The search for genealogical information about individuals usually includes reviewing census, military, and vital records among other things. We look for genealogical information in county histories, newspapers, cemeteries, city directories, and other resources.
There are times, however, when genealogy related information will show up in an unlikely place. Today, that unlikely place is the Georgia Official and Statistical Register. As I was working to answer a reference question, a colleague shared with me the Georgia Official and Statistical Register. Once the question was answered, I began to thumb through it and read some of the biographical sketches that were listed for the individuals featured in the book only to find that there is information about the person’s family!! Now grant it, most of the individuals contained within the Register are public officials and some of that information can be located with a simple Google search. As with anything genealogy related, you start with what you know and work backwards so I started with the 1989-90 edition of the Register and jumped to a copy of the 1977-78 edition (only because it was at my desk). I found that the 1977-78 edition contained much more genealogical information that the 1989-90 Register! (Can you tell that I’m excited?)
Take for instance this entry on Grace Towns Hamilton. Play close attention to the section labelled family details.
Though its true that a search of Mrs. Hamilton may yield some of this information but the question is, would you find the other details about her family without in-depth research? I mean you have her marriage date, the life dates of her father and mother, her mother’s maiden name as well s the life dates of her grandparents, including the maiden names of the women. We know that as a rule, found information has to be confirmed by other sources before its accepted as truth, but truthfully, this is information that you probably will not be able to find. Just looking at the information about Luke Towns, you can trace his migration from Talbot County to Dougherty County to Duval County Florida. Those are clues that can help connect those genealogical dots!
But what about a lesser known public figure? Take for instance Mrs. Mildred Williams Glover. A simple Google search did not reveal much about her other than her working in Baltimore and obituaries about her passing. No where on that Her profile would be considered genealogy gold due to the fact that her family details section includes information on 4 generations, herself, her children, her parents, and her grandparents.
And the icing on the cake? The photographs!! (Not all of the Registers contain photographs though but they have the information.) Although the 1923 Register does not offer the biographical information for individuals, the 1925 edition does.
Have I piqued your interest in the Registers? Want to take a look for yourself? Well, thanks to the staff at the Digital Library of Georgia, you are able to do so from the comfort of your home or wherever you have internet access. The full run of the Registers have been digitized and made available to the public. You can find them here – http://statregister.galileo.usg.edu/statregister/index.html. I hope that this resource will be useful. Happy hunting!!