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Stuck inside? Use the time for genealogy research

With the many closings due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s a good idea to call libraries and other research centers before you visit.

At the time of this writing, it was difficult to predict how the upcoming few weeks would shake out. But, while you’re confined to your home, use your time wisely. Check out the vast amount of genealogy raw data now digitized and online at FamilySearch.org, which is free, or at Ancestry.com and related sites Fold3.com and Newspapers.com, available by subscription. You can join for just a month if need be.

FamilySearch.org has digitized county records from all over the U. S., as well as records from many other countries. The Georgia Archives and other state archives have a huge amount of their state’s records online on their websites. In Georgia, it’s called the Virtual Vault. The Georgia Genealogical Society has dozens of webinars viewable for members. That should keep you busy. As mentioned last week, Ancestry.com has a number of “how to use that site” videos on YouTube. Googling any term or any question in genealogy will bring up many sites to learn from.

Don’t forget the webinars and podcasts out there. Blaine Bettinger, at DNA-Central.com and thegeneticgenealogist.com, has a number of them that are informative. Legacy Family Tree, at familytreewebinars.com, also has webinars. So, if your favorite research facility is closed, and it probably is, then use this down time to get some education, clean up your files, write some genealogy memos, or call a relative and ask them some questions.

Rich’s Department Store, subject of Lunch and Learn

Historian Jeff Clemmons is scheduled to speak on his book “Rich’s: A Southern Institution” on April 10 at the Georgia Archives in Morrow. This free event begins at noon. Bring your own lunch and beverage. His book, published in 2012 by The History Press/Arcadia Publishing of Charleston, is worth a read if you have fond memories of this great Atlanta institution. He is also the author of “Atlanta’s Historic Westview Cemetery (2018),” also from ArcadiaPublishing.com. For more, see GeorgiaArchives.org or call 678-364-3710.

Sylvester Cemetery, East Atlanta

Sylvester Cemetery in East Atlanta, managed by the Historic Sylvester Cemetery Foundation, has a new website, sylvestercemetery.org. Check it out to see what is happening to preserve this historic place. This is an all-volunteer organization.

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Contact Kenneth H. Thomas, Jr., P. O. Box 901, Decatur, GA 30031 or gagensociety.org.

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