Free & Mocavo news

Free weekend at Mocavo and Findmypast merge websites- Why should Georgia researchers find that interesting? announced a free weekend for this weekend which is underway. The free weekend will expire at 7:00 am (EST) Monday morning. Findmypast has the largest collections of Irish records, British Parish records, British newspapers and a plethora of US records.

Findmypast acquired Mocavo about a year and a half ago and it was announced on January 18th that Mocavo and Findmypast will merge the two web sites.This may be good news for researchers. The transition is underway and is expected to be completed within a few months.

Findmypast has over a billion records of interest to genealogists and the company claims 18 million registered users across its family of online sites which, in addition to, include Genes Reunited, The British Newspaper Archive and others. has proven to be a great research tool providing a search engine that only indexes genealogy  web sites and the site provides very clear digital images of many genealogy databases for free.

Findmypast has committed to keep Mocavo’s “free forever” promise and subscribers will continue to get free access to the same records that were previously published for free on Mocavo.

In addition to the search engine, Mocavo provides access to lots of databases of interest to Georgia researchers:

Georgia school yearbooks and alumni publications.

For example, The Medical College of Georgia’s alumni publications, Brenau College publications, Georgia Southern yearbooks, Georgia Teachers College yearbooks, North Georgia College yearbooks plus yearbooks, bulletins, and publications of many other Georgia schools.

Military histories, periodicals, and magazines.

For example, some issues from the 1940’s of The Bayonet, Fort Benning’s base newspaper.

Local histories, family histories, and biographies. 

For example,  The Tragedy of Andersonville: Trial of Captain Henry Wirz, the Prison Keeper or Robert Toombs, Statesman, Speaker, Soldier, Sage: His Career in Congress

Some newspapers

For example, Southeast News, Southeast Convention, Congregational Christian Churches, December 1957.


For example:

History of Alabama, and Incidentally of Georgia and Mississippi, From the earliest Period by Albert James Pickett, 1851

and lots more !

For example:

Reports of Cases in Law and Equity, Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Georgia, At Atlanta (Parts of July Term, 1873, and of January Term)

Here is the announcement from’s site:

Mocavo and Findmypast are coming together

18 Jan 2016

We wanted you to be the first to know that in the coming months Mocavo will be coming together with its sister site, Findmypast. This will create a single experience for our US customers in a move that aims to deliver a morefocused, efficient and comprehensive service to US family historians.

Our Story

We launched back in March 2011 when, only three months old, Family Tree Magazine named us as one of the best 101 genealogy websites of 2011. In 2012 we released The Free Yearbook collection and since then we’ve continue to publishhundreds of records and archives every day. We’d like to thank you, our customer, for being there with us as we’ve continued to grow.

We are now in the process of moving all Mocavo site content to Findmypast so you’ll soon be able to enjoy everything currently available on Mocavo and more. As part of our ‘Free Forever’ promise, Mocavo subscribers will continue to enjoy free access to all of the same records that were previously published for free on Mocavo. We will be transferring your account over to Findmypast soon so stay tuned for updates.

What’s next?

You don’t need to do anything just now. Before we bring the two sites together, we’ll be in touch with specific information about your account and some how-to guides that will help make the most of the new experience.

You will be invited to take advantage of an equivalent subscription package on Findmypast soon, where you can be assured that your payments will remain unchanged for your current subscription.

How does this move affect you?

  • You’ll still benefit from the same great content you’ve been enjoying on Mocavo and this will all be available on Findmypast soon. In addition, you’ll be able to take advantage of hundreds of millions of new and exclusive US records to further enhance the experience for US family historians.
  • Findmypast has more British and Irish records than anyone else and is adding new records from the US and other locales every single week, so you’ll be able to take advantage of these to help your family history search. You’ll be able to explore nearly 8 billion names now andhundreds of millions of new names coming this year alone!
  • You can easily import your family tree and we’ll start tohint against names that we find in the archives to help you discover more about your family and even find relatives you never knew existed.

About Findmypast

Currently the home to billions of names, including the largest collections of Irish records and British Parish records,military records and the British Newspaper Archive, not to mention the 1939 Register. It currently has a plethora ofUS records and will soon be home to all the Mocavo records once the two sites come together.

