Random acts of genealogical kindness

The phrase “random acts of genealogical kindness” has been around for a while. I recently discovered there is a free website with that name at raogk.org.

There, you can register to volunteer to help others, or sign up to ask one of the volunteers to help you. While the service is free, you are expected to reimburse the volunteer for the cost of copies, parking, or any expense they incur. They do not charge for their time.

The website indicates this is a global initiative but didn’t have any links outside the U.S. that I could see. On the home page, there are links to state research guides. Those link to county research outlines that seem to be well thought out, although it’s unclear who prepared these. There are Google ads that take you away from the site and don’t let you return.

All in all, it looks like a great service to try out if you need some help in a certain area. They do link to professional genealogist groups if someone needs more than just a quick look up. There are about 30 volunteers listed for Georgia, but the whole state is not necessarily covered.

Immigration records

“Becoming American,” by noted genealogical author Sunny Jane Morton, is about researching all types of immigration records. It appears in the July/August issue of Family Tree Magazine, on newsstands now. This is a very comprehensive look, since she covers not only the records from the immigration centers of Ellis Island and other ports, but things like foreign-language newspapers, specific societies founded by immigrants to help fellow immigrants, and specific churches. Many records have come online in recent years, such as visa files from 1924-1944 at USCIS.gov/history-and-genealogy/genealogy. All in all, you can’t go wrong by checking out this article and its links. The magazine’s website is familytreemagazine.com, see current issue.

Georgia Archives website updates

The Georgia Archives has updated its website, primarily the Book and Manuscript Catalog section called “GIL,” where the books and manuscripts are catalogued so that visitors to the building or online can learn what’s available on the premises and how to use it. The revised catalog also links to other libraries in the University System of Georgia that might have the same printed material. Go to GeorgiaArchives.org and see the tab on the right. There are many new things one can do with the catalog, such as saving lists of your searches.

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

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