Virginia Family History Day Conference at the Library of Virginia at Library of Virginia

Saturday, 14 September, 2019


Searching for Your Ancestors: The Genealogical Impact of Forced & Voluntary Virginia Migrations

Saturday, September 14, 2019 | 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
Friday, September 13, 2019 | 10:00 AM–4:30 PM
Library of Virginia, 800 East Broad Street, Richmond 23219

Cost: $35 ($14 for optional lunch)
Preregistration required:

The 1619 arrival of Africans marked a pivotal moment in Virginia’s history and eventually caused major shifts in its economy and culture. The 400th anniversary of this seminal event invites us to examine its influence on the practice of family history as well as the impact of subsequent migrations to, from, and within the commonwealth. Many American families have ancestors who migrated through Virginia, crisscrossing the map within historical migration routes. Africans and African Americans suffered the harshest experience of all migrants, experiencing the horrors of slave ships and having their families forcibly separated in the routine transactions of the American slave trade to which Virginia was essential. Famines, land clearings, poverty, and religious persecution pushed British and European souls out of the Old World to find a new life and new land in Virginia and beyond, whether as indentured servants or willing immigrants. In the process, native people lost their land to the colonizers due to warfare and forced resettlement.

This conference explores the ways in which the search for ancestors in records is affected by these historical currents. Attendees can learn more about the historical context of their family history stories and shed light on their ancestors’ journeys.

Join us for an exciting day of family history exploration and networking. Keynote speaker Ric Murphy—an educator, historian, lecturer, and award-winning author and the national vice president for history with the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society—will discuss "The 400th Commemoration of the First Documented Africans in English North America."

An optional open house on Friday, September 13, offers computer lab sessions on topics such as newspapers and maps, one-on-one "Ask an Expert" sessions, and a tour of the Library. (Reservations are required for the “Ask an Expert” sessions. To schedule one, contact Ashley Ramey at or 804.692.3001.)

The Library of Virginia hosts this third annual Family History Day conference in collaboration with the Virginia chapters of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc., the Middle Peninsula African-American Genealogical and Historical Society, and the Richmond-area congregations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with support from FamilySearch.

For more information, contact Ashley Ramey or 804.692.3001.


$35, plus $14 add'l for lunch


Library of Virginia
800 E Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23219

Event Contact

Ashley Ramey

Phone: 804.692.3001
Website: Click to Visit

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