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


“Genealogy Research Trips: The Good, Bad and the Ugly!” will be presented on April 26 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Indiana Historical Society by Ann Wells who is a professional genealogist. Anyone planning a genealogy research trip without doing some serious planning will waste an enormous amount of time when reaching the research destination.

The program will feature tips on how to plan, things to think about, and how to be ready for research. Another program on May 17 will discuss what to do when information from several researchers doesn’t “add up” and it’s time to start over and look at all the information again. Dr. Michael D. Lacopo, a retired small-animal veterinarian, takes a scientific approach to his research as he does in his profession. His lecture, “Deconstructing Your Family Tree: Re-evaluating the Evidence,” is pertinent today with so many Internet family trees that get cut and pasted into one another’s research without checking the facts or sources. Dr. Lacopo has lectured internationally and written for numerous periodicals and journals. Both programs will be from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Indiana Historical Society, 450 W. Ohio St., Indianapolis, IN. The cost is $10 for each program ($8 for members) which includes parking. To register visit or call 317-232-1882.

• NEW TO THE INDIANA ROOM OF THE NEW ALBANY FLOYD COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY - Sustainable Genealogy: Separating Fact from Fiction in Family Legend; Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries; A Genealogical Register of the First Settlers of New England, 1620-1675; American Population Before the Federal Census of 1790. 

—Vicky Zuverink is a past president of the Southern Indiana Genealogical Society. Queries are free and must include both a date to establish a time period and a location where the people lived. Please include your e-mail or postal address so you can be contacted by someone interested in your family. Submit queries to: Vicky Zuverink at