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Utilizing local and national historical societies
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It is a great idea to belong to your local historical society. The society may have information on where and how your relatives lived. Local Historical and Genealogical societies sometimes sponsor genealogy classes. They may also need volunteers which, of course, is a valuable experience when researching your ancestors.

•Newton County Historical Society was formed in 1971. In 1978, they wrote and copyrighted "History of Newton County, Ga." which is available at the Newton County Library, Floyd Street in Covington in the Heritage Room. This book tells the story of many early families in Covington along with what is was like to live in Newton County. If you are interested in joining or volunteering for the society, please contact Deb Bell at

•Rockdale County Historical Society is dedicated to the preservation of the history of Conyers and Rockdale County. The society through much effort, has collected, catalogued, preserved and maintained much of the local historical resources. The Society restored the old jail which is now a museum and is open every first Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can become a member of the Historical Society by picking up a brochure at the information desk on the top floor of the Conyers Rockdale Library, 864 Green Street. (770) 388-5040.

•Rockdale County Genealogical Society is a group devoted to family research and helping others with informative programs monthly. The society meets on the second Sunday of the month at 3 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, 1275 Flat Shoals Road, Conyers. Come join in the fun at their September meeting with Robert Willingham Jr. author of "Deadly Trust." This book is about the mysterious disappearance of the Nelms Sisters. Deadly Trust, a Southern historical novel, is based on a true story of good versus evil and the efforts made to bring about justice. Mark your calendar for Sept. 9, at 3 p.m.

•Georgia Historical Society as quoted on their website "is the premier independent statewide institution responsible for collecting, examining, and teaching Georgia history. GHS houses the oldest and most distinguished collection of materials related exclusively to Georgia history." It has a library and archives and provides personalized assistance to those interested in Georgia history. You can further research this society by going to their website at

•National Genealogical Society is a great organization to join for everyone interested in family research. By being a member of NGS, you will have many benefits such as free educational courses, a free quarterly magazine, access to blogs, forms, research resources, discounts in the NGS online store and much more. Check out their website at They are always in need of volunteers.

•The Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. helps to preserve African-American family history, genealogy and cultural diversity by teaching research techniques and providing information to the community. Their goal is to promote research, provide resources for historical and genealogical studies, create a network of persons with similar interests, and assist members in documenting their histories. You can explore this national organization through their website at The AAHGS has a local chapter that meets at the Georgia National Archives in Morrow monthly with informative speakers.
There are hundreds of local, regional, national, state and ethnic genealogical societies that you may be interested in joining. For a more complete listing, you might want to check at wiki under Genealogical Societies.

As a professional genealogist, I strongly urge you to join and volunteer to at least one Genealogical Society. If you have any genealogical questions or concerns, you can contact me at

Ellen Blakeslee is a professional genealogist living in Covington. You can email her at with any questions or concerns.