More About Us Norwood


More About Us Norwood’s

There were six of us. Margaret “Norwood” Henry, Jimmie “Norwood” Gibbs, Rachel “Norwood” Coody, Jack Norwood, Joe Norwood and Gene Norwood. We all grew up in Newton County, near Porterdale, Georgia. Our farther, John Virgil Norwood, worked for Bibb Manufacturing Company in Porterdale and at one time ran a small dairy. Our Mother, Gordie Mae “Burch” Norwood. worked for just a very short time for the Bibb. She stayed home and raised us kids, which was a full time job if you knew us. We had a wonderful life as kids. There are lots of good memories in our lifetime. One I remember well was sitting on the back porch and churning butter and also helping my daddy feed the cows. We all had to help get wood for our wood-burning stove.



Margaret Wrote

I, Margaret Frances Norwood Henry, was born to Geordie Mae Burch Norwood and John Virgil Norwood on May 22, 1927. I was born in Newton County, Georgia, at the home of my grandparents, Anna and John Norwood.

            In 1928 my mother got "in the family way" and there was need for me to stay with Granny Norwood for a while. My sister, Jimmie Lou, was born in 1929. The family grew fast! In 1931 my baby sister, Rachel Marie, came along. It's almost unbelievable that she was born on my birthday!

            When I started to school in 1933, we moved to Porterdale into a three room house. In the wintertime, it was so cold we had to stay in the middle room. I remember mother cooking biscuits in front of the Franklin heater. Another thing that stands out in my mind is that we girls bathed in a tin tub. We'd follow each other in bathing in the same water.

            In 1935, we moved up the street into a four room house. That's where the first boy, Jack was born in 1937. When Dr. Lovelace came to the house to perform the usual surgical procedure on the baby, we girls were sent for a walk. We came back too early and Jack was crying and yelling to the top of his voice. It made Jimmie Lou, Rachel & I so mad. We thought the doctor was killing our little brother.

            We kids always looked forward to Friday. Our daddy worked for Bibb Mfg. Co. and he got his paycheck on Friday. He'd get his check cashed at the store and buy a big bag of "penny candy" which was divided among Jimmie Lou, Rachel and I. Earlier in the week, daddy would sometimes give us a dime, and we'd go up on Elm Street and buy candy from Miss Clara Moss. Another treat was when the man came around with the ice cream truck. When we'd hear "Hunky John" honk that horn, it was music to our ears, we'd go running. Seems like the candy and ice cream was better in those days than it is now.

            Every Christmas we three girls would write Santa Claus, asking for the same things. Each of us wanted a doll, color book, crayons, tooth brush, tooth paste, fruit, nuts and candy. After moving back to the country, Santa brought one bicycle for all of us to share. Oh what fun!

            We moved to the country the second time in 1938. Daddy bought one acre of land adjoining Granny & Granddaddy Norwood and built us a house. This was the beginning of some more wonderful memories. Most of all was getting two more brothers, Joe and Gene. This made us a happy family of eight. Some of the outstanding events of the good family country life was hog-killing, fireworks at Christmas, cooking bar-b-que and stew, and having family reunions. It wasn't funny when we children had head-lice and the itch. When we had the itch, my poor daddy took his off day and ironed everything he could find (all day long) he said that would help kill the germs.

            When I attended Porterdale High School, I enjoyed playing basket ball and soft ball. I graduated from school in 1944, and then came public working days. My first job was at Allen's 5 and 10, making 50 cents an hour. My second job was at Bibb Mfg. Co. where I inspected twine. Then, I ended up at Oxford Mfg. Co., making sport shirts for several years.

            In 1952 I married Hudson Henry of Newton County. We had three children Becky, Barry and Pamela. We bought land from Hudson's father and built a house on it in 1958. Hudson died on July 16, 1992 and I live alone in the same house. I have five grandchildren, four great grandchildren and one deceased granddaughter.

            I thank God for being with me all through the years. I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior at Porterdale Baptist Church when I was approximately 16 yrs. of age. After I married I began attending High Point Baptist Church. I remain a member there and will try to serve him faithfully as long as I live.

