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Discovering Your Immigrant’s Origins with Rich Venezia
Friday, September 22
Discovering Your Immigrant’s Origins with Rich Venezia  (FxGS Membership Meetings)
7:30 pm
Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Station Hall 2148 Gallows Road, Vienna, VA
 
Lecture Description: Pin down your elusive immigrant ancestor’s place of origin using a broad range of record sets, ideas, and techniques, and help contextualize their life in the United States.
 
Presenter: Rich Venezia is a New Jersey native who now calls Pittsburgh home. A member of the research team of Genealogy Roadshow (PBS), Rich specializes in 20th-century immigrant ancestry. His main focuses are Italian, Irish, Pittsburgh and New Jersey/New York research, and dual citizenship applications for Ireland and Italy. He is President of North Hills Genealogists.


Emerald Isle Express: Researching Irish Ancestors
Saturday, September 23
Emerald Isle Express: Researching Irish Ancestors  (FxGS Education Class/Meeting)
10:00 pm
Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Station Hall 2148 Gallows Road, Vienna, VA
 
Lecture Description: Discover the variety of Irish record sets available, where to find which records, and how to learn the stories of your Irish ancestors.
 
Presenter: Rich Venezia is a New Jersey native who now calls Pittsburgh home. A member of the research team of Genealogy Roadshow (PBS), Rich specializes in 20th-century immigrant ancestry. His main focuses are Italian, Irish, Pittsburgh and New Jersey/New York research, and dual citizenship applications for Ireland and Italy. He is President of North Hills Genealogists.



Friday, October 6
Rods, Links, and Poles: Historic Maps and Plats in the Court’s Historic Records  (Other Events)
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Loudoun Court Complex, 18 E. Market St. Leesburg Virginia
View the Historic Records staff and volunteers’ favorite maps and plats in the court’s historic 18th and 19th century deed and chancery records. The Loudoun County Office of Mapping and Geographic Information will exhibit 21st century mapping technology and how it can be used in historic research.


Looking for a Man Who Didn’t Want to be Found
Thursday, October 26
Looking for a Man Who Didn’t Want to be Found  (FxGS Membership Meetings)
7:30 pm
Kilmer Middle School Lecture Room G-107 8100 Wolftrap Road, Vienna, VA
 
Lecture Description: Sometimes a person intentionally wanted to “disappear.” One such person was Midwestern scofflaw and bigamist Robert Lee Chamberlain. After living in Chicago, stealing church funds and abandoning his family, he rattled around the Midwest, subsequently lived in the Pacific Northwest, married a few times (without the benefit of divorce), and eventually died in New Mexico. His desire for a pension related to his World War I era National Guard service eventually unraveled his life. This is his 20th century odyssey — he was not some long ago scofflaw, but a relatively modern one!
 
Presenter: Diane L. Richard is Principle of MosaicRPM. Specializes in NC and southern records. Member of GSG. Lectures on NC research, genealogy society initiatives, and research tools. Editor of UpFront with NGS and the NCGS Journal and a regular contributor to Internet Genealogy. She has done research for and appeared on WDYTYA?
 


2017 Fall Fair
Saturday, October 28
2017 Fall Fair  (FxGS Fall Fair)
9:30 am
Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Station Hall, 2148 Gallows Road, Vienna, VA
 
Lecture Descriptions:
1) Geography, Politics, Religion & More as Found in Post Office Records – Post offices aren’t just about mail! Post offices used to define communities and people used their location, in records, to define where they lived. Want to figure out where a small community was located, see if it had a post office!
 
2) Slaves + Insurance = Rich Records, – Once upon a time slaves were insured and used for collateral with banks. Though it’s hard for us to fathom the concept, detailed records were kept and through these records we can learn about specific slaves (by name) being insured by a certain individual on particular plantation and the monetary value of these “assets.” Invaluable information when seeking out hard-to-find ancestors or wanting to learn more about your slave-holding ancestor.
 
