Posts tagged ‘Georgia’

November 10, 2012

Georgia Probate Records, 1742 – 1975, Now Available Online at FamilySearch

I’m very pleased to announce that FamilySearch has added digital images of microfilmed probate records for Georgia counties, dating from 1742 to 1975. I did a quick look-see at a couple of the counties, and was pleased at the amount of available records.

A word of caution: not all probate records that have been microfilmed are available there. In Rabun County, for instance, there are several earlier volumes of probate records that have been microfilmed, but which aren’t online at FamilySearch. And, of course, there are most likely many probate records available at the county level or otherwise that have not been microfilmed at all. On the other hand, the available collection is significant, and should go far in helping researchers find information about their families.

To view the records, go to FamilySearch. From the main page, scroll down and under “Browse by Location” click on “United States.” On the left-hand side of the next page, click on “Georgia.” In the middle of that page, click on “Georgia, Probate Records, 1742 – 1975.” Finally, click on the link under “View Images in this Collection,” and then on the county of interest.

February 16, 2012

Three Upcoming Programs for Georgia Researchers

Georgia genealogists have three opportunities to learn and grow as researchers in programs to be held in March and April of this year.

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January 8, 2010

The Importance of Local Research

Many professional genealogists are located in and around major research centers. Here in Georgia, for instance, of the four Certified Genealogists listed on the Board for Certification of Genealogists‘ web site, three are located in the Greater Atlanta area, and one is just north of there in Jasper. Similarly, a search of researchers for hire through the Association of Professional Genealogists‘ web site gives a long list of researchers, most of whom live in or around the Metro Atlanta region.

When reading research guides, the general consensus seems to be this: use the larger repositories first, the local ones as a last resort.

I’m not sure why the vast majority of researchers feel this way. It has long been my experience that research on the local level is vastly superior to research in other places. Yes, there are many important collections held outside of local areas, but there are also many important and often overlooked records held locally.

One record set I’ve used recently here in Rabun County is the early Writ Records, bound volumes held at the local courthouse that describe early court actions (expanding upon the legal actions detailed in the corresponding minute books). These books have never been microfilmed; no copy exists outside of the original volumes held here, that I know of. Most researchers might overlook them as being genealogically insignificant, yet I have found, in the most cursory of searches, several instances of genealogical “proof” not found elsewhere.

In North Carolina, beginning researchers are told that most of the original county level records have been removed to the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh. This is true, to an extent. Yes, many of the bound volumes of court records, including will books, have been moved, but there are many other records of significant genealogical and historical value remaining in the hands of local repositories. Of the three North Carolina counties in which I have conducted research over the past six months (Clay, Jackson, and Macon), I have found on the local level several unmicrofilmed record sets (either bound volumes or loose records) not found at the State Archives.

The hard truth of the matter is this: different record sets, documents, and collections are held at different locations. Concentrating all one’s time at one repository, even a large one such as a state archives, is a short-sighted practice. While it is true that local researchers need to expand their searches into non-local repositories, it is equally true that non-local researchers will never have a full grasp of an area’s records unless they are willing to visit that area’s local repositories.

November 2, 2009

Sitting Up With the Dead, Friday, November 13, 2009

The Northeast Georgia Genealogical Society is partnering with the Hall County Library in Gainesville, GA, to host “Sitting Up with the Dead” on Friday, November 13, 2009, from noon until midnight. Cost is $12 per person; entry fee and registration must be received by Monday, November 9, 2009.

This is a wonderful opportunity for area researchers to explore the Sybil Wood McRay Genealogy and Local History Collection. For those who have never used it, most of the resources located therein are catalogued in the Hall County Library System‘s catalogue.

More information is available through the Northeast Georgia Genealogical Society’s web site, above.

April 1, 2009

Historic Georgia Newspapers

Valerie over at Begin with ‘Craft’ has compiled a nifty list of historic Georgia newspapers whose images have been digitized and placed online. All of the sites she mentions are for-pay, but this list will help you compare what’s online and where so that you can determine which subscriptions you might need to purchase in order to access these wonderful resources.

If you’re old school and would rather use the microfilm, the University of Georgia initiated a Georgia Newspaper Project several years ago, wherein they attempted to track down and microfilm extant copies of all known historic Georgia newspapers. To search the online catalogue of the collection, you will need to know the city where the newspaper was published. As far as I know, the University of Georgia is the only repository holding the entire microfilmed collection, although other libraries and research repositories should have microfilmed copies of historic newspapers which were published in or near their locality.

Begin with ‘Craft’ is an excellent guide to online resources for those researching in Georgia. Valerie’s posts are well-written, concise, and informative, and I highly recommend her work for those who need that extra helping hand to find their Peach State ancestors.

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