Jimmie Wrote

    I thank God every day for the privilege of being a part of “The Big Burch Family”. The definition of Burch,   to me is LOVE. Then adding Norwood to it means DOUBLE LOVE. My precious Christian mother, with beautiful   black hair, was Gordie Mae Burch. My wonderful, God fearing daddy was John Virgil Norwood. They brought six children into the world, in this order: Margaret, Jimmie Lou, Rachel, Jack, Joe and Gene. I’ve told Margaret and Rachel that I believe our parents planned to have us girls first so that we could take care of the boys. I was “stuck” with Joe; and when I started dating, my boy friend would give Joe candy to get him out of the living room. I’d like to share with you more of my “country-living” and childhood memories. When I was a young girl (I’m now 74) we had no electric lights, running water or inside bathroom. Monday was “wash day” which meant that three tin tubs and a big black pot had to be filled with water. We carried the water from our Grannie Norwood’s well, across the field and down the path. (It seemed like that path must have been a mile long.) Sometimes we “rated” taking a bath in the last rinse water.

          We three girls were given chores we had to do. We carried stove wood into the house, picked up sweet potatoes in the field after daddy had plowed them up, sat for hours preparing vegetables for canning, and we ironed our own clothes. Churning was one of the hardest jobs! It seemed like it took hours to finish, and my arms would feel like they going to fall off! When we were expecting visitors, or we were to have a reunion, we’d have to sweep two or three acres of yard with a fresh cut brush broom. Seemed like it always “fell my lot” to go to the pasture and get the ‘ole horse, Charlie, so daddy could plow, after working eight hours with Bibb Manufacturing Company in Porterdale, Ga.

          Ya know, we children thought all of that was work, but now we realize it was fun. Speaking of fun, we had lots of it! When adults were having a conversation we were not permitted to ask questions. In fact, we were always told to go and play. That we did! One of my favorite things was making guitars from screen wire and a board. To make “tom walkers” we used a piece of rope and a tin can. A little churn was made with a fruit jar, stick, spool and a small piece of used soap. We girls loved making a “play house” in the woods. We’d make the bed and table with boards and used jar lids for dishes. We even used poison ivy berries for English peas. (I’d have poison ivy all over). We children walked to Porterdale every Saturday to the “picture show”. (This was the highlight of entertainment for the week). We sat through the movie twice and had to walk back home before dark.

          I never did know much about “The Big Burch Family”. How I wish I had asked my parents more about my ancestors. I really cherish the memories of time with my mother’s brothers and sisters. I associate certain things with each of them _ _ _ like picnics and lemon pie, eating toast, fish fry fellowship, white picket fences, etc. Those Aunts and Uncles are in Heaven now, and I proudly name them here: Dennis, Frank, Inez, Charlie, Andrew, Joe, Lois and Penn.

          The greatest day in history brought so much fulfillment and joy to me and to others! On June 21, 2003 over two hundred Burch family members came together for a reunion in Covington, Georgia: and we had a wonderful time. I kept wishing the ancestors could have been there: but I really believe they were looking down from Heaven, enjoying it as much as we were. One outstanding part of the day was the presentation of “The Big Burch Book”. I had done research for many years, spending much time in libraries, courthouses and cemeteries. My brother, Joe, joined me later on and became the most important person in making the book what it is today. His computer knowledge really did help, and the book would not have been possible without him. He remains active and would appreciate any information and pictures you might have, in order to continue the Burch research. All this has been quite interesting to me because I had such a desire to learn more about the family and share it with others.

          I am so blessed to have a good husband, daughter and two precious granddaughters. I have tried to teach our offspring the principals of our family to love and serve God, love family and to love and believe in themselves to accomplish high goals. I also pray that my offspring along with many other younger Burch members, will continue to have fellowship and communication after we older ones have “left the scene”.

          Never forget that I appreciate all the love shown me by “The Big Burch Family.” May God bless each one of you. Jimmie Lou “Norwood” Gibbs

Rachel Wrote:

      My name is Rachel Marie "Norwood" Coody. I was born on May 22, 1931, the birthday of my "big sister" Margaret, who has meant so much to me. I was born at the home of the parents of my beloved Daddy, who was John Virgil Norwood. My mother was Gordie Mae "Burch" Norwood, so I'm another very proud member of "The Big Burch Family" I agree with my other sister, Jimmie, who said that we three girls must have come along first in order to take care of our three brothers. I thank God that I was born to such  wonderful Christian parents, because their influence has made my life more meaningful.