3) The Genealogical Gems Found in Manuscript & Archival Collection Holdings – So many manuscript collections and off-the beaten-path record collections, so many gems, so little time! Let’s take a visual journal through the many different types of records that you might find in a manuscript collection and what makes them a gem to a genealogical researcher.
 
Presenter: Diane L. Richard is Principle of MosaicRPM. Specializes in NC and southern records. Member of GSG. Lectures on NC research, genealogy society initiatives, and research tools. Editor of UpFront with NGS and the NCGS Journal and a regular contributor to Internet Genealogy. She has done research for and appeared on WDYTYA?



Your Ancestor in Black and White: Using Newspaper for Research 
Thursday, November 16
Your Ancestor in Black and White: Using Newspaper for Research   (FxGS Membership Meetings)
7:30 pm
Kilmer Middle School Lecture Room G-107 8100 Wolftrap Road, Vienna, VA
 
Lecture Description: Newspapers began in the United States over three hundred years ago. Over the years they have changes styles and content. But regardless of when they were published they often contain a great deal of genealogical information. All you need to know is how and where to fine the information.
 
Presenter: Charles S. “Chuck” Mason, Jr., is a Certified Genealogist SM, specializing in Southern New Jersey and 19th and 20th Century Death Records. He is a graduate of NGS’s American Genealogy: Home Study Course, (1994), a graduate of the National Institute for Genealogical Research (NIGR) at the National Archives (1996 & 2001), the Institute of Genealogy and History at Samford University (2010).
 
Chuck teaches genealogy classes for the Fairfax County Adult and Community Education (ACE) program and is an instructor for the NGS course Beyond the Basics. He lectures at many of the genealogical societies in the Washington DC area, NIGR, and in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania; has published genealogy articles in journals, magazines and newsletters; and is co-host of a public television genealogy program in Fairfax County.


Researching Your U.S. Army World War I Ancestors
Saturday, November 18
Researching Your U.S. Army World War I Ancestors  (FxGS Education Class/Meeting)
10:00 am
Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Station Hall 2148 Gallows Road, Vienna, VA
 
Lecture Description: Learn about the events in a U.S. Army WWI Soldier's Military life, and use archives, online resources and social networking to support your research into the soldier's service during the War. This class will show you how you can learn about the military service of your U.S. WWI Army ancestors using archives, online websites, social networking and other resources. You will discover what is available to put your soldier's service into historical and personal context. The class also suggests ways to share what you find with others.
 
Presenter: Dr. Margaret McMahon is the hockey-playing genealogist. Her PhD is in Computer Science and Engineering. Her experience is as a college and graduate school professor and flight test engineer. Dr. McMahon has been an invited speaker at genealogical societies in the Washington DC – Baltimore – Annapolis areas. She is rhw author of "A Week of Genealogy", "A Weekend of Genealogy" and "Researching Your U.S. WWI Army Ancestors".



Spotlight on Alexandria Library, Local History and Special Collections Branch
Thursday, January 25, 2018
Spotlight on Alexandria Library, Local History and Special Collections Branch  (FxGS Membership Meetings)
7:30 pm
Kilmer Middle School Lecture Room G-107 8100 Wolftrap Road, Vienna, VA
 
Snow Date: February 1
 
Lecture Description: Alexandria was established as a seaport town in 1749 when Virginia’s early purpose was tobacco cultivation. It was the seat of Fairfax County and later a part of the District of Columbia. The Alexandria Library provides the highest quality of professional library services to researchers whose interests range from casual inquiries into their family history to professional writers and doctoral candidates researching specialized topics in local history.
 
Though the collection is deep and rich with material related to Alexandria, the Commonwealth’s cities and counties, and the District of Columbia, the library holdings include items about selected Southern states and some things that might surprise you. So, before you make that “trip across the river” to the National Archives or the Library of Congress come see the Alexandria Library!
 
