BGS Meeting — February 22, 2014 — From Kitchen Gardens to Flora of the Civil War

The Birmingham Genealogical Society meets the fourth Saturday of each month (ex. Nov. & Dec.) at the Downtown Birmingham Public Library. Guests are always welcome!

Next meeting: Saturday, February 22nd at 2 p.m.;Board Meeting at 1:00 p.m.

Meeting Room: Arrington Auditorium, 4th Floor, Linn-Henley Building

Speaker:  Jason Kirby, Former BGS President and current Archivist at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens Library

Program Topic:  From Kitchen Gardens to Flora of the Civil War

Please join us as Jason Kirby, former BGS President and current archivist at the Archives and Rare Book Room (Birmingham Botanical Gardens), presents “From Kitchen Gardens to Flora of the Civil War.” This presentation covers the different types of southern historic gardens with a focus on kitchen gardens during the Civil War time period. Jason will discuss flora from herbs to common cure-alls, to sweet herbs for hearth and health, to teas and vinegars. See what our ancestors did back in the old days!

Founded in 2008, the Archives and Rare Book Room is located in the library at Birmingham Botanical Gardens on the first floor of the Garden Center. The collection is open to the public Monday-Friday from 9-4 p.m. and on weekends by appointment-only. The Archives and Rare Book Room consist of materials generated by Friends of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, the City of Birmingham, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, various plant groups, garden clubs and societies. The collection consists of scrapbooks, rare books, works progress administration (WPA) records, seed catalogs, garden manuals, manuscripts, Japanese tea ceremony items, plant fossils, Japanese woodblock prints, photographs, minute books, post cards, botanical prints, water color paintings, thesis papers, maps, personal herbarium (plant press book), and garden and botanical ephemera.

Free Webinar Monday, November 18, 2013 — Google Earth for Genealogy

When:  Monday, November 18, 2013 @ 8pm EST/7pm CST
What: Webinar, Google Earth for Genealogy
Who:  Lisa Louise Cooke

Google Earth for Genealogy – Google Earth is a 360 degree three dimensional way to view your ancestor’s world! In this class you will learn how to identify old photos, plot and virtually visit your ancestor’s homestead, and incorporate historic maps. Google Earth has the power to geographically document your ancestor’s lives, and lends itself very well to collaboration with other researchers. It’s one of the best online genealogical tools available, and best of all, Google Earth is FREE!

Lisa Louise Cooke is the owner of Genealogy Gems, a multi-media production company, and host of The Genealogy Gems Podcast at She’s the author of four books including Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse and The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, producer of the video series Google Earth for Genealogy, an international speaker, and a regular contributor to Family Tree Magazine.

The Webinar is free, but you must register to get your personal sign-in code. Visit the GGS website to sign up (click on “register and view our schedule”). If you cannot attend the webinar at the 8PM time, many of the webinars are archived in the members-only section of the website.

Applications for the Jean Thomason Scholarship for IGHR are due by December 1, 2013,

From our Friends at IGHR:

Applications for the Jean Thomason Scholarship for IGHR are due by December 1, 2013, and will be reviewed by a Samford University Library committee. The winner will be announced in January.

Please include the following in your application:

* Name * Address * Email * Phone * The name of the Library where you are employed * The length of time you have worked in a library * The average number of hours (monthly) spent working with patrons * The name of the course you plan to attend (2014 Course offerings available at * In 500 words or less (1 printed page), a description of how participation in this course will benefit your patrons * A letter of support from a supervisor or colleague

Please send your application:

Via email to:

Via regular mail to: Thomason Scholarship Samford University Library 800 Lakeshore Drive Birmingham, AL 35229

For more information or to submit your application via email, visit the IGHR website at

BGS Meeting — April 27, 2013 — Using the Alabama State Loose Records Database/Index on the Web

The Birmingham Genealogical Society meets the fourth Saturday of each month (ex. Nov. & Dec.) at the Downtown Birmingham Public Library. Guests are always welcome!

Next meeting: Saturday, April 27th at 2 p.m.;Board Meeting at 1:00 p.m.

