5/14/2016 Meeting — Visit to University of Virginia Library

The University of Virginia Library has many resources that may be used by Virginia residents. Our next meeting — on May 14 — will be a tour of Alderman Library, by Jean Cooper. We’ll meet in Memorial Hall of Alderman Library at 1:30 pm. If we have time, we can go over to the Small Special Collections Library and take a look at some of the current Shakespeare, Sadleir-Black Gothic Literature Collection, and the Declaration of Independence exhibits.

We suggest you park in the Central Grounds Parking Garage, which is near Alderman Library. It costs $2.00 per hour to park in the garage, but there is little free parking around the University.

We’d like a rough count of the number of people coming in order to have enough handouts, so please put a comment on this posting if you plan to join  us.

May 7, 2016 — Index-a-thon of the Freedmen’s Bureau Records

Saturday, May 7th is an area-wide Index-a-thon to help FamilySearch.org finish the indexing and arbitration of the remainder of the Freedman’s Bureau records.  These records must be finished by June so that a database can be prepared for the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in September.

Anyone who can help with this very important work can index records from the Freedman’s Bureau from any location you want, by downloading the free indexing software and selecting that project from the indexing program on the FamilySearch.org website.  Any questions, please contact Barbara Branham at 293-4404.

Beyond Family Tree Maker – educational video

Here is a link to a video from Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems. It’s called ‘Beyond Family Tree Maker: How to Take Control of Preserving Your Family Tree’. Pat Lukas, who has viewed this video, says, “I don’t use Family Tree Maker but I found good information in this video about keeping computer files safe.”

It is available free through April 15 (2016), and can be viewed below.

NOTE: 4/28/2016. Apparently it is still freely available, since I was able to run the video just now.

Member Input Requested: Madison County Stream Name Change

CVGA recently received a notice from Cassandra Farrell, Senior Map Archivist at the Library of Virginia, concerning a proposal to change the name of a two mile long stream in Madison County. We are being asked if our members support this change, oppose it or have no opinion. Please read the text below and leave a comment by clicking on the quote bubble at the upper right of this post or send an email to: cvgaboard@gmail.com.


“The Virginia Board on Geographic Names recently received a proposal forwarded to us by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names to change the name of Negro Run in Shenandoah National Park to Freedom Run. The stream is a two mile long tributary, flowing southeast into the Robinson River, located wholly within Shenandoah National Park, Madison County, Virginia. Its coordinates are 38.5554013, -78.3516712 (Linear Feature Mouth); 38.5794444, -78.3619444 (Linear Feature Source). On behalf of Sandra Treadway, Librarian and Interim State Archivist at the Library of Virginia, I’m writing to ask whether the members of the Central Virginia Genealogical Association support, oppose or have no opinion regarding changing the name of Negro Run to Freedom Run.
If we don’t hear from you by April 15th we will assume that the Central Virginia Genealogical Association has no objection to this name proposal. Please don’t hesitate to distribute this email to other interested parties.

To review the proposal, please follow the instructions listed below.

To review the principles, policies, and procedures for domestic geographic names adhered to by the USGS Board on Geographic Names, please visit the following link, http://geonames.usgs.gov/domestic/policies.htm.

The Virginia Board on Geographic Names looks forward to hearing from you.

New BGN Proposal has been submitted. Details follow:
ID number: 8863
Proposed Name: Freedom Run
State: Virginia
Submitter/Preparer: Lisa Wilkolak
Email Address: lisa_wilkolak@nps.gov
Phone Number: 651-428-3008
To review this Name Proposal, click or copy and paste the direct link below into your web browser. Then enter the ID number and Proposed Name EXACTLY as shown above.
Display proposal: http://geonames.usgs.gov/apex/f?p=DGNPSHARED:display:::NO::::


Cassandra Farrell
Senior Map Archivist
Library of Virginia
800 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

Family Stories Survey

One of the things that I’ve observed as I talk to people about their family histories is that there are certain “tropes” that appear over and over again. By tropes, I’m talking about common themes or stories that are the same from family to family. Some examples of these tropes are:

  • “three brothers came from the Old World”
  • “my family is descended from royalty or nobility”
  • “one of my ancestors is an Indian princess”
  • “one of my ancestors ran moonshine”

I am interested in finding out more about these family stories, and the first step is to collect the stories told by a wide range of families, and analyze the data. So, I have compiled a survey for you to complete if you wish, to tell me about the stories that your family tells.

If you wish to complete the survey, click on this link: Family Stories Survey and tell us your stories!

Jean L. Cooper
Webmaster, CVGA Website

Whittington Family of Bedford, Campbell, and Amherst Co., VA

Central Virginia Genealogical Association just received a gift copy of a new genealogy book, “Everyone’s a Whittington” by Sarah B. Atkins. Our thanks to Ms. Atkins. We will place this book in the library of the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society.

