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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Beginning with the March 2020 sessions, monthly meeting recordings are available to FxGS members in the Members' Only section if permission has been provided by the speaker. Currently available:
- March 2020 sessions with Michelle Tucker Chubenku - available until May 22, 2020
- April 2020 sessions with Diane Richard - available until April 24, 2021
FxGS Mourns Two Life Members
The Fairfax Genealogical Society is mourning the recent deaths of two Life Members. Robert (Bob) McLaren, a legendary Scotsman and proud leader of the Clan McLaren Society and McLaren DNA project, died on March 17. Bob was a member of FxGS for many years, and known to many as the "gentleman in the kilt." He was quick to educate those willing to listen on all aspects of genetic genealogy in an effort to solve not just your mysteries, but in the hope, they would unravel his mysteries as well. That was the genesis behind the McLaren DNA project, and the reason the FxGS webmaster received a number of emails from Bob over the years helping me unravel the Lowry surname; alas, Lowry is a surname in Clan McLaren. Photo of frequent FxGS presenter James Beidler and Big Bob McLaren in their traditional Scottish and German clothing courtesy of James M. Beidler.
Bonita (Short) Lestina of Fairfax City died March 30. She was one of the charter members of FxGS. Her membership number was 7! Member Suzanne Levy recalls driving her neighbor to meetings. Bonita was best known in Fairfax as a music teacher, an artist, and the founder of what is now called the Bonita Lestina Concert Series, which consists of free Friday night music performances at Old Town Hall. Bonita is survived by her husband, Dale, son Lunn and his wife, and two granddaughters.
The Board of Directors of the Fairfax Genealogical Society sends it's deepest condolences to the McLaren and Lestina families.
March 20: Update on FxGS Events
Fairfax Genealogical Society's primary concern is the health and well-being of our membership. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, we have canceled all in-person events until further notice. We will continue to hold monthly membership and educational meetings in a webinar format. Instructions for connecting online for upcoming membership and educational meetings will be sent to members only.
We wish you and your families health and well-being throughout this period. We look forward to helping you continue your collective passion for genealogy in a safe environment.
FxGS's Char McCargo Bah Named to Reparations Team
Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) announced on September 5, 2019, that it would begin a reparations program targeted specifically towards descendants of enslaved persons who worked on the campus and of African Americans who were employed by the seminary during the Jim Crow era. VTS has put together a reparations research team to locate descendants of those who worked at the Seminary from 1827 to 1951. In the fall of 2019, three professional genealogists were added to the team: Char McCargo Bah, Nathania (Nay) Branch-Miles, and Elizabeth Drembus.
Bah is a native Alexandrian who worked on the Alexandria Freedmen Cemetery Project and who is working on the Ramsay Homes’ Descendant Project. She is a member of FxGS and the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS), and they are chapter members of Prince George’s AAHGS. In addition to conducting archival research with the aim of documenting descendants’ connections to VTS, the team will be reaching out to descendants in order to research their families’ records and oral traditions regarding their ancestors’ experiences at the Seminary. For additional information on this program, you can read the full release at https://www.vts.edu/news-detail?pk=1304648&fromId=219659
(Photo from vts.edu.)
African American Genealogy is Newest FxGS SIG
FxGS is pleased to welcome the African American Genealogy Special Interest Group, started by the Virginia Room of the City of Fairfax Regional Library, into the Society as the newest Special Interest Group. The SIG will explore areas of research unique to the African American community, including how using census records, Reconstruction and Freedman Bureau records, plantation records, slave schedules, and other record groups can reveal information about African American ancestors.
The African American Genealogy SIG will meet from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Centreville Regional Library, 14200 St. Germain Dr., Centreville, VA. Meetings will occur on the 3rd Thursday of every other month (complete schedule here). For more information, contact SIG leader and Virginia Room librarian Laura Wickstead at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image source: Ritton, E. D., photographer. (ca. 1880) African American baseball team, Danbury, Connecticut. Connecticut Danbury, ca. 1880. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2008677253/.
May 2020 Newsletter Available
The May 2020 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.
If you have research, a story, a trip report, or a photograph that you'd like to share with your fellow members, please email email@example.com.
Do you shop on Amazon.com?
Did you know that the shopping you do on Amazon.com can benefit the Fairfax Genealogical Society? Amazon.com operates AmazonSmile that lets customers enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shopping features as on Amazon.com. The difference is that when customers shop on AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com
), the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the Fairfax Genealogical Society or another registered charity of your choice.
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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
05/31/2020 - 1:00 pm
Beyond Vital Records - Additional Sources to Trace Eastern European Ancestry
Webinar (ZOOM Meeting)
06/01/2020 - 7:00 pm
Family History Writing SIG
Online Meeting for Members of the SIG
06/08/2020 - 7:00 pm
FxGS Executive Board Meeting
Kilmer Middle School, 8100 Wolftrap Road, Vienna, VA 22027