July programs at the Georgia Archives

Special to The Times

The Georgia Archives will host several events for the month of July. The events are free, open to the public and no registration is required. On Saturday, July 1 from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. in celebration of Independence Day, the Georgia Archives will exhibit Georgia’s recorded copy of the Declaration of Independence. Archives staff will be on hand to answer questions.

Special photo

On Friday, July 14 at noon their Lunch and Learn program will be on Native American ancestry research. Guest speaker, Yvonne Mashburn Schmidt, Certified Genealogist, will present “About That Native American Grandmother: Clues That Help and Hinder Our Family Stories.” Stories of Cherokee ancestry are common among families whose ancestors were established in the southeast prior to the Trail of Tears. An estimated forty-four percent of native southerners believe they have Indian ancestry. Many feel strongly compelled to accept the challenge to either document or disprove these stories, but are uncertain about how to proceed. Because genealogical research includes placing our families in legal and social context, the discussion will begin with a very brief history of the state of Georgia’s interaction with three tribes that resided in Georgia - the Creeks, Cherokees, and Natchez - and how descendants of these native people were affected by the government’s legal maneuvers. Using three case studies of families who have native ancestral stories and whose ancestors were racially identified as black and white, attendees will gain guidance about how to conduct Native American research and how to recognize the clues that can be used as evidence and provide credibility for their stories. Genetic genealogy has become a valuable tool, and today’s families with native stories often DNA test with the hope to use these results to accept or reject evidence of this ancestry. The use of DNA results as evidence of native ancestry will also be discussed.

For more information, please contact Allison Hudgins at 678-364-3748 or email at Allison. Hudgins@usg.edu. The Georgia Archives is located at 5800 Jonesboro Road in Morrow. For more info, call them at 678-364-3748.