Come Join Us!

This year GRIVA is celebrating 40 years of promoting genealogical research!  Throughout the year, our programs educate, guide, and assist all levels of expertise. Monthly programs may address more traditional research avenues or broader topics of genealogical interest. 

The annual conference, generally held in October, features an industry expert for an all-day educational experience.  Our two Special Interest Groups (DNA SIG and German SIG) provide a concentration of learning in these selected topics.

Please consider joining GRIVA so we can be around for the next generation of researchers!   Most of our offerings are free to everyone, but your membership helps GRIVA continue our various programs.   Click here for our membership brochure.

PAST MEETING: Jamestown Rediscovery – the 1617 James Fort

Featured speaker: David Givens

If you missed the event, you can view the recording at

Tuesday, May 25, 2021 – 7pm ET, via Zoom

David Givens, Director of Archaeology for the Jamestown Rediscovery Project will join us to highlight the recent finds of the high-profile individuals of the 1617 Church at James Fort. As part of the ongoing forensic pursuits of the rediscovery project, Mr. Givens will discuss excavations, genomics and identification methodologies that are bringing the 400-year-old site into the 21st century.

David Givens is a staff archaeologist with the Jamestown Rediscovery Project. Mr. Givens specializes in archaeological Geographic Information Systems. His job involves the linking of volumes of spatial data and archaeological information into a viable and sustainable digital archive. He is the principal author of the book Church and State: The Archaeology of The Foundations of Democracy.

PAST MEETING: Researching from Home: Digital Collections at the Library of Virginia (LVA)

Miss the meeting? Check out the recording at

Presented by Ashley Ramey, Community Outreach Coordinator at the LVA

Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 7pm, via Zoom

The LVA has a vast array of online collections to help genealogists find their Virginia ancestors. Ashley’s presentation will focus on “Virginia Memory” — the LVA’s digital collections. Learn all about them, how to find them and how to use them from the comfort of your sofa!

Here are the handouts:

Ashley Ramey is the Community Outreach Specialist for the LVA where she coordinates the genealogy workshop series, genealogical programs and community outreach. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor’s degree in History and a Master’s degree in History with a concentration on the early / colonial period in Virginia and the United States, in addition to African & Indigenous Peoples Slavery. Ashley also focused on 19th and 20th century race relations in Virginia. Previously, she was the Site Coordinator at the Preservation Virginia’s John Marshall House in Richmond, VA.

PAST MEETING – March Program Meeting – Gilmer Maps: Their History And Their Uses by Cassandra Farrell

Thanks to everyone who attended!

Missed the meeting? Watch the recording at

Gilmer Maps: Their History and Their Uses
By Cassandra Farrell

March 23, 2021 at 7pm

These Virginia and North Carolina maps were made during the Civil War, under the command of Col. Jeremy Francis Gilmer, Chief Engineer of the Confederate States of America. The maps provide excellent references of the terrain, roads, rivers, landmarks, and identify landowners. They are valuable genealogical resources.

Cassandra Farrell has been the Senior Map Archivist at the Library of Virginia since 2005 and has curated a gallery exhibition and several one-day map exhibitions and has written and published bibliographies, blogs, articles, and several entries for Encyclopedia Virginia. In addition, she is an adjunct instructor in history in the Virginia Community College System, serves on the board of directors for the Washington Map Society, and is a doctoral student at George Mason University.