Kinsearching August 12, 2007




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     Amarillo, TX, is the place to be on October 13, 2007, when the Amarillo Genealogical Society hosts its fall seminar from 8:30 a. m. to 4:00 p. m. The day-long program will take place at Ascension Academy, located at 9301 Ascension Parkway.

     Featured speaker will be professional genealogist Patricia Law Hatcher, who has spoken at many national conferences and institutes. Author of several books and numerous articles and editor of two state genealogical periodicals, she is also a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists. Her topics of discussion will pertain to documentation, tax lists, how to evaluate evidence, and how to organize your research material.

     Before October 1, 2007, the registration fee is $20; after that date or at the door, it will be $25. Checks, payable to the Amarillo Genealogical Society, may be mailed to the organization at P. O. Box 2171, Amarillo, TX 79189. For more information, e-mail or go to the website at

     Many genealogists in the Midwest may want to plan to attend the Polish research seminar on October 20, 2007 in Troy, Michigan. It will take place from 8:30 a. m. to 4:00 p. m. at the American Polish Cultural Center, Hall No. 2, located at 2975 E. Maple Road. Sponsored by the Polish Genealogical Society of Michigan (PGSM), the program features speakers Paul S. Valasek, Ceil Jensen, and Bill Gorski. Their lectures will concern Detroit Polonia's photo studios, Haller's Army (also known as the Polish Army) in France, methods for tracing 20th century immigrants, the J. William Gorski Collection at the Library of Michigan, the Michigan State Archives, and a slide presentation of Polish churches in southeastern Michigan.

     Prior to October 10, 2007, the registration fee is $50; after that date, it will be $60. The first 100 registrants will receive free workshop packets. Checks, payable to PGSM, may be sent to the society, c/o Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library, 5201 Woodward, Detroit, MI 48202-4007. For more details go to the website at

     If you descend from some of the early settlers of the Old Dominion, you may welcome the reprint of THE VESTRY BOOK OF PETSWORTH PARISH, GLOUCESTER COUNTY, VIRGINIA, 1677 - 1739 transcribed, annotated, and indexed by C. G. Chamberlayne. The book reproduces the parish's oldest known extant records.

     The preface furnishes a brief history of the parish and of the four vestry books which Chamberlayne transcribed verbatim. Like other vestry books, the Petsworth material pertains to the various issues growing out of the business affairs of the parish. Some of the subjects appearing in the records are payments to people for services rendered to the parish (building maintenance and upkeep of illegitimate children, for example), news about ministers, appointments of church wardens, incidents concerning indentured servants, lists of names of oath-takers and tithables, the formation of parish precincts with the names of the families apportioned therein, and payments of salaries.

     Colonial church records often provide facts about many Virginians whose existence may not be established by other documents. Such information may confirm family ties. In 1678, for instance, a record mentioned that John BREEMER had married the widow of James CLARKE.

     Since Gloucester County was a hotbed for Bacon's Rebellion, some of the individuals mentioned in the vestry books may have been involved in the famous uprising in 1676. A few recurring surnames are BOOKER, BUCKNER, BURK, DUDLEY, DUVAL, EASTER, HUBARD, KEMP, NETTLES, PORTEUS, ROYSTON, SEATON, STUBBS, THORNTON, and WYATT. THE VESTRY BOOK OF PETSWORTH PARISH, GLOUCESTER COUNTY, VIRGINIA, 1677- 1739 is well worth a look by anyone tracing early Tidewater Virginia ancestors.

     In addition to the preface, the 429-page paperback includes a map showing parish lines and colonial churches, illustrations, facsimiles of pages from the vestry books, errata, and an appendix, which contains a list of the clergymen and parish clerks and notes taken from the vestry books about them. Three separate indexes list full names of people, geographic names, and topics. To the book's price of $37.50, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $4 for one book and $2.00 for each additional copy; for UPS, the cost is $6 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume (item order #9695) may be purchased by check, MasterCard, or Visa from Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211 (for phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

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