Whenever I run out of historical resources to document ancestors, I turn to the FamilySearch Wiki for fresh ideas. The FamilySearch Wiki is an encyclopedia of genealogical resources shared by people like you and me. Genealogists and family historians are sharing what they know about history and resources making it a wonderful place to look first for information.
I wanted to be sure to introduce you to the articles for the state of Georgia on the Wiki:
You will need to be certain about the county where your ancestor lived and time period he or she lived there. Creating a timeline of your ancestor’s life will be very helpful.
As you can see, there is a list of topics on the left which link to resources, and each each county is listed. I suggest you check the resources for the county where your ancestor lived to determine which historical documentation exists that was generated during the lifetime of your ancestor.
Notice the sections: History, Parent County, Boundary Changes, and Record Loss. Comparing your ancestor’s timeline to the information in this section will help you save a lot of wasted time. Have you ever searched for an ancestor in a particular county and never found him or her? Well perhaps there was a boundary change and the county during a certain time period did not exist yet or perhaps it became part of another county. Your ancestors never moved, but the county name changed.
Some reasons for not being able to find documentation could be:
ñ Record loss
ñ Boundary changes
ñ Records are held in parent county
Some Wiki articles are still being developed. Let’s work together to add the information you find to the Wiki. I invite you to become a contributor, or share your findings with me in the comments section of any Georgia article. Be sure to check the link for the Family History Library Catalog at the bottom of each Georgia County article. You may find resources on microfilm which are not available online yet. Then you can contact your local FamilySearch Center to order and view the film.
In the next article, we will discuss the topic, African Americans, in the topics section.