Local History & Genealogy

The Stewart Bell Jr. Archives is a local history and genealogy center jointly operated by the Handley Regional Library and the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society. Our holdings include a variety of materials documenting the history of the Lower Shenandoah Valley from 1732 to the present, with an emphasis on the City of Winchester and Frederick County, Virginia. 

More Local History & Genealogy

Books and Journals

The Archives holds a wide range of historical and genealogical titles. Please note that items in the Archives are non-circulating.

Archives News

Family History Hunters Breaking Brick Walls: African American Ancestors in Virginia with green and brick background

Breaking Brick Walls: African American Ancestry

Posted on:

African American genealogy research can be a challenge, especially before 1870 and emancipation. Have you hit a brick wall? This month's Family History Hunters program on June 8th at 12:30pm in the Benham Gallery at Handley Library will feature a presentation from Brenda Burton Nelson, who has broken through barriers and uncovered her and her husband's genealogy. She will present a case study about how she was able to break down brick walls and find her husband’s ancestors. 

Read More

Discover Your Family History

Posted on:

A library genealogy program is a great way to discover your family's history. These programs are free and offer access to historical records, census data, and other valuable resources that can help you trace your family tree. With a library genealogy program, you can uncover fascinating details about your ancestors and gain a deeper understanding of your family's story. So whether you're just starting out or have been researching your family tree for years, a Stewart Bell, J. Archives genealogy program is definitely worth exploring. Here are upcoming programs: 

Read More
Picture of Archive Staff Member Joan Wood

Beginner Genealogy Workshops

Posted on:

Did you know that more than 102 million people research their family history? You can be one of them! The questions often asked are where do I start, and how do I find what I need? 

Our Beginner Genealogy Workshops are for individuals who are just starting in their genealogy quest or who have started and need assistance. The workshops include a five-step process that covers the basics of ancestry research.

Read More