Archive for the ‘Genealogy/Historic News’ Category

Georgia Archives In Danger of Closing to the Public

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

On March 11, 2011 the Georgia legislature approved a bill that COULD result in the Ga Archives closing to the public. Below is a letter from FOGAH Chair, Virginia Shadron that was posted on FOGAH:

The Fiscal Year 2012 budget that passed the Georgia House of Representatives on March 11 as HB 78 includes budget reductions that could result in the State Archives closing its doors to the public.

The budget contains two items that together would reduce the Archives’ budget by at least $300,000.

The Archives’ base budget, after preceding budget cuts, is $4,643,588. Over 65% of that goes to pay fixed costs (such as rent) that cannot be reduced. The current bill proposes an additional cut in “personal services and … savings from reduced hours …” in the amount of $260,458. The second way in which the Archives’ budget is eroded is that the House budget does not fund the annual increase in the Archives’ rent, an amount of more than $40,000 for FY12.

Altogether, the additional cuts to personal services and the failure to fund the rent increase means that the Archives’ sustains a critical $300,000 in cuts. You might wonder, “What is the fuss about?” That shortfall can come from one place only—and that is staff.

Without intervention the Archives will almost certainly be forced to close its doors to the public, reduce scanning operations and preservation activities, and eliminate most transfers of records from state agencies—the records that protect Georgia financially and legally.

The House version of the budget now goes to the Senate for adjustment and passage. Call and write your state senator immediately and ask that a minimum of $300,000 be restored to the Archives budget! Go to and click on “Find Your Legislator” to find your senator.

- Virginia Shadron

Collection of Free Genealogy Books

Monday, January 24th, 2011

DMK Heritage is a company that is doing a huge favor to some of us. They are automating old genealogy books, read their About Us page to see all the details.

We take each book, scan it, use a word processor to make the document searchable and put it into an easily readable “Times” font. We also index the book and provide for easy navigation in Adobe Reader 5.0 (free off the internet) and Apple (Mac) Preview.

They also offer free updates if they ever update a CD that you buy from them, you can’t get better customer service than that!!

DMK also offers a selection of small free genealogy books that you can download to your computer. Those books can be found here: You simply click on the book you want and then click download on the page it takes you too and it will prompt you to download a zip file of the edition. The books they offer at the moment are:


1. •History of Crisp Co. DAR 1916
2. •History of Washington Co. by Ella Mitchell, 1924


1. • History or Russellville & Logan Co. by Finley 1878
2. •Old Kentucky Deeds: Lincoln Co. 1779-1787
3. •Old Kentucky Deeds: Fayette Co. 1782-179

North Carolina

1. • Marriage Bonds of Tryon County NC from 1769-1870.
2. •Friends Records of Births and Deaths, Cane Creek, NC
3. •St. Bartholomew’s Parish, NC
4. •Bertie Co. Wills (1795-1840 abt.) NCHGR
5. •Bertie Co. Marriages 1762-1834 (1809-1819 missing) NCHGR

South Carolina

1. • Annals and Parish Register of St. Thomas - St. Denis SC
2. •St. James Church, Goose Creek, SC 1706-1909
3. •Marriage Notices in SC & American General Gazette
4. •Chronicles of St. Mark’s Parish Santee Circuit Williamsburg Township, SC.
5. •French & Swiss Protestants in Charleston the Santee, SC Naturalization Records 1695-96
6. •Vestry of St. Matthew’s Parish, SC 1769-1838
7. •History of Grandal Shoals (Cherokee & Union Co., SC
8. •History of Fairfield Co., SC by Ederington
9. •The Parish of St. Michael, SC
10 •South Carolina in the Rev. War. by A. Southron


1. • History of Overton County, Tenn. by Goodpasture.
2. •Reminiscences of Early Settlements & Settlers of McNairy Co., Tenn. by Gen. Marcus Wright


1. • Lunenburg County, Va. Wills 1746-1825
2. •Frederick Parish, Va. 1744-1780, Churches, Chapels, etc.
3. •Revolutionary Soldiers and Sailors for Northampton Co., VA
4. •Virginia Wills Before 1799 by Wm. M. Clemens
5. •Historical Sketches of “Old Bruton Church” Williamsburg, Va.
6. •Williamsburg Wills Abt. 1750-1825
7. •Old Surry, Va.
8. •History of Hampton & Eliz. City Co. Va. Tyler 1922
9. • Scotch-Irish in the Valley of Virginia by Waddell
10. •Some Emigrants to Virginia by W. G. Stanard

West Virginia

1. •History of Marion Co., W. VA. by Geo. A. Dunnington
2. •Sketches of Wood Co. W. VA by S. C. Shaw


1. •Scotch-Irish in America by Dinsmore
2. •Scotch-Irish in the Valley of Virginia by Waddell

Who Do You Think You Are 2011

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

I just saw a commercial for the new season of NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are, showing a few of the people they are going to be doing stories on.