Presenter: Leslie Anderson, a native Virginian, is a Reference Librarian at Alexandria Library, Special Collections Branch. Her article, "Tabitha (Bugg) George Smith of Mecklenburg County, Virginia" won the National Genealogical Society's 2013 Family History Writing Contest. Ms. Anderson is the co-author of Alexandria and the editor of Virginia Slave Births Index, 1853-1865. She is a member of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, the National Genealogical Society, the Virginia Genealogical Society and several Pennsylvania societies. Ms. Anderson received her MS in Library Science from Case Western Reserve University and her BA in American Studies from Wesleyan University in Connecticut.


Private Lives, Public Records & The 'Free Negro' Dilemma in Virginia
Saturday, January 27, 2018
Private Lives, Public Records & The 'Free Negro' Dilemma in Virginia  (FxGS Education Class/Meeting)
10:00 am
 
Snow Date: February 3
 
Lecture Descriptions:
1) Private Lives, Public Records: Reconstructing A Civil War-Era Community – The research began with an Excel spreadsheet and evolved into a blog that will be launched later this year. The 1st US Colored Cavalry was formed at Fortress Monroe, Virginia. The 1,000-man regiment consisted of free men, freedmen, and contrabands from the US and Canada. This presentation demonstrates the use of pension records, lesser-known documents (available in print and online), maps, photographs, and GoogleEarth.
 
2) The 'Free Negro' Dilemma in Virginia: Under-utilized Records for Blacks and Whites – Description of the origins of the free black population in Virginia and its impact on Virginia law. Attendees will learn how to locate city and county documents created in response to legislation passed by state government, for example, Free Negro registers, petitions to be re-enslaved, special tax lists, and requisitions for military and public use.
 
Presenter: Leslie Anderson, a native Virginian, is a Reference Librarian at Alexandria Library, Special Collections Branch. Her article, "Tabitha (Bugg) George Smith of Mecklenburg County, Virginia" won the National Genealogical Society's 2013 Family History Writing Contest. Ms. Anderson is the co-author of Alexandria and the editor of Virginia Slave Births Index, 1853-1865. She is a member of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, the National Genealogical Society, the Virginia Genealogical Society and several Pennsylvania societies. Ms. Anderson received her MS in Library Science from Case Western Reserve University and her BA in American Studies from Wesleyan University in Connecticut.



Real-World Examples of the Frustrations of Endogamy
Thursday, February 22, 2018
Real-World Examples of the Frustrations of Endogamy  (FxGS Membership Meetings)
7:30 pm
Kilmer Middle School Lecture Room G-107 8100 Wolftrap Road, Vienna, VA
 
Snow Date: There is no Snow Date for this presentation
 
Lecture Description: Those whose ancestors married within the same community get many more DNA matches than the general population which are predicted to be much closer than they are, making utilizing DNA testing challenging. See why endogamy makes genetic genealogy more difficult with real-world examples of why false positives happen, plus learn methods to find cousins, even with endogamy. 
 
Presenter: Lara Diamond has been researching her family for 25 years and has traced all branches of her family multiple generations back in Europe using Russian and Austria-Hungarian Empire records. Most of her research is in modern-day Ukraine, plus some Belarus and Poland. She recently assumed leadership of JewishGen’s Subcarpathian SIG and also runs several town-focused projects. She blogs at http://larasgenealogy.blogspot.com 


Photography for Genealogy
Saturday, February 24, 2018
Photography for Genealogy  (FxGS Education Class/Meeting)
10:00 am
Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Station Hall 2148 Gallows Road, Vienna, VA
 
Snow Date: March 3
 
Lecture Description: This presentation will focus on using photography in conjunction with your genealogy research. Topics covered will include photo quality, photo apps for phones and tablets, and tips on taking good tombstone photos. We will discuss how to upload photos to FamilySearch Family Tree and Ancestry Family Tree. We will take a look at tips for photo organization on a computer and how to share digital files with family members and other researchers. The class is aimed at genealogists of all skill levels.
 
Presenter: Gary Petranek serves as a co-director of the Washington, D.C. Family History Center. He retired from IBM after 41 years as a technical specialist, and has an extensive background in computers and information technology. Gary provides technical support for the FamilySearch/Maryland Archive digitization project of Probate and Estate Records. He hosts the DC Metro RootsMagic Users Group in Montgomery County and is an avid photographer.



