Upcoming Program Meetings

Monday, 15 April NOON

John Rolfe Parkway Publix

Lunch and Learn: Stories From The Richmond Times-Dispatch Archives

Nicole Kappatos, Newsroom Researcher / Archivist, Richmond Times-Dispatch

Tuesday, 23 April, 7:30 PM

Bon Air Presbyterian Church, Beck Room

Richard Young: Richmond’s First Official Surveyor

Cassandra Farrell, Library of Virginia

Rescuing Young’s 1817 Map of Richmond

Leslie Courtois, Library of Virginia

Tuesday, 28 May, 7:30 PM

Bon Air Presbyterian Church, Beck Room

Researching in Chesterfield County, Virginia

Angela Wilderman, The Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia

Lori Purcell, Chesterfield County Public Library

Monday, 17 June, NOON

John Rolfe Parkway Publix

GRIVA Summer Luncheon


Heirlooms Hold History

laceGRIVA’S May program is on Care and Interpretation of Heirloom Textiles with Colleen Callahan. You are invited to participate in Colleen’s illustrated lecture describing the care of family textiles and clothing, and identifying photos based on clothing. Her talk will include the cleaning, packing and storage of period heirlooms. You are invited to bring a clothing or textile (sampler, quilt, etc) item that Colleen will examine for identification, dating and care recommendations. She will also use your pictures to demonstrate the art and science of dating them! Both portraits and group photos are welcome. But time is running out! Please email photo scans to esgr.6106@gmail.com by 8 May to be included!

Colleen Callahan is a costume and textile historian and curator with experience in conservation. Ms. Callahan served as curator of costume and textiles at the Valentine Richmond History Center for eighteen years, managing the museum’s 30,000-piece internationally known collection and curating over twenty art and social history-themed exhibitions. In 2003, after retiring from the Valentine with the title of curator emerita, Ms. Callahan began a consulting business, Costume & Textile Specialists, with Newbold Richardson. They consult with large and small institutions nationwide on exhibition, collection management and documentation, conservation, and reproduction clothing projects. Ms. Callahan has worked with assessing, conserving, and/or exhibiting a number of presidential family garments, including those of George and Martha Washington at Mt. Vernon, Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, and James and Elizabeth Monroe at the James Monroe Museum and Library in Fredericksburg, VA.

Ms. Callahan lecturers and is a contributor to popular and scholarly publications, and is active in professional organizations locally and nationally. She received her BA in Theatre from Smith College and her MA in Arts Administration: Costume Studies, from New York University under a joint program with the Costume Institute of Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This program will be held Tuesday, 22 May 2018, 7:30 pm, at Bon Air Presbyterian Church, 9201 West Huguenot Road, RVA. You do not need to be a member to attend!

Exploring Virginia’s Weather History

“Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.” Mark Twain.

GRIVA’s next program will help connect you to your ancestors through the science of meteorology.

John Boyer, meteorologist with the Richmond Times-Dispatch, will recount some of the memorable weather events of the past, and how he researches these occurrences. The everyday lives of our ancestors’ will come into focus as he discusses the evolution of local weather observations and forecasting. Sources and availability of historic records will also be covered.

John Boyer joined the Richmond Times-Dispatch newsroom in November 2016 as its first staff meteorologist. He grew up in the Roanoke Valley and returned to Virginia after covering severe weather on television in Georgia and Tulsa, Oklahoma. A graduate of North Carolina State University in Raleigh with a degree in meteorology, he is a member of the American Meteorological Society and earned their Certified Broadcast Meteorologist seal in 2012. His weather forecasts appear in the Richmond Times-Dispatch and on Richmond.com, along with weather videos, stories about meteorological phenomena and coverage of major weather events in our area.

Our April program will be held Tuesday, 24 April 2018, 7:30 pm, at Bon Air Presbyterian Church, 9201 West Huguenot Road, RVA. You do not need to be a member to attend!

Finding Soldiers From The Great War


If you think researching World War I ancestors is challenging, Michael L. Strauss, AG, can help! He is a nationally recognized genealogical lecturer residing in Utah. He is a forensic investigator and qualified expert witness in Court in NY, NJ, PA, and VA where he testifies on kinship matters. Strauss is a faculty member at SLIG, GRIP, and IGHR where he is the Coordinator for the Military Course. He has a BA in history and is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran and has been involved in Civil War reenacting for more than 25 years. Listen as he share his expertise on The Great War: Researching Your World War I Ancestors!

Our spring program is Tuesday, 27 March 2018, 7:30 pm, at Bon Air Presbyterian Church, 9201 West Huguenot Road, RVA. You do not need to be a member to attend!

Join GRIVA For Lunch in January

Photo from Wikimedia CommonsJoin fellow members and friends at GRIVA’s members’ luncheon on Monday, January 15, 2017 at 12 p.m. This is a casual, fun gathering where we meet to announce our successes, trade research strategies, and share new genealogical books and Internet resources we have found helpful in our work. Guests are welcome, so bring a friend and introduce them to what GRIVA has to offer in the pursuit of family history.

Our luncheon spot is Shoney’s at 8415 W. Broad Street in Richmond, VA. We will be in a separate room not far from the salad bar and you may order off the menu. Hope to see you there!

Location, Location, Location!

GRIVA’s afternoon program on Tuesday, November 28th will help you understand how facts about people along with data about places can come together to help your family history research. Robin Patton, MS teams up with Elaine Taylor of the Louisa County Historical Society to present Location, Location, Location: Mapping history through events that connect people … to places … at a particular time.

The Louisa County Historical Society is combining locations and historic documents to better explore the relationships between individuals, to evaluate historic communities and to provide more useful indexing. Robin and Elaine will explain their process for using ArcGIS Online and collaborative data development to reveal extraordinary stories about the ordinary people who forged our communities and nation.

Elaine Taylor has been the Director of the Louisa County Historical Society and Sargeant Museum since 2007. With a Bachelors in Education from the University of Michigan and a Nonprofit Management Certificate from the University of Virginia, she has extensive experience working with volunteers to establish a digital archive and develop historic data and enjoys facilitating the participation of digital archive partners in the region.

Robin Patton holds a MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Virginia and has 25 years of experience integrating processes and technology. She enjoys applying technology in innovative ways and has worked with the Louisa County Historical Society to pilot projects that provide information in historic documents as geospatial data that can be analyzed on a map. She uses her skills in data development and modeling to inform and coordinate the transcription and locational data development efforts of museum volunteers and staff.

Join us at 1:45 p.m. at the Bon Air Presbyterian Church, 9201 West Huguenot Road, Richmond, Virginia. There will be a short GRIVA meeting before the program with refreshments and social time afterwards. Our meetings are free to the public and visitors are welcome.

Quaker Records and Migration

Curious about Quakers? GRIVA’s program on Tuesday, October 24th will demonstrate that the Records of the Society of Friends are a treasure trove of family information. Craig R. Scott, CG, FUGA will speak on their creation, their location and their interpretation. With this information, you can follow your Quakers’ migration patterns.

Craig R. Scott, CG, FUGA, specializes in Quaker research, records of the National Archives, especially those that relate to the military, and problem-solving techniques. Craig is president and CEO of Heritage Books and has coordinated the Military Track at IGHR (Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research), SLIG (Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy), and GRIP (Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh).

Join us at 7:30 p.m. at the Bon Air Presbyterian Church, 9201 West Huguenot Road, Richmond, Virginia. There will be a short GRIVA meeting before the program with refreshments and social time afterwards. Our meetings are free to the public and visitors are welcome.