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Meetings are usually held on the third Saturday at 2:00 pm four times a year in the months of February, May, August, and November in the Athens-Clarke County Public Library Multipurpose Room A, but variations in this schedule are not uncommon. Special events and activities are usually held in months without meetings, and may include research field trips, expos, holiday celebrations, historical preservation, etc. Meetings, activities, and special events are announced via email, on Facebook and Twitter, in the COGS Quarterly, and through this web site on the Meetings page.

Although most meetings are free and open to the public, membership is encouraged to enable C.O.G.S. to bring in quality speakers that will help further our understanding as family history researchers. Dues are also used to purchase resources for local libraries and offset costs to preserve historical data.


August 2016

Augusta Genealogical Society Homecoming Seminar:
Finding Hidden Evidence with New Techniques

Speakers: Brent H. Holcomb, Tamika Strong, and Elyse Hill

Date: Saturday, August 20, 2016
Time: 9 am to 3 pm

Location: First Baptist Church, Augusta Georgia

Cost: $45 for Non-members of AGS + gas contribution for carpool driver

We are organizing a COGS field trip to the Augusta Genealogical Society's Homecoming seminar Finding Hidden Evidence with New Techniques. Members interested in joining the COGS carpool should contact Mary Anne Abbe by phone 706-543-3356 or email by August 13th.

Follow the link to register for this day long event. Registration ($40 for AGS members and $45 for non-members) is due by August 13th and includes a syllabus, four presentations, and a buffet lunch of fried chicken, tossed salad, potato salad, green beans, peach cobbler, and tea or coffee.

Mr. Holcomb's Topics: "SC Vital Records and Substitutes for Them" and "SC Land Records, More Than Plats and Deeds"

Ms. Strong's Topic: "From the Present to the Past: Tracing Afro American Genealogy from 1940 to the 1870 Brick Wall"

Ms. Hill's Topic: "Afro American Research: Breaking Through the 1870 Brick Wall"

Recent Events

May 2016

Using Military Records to Find Family Information

Speaker: Terry Manning

Date: Saturday, May 14, 2016
Time: 2 pm

Location: Athens-Clarke County Library, Multipurpose Room A

Cost: free and open to the public

We are delighted to have Terry Manning as our May speaker. He will discuss the various types of military records and records associated with military service that may provide leads to family history research. During his talk, he will highlight records from the Revolutionary War through modern times.

Mr. Manning has traced his lineage through 200 direct line surnames that include 32 Revolutionary War, 2 War of 1812, and 6 Civil War soldiers. He regularly lectures on early American history and genealogy. He is a past president of the Friends of the National Archives, Gwinnett Historical Society, and the Georgia Society and Atlanta and Button Gwinnett chapters of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Light refreshments will be provided after the meeting.

April 2016

Care and Protection of Personal Collections

Date: Saturday, April 30, 2016
Time: 9 am to 5 pm

Location: Athens-Clarke County Library

Cost: free and open to the public but registration required

This FREE all day workshop with preservation and conservation specialists Tina Seetoo and Christine Wiseman will help you prepare for destructive events beyond your control. You will learn to evaluate your personal collections including photos, scrapbooks, and letters, and determine how to best store these important items. You will also learn how to create a disaster preparedness plan.

Pre-registration is required.


9:00 to 9:30 Check in

9:30 to 10:30 Saving Family Treasures
Includes housing, handling, storage environment, and disaster preparedness for multiple types of collections.

10:30 to 10:45 Break

10:45 to 11:45 Protecting Memories: Caring for Family Photographs
Includes housing, handling, storage environment, and disaster preparedness for photographs, both analog and digital.

11:45 to 1:15 Lunch (on your own)

1:15 to 2:15 Basics of Digital Imaging
Covers the basics of scanning personal collections (including best format for preservation)

2:15 to 2:25 Break

2:25 to 3:25 Disaster Preparedness and Recovery for Personal Collections
Basics of emergency planning for personal records and family treasures including fire, water/flood, and mold.

3:25 to 3:35 Break

3:35 to 4:30 Write Your Own Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Plan
At the end of the day, participants will be assisted in completing a Pocket Response Plan (PreP), including the procedures for an initial response to an emergency and a list of emergency contacts and local resources.

