The NGS 2021 Virtual Family History Conference is Packed with Opportunities for Virginia Researchers!

NGS has both live and on-demand presentations to develop your Virginia research knowledge and skills beginning with the opening session on tracking migrating Virginians. Listed below are the sessions you can experience.

Note: All times are Eastern Standard Time (EST). All NGS 2021 Live! breakout sessions will be available to view on-demand by registered attendees at no additional cost beginning in 15 June.

NGS 2021 Live! Virginia Presentations

Register Today!

Wednesday, 19 May 2021 ─ Opening Session

11:15 a.m. ─ “Beyond the Blue Mountains: They Came with a Dream, Their Descendants Followed” by Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FUGA, FVGS. Success in tracking migrating Virginians requires an understanding of the geography and the available transportation routes (roads, canals, etc.) as well as the impact of ethnicity, economics, war, and other events occurring at the time.

Thursday, 20 May 2021

12:15 pm – “Virginia’s Anglican/Episcopal Church Parishes and Their Surviving Records” by Eric G. Grundset, MLS. Colonial Anglican parishes of Virginia provided important social-welfare services in the counties and some governmental duties. Their records are essential genealogical sources.

1:30 pm – “The Story of Virginia: Arrival of the First Africans” by special guest and award winning author, Ric Murphy. Murphy will discuss how in 1619, a group of thirty-two African men, women, and children arrived on the shores of Virginia, kidnapped from the royal city of Kabasa, Angola, by the Spanish slave ship San Juan Bautista. Hear the history of these first Africans.

2:30 pm – “Wilde Beasts, Sabbath Breakers, and Incorrigible Rogues: Early Virginia Laws” by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL. The laws our ancestors lived by tell the story of earlier times and Virginia laws tell of Sunday frolics, wild animals, and those who needed humbling.

3:45 pm – “Scotch Irish from Pennsylvania Through Virginia and the Carolinas” by Vic Dunn, CG. Learn what sources are available for identifying these elusive ancestors who settled in Pennsylvania in the early eighteenth century, then moved southward.

3:45 pm – “Virginia Burned Counties: So What?” by Shelley Viola Murphy, DM. We understand there are burned counties. Does that really mean you are missing information? Learn other ways to research the state of Virginia.


NGS 2021 On-Demand! Virginia Lectures

Packages of 20 or 40 lectures available to purchase now and view on-demand starting 15 June.

The Ferrell House: A Case Study in Online Virginia Historic Property Research” by Katie Quick Derby. Explore the resources and methodology used to uncover the remarkable story of the African American families that built and lived in a humble Charlottesville home. Session: NGS2104-VIR-01

Before Virginia: Finding the Origins of Colonial Immigrants” by Vic Dunn, CG. Determining a Virginian immigrant’s origins can be a challenge. Find out what sources and techniques are available. Session: NGS2104-VIR-02

Virginia Naturalization Records, 1657/58–1952” by Cara F. Griggs, MSLIS. An overview of Virginia naturalization records from the colonial era through the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1952. Session: NGS2104-VIR-03

404 Years of Sources: Virginia’s General Assembly, Governors, and the Records They Created” by Eric G. Grundset, MLS. Virginia’s legislative and gubernatorial records affected all who lived there. Session: NGS2104-VIR-04

Little Maps of the Land: Surveys and Surveyors’ Records in Virginia Genealogical Research” by Eric G. Grundset, MLS. Land plats, surveys, and related documents are essential sources for locating the ancestral lands. This lecture examines historical and modern techniques and sources in Virginia. Session: NGS2104-VIR-05

Virginia Probate: The Records and the Law” by Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FUGA, FVGS. Virginia’s lack of estate packets requires the researcher to scrutinize what little is available and to evaluate everything based on the law. Session: NGS2104-VIR-06

The Pension Office: Getting the Old Men Paid in Virginia” by Craig R. Scott, CG, FUGA. The process and records of associated with payments made to pensioners from the Revolution up to the beginning of the Civil War. Session: NGS2104-VIR-07

The Art and Mysterie of Colonial Apprenticeships” by Robert Vernon. Examination of the processes used by Virginia county courts for managing juvenile apprenticeships, focusing on contractual relationships that protected the rights of free black apprentices. Session: NGS2104-VIR-09

The Fragility of Freedom: Kinney Family Freedom Suits in Virginia and Missouri” by Robert Vernon. The 150-year Odyssey of the Native American Kinney family as they passed from freedom to slavery, reclaimed freedom in Virginia, and were re-enslaved in Missouri. Session: NGS2104-VIR-08

Researching Free People of Color in Antebellum Years: 1800–1865” by Renate Yarborough Sanders. Discussion of the lives and circumstances of FPOC in Virginia and North Carolina, laws enacted to control them, and record types for researching this population. Session: NGS2104-AA-05

Solving a Virginia Mystery Using DNA” by Paula Kay Williams. Family lore tells a different story than the records for the paternity of a southwest Virginia great-grandfather. Learn how DNA helps solve the mystery! Session: NGS2104-DNA-08

Too Many Sylvester Welches in Virginia! Untangling Same-Name Scenarios” by Vic Dunn, CG. Which one is my ancestor? This extended case study shows the methodology and sources available to differentiate identities. Session: NGS2104-MET-01

East of the Blue Ridge: Roads, Their Development, and Their Effect on Family Migrations” by Eric G. Grundset, MLS. The development of roads in Tidewater and Piedmont Virginia is often overlooked when studying family migrations and connections. Session: NGS2104-MIG-02

Early Settlement on the Western Waters (Virginia, Kentucky, and What Became West Virginia)” by Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FUGA, FVGS. Frontier settlers are difficult to identify. Virginia researchers are blessed with multiple record groups that help locate them. Session: NGS2104-MIG-02

Mennonite and Brethren Research: Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Beyond” by Kristin R. Wenger. Retrace the path of the Shenandoah Valley’s Anabaptist settlers along the Great Wagon Road to Pennsylvania. Learn about repositories and resources for research. Session: NGS2104-REL-02

Think Your Ancestor Was a Frontier Pennsylvanian? Check Virginia Records” by Sharon Cook MacInnes, PhD, CG. William Penn refused to sell Pennsylvania land until he arranged a treaty with Indians. Virginia, also claiming western Pennsylvania, had no such qualms. Result: records! Session: NGS2104-STA-04


To learn more about the NGS 2021 Virtual Family History Conference’s week-long events, 17-21 May, visit the conference and download a copy of the program brochure.