Genealogy art

Genealogy – Encyclopedia of New Georgia

Genealogy, or researching family history, is a much different field of inquiry in the 21st century than it was in the past. Seen as the pursuit of a great and noble heritage, genealogy was previously treated as a hobby and pastime, especially in the 19th and early 20th centuries. However, genealogy is also the personal history of ordinary people, and each person has a unique genealogy.

Family tree

Courtesy of the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress

Genealogical research forms the backbone of all human history and, when done carefully, can elucidate larger historical events. Studying, for example, the Wars of the Roses in 15th century England requires a study of the family history of the main participants. Likewise, the histories of several families are of particular significance to Georgian history: the genealogy sheds light on the historical connections between the Marburys of Augusta, the Telfairs of Savannah, the Cobbs of Athens, and the Woodruffs of Columbus and ‘Atlanta.

The evolution of genealogy

Tracing one’s genealogy to prove an important lineage was essential in the age of nobility. In England, for example, a royal family’s right to the throne was guaranteed by genealogical research, which provided information on ancestry, marriages and descendants. Proving a family’s nobility through ancestry and marriage persisted until the 20th century, when genealogical research shifted from the work of societies such as the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Daughters of the American Revolution to become an amateur pastime. family historians. Divorce and children born out of wedlock have gone from taboo subjects to full-fledged elements of a genealogical file.

By the end of the 20th century, a number of strong genealogical societies existed in Georgia. These include the Georgia Genealogical Society (founded in 1964), which covers the entire state, and regional organizations such as the Southwest Georgia Genealogical Society (founded in 1968), the Central Georgia Genealogical Society (founded in 1978) and the Augusta Genealogical Society. Company (founded in 1979). Each group publishes a journal; maintains separate research publications, guides or annals; and hosts speakers and special events. Most have ties to a larger genealogical collective, to which they donate publications or act as an informal or even official group of friends.

Specialized in Georgia

The advent of genealogical societies in Georgia spurred the growth of major genealogical collections in public libraries across the state. These collections specialize in Georgian history, but they also include a large number of books, microfilms, and periodicals representing other states and regions. Libraries in Athens, Atlanta, Columbus, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Savannah, Smyrna, and Thomasville house some of the best collections. Several individual genealogical societies, including the Augusta Genealogical Society, have established their own libraries. Private citizens fund other libraries, such as the Ladson Genealogy Library in Vidalia, which is a branch of the Vidalia-Toombs County Library, and private donations support others, including the Ellen Payne Genealogy Library Odom, which is part of Moultrie–Colquitt County. Library.

The Georgia Historical Society of Savannah (founded in 1839) has one of the largest genealogical collections in the state. The Georgia Archives and History Division at Morrow (founded in 1918) offers an extensive collection of books published in Georgia, microfilm from the Georgia County Courthouse Archives, a large collection of family history books and genealogical records published for other states, as well as Georgia’s official records, including land records, which are vital to genealogists. Located adjacent to the Georgia Archives facility is the National Archives and records management for the South East region; this collection contains federal manuscripts from eight southeastern states and includes such items as original Federal Court records, draft World War I (1917-18) records for all of the United States, and records census on microfilm from 1790 to 1930 for the whole country.

Hodgson Hall

Another important genealogical institution in Georgia is the RJ Taylor Jr. Foundation in Atlanta, which was established in 1971 to fund the publication of original genealogical records dating back to before 1851. Through this organization, hundreds of significant Georgia genealogical records have been published. county marriage records, county cemetery books, and excerpts from Georgia newspaper records, which are another major source for historians.

go online

The Internet has added a new dimension to genealogical research. Every county in the United States has a genealogy website through the USGenWeb program. These sites link searchers to county societies, books, others researching the same names, and actual records for a specific county. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (whose members are informally known as Mormons) maintains a genealogy website, which provides access to records and family trees from around the world. The Georgia Death Index, covering 1919 to 1998, is found online and links researchers to a large amount of related material. The Ancestry Library Edition, a version of the ancestry search tool found on the Georgia Death Index site, is available at all public libraries in the state through the GALILEO site.

The Six Rs of Genealogy

Genealogy research involves six basic steps, or the “six Rs” of genealogy:

request information by interviewing relatives;

registration the results at each stage, using genealogy computer programs, charts or handwritten notes;

to research by visiting courthouse sources or other original archives or libraries;

Lily on the context of a time or region through a good county or city history to better understand ancestral and historical circumstances;

exam and revisit previous work, performing the same steps as needed to fill in genealogical blanks and extend a family’s recorded history further back in time; and

— decide whether the results will produce a published book, family reunion, or family tree program.

Of Roots to the trees

The book Roots by Alex Haley and the 1977 television program based on the novel attracted a large number of people to genealogy, in particular inspiring the interest of African Americans in researching their family history and lineage. Several attempts to form African-American genealogical societies in Georgia have been made, leading to the establishment of the Metro Atlanta Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System provides another resource through Auburn Avenue Research. Library on African-American culture and history. But for the most part, little raw genealogical data has been published for African Americans in Georgia, which must rely on basic sources such as the U.S. Census, county records, and the Georgia Archives microfilm collection.

Table of the family book
Table of the family book

Courtesy of the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress