National Archives, CSU offer WW II genealogy class

Photo by Heather Middleton

Photo by Heather Middleton

By Curt Yeomans


When National Archives at Atlanta Education Specialist Joel Walker talks about the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima, it carries a personal meaning, because he had a relative who fought in the battle.

Walker said history is a subject that can be viewed through a family perspective, by finding a family tie to major events, such as World War II, or the Civil Rights Movement. That is the approach he is taking in a series of programs, called "American Genius," that the National Archives at Atlanta is offering this spring, in partnership with Clayton State University's Center for Continuing Education.

"It's sort of taking a family-history approach to learning about the major events in history," Walker said. He later added, "It's kind of an overview of the war. We're not going to talk about any particular battles. It's more, or less, the entire war effort, if you will. We'll also talk about what happened on the home front during the war."

Walker will lead the fourth, and final installment in the series, entitled "World War II: Stories of the Home Front and Tales from Two Theatres," on April 26, from 6:30 p.m., to 8:30 p.m., at the archives, which is located at 5780 Jonesboro Road, in Morrow. The cost for the course is $20 per person.

Walker said there are a variety of World War II-era resources available at the National Archives at Atlanta, dealing with an eight-state area in the Southeastern U.S., that people could comb through for genealogical information for their family tree.

These documents include records from the War Manpower Commission; the Fair Employment Practices Commission; the Charleston (S.C.) Naval Yard, and World War II draft cards.

He said the archives also has some documents detailing a "secret city" in Tennessee where uranium was "purified" for use in the "Manhattan Project," which was the code name used for the development of the atomic bomb.

He said he will talk about these documents during "World War II: Stories of the Home Front and Tales from Two Theatres."

To sign up for the class, log onto http://conted.clayton.edu/, or call (678) 466-5050.