Tennessee Preservation Trust

Library & Archives Adds Digital Collection of Family Histories

Posted: 07/21/2016

The Tennessee State Library & Archives has added an online collection of material that tracks dozens of family histories across several states. The material, titled “The Genealogical Research Files of Dr. Barbara Long,” traces the lines of 33 families with roots in east Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Maryland and Alabama. Dr. Long, a professional psychiatrist who is also an avid amateur genealogist, collected the information while researching her own family’s history.

The collection is unusual in several respects. It’s the first significant digital-only collection to be housed within the Tennessee Virtual Archives (TeVA). Typically, digital records in TeVA are scanned from documents, maps, photos or other records that are stored at the Library & Archives, while this collection is being made publicly available for online use only. Included in the collection are more than 130 files of research notes, correspondence, interviews with family members, reports of professional genealogists and copies of original deeds, wills, land grants, census records, Bible records and other documentation.

The collection includes material that has never before been made available to researchers. And, if it proves popular, the Library & Archives may decide to digitize other large genealogical collections among their holdings.

“Digitizing this entire collection of material should make the work of amateur and professional genealogists who want to study these families much easier,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “Offering material in digital format makes research convenient, day or night, even for people who may not be able to visit the Library & Archives building in person.”

A resident of Atlanta, Dr. Long was born in Alabama and earned a Ph. D. from Harvard University and an M.D. from the University of Alabama. She began tracing her family history in the 1980s. While starting work on the Wrinkle family of Bradley County and the King family of Jefferson County, she learned to appreciate the collections of the Library & Archives. When she completed the research in 2014, she offered the digital version of the material to the Library & Archives.

As a result of this research, Dr. Long has proved membership in First Families of Tennessee for 12 different ancestors and has also traced lineages for the Daughters of the American Revolution, Colonial Dames XVII Century, U.S. Daughters of 1812, Daughters of the Cincinnati and Magna Carta Dames.

Among the Tennesseans represented in the collection are the Breazeale, Grayson, Hixson, Hughes, Hyden, King, Kennedy, Meek, Pickett, Real, Woods and Wrinkle families. Information on many other families associated with those families is included.

To view the collection online, go to: http://teva.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/p15138coll30

Media contact: Blake Fontenay, Tri-Star Chronicles Coordinator, (615) 253-8759 or C.Blake.Fontenay@tn.gov