The Good, the bad, and the ugly truth about published family histories
Thursday, March 22, 2018
The Good, the bad, and the ugly truth about published family histories  (FxGS Membership Meetings)
7:30 pm
Kilmer Middle School Lecture Room G-107 8100 Wolftrap Road, Vienna, VA
 
Lecture Description: Just because it is published does not make it correct.  Many researchers cling to family histories as the honest truth on their family line. The discerning research will learn how to take those clues and then find the records they refer to. Learn how to vet the information contained in published family history books to make your research that much better.
 
Presenter: Shannon Combs-Bennett is an award-winning author and lecturer based out of Northern Virginia. She loves sharing her knowledge with other researchers on a variety of subjects from methodology to genetics. Shannon earned her PLCGS in December 2016 and is working towards her MSc in Genealogical, Heraldic and Paleographic Studies.


Create Genealogy Videos and Images with Adobe Spark & 10 Databases you need to know about
Saturday, March 24, 2018
Create Genealogy Videos and Images with Adobe Spark & 10 Databases you need to know about  (FxGS Education Class/Meeting)
10:00 am
Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Station Hall 2148 Gallows Road, Vienna, VA
 
Lecture Descriptions:
1) Create Genealogy Videos and Images for free with Adobe Spark – Do you have images you would like to share and annotate for your own use or maybe to share? If so you should know about this wonderful free web-based program that allows you to create high quality graphics and videos to share for free.
 
2) 10 Databases you need to know about – With the ease of access to a variety of Institutions researchers depend on computer research more and more. However, we sometimes get into a rut looking at the same places over and over again. Shannon will introduce you to 10 databases that are not frequently visited, but could really change the way you research.
 
Presenter: Shannon Combs-Bennett is an award-winning author and lecturer based out of Northern Virginia. She loves sharing her knowledge with other researchers on a variety of subjects from methodology to genetics. Shannon earned her PLCGS in December 2016 and is working towards her MSc in Genealogical, Heraldic and Paleographic Studies.
 



Friday, April 6, 2018 through Saturday, April 7, 2018
2018 FxGS Spring Conference  (FxGS Spring Conference)
SAVE THE DATE!
The 2018 Fairfax Genealogical Society Spring Conference will be held on April 6 and 7 at the Westin Tysons Corner.


Hitting Pay Dirt: Gold in the NARA Homestead and Land Case Files
Friday, April 27, 2018
Hitting Pay Dirt: Gold in the NARA Homestead and Land Case Files  (FxGS Membership Meetings)
7:30 pm
Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Station Hall 2148 Gallows Road, Vienna, VA
 
Lecture Description: The Bureau of Land Management distributed the land of the 30 Federal Land States and has posted online the patents, or certificates of final title, for most of them. The patents finalize the first transfer of public domain land from the federal government to private individuals, including women and former slaves. These patents, however, are only the final document in an often years long process, and a Case File should exist in the National Archives for each of them. Case Files often contain incredible information about your ancestors: military service, specifics about “improvements” they made to the land before receiving final title, and often family information or immigration proof. Even the thinnest Case File at least locates a person in time and place and may include signatures on receipts. Two million abandoned claims that were filed but never completed also have Case Files. We’ll discuss how to access both the indexed and unindexed Case Files at the National Archives. They have never been microfilmed. These records precede the deeds in county courthouses.
 
Presenter: Sharon MacInnes is the CEO of Ancestor Tracks (http://ancestortracks.com), a business which is dedicated to publishing online free, downloadable 19th-century maps of every county of Pennsylvania to be used with census records and published county histories.


