Here are the classes I took today:
- Social Security Records: A Boon to 20th Century Family History: Good class. Learned some things, such as that during the initial Social Security sign-up period, 1937-about 1947, the SS-5 Application included employer information. That could be interesting. I do not know if that will be enough to justify the $27 cost for a copy of the SS-5, but it gives me another tool in my toolbox.
- The Timeline: Linking Historical Events to our Family History by Patricia Smarr: I have been meaning to do timelines for my ancestors for quite awhile. This class had lots of good website references for looking up historical events to add to a timeline and templates and sites for making the actual timelines themselves. This would be a good item to prepare and add to my surname notebooks for each ancestor.
- Come to Morrow - Georgia's Research Mecca by Linda Woodward Geiger: My favorite part of this class was learning what is available at the National Archives at Atlanta, which is right next door to the Georgia Archives. I have only been in the NARA facility once, and I was totally overwhelmed. This class helped me know what to expect on my next visit. However, I was saddened to learn that there is a possibility that our Georgia Archives could close. With recent budget cuts, they have already had to cut their hours to three days per week. Hearing this news strengthened my resolve to get back over there and support them.
- Debunking the Myths Surrounding the Military Personnel Records Center by Patricia Smarr: I believe that most anyone who has requested military records from the Military Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri, has faced some confusion and frustration. Ms. Smarr lives in St. Louis and has found that the Records Center employees are very helpful. I can understand that because I have had instances when after visiting a business location or library several times, the employees recognize me and are more friendly than they probably would be if they just got a letter in the mail from a complete stranger. I did learn something big that I did not know - that 62 years after a veteran is discharged or dies, their file becomes an archival copy that is open to the public. This puts recent roadblocks I have come up against with the Records Center in a new light.
This is has been a wonderful experience that I wouldn't trade for anything. I will be spending the MONTHS ahead trying to work through the bibliographies and ideas that we were given. My house may never be clean again!