Welcome you to the website of the Fairfax Genealogical Society (FxGS)! The Society provides education and training for family history researchers in the Fairfax County, Virginia, area.  Although based in Fairfax, many of our members are not native to the area and so our research endeavors are not restricted to local genealogy. Indeed our interests are national and international in scope as may be reflected in the breadth of our varied Special Interest Groups (SIGs). We invite you to join us for our next program and, of course, we would love for you to consider membership in our Society.
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February 2019 Programs

Hakenson Join us for our upcoming February meetings! On Friday, February 22 at 7:00 pm, we are pleased to present "Mosby’s Combat Operations in Fairfax County" by Civil War historian Don Hakenson. The story of John Singleton Mosby is the story about a band of Confederate cavalrymen known as the Forty-third Battalion Virginia Cavalry, or Mosby’s Rangers. This unit conducted military combat guerilla operations into Northern Virginia, behind enemy lines, especially Fairfax County, and became recognized by the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps as the most feared and successful guerilla unit in the history of modern warfare. Don has spent countless years researching obscure Civil War incidents and sites in Fairfax County. Don is the past President for the Stuart-Mosby Historical Society.
On Saturday, February 23 at 9:30 am, we will present, "Nike Missile Site NY-53: A Case Study in Genealogical Research" by Michael Donovan. On 22 May 1958, explosions rocked the Nike missile launch area of B Battery, 526th Antiaircraft Artillery Missile Battalion in Middletown, New Jersey, resulting in the deaths of ten men.  This presentation will detail the challenges and successes in the genealogical research of the ten victims. Michael Donovan is a civilian employee of the Department of Defense and life member of the Fairfax Genealogical Society, Mike has been researching the history of Nike Site NY-53 since 2014.  In 2017 he published an article in The Upshur County Historical Society regarding one of the ten victims, a native of West Virginia.
NOTE: Both sessions will be held at the Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Station Hall 2148 Gallows Road, Vienna, VA and will start 30 minutes earlier than our normal start times to conduct Society business.

Special Event: Author Dani Shapiro in Conversation

The Fairfax Genealogical Society and Bards Alley are proud to present Dani Shapiro, who will discuss and sign copies of her latest memoir, Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love at Reston Regional Library on March 5 at 7:00 pm. Shapiro will be in conversation with genealogist and FxGS member Shannon Combs-Bennett about her latest book for this event sponsored by the Fairfax Genealogical Society and also made possible with the support of the Fairfax County Public Library and the Friends of the Reston Regional Library.
This event is free to attend, but please RSVP on Bards Alley’s Facebook event page; seats will be available on a first come, first served basis. To reserve your copy of Inheritance for pickup, submit a special order request or give Bards Alley a call at 571-459-2653.
What makes us who we are? What combination of memory, history, biology, experience, and that ineffable thing called the soul defines us? In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. She woke up one morning and her entire history–the life she had lived–crumbled beneath her. Inheritance is a book about secrets;secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It is the story of a woman’s urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that has been scrupulously hidden from her for more than fifty years, years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history. It is a book about the extraordinary moment we live in–a moment in which science and technology have outpaced not only medical ethics but also the capacities of the human heart to contend with the consequences of what we discover.

Spring Conference Registration Now Available!

Registration is now available for the FxGS 2019 Spring Conference, "Find Your Missing Branches," being held on 5 & 6 April 2019 at The Sheraton Reston, 11810 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, VA 20191.
Join us for what we expect to be a wonderful conference filled with seminars, workshops, and vendors. This event promises to expand your genealogy knowledge base, help crack those brick walls, and meet genealogists from around the region.

January 2019 Newsletter Available

The January 2019 issue of the FxGS newsletter is available in the Member's section. This edition contains some wonderful news and stories from FxGS events and our Special Interest Groups. A sampling of the highlights include:
  • In Appreciation: David Whitman Retires from FxGS Executive Board and the Virginia Room "Help Desk"
  • Dads & Daughters by Anne Bolen
  • My Strangest Source by Lee James Irwin
  • Spring 2019 Field Trip Preview: Contrabands and Freedman Cemetery
  • Special Interest Groups

If you have a story, trip report or photograph that you'd like to share with your fellow members, please email newsletter@fxgs.org.

Call for Presentations

for the Fairfax Genealogical Society
2019-2020 Programs
The Fairfax Genealogical Society (FxGS) is now accepting speaker proposals for its 2019-20 programs. Information regarding the proposal solicitation can be found on the Call for Presentations page while list of the previous 2012-2019 FxGS monthly programs can be obtained by clicking here.
Proposals will be accepted for monthly general meetings September 2019 through May 2020, monthly education classes September 2019 through May 2020, a one-day fair to be held 26 October 2019, and a two-day conference to be held 3-4 April 2020. All events are held in Fairfax County, which is in northern Virginia, just west of Washington, D.C. Honorariums will be given to all speakers, additional information can be found in the call for papers solicitation.
The Society is always looking for new and exciting topics that span the range of genealogy and family history research. Topics may include any facet of genealogical research. Subjects should draw on the lecturer’s areas of expertise, yet be broad enough to appeal to a general audience. The deadline for submitting proposals for any of these events will be 1 March 2019.
The Fairfax Genealogical Society was founded as a not-for-profit organization in 1974 to provide educational opportunities to the genealogical community; to promote cooperation and support among genealogists; to encourage sound genealogical methods, standards of accuracy, and scholarly research; and to aid those doing research in the national capital area. The Society has over 400 members, who meet for lectures, educational programs, workshops and field trips.

Gen-Fed 2019 Details Announced

The Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed) 2018, held July 16–21 at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., was another great week of learning and camaraderie. Attendees used words like exceptional and excellent and amazing to describe the experience but this comment best captures the unique quality of Gen-Fed:

“It was such a privilege to embed ourselves for the week in the nation’s attic.”

Even with a busy program schedule, many participants had tangible research success, as documented on the Tales of Discovery page.

The next Institute is set for July 29–August 2, 2019, with an optional visit to the DAR Library on Saturday, August 3. Details are here. Online registration will be held on Saturday, February 23, 2019. Tuition has been set at $550. Two scholarship opportunities are still available: the Richard S. Lackey Scholarship (December 31, 2018 deadline) and the AncestryProGenealogists Scholarship (November 30, 2018 deadline). Read about both opportunities here.

To receive more announcements about next year’s program, enter your email address in the “subscribe” box on the bottom right of the institute website, http://www.gen-fed.org.

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The Fairfax Genealogical Society has a Twitter account, @FxGenSoc! Follow us for the latest happenings from our society meetings, education sessions and events!
Fairfax Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 2290
Merrifield, Virginia

Upcoming Events
02/22/2019 - 7:00 pm
Mosby’s Combat Operations in Fairfax County
Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Station Hall 2148 Gallows Road, Vienna, VA
02/23/2019 - 9:30 am
Nike Missile Site NY-53: A Case Study in Genealogical Research
Nike Missile Site NY-53: A Case Study in Genealogical Research
02/25/2019 - 7:00 pm
Fairfax Library Genealogy Series #3: African American Family History Research
Centreville branch of the Fairfax County Public Library, 14200 St. Germaine Dr., Centreville, VA