February 23, 2010
The Archives and History Library of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History will present its next after hours lecture on Tuesday, March 2, from 6 - 7:30 p.m. The program is entitled “Going Back Before 1850: Genealogical Strategies for Early American Research,” and will be led by Jaime Simmons, research specialist with archives and history. The lecture will take place in the library at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. All sessions are free and the public is invited to attend. The library will close at 5 p.m., and reopen at 5:45 p.m., for lecture participants only.
Simmons will discuss county formation and its implications for locating records, migration within western Virginia, and the importance of structuring research around multiple events in each generation. She also will provide participants with an introduction to other sources such as tax records, wills, and deeds.
Many beginners who have been able to trace their families back to 1853 using the West Virginia Vital Research Records database at archives and history’s Web site http://www.wvculture.org/vrr find themselves stranded, not knowing how to begin the process. Simmons will explain the shift in research techniques necessary to explore time periods prior to 1850 which was the first census year to list all household members by name. She will focus on records available at archives and history that are not on-line.
The session will conclude with a question and answer period. Specific research assistance will not be possible during the evening lecture; however, Simmons is available during the regular operating hours of the library. A prior appointment is welcome but not necessary.
The next session will be “The Combat Scenario: Early West Virginia Coal Mining’s Culture of Danger” on Tuesday, April 6, with Dr. Paul Rakes, a former coal miner who is now a professor of history at WVU -Institute of Technology.
Registration is not required, but is requested to ensure proper seating. To register in advance, contact Robert Taylor, library manager for archives and history, at (304) 558-0230, ext. 163, or by e-mail at Bobby.L.Taylor@wv.gov. Participants interested in registering by e-mail should send their name, telephone number and the name and date of the session. For additional information about the lecture and workshop series, contact the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.
The Archives and History Library is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Monday through Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., on Thursday. The library is closed on Sunday.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Its administrative offices are located at the Culture Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Culture Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.