Videocameras and Genealogy

March 26th, 1995


The advent of the videocamera has brought another great and easy to use resource into the hands of genealogists. I recently took my camera and documented a visit made by several cousins to several cemeteries. Being able to record sound adds a great deal to the documentation. Some people have videotaped their family photographs and narrated the tape to share with distant cousins or to obtain assistance in identifying unknown photographs. Anyone with access to a camera should use it. Interviews are some of the most important uses the camera can be put to. Shala Bannister has recently compiled a brief guide “Family Treasures: Videotaping Your Family History”. She covers where to do an interview, and then possible questions to ask each person, they questions related to activities, such as dating, vacations, college years, and other aspects of life. If one is trying to organize themselves to begin interviewing, this book would be helpful. The author has covered virtually every possible question. One must also learn how to hold the camera or have it self-operated while the questions are being asked. It is always important after an interview to review it and possibly have follow-up questions. These might need to be in writing if the interviewee is no longer available for taping. The book is $11.95 plus $3 postage from the Clearfield Co., 200 E. Eager St., Baltimore, Md. 21202.


“Cemeteries of Toombs County, Georgia” is a recent work of the Toombs County Historical Society. Compiled by Moses M. Coleman, Jr., and based on the society’s 1992-1993 survey of the county’s cemeteries, the book includes cemeteries arranged in alphabetical order. The cemeteries have specific directions but no overall map. The burials are arranged in alphabetical order within the cemetery, an arbitrary arrangement which destroys the family links between burials. There is a full-name index. The book is available for $42.35 postpaid from Coleman Sales, Inc., P.O.Box 1044, Vidalia, Ga. 30474.


Martha Redus, frequent lecturer on Cherokee Indian genealogy, now also has books for sale on the subject, as well as offering her lectures and consultations. She can be reached at Cherokee Cousins, 4530 Bob’s Court, Stone Mt., Ga. 30083.

UPDATE 2011: Martha Redus has died and no one representing her is at this address.


The Jewish Genealogical Society of Georgia has completed indexing all Jewish burials in Atlanta, part of a project to do a state-wide index to Jewish burials. Over 10,000 names have been contributed to the International Jewish Cemetery Project. Atlanta cemeteries indexed were: Arlington, Crest Lawn, Greenlawn, Greenwood, Oakland, Roseland, and Westview. Copies will be placed at the Georgia Archives, Atlanta History Center, National Archives in East Point. Jewish burials in some other Georgia cities have also been indexed. Volunteers are needed in other cities to help. Contact Peggy Freedman, 396-1645 to volunteer or Gary Palgon 458-6664 for more information on the project.

UPDATE 2011: Mrs. Freedman still may be contacted at 770-396-1645 and remains very active with the Jewish Genealogical Society, as does Gary Palgon.