4:30 to 4:45 Questions and wrap up

March 2016

Searching After Sunset (rescheduled from January)

Date: Friday, March 11, 2016
Time: 6 to 9 pm

Location: Oconee County Library in Watkinsville

Cost: free and open to the public but registration required

Are you curious about your family history? Need more time in the Ivy Room? Clarke-Oconee Genealogical Society members and the Oconee Library have partnered to help you get started and to provide volunteers to assist you with the resources available. (Although this event is intended to help beginners, all researchers are welcome to join us as we access the resources after hours!)

Contact the Oconee Library in Watkinsville 706-769-3950 to register by March 4th. (This event was rescheduled from January, due to weather. If you registered earlier, you are registered for March's Searching After Sunset.)

A special thanks to the Oconee County Library Friends for providing a light supper for attendees and volunteers!

February 2016

Your Family's Legacy in Recipes

Speaker: Valerie J. Frey

Date: Saturday, February 20, 2016
Time: 2 pm

Location: Athens-Clarke County Library, Multipurpose Room C

Cost: free and open to the public

Family recipes are instructions for recreating the nostalgic tastes of yesteryear, but there is often more to them than what you see at first glance. If you've ever wanted to reproduce a beloved family favorite only to find the recipe is sketchy, outdated, or simply unwritten, you know that there may be a lot of tricks and tips involved with turning out a satisfying dish. But did you ever stop to look at your recipes with a genealogist's eye? Valerie J. Frey, author of Preserving Family Recipes: How to Save and Celebrate Your Food Traditions (UGA Press), will explore various aspects of your family's heirloom recipes.

Valerie Frey (pronounced "fry") is a writer and archivist from Athens, Georgia with projects focusing on genealogy, local history, storytelling, material culture, and the everyday home life of our ancestors. Valerie holds degrees from the University of Georgia and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her archives career began in the Manuscripts Division at the Library of Congress and she went on to serve as an archivist at the Georgia Historical Society, the Savannah Jewish Archives, and the Georgia Archives. She now writes full time. Her most recent book, Preserving Family Recipes: How to Save and Celebrate Your Food Traditions was released in November of 2015 through the University of Georgia Press.

January 2016- postponed due to weather

Searching After Sunset

Date: Friday, January 22, 2016
Time: 6pm - 9pm

Location: Oconee County Library, Watkinsville, GA

December 2015

COGS Holiday Party

Date: Saturday, December 5, 2015
Time: 2 pm

Location: Athens-Clarke County Library, Multipurpose Room A

Cost: free and open to the public

We are celebrating a year of successful family history research! Please bring a favorite finger food to share and enjoy socializing with others who share your passion for genealogy.

November 2015

Getting Started in Genetic Genealogy with Diahan Southard
(a video of her session from RootsTech 2015)

Date: Saturday, November 14, 2015
Time: 2 pm

Location: Athens-Clarke County Library, Multipurpose Room A

Cost: free and open to the public

Have you used DNA to help you with your research? Do you know which type of test or which company would best meet your needs? If your sibling submitted a sample, will your results be the same? Diahan Southard's presentation from RootsTech 2015 will help answer these questions and more! After viewing the video, we will have a follow up discussion and COGS member Lisa Delgado has agreed to share her results and experience with Family Tree DNA, 23 and Me, and Ancestry.

We hope you will join us for this informative presentation in which Diahan Southard clearly explains the basics of DNA (as used in family history research) in a way we can all understand!

Officer elections will follow and light refreshments will be provided.

October 2015

Night Owl Prowl

Date: Friday, October 30, 2015
Time: 6 pm - 11 pm

Location: Athens-Clarke County Library, Heritage Room

Cost: $10 for members / $15 for nonmembers

We are sponsoring a Genealogy Research Lock-in, Friday, October 30, 2015 from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm in the Athens-Clarke County Library Heritage Room.

The cost is $10 for COGS members and $15 for non-members. Your payment will help cover the cost of security, a light supper, and refreshments. You can register online, mail a check to our PO Box, or pay in The Heritage Room at the ACC Library. (Sorry no refunds will be given.)

