By Joyce Rorabaugh
Are you a descendant of an early Cumberland County family? Or would you like to find out if you are? Cumberland County was formed from parts of each of the surrounding counties in 1855. Because of a fire in the county courthouse in 1905, all records prior to that date, with the exception of the deeds, were lost. The first actual record of everyone in the county is found on the 1860 census, and this will be the criteria for determining the early families.
The Cumberland County Archives and Family Heritage Center and researcher Mike Boniol are hoping you will share your family history with them. For more information on how to can trace ancestry back to an early family, come by the archives for a packet. You can also call the archive for more information about this project.
The Second Saturday Seminars are starting over to include the newest genealogy class members. The first topic will be "Making Sense of the Census." The 1940 census has been released and indexed since the last time this program was presented, and is online at FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com. By locating and tracing family back from 1940, you learn exactly where they were during each census, thus pinpointing where you can start a search for records.
The archives will also hold a training session for those using the genealogy program Legacy on the third Saturday in March. If you have a laptop with Legacy downloaded on it, please bring it. If you use another genealogy program, but are not sure about how to navigate the program or how to use the features, the discussion will be informative enough to help you get started. No genealogy program, but would like to learn about them? They hope to be able to answer your questions, as well. You are welcome to stay after any of the programs to do your own research.
Location of the research does not matter, as they have reference material from many states, as well as online databases. So mark your calendars: March 9, from 10 a.m. to noon for the Second Saturday Seminar — "Making Sense of the Census;" and March 16, from 10 a.m. to noon for navigating genealogy programs, featuring Legacy.
The Cumberland County Archives is at 95 East First St. in Crossville, in the old First Baptist Church with the brown steeple, or call 456-2006 for more information.