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Lifelong learning course traces genealogy

The Rappahannock Community College Educational Foundation’s Rappahannock Institute for Lifelong Learning (RILL) turns to genealogy for its latest offering. Dr. Hilary Derby will present “Discover Your Family History” on April 3, 10, and 17 (Wednesdays), 1-3 p.m., at the headquarters of the Northumberland Historical Society, 86 Back Street, Heathsville.

For individuals who are eager to reconstruct their family stories, but lack the necessary skills and knowledge, this basic course will show how to use available resources for that purpose. Students will learn to organize their search, and to examine records both in historical libraries and archives, and on the Internet. They will investigate birth and death certificates, wills, and family Bibles, as well as census, military, and other primary records, in order to identify their ancestors and build a family tree.

Dr. Derby is an active genealogist who compiled information for the book “Rocks of Ages” by Prosser Crowther, Jr., and is currently at work on her own book, “Northumberland County, VA Birth Records 1853-1896.” Dr. Derby holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in architectural engineering, family history, and history, and has completed three genealogical missions for the Mormon Church. She is a member of several genealogical and hereditary societies and associations.

Advance registration, with a tuition payment of $35, is required to take this course. For more information on “Discover Your Family History” and other RILL courses, or to register, please call Sharon Drotleff at RCC’s Educational Foundation office (804-333-6707, or toll-free at 877-722-3679), or e-mail her at

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