What dates changed your family’s life forever?


Events that have changed the course of history are all part of a bigger story—our national story. Those dates—pivtoal moments in time—are well remembered by both historians and the general public. Where were you when JFK died or when you first heard about the 9/11 attacks? These major events are more than an indelible memory. Historical events mark important time periods that help tell our country’s story. In the same way, major dates and events for our families should be used to record family history and to tell their story. For example, with my own family, my great-grandfather— my grandfather’s father— suddenly died in 1918 (but not due to the Great War or the flu), and his mother was left to run the family general store with the help of her teenage son, my grandfather. My other grandfather died in 1940 due to a head-on collision, leaving a widow and six fatherless children. Those dates are major landmarks in our family history during the 20th century.

What about a century earlier? When we research, we find and record events, but is the impact as great when we learn of how an ancestor coped in 1844 with the deaths of both her father and her husband almost at the same time? We know little, if anything, about anyone’s personality that far back, but the gravity on any family would be great. So be sure to note your family’s landmark dates and think about their impact—not just the details for your genealogy, but also the human toll on the family.

>> MORE: Want to learn more about your family history? Free sources are abound on the Internet

OTHER NEWS:

Ethnic updates at genealogy sites

Two major DNA sites, ancestry.com and FamilyTreeDNA, have both made changes to the way they post ethnic profiles. Ancestry.com has launched “Genetic Communities,” where you can see the link if you have an ancestry.com DNA profile. I am part of a North Carolina/South Carolina community. Ancestry and others are offering a video and webinars to explain what this means. FamilyTreeDNA has recently updated their “myOrigins” section, slightly changing the ethnic or ancestral locality percentages of your profile. I am 95 percent European. My breakdown is 82 percent British Isles, and then other parts of Europe. I also have 4 percent Jewish Diaspora. While many are doing DNA testing to learn more about specific ancestral lines and hoping to meet cousins who might have more information on a family, others have completed a DNA test just to learn their ethnic profile.

Fayette County deeds online

Fayette County has recently digitized their deeds back to the county’s founding in 1821 and posted them online. Visit fayetteclerk.com, and under the main menu, click “property index search.” This is similar to what North Carolina counties have been doing in recent years.

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



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Living

Sisters Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer mark a musical milestone
Sisters Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer mark a musical milestone

“Not Dark Yet” (Thirty Tigers/Silver Cross Records), the first duo album from sisters Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer, is a powerful musical milestone in the long and winding careers of the Alabama-raised and Nashville-tested singer-songwriters. Produced by kindred spirit Teddy Thompson, the singer-songwriter son of seminal British folk-rock...
Georgia Women of Achievement seeks nominations
Georgia Women of Achievement seeks nominations

Georgia Women of Achievement board of selection is seeking nominations for next year’s induction into its hall of fame. Founded in 1992, the organization honors women who have contributed to Georgia’s history. To be nominated, a woman must be clearly identified with Georgia and have made exceptional or enduring contributions in her field...
5 ways to stop killing your back with bad posture at work
5 ways to stop killing your back with bad posture at work

"Sit up straight!" may sound like nagging straight out of the 1950s, but it's spot on advice for the 21st century workplace. Constant shifting around to get comfortable at your work computer, and hunched over a smart phone at home, wreaks havoc on your back, neck and shoulders. Regular computer users perform 50,000 to 200,000 keystrokes each...
Famous Norman Rockwell study drawing of umpires fetches $1.68M at auction
Famous Norman Rockwell study drawing of umpires fetches $1.68M at auction

An original study drawing of a famous illustration by Norman Rockwell sold for $1.68 million Sunday night in Heritage Auctions’ Platinum Night Sports auction. The 1948 study, or preliminary work, for “Tough Call,” which was used as the April 23, 1949, cover of The Saturday Evening Post, belonged to the family of John “Beans&rdquo...
More HGTV ‘Flip or Flop Atlanta’ coming your way
More HGTV ‘Flip or Flop Atlanta’ coming your way

Ken and Anita Corsini named their company after the red barn their first offices were in. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com This was posted on Monday, August 21, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog HGTV has rewarded “Flip or Flop Atlanta” a quick second season renewal. Why? The first five episodes...
More Stories