Meeting Room: Arrington Auditorium, 4th Floor, Linn-Henley Building

Speaker: Jim Anderson

Program Topic: Using the Alabama State Loose Records Database/Index on the Web

Please join us as Jim Anderson, current Webmaster and Treasurer, Alabama Genealogical Society(and BGS member) presents “Using the Alabama State Loose Records Database/Index on the Web.”

Jim is the database architect for the AGS Loose Records web index that gives searchable access to over fifty thousand names culled from archival records of Alabama probate courts – the subject of which is his presentation today. With a degree in Film and TV production his early career was producing programs for the military, and later, the Alabama ETV (now APTV) network.  Following work in medical television at UAB, Jim moved into sales of AV and video equipment, and computers.  After owning and managing an Apple dealership for fourteen years Jim retired to pursue his family history research while working in a theatre troupe bringing performances to seniors in retirement homes throughout Jefferson County.

Jim has previously made two extremely interesting presentations to BGS: First, the recounting of a murder in Shelby County and it’s connection with a prominent Birmingham business man, and second,  an analysis of the question of who is buried on the Birmingham Country Club golf course.

Public Closure of the GA State Archives Effective November 1, 2012

Press Release from Georgia Secretary of State:

September 13, 2012

Statement from Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp on Public Closure of the State Archives Effective November 1, 2012
The Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget has instructed the Office of the Secretary of State to further reduce its budget for AFY13 and FY14 by 3% ($732,626). As it has been for the past two years, these cuts do not eliminate excess in the agency, but require the agency to further reduce services to the citizens of Georgia. As an agency that returns over three times what is appropriated back to the general fund, budget cuts present very challenging decisions. We have tried to protect the services that the agency provides in support of putting people to work, starting small businesses, and providing public safety.

To meet the required cuts, it is with great remorse that I have to announce, effective November 1, 2012, the Georgia State Archives located in Morrow, GA will be closed to the public. The decision to reduce public access to the historical records of this state was not arrived at without great consternation. To my knowledge, Georgia will be the only state in the country that will not have a central location in which the public can visit to research and review the historical records of their government and state. The staff that currently works to catalog, restore, and provide reference to the state of Georgia’s permanent historical records will be reduced. The employees that will be let go through this process are assets to the state of Georgia and will be missed.

After November 1st, the public will only be allowed to access the building by appointment; however, the number of appointments could be limited based on the schedule of the remaining employees.
Since FY08, the Office of the Secretary of State has been required to absorb many budget reductions, often above the minimum, while being responsible for more work. I believe that transparency and open access to records are necessary for the public to educate themselves on the issues of our government. I will fight during this legislative session to have this cut restored so the people will have a place to meet, research, and review the historical records of Georgia.

Jared S. Thomas
Press Secretary
Brian P. Kemp, Secretary of State
214 State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30330
404-656-4269 phone
404-656-0513 fax

FGS Conferences Continues Today in Birmingham

Please come by and see us in the Exhibit Hall (East Exhibit Hall at the BJCC).  You do not have to be a registered conference participant to access the Exhibit Hall.  The vendors and societies participating are numerous… and LOTS of special “conference only” deals from the vendors (book vendors, software vendors, genealogical websites).  This is the last day of FGS 2012 and the Exhibit Hall will be open until 3pm.

Hope to see you there!

News from — All Censuses FREE this Weekend!


Search all U.S. Censuses free
From August 29th through September 3rd, is opening all of its U.S. census records (1790 – 1940)  – FREE.  Go to to learn more and start searching.

Take a trip back in time
Go beyond searching your family’s true story in the census records and see what your own life could have been like as an adult in 1940 with the Time Machine. Our interactive, time-travel experience requires just a handful of information provided by you. And in return, you get a custom video featuring YOU in 1940. While it’s not genealogy, it is high-tech fun. Create your own video and share it with your friends and family. And encourage them to create their own at

Legacy Family Tree FREE Webinar — Building a Family Tree from Circumstantial Evidence — 29 August 2012

Legacy Family Tree Webinars are offered by Millenia Corporation, makers of the family tree software, Legacy Family Tree.  The next FREE webinar is August 29, 2012 given by Judy G. Russell, CG, on “Building a Family Tree from Circumstantial Evidence.”  You can register for the webinar here.  I recommend registering even if the time is not convenient as the webinars are available as FREE recorded sessions after the live event for several days.

Other upcoming and previously recorded webinars can be found here.