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 on RELIC's webpage

RELIC service is now available in person at Central Library, 8601 Mathis Avenue, Manassas, Virginia, 20110 and by email at [email protected] and by phone at 703-792-8380. 

Hours of Operation
Monday Saturday, 10:00a.m.  5:00p.m. Central Library is closed daily from 1:00  2:00 p.m. for cleaning.
Note: In response to staff support of the COVID –19 Vaccine Call Center, Central Library is currently closed for all services. PWPL is offering Contact –Free Curbside Pickup Service ONLY at Bull Run, Chinn Park, Haymarket Gainesville, and Manassas City Libraries. The physical buildings are not open to the public, but other services – including phone assistance – will be available at these four libraries.
The RELIC department is fortunate to receive donations of original documents related to local history. Recently, we took possession of a 1799 survey of a Loudoun County farm, which had originally been filed at a court in Dumfries. RELIC Librarian Don Wilson will analyze the survey, but also use it as an example of how to use primary documents in research, what new information acquisition of this document brings to light, and how this is relevant to Prince William County.
The Virginia Outdoors Foundation owns and operates a 2,350 acre preserve that sits just 35 miles outside of our nation's capital. Before becoming a state-designated Natural Area Preserve and being managed as an open-air museum and living laboratory, this mountainous landholding was home to many marginalized peoples. Summers Cleary and Barinaale Dube will be sharing the work Virginia Outdoors Foundation is embarking upon to present an inclusive and equitable history of the Preserve's diversely peopled past, sharing efforts to cultivate diversity through the Preserve's fellowship program. Registration required.
Doing family research is challenging for many reasons – don’t make it even harder than it needs to be getting tripped up by some common genealogical errors. This short video covers a handful of fallacies and missteps which can lead your research astray if you don’t know how to look out for them.
OneNote is a free and easytolearn note–gathering and organization tool from Microsoft offering great utility for genealogists and family historians. Instructional Technology Coach Susanne Besecker breaks down the technical capabilities of this robust tool and demonstrates strategies on how to use it to organize your research and records. Registration required.
BERT – Albert, Bertram, Hubert, etc.
BETSY, BETTY, BETH – Elizabeth
BILL, WILLIE – William
BOB, ROBIN – Robert
CONNY – Cornelius
DICK – Richard
DOLLY – Dorothy
FRED – Frederick, Alfred
GUS – Augustus, Gustavus
HARRY – Henry
HATTIE – Harriet, Henrietta
IKE – Isaac
JACK – John
JENNIE – Jane, Virginia
KATE – Katherine
KIT – Christopher
LIZA – Elizabeth
MATTY – Martha
MOLLY – Mary
NANCY – Anna
NEIL – Cornelius
NELLIE – Eleanor, Helen
PATSY, PATTY – Martha, Patricia
PEGGY, MEG – Margaret
POLLY – Mary
SANDY – Alexander
SUKEY – Susan, Susanna
TED – Edward, Theodore
Here are some books that can be used to find many nicknames and given names in different languages:
A Dictionary of First Names by Patrick Hanks and Flavia Hodges (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1990).
First Name Reverse Dictionary: Given Names Listed by Meaning” by Yvonne Navarro (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland and Co., 1993).
Nicknames: Past and Present by Christine Rose, fifth edition expanded (San Jose, Calif.: 2007).