Rockdale County Genealogical Society Publication

                                                  August, 2011



       Excerpts from Ken Thomas

The Georgia Archives has been forced by severe cuts in their 2012
budget to close one more day a week. Effective July 1, they will be
open for public research on Friday and Saturday only, from 8:30 a.
m. to 5 p. m.

In Georgia, the Georgia Archives Virtual Vault has posted on-line
the Chatham County Deed books from 1785 to 1806, check the website and then go to the Virtual Vault.

The Georgia Room at the Central Library in Marietta is closed on Sundays,
and the weekday hours are Monday through Wednesday, 10 to 8, Thursday
through Saturday, 11 to 6. The Heritage Room at Athens-Clarke Central
Public Library will close August 1 for repairs lasting 18 months.
During the interim there will be limited local area genealogy materials
available during normal hours, check .Click Here

At FamilySearch, one now can find the Civil War Pension Index, South
Carolina Confederate Service Records, Pensions for the states of Arkansas
and Louisiana, and Civil War Federal Soldiers’ Widows Claims, among
others. To see what is already on-line and to check in the future
to see what is being added, go to .Click Here
It is a free site.

Essentially, groups that we would refer to here as family associations
have organized in the United Kingdom into this guild. They have nearly
8,000 surnames represented. By going to their website at,Click Here
one finds a list of the various surnames included.

David Ferriero, spoke and gave more details about the 2012 opening
of the 1940 census, indicating that it would be released on April
2 only on the NARA website and afterwards would be available to be
indexed by commercial firms, such as

The records of Central State Hospital (the state mental hospital),
founded in 1842, can be useful in genealogical research. The oldest
records are available at the Georgia Archives on microfilm, and abstracted
for 1842-1870 in “The Georgia Black Book,” Vols. I and II, by Robert
S. Davis, Jr. If a patient has been deceased for 75 years or more,
the information can be released from records still kept at the hospital
near Milledgeville. Contact information for genealogists can be found
at and go to “resources” and to “genealogy.”
The website also contains information to learn if someone is buried
on the hospital grounds.

“Georgia’s Guide to the Civil War” is a new map published in conjunction
with the new edition of “Crossroads of Conflict (UGA Press, 2010)”
by Barry Brown and Gordon R. Elwell. The map is a good way to begin
one’s tour of Georgia’s Civil War sites, especially with the 150th
anniversary of the beginning of the war to be commemorated in 2011.
The map was produced by the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
For more information see ,Click Here
the official site for the 150th anniversary commemoration. Click on “map” to see the map,
or check out other areas of the site, including educational links.

                         Vital Records Information
Vital Records, in the form of birth and death certificates, are important
source documents for any genealogist. Each state began keeping these
important records at different times, so always check to verify the
date, as you should not make assumptions. Many cities began keeping
vital records long before the state did, such as Atlanta and Columbus
began recording births and deaths in the 1890s, although these early
certificates did not include as much information as was obtained later
on. Even though Georgia began vital records at the state level in
1919, some were recorded in the fall of 1918 and are at the Georgia
Archives, as are those death certificates from 1919-1931. They can
be accessed at and you can print out a copy.
The index to Georgia Death Certificates is on and
covers 1919 to 1998. This same index is also on microfiche at many
public libraries. To verify a later death date, you can check the
Social Security Death Index found on-line at various websites.

Georgia’s State Vital Records Office is located at 2600 Skyland Dr.,
NE, Atlanta, 30319, just off the Buford Highway, Clairmont Rd. intersection,
a long way from its former location within the state capitol complex.
They are open from 8 to 5, and the number is 404-679-4702. The current
waiting room is an elementary school classroom that seats only 30
people. Signage is poor and if one goes there without preparation,
you may be surprised to learn that it is cash only. The first copy
of a birth or death certificate is $25, with each additional copy
being $5. The website, found by Googling “Georgia Vital Records” gives
other information to help you on your visit, or how to order some
items on-line. One might also find going to their county health department/vital
records office easier if you know the copy you need is in the system.
A few years ago Georgia upgraded its Motor Vehicle License system,
and if you visit Vital Records, you will find an office that also
needs upgrading.

If you are trying to get a copy of a vital record from another state,
check the Internet for various websites via the state vital records
of that state, the state archives or via the Mormons at  Click Here

                           Second Life Web Site

Some of you may want to take part in “Second Life”, a virtual reality
environment for genealogical discussions. A feature article in the
September, 2011, issue of Family Tree Magazine provides the details
of this on-line organization.

You will have to sign up for a free account at Here
in order to participate. A quick start guide will help you get the
basics at: Here
This virtual world is complete with genealogical societies, museums
and libraries. One of the fun things about this web site is that you
get to create your own physical persona which is displayed in discussion
areas called an AVATAR. There is much more to the site to hold your

            XP Operating System Demise

Microsoft has reminded Windows XP users that the operating system
will lose security support from the company in under 1,000 days’ time.
Stephen Rose, community and social media manager for Microsoft, wrote
a blog post to mark the system’s deadline. He said that “Windows XP
had an amazing run and millions of PC users are grateful for it. But
it’s time to move on.”