Reclaim The Records: Using Freedom of Information Laws for Genealogical and Archival Research
Saturday, April 28, 2018
Reclaim The Records: Using Freedom of Information Laws for Genealogical and Archival Research  (FxGS Education Class/Meeting)
10:00 am
Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Station Hall 2148 Gallows Road, Vienna, VA
 
Lecture Description:
     Are you tired of being told by archives, libraries, and government agencies that the genealogical records you want are "unavailable" to the public, are only available behind a paywall, or are only available to view if you can visit them onsite or during limited hours? We were too, so we figured out how to do something about it.
     We're Reclaim The Records, a new not-for-profit activist group of more than 3200 genealogists, researchers, historians, and journalists. We use state Freedom of Information (FOI) laws to obtain copies of previously inaccessible archival record sets. We use these laws to force the government to hand over copies of genealogical records to the public, often for the first time ever. Then we then freely publish all the records we win online, as open data without any copyrights, paywalls, or usage restrictions.
     Our work has enabled the first-ever public access to more than ten million archival records (and counting!), ranging from marriage records to voter lists to civil service lists to state licensing files. We started with a first-of-its-kind lawsuit in the Supreme Court of New York in 2015, followed it up with a second successful case against the New York City Clerk’s Office in 2016, filed a third case in Missouri against their Department of Health and Senior Services, and are now spreading our legal work to other cities and states. We crowdsource ideas for new projects, publish a free e-mail newsletter, and make snarky comments about government agencies’ intransigence on social media.
     This presentation will walk through the history and legal basics of FOI laws, and will teach researchers how to file their own requests for any genealogical or archival records they may want to see returned to the public domain.
 
Presenter:
     Brooke Schreier Ganz is the founder and president of Reclaim The Records, and the first genealogist to successfully sue a government archive for the return of records to the public. A computer programmer, she is also the creator of LeafSeek, a free open source records management platform and multi-lingual search engine that won second place in the 2012 RootsTech Developer Challenge.
     Her work has helped non-profit organizations like the Israel Genealogical Research Association (IGRA) and Gesher Galicia publish over 1.2 million unique genealogical records online for free use. She is also a volunteer for ArchiveTeam, an online preservationist group that pre-emptively crawls at-risk websites to save copies of the data for the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.



Myths, Fairy Tales, and Stories Grandma Told
Friday, May 18, 2018
Myths, Fairy Tales, and Stories Grandma Told  (FxGS Membership Meetings)
7:30 pm
Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Station Hall 2148 Gallows Road, Vienna, VA
 
Lecture Description: Family stories usually contain at least some true facts. But what do you do when almost nothing is true? This program demonstrates how a 25-year brick wall was broken down.
 
Presenter: Charles S. “Chuck” Mason, Jr., is a Certified Genealogist SM, specializing in Southern New Jersey and 19th and 20th Century Death Records. He is a graduate of NGS’s American Genealogy: Home Study Course, (1994), a graduate of the National Institute for Genealogical Research (NIGR) at the National Archives (1996 & 2001), the Institute of Genealogy and History at Samford University (2010).
 
Chuck teaches genealogy classes for the Fairfax County Adult and Community Education (ACE) program and is an instructor for the NGS course Beyond the Basics. He lectures at many of the genealogical societies in the Washington DC area, NIGR, and in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania; has published genealogy articles in journals, magazines and newsletters; and is co-host of a public television genealogy program in Fairfax County.


Using Identity Characteristics to Locate Your Ancestors
Saturday, May 19, 2018
Using Identity Characteristics to Locate Your Ancestors  (FxGS Education Class/Meeting)
10:00 am
Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Station Hall 2148 Gallows Road, Vienna, VA
 
Lecture Description:
Sometimes you need to be able to identify an ancestor without his “name tag.” Characteristics such as occupation, birthplace, signature, age and family members can be helpful in locating individuals in records, as well as in distinguish individuals of the same name.
Comparing information found in one record to that of another record can help determine if they refer to the same individual. Many different characteristics of an individual can be used in this comparison. This technique can be especially useful to overcome indexing issues where you ancestor’s name may not be identifiable, or in situations where a name has been changed.
 
Presenter: Angela Packer McGhie, CG, is a professional genealogist, lecturer and instructor. She is a course coordinator and instructor at genealogy institutes, and speaker at national conferences. Angela enjoys serving as a facilitator for the Boston University Genealogical Research Certificate program, and a trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists Education Fund, and on the board of the ProGen Study Program.