Museum Plans for Busy 2013

Pelham Lyles, Director of the Fairfield County Museum (left) and museum assistant Shelbia Trotter (right) assist Sylvia Collins of Chester Highway in researching her family history in the second floor archives of the museum.

WINNSBORO — Following on the heels of last month’s successful Christmas Open House, the Fairfield County Museum has some intriguing events lined up for early 2013.

First up in 2013 is a second appearance and historical presentation on Native American History by Val Green at 11 a.m. on Jan. 24 in the Christ Central Community Center at 235 S. Congress St., next door to the museum. In February, Kadena Woodard, an African-American researcher and author of an expansive publication on Fairfield County Black cemeteries and funeral records, will be at the museum to assist with African-American research. In March, researcher James Green will present a program on utilizing DNA studies in your family research.

The Museum is Fairfield County’s gateway to family histories. The family research room of the museum is staffed by enthusiastic volunteers, there to help folks use the resources collected through the years. There are small charges for copies and research by mail, but admission and available files are free. Anyone wanting to take advantage of these resources should call the museum at 803-635-9811 to be sure someone will be present to assist you. An informative quarterly newsletter, stocked with genealogical information and historical articles, can be seen on the website at The museum and the Fairfield County Historical Society are collaborating with architectural historian Wade Fairley to produce a searchable online project featuring the old homes of upcountry South Carolina. This is presently under construction for Fairfield County.

As always, the collection assembled by the local Daughters of the American Revolution is on display at the Museum. This collection includes furniture, clothing and intricate jewelry woven out of strands of hair. Also on display in the Museum’s back lot is a 1780s log barn, as well as a period log cabin.

The Museum is truly a beautiful resource for Fairfield County and is managed with pride by Director Pelham Lyles. Lyles has been with the Museum since 1997 and is a piece of walking history herself. She is the ninth generation descendant of the first European child born in Fairfield County. She has studied the items and area, traced her roots and can talk on most any subject with authority. While a student of history, however, Lyles is also focused on the future, particularly the future of the Museum and its place in Fairfield County.

“The museum is an ongoing project that needs resources,” she said. “Pride in our ancestors and pride in ourselves will lead to pride in our community.”

Museum Calendar

Jan 24 – Val Green: Part 2 of Searching for your Native American Ancestors.

Feb. 21 – African-American Records found in the Fairfield Genealogical Reference Room.

March 21 – James Green: Family Information found in your DNA report.

April 18 – Beginning the search for your ancestors.

Meetings to be held at 11 a.m. in the Christ Central Theater next door to the Fairfield Museum located at 231 Congress St., Winnsboro.

For more information, call Frances Lee O’Neal at 803-635-3027.

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