If you are still using XP,  you may want to upgrade to a later system.
 Most of the programs for genealogy being produced may not have XP


              Portable Apps Available for Download
This is for Windows users. PortableApps allows you to carry your favorite
computer programs and all of your bookmarks, settings, email, genealogy
data, and more with you on a portable device (USB flash drive, iPod,
portable hard drive, CD, etc) and use them on any Windows computer.
It is a great tool to use when traveling, as you can use any Windows
computer at a library or at a friend’s house, all without leaving
any personal data behind.

I have also known people to use PortableApps both at home and on their
own “netbook” or laptop computer. It can also be useful for seasonal
homes: take your favorite computer programs and all of your bookmarks,
settings, email, and genealogy data with you when you head south for
the winter or north for the summer.

Best of all, PortableApps is free, although you do have to supply
a flash drive. As stated on the PortableApps web site, “It contains
no spyware. There are no advertisements. It isn’t a limited or trial
version. There is no additional hardware or software to buy. You don’t
even have to give out your email address. It’s 100% free to use, free
to copy and free to share.” is a complete collection of portable applications,
including the Firefox web browser, Thunderbird email program, Sunbird
for calendar and tasks, ClamWin antivirus protection, Pidgin instant
messaging, Sumatra PDF reader, KeePass password manager, Sudoku (a
game), Mines-Perfect (another game), CoolPlayer+ audio player, PNotes
note-taking program, as well as for word processing,
spreadsheets, presentations, databases, and drawing.

In addition, you can add Gramps, a free genealogy program, to PortableApps
by following the instructions at Click Here
However, Gramps is not pre-installed; it requires a bit of additional work by you.
The instructions are simple to follow.

All the programs are preconfigured to work portably. All you need
to do is plug the jump drive into a Windows computer, wait a few seconds
for the PortableApps menu to load, and start using any or all of the

Not bad for free programs!

Flash drives are cheap these days, sometimes less than five dollars.
However, I’d suggest you obtain an 8 gigabyte or bigger flash drive
in order to store many programs plus all your data. You will want
storage space for your genealogy data as well as for word processing
documents, email messages, and more. Eight gigabyte jump drives typically
sell for $10 to $20 at your local computer store or department store.

For more information or to download the free PortableApps applications,
go to Here

You do need to use a bit of caution when carrying one of these tiny
flash drives. If it contains a lot of personal information, you won’t
want to lose it or have it stolen! You need to be careful. Of course,
you can always add an encryption program to the flash drive or purchase
a flash drive that already contains encryption, such as the Kingston
8 gigabyte USB 2.0 Hi-Speed Datatraveler Locker with Encryption available
on Amazon at click here
However, the encrypted flash drives are more expensive than normal drives.

For do-it-yourself encryption using the free TrueCrypt program, read
the “How to Encrypt USB Flash Drive” article at click here

I would hate to lose any flash drive but at least your personal information
will be safe if the drive only contains encrypted information.

Backups are always important but become even more important than ever
when the data is contained on a tiny flash drive that is easily lost!
Back up your files to other media frequently and keep multiple copies
of the backups in multiple places. I’d suggest keeping at least one
(encrypted) copy in an online backup service on the Internet plus
at least one more backup copy at home.

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My Thanks to Dick Eastman for this very useful information.

                        More WEB Information
Genealogy subscription services continue to proliferate.
heads up the list with a cost of $155.40 per year.
charges $39.95 per year.

It seems that library services have reduced their offerings of genealogical
materials since the for-pay services have much more materials available.
There seems to have been a reduction in researchers at the Nancy Guinn
over the past year. Of course, this could be attributed to the recent
restructuring of the library after the remodeling. My observation
is that the genealogy room isn’t as inviting a place as it used to

There are web sites still operating for free. The Daughters of the
America Revolution at:  clkck here
has interlinked databases of DAR members.
 The Digital Library of Georgia is at: click here

Virginia has information at:
and at:  click here

The LDS church is at: clock here
 Many of the holdings are being digitized.

If you have a favorite web site that has been useful, please share
the URL with us. Email the site URL to the editor at

             Who Do You Think You Are TV Program

If you missed any of the intriguing and emotional episodes from Season
2 of Who Do You Think You Are? then you’ll have a second chance to
enjoy the journeys of America’s favorite celebrities starting this
weekend. Throughout the summer, NBC will begin airing encores of the
eight original episodes from earlier this year and we couldn’t be
more excited. Last season’s premiere episode will air this Saturday,
July 16 on NBC at 8/7c. Ashley Judd’s episode will repeat the following
Friday, July 22 at the same time. The remainder of the episodes will
run on Saturday’s at 8p/7c with a few exceptions. Check your local
listings for the latest information or visit click here
for more weekly information.


JEANS & GENES is a publication of the Rockdale County Genealogical
% Nancy Guinn Library
864 Green St. SW
Conyers, Ga.  30012

President:  Chris Zawadski
V. President:  Gayle Vivian
Treasurer: Ellen Trainer
Secretary: Jane Conn
Program Co-Chairmen:  Dee Davis, John Brown
Membership Chairman:  Vacant
Membership Committee: Vacant
Trip Coordinator: Claudine  Jackson
Board Member:  Vacant
Newsletter: Marion T. Farmer
                   1500 A. Pine Log Rd NE
                   Conyers, GA. 30012