By Curt Yeomans
People wishing to find out more information about their ancestors should move quickly, as a series of genealogy classes offered by Clayton State University's Archives will soon be filled.
The University Archives will kick off its free series on how to conduct genealogical research on Sunday, from 3 p.m., to 5 p.m., in room L200 of Clayton State's library. The series will continue on Oct. 26, and Nov. 23. Only seven, out of 20 openings, are left in the classes.
"The classes are for adults with a desire to climb their family tree or look for their roots, and do not know how to begin," said Selma Blackmon, a Clayton State senior from Norcross, and an archives intern, who will teach the classes.
Blackmon is studying to become a genealogist, and said her interest in the subject stems from the personal stories which come out of genealogical research.
"Everyone has a history," she said. "It is important to know and preserve his/her story. Each person is important and deserves to be heard. My goal is to offer assistance so the information will be passed down to the next generation in a manner that will be of interest."
The classes will cover six areas of genealogical research, including: Research techniques; forms and documentation; genealogy software; online and on-site research; photograph identification, and preservation techniques, such as scanning photographs and documents onto a computer for storage. Displays will be set up to illustrate how participants should do their work.
Clayton State Archivist Rosemary Fischer said the intrepid genealogists will also have access to resources, such as databases, in Clayton State's library for a few hours after each class ends. Participants are encouraged to bring their laptop computers, if they have them, so they can visit genealogical web sites during the classes.
There has been a high level of interest in the classes so far, Fischer said. Before the archives announced the classes would take place, a half dozen people were requesting genealogy information sessions from archivists. "For people like me, it's the mystery," said Fischer, when asked about the allure of genealogy.
"I want to know where I came from. Who is in my family tree? I want to know about those people, and see pictures of them. I also want to see how far back I can go with my family tree," Fischer added.
To sign up for the classes, contact Fischer at (678)466-4333. Callers should leave the name, and contact information, for any person who is planning to participate in the sessions.