Category Archives: Events

Everyone is Invited

Welcome Back, Wednesday

Beginning Wednesday, July 31
the Georgia Archives will be increasing
its public access from two days to four each week.

Celebrate this momentous occasion
with a ribbon-cutting, refreshments, door prizes

and some Wednesday research.

Wednesday, July 31, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
5800 Jonesboro Road    Morrow, Ga.

sponsored by the Georgia Genealogical Society

Thanks to everyone who made this significant accomplishment possible!

New hours (including the research room):

Wednesdays-Saturdays from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

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WDYTYA at the Archives

Every genealogy enthusiast is eagerly awaiting the return of the television series, Who Do You Think You Are?

The show features celebrities who, with the help of professional researchers, discover fascinating things about their ancestors. This year’s celebrities are Christina Applegate, Kelly Clarkson, Cindy Crawford, Zooey Deschanel, Chelsea Handler, Chris O’Donnell, Jim Parson and Trisha Yearwood.

Once aired by NBC and picked up by The Learning Channel, the eight new episodes will begin on Tuesday, July 23. Hopefully, TLC will air complete online episodes — as did NBC —  for those who do not have cable.

In previous years the Georgia Archives has hosted Spike Lee and Paula Deen. In preparation for the upcoming season singers Kelly Clarkson and Trisha Yearwood spent time at the Archives.  Yearwood, a Monticello native, discovered records at the Archives proving that she has Georgia ancestors dating back to the 1700s.

WDYTYA will air at 9 p.m. For more information, visit

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Archives Update at Lunch and Learn

     Georgia Archives Director Chris Davidson will give an update on the transition of the Archives to the University System of Georgia during June’s Lunch and Learn program.
     Archivist Kayla Barrett also will be on the program, presenting a “refresher”  on Using the Collections of the Georgia Archives.

The event will be held on Friday, June 14 from noon to 1 p.m. at the Georgia Archives, 5800 Jonesboro Road, Morrow.

     Monthly Lunch and Learn programs are free, and no reservations are required. Participants are invited to bring lunches and listen to presentations on a wide variety subjects.

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Watch for News and Information Here

The General Assembly is in recess today in order to finish work on the state budget. Tomorrow is the final day of the 2014 session.

As you probably know, this blog is sponsored by the Georgia Genealogical Society. It was started with the goal of providing information about the crisis at the Georgia Archives. That goal will continue, with information and issues being posted as needed.

Beginning today, we also will use this blog to post information about GGS activities and other news of interest to the genealogical and related communities.



Today we feature an upcoming lecture sponsored by GGS and the Metro Atlanta Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society in conjunction with the Atlanta History Center.

African American genealogist Tony Burroughs will discuss his book,  Black Roots: A Beginner’s Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree, at the Atlanta History Center on Tuesday, April 2 at 8 p.m.

Attendees will discover how to trace, document, record and write family history using this easy-to-read, step-by-step authoritative guide. Black Roots highlights some of the special problems, solutions and sources unique to African Americans.

Admission is $5 for members, $10 non-members and free to AHC Insiders unless otherwise noted.  Reservations are required. Phone 404-814-4150 or reserve online at Click on the link in the calendar section.

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Demonstrate Your Support of the Georgia Archives

The Georgia Genealogical Society will sponsor a rally in support of the Georgia Archives on Monday, Jan. 14, the opening day of the 2013 session of the Georgia General Assembly.

The rally will be held at the Washington Street entrance to the state capitol from 1-3 p.m. Only hand-held signs are allowed. Please come out and support your Georgia Archives.

If you cannot attend — and even if you can — please be sure to keep in touch with your state representative throughout the session.

Public pressure made the different last fall when the Archives was in danger of closing to the public.  Because of  all the phone calls, messages and petitions, Gov. Nathan Deal restored money to keep the Archives open — but only until the end of the fiscal year, June 30, 2012.

Public pressure is vital to ensure the enough money is restored to the budget to keep the Archives open.

If you have questions about the rally or about talking to your legislators, please contact Vivian at or Elizabeth at

Thanks for your support.

Vivian Price Saffold

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What Gov. Deal and Daniel Appling Could Have in Common

The Friends of the Georgia Archives and History presented the Appling Sword to Gov. Nathan Deal yesterday. The sword had been missing from Georgia since 1909.

After it was discovered recently in a private collection, FOGAH raised $100,000 to buy it back for Georgia. For that effort FOGAH is to be commended.

