A New Guide for the Budding Genealogist

Posted on June 28, 2018

By Michael Harris - Visiting Instruction Librarian

There is no doubt that the Williamsburg area is steeped in history. From the first permanent British settlement in the U.S. at Jamestown to the battlefield at Yorktown, and of course Colonial Williamsburg right next to the William & Mary campus, the area it is truly America’s Historic Triangle.   

As such, many amateur historians and genealogists are drawn to the area and eventually make the journey to William & Mary’s library. Swem research librarians are certainly at the ready to help point these people in the direction of our Mary and Dennis Rebman Virginia Genealogy Collection or to help them navigate our stacks, but most are not trained in the finer points of “shaking the family tree.” 

Fear not, though, for Swem Library is happy to announce the new Genealogical Research guide which will help all levels of genealogists from amateur to pro find resources not only in Swem Library but also helpful tips about other local resources to check out.

This guide includes extensive links and lists of potential resources, nicely categorized and easily findable. For the patron new to genealogical research, you should read the “Getting Started” page for a helpful overview of what you should do before coming to the library. There is also a separate page for some of the extensive holdings in our Special Collections Research Center that might be of interest, especially if your family donated papers to the college. For those looking to take their research to a higher level, you can read about the Library of Virginia, and possibly plan a trip to visit them in Richmond.

Regardless of your level of expertise, you will discover the many rich resources available for genealogy research in Swem’s new guide. If you have any questions, please email our research department via this form: https://libraries.wm.edu/forms/email-research-question.