Vital Records Are Important

November 13th, 1994


Anyone doing genealogy must make use of vital records, that is the birth and death records recorded by the government. The “International Vital Records Handbook, 3rd edition” by Thomas Jay Kemp is the latest attempt to include a copy of the actual application form from each state and country, or at least the latest information on where to write and how much it will cost. Since obtaining copies of death certificates is a very necessary research need in genealogy, the book is an important tool. Since the prices continue to rise, at least in the U.S., one might still find they have to check the fees. One important addition in this volume is a copy of Social Security Administration Form L997 which gives one access to the original social security application form. This form cannot easily be located by Social Security itself, so it is a great inclusion here. One can copy any of the state forms, and file for a copy. Earlier editions can be found at local libraries. This edition is $29.95 plus $3 from Genealogical Publishing Co., 1001 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21202.


“Roll of Honor” is a ten-volume set which reprints a 27-volume set originally published from 1865-1871. It contains a list of 300,000 Union soldiers buried in National cemeteries, cemeteries on military posts, and other known cemeteries. Many of the men were disinterred from battlefields and reburied in these cemeteries. The series was originally published by the authority of the Secretary of War. One main reason for its original publication was to help friends, relatives and their comrades locate the graves, especially since most were moved from where they fell in battle. The final volume includes the “Final Disposition” of those that were removed and reburied. This series was massive when originally published and just as much so in its reprinting. The publishers plan an all-name index next year since the current printing, as did the original, does not include any index. Those buried at Andersonville, Georgia, are found in the first volume of the reprint. The names of the deceased are in a rough alphabetical list in each cemetery. The volumes vary in price. For information on the set, contact the Genealogical Publishing Co., at (800) 296-6687.


Local churches were the subject of books recently published by two local writers. These books show how a church’s history and especially its records can be published in an attractive manner. Diane Middlebrooks has compiled “March to Mount Zion: History of Mount Zion United Methodist Church, Ellenwood, Henry County, Georgia, 1853-1993”. It includes a lot of history and philosophy of this church and its faith, with some early minutes, ministers, and members. It has a full-name index. For information contact Diane Middlebrooks, 5990 Hearn Rd., Ellenwood, Ga. 30049.

Eleanor C. Richardson has compiled a small, 32-page work, “Hopewell Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, Newton County, Georgia, Records of the Session, 1830-1917”. These records include baptismal records, and members. For information contact the author at 3205 Linda’s Circle, Conyers, Ga. 30208.