Re: What is your research plan...
One thing I might suggest is working on a plan before you go to Savannah.
What records are available?
Where to start?
1. The National Archives - Southeast Region in Atlanta
- This National Archives Branch has a concentration of FEDERAL records from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North and South Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi, including the Freedmen's Bureau Records.
2. Georgia Archives
a) Virtual Vault - from the Georgia Archives
- Good site for misc. records, especially the scanned versions of early Deeds, Wills, Taxes, and death certificates. Expect to find a general overview from a human perspective.
b) Online search engine
3. Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society
- There is a chapter in Atlanta and contact information online. A part of this genealogy quest is networking; another part is learning all you can about genealogical methods, resources, and the area(s) of research. Membership in a genealogical society helps, however most meetings and events are open to non-members.
4. Georgia (state) Genealogical Society
- They have been known to give webinars in the past (free). They also have published (extracted) various court and vital records. Their publications MAY be at a larger library near you (with a genealogy section).
a) Online Records
- I'm sure we all know about fs dot org. They have many online records for Chatham county and Savannah, however that is not all there is to it. Many family history libraries across the U. S. have access to records beyond those on the internet. You can order these records for use at a local Family History Library OR a local library affliate (my local library orders them for me).
b) Family History Library
- Go to familysearch and click on 'Catalog'
- Search on place name "Georgia Chatham"
Among the many 'hits' are
a) probate records, which includes Wills, Division of estates, Guardian bonds, etc.
b) marriage records
- Search on place name "Georgia, Chatham, Savannah"
a) Cemetery Records (selected)
*Laurel Grove Cemetery lot record and Keeper's record books are available (1852 - 1959). This cemetery is segregated. The South section includes early burials of slaves and free people of color.
b) Register of free persons of color...
* Although there may be no indication that your George's mother was a free person of color (if she were known), it would be interesting to see the register for 1860-1863.
What was going on and who were the players just BEFORE the Civil War?
All include copies of original records of the Chatham County Court. The difference is that you can order these on microfilm for use in a local library. The cost is minimal, starting at 1 month's rental.
[Go Local ]
6. Local Genealogical Society
- Is there one near you? Georgia researchers are in all areas of the country. Consider this as a local research buddy. They usually know the best areas for research.
7. Local Library's Genealogical Section
- Even though you may not be near a Georgia library, try a local library. You may be within driving distance to a library with a large genealogical collection.
* Some Libraries also participate in Inter-library loan programs, especially with the Family History Library and other county libraries. Your local library card may get you access to choice databases from home.