It’s time to reset genealogy goals and look ahead to what’s coming in 2021

Credit: Special

Credit: Special

With a new year dawning, it’s a good time to look ahead to several events and commemorations.

  • Georgia’s very own and very unique R.J. Taylor Jr. Foundation turns 50. For a half century, it has funded the publishing of some great Georgia books of records and abstracts.
  • Missouri will celebrate 200 years of statehood. Anyone with ancestors there knows that statehood brought on more migration and settlement.
  • January also marks the 100th anniversary of the loss of the 1890 U. S. Census, which was destroyed by fire.
  • Next year will mark the 200th anniversary of Georgia’s 1821 Land Lottery, which opened up a good deal of this area for settlement, including Henry, DeKalb and later Fulton counties.
  • Archives and libraries that are scheduled to reopen next year with larger and better facilities include the Georgia Historical Society in Savannah ( and the Georgia Room of the Switzer Library (Central Library) in downtown Marietta, check for updates. The Tennessee State Library and Archives will be reopening in April in a new building at the Bicentennial Mall in Nashville. All of these will be welcomed by researchers.

Projects not finished in 2020?

Making resolutions for 2021? It could be a good time to revisit the list of genealogy projects you did not finish. If you haven’t, try organizing your family photographs, scanning, saving and sharing. Many websites offer suggestions on how best to do that. You could also make a list of family heirlooms that you have to share with relatives, hoping you learn what they might have. From this, you may make some great discoveries.

Were they really the good ole days?

Many people think earlier times were the good ol’ days. But were they? This year we were reminded that women got the right to vote only 100 years ago. And remember, in Georgia, to get a divorce you had to appeal to the state legislature until 1833.

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