Newsletter Blog | Fredericksburg Regional Genealogical Society

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At it's Wednesday, June 11, 2014 meeting, FRGS will host Julie Nielsen Cabitto who will explain Virginia Chancery Records and the goldmine of research information it holds. Visit Julie on her Polish genealogy blog: http://sanetra-genhistory.blogspot.com or for Virginia history: http://juliecabitto-preservinghistoryrecords.blogspot.com - M 


The Family History Day program is shaping up with dynamic speakers and interesting topics.  There is something for everyone! For additional information you can visit their Facebook page, Fredericksburg Family History Day. - M

Chancery Records
According to the Black's Law Dictionary, Chancery is "Proceeding according to the forms of principles of equity."  Virginia is fortunate to have online through the Library of Virginia's website, chancery court records back to the 1700s.  Because chancery courts were deciding issues not necessarily to the letter of the law, but on equity and fairness, those court cases include estates, land disputes, divorce proceedings and business partnership issues.  These records can hold a goldmine of information - for those who have Virginia ancestors.  The Library of Virginia website is not the easiest to navigate. A hint is to use the Search Box (upper right on home page) for what kind of record you are looking for. This box provides guidance on how to use the site. If you want to go right to the Chancery Records database, go to http://www.la.virginia.gov/chancery/  Put a name in the Surname Box. Then filter by county.  -M


Fredericksburg Marriage Records Index

Did you know that Fredericksburg (and Virginia) is a Gretna Green? Anyone can obtain a marriage license with adequate ID and the fee in hand. Couples from surrounding states, including New York and New England come to Fredericksburg to get married.  Marriage licenses taken out in Fredericksburg, VA have special importance because of its locality near Quantico military base. Many military personnel came to Fredericksburg for their marriage license.  As of the first of the year 2014, marriages from 1955 to present are available at the Fredericksburg Circuit Court. - M

Viginia Tax Records

This has been an exciting year for the Fredericksburg Regional Genealogical Society. There was record attendance at the September meeting to hear what Barbara Vines Little had to say about how Tax Records can be a goldmine of genealogical information.  She warned to now use tax records as a census substitute, as you might miss important information.  Barbara explained that the head or poll tax was placed on free white males above the age of sixteen, though this age range could vary to age 21. 

Since Virginia has few vital records before 1850, it does have tax lists from 1782 that can be utilized for genealogical research. 

The tithable lists names not only white males, but lists slaves over the age of 12. 

Other information from the September meeting: The Second Spring Genealogy Series co-sponsored by FRGS and the Central Rappahannock Regional Library will be held on Saturday, March 22, 2014.  Specific program and speakers to be announced.

The National Genealogical Society national meeting will be in Richmond, VA May 7-10, 2014. Check the NGS website for further information.  - M

Virginiana Room

Wind down the spiral staircase to the lower level of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library on Caroline Street in Fredericksburg and you will find a room full of Virginia genealogical research material. You will also find knowledgable staff and volunteers to help you locate just what you are looking for.

Some items of interest are: Local newspapers on microfilm, some as early as 1788; Indexes for Fredericksburg newspapers through 1928; Obituary indexes from 1788 to present; Sanborn Insurance maps; cabinets filled with information on historic houses and the people who lived in them; military information, especially Civil War resources; cemetery records, and an extensive collection of books on local as well as Virginia history.  - M

Fredericksburg City Directories

With the exception of a few years, the Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc. has Fredericksburg City Directories for the years 1965 through 1997. Lookups from Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness can be requested through the society's email FRGSVA@gmail.com.  - M

DNA

On Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at the Salem Church Branch Library, Shannon Combs-Bennett will present new information on DNA testing. Those who attended the FRGS spring genealogy series, Introductory Genealogy and Beyond, will know that Shannon presents this complex information in a manner that all can understand. - M

Stafford Civil War Park

A couple of men with a dream, determination, stickto-itivness and who gathered lots of community support built the Stafford Civil War Park that opened in April 2013. 

Our history club toured the park today and we encourage anyone interested in Civil War history to make this park a priority. - M

Cemetery Tour

In October each year the Rappannock Colonial Heritage Society sponsors a tour of local cemeteries. Participants have the opportunity to "meet" and learn about the lives of some of the founding members of Fredericksburg, VA.  We attended this year's  tour and I was surprised to learn that many early residents were of Scottish descent. If you are interested in local colonial history, do contact this group. - M 

FamilySearch.org Presentation

FRGS member Ray Maki shared information on the updated Family Search website.  He explained that once on the site, a search can immediately begin by clicking on, "Search." But, he strongly advised that genealogists first go to the left and click on "Sign In."  By creating an account, researchers have access to more information, can begin their family tree in the cloud (which will be around forever as opposed to computer programs, CDs, DVDs, etc.).  FamilySearch does not share/sell your email address, nor do they send account holders any emails. 

Mr. Maki explained each of the headers under the Search tab - Records, Genealogies, Catalog, Books and Wiki.  He presented interesting examples of each function, including adding citations and photos to an ancestor's Person Page. - M


2013 Maki Designs