Virginia Genealogical Society Is Looking for a Newsletter Editor

From their Facebook page:

“VGS is looking for a Newsletter editor. The Newsletter is 16 pages published six times a year. If you are interested, please contact”

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University Digitizes Large Collection of Historical Maps

Last week, I wrote a post about ways to make learning history more engaging.  One of the podcasts I suggested was BackStory with the American History Guys.  Ed Ayers, a.k.a “19th Century Guy” of the trio of hosts, is also the president of the nearby University of Richmond.

Under the leadership of Ayers, U of R’s Digital Scholarship Lab has digitized a huge collection of historical maps.  Most have been geo-rectified and overlaid upon current digital maps.  Many are animated, so you can view changes and patterns of movement over time.

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Deals on Virginia History Experiences

Genealogy isn’t my only passion.  I also love finding a good deal.  And since I suggested recently that we all take the time to learn about how our ancestors lived, I thought it would be appropriate to pass along a couple of “deals” that caught my eye this weekend.

Segway of Richmond Historic Tour

Segway of Richmond Historic Tour

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Extras Needed for AMC’s New Revolutionary War Drama

Can’t find any Revolutionary War heroes in your family tree?  That’s okay, you can play one on TV!

AMC's new TV series, Turn

AMC’s new TV series, Turn

Arvold Casting is holding an open call tomorrow for extras for AMC’s new television series, Turn.  The series, based on the book, Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring, will be filmed in Richmond.

Click here for details.

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Finding Sarah Carney

Sarah Carney is buried next to her son, but you’d never know it.  Her bones are resting beside him under an unmarked patch of grass in the family plot of the Riverview Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia.  I’d show you a picture of her headstone, but there never was one.

Directly adjacent to Riverview is one of Richmond’s most popular tourist attractions: Hollywood Cemetery.  If it weren’t for the headstones, a visitor to Hollywood might think she had stepped into a lovely park: gracefully curving roads lined with stones, fully grown trees dappling the grass with sunlight, a view of the James River that can’t be beat.  Add the headstones and you still have a place of beauty along with several notable dead Virginians.  You get the picture.

Old postcard depicting Richmond's historic Hollywood Cemetery.

Old postcard depicting Richmond’s historic Hollywood Cemetery.

Riverview is different.  It also borders the river, but that is about the only similarity.  The place is not run-down by any means, it’s just stark.  Modest headstones are arranged line-by-line for as far as the eye can see.  The city maintains the cemetery and does the best job that it can using inmates to bear the burden of keeping up the landscaping.

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The Virginia that Never Was (But Really Kinda Is)

The U.S. That Never Was

The U.S. That Never Was

Andrew Shears, an Assistant Professor of Geography at Mansfield University in Mansfield, Pennsylvania, used what seems to be a copious amount of free time to create this most interesting map of what the United States could have become.  Armed with Wikipedia and an active imagination, he’s changed all of the current territorial divides leading to a map of 124 individual states.  Knowing Virginia and it’s political and cultural divides, I’d say that he at least got our state correct.

Since he first posted his creation, he’s also published posts about how he used a timeline of U.S. history and a GIS to create the map.

US That Could’ve Been: Building Timeline X

US That Could’ve Been: Creating Timeline X’s Map with GIS


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Virginia Historical Society Hosts “Stories at the Museum” Tomorrow

VHS StoriesAbout twice a month, the Virginia Historical Society hosts a program for families with younger children called “Stories at the Museum.”  A history-themed book is read to the kiddos and then they get to do some related crafts.  And just like admission, this session is offered for free!

Tomorrow the museum is hosting one of these events at 11 a.m.  The museum is located at 428 North Boulevard, Richmond, Virginia 23220 (right next to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts).

While you’re there, take a look around.  They have some wonderful exhibits that my girls and I toured over the summer.  The Story of Virginia exhibition was our favorite by far!

The museum is also a great source for genealogy research with many maps, manuscripts, and books that might aid you in your family history research.

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