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Museum a resource to research heritage

Discovering one’s roots has become a popular activity recently, encouraged by at least two TV programs, which trace celebrities’ family trees.

Residents of Halifax County have a resource which they can use to begin their own heritage research.

The South Boston-Halifax County Museum’s Research Room is a treasure chest stocked with numerous materials useful to researchers of family history. For example, people who have family roots in Halifax and neighboring counties have access to several county heritage books. These books include contributed write-ups about many families, churches, homes, towns, and communities, as well as military information and other subjects. These county heritage books are available: Halifax, Pittsylvania, (Vols.1-2), Bedford, Mecklenburg, Charlotte, (Vols. 1-2), and Brunswick in addition to Person County, North Carolina, Vols. 1-2. All books are indexed and contain rare, interesting pictures of people and places.

Also in the Research Room are Volumes 1 and 2 of the much-sought-after book, Halifax County Cemeteries compiled in 1985-86 by George Waldrep, III.  These volumes contain inventories of Halifax County church cemeteries, family cemeteries, and town and city cemeteries. The information includes names of deceased persons, as well as birth and death dates. 

For those looking for a comprehensive history of Halifax County, Volumes 1 and 2 of the well-known History of Halifax by Halifax author Pocahontas Edmunds is available. The newer editions of this useful book have been published by the Halifax County Historical Society and are user-friendly, having increased listings in the revamped, more accurate index. 

One of the most popular search resources is the genealogy website www.ancestry.com which may be used free of charge in the museum’s Research Room. This site provides access to a wealth of  information such as censuses, family trees, and tax lists just by typing in the name of the person being researched. Numerous patrons of the Research Room have been pleasantly surprised at the valuable data they have found using this site.

Aside from family history research materials, one of the most requested resources is the set of Halifax County High School Haliscope yearbooks. Many visit the Research Room to browse through yearbook editions dating from 1954 to recent years. 

The museum’s Research Room has many additional resources which will be discussed in upcoming articles. Visit the volunteers in the Research Room, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday each week. It is recommended that prospective visitors call the museum at 572-9200 to ensure volunteers are available.