The Heritage Room will be open to the public from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, so you can arrive early and stay until 11:00 pm! Once the library closes at 6 pm, we will have the library to ourselves to search for our ancestors in the Heritage Room resources!

Registration and payment must be received by Wednesday, October 28, 2015 by 8:00 pm. If you need a vegetarian meal, please register early.

Visit the link below to register online or download the registration form.


September 2015

My Genealogy Journey, Preserving the Legacy

Speaker: V. Yvonne B. Studevan

Date: Saturday, September 12, 2015
Time: 2 pm

Location: Athens-Clarke County Library, Multipurpose Room C

Cost: free and open to the public

V. Yvonne Studevan will share how she documented her lineage to Richard Allen, founder and first bishop of the oldest Black established organization in America, the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Her presentation will include the legacy of Richard Allen, an explanation of the documentation process, photographs of materials and artifacts collected, and family facts on the descendants of Richard and Sarah Allen.

Light refreshments will be provided.

July 2015 Special Event

Tours of Georgia Archives and National Archives in Atlanta

Date: Saturday, July 18, 2015
Time: 8:30 am (carpool leaving Athens)

Location: Georgia Archives and National Archives in Atanta

Cost: free (but help with gas if carpooling)

COGS is planning a fieldtrip to the Georgia Archives and National Archives in Atlanta on Saturday, July 18th!

Special tours for COGS have been arranged. Kayla Barrett, archivist at Georgia Archives, is leading the COGS tour in the GA Archives at 10:15 am and Maureen Hill, archivist at the Atlanta National Archives, is leading the COGS tour at 1:30 pm at the National Archives, which is across the parking lot from the GA Archives.

Mary Anne Abbe is arranging carpools for the trip. Please contact her at the following number 706-543-3356. We will leave Walmart - Cracker Barrel parking lot promptly at 8:30 am. This is an all day event; we will return around 7 pm.

You need to bring your lunch, but soft drinks are available in vending machines. Tables and chairs are available indoors in an air conditioned hall. Participants will have a short time for research between tours and afterwards.

Click on the links below to learn more about these archives. We hope you will join us for this special event!

May 2015

FindAGrave and BillionGraves

Speaker: Beth Whitlock

Date: Saturday, May 16, 2015
Time: 2 pm

Location: Athens-Clarke County Library, Multipurpose Room A

Cost: free and open to the public

Beth Whitlock, Information Services and Heritage Room Librarian, will show us how FindAGrave and BillionGraves can help in your family history research and how you can help others in their research through these sites.

Light refreshments will be provided.

February 2015

Scotch-Irish Devils

Speaker: Sam Thomas, Curator for the TRR Cobb House

Date: Saturday, February 21, 2015
Time: 2 pm

Location: Athens-Clarke County Library, Multipurpose Room A

Cost: free and open to the public

Sam Thomas, Curator of the TRR Cobb House in Athens, GA, will present "Scotch-Irish Devils" at our February meeting. In 1862 at the Battle of Fredericksburg, a group of men stood behind the stonewall and prepared to meet in battle their fellow countrymen of the Union Army’s Irish Brigade. This group, all from County Antrim in Ulster, were a part of Tom Cobb’s Georgia Brigade – and they were all kin. In this presentation, we will follow them as they migrated from County Antrim to northeastern Georgia where they formed the backbone of the Confederate defenses on December 13, 1862.

A professional historian with more than 25 years curating, researching, writing, and teaching, Mr. Thomas specializes in Southern Military History and Scotch-Irish Heritage. The author of several works on the Civil War, he is a board member of the Scotch-Irish Society of the USA, a recipient of recognition by the SC House of Representatives for his work in history, and an honorary citizen of Larne, County Antrim. He served as a technical advisor on the Mel Gibson movie “The Patriot” and garnered several college “Outstanding Teacher” awards

Light refreshments will be provided.

January 2015

Searching After Sunset

Date: Friday, January 30, 2015
Time: 6pm - 9pm

Location: Oconee County Library, Watkinsville, GA



Programs are subject to change. Please check back closer to the meeting date for confirmation. COGS members should watch for meeting reminders via email.

Do you have an idea for a genealogy related program or activity? Contact us at the email address below to share your ideas.


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