Kinsearching October 31, 2010




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

     As many experienced genealogists know, the Library of Virginia in Richmond is a gold mine of information that includes data about families in the Old Dominion and surrounding areas. Among the popular titles used by researchers on site are books written by the late Gayle king Blankenship. To make the material accessible to a wider audience, her work on regional Virginia and North Carolina genealogies is now available from a major genealogical publishing company.

     VIRGINIA FAMILIES OF LOUISA, HANOVER, AND MONROE COUNTIES examines the maternal ancestry of Gayleís husband, Charles Philip Blankenship. His lines include ARCHEY, CORKER, DURVIN, GREENE, HALL, HIGGINSON, HUDSON, KERSEY, SHIREY, SIFFORD, STANLEY, STRONG, TATE, WARD, WASH, and WATKINS. Most of these families had ties to the Virginia counties of Louisa and Hanover as well as to Monroe, which eventually became part of West Virginia. Other Virginia counties in which some of these families resided at one time are Augusta, Botetourt, Henrico, New Kent, and Prince Edward. Although the GREENE line has only been traced back to 1809, the American pedigrees of the TATE and HUDSON lines originate in the 1600s while the roots of the rest of the families can be followed back into the 1700s. Several immigrant ancestors settled in the colony of Virginia when they first arrived in the New World. Others migrated into the area from Pennsylvania and South Carolina. The path of some families later extends westward into Kentucky and Missouri.

     In her preface, Blankenship mentions that records about forebears may be found in several neighboring areas due to the formation of new counties and boundary changes. Despite these alterations, a family may have remained for generations on the same piece of land. To help genealogists figure out these complexities, she furnishes a brief outline of the creation of Virginia and West Virginia counties that are the subjects of her book and gives instructions on how to make land plats from deeds. As she tells the story of her husbandís ancestors, she refers to other standard genealogical tips such as people usually migrated in groups (thus providing clues for further research), variations in surname spellings, and how to estimate a coupleís dates of birth and marriage.

     Blankenshipís text about each familyís origins is concise but detailed. Family photographs and pedigree charts of the major families appear at the front of the publication. She often works the materialís documentation into the narrative. Some sources, like newspaper articles and obituaries, are reproduced verbatim. A list of her main references appears at the end of the chapter on each main family.

     Since it contains material on sixteen regional families, VIRGINIA FAMILIES OF LOUISA, HANOVER, AND MONROE COUNTIES will be helpful to a number of genealogists. In addition, researchers tracing these particular lines will appreciate the convenience of having a copy of Blankenshipís book in their personal library.

     The 267-page publication has soft covers, a preface that includes a list of abbreviations used in the book, charts, an example of a land plat, photographs, a comprehensive place name index, and a separate full name index. To the book's price of $35.00, buyers should add the charges for postage and handling. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $5.50 for one book and $2.50 for each additional copy; for FedEx ground service, the cost is $7.50 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume (item order 9544) may be purchased by check, money order, MasterCard, or Visa from Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211-1953. For phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

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