Washington D.C. Land of Genealogy

Library of Congress

By Joe Garonzik

Answer the following questions either True or False:

  1. No genealogical research is ever complete unless it has been authenticated by original source records.
  2. Salt Lake City is not the site of the greatest collection of accessible genealogical records in the U.S.
  3. The National Archives in Washington, D.C. is only one of many genealogy record repositories to be found in the nation’s capital.

If you answered false to any of these statements, you should read on. Why? In the first instance, it is an axiom of genealogy that all family research must ultimately be validated against original sources (or facsimiles of those sources on microfilm, etc.). How else can a researcher ever know that his data wasn’t derived from a mis-copied record, or that a lineage published in a book is simply incorrect?

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Special Librarian

By Michelle F. 

When my daughter, Sami, was about 4 years old (she’s now 18), I registered her for a weekly story time / arts and crafts program at our local library (The Prospect Library in Prospect, CT). Sami has special needs and I had been in search of an appropriate program for her. The story time program seemed perfect. On the first day of the program, the children entered a quiet room in the back of the library and were instructed to take a seat on the floor in front of Mrs. Peterson, the librarian. As Mrs. Peterson began to read the story, Sami got up from her seat, walked over to Mrs. Peterson and stood by her side. I was worried that Sami would be asked to leave the program if she couldn’t stay seated; however, Mrs. Peterson could see that Sami was interested, so she continued to read with Sami by her side. When story time ended, Mrs. Peterson began a conversation with my husband and expressed interest in learning more about Sami. He explained Sami’s special needs and mentioned how much she enjoys books and reading. He told Mrs. Peterson that he reads to Sami every night before bed. Mrs. Peterson responded by telling my husband that her father had read to her when she was a young girl, and she remembers how much she enjoyed that time together. 

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Every Stage of My Life

By Laura M. 

Public libraries have played an important role in every stage of my life and some of my happiest memories. No matter where I live, the library is part of my life. I’m sure I’d be a different person without school and public libraries. And now with the digital reference/databases researching is a breeze.

The local library was also a place to recharge my batteries when I was the caregiver for my mother-in-law. Even now some of the things on my bucket list are there because I read about them as a child, teen, or adult at a library. Some of them I’ve been lucky enough to cross of the list. It was thrilling to visit places I read about at the library. Like the Paint Pots in Yellowstone National Park. Or the La Brea Tar Pit.

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Rich Genealogy History in Carolina Origins

By Joe Garonzik

In 1663, England’s King Charles II ceded the Carolinas to Anthony Ashley Cooper and seven other proprietors who had supported the Stuarts in ending the Cromwellian Revolution and returning Charles II to the throne. Notwithstanding the 16th-century exploits of Sir Walter Raleigh and legendary Virginia Dare, it was a group of Virginians who established North Carolina’s oldest settlement along the Albemarle Sound in 1653–a full decade before the installation of the Lord Proprietors.

The Crown divided the Carolinas in 1691, although North Carolina would not receive its own governor for another 20 years. British, Huguenot, German and Swiss populated the North Carolina tidewater during the first half of the 18th-century. New Bern, established primarily by Germanic immigrants under the impetus of Christopher de Graffenried, would become the largest city in the colony. Large numbers of Scots Highlanders and Scots-Irish, many by way of the Great Wagon Road through Pennsylvania and into the Shenandoah Valley, populated the western part of the colony. Eighteenth-century North Carolina was also noteworthy for its large Quaker population and for Wachovia, a Moravian settlement in Forsyth County.

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Libraries Are Such Peaceful Places

As a reader and author, libraries are both a treasure trove and a retreat for me. Their peace and quiet are calming and the endless shelves of books are wonderful to see – let alone read! Librarians are helpful and knowledgeable, and they’re usually great characters.

I love bookstores, but libraries have something so intriguing about them. While the internet provides an instant, practical research tool, sometimes doing a little digging through real pages informs research for a book in a new way.

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For the Love of Books

By Sara T.

I was five when I got my first library card. It was green and beige and I got to “sign” the back – clear evidence of my terrible kindergarten handwriting. My mom and I would take weekly trips there, a bag load of books hanging from her shoulder and an eager kid with a gap-toothed smile pulling on her arm to get inside.

I grew up in the pages of “Corduroy” and “Harold and the Purple Crayon,” “Junie B. Jones” and “Little Critter.” And when I got tired of imagined classrooms and lost buttons, I found “Harry Potter,” “Nancy Drew” and “Charlie Bone.” Books were the one thing my mom would always splurge on when I was young. Who needed more clothes or toys when you could have books – a quasi-toy that I would play with for much longer than my Barbies.

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