“Ask Genie Char,” is a new monthly column for The Gazette-Virginian newspaper. This column will cover genealogical topics related to researching your family in the Southside of Virginia. It encourages readers to ask questions that are pertinent to genealogical family research process.

The columnist will respond to all the questions in the monthly column during the last week of the month.

In preparing for the holidays, what better way to celebrate your family than to engage them in conversations about your family’s past. You might ask about what Thanksgiving dinners were prepared by your grandmother or what holiday gifts your grandparents received during Christmas or if relatives came out of town to visit during the holidays and who were they?

These types of questions would help the younger people to remember the generations that have moved on.

This column will be topic driven and will encourage you to e-mail the columnist with any of your family research questions.

The columnist, Char McCargo Bah, has strong family ties to Halifax. Both her parents, Jasper Lee McCargo Sr. and Bernice Virginia Scott, were born in Halifax. Char’s father was from the Roanoke District and her mother was from the Mt. Carmel District. Char has many relatives still living in Halifax including her aunt, Mary Scott Medley.

For more than 38 years, Char has been doing genealogical research. Since she retired in 2014 as a federal financial policy writer for the federal government, she has started her own company called FindingThingsforU, LLC.

Her accomplishments in the field of genealogy have appeared in numerous television interviews with CBS, FOX-5, Comcast, Public Broadcasting Services and several documentaries.

She currently holds a contract with the city of Alexandria as a genealogist on a housing project in locating descendants. Char was also the city of Alexandria’s genealogist on the “Alexandria Freedmen and Contraband Cemetery” project. She became a “Living Legend of Alexandria in 2014.”

She is the author of two books on Alexandria as well as a columnist for two newspapers, the Alexandria Gazette and the Zebra newspapers in Alexandria.

For many years, Char has been engaged in genealogical conversations with Martha Coats, Lawrence Martin (now deceased) and most recently with Barbara Bass on Halifax’s history.

Also throughout the years, Char has kept up with the history of Halifax through the publications from the Halifax Historical Society, Faye Tuck, Henry Preston Young Jr. and Pocahontas Wight Edmunds’ articles and books.

Because of Char’s deep family ties to Halifax and the encouragement by Martha and Barbara, she is taking on this column, “Ask Genie Char.”

Please feel free to send your family research questions to “Ask Genie Char.” Your questions and answers will appear in the next edition of this column. It hopes to engage you in researching your family and learning more about your past. You can submit your questions to AskGenieChar@gmail.com.