Reconstructing Hawthorne

Hawthorne was once a small community in Aiken County, South Carolina but with the construction of the Savannah River Site in 1950 the community, and its handful of residents, had to be removed. Not as well-known as the larger populated towns of Ellenton and Dunbarton, Hawthorne was also impacted by the climate of the times-the need for the United States to enter the Cold War- and as the years passed Hawthorne and its story was lost.

In December 2014, the Savannah River Archaeological Research Program partnered with filmmaker Patrick Hayes to interview two of the small community’s last known residents. Through oral history, historic documents, and archaeology Hawthorne’s story has now been uncovered and is ready to share.

Reconstructing Hawthorne was completed in mid-2016 and has been screened at several film festivals around the southeast. Having won “Audience Favorite” and “Best Documentary” at the South Carolina Underground Film Festival, Hawthorne’s story is now a part of the historical record. Please join us in Room A of the Augusta Public Library Auditorium as we welcome producer George Wingard of Savannah River Archaeological Research Program who will discuss the making of the film followed by its screening. Please call 706-826-1511 for information.

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Researching Your Irish and Scots-Irish Ancestors

Irish Workshop

Click here to register:

If you have ancestors who came from Ireland, whether they were Catholics, Protestants, Gaelic, Celtic, Ulster-Scots (Scots-Irish), Famine Immigrants or of other origins, this outstanding research seminar presented by AGS and the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library on 3 March 2018 is a must. Further your research skills and understanding of the resources that are available. We are particularly fortunate to have such outstanding speakers from one of the leading heritage agencies specializing in Irish genealogy.

Date: Saturday, 3 March 2018

Time: 9am – 5pm

Location: Augusta-Richmond County Public Library Headquarters at 823 Telfair Street – Augusta, GA (click for directions)

Fintan Mullan has been Executive Director of the Ulster Historical Foundation since 2001. He pioneered online births, deaths and marriages in Antrim and Down, leading to a unique database with over 20 million Irish historical records, making it the most useful online resource for Irish research. He has managed production of over 120 publications, including Researching Scots-Irish Ancestors. He is a regular speaker on the North American circuit, having presented Irish and Scot-Irish programmes in most of the lower 48 states and Canada, and has also spoken in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. He was educated at Queen’s University Belfast, earning a bachelor’s degree in Irish Politics and Philosophy, and a master’s degree in Organisation and Management.

Gillian Hunt is Research Officer with the Ulster Historical Foundation and is responsible for the management of the Foundation’s many genealogical activities and carries out research for clients. She has extensive experience in research at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (Belfast) and the General Register Office (Dublin). She teaches genealogical courses in Northern Ireland and gives talks on family history in the rest of Ireland, the UK and North America She has conducted research for and appeared in a number of televised genealogy programs. She received a degree in History and a Masters in Historical Studies, both from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

About the organization – Ulster Historical Foundation

The Ulster Historical Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1956 to promote interest in Irish genealogy and history. The Foundation is one of the leading genealogical research agencies in Ireland and a major publisher of historical, educational and genealogical source books. It has also devised online historical and genealogical resources, which have helped family historians at home and abroad. Check their website for further information:

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My Grandmother Was Italian: Why aren’t my Genes Italian?

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Legacy Family Tree Webinar

Wednesday, January 17th @ 2:00 p.m.
Using Court Records to tell the Story of our Ancestors’ Lives
A Legacy Family Tree Webinar – 3rd Floor Computer Lab
Early court records give us evidence to prove who our ancestors were. But they’re even more wonderful in helping us understand how our ancestors lived. Join us in the 3rd floor computer lab as legal genealogist Judy G. Russell teaches us how to use court records to add richness and depth to our family’s stories. Space is limited, so please call the Georgia Heritage Room at 706-826-1511 to register.

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Farley’s Follies with Bill Baab

At 2 p.m., Jan. 13, longtime Augusta Chronicle columnist and collector Mr. Bill Baab will give a brief talk about James A. Farley, postmaster general during Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s term as president. Farley was the consummate politician, helping FDR win the N.Y governorship (twice) and also helped elect Roosevelt to the presidency. As a reward, FDR named Farley the 53rd postmaster general.

Surprisingly, Farley made the U.S. Post Ofice Dept., profitable and reorganized the agency’s air mail service. Then, in 1935, he messed up. Mr Baab will document all of that and more during his 30-minute talk.