The author says, “This book is the history of Thomas and Martha Whittington and their children who lived in Bedford, Campbell, and Amherst Counties, Virginia, from approximately 1740 through the 1830s.”

Ms. Atkins goes on to say, “if patrons of your library are interested in ordering their own copies, they are available from me at a cost of $50.00 each.” You may contact the author at the email address below.

email: sallieatkins@gmail.com

If you wish to order directly from the author through the U.S. mail, please contact the webmaster for the address.

Fredericksburg Family History Day 2016

On Saturday, March 19, 2016, the annual Fredericksburg Family History Day will take place at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1710 Bragg Rd, Fredericksburg, VA. Walk-in registration begins at 8:00 am and the Keynote address begins at 9:00 am. The event runs until 3:00 pm.

The Keynote speaker will be Dr. William S. Pretzer, Senior Curator for History at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. which is slated to open in September of this year.

For more information and to register for this free conference, go to http://fredvafamilyhistoryday.com/wordpress/

Learn About African-American Genealogy

The Brown Burke Steppe and Central Virginia Chapters of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS) and the Jefferson School African-American Heritage Center will present ‘Topics in Genealogy’ on March 5, 2016 from 10:00 am to 12 noon.

Angela Walton-Raji, B.A., M.Ed, Author, Lecturer and Podcaster will talk about the Freedmen’s Bureau Project and Shelley Murphy, B.S., M.A., D.M., Professor, Scholar and Writer will address African American Genealogy Research Challenges.

The Heritage Center is located at 233 4th Street NW, Charlottesville, VA 22903.




Feb. 13, 2016: Ready to Write Your Family History?

At our meeting on February 13, 2016, Susan Emert will talk to us about the role of genealogists as writers. She will help us warm up our writing muscles so that we can start putting our genealogical discoveries into a narrative we can share with others.

To continue writing on your own after our meeting, Susan suggests participating in the Family History Writing Challenge given by genealogist Lynn Palermo. Lynn blogs at http://www.thearmchairgenealogist.com and she started her annual 28 day (or 29 day in 2016) writing challenge on February 1.

The meeting will take place from 1:30 pm-3:30 pm at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The address of the Church is 1275 Timberwood Blvd., Charlottesville, VA. It is located on the corner of Airport Road and Timberwood. Coming from U.S. 29, the entrance is on the right (north) side of Airport Road immediately before you reach the church. Drive to the back of the building where you will see the entrance to the Family History Center.

Everyone is welcome!

President’s Message

As we begin the new year of 2016, I look back at my first year as president of the Central Virginia Genealogical Association with gratitude.

I am so thankful for the board members, a dedicated group of women who have guided the association through this past year. A huge thank you goes to Susan Emert, who, after seven years of faithfully performing her duties as president, has graciously served in the role of vice-president for 2015 and will continue to serve through 2016.

Susan DuBar, corresponding secretary since 2002, has bravely dealt with questions from members and institutions as we transition from the paper publication of the Central Virginia Heritage to digital publication.

Diane Inman, treasurer since 2012, always has the financial well-being of the association close to heart. She has worked to make it possible to pay dues online using Paypal and is working on making available a CD of all past issues of the Central Virginia Heritage.

Pam Vandenhoff began serving as recording secretary in 1998. She has recorded the minutes of almost 200 meetings of the CVGA. Good work, Pam!

Jean Cooper has ushered us into today’s digital world as our able webmaster. She has designed the beautiful website you are accessing and continues the hard work of making it fully functional for our members. In place is an online registration form which facilitates signing up for membership and soon she will have the bugs worked out so that members can read all of the back issues of the Heritage.

The Central Virginia Heritage will be published on our website. We are in need of an editor for the publication which we plan to produce twice-yearly. If you would be willing to take on this position, please let me know. Of course, the publication needs material. We look for original work within the association’s geographical region which can be found under ‘Home: About CVGA’ on this website.

In December, Sam Towler spoke to the group about his ‘Albemarle Courthouse Chancery Court Preservation Project’ which can be seen at the Facebook page under that name. Clearly, Albemarle County is not the exception with yellowed papers packed away in dusty vaults concealing valuable information about our ancestors. Such archives are there, just waiting for you to open them up and do some transcribing. The mild winter weather we have experienced lately is most suitable for a trip to your local historical repository, whether it’s a courthouse, an historical society, your church’s archives, or even a local funeral home. While you’re there collecting information, consider putting your findings into a form that can be published in the next issue of the Heritage.

Thank you for your continued support of the Central Virginia Genealogical Association in this new year.

Your president,

Patricia Lukas