Archive for the ‘Albemarle’ Category

CVHR Meeting (June 1, 2017): Round Table

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Garland and Mary Beth Dalton spoke about their search for Garland’s ancestors in the mixed-race Gibson’s Mill community of Louisa County.   Bob Vernon showed us the scope of his project to scan or photograph public records (including deeds, wills, tax lists, marriage records, order books, overseers of the poor records), mostly from Albemarle County from the 18th to the 20th century.   Jane Smith told of her research on Rebecca Farrar Cogbill, which placed her in a community of free blacks (including Kitty Foster and the extended Battles family) in the heart of the Ragged Mountains in 1850.

CVHR Meeting (April 6, 2017): Waterworks: A History of the Local Water Supply, 1819–2017

Friday, March 17th, 2017

Steve Thompson, Cinder Stanton, and Dede Smith told the story of Charlottesville’s public water supply, 1819-2017, from three different perspectives.  Steve focused on the various schemes for bringing water to the University of Virginia, from its founding to its collaborative venture with Charlottesville in the 1880s.  Cinder provided some background on owners of the land that is now the Ragged Mountain Natural Area—particularly the Mayo and Houchens families, whose land was taken by eminent domain from 1885 to 1910 by the town (later city) of Charlottesville.  Dede chronicled the problematic evolution of the municipal water system since the first Ragged Mountain Reservoir in 1885 to the present, illuminating issues of water quality, watershed protection, and local government authority that have affected decisions about reservoir locations and management for over a century.

 

 

CVHR Meeting (March 2, 2017): Discovering the Albemarle County Origins of the U.S.C.T.

Saturday, February 18th, 2017

William Kurtz, digital historian at the Nau Center for Civil War History at UVA, brought us up-to-date on projects at the Center, with a special focus on its Black Virginians in Blue project.  He explained how—building on the work of Ervin Jordan—the project has found more than two hundred Union soldiers born in Albemarle County who served in the United States Colored Troops (USCT) during the war.

For Will’s account of research methods used in the search and for Elizabeth Varon’s posts about the men, formerly enslaved in Albemarle County, who served in Missouri regiments, see http://naucenter.as.virginia.edu/blog-articles.

If you know of a USCT soldier who lived in Albemarle before the war, let Will know (wbk2e@virginia.edu).  For a description of the Nau Center’s digital projects, see http://naucenter.as.virginia.edu/digital-projects.

CHVR Meeting (Dec. 1): Murder, Moonshine, and Misconceptions: The People of the Ragged Mountains

Saturday, November 19th, 2016

Cinder Stanton shared some preliminary findings about the lives of the poor residents of the Ragged Mountains in the 19th and 20th centuries, in particular the eastern section along Route 29 South and the Charlottesville to Lynchburg railroad.  What were the people described by everyone from Edgar Allan Poe to a UVA committee a century later as “savage,” “primitive,” “degraded,” and “degenerate” really like?  Topics covered included historical (and stereotypical) descriptions of the population, the legend of their possible Hessian origin, the importance of the railroad, the missionary role of UVA and the Episcopal church, the eugenics movement, the scarcity of educational opportunites, sassafras mills, and stories of some individual residents.

 

 

CVHR Meeting (Nov. 3): Using GIS and Mapping to Explore Albemarle County History

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

Erik Irtenkauf, professional GIS analyst and history enthusiast, showed us the exciting results of using a Geographical Data System (GIS) and web mapping to enhance our understanding of local history.  He displayed his interactive maps of historic sites in Albemarle County and of migration routes taken by families leaving the county (using, for starters, the lists of emigrants in Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia, 1901).  Erik’s “story map” of the history of Hollymead and Forest Lakes combines a trove of documentary information with a rich assortment of maps and images.

If you missed the program, you can go to: http://www.albemarlehistorymapping.com

 

CVHR Meeting (June 2): Discoveries in the Chancery Cases Preservation Project

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Sam Towler revealed just a portion of what he is finding in his volunteer Chancery Cases Preservation Project at the Albemarle County clerk’s office.   He has been putting unfolded case papers into acid-free folders, photographing some of the contents, and doing further research on some of the African American families involved.  Even though the cases date after 1900 (the older chancery cases were transferred to the Library of Virginia in the 1970s), many contain documents relating to earlier times: slave lists, personal letters, land sale broadsides and so forth.  You can see some of the fascinating material Sam has assembled on his Facebook page for the project (search “Albemarle County Chancery”).