S.C. roots, Irish Parish registers, Jewish genealogy

Focus on Georgia columnists:

South Carolina roots should be considered

Kenneth H. Thomas, Jr. – for the AJC– Saturday, 9 January 2016

When dealing with Southern research, genealogists always should consider that some of their ancestors might have come from South Carolina.

Many of our ancestors may have immigrated directly to South Carolina and started their American journey there. Others may have just passed through the colony/state on their way westward. I have ancestors in both categories.

Brent H. Holcomb is the editor and publisher of the South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, in its 44th volume this year. With four issues of the journal per year, he has covered a lot of South Carolina genealogy resources.

While the last issue of each year contains an index for that year, Holcomb also has published comprehensive decadelong indexes for earlier decades. Anyone with any South Carolina research questions should check for an individual name, but also for sources, since he includes various record groups, such as the current running of federal equity cases covering South Carolina, and extracts from the Christian Neighbor religious newspaper, among others.

Each issue includes book reviews and queries from subscribers. Placing a query in such a well-known publication is a great way to let others know for whom you are looking.

Holcomb also has published hundreds of books on South Carolina sources, so look for his name in any genealogy library collection.

A subscription to SCMAR is normally $35 a year, but he is offering a one-time-only subscription price of $30 to new subscribers through Feb. 10. It would be a good way to treat yourself to a new genealogy resource. Write SCMAR, P.O. Box 21766, Columbia, SC 29221. His website is scmar.com.

Irish parish registers

More than 1,000 Irish parish registers have been placed online, free, by the National Library of Ireland at registers.nli.ie, but there is no countrywide index as yet. Check out the site to see how it works and what you can find. You can read the microfilm of a parish register directly on your computer, but you have to figure out the parish first.

Jewish genealogy

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Georgia is worth knowing about and joining. Check jewishgen.org/jgsg to see what they offer in meetings and research materials, with lots of links online to Jewish research sources elsewhere. Membership also links you to the Breman Museum.

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


Newman Coweta Historical Society event 23 Jan. 7:30 pm

  Celebration of  Hank Williams aims to bring history to life
Clay Neely for the Newnan Times-Herald, 18 Jan 2016
 For many, music is the universal language that transcends the most common social barriers – harnessing the ability to bypass our complicated filters and drive directly to our soul.
The short and complicated life of Hank Williams not only produced a stunning amount of beloved music, but seemingly set the blueprint for the “live fast, die young” tortured musician.Since his mysterious death in 1953, his influence on music and culture would only grow larger with each passing year – spawning tales as tall as the man himself.Dr. Steve Goodson is the co-editor of The Hank Williams Reader. As the professor and chair of the History Department at the University of West Georgia, he’s also the author of Highbrows, Hillbillies, and Hellfire: Public Entertainment in Atlanta, 1880-1930 (2002), which won the Georgia Historical Society’s Malcolm Bell, Jr. and Muriel Barrow Bell Award.

In Goodson’s latest book, the extraordinary life of Williams is chronicled through a series of excerpts and memories written by journalists, family and friends, musical contemporaries, biographers, historians and scholars, ordinary fans and novelists.

Through his work, Goodson encountered fans from all walks of life – all connected by their love for Williams. One afternoon, he was greeted by an elderly man who tracked him down to his office at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton.

In his arms was a stack of old magazines and worn records, all about Williams. He presented the treasure trove of memorabilia to Goodson, claiming that no one else in his family would appreciate it.

“It’s fascinating how music connects people,” Goodson said. “We’ve been trying to do the same thing, which is connecting our school and community together with this kind of program.”

Goodson hopes to bring the legend of Williams even closer by hosting “The Life and Times of Hank Williams” – an evening of readings and songs celebrating Williams – at the Wadsworth Auditorium.

Along with a collection of vintage recordings and videos of Williams, excerpts from the book will be read along with a live performance by Daniel Williams and his Driftin’ Poboys Band.

Last September, a similar event was held in Carrollton with more than 230 people attending, according to Goodson. The success spurred the idea of creating an annual series – “Icons of Southern Music” – which will chronicle the life of Johnny Cash in 2017.

“We’re really excited to bring this to Newnan and can’t think of a better way to celebrate the legacy of Hank Williams,” Goodson said. “And we’re still getting compliments on the Driftin’ Poboys Band…”

The Newnan Coweta Historical Society will host the event at the Wadsworth Auditorium on Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at several downtown Newnan locations including the Male Academy Museum, The McRitchie-Hollis Museum, Let Them Eat Toffee and Grannie Fannie’s Antiques.

Coastal Georgia Historical Society Annual Meeting

Coastal Georgia Historical Society’s annual meeting January 24 from 3 – 4 p.m. at the Cloister Ballroom will feature Dr. Libby O’Connell speaking about the historical figures and cultures that influence the way we eat.

With a Ph.D. in American History, Dr. O’Connell has been a historical advisor at A+E Network and, eventually, the Chief Historian for the History Channel. Her focus was social history and everyday life. Dr. O’Connell has also produced short films for several historical organization.

Dr. O’Connell will share interesting facts about America’s culinary history, including some exploration into Coastal Georgia’s eating traditions.