Findmypast has a free and easy to use family tree builder and it releases new records every week to keep your family history search alive.



Historical society looks back and forward-Dawson County

Staff reports- 20 January 2016

Historical society looks back and forward

At the January meeting of the Dawson County Historical and Genealogical Society members reviewed the major achievements of the past year and made some decisions concerning the future.

Officers filling major positions remain the same: Peggy Hulsey, president and secretary; Pat Floyd, vice president and Faye Bruce, secretary.

New for 2016 are Colby Hunter joining Betty Love as newsletter editor; Hunter and Judy Harris joining Mildred Gaddis on the society’s board of directors.

Highlighting major events was the publication of the much-anticipated official history, with a reception and book signing, sponsored by the board of commissioners.

Hulsey reported that more than 300 copies of “DAWSON COUNTY, GEORGIA: A HISTORY” have been sold; members voted to authorize publishing up to 500 additional copies as needed.
Other books published by the society are still available, although in limited numbers.


All the books can be purchased through the society office in the historic old courthouse on the square by writing to P.O. Box 1074, Dawsonville, or by calling (706) 265-3985, and leaving a message.

Your call will be returned to fill your order by mail or by making an appointment to meet at the society’s office. The books are also available for purchase at the Dawson County Library.

The recently published history books are also on sale at the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce office. The price is $38, with $5 additional if the book is to be mailed.

Society members expressed concern about the current state of a number of old cemeteries, especially small, private, non-church-connected ones, and the need to have them restored and preserved. The possibility of working on that project was discussed.

Residents interested in activities of the Dawson County Historical and Genealogical Society are invited to attend the quarterly meetings scheduled for 5 p.m. the third Tuesdays in April, July, October and January at the Dawson County Library.


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

Irish parish registers

More than 1,000 Irish parish registers have been placed online, free, by the National Library of Ireland at, 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 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


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.

NGS- Call for Papers- Raleigh -May 2017

GIG_National Genealogical Society Logo

Arlington, Va. 1 January 2016- The National Genealogical Society (NGS) will open the call for proposals for the 2017 Family History Conference, Family History Lives Here, on 1 January 2016.  The conference will be held in Raleigh, North Carolina, from 10-13 May 2017.

Throughout its history, North Carolina has been home to a diverse population including Native Americans and those who trace their heritage back to Europe and Africa. During colonial times, it was one of a few colonies that embraced religious diversity, welcoming Quakers, Huguenots, Methodists, and Moravians. It is a land rich in cultural traditions. From the lighthouses on the outer banks to the falling waters on the Piedmont, to the dramatic overlooks in the mountains, this land calls us back to take a closer look. The Tar Heel story is vibrant, shared through the words of each family, and recorded in the wonderful records, manuscripts, and artifacts preserved in the numerous North Carolina archives, special collections, museums, libraries, historical sites, and societies.

Among the topics being considered by NGS for its 2017 conference are presentations on North Carolina history, including available records, and repositories; land grants, and other land records; court system and laws; ethnic and religious groups; military, farming, and other occupations; neighboring states; and migration to, from, and within the Carolinas. The Society will also consider other topics of interest reaching from the Colonial era to the 21st Century. In addition, NGS encourages the submission of proposals for broader genealogical categories, including methodology, problem solving, and technology.

Speakers who wish to submit lecture proposals, and organizations interested in sponsoring tracks or individual lectures, should follow the published guidelines at the NGS website page:

Speakers may submit up to eight proposals electronically via

Organizations wishing to sponsor a lecture may submit proposals via

All proposals must be submitted electronically through the NGS website by 11:59 p.m. EDT on 1 April 2016.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary standards of research, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Arlington, Virginia-based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, and guidance in research. It also offers many opportunities to interact with other genealogists.


Free Webinar- FSGS- Occupations of Our Ancestors

Florida State Genealogical Society- Poolside Chats
21 Jan 2016 8:00-9:00 p.m.
 Nancy Waters Lauer
Your Ancestor Was … Occupations of Our Ancestors


So you have found the occupation of your ancestor, now what? Ancestral occupations can give clues to who our ancestors were, how they lived, where they lived, and most importantly, give them individual identity and personality. The sources that identify occupations are numerous. Church records, city directories, census records, wills, and land records are just a few that may list professions. Once you know how your ancestor earned a living, what’s next? This is where the inquisitive personality of a genealogist proves most valuable. The time spent researching can prove very rewarding. There is much we can discover about our families from their occupations and allow them to live again so that future generations can come to understand their heritage.

