The following excerpt is from an article in the April 21, 2011 edition of The Daily Home.
TALLADEGA COUNTY — Volunteers who worked with the Talladega County Historical Association to complete a 10-year historical restoration project were recognized Thursday morning at the Talladega County Courthouse by the Alabama Department of Archives and History for their work at the courthouse.
The 10-year project included preparing and digitizing historical county probate records, also known as loose records, which dated from 1830 to 1952.
Talladega is one of the 52 counties in the state to finish a loose records project.
Probate Judge Billy Atkinson led the ceremony and had several staff members and volunteers speak and share their stories and experiences with the project.
“We saw many happy situations, we saw many sad situations,” Atkinson said. “This has been a long, hard process and we surely do appreciate the volunteers for their hard work.”
The volunteers spent 10 years thumbing through many historical documents that consisted primarily of estate files, inventories of real and personal property that was owned by descendants, and names of heirs and other family members, and names of slaves who lived on the estates.
They removed the old case files from their metal boxes, cleaned and flattened them, and arranged them alphabetically in archival boxes and file folders.
Through FamilySearch, formerly known as the Geneological Society of Utah, the records were converted through digital imaging; the county will receive its copy of the records on an external hard drive, so they will be accessible for computerized research.