The sword was commissioned in 1816 to honor Lt. Col. Daniel Appling of Columbia County. Appling and his men defeated the British at Big Sandy Creek in upstate New York in May of 1814. The sword was made for a real Georgia hero.

It was a tragedy that Appling died before the sword could be presented to him. Today’s tragedy is that the Georgia Archives is still virtually off-limits to the citizens of Georgia.

Does Georgia have a modern-day hero who will return the Archives to the people of Georgia, the people to whom it belongs? Gov. Deal?

Vivian Price Saffold

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Rally Draws Vocal Supporters

More than 100 passionate supporters heard several equally passionate speakers at Wednesday’s rally in support of the Georgia Archives.

Protestors outside the capitol called for the Archives to remain open, the employees to remain and Secretary of State Brian Kemp to be impeached.

Speakers inside the capitol added their voices., speakers, including former U. S. Rep. Bob Barr, University of Georgia history professor Jim Cobb, Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society chairman Emma Davis-Hamilton, two state legislators, Sen. Gail Davenport from Clayton County and Rep. Debbie Buckner from Talbot County, and Morrow Mayor J. B. Burke

Former U. S. Rep. Bob Barr called the Secretary of State’s decision to close the Archive “short sighted” and questioned the legality of closing the facility. “Reasonable access” to the historical records, he said, “is not discretionary. It is mandatory… it essential to having a free people and an educated people.”

“The records do not belong to Brian Kemp or Nathan Deal,” Barr said, prompting loud applause and cheering. “They need to hear from us, politely and respectfully, but loud and clear, that this decision will not stand.”

Closing the Archives, with its historic documents dating back to 1733, said University of Georgia Professor Jim Cobb, “is like wrapping up the Hope diamond and putting it under the seat of my truck.”

The $730,000 needed to keep the Archives open with the current service level and employees, he pointed out, is less than half the operating budget of Go Fish, former Gov. Sonny Perdue’s much publicized “educational center” in Perry.

Prof. Cobb suggested that Georgia increase its cigarette tax to the national average, a move he said would raise $500 million. Or, he said sarcastically, the state could sell special license plates: “Historically ignorant, but a great place to smoke.”

Comparing the closing the Archives to the burning of courthouses by Union Gen. W. T. Sherman on his march through Georgia, Prof. Cobb said the state is “handing the keys to the Archives to old Billy Sherman.”

Emma Davis-Hamilton, chairman of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, grew up hearing stories about her ancestral home. “Georgia had a bad name,” she said. At the Georgia Archives she found records verifying that her ancestors had registered to vote and owned land shortly after the Civil War. The story of black Americans may not be in history books, she said, but it is in the Georgia Archives. “Don’t lock my history away again.”

Sen. Davenport spoke about the economic impact of the Archives on Morrow, Clayton County and the state of Georgia. She received a standing ovation when she declared that “on Oct. 31 no one should lose their jobs.”

Rep. Buckner agreed, adding that the start-up time for new employees would be more costly than keeping the current employees in place. She said she understands the dilemma caused by declining revenues, but keeping the Archives open “is not only the legal thing to do, it’s the right thing to do.”

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced last month that the Georgia Archives would absorb the entire three percent budget cut required of his department. He also said that seven of the remaining 10 employees would be terminated.

Kaye Minchew, co-chairman of the Coalition to Preserve the Georgia Archives, told the supporters that she hopes “we’re in good shape with the supplemental budget.” However, she added that she expects the Archives to close from November to mid-March.
Dianne Cannestra, chairman of the Friends of Georgia Archives and History, moderated the event.

Vivian Price Saffold

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Rally Reminder

The rally in support of the Georgia Archives and the seven terminated employees will be Wednesday, Oct. 3 beginning at noon in the rotunda of the state capitol.  Signs are not permitted in the capitol building. Signs will be allowed on the capitol grounds at the Washington Street (west) entrance. Please note that signs must be hand-held — no sticks or stakes. Please join the effort to keep the Archives open to the public.


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State Capitol Rally

Support the Archives. Save the Seven. A rally in support of the Georgia Archives will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 3 at noon in the rotunda of the State Capitol. Although Gov. Nathan Deal announced on Sept. 19 that he would find the funding to keep the Archives open, no details have been announced. The Archives is still scheduled to close to the public on Nov. 1

The rally also will highlight the need to reinstate seven employees whose termination was announced by Secretary of State Brian Kemp. The termination will be final of Nov. 1 If this action is allowed to stand, irreplaceable knowledge and experience will be lost.

Supporters of the Archives and the employees are encouraged to attend. Please note that placards are not allowed inside the Capitol.

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