Seniors benefit from know family history

Ben Sutherly for the Columbus Dispatch– 31 January 2016

Senior benefit from knowing family history-

When relatives gather, politics and religion are notorious no-nos. So when the next holiday rolls around, you might have better luck broaching the topic of your family’s health history.

It’s widely known that genetics play a role in diseases such as cancer and a range of cardiovascular disorders. But experts say that a familiarity with previous generations’ ills can help inform the care that people seek as they age, not to mention the preventative steps they take to safeguard their well-being.

If memory problems run in the family, for example, doctors should know. Dementia, while more prevalent among older people, is not a normal part of aging, said Dr. Meredith Mucha, a geriatrician at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.

“Information is power,” Mucha said. Documenting the health history of your family “allows us to be aware of things that you wouldn’t know otherwise to be aware of.”

It’s typical for doctors, of course, to compile comprehensive health histories of their patients, including pertinent information about family members. But doing your homework ahead of time can be a big help.

Such information often gives doctors insight and context for a patient’s health. If a patient’s parents had gout, for example, certain diuretics or blood-pressure medications might be bypassed to reduce the risk of side effects in the patient, said Dr. Greg Wise, a family medicine doctor in Groveport and the chief medical officer and medical director of MediGold, Mount Carmel Health System’s Medicare Advantage health plan.

Family history might help identify a patient’s liver as a culprit in his or her high levels of LDL, or bad, cholesterol. It can even help doctors determine proper drug dosages and how best to screen for aneurysms.

And family histories can help doctors rule out possible reasons for a patient’s health condition. “Sometimes family history helps us in a reverse way,” Wise said.

An awareness of previous generations’ health susceptibilities often is a helpful guide as one ages, but not always. Knowing your family has a history of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, for which there is no cure, might be a source of anxiety instead of empowerment.

Still, many experts say it’s usually better for people to know more than less.

“Human beings in general need to be incentivized to do things,” said Dr. Michael Wasserman, a California-based geriatrician, speaker and member of the American Geriatric Society’s Health in Aging Foundation.

“If you know that you might have a higher risk of developing a problem if you didn’t exercise or follow a diet, you then have a choice.”

Family histories are “a way of making it more personal,” Wasserman said.

Mucha’s mother, Bobbie Mucha, 69, of Westerville, modified her diet because her own mother and grandmother died in their early 70s of heart problems. She’s also careful about drinking because alcoholism runs in her family.

But it was her family’s brush with breast cancer — both Bobbie and her oldest daughter are survivors of the disease — that convinced her to get on the phone and speak with relatives, some of whom she hadn’t talked with for a long time.

“I felt that was the only way I would understand what I should be doing,” she said.

The U.S. surgeon general has had a family history initiative under way for more than a decade. Those wishing to create an online family health history that can be retrieved at a later date can do so at The web-based tool can tell you whether you’re at greater risk for certain health conditions such as diabetes and colon cancer.

Your parents, siblings and children are most important to include in a health history. Grandparents, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, half-brothers and half-sisters should be included, too. It’s important to include not only serious health events such as heart attacks and strokes, but also how old a relative was he or she had a health scare. Even knowing your family’s countries of origin can be pertinent.

“Elderly people see it as a way to educate and inform their children and their children’s children,” Mucha said.


Georgia’s most popular baby name ever is…

Lauren Colley – The Atlanta-Journal Constitution– 8 January 2016

Baby names fall in and out of favor, gaining and losing popularity with historical and cultural events. But one name in particular has stood the test of time in Georgia.

According to data from the Social Security Administration, “William” is the most consistently popular baby name overall in Georgia.

In 1960 (earliest data available), William was ranked No. 4, and since then has never been ranked lower than No. 7. The name was No. 1 for the first time in 1998, and has remained the most popular boy name ever since.

William hit peak popularity in Georgia in 2011. In that year, the number of William births was 828.

« A look at the faces who have Georgia’s most popular baby names »

Nationally, the name is just as popular. It is the fifth most popular name in the past 100 years and has remained in the top 10 since 2006.  It reached peak popularity in 2011.

Click here to discover more trends in popular Georgia baby names.

Georgia’s most popular baby name ever is….

Lauren Colley




Genealogy Workshop – Morrow, Georgia

Save the Date- Register Early!

Our Genealogy Group

5th Annual Genealogy Workshop

March 5, 2016

8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Clayton State University, Morrow, Georgia

RSVP to ourgenealogygroup (AT) by February 21st.

Great topics with a focus on beginner and intermediate levels. However, all genealogy enthusiasts are welcome and should find these sessions helpful and informative

Newly renovated Dalton library reopens

Dalton’s public library reopened December 15th and received good reviews from patrons.

The renovation includes a new open space in the middle of the main floor where patrons can sit or the library can host events.  Plus, a new teen library was added and a teen librarian.   The teen area includes been bag chairs and a large screen for video games.

