31 Days to Better Genealogy – Day 30

31 Days to Better Genealogy – Day 30

I’m taking Amy Crow’s challenge for 31 Days to Better Genealogy and blog Amy’s questions, with my answers; I plan to make one blog post, adding daily. Hopefully by the end of the 31 days, I will learn how to better solve some of my genealogy questions. If you haven’t signed up yet, just click on the link below… never too late to catch up!

31 Days to Better Genealogy by Amy Johnson Crow gives you practical steps to make your research more productive. Whether you are just beginning to climb your family tree or have been doing this for years, you can adapt the tips and methods in 31 Days to Better Genealogy to suit your needs.

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Day 30 – Explore Genealogy Societies

one more day….

Today Amy reminds us about local genealogy society meetings – and how we need to explore those societies and see exactly what they may offer us; by not exploring their site, we may be missing out.

Most genealogy societies focus on their county… some even focus on a specific country of origin. In our region here in New Haven, Connecticut there are many Son’s of Italy societies and Italian American organizations; mainly because this area was a heavily settled area for Irish and Italians when they immigrated.Both societies focus on research, just a different type of focus.

My To Do List:

Google a genealogy society in the area where my ancestors lived…. can I learn from them? But what can I learn when I don’t live in the area… well we will see.

I’ve chosen to focus on the Lumpkin County (Georgia) Historical Society and see if there is anything offered that I might take advantage of from a distance.

The Lumpkin County Historical Society’s motto is…

Learning from the past, preserving for the future
They are a strong society that looks to preserve and protect the historical heritage of the area; Dahlonega and Lumpkin County are rich in history.
 now-then-newsletter
 

In reading through their site, what I liked was that they seem to encourage students to learn about their local history by writing stories to submit in a yearly essay contest. If your family grew up in that area, your family was enriched with stories of gold mining, farming or even moonshine. By encouraging students to write those stories – they are helping and learning how to preserve their family history – the future genealogist.

Their newsletter, “Now & Then” is an awesome tool to learn about the treasures in the area, events happening, publications, and local projects in the works. In reading through several of them I learned…

  • The Smith House History Cookbook: I happened to see this in the local “General Store” and am now wishing I had purchased it. We love eating at the Smith House restaurant when visiting – a family style experience of long tables and enjoying dinner often with others visiting the area. The food is served in family style bowls and always kept full – until you have had enough. My favorites there are cream-style corn, fried okra and always the fried chicken. I did flip through the book of part cookbook and part history book on the Smith Family and how the restaurant came to be. (Maybe I can put it on my Xmas Wish List – hope Santa is reading)
  • One issue wrote about their “show and tell” night… many members brought in artifacts from their family. What an interesting night that must have been – I have pieces given to me from the cabin site of Berrian Clark Bryan – they were found with the use of a metal detector; one piece looks to be an almost complete top to a cast iron cooktop. My cousin (a local there) found a buggy step – we imagine it to be from a wagon belonging to our 3rd great grandfather.
  • Another issue caught my eye as the caption read… “Dahlonega History Arrives from Connecticut”. I quickly clicked back to read… there is actually someone else in my state of CT. who relates to Dahlonega – I’m intrigued to know more; maybe I can make contact with him.
  • A friend I made there many years ago…. Anne Amerson, local author of several books, was featured with her new book “Dahlonega, Georgia – Site of America’s First Gold Rush.” Anne is an awesome writer and I have many of her books; she also wrote for the local newspaper, the Dahlonega Nugget, and published books called I Love Dahlonega, Vol. 1, Vo. 2, and Vol. 3 are awesome stories from the locals she interviewed many years ago; several of my ancestors are in there. I treasure the contact I’ve had with Anne over the years – she encouraged me to write my story “Heirloom Recipes” that was published in Georgia Backroads, a magazine she also writes for. She is truly a walking source of Lumpkin County History.
  • In a 2007 issue I discovered a cemetery book that I didn’t know of… now I see what I’ve been missing out on – I am definitely joining the society even though I do not live in the county – it’s a way of keeping abreast of new publications offered as well as the history. The book is called “Lumpkin County, Georgia Cemeteries” – cemeteries are transcribed for names also and will definitely be an asset for me. I’m ordering this book tonight.

Dahlonega  is a town so enriched in history, by being in the very spot where the first major gold rush in the United States took place in 1829.  The public square, of where the county courthouse sits, is the very spot my ancestor stood to have his photo taken in 1909 as a Confederate Veteran; it’s on the National Register of Historic Places. Whenever I walk the square, I feel connected to my early Bryan’s – who also walked the very square.

dahlongeg-photo-1902-paper

I’ve often wondered if Gaston Dahlonega Bruce ( 1st 4x removed)  took that photograph on the town square that day of the Confederate Veterans.

art-studio-gaston-d-bruce

The Art Gallery of Gaston Dahlonega Bruce in Dahlonega, Georgia

Thanks Amy for this day’s topic, although at first I was like, “I don’t think I will find anything”… and look I found a new cemetery book, a mention of a man in my now home state of Connecticut, who also ties back to Dahlonega, and rediscovered stories written by my friend Anne! It was a good search!

I can’t wait to see what Amy has in tune for us on Halloween – the very last day of our blogging posts!!!!

Click Here For More 31 Days to Better Genealogy

© 2016, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

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