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Member Showcase

Thursday, April 18, 2024, 7:30 PM until 9:00 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada) (UTC-05:00)
Additional Info:
Event Contact(s):
Nathan Shepherd
Education Meeting
Registration is required
Payment In Full In Advance Only
No Fee

Planning a Research Trip

The “planning” a genealogy research trip is a journey even before you arrive at the destination, whether a county archive, library, genealogy society, or a local museum. Consider what family lines/surnames to research, high level goals, specific research questions, cluster of counties in a region, organizations, types of records to focus on, maps, how to give a librarian specific enough information without drowning him/her in data, and so on.  Sometimes as you contact a library or genealogy society, they’ll give you online collections to explore that you didn’t know about.  So, starting several months in advance helps you turn over all those stones before you arrive onsite. In this session, Lea will tell her stories about her research trips in Georgia during 2023, with slides that can be used a checklist as you prep for your own research journeys. 

Lea Edwards of Fairfax, Virginia, is a member of the FxGS Education Committee, the Lineage Research Chair for the Fairfax Chapter DAR, and has been running a Genealogy SIG for her DAR chapter for four years.  She retired in 2019 and began her search of family lines back to the 1700s and 1600s in Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia. Lea was a Federal Government contractor for 20 years as a strategic planning/organizational development facilitator and trainer.  Before that she had worked for the American Red Cross for 16 years, with a focus on public health and safety programs, later corporate planning and evaluation.  She has lived in Northern Virginia since 1980, having grown up in Wilmington, Delaware.  She has a BS in Nursing and Masters in Health Education and Adult Learning.

Here's Lea's handdout:  Planning Genealogy Research Trips

Property and Poll Tax Records: Using Taxes to Make Death (and Life) Certain
Benjamin Franklin wrote, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." Genealogists often obsess about death records but completely neglect tax records, deeming them too hard to obtain and/or too hard to decipher. But because of the certainty of taxes, these underutilized records often yield superpowered insights into the lives, births, deaths, and livelihoods of our ancestors in the 18th and 19th centuries. Come learn what property tax and poll tax records are; when & why they were collected; what they generally contain; and how you can use them to complement and substitute for other records. The emphasis will be on Virginia and its neighboring states, but the principles will be generally applicable to any state with property and poll taxes prior to the 20th century.

Nathan Shepherd

Nathan Shepherd is the Education Team Lead for the Fairfax Genealogical Society. His interest in genealogy spans over two decades - stemming from a love of local history - and he moonlights as a teacher of adult education courses on intermediate research skills and genetic genealogy in his home county of Arlington, Virginia. His genealogical pursuits have taken him all over the United States but with emphasis in Virginia and its neighboring states, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the mountain west. He is currently a senior consultant in advanced analytics and artificial intelligence for a government consulting firm, where he has worked almost 15 years. He has a BA in chemistry, an MS in physics, and an MPA in Science, Technology, Environmental, and Economic Policy. 

Handouts are not yet available.

Fairfax Genealogical Society

P.O. Box 2290

Merrifield, Virginia 22116-2290