News and Tribune


March 28, 2014

FAMILY BRANCHES: Different areas require different genealogy strategies

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Those of us who do family research in the Midwest are well versed in the fact that much of the information we need to search is at the county level. We learn about the county seat and where those records are located.

As we go further back in time, we move to states with records that are not kept in the same manner or may have records with different names. Many of us can trace an ancestor back to Virginia. Research in the Commonwealth of Virginia can be quite confusing until the system is learned.

Virginia is divided into geographic regions from east to west: The Eastern Shore, the Tidewater, the Piedmont, the Valley and Western Virginia (not West Virginia). From north to south are four regions, the Northern Neck, the North Peninsula, the Peninsula and Southside. There are also county levels where records are kept and also thrown into the mix are 39 independent cities with their own records.

Anyone delving into genealogical research in Virginia will definitely need a guide. “Virginia Genealogy Research” by Carole McGinnis is another of the “Genealogy at a Glance” series and is packed full with information about Virginia sources and is a wonderful take along research tool. Contents included in this booklet are Quick Facts, Settlement Background, Record Sources, Census Returns and Tax Lists, Supplementary Sources, Major Repositories and Online Resources. This four page laminated booklet is available for $8.95 plus $5.50 shipping from Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 3600 Clipper Mill Road, Suite 260, Baltimore, MD 21211-1953 or 1-800-296-6687. A website is available at


Two living historians will share their stories at the Thursday, April 3, meeting of the Southern Indiana Genealogical Society. Melissa Wiseheart will portray Olivia Butterfield, the New Albany Public Library’s first librarian, and Mandy Dick will portray Harriet Scribner, the last Scribner to own the historic Scribner House. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library, 180 W. Spring St., in New Albany. More information may be found at

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