Colonial Virginia

Virginia Genealogists Need “SWEM”

The two-volume Virginia Historical Index (a.k.a. “Swem’s Index” or “Swem”), originally published in 1934, encompasses the contents of the following seven serial publications: “The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography” (VMHB), Vols. 1-38; the “William and Mary College Quarterly” (a.k.a. the “William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine” W&MCQ), Series I, Vols. 1-27 and Series II, Vols. 1-10; “Tyler’s Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine” (TQ), Vols. 1-10; the “Virginia Historical Register and Literary Advertiser,” Vols. 1-6; the “Lower Norfolk County Virginia Antiquary,” Vols. 1-5; “Hening’s Statutes at Large,” Vols. 1-13; and the “Calendar of Virginia State Papers,” Vols. 1-11.

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Principal Surnames in First Metis Families of Quebec, Volume 5

The term Métis originally referred to the offspring produced from the intermarriage of early French fur traders with Canadian Native Americans. Later, there were also Anglo Métis (known as “Countryborn”)–children of Scottish, English, and other European fathers and indigenous mothers. The Métis were also formerly known as half-breeds or mixed-bloods. Today, the French and Anglo Métis cultures have essentially merged into a distinct group with official recognition as one of the three Aboriginal Peoples of Canada.

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Spotlight on Georgia Genealogy

The July-August 2003 issue of Ancestry magazine contained an excellent article by Robert S. Davis on “Research in the Deep South.” The author’s premise is that Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi, “on the way to becoming the states of today, made such different histories that these six states only sometimes share a common past.” To support his assertion, Mr. Davis has written an essay on each state of the region that summarizes that state’s genealogical characteristics and dispels myths along the way.

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More Passenger Lists Rescued by Clifford Neal Smith

We recently featured a number of scarce German passenger list books compiled by the late genealogist Clifford Neal Smith from rich but obscure sources. Mr. Smith derived many of his passenger records from “buried” secondary works–including historical monographs written in German–books that even the conscientious genealogist was unlikely to discover.

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Unrivaled Source for Note Taking

Chapter 16 in Professional Genealogy. A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians, edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills, covers the topic of Note-Taking.  Entitled “Transcripts and Abstracts,” and written by Mary McCampbell Bell, this chapter offers rock-solid guidance on the taking of genealogical notes. It’s sorely needed by every researcher—professional or not—because everyone takes research notes. To quote Ms. Bell:

“Reliable research, reliable conclusions, reliable reports, and reliable publications all rest on one foundation: skill at note taking . . . This chapter focuses upon the two most essential note-taking skills: transcribing and abstracting. Both require familiarity with the mechanics of editing words. Both require us to understand the records we use and the boilerplate we find in them. For abstracts, we must also be able to distinguish between crucial details and excess verbiage. Toward that end, this chapter reviews note-taking principles and presentation styles. Examples from a variety of legal documents demonstrate how to transcribe and abstract—with step-by-step illustrations of how an abstract evolves.”

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