Presenter: Nancy Waters Lauer is a researcher, lecturer, college instructor, and award-winning author. She has extensive speaking experience throughout the Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia area. She has presented at national and regional conferences including NGS, FGS, and Rootstech. The 1997 Heart of America Genealogical Society Award of Excellence was awarded to Nancy’s first book, and she earned the 2007 National Genealogical Society Genealogical Writing Competition Award for Excellence: Genealogy and Family History for her second book. This book also earned the 2007 Maryland Historical Society, Sumner A. Parker Award, for best genealogy of a Maryland family. Nancy is the current Managing Editor for the Maryland Genealogical Society Journal and is an instructor for continuing education at Howard Community College, Columbia, Maryland, teaching Microsoft Office applications. She is a certified Microsoft Professional and member of multiple genealogical and historical societies.


Register Here

Genealogy Class- Marist- January

Where did I come from? The Joy of Genealogy

Marist School- 3790 Ashford Dunwoody Road, N.E. Atlanta, Ga. 30319

Instructor: Mrs. Kelley M. Likes

Do you have an interest in family history or genealogy and just did not know where or how to start? Do you have stories to share or boxes of pictures of distant relatives and you do not know what to do with them?’

Session 1: From letters to postcards, marriage certificates to deeds, as a family historian you’ve accumulated plenty of genealogical documents in your research. Then there are family photos: They are among the most precious genealogical treasures—yet you probably have old family photos stuffed in shoeboxes or stored in those “magnetic albums” with the sticky pages (who doesn’t?). Learn to preserve and protect your precious items. Learn how to write and preserve family stories and pictures, including creating Family History books, websites, and blogs.

Session 2: This session cover many aspects of the genealogy spectrum, including research strategies, ethnic heritage, genealogy technology, and U.S. records. Where to look for and find ancestors. Free and not so free places to look. Resources you may or may not have thought of.

Session 3: This session includes ways to keep family history in the family. Family activities to encourage sharing stories and memories. Any remaining time will be dedicated to working on and finishing projects.

Prior to becoming a teacher, Ms. Likes was a professional genealogist. She conducted research in the United States and abroad. She also helped publish family histories with her grandmother. Ms. Likes has been a computer/business education teacher for the past 13 years, and she has taught at the college, high school, and middle school levels.

Registration Required

Early bird registration ended January 15th

Session 1: Monday, January 25    7-9 p.m.

 Session 2: Monday,  February 1  7-9 p.

Session 3: Monday, February 8  7-9 p.m.

Regular registration: 100.00 per person

For more information and to register- Click HERE  

NIGR becomes Gen-Fed

The Board of Trustees of the National Institute on Genealogical Research has announced that the institute’s name was changed to the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed) on December 22, 2015. The institute, held annually at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., was founded in 1960 as a three-week general course on genealogy. In 1987, it narrowed its focus to federal records.

The institute was incorporated in 1989 as a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization. Trustees are representatives of the American Society of Genealogists, Association of Professional Genealogists, Board for Certification of Genealogists, Federation of Genealogical Societies, National Genealogical Society, and the institute’s alumni association. The National Archives, a non-voting member, provides strong support.

“Given the growth in genealogical education, it made sense to choose a name that clearly identifies the institute’s mission,” said Malissa Ruffner, JD, CG SM, director. “A new website,, offers a closer look at the program, which is scheduled for July 11–15, 2016.  You can also follow the institute on Facebook and Twitter (@GenFedInstitute).”

Diane Dimkoff, coordinator of research customer support at the National Archives, stated, “We are pleased that the institute’s new name reflects the significance of federal records and look forward to continuing our traditional collaboration.”

Gen-Fed is for experienced genealogists, and for archivists, historians and librarians interested in using federal records for genealogical research. It is designed to instill a methodological framework and foster creative thinking about relevant records. Online registration for the 2016 session will be held in late February.