This particular commercial showed:  Tim McGraw, Kim Cattrall, Vanessa Williams and Lionel Richie. The Associated Press also says Ashley Judd, Steve Buscemi and Rosie O’Donnell will be included.

Season 2 will premier Friday, January 21st  I can’t wait!!

Ancestry buys Footnote

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Another one bites the dust

On September 23, 2010 I got some of the worst genealogy news possible.. Footnote had sold out to Ancestry.  This came so far out of left field I am left speechless.

Of course the press release had ZERO details on how our subscriptions to either were going to be handled and I fear for the worst.  I am SO tired of Ancestry eating up the genealogy world.  People think microsoft is bad?  Ancestry has them beat hands down.  They are not going to stop until they own the world.  I fully expect a press release one day citing that they own the word Genealogy.

Footnote was an awesome site, their images the best on the web bar none, their content saved people money all over the world and their subscription rate was well worth the price.  Now we are left to wonder if we currently have subscriptions to both, if they are going to be combined and what kind of rate hike are we in store for?

Now, more than ever, people NEED to start sharing their resources with others for free.  So many people that research just do not have the funds to pay subscription fee after subscription fee or to travel to get to the information.  If you have resources, you really should consider volunteering with RAOGK (Random Acts of Genealogy Kindness) and help spread the cause of free genealogy. You can go here to learn how you can help.

Jackson County, Georgia, Newspaper Clippings, Jackson Herald, 1883-1885

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Faye Poss releases new book

Many of you North Georgia researchers know the name Faye Poss.  If you don’t, you should.  Faye has helped countless numbers of researchers over the years with the collections she publishes and for that we are eternally grateful. She takes genealogy research to a whole new level.

In the past she has released about 15 books for Clarke, Hancock, Jackson and Wilkes county and newspaper records and her newest book ‘Jackson County, Georgia, Newspaper Clippings, Jackson Herald, 1883-1885‘ has been released and is for sale on her website

I would personally like to thank Faye for her years of dedication and hard work that have proved invaluable for the information some of us just don’t have the time to get in the car to drive to find.

If you haven’t taken the time to look at her  books and have research in the N.Ga area I really suggest you do so.

Rest in Peace Bonnie Johnson Selig

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

The genealogy world lost a good friend today. October 8, 2009, Bonnie Selig succumbed to Cancer. I “met” Bonnie awhile back through our volunteer work with RAOGK and it was obvious from the start she was a special person and a credit to a world I love so much… genealogy. I found Bonnie to be a warm, witty, funny person with a big heart.

Earlier this year when I took her spot on the staff of RAOGK, I prayed she would make a full recovery so that she could come back full time to the world she loved, and she served that world in the best possible way until she no longer could. People from across the nation benefited from her volunteer work and passion.

Bonnie will be missed in many ways by many people, and one of those people will be me.

My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends who’s main solace right now is that she is no longer in pain.

Bonnie, you were a shining example to a lot of people and we cared about you in our own unique way. Rest in peace lovely lady.

Ancestral Space is 1 Year Old!!

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Thats right, we are one year old and still growing every day!!! June of 2008 saw my baby come to life. My wish to have a social networking site without all the “drama” of myspace that was just for genealogists came true. Many of you know it came as a result of an interview I was asked to take part in, on my opinion if Myspace helped with genealogy…which of course it hadn’t helped me one single bit, other than to identify other genealogists with the same thoughts.

My wish was not so much to be a repository for family trees via gedcom files..there are plenty of other sites that do that…my wish was for a place where genealogist could get together, brainstorm, share information, tips, tricks, news and help each other for FREE. With over 1100 registered users (and growing every day) and 40 discussion groups, hundreds of blogs and thousands of photos, AncestralSpace is carving a place out in the genealogy society that makes me proud. We have been mentioned in a national genealogy magazine, and written about in other genealogy blogs, groups, forums and mailing lists.

I grow prouder of it every day and appreciate all of the members that have gone out of their way to get others to join, sometimes getting slapped on the hand for daring to mention it in certain places. Its members like that, that will make sure we stay around and grow.

Happy Birthday to us!!! And remember, the more people you tell about its, the more people we can help!!!

Join Ancestral Space Here

Here’s to another year everyone


Unearthed caskets hold mystery bodies

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

Unearthed caskets hold mystery bodies


Saturday, April 11, 2009 3:14 AM
By Dana Wilson

LEWIS CENTER, Ohio — Archaeologists found human remains inside some of the caskets that surfaced this week because of erosion along the eastern bank of Alum Creek in Delaware County, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said yesterday.

