Tag Archives: southwest virginia

Female Ancestors, Chancery Records and Deeds

Last weekend, I was in Wytheville, Virginia doing a little research and giving a couple of Lectures.

On Friday, I was lucky enough to spend time at the Wythe County Genealogical and Historical Association Regional Research Center:


This is their new home.  Wonderful building, with lots and lots of great material.  I spent time digging through notes and researching, including this map which has land owned by a John Snavely that I found in Joseph Cameron’s notes.  Not sure which John Snavely this is, but given that the land was sold to Joe Hounshell in 1833 and I have a John Snavely in my records who lived from 1760-1833, I suspect that it is him.  No known relationship, but it is likely it is related to my Snavelys some how.


Then I hopped over to the Wythe County Courthouse, where my cousin Bev Repass Hoch took me down to the basement and I was able to look through original chancery records, wills and deeds. Heaven! These particular deeds were from the early 1800s.   Didn’t find my ancestors in there, but such a joy to look through these records.


The next day, I was lucky enough to present two lectures.  I’ve included links to the PDFs for the slides below.

Press Release: Ribbon Cutting for New Genealogy Center in Wytheville, Virginia

Note: This is a press release for the Wytheville, Virginia Research Center.  The old one was amazing — can’t wait to see the new one!


Grand opening of the new Wythe County Genealogical and Historical Association Research Center 16 November 2014, Wytheville, Virginia.

More than 70 people gathered on Sunday, 16 November 2014, at 165 S. 11th Street in Wytheville, Virginia, to celebrate the opening of the Wythe County Genealogical & Historical Association’s new Regional Research Center. Some visitors came from Pennsylvania and North Carolina to join in the celebration.

Several months of remodeling have taken place since the purchase of the Center in mid-August. Although the electrical and plumbing work required professionals, the officers, board members and other volunteers have done most of the additional work. The appearance of the interior was recognized as professional and each group of workers was applauded by those present.

Following remarks on the accomplishment of the organization by President Bob Lockett and recognition of the donors and the workers by Vice President Mary B. Kegley, a slide-show was presented. Before and after pictures of the interior and pictures of some of the workers who worked regularly at the new location doing carpentry work and painting walls and floors were part of the presentation.

A major contribution of $250,000 from out-of-state anonymous donors raised the building fund to a level where, after six years, the organization could afford to make the purchase. Although the Association has raised a total of $335,000, they have not yet received any government donations and no grant money or loans were used to purchase the building or remodel the interior. The facility contains over 8,000 square feet of library and meeting space, two restrooms plus one handicapped-accessible restroom, and a full kitchen. There are still some major changes to be made when funds become available.

An additional major asset to the Association was nine years of free rent at the former location by entrepreneurs of Wytheville which enabled the formation of a building fund.

The Association houses genealogical and historical records for Wythe County, and the other sixteen southwest Virginia counties. Visitors have come from 37 states, Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. We are well known across the country for excellent resources for genealogists and historians. Many have found the missing records for their ancestors at the Regional Research Center in Wytheville.

Volunteers are available during regular business hours to assist visitors with their research: Mondays and Tuesdays Noon to 5 p.m., and Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Center is closed for holidays and inclement weather. For more information, contact the Center at 276-228-3445 or Beverly Repass Hoch at 276-228-2258, or bev.hoch@adhenterprises.com.