Shenandoah Valley Heritage Day 2016

This FREE event includes expert-led lectures & information tables hosted by historical societies and research organziations

Heritage Day is a free event created to provide resources to help beginning researchers and experienced genealogists research family histories. Presented with the Shenandoah Valley Genealogical Society (SVGS), the event includes lectures and information tables hosted by research organizations. Expert genealogist Shelley Murphy will present “Genealogy 101” at 10:30 a.m.and “Beginner Challenges of African-American Genealogy Research” at 1:30 p.m. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., SVGS members will host a free online guidance station to introduce researchers to online genealogy resources, websites, and software.

FREE. No registration is required for this event. Thanks to generous sponsorship from the Woltz-Winchester Foundation, Heritage Day activities are free to all. Arrive early to get your tickets to the lectures and the online resource station. Tickets are first-come, first-served at the Visitor Information Desk beginning at 10 a.m. Admission fees apply to visit the galleries.

Unable to attend this event? Please feel free to download Heritage Day materials below:

Genealogy 101 (3 Parts)
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Murphy's Law-Basic Genealogy Research Tips

Handouts for Winchester

Howard W. Hart Certificate

State Census Chart

All Day | 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Information stations provided by multiple historical societies and research associations from the region will be available concurrently throughout the day for guests to explore and interact with.

Genealogy 101: How to get started  | 10:30 a.m.
This session will provide the beginner or the experienced family historian or genealogist the basics of genealogy research. Tips on managing your files and strategies to help overcome some brick walls will be covered along with learning the Murphy's "SO WHAT" principles for analyzing records and resources.

Beginner Challenges of African American Genealogy Research | 1:30 p.m.
This is session is not just for those who are researching African Americans but for all interested in genealogical research of various cultural and ethnic groups. Dr. Murphy will teach participants beginner genealogical research techniques on how to set up a timeline and develop a research plan while also learning where to locate resources and records for their research. She will further discuss how to combat the challenges you face with when dealing with African American genealogy and how to overcome brick walls.

NEW! Shenandoah Valley Genealogical Society (SVGS) Online Resource Station | 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
SVGS will provide guests with online resource assistance through genealogical websites and search engines. These include: 1); 2) Ancestry Academy; 3) Heritage Quest; 4) Fold3; 5) Ancestry World Explorer; and 6) PastPerfect. This FREE online resource assistance will last only from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the Heritage Day event.

NEW! A Drawing & Door Prizes for Genealogical Computer Subscriptions & Software
Thanks to, there will be door prizes and a drawing during this year’s Shenandoah Valley Heritage Day 2016 event. Door prizes will include winning a one-year genealogical computer family subscription from one of the following: 1) Fold3; 2) AncestryAcademy; 3) World Explorer; or 4) There will also be a drawing for “Family TreeMaker” software, which will be available both in PC and Mac format. Donations are appreciated and welcome. Must be present to win. Winners will be announced after the last lecture, at 3pm.

Bio: Dr. Shelley Murphy, DM

Dr. Shelley Murphy, aka “familytreegirl”, is a native of Michigan and resides in Central Virginia. Dr. Murphy has been an avid genealogist for nearly 25 years researching the Davis, Marsh, Goens/Goins/Goings, Roper, Boyer, Worden, Cureton, and Murphy family lines. She holds a Doctorate in Management of Organizational Leadership and is an adjunct professor at Averett University.

Murphy is known for her inspiring and interactive “Getting Started” methods and strategies for genealogy research, “Time and File management,” along with interesting problem-solving methodology lectures using her "SO WHAT" principles. Shelley currently has 20+ publications with Charlottesville Genealogy Examiner and the Central Virginia Heritage, a publication of the Central Virginia Genealogical Association. She hosts her own blog at

Dr. Murphy also attends local, state, and national conferences and currently works for a nonprofit as a Director of Program Services. She is a founding member and current President of the Afro-American Historical Genealogical Society Chapter of Central Virginia and former Vice-President of the Central Virginia Genealogical Association. She holds memberships with local, national, state genealogy groups, various historical societies in the United States, including the National Genealogical Society and Association of Professional Genealogists and Central Virginia History Researchers. Dr. Murphy is also known by her tagline, which is “Know your roots, they are long and strong.”

Above: photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864–1952), ca. 1900, courtesy Library of Congress.



Sat, Jan 30 • 10:00 am to 4:00 pm


MSV Members: Free

All Others: Free