The exhibit will display an envelope signed by Farley, a photo of him examining many bags of air mail letters, examples of stamps for which he was responsible, including a full sheet of the 2-cent National Parks issue and a partial sheet of the 1-cent Parks issue, individual stamps of the 12 that became known as “Farley’s Follies,” including souvenir sheets. All of the above are from the Bill & Bea Baab Collection.

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R.J. Taylor, Jr. Foundation funds digitization of Historic Augusta newspapers now available on new web site from the Digital Library of Georgia

ATHENS, Ga. — R.J. Taylor, Jr. Foundation funds digitization of Historic Augusta newspapers now available on new web site from the Digital Library of Georgia.

The Digital Library of Georgia in partnership with the R.J. Taylor, Jr. Foundation is pleased to announce the release of historic Augusta newspapers, which are part of our launch of a brand-new web site featuring historic newspaper titles from around the state. The new web site is Georgia Historic Newspapers (GHN), available at:

The historic Augusta publications include: the Augusta Chronicle (1831-1836); the Augusta Chronicle (1806-1817); the Augusta Chronicle (1820-1821); the Augusta Chronicle and Gazette of the State (1802-1806); the Augusta Chronicle and Georgia Advertiser (1822-1831); the Augusta Chronicle and Georgia Gazette (1817-1820); the Augusta Chronicle & Georgia Gazette (1821-1822); the Augusta Chronicle & Sentinel (1837); the Chronicle & Sentinel (1838); the Constitutionalist (1825-1832); the Daily Chronicle & Sentinel (1840-1852); the Daily Constitutionalist (1847-1851); the Georgia Constitutionalist (1832-1846); the Georgia Courier (1827-1830); the Tri-weekly Chronicle & Sentinel (1839-1850); and the Weekly Chronicle & Sentinel (1838-1847).

Like the older DLG newspaper sites, GHN provides newspaper issues that are full-text searchable and can be browsed by date and title.

New features of the site include:

Essays about the publishing history of various newspaper titles
Browsing by region (corresponding to regions of older sites)
Browsing by types that include community papers, paper of record, African American papers, religious papers, school papers, or Native American papers.

The site is compatible with all current browsers and the newspaper page images can be viewed without the use of plug-ins or additional software downloads.

All previously digitized newspapers are scheduled to be incorporated into the new GHN platform. Until that time, users may continue to access the existing regional and city sites (North, South, West Georgia, Athens, Macon, Milledgeville, and Savannah). The new interface employs a sustainable platform and methods for newspaper digitization that comply with national standards (Library of Congress’ National Digital Newspaper Program).

The Augusta Chronicle, Georgia’s oldest active paper, began publication in 1875 as the Augusta Gazette. The paper displayed Georgia State Gazette or Independent Register as its title from 1876 to April 11, 1879; in 1810, the masthead changed to the Augusta Chronicle and Georgia Advertiser. At this time, the publication was staunchly anti-British and later anti-Federalist. The paper’s masthead was returned to Augusta Chronicle in 1825, and called for nullification and secession in 1831. In 1836, the Chronicle merged with the State Rights Sentinel to become the Augusta Chronicle and Sentinel until 1876. By the 1850s, the paper had the largest circulation in Georgia. In the years prior to the Civil War, the Chronicle was primarily a Whig-oriented publication, but later supported the Democratic Party during the Civil War. In 1885, the title reverted to Augusta Chronicle, and the publication stood against lynchings and vehemently opposed Thomas E. Watson and the Populist Party. In 1915, the Chronicle supported Governor John M. Staton in commuting Leo Frank’s death sentence. The Augusta Chronicle remains one of the most widely read newspapers in Georgia.
The Augusta Constitutionalist began as a tri-weekly paper in 1822, and over the years, supported the Confederacy, and voiced against reunification after the Civil War, resulting in the paper’s suspension by the Union military from May 7th to May 17th, 1865. The paper survived independently until March, 1877 when the publication became the Chronicle and Constitutionalist.
The Georgia Courier was circulated daily in Augusta from 1826 to 1837 by publishers Brantly and Clarke.

“Historic newspapers provide a unique look at our state over time. They are invaluable to scholars and the general public alike as they provide in-depth coverage of Georgia counties and cities, report on the activities of state and local government, and reflect the social and cultural values of the time that they were created. By far, they are DLG’s most popular resources” remarked Sheila McAlister, director of the Digital Library of Georgia. “We’re grateful for the assistance of partners like the R.J. Taylor, Jr. Foundation as we continue to add new content and improve how our users interact with these important historic documents.”

