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CSU genealogy group offers family history class

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

Once a month, usually on the first Sunday, a group of approximately two dozen Clayton State University students and employees, and local residents, meet in the school's library to talk shop about family trees.

The group is Clayton State's Genealogy Club, and it has been meeting since the fall of 2008. During club meetings, speakers give presentations on genealogy-related subjects, including how to search public records; hot to record an oral history; and how to care for family photographs, said Norcross resident, Selma Blackmon, who organized the group with Clayton State University Archivist Rosemary Fischer.

"We do it to climb family trees, and dig family roots," Blackmon said. Blackmon performed three internships under Fischer's guidance in 2008, and earned a bachelor's degree in archival studies from CSU last year.

The group will offer an introductory, crash course on genealogy, for family history novices, on Sunday, from 1 p.m., to 2:30 p.m., in room L200, of the Clayton State Library, which is on the university's main campus in Morrow.

It's a "just the basics"-type workshop in which participants will learn genealogy-related information, such as how to fill out a pedigree chart, and a family group sheet, Blackmon said.

"We're holding this workshop for beginners who want to research their family trees, and don't know where to begin," she added.

After the workshop, the group will hold its monthly meeting, from 3 p.m., to 5 p.m., and speakers from the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Sons and Daughters of the Confederacy will discuss the purpose, and work, of their heritage societies.

"We will learn about these societies, their membership, and their meetings," said Fischer, in a written statement. "If you've ever wanted to join, and didn't know where to start, then this workshop is for you."

Blackmon said no group member has yet found anything on the level of medieval royalty in his or her family tree, but some have discovered distant cousins living in the area about whom they knew nothing. "No one has had that, 'Oh look, I'm related to Thomas Jefferson,' moment yet, but the members are finding information that is important to them on a personal level," she said.

Blackmon said new members are always welcome, however. She said the only times when the group does not meet on the first Sunday of the month, is when there is a holiday at the beginning of the month, such as the Fourth of July, or Labor Day. The meetings are always held at 3 p.m., in room L200 of the library, she said.

People can keep up with the club's activities, such as meeting dates and locations, and special activities, she said, by logging onto the group's online blog, which is located at genealogicalhistoryresearch.blogspot.com/.

Anyone who would like more information about Sunday's meetings, can e-mail Blackmon at selmajoey@yahoo.com.

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On the Net:

Clayton State Genealogy Club: http://genealogicalhistoryresearch.blogspot.com/