    I have so many happy memories of my childhood, and I'd like to share some of them with you. I fed my youngest brother, Gene, a lot of vanilla pudding. I also "bumped" him to sleep so much in a straight chair that I wore the chair legs off. We children had quite a few chores. We'd go to the woods and get young dogwood branches, tie them together and make brush brooms. We'd pick up sweet potatoes from the patch, pick off peanuts and "tie up" onions and hang them under the house. Daddy would get the ole mule hitched up to the wagon and we would go into the woods and gather lydard, found in the heart of dead pine trees and stumps. Ya know we couldn't start a fire without it. I had to help daddy milk the cows. I never will forget one particular morning. It was so very cold and I was so sleepy that I must have pinched the cow as I was "squeezing down" for the milk. Of all things, she stuck her foot into the bucket of milk. My job so many times was to churn, take up the butter and mold it, then pour up the "butter" milk. We cooked with a wood stove. We washed dishes in a dish pan. Mother liked for me to wash them because I would use a rag and take the grease off the water and polish the stove with it. Lastly, we children even had to empty the ole "Slop Jar"!

    Now, I want to tell you about some of the real "fun things". We enjoyed a radio, even though we dad have to beat on it to get it to play. We did manage to hear parts of the news and "The Grand Old Opera". We were even privileged to go to the picture show some, even though we did have to pick up potatoes sometimes before we could go. It was so much fun to go into town every Saturday and just sit in the car and watch the people going up and down the street. That was a big part of our entertainment for the week. Sometimes mother and daddy would buy us some hot dogs, but we would have to wait until we got home to eat them, and we'd nearly starve smelling them. One thing that we enjoyed so much was riding the bicycle. One Christmas Santa really took us by surprise and brought us a bicycle to share. One day I was riding too fast down our steep driveway, and I "strattled" a peach tree at the end of the driveway. I think it "knocked me out". Speaking of Christmas it was always great! Daddy would give each of us girls a dollar and carry us to town. Can you believe _ _ _ I would buy everyone a Christmas gift. Every Christmas I would ask Santa for a baby doll, coloring book, colors, tooth brush, tooth paste, fruit, nuts and candy.

    I guess my less favorite memory is having Rheumatic Fever when I was in the fifth grade. It was in the wintertime. I couldn't walk, so mother would help me get into a straight chair beside my bed and pull me into the "sitting room" near the fireplace. There was always a good roaring fire. I would feel so sorry for daddy when he and mother would carry me to the doctor. There was a flight of stairs and daddy would have to carry me up those stairs. My legs would draw up into my stomach and I'd think we were never going to get to the top. I'll never forget my grandmother Norwood's "home remedy". She would fry earth worms, rub the oil on my legs and then wrap them in old fashioned oil cloth. I don't know if it helped or not, but I'm sure it didn't hurt anything. I even had to have my tonsils removed at the end of the illness. I give God the glory for my recovery. 

    I graduated from high school in 1948 and married three years later. I was blessed in having a good husband, four children, eleven grandchildren, three great grandchildren and two "on the way" at this writing.

    I had not intended to go into adult life, but there is one thing I must add. When we were young adults, my oldest brother, Jack, had major surgery. I waited along with mother and daddy during surgery. Jack later express to me that he believed it was successful because I was there! I cherish that memory so much. Again I thank God for being our healing physician.

    I want to thank my mom and dad for the opportunity of learning the things I learned to do. It really helped in raising a family.

    I also want to thank my sister, Jimmie Lou and my brother, Joe for all the hard work they have done on the Burch genealogy. Then, a special thanks for "The Big Burch Family" book, which is so beautiful and informative. 

    May God bless each one of you! I love you and want you to always remember that I am glad to be a part of the Big Burch Family.

Rachel Coody


Joe Wrote:  

     As for me, “Joe”, I was born one cold day, January 24, 1943 at 2:15 am in the Porterdale, Georgia Hospital by Doctor J. B. Mitchell. I was 21 inches long and weighed 8.14 oz. I attended Porterdale School through the 8th grade and Newton County High School in Covington, Georgia where I graduated in 1961. I worked in the machine shop for Bibb Manufacturing Company for several years. After leaving the Bibb I went to work with an automatic sprinkler company where I did pipe welding. I then returned to the Bibb after about five years and worked as a loom fixer. In 1983 I took a job with Vantage Products Corporation in Conyers, Georgia as a mold repairman. Vantage was a plastic molding company. While there I became the supervisor of the mold shop. Later I became their mold designer and did the entire new product mold design. When the company bought a computer operated milling machine I took the job of programming it to machine the new molds. In 2002 one of the company’s competitors bought the company and in September 2003 closed it down. Being out of a job my sister Jimmie got me started on the genealogy of mother’s family. We together have managed to put what we have on this web site. We hope that every one will enjoy what we have. If anyone has something to add please feel free to email me with what you have. If you have a question please email me. mailto:[email protected]