In the years since I have been researching my family’s history, more and more information has become available online. I am grateful to have those resources at my fingertips. However, archives, courthouses and libraries still contain information that can only be accessed by visiting those buildings.
10360 North Street
Recently I was researching my 7th great grandfather, John Hollis (c1700 England – 1768 VA). According to my online research he lived in Fairfax County, Virginia for many years. I visit Virginia frequently to visit our oldest daughter and her family. Fairfax is the neighboring county to hers.
I sent off an email to the Library asking about their holdings. I gave them my grandfather’s name and dates, asking if they had resources that would teach me more about him. I received an answer the following day. The librarian gave me information about hours & parking and information on their holdings. He also told me about specific resources that have information about John Hollis. He also suggested a visit to the nearby Fairfax Courthouse. The email was very helpful.
When I arrived at the Fairfax Regional Library I easily found their free parking and stepped into the large, beautiful library. I went up the stairs to the Virginia Room and spoke to the friendly librarian. She gave me a quick tour and soon I set myself up at a table with a large stack of books to search through.
A sample of Books that gave me information I had not found online:
- Sparacio, Ruth and Sam. Fairfax County, Virginia Orders, 1768 – 1769 (VA: The Antient Press). Includes court activities which included my family.
- Minutes of the Vestry, Truro Parish Virginia, 1732 – 1785 (Lorton, VA: Pohick Church, 1974). Includes years of parish records with many references to the Hollis family.
- Index to Farifax County, Virginia Wills and Fiduciary Records, 1742 – 1855 (Lovetttsville, VA: Willow Bend Books, 1995). References the Will of John Hollis.
- Browne, John. The Story of Ravensworth (North Haven, CT: 2022). Ravensworth was the landgrant where John Hollis lived. His family is mentioned in this book.
What did this library visit tell me about John Hollis?
- A 1760 may showed me exactly where John Hollis lived in Fairfax Co.
- John Hollis grew tobacco & operated an "ordinary" (tavern/inn).
- John belonged to the same parish as George Washington.
- Truro Parish gave John yearly monetary support for his disabled son.
- John and 2 sons served in the French & Indian War, serving under Col. George Washington.
Visit a Library!
At the top of this blog, click on My Library for many books that I have found useful for genealogical & historical research.
Pre contact made a difference resulting in a successful research visit. Well done.ReplyDelete