We meet at Clayton State University Library

We meet the first Sunday of every month (unless it is a holiday weekend - then the second Sunday)
at Clayton State University in the University Center room 265.
We start at 3pm and end around 5pm. Everyone age 16 or older is welcome, from beginners to experts.
See a University map at
Park in the "G" area and walk to the University Center "14" on the map.

Membership dues $25.00 per year. $35 for couples living in the same household.

We are on the lookout for new speakers, teachers and topics. If you would like to speak with our group, or introduce your group to ours, please send us an email request.

February 7 meeting: Month 2 of the Do-Over

Before we talk about the Do-Over, make sure you go ahead and RSVP for the 5th annual FREE All Day Workshop! Tell your friends! We will have sessions for beginners and intermediate level genealogists, plus one long session on DNA! We will also have dedicated rooms for "hands on" work with help from our steering committee members. Bring your research and let's break down those brick walls! The workshop is March 5 2016 at Clayton State University. The cafe and sub shop will be open for breakfast and lunch. RSVP by sending us an email from the link above. The workshop is FREE, but we have limited space, so you must RSVP. 

There seems to be a broken link with our email address above. To RSVP, you may need to copy the address and paste it into your email program to send the message. ourgenealogygroup@gmail.com

February 7 agenda: 

We are starting month two of Thomas MacEntee's Genealogy Do-Over. 

Click this link for a review of month one of the do-over

Click on this link to buy/read the Do-Over Workbook

Hello OGG members! Are you ready to start month two of the Do-Over? In month one, you have "prepared to research". You have everything (EVERYTHING) put away. For example, my goal is to work on my mother's maternal line so, things I know I have are grandmother's birth certificate. I think I have her marriage certificate. I'm not sure. (Good thing I'm doing it over!) . I'm going to research as if I don't have these things. When I need them, instead of going to vital records to get these things again, I'm going to "Angela's Vital Records Closet" in my office to search for that record.

Month 2's goals are to Establish Base Practices and Guidelines and Set Research Goals. I'm following Thomas MacEntee's Do-Over and reading his Do-Over Workbook . I like his base practices which are to

    1. Track all work, even dead ends, negative evidence and non-productive searches.
    2. Cite all sources! This often scares people. You could use the Evidence Explained book or website to help you if you want your citations to be "perfect" or "standard". But, more importantly they need to work for you and be usable to future genealogists. So as long as you cite the "what, where and when" information you'll be doing fine. Just make sure you cite the same way consistently throughout your work. Don't change formats halfway through. Click HERE for a citation machine. (This is what I used for college papers..shh don't tell.) HERE is an explanation of citations for genealogists.  
    3. And "make the first pass the only pass"! Yes, slow down! Don't get distracted by those BSOs! (Bright Shinny Object: ie: fluttering ancestry leaves)
So, this blog will be one of the ways that I choose to track my work. But many of us use Evernote . We will be discussing creating a blog and the best ways to use Evernote for genealogy during the meeting on February 7th. 

I'm ready to dive in, how about you? But I must slow down. The actual research doesn't kick in until month 4!!! We are about to start month 2. We are still preparing! I think I need to go organize the genealogy closet, and pull all the craft supplies off the genealogy boxes.

Month 1 of the Genealogy Do-Over Class Review

Here is a review of what we covered in our class on January 10th.

For 2016 Our Genealogy Group is participating in Thomas MacEntee's "Genealogy Do-Over".  Our first priority is to decide what our goal for the year will be. Each of us will have different goals. My goal is to "do-over" all the genealogy for my maternal grandmother's line. Your goal may be to do your entire genealogy over from scratch, or maybe you will just focus on photographs. Some of you may feel that you like how your genealogy is right now. Instead of a "do-over" you may just want to do a "look-over" this year.

Secondly, we need to "prepare to research". You may think that means to gather your pencils and notebooks and sit at the computer to be "prepared". But, we need you to go deeper than that. This is a "do-over", meaning, YOU NEED TO START YOUR RESEARCH OVER. You will need to pack up any documents or photographs you have and start from scratch, as if you know nothing! As you go through your journey, you will come to points in your research where you can then go pull that document to verify your information. Otherwise: PUT IT AWAY!  

A great synopsis is HERE . Please read it.

