By Larry Backus
The Friends of the Cumberland County Art Circle Library will feature Loreda Davis of the Cumberland County Archives and Family Heritage Center at the Thursday, Nov. 7, meeting in the library’s Cumberland Room. Join them for refreshments and fellowship at 9:30 a.m. After Halloween you may well be prepped and ready to learn how you, too, may become an expert at “Digging up Old Stuff.”
The Cumberland County Archives and Family Heritage Center is one of the most fascinating areas of the library and is a great asset for those who want to know more about their family or community history. The archive collects preserves and interprets historic artifacts, documents, photographs and other materials. It maintains the county's earliest extant records as well as reference and genealogical materials. The archive reading room has many resources from other Tennessee counties and from several other states.
Loreda Davis, archival assistant, will speak about the growth of the archives in the past three years, outlining a few of the more noteworthy collections and government records. She will also outline present and future projects of the archive. Davis is a retired legal secretary with invaluable insight into the county records. She has led the team of volunteers who have worked diligently and accomplished an enormous amount of progress in preserving the history of Cumberland County.
One example is the “First Families of Cumberland County” project. The Archives and Family Heritage Center has established a certification program to recognize and honor the early pioneers who were residents of Cumberland County, when the 1860 census was taken. Cumberland County was formed in 1855-'56 and the 1860 census was the first federal census taken following the formation of the county. The application files will provide valuable documentation on family histories of many Cumberland County founders and will be available for future genealogical research. Other initiatives include the Legacy Genealogy and Slides, Photos and Oral History programs. You may want to stay after this meeting as Davis will take you on a guided tour of the archives; digging up old stuff can be fascinating.