I have Southerners on both my mother's and father's side and, although I have ancestors from many parts of the US, and of course ancestors that came from other countries, it's my Southern lines that I seem to be drawn to the most. I love learning about my ancestors and I enjoy the "genealogy scenery" along the way, meaning I love to learn about their culture, their traditions, their lifestyle and their history. So when the National Genealogy Society announced that their conference for 2014 would be held in Richmond, I was thrilled.
Now, as of yet, my research hasn't actually taken me directly into Virginia.....and notice I said, yet. Having folks in North Carolina at the beginning of the 18th century, I suspect it is just a matter of time before I find myself digging through Virginia records. But in the meantime, having ancestors that fought in the Civil War, I nonetheless have connections to Virginia, although it definitely lacks some of the warm and fuzzy feelings associated with seeing something like an ancestral home.
My 2nd Great Grandfather's brother, David Ganus, whom I wrote about in a previous post, died from exposure in December of 1862 in Virginia and was buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, VA. Although he lies in a mass grave, they do know the lot where he is buried and I do have plans to visit there.
David Gurganus Jr. was a brother to my 3rd Great Grandfather, James (Gur) Ganus. I shared David's story in this post. David and wife Elizabeth watched all three of their sons go off to war. Willis, Moses and David all fought for the rebel cause and, of the three, only one survived and returned home. Civil war records indicate only that Willis was buried in "Virginia." While I wish the records were more specific, knowing that he was there will have to be enough.
My tree is full of rebs that volunteered from their home states of Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee and both North and South Carolina. While none of them actually were from Virginia, Virginia nonetheless played a significant role in many of my ancestor's lives. Not only did many participate in the bloody battles that took place in Virginia, but I have several who lost their lives and were buried there.
The NGS Conference promises to be worthwhile with some of the best presenters genealogy has to offer and I am so excited. The trip will not only be an opportunity to learn from some of the best, but it will also be a time to visit historical sites that played an important role in my ancestors' lives. I look forward to sharing my adventure with you in the coming weeks.
Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2014