Davis discusses genealogical research methods
Published 8:46 am Tuesday, November 24, 2015
By LAURA BROOKHART / Community Columnist
“Within each of us is a great American novel waiting to be told,” began Robert Scott Davis in his recent talk at the Jane B. Holmes Library on family genealogy.
Angela’s Ashes is a prime example of such, Davis said, and also brought up the fact that that much of Alex Haley’s famed 1976 “Roots” series was plagiarized from the “The African” by Horold Courlander, who later sued Haley.
When beginning your own genealogical research, always start at your own local library, Scott said, noting the information you seek may already be on file.
Scott also recommends expanding your writing skills along with genealogical research, as the opportunities to publish your work are easy to achieve, whether a simple reproduction of copies or a bound version.
Davis and his own father discussed their family history and he compiled a handout for their family reunion the year after his father’s death. This gave him “the comfort of knowing he had plowed the ground for his father’s generation.”
Davis also mentioned an online tool called Memory Grabber, billed as A Downloadable Life Story Workbook. Family Tree Maker is another recommendation. For Alabamians, familyseach.org includes a detailed index to death certificates.
For historic Alabama photographs and other items, see Alabama Mosaic. http://www.alabamamosaic.org/
At Wallace State Community College in Hanceville, Davis offers several CE classes in genealogy such as Intro to Genealogy, Genealogy and the Computer, Advanced Genealogy and Book Publishing, Civil War Era Genealogy and Southern Genealogy.
For the spring class schedule or more info, contact Mandi.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep in mind, too, that the genealogy collection at Wallace State has many helpful handouts. The Birmingham Public Library’s website has the WPA Index to Alabama Biographical Sketches. It is updated to include sketches since the 1930s.