In preparing to reasearch, you may find that you need different hardware. Your computer may need upgrading, or you may need a better scanner, or you may decided to go for a tablet. Our member, Dee Leclair had a fantastic presentation on comparing hardware. Hopefully I can get her to link her power point to the "Files" link on our FACEBOOK GROUP page soon.

Lastly we discussed B.S.Os. "Bright Shinny Objects". These are the things that distract you in your research. I highly recommend you have with you a "to do list" as you are researching. If you come across something interesting, or if you have a thought about something else to search for, just write it on the to do list. That way, you can stay focused on the original task and not get distracted by that BSO.

You may come across a BSO online. In that case, you may want to use your "favorites" or "bookmark" link on your browser, to save the page to look at later. HERE is some instruction for that. Some people are using EVERNOTE for organization of tasks. I have to admit, that I don't know the best way to use it. But! Evernote instruction will be a part of next month's meeting!

Lastly, we talked in depth about using hashtags. HERE is a good blog about it. When posting family information on Facebook or Instagram to share with your relatives, I encourage you to use a hashtag. What hashtag should you use? It doesn't matter, you get to make one up as you go, or use one already created. As an example in class, I brought up my INSTAGRAM account. Go ahead and click on that link. Look for a "selfie" of me in front of my grandparent's grave, and click on that photo. After you have clicked on it, you will see in my description " #hicksfamily ". On a whim, I just decided to add that hashtag. While we were in class I clicked the #hicksfamily link to show everyone what would come up. We now get a lot of links to other members of the Hicks Family from all over the US. I clicked on a few of these pictures to read their descriptions. In one picture you will see a lady with a man on either side of her. The description on their photograph says "The last of Nathan and Pearl Hicks' children". Well, I have a Pearl Hicks in my linage. I have no contact with that side of the family, but now through the use of hashtags, I may have a lead. I can now "comment" on their picture and hope that they respond. This lead came to me just because I used a hashtag on my photograph!

You can also search google with hashtags. Just go to your search bar and type a hashtag with your surname and see what comes up. Remember: NO SPACES IN A HASHTAG . #hicksfamily #bennetfamily #pendletonfamilygenealogy #georgejones #catsareawesome #lookatmyfeet  . When you explore hashtags on Instagram, you will only see the one's posted on Instagram. The same with Facebook. If it was posted on Facebook, you will only see if on Facebook, etc. Explore in all the places you can think of.

So, I will request that all of you who are participating in the Do-Over to go to your Facebook Page, or Our Genealogy Group's Facebook page, or your Instagram or Twitter and post your goal for the do-over. Add to your goal the hashtag #ogg . (Our Genealogy Group) In class in February, I would like to explore the #ogg and see what we find.

We also discussed how Pinterest is a great place to store the BSOs. The Do-Over has it's own BOARD on the site for references and links to general content. But, you may want to create your own board with things and BSOs that interest you personally. Here is a LINK on how to use Pinterest. After you know how to use Pinterest, HERE is a link on how to use it to help with your genealogy research!

In closing, I encourage you to download Thomas MacEntee's Do-Over workbook HERE is a link. And/Or join the DO-OVER FACEBOOK GROUP and keep up with his blog which I posted in the first link on this page. And for me remember to post that goal with a hashtag if you are on a social media site!

Next Month's class will be on : "Establishing Base Practices and Guidelines and Setting Research Goals".  Have you noticed that we haven't started researching yet?   See you February 7th!

Genealogy Do-Over!! Break up with your current research habits and start over with us this year!

 Hit the button! Blow your past research away! It is time to do a Genealogy Do-Over! 

Did you start your research by haphazardly grabbing names and clicking fluttering leaves? Do you have piles of stuff but no organization. Or worse, NO CITATIONS? You may want to join us and "start over". Seriously. 

This year we are going to be hands on! Working together at each meeting to accomplish our goals. We are excited about having hands on working classes, and we hope you are too. Now, do you really need to start completely over? Maybe not. Perhaps you want to just start over with one line, one person on your line, or just with one brick wall you have. Perhaps instead of a "do-over" you may want to "go-over" your research to make sure you have everything you need, citations and so forth. YOU PICK! 

