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Fall library offerings include ancestry, global culture
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Forsyth County News


For more information on events in either of the upcoming series at the Forsyth County Public Library, go to

CUMMING -- There’s just a few months remaining in 2014, but local libraries have a calendar full of events to last from fall to New Years, from global cultural studies to personal ancestry workshops.

The Forsyth County Public Library will hold six events designed to help both amateur and experienced family genealogists discover their own histories as part of the Fall Genealogy Series in October, while looking forward to a monthly “One World Forsyth” program series to celebrate culture across the world.


Fall Genealogy Series


The Fall Genealogy Series kicks off with local historian Don Shadburn’s “Forsyth County History and Genealogy Research” at 2 p.m. Oct. 19 in the Cumming Library.

Shadburn is recognized as a leading research authority on Georgia families of Cherokee blood, according to a library news release. He will share tips for using basic research resources available on the county’s history and genealogy.

A “Digital Library of Georgia” workshop will be presented by Digital Projects Librarian Mandy Mastrovita on Oct. 20 at the Sharon Forks Library.

Mastrovita will introduce participants to collections in the Digital Library of Georgia that are helpful to genealogical researchers, including newspapers, tax records, death certificates and photo collections. All resources examined in the workshop are available online for free. The session begins at 2 p.m.

Angela Stanley, an archivist and librarian, will present “Navigating the Genealogy Heavyweights — Ancestry and FamilySearch” at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 21 in the Post Road Library.

Stanley will conduct a classroom-style presentation, answering questions on how to access the popular sites and how to use either to discover individual family histories.

Anyone interested in local history may want to attend Atlanta author Joe Dabney’s discussion of his book “Mountain Spirits” on Oct. 22 at the Cumming Library.

Beginning at 2 p.m., Dabney will share interviews about actual moonshiners to help illuminate the origins and development of the art of making bootleg whiskey.

Those curious about their ancestry but who don’t have any experience in genealogy or research are welcomed to join Atlanta History Center senior activist Sue VerHoef for “Life in the Past Lane – Beginning Genealogy” at 6 p.m. Oct. 23 in the Hampton Park Library.

Attendees can learn tips and resources that can help them embark on their own ancestral journey.

Laurel-Ann Dooley will discuss the underworld of Atlanta’s past through her latest book, “Wicked Atlanta.” She will take listeners on a journey through the past dealings of kidnapping, bribery, wives who hired hit men and all types of “criminal debauchery” in the city. “Wicked Atlanta — Author Talk with Laurel-Ann Dooley” is set for Oct. 25 at the Sharon Forks Library. It starts at 2 p.m.

All events are free, but advance registration is required.


One World Forsyth


A celebration of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, will kick off the “One World Forsyth” global cultural studies series at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 22 in the Sharon Folks Library.

Programs, sponsored by the Forsyth County Public Library Friends and Advocates, will be held each month at one of the four library branches on a rotating basis.

They are free and intended for all ages. Advance registration is not required to attend.

“We are so excited about bringing aspects of global cultures to our local library,” said Laura Bradley, the library’s program manager. “Our new One World Forsyth series offers a fun and entertaining way for children, teens and adults to widen their worldview by learning about geography, plant and animal life, different cultural traditions, celebrations, games and even different foods from all around the world.”

October’s Diwali Celebration will include a traditional dance performance and samples of foods and treats served during Diwali. It also will include diyas, or small lamps made of clay that hold a bit of oil and a cotton wick, to paint and decorate.

These lamps are symbolic of the “spiritual victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil and hope over despair.”

The dance performance will be presented by Sudakshina Mukherjee of Atlanta Nritya Academy.

November’s event will be a presentation for Native American Heritage Month at the Hampton Park Library.

Acclaimed storyteller Barry Stewart Mann will present “Peace Pipes and Talking Leaves: Cherokee Leaders and Lore” at 2 p.m. Nov. 16. Through the voices of three historical figures — Sequoyah, inventor of the Cherokee syllabary, Nancy Ward, beloved woman, and Dragging Canoe, brave warrior — Mann will share Cherokee folklore, customs and history.

The Cumming Library will welcome the North Georgia Zoo’s Wildlife Wonders on Dec. 8 for “Animals Around the World.”

The program, which starts at 6:30 p.m., will take the audience around the world, visiting an array of animals from the tropics to the desert and from reptiles to insects and mammals to birds.

The library intends to plan One World Forsyth programs for 2015 as popularity grows.