Don’t play favorites in your genealogy research

Credit: Special

Credit: Special

For more than 50 years now, genealogy has been my hobby, and it later became a part-time job.

I still get great pleasure from researching, especially when I uncover new branches of the family tree. But the question arises: Do I have favorite ancestors to research and sometimes neglect others?

Because my father moved to Georgia from Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1933 at the age of 12, I wasn’t around his relatives until later in life. Whereas, I had plenty of kinfolk in Columbus, Georgia, my mother’s ancestral home since the 1830s. So, those lines were the first I researched.

I guess I am partial to those ancestors that I “discovered” (or rather “uncovered,” since they always existed, even if hidden).

If I was handed the information on a whole family line, I would document it. But I never took to those relatives because I had not researched them personally. Take a look at your own family tree and ask yourself if you play favorites. If you do, maybe you should focus on some of those that you have not fully researched. Let’s try to give everyone equal footing.

Lunch and Learn on November 13

“Taming the Monster: Conserving a Forgotten Map” is the topic of the November 13 virtual Lunch and Learn at the Georgia Archives. The event starts at noon. Sigourney Smuts, Georgia Archives conservator, is the speaker and will explore the restoration and conservation of an 1893 Fulton County map. The large map, four by ten feet, rolled, was found in an unlabeled box. She will demonstrate how she brought the map back to life. The lecture is free. It’s a Microsoft Teams Virtual live event, to link to it go to Test it the day before to be sure you can link up. You also can watch on the web via the Georgia Archives Facebook page. See for further information or email Penny Cliff at

Women’s history sites

The National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites at is great. Check it out, especially for information on the commemoration of 100 years of women receiving the right to vote.

Contact Kenneth H. Thomas Jr., P.O. Box 901, Decatur, Ga., 30031 or