Computer facilities also are getting an upgrade, but everything is not in place yet.  The basement of the library now includes a huge room where the Friends of the library can display books for the monthly book sale.

The main focus of the renovation is an enlarged space for classrooms the library uses for its workforce development program. The stated mission of the library is to get technology into the hands of Georgia citizens.

The renovation is the first in three phases. Plans for the second and third phase include a Georgia History Collection and material to help local residents with genealogical research.

For more information about the reopening:

Newly renovated Dalton library gets good reviews from patrons

Steve Johnson,, Dalton, Ga.  December 15, 2015



Statesboro-Bulloch County Library- New Genealogy Librarian and programs

Meet and greet for new genealogy librarian is, Statesboro, Georgia

The Friends of the Statesboro-Bulloch County Library held a meet and greet on December 5th to introduce, Lillian L. Wingate, the library’s new genealogy librarian.

Wingate plans to coordinate an number of genealogy related programs at the library. Also, Wingate accepts appointments to help research a family’s history.  Contact information is within the linked article.

“Genealogy for Beginners” a workhop taught by Kim Anderson will meet monthly for four months beginning Monday January 11 at 12:30 p.m. The program will provide the basic skills a budding genealogist needs to being research.

Additional programs will be announced throughout 2016.


2016 Education Series- Cobb Genealogical Society

Free Genealogical Education Series -Register now!

2016 Genealogy Society of Cobb County Education Series: 

Genealogy 101

When: Saturdays – Jan 23 & 30, February 6, 13, 20, & 27

Time: 9:30 am- 12:30 pm

(Onsite registration begins at 9:00 am on January 23)

Where: First Presbyterian Church , 189 Church Street, Marietta, Ga.

Courses include:  Census Records, Vital Records, Newspapers & City Directories, Cemeteries, Military Records, Land & Tax Records, Colonial Records, Mapping & Migration, Libraries Repositories & Preparation.

Instructors include: Dianne Barfield, Pam Downs, Joanne & Chris Schleier, Bea Coker, Larry Thomas, and Karen Molohan.

Learn the ins & outs of Georgia research methodology from some of the best researchers in Georgia for free!

More information and registration forms:  Genealogy Society of Cobb County Georgia- Genealogy 101

registration required.

The Genealogical Society of Cobb County is the 2015 recipient of the Georgia Genealogical Society Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Field of Genealogy.

Georgia first lady Sandra Deal authors book about Georgia governor’s mansion

“Memories of the Mansion: The Story of Georgia’s Governor’s Mansion” by Sandra Deal and co-authored by Jennifer Dickey and Catherine Lewis is available for a unique Christmas gift.

Memories of the Mansion: The Story of the Georgia Governor’s Mansion

Hardcover first editions, including editions signed by the authors, are available at

The 226-page book depicts the history of the 30-room, Greek revival-style home built in 1967 as told through stories and experiences of the first families who lived there.

The authors worked closely with the Busbee, Carter, Maddox, Harris, Miller, Barnes and Perdue families to include their memories and behind -the- scene photos of life in the Governor’s mansion. Recent photographs are from local photographer, Christopher Oquendo.

In the last week, Mrs. Deal has autographed copies of the book at The Georgia Archives and in her hometown of Gainesville at the Northeast Georgia History Museum.




Augusta Chronicle- Series of Articles on Federal Census

Sunday, December 13, 2015 – Augusta Chronicle- Augusta, Georgia

Federal Census is the Key to Genealogy Search

The Augusta Chronicle introduces a series of articles by The Augusta Genealogical Society about the U.S. Federal Census starting with the 1940 census.

“Only a genealogist regards a step backwards as progress.”

Read the article here:

Federal Census is key to genealogy search

The Society accepts queries: Send an e-mail with “Ancestor Search” in the subject line to AugustaGenSociety(AT) Queries should be limited to 50 words and include your name and contact information.



Share Your Genealogy Research with Video

Share Your Genealogy Research with Video: A Get Started eBook Guild for Making Family History Movies by Margaret M. Eves

Create a legacy for your descendants they will watch and remember. It’s easier than you think. Make your family history accessible to even the non-genealogist by using the power of video.

Sharing Your Genealogy Research With Video is an eBook guide helping genealogists develop stories and find images they can use to create short family history videos that engage family members and connect them with their family history.

The eBook includes
• Ideas for amazing images you have right in your own home
• Helpful examples for storyboarding and planning the video to make the production process easy
• Information about finding historical and public domain images and how to use them without infringing on copyright
• Guidelines for citing sources within your video so others can benefit from your research
• Tips for video and audio recording that the pros use
• Ways to share your ancestors’ stories using the reach of the Internet

While not a technical manual for using editing apps or software, Sharing Your Genealogy Research With Video does give you the tools to plan and organize your video to make the editing process easier.

Get started now with connecting your family to their ancestors’ stories!

A new eBook by Georgia genealogist Margaret M. Eves –

Margaret’s website includes a worksheet that you can download to get started with Video Genealogy