Richmond Area Tours

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Register for Conference Tours

Richmond Discoveries will be offering several tours on Monday, 5 May and Tuesday, 6 May 2014 prior to the National Genealogical Society 2014 Family History Conference in Richmond, Virginia. Tour registration is open on the special Richmond Discoveries website http://www.richmonddiscoveries.com/ngs.php. The password is NGS2014 and is case sensitive.  Registration for tours closes on 1 April 2014. In the event that the minimum number of registrants for each tour is not met, Richmond Discoveries reserves the right to cancel the tour if necessary.

All tours leave from the Marriott Hotel, 500 East Broad St., Richmond, Virginia 23219. If you are staying at one of the conference hotels, you will need to take the hotel shuttle to the Marriott so you arrive fifteen minutes before the designated tour departure time. Please allow sufficient time for morning traffic. Be sure to bring your cell phone and hotel phone number so you can call the hotel where you are staying and ask them to pick you up at the Marriott when the tour is over. The conference shuttle buses will not be running on Monday or Tuesday. Check-in for conference attendees who have pre-registered online or by mail, will be open from 12:00 noon until 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, 6 May 2014, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, across Fifth Street from the Marriott Hotel.

Colonial Williamsburg and Swem Library Research Trip – SOLD OUT

Monday, 5 May 2014, 7:30 a.m–6:00 p.m. (All-day tour)

Spend the day on your own in Williamsburg and choose to tour Colonial Williamsburg, do research at the Swem Library, or each for half a day. Williamsburg, formerly Middle Plantation, served as Virginia’s capital from 1699 to 1780. The Earl Gregg Swem Library on the campus of the College of William and Mary has a Rare Book room, manuscripts, and special collections. For details about the collection see https://swem.wm.edu/. Experience the sites, tastes, and sounds of the colonial capital, reconstructed in the 1920s and 1930s through the philanthropic work of John D. Rockefeller. See http://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/plan/tickets/ for ticket prices and details.

The Swem Library can only accommodate twenty researchers at a time in its special collections, so please notify conference co-chair Jan Alpert at janalpert@aol.com to reserve a seat at the Swem Library.

Cost per Person:  $78 (min. 30, max. 55)

Cost includes motorcoach transportation and driver gratuity, as well as a guide to escort the group to Williamsburg and answer questions. Note: Participants must purchase their own tickets for Colonial Williamsburg and are responsible for their own lunch.

Richmond’s Black Heritage Tour- CANCELLED

Monday, 5 May 2014, 1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. (Afternoon tour)

Central Virginia’s African American community has one of the richest heritages in the nation. From the comfort of your motorcoach, see sites such as the James River-Kanawha Canal and Tredegar Ironworks, which offered unique economic opportunities to both free and enslaved blacks; First African Baptist Church; and Jackson Ward, home of the Bill “Bojangles” Robinson statue and known as “Harlem of the South” and “Black Wall Street” for the African American entrepreneurs, artists, journalists, and leadership that flourished there through the Civil Rights Movement. Visit the Maggie L. Walker House, National Park Service (subject to availability), home of an inspirational civic leader and America’s first female bank president. Tour Sixth Mt. Zion Baptist Church, founded in 1867 by acclaimed minister and community cornerstone John Jasper and one of Richmond’s most active churches today. Meet with church historian Benjamin Ross, who will discuss the use of church records in genealogy and in reconstructing family histories.

Cost per Person:  $48 (min. 30, max. 100)

Cost includes motorcoach transportation and driver gratuity, step-on guide service, full tour management, and all attractions.

The upper story of the Maggie Walker House, National Park Service, is not accessible for those with mobility restrictions.

