Our Heritage, Atlanta's Family History Conference

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 130 W Paces Ferry Rd NW Atlanta GA 30305  See map


ATLANTA, GA - On May 18, 2013, the Atlanta History Center will host Our Heritage, Atlanta’s Family History Conference. Join us for a free full day of conference sessions designed to help families unite and strengthen by climbing the branches of their family tree together.

Experience the new world of genealogy along with the basics. Highlights of the conference include genealogy courses for youth, classes on how to research and preserve family history, workshops on DNA, projects on indexing digital images, information on conducting oral history interviews, and tours of the Kenan Research Center’s genealogical resources.  

Free admittance to the Atlanta History Center and museums, including access to the acclaimed exhibit “Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello: How the Word is Passed Down,” will also be available on the day of the event.  Space is limited; reservations are required to guarantee a seat for the event so those interested should register for classes by visiting www.AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/OurHeritage.  

Another highlight of the event will be the completion of a major project in local Atlanta genealogy research when the Atlanta History Center and FamilySearch unveil digital images of Franklin Garrett's Necrology, ready for online indexing. This genealogical resource documents men from the Atlanta area, who were twenty-one years of age or older, who died between 1857 and 1931, along with their numerous surviving spouses, mothers, daughters, and siblings.  

The Necrology covers 750 Atlanta area cemeteries or gravesites, including Oakland and Westview, and biographical information on more than 163,000 names. The research came from several sources including Atlanta city directories, Atlanta and DeKalb newspaper obituaries, census records, estate records, wills, death records, and cemetery surveys.  

The Atlanta Family History Conference will begin at 10:30 AM., with classes running all day, and two special workshops on indexing, and using DNA to research African American family roots.  

Dr. Larry Spruill, a history professor at Morehouse College in Atlanta, will give a keynote address at 12:00 PM. Spruill’s lecture will discuss the nation's earliest African Americans in countless lost and forgotten urban and rural graveyards.   Spruill’s 1983 doctoral dissertation, "Southern Exposure, Photojournalism and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1968" is a highly acclaimed work that has resulted in consultantships with several book publishers and television programs on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the struggle for racial equality. His thesis remains the seminal work on Dr. King, photojournalism, and the movement. Dr. Spruill has traced his family's roots from 18th century North Carolina through Barbados to what is now present day Nigeria.  

After the keynote address, workshops will continue from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. There is something for everyone! Classes for adults will include: Introduction to Indexing; Using the Genealogical Proof Standard for African American Research; Genealogy 101: Genealogy for the First Time; Hands-on Research in the Kenan Research Center; Beginning Indexing; and Genes to Genealogy: Using DNA to Help Find your Ancestry.  

Specific classes for teenagers (12 and up) will include:  Exploring Branches of Your Family Tree; and Exploring Genealogy on a Trip through History.  

A tour of the StoryCorps recording studio will also be available from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM. Visitors can learn about oral histories and watch some of StoryCorps’ animated short films. StoryCorps is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve their life stories.  

Sponsors for this event include Atlanta History Center, FamilySearch, and the Atlanta Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with support provided by the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. (AAHGS), Ancestry.com, Boy Scouts of America, Daughters of the American Revolution, Fitted Web Design, Georgia State Society Children of the American Revolution, Georgia State University, Morehouse College, Sons of the American Revolution, and StoryCorps.  

Atlanta History Center is located at 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA 30305. There is free parking and the AHC is easily accessed by using MARTA.


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