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We are delighted to get e-mails from Boy Scouts who are considering an Eagle Scout  Or Venture Project to benefit the Gwinnett County GAGenWeb.  Thank you , thank you, thank you!  It's a great way to learn more about the history of your community, honor those early settlers, and benefit researchers today. 

Please e-mail me ahead of time, so
I can make sure no one else is working on the project you have in mind. Before and during your project, I'll be available to answer any questions and give guidance.  I will be your contact for the Gwinnett County GAGenWeb.   The Gwinnett County GAGenWeb and the GAGenWeb are part of the USGenWeb Project, a nationwide organization of volunteers dedicated to free access to history and genealogy on the Internet.

Pat Sabin
gwinnett  @ patsabin.com (remove spaces)
Alternate email:   patricia . sabin @ comcast.net (remove spaces).
Gwinnett County GAGenWeb County Coordinator

Be sure to follow the requirements of the BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA:

"As stated in the Boy Scout Handbook: While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to your religious institution, school, or your community. (The project should benefit an organization other than the BSA.) The project idea must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, your unit leader (Scoutmaster, Varsity Scout Coach, Venturing crew Advisor), unit committee, and by the council or district advancement committee before you start. You must use this Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project Workbook, No. 18-927D, in meeting this requirement."

Please submit all transcriptions in plain text documents in Notepad or Word.  This will make it much easier for us to upload the file to the web site.   In addition to uploading your work to the Gwinnett County GAGenWeb,  we also would like your permission to upload it to the USGenWeb Archives. 


1.  TOMBSTONE TRANSCRIPTIONS of an old cemetery.  Old cemeteries are deteriorating, and there may be a day when grave markers are missing or no longer legible.  This is a great way to document early residents of your area and help descendants locate the burial sites of their family members.

You'll get more out of a project that you choose for yourself, so please choose a cemetery that is convenient to your home or school, and a reasonable size for you to do alone or with volunteers (although a partial transcription would be welcome, too). If there is a cemetery that has a personal meaning, such as ancestors who are buried there, or the cemetery adjacent to your church, that would be a good choice, too.  

You'll need to get permission from the property owner if the cemetery is on private or church owned property.  If you need help, let me know.   If the cemetery is owned and maintained by the city or an active church, you may be able to obtain a record of burials to use as a reference.   I have a copy of "Deaths of Gwinnett County, Georgia, 1818-1989"  which can be used as a reference in the local history-genealogy section of most Gwinnett County Public Libaries  (or I can do look-ups on any hard-to-read tombstones).  Most Gwinnett County Public Libraries have this book as a reference book in the local history-genealogy section. 

Be sure to take your digital camera, as it comes in handy to take landscape photos of the cemetery to accompany the transcriptions, and also serves as a tool to photograph tombstones that are difficult to decypher.

Here are good web sites with information on surveying and preserving cemeteries:
Actually, cemetery clean up and tombstone transcription may be combined as two Eagle Scout Projects!

IF YOU NEED HELP READING THE TOMBSTONES, OR IF WOULD LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO LIVED IN YOUR COMMUNITY, there are some good reference books in almost every Gwinnett County Public Library, including volumes of Gwinnett County Georgia History, Gwinnett County Churches, and Gwinnett County Book of Deaths, 1818-1989.  Gwinnett County also offers online access to Census records at Ancestry.Com (in library use only) and Heritage Quest. It is accessible from your home computer by signing into http://www.gwinnettpl.org/  with your library card number .


A fun project that you can do at your local Gwinnett County library is transcribing early Gwinnett County newspaper articles from microfilm.  These are fascinating windows into the everyday lives and important events of Gwinnett County in the 19th Century.  It's also interesting to learn about the culture of the times - a glimpse of how people thought and wrote back then. 

Copies of the GWINNETT HERALD are on microfilm beginning with 1879,  and are housed at the Gwinnett County Public Library's FIVE FORKS BRANCH (at Five Forks Trickum and Ronald Reagan Parkway).  
On your first visit, you'll want to stop in at the Information Desk and have someone show you how to find the films and operate the equipment.   Here's a county library location map:  http://www.gwinnettpl.org/AboutLibrary/BranchLocDirHrs/LocationsImageMap.htm

The library is open Monday-Thursday, 9-9; Friday-Saturday,  9-6;  Sunday, 1-6.

As you walk in the front door, go straight back, past the check out desk and reading room on your left.  Go past a couple of stacks, and you'll see the MICRO FILM room on the left.  According to a staff member, the better viewer is the Canon 400.  The microfilm for old Gwinnett County newspapers is in the top drawer of the adjacent file cabinet. 

The oldest films are rather difficult to read and print, but they may be the most interesting and informative.   You may bring your laptop computer and transcribe directly from the screen, but it will be slow going.  You'd probably do best to enlarge, focus, center, and print the articles you want to transcribe.  Letter sized prints cost 15 cents a piece.

The best way to get started is to choose a year, and scroll through the individual pages.  For any article you print, be sure to write down the date of the newspaper.

Articles of Interest.   Any local news, gossip columns, or obituary about people, towns, or events in Gwinnett County.  



Thank you again for your interest.  If you do not live in Gwinnett County, Georgia, but are intererested in a similar project in your county, please contact your local USGenWeb County Coordinator.

Please contact me any time if I can answer any questions or be of help in any way.  Please use a subject line & the name of the cemetery you are considering in your e-mail, so I'll be sure to respond promptly.

Thank you!

Pat Sabin
Gwinnett County GAGenWeb County Coordinator






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