Four of the five unearthed caskets contained bones, but their identities are a mystery because no headstones or markers were found at the excavation site, said Aaron Smith, an archaeologist with the Corps’ Huntington District.

“That’s worsened, in this case, because records of the cemetery were burned in a fire,” Smith said.

The remains were buried at least 50 years ago in what was once Cheshire Cemetery, but they apparently were left behind when the Alum Creek Dam was built in 1973 and the cemetery was relocated.

Remnants of pine boxes that lined the graves were exposed along the reservoir’s shoreline, Smith said. The caskets will remain intact during the Corps’ investigation out of respect for the deceased and their families. “We’re not opening them up entirely.”

The Corps already has contracted with DeVore-Snyder Funeral Home, which is authorized to move the remains, Corps officials said.

“What’s expected is, they’ll move those remains to the cemetery where all the other caskets were moved,” said Chuck Minsker, a Corps spokesman.

The site is 2 miles north of the Alum Creek Dam near the intersection of Cheshire and Africa roads. Authorities have roped off that area, and park officers are monitoring it to discourage the curious.

The Corps plans to search for more remains in five or six nearby areas, Smith said.

Early records of the old Cheshire Cemetery were kept by a local family but were destroyed when the family’s home was struck by lightning and caught fire, said Bill Wachtel, whose grandparents lived on a farm that was across the street from the former cemetery.

The reservoir’s construction was hotly contested because it buried a lot of local farms, he said. His grandparents moved in

1974 when the area was flooded.

“I hunted all that ground up there when I was a kid,” Wachtel said. “My grandfather was probably the last one to move.”

He and his grandfather helped move the cemetery when it was relocated by the Corps, and he said he suspects that other graves haven’t been unearthed.

“There’s more there,” he said.

Online family history company’s April Fool’s joke gets big response

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

This begs the question…when does a joke become a lie and vice versa…am I the only one bothered by the tactics of this “april fools joke”? Especially when the president flat out says he’s making money off of it

The Salt Lake Tribune

A Provo company drove up its Web traffic significantly with a little April Fool’s joke involving President Barack Obama and 18 million users of Facebook., a 2 -year-old family and social networking company, sent out e-mails to active users of its “We’re Related” application on Facebook, the Web site that allows people to connect with each other and share information about their lives.

“Hi,” said the e-mail, “Barack Obama (Washington, DC) has confirmed you as his fourth cousin once removed.”

The e-mail mimicked those the company sends out to users of “We’re Related,” which allows customers to connect to family members via their Facebook pages.

Steve Nickle, president of, said the joke drove up traffic to the company’s Web site, where users learned the message was an April Fool’s joke.

“We already have very significant traffic,” he said. “Today we’ve had three to five times more traffic than normal.”

Nickle said that only a small percentage of people did not find the joke funny.

The company’s Facebook application has been downloaded 34 million times, Nickle said, ranking it in the top five at that site. The e-mail was sent only to those who were actively using “We’re Related.”

Nickle said the application drives traffic to the company’s Web site and also allows it to sell targeted ads.

The company, which is readying a family social networking site, provides access

to genealogy and family history records. It has run on venture capital but Nickle said the company has a positive cash flow.

Alabama mass grave may contain bodies from 1870s epidemic

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Construction workers at a city lot in downtown Montgomery stumbled upon numerous bodies Tuesday morning. At least one mud-colored skull and a large bone could be seen protruding through the freshly broken dirt.

Montgomery Police spokesman Major Huey Thornton said it’s believed the bodies are from a mass grave of victims who died of a Yellow fever outbreak sometime in the early 1800’s.

A structure built on the burial mound in the 1940’s was recently torn down in order for the city to build a new complex, Thornton said. He added that officials don’t believe there’s any cause for concern. The lot where the remains were found butts up against the Oakwood Cemetery property.

State historians say the burials were quite common in the 19th century as Yellow fever spread throughout the south. “They had to bury the bodies quickly,” said state archivist Rickie Brunner. “They were scared that having dead bodies around may spread the disease even more.”

With construction now at a standstill, research begins. “Burials are always an interesting window in the past, because we forget what things were like at that time,” Brunner said.

The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia says Yellow fever is transmitted to humans through mosquitoes. The disease is common in tropical regions like Africa and parts of South America according to the CDC, and is very rare in the United States. In fact, there hasn’t been an epidemic of the illness in the U.S. since 1905.

Research showed that the outbreaks caused mass panic and quarantines. The checking of boat passengers and train riders for symptoms was not uncommon. And though the mass grave is making news today for having been under our feet for so long without our knowledge, it too was a common practice when the fever claimed its victims.

The construction site has now been turned over to a historical society for research purposes. It’s not known when, or if construction will begin again on that site.

Discuss here

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