The Confederate Capital Tour

Tuesday, 6 May 2014, 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. (All-day tour)

For four dramatic years, Richmond was the proud, embattled capital of a new nation, and the fascinating tale of that star-crossed nation awaits you. Enjoy a tour of the White House of the Confederacy, where Confederate President Jefferson Davis lived with his family during the war years. Walk through the fascinating exhibits of the Museum of the Confederacy, home of the world’s largest collection of Confederate memorabilia. Visit Tredegar Ironworks, National Park Service, known as the “Ironmaker of the Confederacy.” At St. Paul’s Church you can sit in the pews of Lee and Davis and admire the beauty of the Tiffany stained glass memorial windows. Take a quiet stroll into the Confederate Soldiers section of Hollywood Cemetery, the final resting place of 18,000 Confederate enlisted men. From your motorcoach, view other Civil War related sites such as Monument Avenue, built as a tribute to Southern heroes.

Conclude the day with our Richmond Alive!—Life of the Civil War Soldier program. With a full display of Civil War artifacts, a soldier will educate and entertain you with everything from a demonstration of the use of flags and drum signals on the battlefield to life in the camps: including food, music, games, and personal entertainment. The presentation will demonstrate a complete picture of life of the average enlisted man in the Civil War. Add to this a healthy dose of humor and you have a program that you will long remember! Lunch is on your own in historic Shockoe Slip, the restored warehouse district, with a wide variety of restaurants to choose from.

Cost per Person:  $89  (min. 30, max. 100)

Cost includes motorcoach transportation and driver gratuity, step-on guide service, full tour management, and all attractions. Individuals are responsible for their own lunch.

The upper stories of the White House of the Confederacy are not accessible for those with mobility restrictions.

Richmond Discoveries Tour

Tuesday, 6 May 2014, 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m. (The tour repeats morning and afternoon).

This tour features an overview of Richmond’s historical and cultural attractions. From the comfort of your motorcoach, you will see Richmond’s graciously restored historic neighborhoods including: Shockoe Slip, a cobblestone restaurant district; Church Hill, noted for its unique cast iron patterns; the riverfront; and the famed Monument Avenue, one of America’s most beautiful boulevards. This tour includes a guided tour at the Virginia State Capitol, designed by Thomas Jefferson and completed in 1788, and a narrated canal cruise on the James River-Kanawha Canal. This tour also includes a visit to Dabbs House Museum, a house museum in Henrico County that served as Lee’s headquarters during the Seven Days campaign of June 1862. Henrico or “Henricus” was established by the English in 1611 as the first settlement after Jamestown; eventually, eight central Virginia counties were carved out of Henrico. The staff will present a special discussion on the extensive use of genealogical research in the interpretation of the house as well as special programs they produce for the county.

Cost per Person:  $59  (min. 30, max. 55 per morning or afternoon tour)

Cost includes motorcoach transportation and driver gratuity, step-on guide service, full tour management, and all attractions.

The upper story of the Dabbs House Museum is not accessible for those with mobility restrictions.

Patriots and Presidents Tour

Tuesday, 6 May 2014, 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. and 1:30pm–5:30 p.m. (The tour repeats morning and afternoon).

Explore the history of Founding Fathers and nation-builders in Richmond. Enjoy a visit to St. John’s Church and learn about the events in Virginia that culminated in Patrick Henry giving his passionate “Liberty or Death” speech at the Second Virginia Convention in March 1775.  Make a brief stop on the grounds of Virginia’s Capitol Square to discuss Mr. Jefferson’s “Temple of Democracy” and admire the historic statuary. Enjoy a walking and driving tour through the quiet beauty of Hollywood Cemetery, final resting place of 18,000 Confederate enlisted men, 25 Confederate generals, and a number of other famous personages. See the graves of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his family, as well as two U.S. Presidents (subject to funerals). In addition, from the comfort of your motorcoach, view sites such as the Edmund Randolph Lodge, the nation’s oldest Masonic Lodge in continuous use; the First Freedom site where Thomas Jefferson’s Statute of Religious Freedom was passed; and the Marshall house, home of Revolutionary War patriot and Chief Justice John Marshall.

Cost per Person:  $51 (min. 25, max. 32 per tour)

Cost includes motorcoach transportation and driver gratuity, step-on guide service, full tour management, and all attractions.

Questions? Contact NGS Registrar Courtney Holmes at registration@ngsgenealogy.org or refer to FAQs.

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