by: Chris Zawadzki and Devra Harney
2020 was a challenging year for everyone and for many genealogical societies, including ours. In response to all of the obstacles, we got creative and learned how to continue our various programs.
Our biggest accomplishment was working with FamilySearch.org. With that organization’s assistance we will work with the Rockdale County Tax Commission Office, digitizing old tax records. These records go back to 1870, when Rockdale became a county, establishing the Probate Court, and the Rockdale County Superior and State Court Clerk offices. In addition to working with Rockdale County, FamilySearch is working with 13 counties in the Southeast and Georgia Coastal Island counties.
Here are some highlights of what role FamilySearch will play in this endeavor:
FamilySearch, historically known as the Genealogical Society of Utah, is dedicated to preserving the records of the family of mankind. Using leading technologies and preservation techniques, FamilySearch safeguards more than 3.5 billion images on microfilm, microfiche, and digital media. Our purpose is simple: to help people connect with their ancestors through easy access to historical records. We gladly join with others who share this vision.
Archival copies of microfilm, microfiche, and digital records from over 100 countries and spanning hundreds of years are safely stored in the Granite Mountain Records Vault, a long-term storage facility designed for preservation. In many cases, FamilySearch has been able to provide an archive-quality copy of stored records to archives where the original has been destroyed by earthquake, fire, flood, tornado, war, or human error. A second preservation facility will provide additional protection with state-of-the-art security measures.
Obtaining a preservation-quality digital image of an original record is often costly and time-consuming for records custodians. FamilySearch dCam technology not only produces archive quality images, it also enables faster image publishing.
Ellen Yost Blakeslee, Genealogist.