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Re: [VA] Visiting Albemarle County


Your tip indeed paid off. I put it to use as I sifted through Order Books, Law Orders, Chancery Orders and Will books at the Albemarle Courthouse. Specifically, it confirmed some of the information I had prior to my trip. I also had to follow-up on a contact I made with "Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness". This individual happen to be in the Albemarle Historical Society when I dashed in to ask questions. She didn't believe that I was the person on the other end of her replies.

The AHS has set-up a surname filing system; and they did have Goins/Goings/Gowens in filing cabinets. I sat down and ran through the various news clippings and I had to laugh--to myself-- because I was nervous as I came across an article on someone named "Robert Goins" an African American who lived and built a house in Charlottesville circa 1845. At the time of the article--September 2002--, they were trying to save the house but I didn't have time to catch the air leaving my lungs to think about visiting the address to see if it was still standing. There were at least three articles on the subject; and I haven't determined if he is related. That would have opened a few more doors of inquiry which I didn't have time to walk through. It was an angle and it sold a map of Albemarle; I also bought it because I was looking for the area named in tax & property records. I must confess that I made a side trips to the University of Virginia and Monticello. The visit to Monticello came from interest I had after seeing "Scientific American Frontiers." This particular episode "Unearthing Secret America" dealt with the seemingly high interest about the lives of slaves at Monticello. I wanted to see if the tour guide mentioned a few specific names. I played fair and nice. The question just crossed my thoughts. Again, I read a couple of books on the subject matter just to prepare myself.

I would highly recommend the State Library of Virginia. It is state of the art while it (from seeing it with a very limited view) keeps its records in good order of an era when Order Books were extremely common. I must also say that I supplemented my visit (prior to it) with books about the sometimes hush-hushed history of Albemarle and Henrico Counties.

Since I was in the neighborhood, I went to National Archives in Washington. If I had one bad experience on this trip, it was trying to get in and get to information. I wasn't denied, it was just like going through airport sercurity. The feds are serious; well, they did just put a revitalized version of the Declaration of Independence out for public viewing. There are a few documents which call into question the very essence of that document. They sit on the other side of the wall that houses documents like penison records. I guess they want(ed) to be extra careful.

Thank you and Afrigeneas, I couldn't have done it with the support...

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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