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Preserving The Past

Family History Workshop Series

American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

In conjunction with the special exhibition “Forgotten Soldier: African Americans in the Revolutionary War,” the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown hosts a series of workshops to help ensure family history isn’t forgotten. Each workshop will last 3-4 hours and is designed to help both novice and experienced genealogists and family researchers gain the knowledge and skills needed to preserve their past. A separate $25 ticket is required to attend each workshop, with optional free tours of the “Forgotten Soldier” special exhibition available immediately following. To register, click the link provided in each event description.


African American Family Research at the Library of Virginia: Genealogy to 1870

July 26, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Classrooms A & B at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

Explore the methods and resources for African-American genealogy prior to the end of the Civil War with the Library of Virginia. Hosted by the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown as part of its ongoing “Preserving the Past: Family History Workshop Series,” Library of Virginia reference archivist Cara Griggs presents ways to determine whether an individual was enslaved or free and what types of records will be useful for further research. Learn about the Library of Virginia’s collections including cohabitation registers, free Negro registers, lists, wills, deeds and tax records, in addition to selected federal records that can be accessed through databases. A separate $25 ticket is required to attend this workshop. Max capacity of 25 attendees, with tickets sold first-come, first-served subject to availability. To purchase, visit africanamericangenealogyto1870.eventbrite.com.


To Common Defense: Military Records for Genealogical Research

August 16, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Classrooms A & B at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

The Library of Virginia is the most important repository of military records of Virginians who served in various ways from Virginia’s founding to the end of World War II. Hosted by the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown as part of its ongoing “Preserving the Past: Family History Workshop Series,” Library of Virginia staff members Tom Crew (senior reference archivist) and Ginny Dunn (archives and library reference services manager) present records unique to the Library, as well as records available on microfilm and in digital format from institutions such as the National Archives, including printed resources. Service in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and World Wars I and II will be highlighted, along with militia service through the centuries and lesser-known conflicts such as the War of 1812 and the French and Indian War. A separate $25 ticket is required to attend this workshop. Max capacity of 25 attendees, with tickets sold first-come, first-served subject to availability. To purchase, visit tocommondefense.eventbrite.com.


Protecting the Past: A Primer on Cemetery Preservation

September 27, 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Classrooms A & B at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

With each passing year, more and more cemeteries – particularly African-American cemeteries – are falling into disrepair and obscurity. Hosted by the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown as part of its ongoing “Preserving the Past: Family History Workshop Series,” examine the fundamental process of identifying, studying, preserving and reclaiming these important legacies of the past. Loudoun Freedom Foundation founder Pastor Michelle Thomas explains the importance of public advocacy, historian John Whitfield offers strategies for cemetery research and education coordinator Rachel Popp of Historic St. Luke’s Church explains the basics of monument care and preservation. A separate $25 ticket is required to attend this workshop. Max capacity of 35 attendees, with tickets sold first-come, first-served subject to availability. To purchase, click here.


Word of Mouth: Conducting and Preserving Oral Histories

November 1, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Classrooms A & B at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

Oral history is one of the oldest and most consistent ways of passing down stories through generations. Hosted by the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown as part of its ongoing “Preserving the Past: Family History Workshop Series,” learn how to plan, conduct, and record oral interviews, while avoiding pitfalls and anticipating common problems inherent in the process. Partnering with James Madison’s Montpelier, research associate Hannah Scruggs explains and demonstrates what goes into making this research technique reliable and credible. A separate $25 ticket is required to attend this workshop. Max capacity of 25 attendees, with tickets sold first-come, first-served subject to availability. To purchase, click here.


Preserving the Paper Trail: Document & Photograph Care and Preservation

January 10, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Classrooms A & B at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

Paper is one of the most fragile things in our lives and yet it is an integral element in our attempt to preserve the past. Hosted by the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown as part of its ongoing “Preserving the Past: Family History Workshop Series,” Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation registrar Jane Hohensee offers practical advice and guidelines for protecting your valuable documents and photographs. She also explains what can be done at home and what work is best left to the professionals. A separate $25 ticket is required to attend this workshop. Max capacity of 25 attendees, with tickets sold first-come, first-served subject to availability. To purchase, click here.


About the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (until 6 p.m. June 15-August 15), tells the story of the nation’s founding, from the twilight of the colonial period to the dawn of the Constitution and beyond. Comprehensive indoor exhibits and outdoor living history capture the transformational nature and epic scale of the Revolution and its relevance today. The museum is located at 200 Water Street, in Yorktown, Virginia. Parking is free.

Registration and a separate $25 ticket is required to attend each workshop, with tickets sold first-come, first-served subject to availability and optional free tours of the “Forgotten Soldier” special exhibition available immediately following — museum admission is not included. To register, click the link provided in each event description. For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838.

Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (until 6 p.m. June 15-August 15), museum admission is $15.00 for adults, $7.50 for ages 6 through 12, and free for children under 6. Residents of York County, James City County and the City of Williamsburg, including College of William and Mary students, receive free admission with proof of residency. For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838.