About the Georgia Historic Newspapers Archive

The Georgia Historic Newspapers Archive is a project of the Digital Library of Georgia (DLG), a part of Georgia’s Virtual Library GALILEO and is based at the University of Georgia Libraries. Since 2007, the DLG has partnered with universities, archives, public libraries, historical societies, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions to digitize historical newspapers from around the state. The archive is free and open for public use.

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A new exhibit for fall


On display in the Georgia Heritage Room at the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library Main Branch from October to December 2017 will be a unique collection of items relating to Augusta native Ty Cobb and his amazing baseball career. Once more, Mr. Lamar Garrard shares his collection with us along with Mr. Milledge Murray to showcase Ty Cobb’s life here in Augusta. Mr. Gerrard is a native of Augusta and a graduate of Richmond Academy. The Georgia Southern University grad became interested in baseball while attending Augusta Tiger baseball games as a youth with his father. He writes a weekly baseball column for 3 CSRA newspapers and writes columns for the COLUMBIA COUNTY MAGAZINES.

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October programming

Searching for Surnames: Challenges, Pitfalls and the Downright Ridiculous— A Legacy Family Tree Webinar

Wednesday, 18 October 2017 @ 2pm
Augusta-Richmond County Public Library Main Branch 3rd Floor Computer Lab

With increased indexing and transcription of records, often linked to digitized images on free and commercial websites, searching for an individual or collecting references to everyone holding a particular surname is much easier now, isn’t it? Using a variety of sites to try to discover details about those elusive ancestors, creative searching is a must and this webinar will uncover some of the investigative methods needed as well as the more challenging transcriptions the genealogist has to work with, whilst still being enormously grateful that they are available to us online! Seating is limited so please call (706)826-1511 to reserve your spot!

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Introduction to the Freedmen’s Bureau

A Legacy Family Tree Webinar by Angela Walton-Raji

Newly freed slaves needed assistance with food, shelter, rations, and work for pay. The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands—or simply The Freedmen’s Bureau—served the purpose of providing such aid. This webinar will focus on the records from the Bureau and how these records will open doors before 1870 for the African-American Family. Please join us on 20 September 2017 at 2pm in the Computer Lab at the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library main branch for this informative lesson. Space is limited so please call (706)826-1511 to reserve your spot!

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The Newest Exhibit in the GA Heritage Room

Recon is an exhibition of sketchbooks, preliminary studies and research which combined 5 weeks of travel in Vietnam led to the creation of Semper Fidelis: How I Met my Father. The sketchbooks were part of my process of collecting, cataloguing and trying to understand the events of the war in Vietnam, who my father was and my own thoughts and feelings. Unedited and unfiltered the sketchbooks became touchstones that could transport me back to the village where my father was killed or a conversation with veteran allowing me to bring that emotion forward into the finished work. Semper Fidelis is not a political statement about the war, but a quest for understanding and a statement of personal loss and how the effects of war resonate through multiple generations.

Semper Fidelis is a mixed-media fine art exhibition which documents my quest to learn about my father, a US Marine who was killed in Vietnam in 1966. The exhibition uses USMC after action reports, letters written by my father in the field and my own journal entries to tell this story. Archival photographs of my father are combined with my own images from Indiana, Washington DC and Vietnam.

The centerpiece of the exhibition is a series of hand-built raku and electric fired ceramic vessels which combine narrative and photographic elements and chronologically represent my quest come to know my father. Made from roughly hewn terra-cotta slabs with text stamped into the surface, these pieces feel as if they have emerged from the battlefields of Vietnam and represent the physical loss of my father while providing the context for viewing this installation.

Photographic diptychs complement the ceramic vessels and draw parallels between the American and Vietnamese traditions of honoring the dead. These pieces, while less emotionally charged, provide a broader context for viewing. These diptychs combine black & white photographs with tin panels and silver leaf on encaustic backgrounds. These pieces are presented in custom made tin wrapped frames made to my specifications by artisans in Vietnam.

Additional photographic constructions combine my photographs with military insignias etched into the glass, USMC field maps and machine gun shell casings.This exhibition is not a political statement about the war Vietnam. It is a statement of personal loss, of coming to know my father and how the effects of war resonate through not just one but several generations. This body of work does not merely represent my relationship with my father, it is my relationship with him

– By Tom Hubbard

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