New “Two Brothers” book offers great example of family history writing

AJC file photo

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AJC file photo

Every now and then, a family history book comes along that’s everything a family history book should be.

“Two Brothers: Reddick and Lovick Pierce, Their Heritage and Their Descendants, 2nd edition,” researched and compiled by Julia Pierce Tomlinson and Susan Sloan, meets that high level of scholarship. The first edition was published in 1981, written by Lovick Wilson Pierce and his sister, Esther Pierce Maxell. Tomlinson, who is Lovick Pierce’s daughter, decided to revise, update and fully document the family with the help of Sloan, a professional genealogist.

The first chapter is retained from the original to show continuity and background from the first book. The authors use a genealogy computer program and footnotes appear throughout, documenting the sources, thus giving a rich background to everything included. On some pages, the footnotes cover more space than the text, rare in a family history.

While the book is an important work for the Pierce family and its many descendants, it’s also valuable in documenting major Methodist figures in Georgia, including the Rev. Lovick Pierce (1785-1879) and his son Bishop George Foster Pierce (1811-1884). A chapter, “Ministers, Missionaries, and other Servants of the Methodist Church,” covers 25 family members who served Methodism. There are many quality photographs throughout, a bibliography and a full-name index. The book should serve as a good example for others contemplating writing a family history to aspire to. Available for $65.34 payable to and mailed to WLP Properties, Mailbox 306, 4355 Cobb Parkway, Suite J, Atlanta, Ga., 30339. For information, contact Wilds Pierce at A copy is at the Georgia Archives.

DNA testing companies’ comparison chart

A good chart comparing DNA autosomal testing companies is in the March/April issue of “Family Tree Magazine.” The chart compares 23andMe, AncestryDNA, Family Tree DNA, Living DNA (from the United Kingdom) and My Heritage DNA. The chart and the article, “The Class of 2018,” were written by Diahan Southard, a national DNA expert. It’s available at newsstands or see FamilyTreeDNA of Houston is the only one where email contact is direct and not “brokered.”

Map research

A historical maps cheat sheet, including a glossary of map terminology, can be found as an insert in the above-mentioned issue of “Family Tree Magazine.” It includes some great websites for locating historical maps.

Contact Kenneth H. Thomas Jr., P. O. Box 901, Decatur, GA 30031 or