest Georgia Academy and a 2007 graduate of the University of Georgia where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Engineering. He is an engineer for Georgia Power in Atlanta.
Rish is the brother of Robert Preston Rish of Arlington. He is the grandson of the late Mr. and mrs. Robert Rish of Edison and the late Mr. and Mrs. Wyatt Brooks of Arlington.
The wedding is scheduled for July 20, 2013 at Armuchee Baptist Church in Rome. A reception at Burk Farm will follow the ceremony.
Anna Kate Orr and Dr. Charles Thomas Hopkins III were married at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 6, 2013 in Morris Chapel at Darlington School.
The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Parkman Orr of Rome. The groom is the son of Dr. and Mrs. Charles Thomas Hopkins Jr. of Griffin.
Dr. James Mooneyhan performed the double-ring ceremony. The light of candles illuminated the chapel entrance and bouquets of ivory Escimo roses marked family seating. Mass bouquets of ivory garden flowers, including roses and hydrangea, were placed in the chancel area.
A program of wedding music was provided by organist, Donna Hester and trumpeter, Adam Hayes. Selections included “Ava Maria,” “Canon in D,” “Trumpet Voluntary,” and “Hornpipe.”
Caroline Cranfill Kaufman was the maid of honor. Bridesmaids were Amber Rae Barker, Fatema Quresh Bandukwala, Paige MacLaurin Hopkins, sister of the groom, Frances Elizabeth Monteith, Strom Shelfer Mull, Amanda Corbett Pierce, Christine Trulock Smith, and Sloan Matthews Walthall. They wore one-shoulder floor length silk shantung sesame colored dresses. They carried hand-tied bouquets of ivory Escimo roses with ranunculus and eucalyptus berries tied with gold satin.
Emily Claire Butler and Stephanie Anne Butler served as program attendants.
The bride, given in marriage by her parents and escorted by her father, wore a gown of white silk with a bodice of embroidered lace with a silk satin bateau neck. The waist of the gown was cinched with a satin sash, tied into a silk bow on the open back of the gown. The bride completed the look with a cathedral length ivory veil with English net and French Alencon lace trim. The bride carried a bouquet of ivory David Austin roses with white ranunculus tied with ivory satin.
The father of the groom was the best man.
Groomsmen were John McArthur Freeman, Joshua Thomas Hoffman, William James Orr, brother of the bride, Thomas Joseph Pierce, Jeffrey Alan Roeder, Shepard Renn Smith, Jason Eric Sweat, and Wesley Joyner Walthall. The ushers were Ryan Patrick Gibson, Jack Edward Hall III, Taylor Wright McLendon, William Benjamin Smisson, and Thomas Dunwoody Reichert.
The mother of the bride wore a formal navy silk crepe dress with cowl neckline and cap sleeves with a fitted bodice and skirt. The mother of the groom wore a sheath silhouette floor length taffeta gown with 3/4 length sleeves in pastel pink with portrait collar and jeweled detail at sleeve. The mothers carried clutch bouquets of ivory roses.
Following the ceremony, a reception was held at the Coosa Country Club. Refreshments included the bride’s four-tier confection. Each alternating white cake layer was filled with raspberry buttercream and strawberry buttercream and the entire confection was covered in buttercream icing accented by ivory garden roses and English ivy.
The groom’s cake was a chocolate cake with chocolate butter cream icing filled with layers of peanut butter with crushed peanut butter cups and white chocolate. The cake was accented with a golf ball on a green grass base.
The evening before the wedding, the groom’s parents hosted a rehearsal dinner at the Coosa Country Club. Other prenuptial parties included a China Shower that was held at La Marie’s hosted by Melanie Arrington, Jennifer Coleman, Marsha Dempsey, and Patricia Smathers; a kitchen shower hosted by the bridesmaids in Rome at the home of Frances Monteith; an engagement party in Griffin hosted by friends of the groom’s family; an engagement party in Macon hosted by friends of the groom’s family; a stock-the-bar shower held in Atlanta hosted by friends of the groom’s family at the home of Alan McCrae, and a bridesmaids’ luncheon hosted by Gayle Pruett, Kathy Cook, Kim Summerall, Jodye Butler and Debie McBurney held at Coosa Country Club.
After their honeymoon trip to Antigua, the couple will reside in Augusta.