At the Library: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

There are so many places to go with the topic of libraries. When it comes down to it, my favorite library will always be the public library. My family lived in the same house from the time my parents built it with their own hands in 1947 until 1980. We lived out in the country and rarely got to the library. This is why, as adult my habit each time I move, the first things I do are register to vote and get a library card.

I came to genealogy fairly recently, so my love affair with the public library was already well underway when I began to research my family history. When I began to look for family history records in the library, I was surprised to find volumes of transcriptions of West Virginia records in the Seattle Public Library. it just made me love the public library that much more.

At least two branches of my mother’s family have been in Virginia since it was a colony. Yet, I didn’t set foot in a public library in Virginia until 2012. I immediately found out that most Virginia public libraries have Virginiana Rooms, full of resources. Now I live in Virginia and my own public library, just a short walk from my home, has an extensive collection of resources on Virginia’s history and her families, going back to 1606.

These are not archives and they hold little in the way of original records. Still, the records that they hold are signposts towards those records and histories that provide the context needed to better understand the history of my family.