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  • Writer's pictureTheFormidableGenealogist

The Historians

While in Richmond, Virginia, for the National Genealogical Society Conference, we Formidables did eventually make it into the 1785 Virginia State Capitol designed by Thomas Jefferson.

the Virginia statehouse

Inside we were treated to the most delightful tour guide ever, Mrs. McLeod. She told us fascinating tales about the goings-on in the capitol's history. One highlight was the statue of George Washington in the faux rotunda. This is the only statue he ever posed for. It was in 1786 and he was 53 years old. They made a cast of his face for it.

Another highlight was the only portrait of Pocahontas by someone who had actually met her. There are many imagined portraits of her, but this one was from London during her time abroad.

Neither of us is descended from George Washington or Pocahontas. We love family history, but we also love history history. We never pass up an opportunity to learn more.

One's family history is a part of the time and place in which it happened. Learn as much as you can about the historical context of your ancestors' lives. It can add dimension to them, but it can often point you in other directions in which to search.

And if you ever able to stop by the Virginia Statehouse, ask for Mrs. McLeod.

painting of Pocahontas


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