Learning to Research in Charlottesville
by Kathryn Parker
Annually, the Virginia Genealogical Society (VGS) joins with a local society for a fall conference. On Friday and Saturday, 5 and 6 October of this year, VGS and the Central Virginia Genealogical Association (CVGA) are presenting their combined Fall Conference in Charlottesville, Virginia. The conference includes guided research and consultations on Friday and lectures on Saturday.
Friday is free to the public at the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library (hereafter referred to as the Small Library) on the University of Virginia (UVA) campus. Parking is limited on campus. All others can use the Central Grounds Parking Garage, 400 Emmet Street, behind the Small Library; the garage is convenient to Alderman Library. Accessible parking is available on McCormick Road in front of the Alderman Library. Note: This hourly parking garage does not accept credit cards. From 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., guided research through the Small Library will be offered. Library staff will be available to answer questions concerning the library's collections and their use. Simultaneously, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Byrd-Morris Room at the Small Library, experienced researchers will be available to answer questions, provide individual assistance to beginners, and offer strategies for difficult genealogical problems. Options for lunch are nearby in the Small Library. Researchers may access the University of Virginia catalog at https://www.library.virginia.edu/.
On Saturday, registration begins at 9:00 a.m. at The Inn at Darden, University of Virginia, 100 Darden Boulevard. Coffee service will be available. The Darden is on the other side of campus from the libraries at the Friday conference location. University signs directing traffic are posted along the way. A parking garage is located next to The Darden. Parking for conference attendees is free on Saturday. Two tracks of lectures, Track 1, "Virginia Gems" by Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FVGS, and Track 2, "German Settlers and Migration Routes," by Dorothy A. Boyd-Bragg, Ph.D., and Ashley Abruzzo, CTA, will run from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. Lunch at The Darden is a bountiful buffet, which is included with registration.
The following is a short biography of the speakers.
Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FCGS. Ms. Little is a professional genealogist whose primary interests are in Virginia research, brick wall problems, and complete genealogies. A member of the board of the Orange County Historical Society and a former president of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) and VGS, she has served as coordinator and instructor for VIGR (Virginia Institute of Genealogical Research) Track II, 1996-2004, and for the Virginia track at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University, 2007-2012.
Editor of the quarterly Magazine of Virginia Genealogy since 1996, she is the former editor of the bi-monthly Virginia Genealogical Society Newsletter and MidAtlantic Germanic Society’s newsletter, Der Kurier. Winner of the NGS Quarterly Award of Excellence in 2001, she has written articles for several publications including the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, the National Genealogical Society Newsletter, the Board for Certification of Genealogists’ newsletter, OnBoard, and the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly. The current editor of the NGS’s Research in the States series, she is the author of the West Virginia volume and has published three volumes of Virginia court records and edited others for publication.
Ms. Little has lectured for the past twenty years at local, regional, state, and national conferences in thirty states on research methodology, Virginia, and West Virginia resources, and writing and publishing.
Dorothy A. Boyd-Bragg, Ph.D., is professor of history, emerita, James Madison University. Her diverse research and writing interests include local history and genealogy. She is the author/editor of numerous books and articles on genealogy and has also served as president of the VGS.
Dr. Boyd-Bragg writes for Lot’s Wife Publishing, a local history publishing company based in Augusta, Virginia. She is part of the team that researches, writes, and publishes complete local history books.
She has written or edited the following publications:
- 1902 voter registration, Rockingham County, Virginia
- Conscience in the courtroom : history of the Mountain View Mennonite school system, Dayton, Virginia, 1968-2006, with E. Daniel Burkholder
- Death notices from extant issues of the Rockingham register
- Historical articles from Rockingham County
- Marriage notices from extant issues of the “Rockingham Register,” Harrisonburg, Virginia, 1822-1870.
- Nielson: Celebrating a Century of Excellence, The Legacy Continues (100th Anniversary 1908-2008)
- Portals to Shenandoah Valley Folkways, with John L. Heatwole
- Register of Free Blacks, Rockingham County, Virginia 1807-1859
- Shenandoah Presbytery : a heritage of service
- This heritage; the story of Lutheran beginnings in the lower Shenandoah Valley and of Grace Church, Winchester, by William Edward Eisenberg
Ashley Abruzzo, CTA (Certified Tourism Ambassador) is membership development manager at the Germanna Foundation in Locust Grove, Virginia, located between Fredericksburg and Culpeper. German settlers were brought to this area to establish Germanna Settlement. Two colonies were established by 1720. Ms. Abruzzo has experience working in many historic institutions, such as the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and the C&O Canal National Historical Park. She has extensive experience working on genealogy, both personal and professional, building family trees, editing articles and interpretive panels for historic sites, and working with the public by leading tours and school programs.
Ms. Abruzzo is excited about what she does for several reasons. She has two academic degrees in history. She has traveled to the part of Germany from which Germanna colonists emigrated, and has researched genealogy extensively over the past ten years. Ashley Abruzzo is herself a Germanna descendant.
Be sure to get to the conference early to register. Seating is limited for these knowledgeable speakers. Seats will fill up fast. The cost of the conference is $54 for VGS & CVGA members and $65 for non-members. Lunch will be provided on Saturday. Register online at http://www.vgs.org and click "register on EventBrite." Cancellations will not be refunded. One-year VGS membership is $35 for individuals/$40 for families; one-year CVGA membership is $20 for individuals/$30 for each household membership. Vendors of books and other items of researchers’ interest will be available on Saturday. Door prizes coveted by genealogists will be awarded. For more information, connect to the Virginia Genealogical Society at http://www.vgs.org.
Speakers for this conference were provided by funds from the Richard Slatten Endowment for Virginia History of the Community Foundation Serving Richmond & Central Virginia.
This conference promises to be highly informative and an event you won’t want to miss. Watch our website for interesting articles that will help researchers in their quest for their ancestors.