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An unexpected connection — Jason A. Smith

Jason A. Smith covers government and politics for the Henry Daily Herald. He can be reached via e-mail at jsmith@henryherald.com.

Jason A. Smith covers government and politics for the Henry Daily Herald. He can be reached via e-mail at jsmith@henryherald.com.

I have learned so much about Henry County since I started working in the area five years ago.

I had very little interaction with the county when I was younger. My dad would drive through McDonough after exiting Interstate 75, upon returning from our family vacations in Florida, but that’s about it.

I rarely went to McDonough or Stockbridge. Hampton was a nebulous concept, at best, in my mind, and I knew nothing at all about Locust Grove.

Since that time, however, I have developed a strong connection with each of these cities, and with the county as a whole.

This connection took on a new level of significance, recently, in light of a discovery made by my wife a few weeks ago.

For the last several months, she has been conducting a genealogy study, researching her family history, and mine. We’ve been able to learn a considerable amount regarding how our ancestors came to this country, long ago, and various events which transpired along the way.

For instance, my wife found a copy, on her computer, of my great-grandfather’s World War I draft card. But, that’s not even the most startling find she has encountered.

A few nights ago, she called me over to her computer to show me something she found on one of her genealogy web sites — something I was not expecting to see.

It was then that I learned that my paternal great-grandfather, and his father before him, were each born in Henry County.

To say I was shocked would be an understatement.

As I understand it, Henry County was much larger, land-wise, than it is now. But, regardless, I never dreamed my family would have such a connection to the community.

Ever since I learned about this connection, I have begun viewing the county in a different way. Never again will I see Henry in the detached manner of my youth.

I’ve also been asking all sorts of questions in my mind, as of late, about my family and its connection to the community.

Where exactly, in Henry, did my family live in days past? What did the area look like back then? Were my ancestors at all involved in the community in those days?

I may never know the answers to those questions, unless we are able to find a record of such things.

I do know, however, that I want to try. I want to see if there are any other gems of knowledge to uncover about my family, whether in connection with this area or not.

I also know, as a result of my wife’s recent discovery, that I can be truly justified in calling Henry home.

Jason A. Smith covers government and politics for the Henry Daily Herald. He can be reached via e-mail at jsmith@henryherald.com.