Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Countdown to Atlanta Family History Expo - and Some Research

Two days left to get ready for this trip! 

When I first decided to attend the Atlanta Family History Expo I immediately looked at a map to see where the event was being held and what might be nearby research wise for me to take advantage of while in the area. Just 30 miles away, there was Cumming, Georgia. Cumming is the county seat of Forsyth County where my great-grandmother's younger siblings went to live with relatives after their mother's death in Kentucky in 1876 and where I have the only lead on a possible sister of my gg-grandfather. Well, this was the perfect location for Expo, I could leave a day early, get some research done in Forsyth County on Thursday and head over to Duluth by Thursday evening. Then the research wheels really started spinning.

My grandfather's sister is buried in Westview Cemetery in Atlanta so I could run by there on Sunday before heading home. But then I also need to look at some newspapers and court records in Coweta County, Georgia (Newnan) and that's less than 40 miles from Atlanta so I could just run on down there and get that research done on Monday. In the meantime, there are a couple of cemeteries an hour or so on the other side of Newnan that I could also hit on Sunday afternoon.

Then I realized that once I'm in Newnan it's only a couple of hours over to St. Clair County, Alabama where my grandfather's 1st wife was from and where they got married. Maybe I could find a lead on what happened to her and their child after they split up around 1902. So I added another day to this trip and now I'm leaving on Wednesday and returning home the next Wednesday. I think could have added a few more "while I'm in the neighborhood" locations and stayed gone for a month but I had to come home eventually so 8 days seemed like enough for one trip.

About a week ago I started thinking about a Veterans Day blog post and it hit me that the Thursday before Expo, the day I was going to research in Forsyth County is Veterans Day. Uh-oh. I broke the 1st rule of planning a research trip - be sure the facility you want to visit is OPEN. The ridiculous thing about this is that I had already contacted the St. Clair County Archives and the Coweta County Courthouse and Library. Of course, the Forsyth County Courthouse is closed on Veterans Day so I had to cancel that leg of the trip. At least I figured it out before I was standing at the courthouse door on Thursday morning. 

I'll be back before I leave with a list of Expo sessions I'm going to attend.  


  1. I have a number of family members buried in Westview and have been there a number of times. It's a large cemetery, so if you haven't already done so, I recommend calling ahead to verify the plot number. The office workers are very nice and helpful. Their number is (404) 755-6611. Here's a copy of a map I got when I went down there a few years ago: http://tinyurl.com/westviewatl

  2. Valerie, Thanks so much. I called a few days ago and you're right, the staff was very nice and helpful. They have the map on their website. I look forward to meeting you in a few days.

  3. I ran into the same problem with Veterans Day. I had planned on leaving a day early for the Expo so I could spend Thursday at the Georgia Archives. Since I can't stay until the following Thursday, I guess I'll have to wait until I can make another trip.