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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
Coastal Georgia Genealogical Society
News Update October 2003


COASTAL GEORGIA GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY NEWS & REVIEW (SEPTEMBER 2003)

16 NOVEMBER 2003--Our first day trip this year!  We will be touring our new library facilities located at 208 Gloucester Street in historic downtown Brunswick at 2 p.m., our usual meeting time.

21 SEPTEMBER 2003--Met at the College Place United Methodist Church on Altama Avenue, and basically had a show and tell, and talked about various genealogy software that are available.  Amy Hedrick, our editor, brought in her lap top and gave a demonstration on how to use Family Tree Maker.

Beth Gay, genealogist columnist for the Florida Times Union, has had her column cancelled along with all of the columns in that section.  The reason, lack of advertising.  Apparently the paper is more interested in being an ad circular than an informative tool.


MORE FROM THE GENE-POOL; AFRICAN DNA

To most of us researching our family histories, we have come across the DNA question many times.  For myself I believe it can give you a better insight on your heritage, but it can not solve who your fourth great grandfather was.

So why do this?  Well, some people just have to know if they are related to a certain line of Smiths or Browns.  Some people would like to know their ethnic make up.  Still others may not be able to find their family in court and church records, and knowing what ethnicity they are, can provide clues.  Such is the case of the African-American genealogist.

Now on the market is a DNA test to help find out what tribe in Africa you may have descended from.  Before you get excited, you must realize that this test only provides, for example, 1/16 of your family line.  There are 15/16 of your line you still haven't traced and won't be able to with DNA testing, without knowing more about your family, i.e. documenting your family through paper records.  DNA testing does not provide names.

African Ancestry Inc. offers two types of DNA tests and says it can usually trace at least one family bloodline to specific geographic areas on the African continent. It has compiled a DNA database of 10,000 people representing 85 ethnic groups from Africa. Each of those groups have telltale genetic markers not found in other people. Those markers were passed on generationally and appear in African Americans' cells today.

The most common test is the mitochondrial test, which means that either sex can be tested, whereas the standard DNA test called the Y chromosome test can only be applied to males to trace a paternal line.

Even though this is a vague answer to your heritage, it may help you in your research when your African ancestry line runs out in America, to know where to look in Africa.


WHAT'S IN A NAME?

In Washington D.C., baby naming has come under scrutiny.  A married couple gave birth to a child in 2002 and wanted to give him his mother's surname due to her name's rich Scottish heritage.  The health officials refused, stating that if she was married, she would have to give the child the father's surname.

Outraged, they took it to court, stating that this was a violation of a parent's right to name the child how they saw fit.  The current law states that only single women can give their child their surnames.  The couple stated that this regulation is outdated and needs to be changed.

The new regulation says: "If a child's mother was married at the time of either the child's conception or birth . . . the child's surname shall be entered as the mother's or the father's legal surname at the time of birth, or both that of the mother and that of the father (in any order)."

As of May of 2002, Washington, D.C. babies can have either their father's or mother's surnames.

Image the frustration this will cause to genealogists a hundred years from now?  Especially if this catches on in other states!


INTERNET

<http://www.convictcentral.com/index.html>  Most family historians in Australia regard a convict in their ancestry as enormously desirable. "Convicts to Australia" is intended to guide, inform and entertain those just starting the hunt as well as the more experienced researcher. The site is a 'work in progress' and data is being added regularly.

<http://www.westegg.com/inflation/>  The inflation calculator.  Ever wonder how much $100 was worth in the 1800s.  Well here you can calculate the value of today's dollar against "back thens" dollar.  Calculator spans from 1800 to 2002.

<ftp://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/roots-l/genealog/genealog.perpcal>  A perpetual calendar.  Ever wonder what day of the month your ancestors were born on?  This simple tool will solve those questions.

<http://searchforancestors.com/utility/birthday.html>  A birthday calculator, just enter the age at death and death date.


SEARCHING THE NARA FROM HOME

If you're like me, you like to surf the web for ancestors.  Also, if you're like me, you may not have the money or the time to head out to research the record repositories that might have info on your family.

One of the biggest repositories is the U.S. National Archives located in Washington, D.C.  A listing of most of their holdings is available at their web site, and some actual records are there for the downloading too. But if you're not familiar with what is on the site, or how to navigate the site, then you won't benefit much from the experience.

So let's take the first step together.  Go to the NARA site at:  <http://www.archives.gov/>  You should be at their home page.  On the left side of the screen is a menu of options, Welcome, About Us, etc.  on the top right of the screen is a pull down or drop down menu where you can select other resources or areas of the site.

First, let's click on Research Room, [menu to your left] and you will be sent to another page, that will have recent news and events, sections, resources, and more.  We'll click on Genealogy first.  Here we will find various aids to help us with our family research.  Click on research topics next.  Here you will find a list of various essays and data that cover a variety of genealogy topics.

Now, let's go back to the genealogy page, which is just one click back and then hit the "Search Microfilm Catalogs" link on the left side of your screen under Resources.

