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Family History Corner

Researching Common Surnames:

May 2022

My last name is Smith.  I have been told that our ancestors changed our surname before immigrating to the United States from Poland.  I have hesitated to attempt any research because I feel like I truly have a generic name.  Would it even be possible to learn anything about this family?

-A Researcher

Your question really has two parts to it.  How can I find the original Surname of my family? If it is a common surname, how do I research it properly?  Having a generic surname can be very fr...

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Family History Corner: Census Records

Census Records

April 2022

This month I want to build on the past ideas that I have written about and hope that you are having some success.  I have suggested that those who are beginning their family history:

                1. Identify what you already know about your ancestors through family members or papers you already have in your home. 

                2. Select a record to research: once...

Blog Type: Archives Adults
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Which records should I be trying to get? Where do I get the records I need for my genealogy work?

Q: Which records should I be trying to get?

 Where do I get the records I need for my genealogy work?

Like any good artist there comes a time in the creative process where a decision must be made.  Should I put a mountain here or a tree over there?  What colors should I use, etc. to make everything look beautifully balanced on the canvas.  So also, should a genealogist make vital decisions to have their family canvas develop beautifully. 

Once you have identified what you already know about your family from your personal memories and f...

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Family History Corner: How do I Start my Family History?

By Joan Wood, Archives Assistant & Genealogy Specialist, Stewart Bell Jr. Archives

WELCOME, to the new Family History Corner! 

The purpose of this blog is to answer your general genealogical questions.  I am really excited about this opportunity to connect to anyone who has been attempting to start their family history or who has been researching for quite a while. If you have any general genealogy questions, please send me an email at   Subjects that you submit do not have to be specific to Winchester or even Virgini...

Blog Type: Archives Homepage
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