A Reader’s Excellent Letter to the Franklin County Board

A reader forwarded the following letter to me, with a request that I post it. I contacted the author – Pam Smith, of Manassas, Virginia – and was gratified to receive her permission to post it here. It’s an excellent letter and one that I believe we can all support.

Pam Smith’s Letter to the Franklin County Board of Commissioners


4 responses to “A Reader’s Excellent Letter to the Franklin County Board

  • nada62

    An excellent letter, indeed. As a Franklin County researcher, who has been personally affected by this loss, I would like to thank Ms. Smith for taking the time to write and send this letter to the officials in Franklin County. Hopefully, they will lift their voices and/or their pens to respond.


  • msmarieresearch

    An excellent letter – Pam Smith makes it crystal clear the relevance and the importance of these records and the reckless ignorance of those who made the decision to destroy.
    My family research is a world away from Pam’s – My Irish great grand parents who immigrated to New Zealand in the 1860s – their stories are very personal to me and exist in my consciousness and in my unconsciousness. In that basement, were the stories of ancestors and I am so pleased to read that there are people such as Pam and the local historical societies across the US who painstakingly work through the detail to tell those stories.
    Grace – has anyone asked the previous clerk (the one that retired) or any previous employees what they knew of the records?
    I am enjoying your blog – if anything good has come out of this – it is finding out about historians and genealogists working in obscure towns that I had next to know awareness of prior to this story breaking.
    Cheers Marie

    • Grace

      Hi Marie. Thanks for your comment and your questions.
      As I understand it the previous Clerk of Court left her post suddenly and quietly under a “cloud”. No one – to my knowledge – has spoken of why she left specifically, but recently a number of government agencies within Franklin County have been involved in one form of scandal or another – usually graft and the typical financial malfeasance.
      I’m headed to the Historical Society’s meeting tomorrow. I’ll pose this question – along with some others – and let you know what, if anything, I learn.

  • Grace

    Marie, I attended the Historical Society meeting yesterday and learned that the previous clerk of court retired, honorably, after 41 years of service in Franklin County. She’s a lovely lady who is as upset about the destruction of the records as any of the rest of us.

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