This year, our group is going to follow along with Thomas MacEntee's Genealogy Do-Over. You can take a peek at his website HERE . Mr. MacEntee started the do-over last year. And some of us have followed along. The best thing is, you can do this at your own pace. Those of us who started the do-over last year, have started over the "start over" multiple times. There are no wrong ways to do this.  

"Before we review the Month 1 topics, I want to provide a little pep talk since many participants may feel discouraged and overwhelmed. Remember: while The Genealogy Do-Over is a project-based learning initiative to improve genealogy research skills, you should be having fun. You should look forward to trying new approaches each month."  - Thomas MacEntee

Please join us this year starting on January 10th at 3:00 pm at our usual location. You can find the map and room number at the top of this page.  We will be discussing
  • breaking up with our research materials. 
  • preparing to research

If you are active on facebook you may want to join the Do-Over Facebook group hosted my Mr. MacEntee HERE. It has over 10,000 members, so I'm sure there are plenty of people to answer your questions if you get stuck. While you are on Facebook, why don't you join our group too. 

Next meeting January 10th

There will be no meeting in December. Enjoy the holidays, and spend time with your family collecting stories. If you were at our March workshop, you may remember  StoryCorps class, or you may have stopped by their table. They have an app for smartphones that helps you easily record a story or oral history from a loved one. This time of year is a great opportunity to collect those stories since you will be visiting family. For more info, check their web page. The app's info is on the right side. https://storycorps.org/listen/

2016 is going to be an exciting year, as we are planning something big! "Research smarter not harder or longer" will be OGG group goal. We will post more information soon. We encourage past members, members and visitors to attend next year. 

We are also finalizing plans for our "Annual All Day Workshop" in March. You can go ahead and RSVP if you desire by sending us an email. 

Update! Field Trip postponed due to weather.

Postponed by rain again! 3 times a charm right? 
How about we try in December? Date to be announed soon!

OGG November meeting is a Field Trip to document a local cemetery on Find-a-Grave. We will meet at 3 pm (date to be announced) at the Shermantown Cemetery. 

The cemetery is old, and has been cleaned up some but you will still want to wear appropriate clothing and shoes. You may want to bring bug spray and sunblock as well.  If you have them, please also bring with you a spray bottle of water, a nylon brush, gloves, and small gardening tools to help clear weeds from then stones for proper pictures. 

If you have a smart phone please download the findagrave app. For a great tutorial to learn about the app please watch "Yes, you can take it with you!" from here. It only takes a few minutes. 

If you don't have a smart phone, we could still use your help! 

The cemetery is located at 5510 Stillhouse Road in Stone Mountain. We will meet at 3pm. 

If you plan to go please send us an email so we can add your name to the list the City of Stone Mountain wants us to give to them for the paper work.

The City is excited that we want to add their cemetery to the Find-a-Grave web site.

Information for you!

If you missed our class on Findagrave Transcribing tool and the Smart Phone App or if you just need a review check out the last 3 classes in this set: https://www.ancestry.com/academy/course/findagrave

You can also find the classes on Youtube if you can't get into ancestry.com
The last 3 in the set are about the transcribing tool and the smart phone app. If you just need a general review about the whole site, check out all the links in the set
Workshop this Saturday
The Powder Springs Georgia Stake (LDS) invites you to the RootsTech Family Discovery Day Workshop on Saturday Oct 10, 2015; 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 pm.  Location 2595 New Macland Road, Powder Springs, GA.

The program is FREE and open to the public. Lunch will be provided

FIND A GRAVE and the APP too!

Our next meeting will be October 4th and we will be discussing findagrave.com . Most of you all know and may even have accounts on findagrave.com . For those that do not, we will be doing a quick review. 

Find a Grave's mission is to find, record and present final disposition information from around the world as a virtual cemetery experience. Find a Grave memorials may contain rich content including pictures, biographies and more specific information. Members can leave remembrances via 'virtual flowers' on the memorials they visit, completing the virtual cemetery experience. . (findagrave.com FAQ)

We will also explore the findagrave app for smart phones and discuss how to get the most out of it. 

We will take what we learn from this class to have a field trip for our November class in a cemetery that needs to be added to findagrave.com . The location of the cemetery is TBA. 

I hope to see you all on October 4th. 

Meanwhile, don't forget to check out the second annual Find A Grave Community Day! If you participate, you can use what you learn about the app in our class at the community event! Click the link here: