Our Family History

The Genealogy of the Freeman and Thelma Roland Family


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Freeman Roland and Thelma Giddens met in the small town of Eastman in middle Georgia. Freeman came from a large family of all boys. John Roland and Mary Susan Phillips had 10 boys. With that many boys around it may explain the nicknames that the Roland family is known for. We have “Goat”, “Nan”, “A.C. Pratt”, “JC” and others. Thelma Giddens came from a smaller family in Eastman. The Giddens family is well established in Eastman, Georgia. Freeman and Thelma met, married and established their family in and around Eastman, Georgia. Freeman was a well known and very proficient farmer. Thelma was the household manager and ran things very efficiently and probably was the best cook in the world. Freeman and Thelma had 10 children: 4 girls and 6 boys- including twins- the last born children of Freeman and Thelma. The nicknames continued in the Roland family, “Di”, “Dude”, “Gin”, “Choid”,”Chap”, “Doll”, “Jody” and the list goes on. The girls and boys of Freeman and Thelma grew up in and around farming. Not only could the girls and boys farm, but they were outstanding athletes in their day. From basketball to baseball, the Roland kids could hold their own when on the courts and the fields of Eastman/Dodge County, Georgia. Freeman and Thelma had a large number of grandchildren (27). It was a wonderful time to grow up with such a large number of cousins, uncles and aunts. Each Sunday we gathered in Eastman; it was a new adventure with the food, tree climbing (chinaberry tree), syrup making, and playing in the fields. What a great time we had growing up together. This is our story!

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