October 2020 - The Ruth E. Lloyd Information Center for Genealogy and Local History (RELIC)
Start your historical journey here. RELIC's email newsletter highlights upcoming free events and happenings. Genealogy and local Virginia history are our specialty as a service provided by the Prince William Public Libraries. You can always find more about us at pwcgov.org/relic.
RELIC service is now available by email at [email protected] and at our new phone number: 703-792-8380. While Central Community Library, at 8601 Mathis Avenue in Manassas, is still under renovation, RELIC has unpacked there in spacious new quarters. Please check our library's website for updates as to when the public will be invited in.
The following virtual programs can be accessed on our website beginning on the dates shown. Previous RELIC programs can be viewed on RELIC's Programs page.

After 25 years at Bull Run Regional Library, the RELIC department has moved to a new home at the renovated and reopened Central Community Library. RELIC's Kirk Johnson leads this brief virtual tour with an overview of the resources and materials available for patrons researching their family history or the history of our community.

Although RELIC has a robust collection of materials, neither RELIC nor Prince William Public Libraries can own every record of interest to patrons. Fortunately, it's possible for us to borrow materials from other library systems for patron use. The Library of Virginia, in particular, has a wealth of materials of interest to genealogists and local history researchers. RELIC's Kirk Johnson will guide you through the process of finding materials on the Library of Virginia website and other institutions, and placing an Interlibrary Loan request.

Google is a powerful search tool, but many users never learn how to use it to the full potential. Instructional Technology Coach, Susanne Besecker will lead this live demonstration of how to utilize the Advanced Search functionality of Google to assist your online genealogical research. Registration required. 

RELIC's Don Wilson will lead a roundtable discussion addressing "brick wall" problems with your genealogical research. Register to be included in this meeting of fellow family history researchers where you can share ideas and insights and work through stubborn research problems. Registration required.

The Civil War retains an important part in the American experience over 150 years after its conclusion. But what happened after the war? The Reconstruction Era is mostly forgotten today, or when it is remembered retains misconceptions that became popular 100 years ago. The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, or Freedmen's Bureau was charged with the monumental task of undertaking the first instance of nation-building in American history. Bill Backus from Prince William Historic Preservation will present a live virtual lecture on the history of this important institution here in Prince William County. Registration required.
Wednesday, November 18, 7:00 p.m.

Last month, we explored some of Prince William County's institutions of local history. This month, we will focus on several other local organizations and websites that provide additional assistance for your research.
THE HAYMARKET MUSEUM: "The Haymarket Museum chronicles the story of a small, 19th century town and its surrounding agricultural community" (founded 1799). The museum, located in Town Hall, is now open Saturdays and Sundays from 7:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
HISTORIC DUMFRIES VIRGINIA, INC: Located at the Weems-Botts Museum in Dumfries, they describe themselves as "the historical society of the oldest chartered town in Virginia" (1749). The nearby Lee Lansing Research Library contains their collection of historical materials. The Museum is currently open by appointment, but also provides a virtual tour. They maintain a blog of interesting Dumfries facts and folklore here.
THE MANASSAS MUSEUM SYSTEMThis is the largest museum in our local area, founded in 1973 on the centennial of the City's founding. They are now open six days a week with the usual safety measures in place. The Museum System also maintains several historic sites within the City, including Liberia, and the Jennie Dean Memorial. A full-size bronze statue of Miss Dean will be dedicated at the latter site on October 24.
THE OCCOQUAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY (formerly Historic Occoquan Inc.): "For more than forty years the members of OHS have worked diligently to preserve the memory of Occoquan's past" (founded 1804). Although the Mill House Museum is currently closed, the Society has placed a good number of historical articles on their web site.
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY: Before the pandemic, they had scheduled meetings at Montclair Community Library. Since the 1980s, they have published a newsletter, currently on hiatus. On their website is a list of books in their library from which they will do look-ups. They also provide information about local cemeteries, including a full transcript and photos of burials in the Woodbine Cemetery.
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY VIRGINIA (Ronald Ray Turner's website): Local historian Ron Turner has compiled hundreds of works documenting the history and genealogy of Prince William County people. Most of his books are available freely on this site. 
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY GENEALOGY (Carolyn Lynn's blog): Carolyn Lynn ferrets out somewhat obscure, but really interesting stories about the people from Prince William's past, primarily from regional newspapers.

To read the latest lists of new materials available, please click on What's New in RELIC.

To be notified of upcoming library programs and activities, sign up for the PWPL newsletter.
[email protected] or 703-792-8150
Questions and comments are always welcome.
Prince William Public Libraries, 13083 Chinn Park Drive, Woodbridge, VA 22192