Although I have used Ancestry.com for my family research, my most recent usage has been in conjunction with a local history research project. In the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia from 1850-1858 nearly 2000 Irish immigrants workers and families labored to complete the Blue Ridge Railroad over the mountains. A small local group has been working for several years to document these Irish immigrants and tell their stories. Ancestry.com has proved to be invaluable in the search. We find the Irish in the 1850 census in Albemarle County, Va., but by 1860 they have almost all disappeared. By following the railroad and the census, we have found that many moved with the railroad work. Most of our stories stop there. The research group, Clann Mhor, is very interested in hearing from any family members who might have had Irish relatives who worked on the Blue Ridge Railroad or the Virginia Central Railroad from 1850-1858. For more information on our research and to contact us, please go to www.clannmhor.org.
Thank you Ancestry.com!