About Zann Nelson

Zann Nelson is a Historical Investigator, Writer, and Public Speaker

After more than 45 years of immersion in horse and cattle farming, non-profit organizational development, grassroots political campaigns, and museum management, Zann launched a company called History Quest to focus on her one true passion: the investigative work of unknown histories.

Skills and Experience…..

Deeply involved in grassroots political campaigns

  • Local, State and National
  • Exposed her to the need for “Voice” & engagement


An award-winning journalist

  • authoring several investigative feature articles
  • writes two weekly columns: “Buried Truth” and “Zann’s Place”
  • Published a statewide Virginia Thoroughbred industry periodical: The Paddock


Holds a Graduate Certificate in Non-Profit Management: Georgetown U.

  • 12 years as director of the Museum of Culpeper History,
  • 12 years as a full-time volunteer with the National Park Service including 6 years as president of the Civil War preservation group, Friends of Wilderness Battlefield


Recent Achievements

Director: established and implemented the African American Descendants’ Project for James Madison’s Montpelier Foundation.

Lead Consultant: developed a Cultural and Historic Asset Inventory along the Route 3 Wilderness Corridor in Orange County (OC), VA for the OC Board of Supervisors

Historic Investigator:

  • discovered the identities of several former slaves in a North Carolina county;
  • identified and connected with several living descendants of former enslaved individuals in Orange County, VA ;
  • developed by county, lists of hundreds of people of color predominantly former slaves who enlisted in the United States Colored Troops during the American Civil War