Be thankful for the unsung genealogy heroes of the past

Credit: Special

Credit: Special

We should all be grateful for the vast amount of genealogy material that has been digitized and is now viewable online, which has allowed research to continue during this pandemic.

For that, we should thank many folks. These “genealogy heroes” of the past made many genealogy records available for research using the best technology of their day, in book form or on microfilm. Thank goodness so many books have been published with good indexes, especially those Georgia resources sponsored by the R. J. Taylor Jr. Foundation. The vast number of newspapers that are now online and searchable offers a wealth of information that previous generations could never have easily accessed, even if they had the newspapers at their fingertips. Another shout out should go to the courthouse officials who saved records that they probably did not need to save, but are great sources for us today, especially tax records. While a lot of things may have been spared destruction just by benign neglect or lack of cleaning up, it has worked out in our favor. When people ask if they should go here or there to do research, I tell them there is enough online to keep them busy if they
are just organized enough to understand how to research. My latest project, the earliest Georgia settlers who arrived in 1733, has been totally researched from home, online and in books. Even 30 years ago, much of that would have been impossible to do anywhere other than at a research facility.

South Carolina research

The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research has been edited by Brent Holcomb for more than 40 years. It is essential reading for anyone doing genealogy research involving that state. While an annual subscription is $35, it’s now $30 for new subscribers, so now is your chance. Send checks to Brent Holcomb, P.O. Box 21766, Columbia, SC 29221. Your local genealogy library might have some of his many books.

RootsTech 2022

RootsTech 2022 is scheduled for March 3-5 and will be virtual and free. To register, go to It is well worth attending. It has often had the largest number of attendees of any genealogy conference.

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