Napoleon’s impact on history and genealogy widely felt

040316 ROSWELL, GA: Names and dates line the voluminous records at the Church of Latter Day Saints Family History Center, where people come to research their family's genealogy. Family History Center at 500 Norcross Street in Roswell. For Helen Cauley feature on Geneaology - Family Trees. (Parker C. Smith/Special)
040316 ROSWELL, GA: Names and dates line the voluminous records at the Church of Latter Day Saints Family History Center, where people come to research their family's genealogy. Family History Center at 500 Norcross Street in Roswell. For Helen Cauley feature on Geneaology - Family Trees. (Parker C. Smith/Special)

Credit: Special

Credit: Special

Napoleon Bonaparte died 200 years ago on May 5. He was in exile on the island of Saint Helena, far away from Europe, where he wielded much power and influence.

His impact on genealogy research is immense. He changed the laws and created the Napoleonic Code, used in many places and the basis for laws in Louisiana. He sold a vast amount of land to the United States in 1803 — the Louisiana Purchase, which doubled our size, opened up more areas for settlement and became a focus in the debates over slavery and its expansion.

Napoleon’s wars in Europe shifted national boundaries and caused many new nations to form. He is the namesake of many people, since he was considered a hero by many in his day. One was Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar (1798-1859), who was born in Georgia and established the newspaper the Columbus Enquirer in 1828. He later moved to Texas, where he became the second president.

To learn more about Napoleon’s impact, go to the Foundation Napoleon at napoleon.org. In 1840, his remains were moved to Paris to a monumental tomb, which I visited in 1972. Many other French military leaders are entombed there, but Napoleon is the focus.

Hollowell subject of Lunch and Learn

The Georgia Archives Lunch and Learn for May 14 at noon will feature Akbar Imhotep, professional storyteller, on “Donald Lee Hollowell: Foot Soldier of Equal Justice.” This free, virtual event will take place via Microsoft Teams — https://tinyurl.com/ehjxpnnc or via the Georgia Archives YouTube Channel. Check the Georgia Archives website GeorgiaArchives.org to see previous programs that have been recorded, or the Archives’ YouTube Channel. For more information, call 678-364-3710.

2 million historic news pages

The Digital Library of Georgia of the University of Georgia has reached a milestone: 2 million news pages digitized since it began in 2007. Georgia is very fortunate to have this great program working to make more of our historical records available for research. Keep checking as more newspapers are added each year.

Contact Kenneth H. Thomas Jr., P.O. Box 901, Decatur, Ga., 30030 or www.kenthomasongenealogy.com.

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