Was Interracial Love Possible in the Days of Slavery? Descendants of One Couple Think So

Back in 2016, the Georgia Heritage Room had the honor of hosting an exhibit titled, LOVE FRAMED IN BLACK & WHITE: A POWERFUL STUDY IN LOVE, RACE, AND COURAGE, which told the story through a collection of pictures and images of an enduring love between a former slave and a white judge from a prominent Edgefield, South Carolina planter family. Paula C. Wright, who created the exhibit, inherited the pictures following her grandmother’s death, and with this box of over 500 pictures and stories told to her as a child, she began to slowly and lovingly piece together her family history and the incredible but courageous marriage of her third great-grandfather Judge William Ramey to former Edgefield slave, Kittie Simpkins. Several of Ms. Wright’s ancestors who followed from this union made Augusta, Georgia their home including Kittie herself who lived in a house on Taylor Street when the atmosphere of hostility and violence which pervaded Edgefield after Reconstruction prompted Judge Ramey to seek out a safe haven for his wife.

Below is a link to an article written by the New York Times documenting this incredible story.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Songs of the Sixties

SONGS OF THE SIXTIES: You don’t want to miss an unusual and free presentation at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15, in the first floor auditorium of the Augusta-Richmond County main library, 823 Telfair St., when longtime weekly music columnist, national book author and magazine writer Don “Ramblin’” Rhodes presents his informative program on 1960s civil rights freedom folk songs including Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ In The Wind; Peter, Paul & Mary’s If I Had A Hammer, Sam Cooke’s A Change Is Gonna Come, John Legend’s Woke Up This Morning and others. Videos of some performers will be intertwined with live renditions by Barbara Walker and Darlene Champagne singing and playing their guitars. This has been only presented once before at the Nancy Carson library in North Augusta and drew a large crowd who sang along on the grand finale number. Rhodes has been writing about music for 55 years and has three times won the Greater Augusta Arts Council’s Media Person of the Year Award as well as the Louis C. Harris Media Award from the West Augusta Rotary Club. He also has been a nominee to the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in the non performing category. Please call the Georgia Heritage Room for details. 706-826-1511

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

DNA Question & Answer with Michele Simmons Lewis, CG

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hippity Hop on Display through July.

Thank you to local collector Bill Harper for sharing his collection with the Georgia Room.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

DNA: The Newest Game in Town

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hippity Hop Hops to the Georgia Room

Hippity Hop is hopping to the Georgia Room

Return again to the wonderful world of Happydale where Hippity Hop and his woodland friends had so many fun adventures. Hippity Hop was an extremely popular live puppet television show which ran on WRDW from 1955 until the early 1960s. Various items associated with the show, including the puppet Louisa will be on display through July.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Determining the truth behind Native American Ancestry

Many people have grown up hearing stories about a great- (or great-great) grandmother who was Native American (typically Cherokee). But as DNA testing gains popularity, people are discovering that may not be the case at all. This article from Slate magazine goes into why the myth persists.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In Their Own Words Book Discussion

In Their Own Words: Augusta and Aiken Area Veterans Remember World War II is a collection of stories and memories based on ten years of interviews conducted by Augusta Richmond County Historical Society as part of the Veterans History Project, to document and preserve the experiences of local men and women who served their country during WWII. Please join the Georgia Room in the Augusta Public Library on Thursday, June 7 at 6:30 pm for a book discussion presented by Project Coordinator Frederick P. Gehle, and editors’ Dr. James Garvey, Retired Chairman, Department of Communications, Augusta University; Dr. Douglas Higbee, Associate Professor of English, University of South Carolina, Aiken; and Hubert Van Tuyll, Professor of History, Augusta University.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Researching Your Irish and Scots-Irish Ancestors

Irish Workshop

Click here to register: http://augustagensociety.org/

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: www.ancestryireland.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment