Those overlooked baby treasures might help with genealogy research

AJC file photo

AJC file photo

When was the last time you looked through the items your parents saved from your childhood?

I found that my baby book, and my mother’s, had a family tree that was filled out. Even if you aren’t that lucky, you might find something. Cards sent to congratulate the parents of a newborn could offer some great clues on your family history. One distant cousin in Florida had a card in her book from Thomas Gamble, the mayor of Savannah, whom we didn’t know had married a relative. That led to the discovery of a family book he had written in 1906 in which he had included our ancestors. Don’t overlook these resources and try to create some new ones for your children and grandchildren.

The January/February issue of Family Tree Magazine (, on newsstands now, has a great article “Preserving Baby Treasures.” In it, there are suggestions for how to protect these family heirlooms. My parents had my baby shoes bronzed as bookends. I now have them, but I’m not sure what to do with them.

But who knows if those clips of baby hair — or baby teeth — might lead to a DNA test in the future? So ask around and see who else had a baby book, or other items. You might find some surprises.

South Carolina research

The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, edited by Brent H. Holcomb, is a valuable resource. Published since 1973, and by Holcomb since 1976, it is well worth looking at in any library with a genealogy collection. Serious researchers should subscribe, and Holcomb is offering new subscribers a one-time discount at $30 for the first year. Contact him at SCMAR, P.O. Box 21766, Columbia, S.C., 29221. Holcomb is the editor/author of more than 100 genealogy books found in most genealogy rooms. See his website for those still available at

Genealogy lectures abound

The metro Atlanta area has an abundance of genealogy groups, many with monthly or quarterly programs. The Cobb County Genealogical Society ( has monthly lectures. The Georgia Archives ( has monthly Lunch and Learn lectures, many on genealogy topics. The Georgia Genealogical Society ( has quarterly programs, the next on March 7 in Statesboro. The Metro Atlanta Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society ( has monthly meetings, as well as workshops. The Jewish Genealogical Society of Georgia ( offers frequent programs, and the Genealogical Computer Society of Georgia ( meets monthly in Roswell, with lectures on a variety of topics not computer related.