There are almost 3,400 numbered microfilm publications to search for, online.  Also directions on how to ent or purchase a film so that you can research these films from either your home, or local library.

One of the most important catalogs on this site is the ARC [Archival Research Catalog].  This catalog lists about 20 percent of the National Archives' vast holdings.  By the year 2007, the NARA hopes to have 95 percent of their holdings cataloged in ARC.

ARC is where you will find over 124,000 digital images of photographs and documents.  To access ARC, let's go back to the NARA home page.  On the top right of the screen is a pull down menu, from there select the ARC listing.  Next, click on Search Hints for Genealogical Data in ARC.  This section will give you directions on how to search the databases.  Only a small percentage of the entries in ARC have index terms yet, so finding your ancestor by name could be tricky.  But you  never know until you try, so enter a surname in one of the search engines and see what pops up.

There are many areas that you can search, for instance, photos, maps, artifacts, moving images, and more.

Simply click on the yellow search button and you will be sent to a search engine.  You can try out your surname, click the "Descriptions of Archival Materials linked to digital copies", and select the type of archival material, whether it be a map or photos.

I typed "Georgia" into the keyword box, ticked the box for "Descriptions of Archival.." and selected "maps and charts" and 6 maps showed up.

Next I did a general search for my Hedrick surname, by highlighting "all types" under the type of archival material.  Two images show up, one an enrollment for Cherokee Census card, and the other a military service record for a M. Warren Hedrick, not related.

The Cherokee Census card contains info on an Asa  A. Hedrick, no relation either.

You may not find much on your family history right now, but there are many interesting things to view, and learn on this site.  You can also request forms for ordering records, such as pension and military files.  I am currently waiting on a Civil War pension file for a great grand uncle.  Can't wait for it to arrive!


HOW TIMES HAVE CHANGED

This cute story comes from one of the many newsletters that I receive, and I thought it was quite ironic how little we let children do nowadays:

LOOK BOTH WAYS BEFORE...

In 1910, as an eight-year-old, my mother came to the U.S. from Romania. I tried to find her in the Ellis Island site but there was no listing for her maiden name as it appears on all her papers, including her marriage certificate--Yankelesco. My son finally tried other combinations and found her listed as Janculescu, and we found the ship manifest listing her as such.

The amazing thing is that she crossed Europe from a small town in Romania to Bremen, Germany, where she sailed for the U.S. accompanied by two male cousins, ages 12 and 14, with no other people from Romania on the manifest. Upon arrival in the U.S. they went to live with an aunt, the mother of one of her companions.

Today my granddaughter, age 12, isn't allowed to cross the street without parental supervision. How times have changed!

No Author.


UPCOMING EVENTS

5-11 October 2003  Georgia Archives Week, the celebration of how we, as researchers, organizations, governments, etc., preserve our local heritage through documents and records.  It is also a time to recognize those folks who have worked hard to preserve and maintain these valuable documents.

16 October 2003 Thursday  Patricia Barefoot [author of Falling for Coastal Magic and Brunswick:  City by the Sea] will be talking about southeast Georgia's history at 7 p.m. at the Brunswick Library.

18 October 2003 Saturday  "Following Footprints is Fun" an all day seminar on genealogical research offered by the Augusta Genealogical Society, Inc. and Continuing Education, Augusta State University. Registration fees are $15 for AGS members and Augusta State Univ. students and faculty or $20 for non-members [$5 will be refunded if you join the AGS].  Registration fee includes a box lunch and a 104 page genealogical "how-to" book.  Send your name, address, phone number, and check to:  AGS P.O. Box 3743, Augusta, GA 30917-3743.

18 October 2003 Saturday  Author Melanie Pavich-Lindsay will be talking about her book, "Anna: the Letters of a St. Simons Island Plantation Mistress, 1817-1859" at 7 p.m. at the Brunswick Library.

18 October 2003 Saturday  Cultural day on Sapelo Island, Farmer's Alliance Hall at Hog Hammock, sponsored by SICARS.  Must pre-purchase tickets, $15 members, $20 non-members.  Call (912) 485-2197.

24 October 2003 Friday  Author Kitty Oliver talks about her book, "Multicolored Memories of a Black Southern Girl" at 7 p.m. at the Brunswick Library.


PUBLICATIONS

"War of Vengeance; Acts of Retaliation Against Civil War POWs"  by Lonnie R. Speer [2002, Stackpole Books]  A history of the War Between the States that is seldom heard.  Most POWs were used as pawns in a politician's war of retaliation.  Using actual manuscripts, writings, and military documents, Lonnie Speer teaches us about the darker side of war.  Chapters include the Palmyra Massacre, the hostage swap of Flinn, Sawyer, and Robert E. Lee's son, how rations were used in retaliation against the south.  A must read for Civil War buffs.


MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION

Annual membership to the CGGS is only $15 for one person or $18 for a family.  Membership extends from 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2003.

Remit payment to our treasurer:

Barbara Baethke
119 Bayberry Circle
St. Simons Is. , GA 31522

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