Interest in genealogical research has grown rapidly over the last half century and the advent of the internet has opened up a whole new world to those interested in researching their family history. Resources that were once difficult to locate and navigate are now readily available to anyone with a computer and a little enthusiasm. It is for this reason we will attempt to channel Casey Kasem, and present the following “Top Five” list of Digital Library of Georgia sites for genealogists:
1. Georgia Historic Newspaper sites
The Digital Library of Georgia has online newspaper archives for over thirty newspaper titles in eight cities, which are comprised of over three hundred thousand newspaper page images, ranging from 1808 to 1986 (the bulk of which is pre-1923). The newspapers are word searchable and can be browsed through by title and date. They are a wonderful source for obituaries, election results, birth announcements, estate sale ads, trial notices, and just plain old small town gossip. The newspaper archive sites currently available in the Digital Library of Georgia include the Atlanta Historic Newspapers Archive, the Columbus Enquirer Archive, the Milledgeville Historic Newspapers Archive, the Macon Telegraph Archive, the Southern Israelite Archive, and the Red and Black Archive.
2. Gordon County, Georgia Obituaries
One of the Digital Library of Georgia’s most recent projects, this site features obituary clippings printed in the Calhoun Times and in several other, out-of-print, Gordon County newspapers, ranging from the early 19th century into the present day. The database contains over 46,000 digitized clippings, which can be searched by keyword and date, making it a quick and easy task to follow families through generations of life in Gordon County.
3. African American Funeral Programs from the East Central Georgia Regional Library
This database contains over one thousand funeral programs from the East Central Georgia Regional Library’s print collection. The site, which largely focuses on the Augusta, Georgia area (but contains programs from around the state and country), includes programs ranging from 1933 to 2008. Users can navigate the site by performing keyword searches or browsing the collection by name, city, date, and funeral site. The programs usually include small biographies that contain information useful to genealogists, including educational degrees and church memberships. The site even has a few programs of national historic significance (Tuskegee Airman Cassius Harris, right).
4. Centennial Alumni Catalog and the Catalog of the Trustees, Officers, Alumni and Matriculates of the University of Georgia at Athens, Georgia, 1785-1906.
Think you have a distant relative associated with the University of Georgia? This is a good place to start! These two digitized catalogs contain a wealth of information on University alumni and employees that could be useful for genealogists. The Centennial Alumni Catalog is comprised of over 1,700 biographical questionnaires of people who matriculated at the University of Georgia. These questionnaires include information on marriages, professions, honors, memberships, and military service. The 1906 catalog (see image, right) is far more comprehensive in its list of university attendees and employees, but contains less detail. Students in this catalog are organized by class and are indexed by name at the end of the text.
5. Georgia Death Certificates, 1919-1927
This Georgia Archives collection contains thousands of digitized early 20th century death certificates from Georgia that are searchable by name, date, county, and even certificate number. The information contained in the death certificates has also been transcribed and is presented below each digitized image of the document for user convenience. These death certificates include information on name, birthdate, city of birth, date and city of death, parents and spouse’s names, sex, race, and ethnicity.