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Friends of the Virginia Room: Getting the Most out of Google
Sunday, October 22
Friends of the Virginia Room: Getting the Most out of Google  (Other Events)
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
City of Fairfax Regional Library, Conf. Rm. A/B, 10360 North Street, Fairfax, VA.
Dr. Margaret McMahon will present "Getting the Most out of Google," with a focus on genealogical and historical research. Dr. McMahon is an experienced genealogy presenter  on such topics as Google for Genealogy, Internet Searching, Online Databases (Immigration, U.S. Military, Cemetery) and more.


National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair
Wednesday, October 25
National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair  (Other Events)
10:00 am to 4:30 pm
Webinar
On Wednesday, October 25, the National Archives will host the fifth virtual Genealogy Fair via webcast. Viewers can participate with the presenters and other family historians during the live event on YouTube. All of the session videos and handouts will be available from this web page free of charge. You can watch the sessions and download the materials at your convenience. For more information, visit:  https://www.archives.gov/calendar/genealogy-fair


Looking for a Man Who Didn’t Want to be Found with Diane L. Richard
Thursday, October 26
Looking for a Man Who Didn’t Want to be Found with Diane L. Richard  (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?


The Last Road North: A Guide to the Gettsburg Campaign Presentation and Signing
Sunday, October 29
The Last Road North: A Guide to the Gettsburg Campaign Presentation and Signing  (Other Events)
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Thomas Balch Library, 208 W. Market Street, Leesburg, VA
The Last Road North, a tour book in the Emerging Civil War Series, follows routes of the Army of Northern Virginia and Army of the Potomac to Gettysburg and the subsequent Confederate retreat. While the route is connected using Civil War Trails network interpretive signs the book provides additional context for the campaign which represented the last foray of any Confederate army north of the Mason-Dixon line. Authors Rob Orrison and Dan Welch will speak about the Gettsburg Campaign, their new book, and be available to sign copies.



Genetic Genealogy SIG:
Wednesday, November 1
Genetic Genealogy SIG: "Understanding the DNA Behind the Test Reports" with Jim Logan  (FxGS SIG Events)
7:00 pm
Kilmer Middle School, H108, 8100 Wolftrap Road, Vienna, VA 22027
Are you interested in DNA as a tool to help trace and identify your ancestors? Come to the Genetic Genealogy Special Interest Group to discuss and see presentations on this exciting part of genealogy. Jim Logan will present "Understanding the DNA Behind the Test Reports." For more information, contact SIG leader Jim Logan at jjlnv@comcast.net for more information.


Fieldtrip to the Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex
Saturday, November 4
Fieldtrip to the Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex  (FxGS Field Trips)
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Alexandria National Cemetery, 1450 Wilkes St., Alexandria, VA 22314
The Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex in Alexandria encompasses 13 historic cemeteries, several of which were founded over 200 years ago. Among the cemeteries in the complex are Alexandria National Cemetery which pre-dates Arlington National Cemetery and is the resting place of over 3000 Union soldiers; Black Baptist Cemetery and Douglass Memorial Cemetery, both African American cemeteries founded in the 19th century; and Penny Hill Cemetery, a burial ground for indigents established in 1795 by the Alexandria Council. Additional information about all the cemeteries in the complex can be found at: www.alexandriava.gov/historic/info/default.aspx?id=51968#WilkesStreetCemeteryComplex
 
Members of the Fairfax County Cemetery Preservation Association, Inc. will conduct the tour of several of the cemeteries while talking about the history and the significance of the markers.
 
Contact Susan Zweighaft at fieldtrips@fxgs.org to be added to the attendee list. Please provide a telephone number in the event of last minute schedule changes. Carpooling is encouraged. Parking is not allowed on Wilkes Street in the cemetery area, but you may park on cross streets. We will meet at the flag poles inside Alexandria National Cemetery. Limit: 25.
 


Beginner's SIG
Monday, November 6
Beginner's SIG  (FxGS SIG Events)
10:30 am
City of Fairfax Regional Library, Room 214, 10360 North Street, Fairfax, VA
Want to learn the basics of genealogy? New to researching your ancestors? Come to the Beginner's Special Interest Group. Contact SIG Leader Chuck Mason at Mason at cgrs791@verizon.net for more information.


Family History Writing SIG
Monday, November 6
Family History Writing SIG  (FxGS SIG Events)
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library, 7584 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA
Please be sure to note the change of meeting location.
 
The members of the Family History Writers’ Special Interest Group would love to read and review your family narratives and help you to make them even better.
 
We are all at different levels of writing skills and experience, and we enjoy helping each other. Whether questions of grammar, comma usage, spelling variations or those fiendish footnotes, we welcome the opportunity to discuss and debate the issues.
 
Come to the meeting and see how historical context can be incorporated in family history narratives. See how two stories can be told at once, placing the protagonist in the center of the action, adding suspense, injecting drama, and using dialogue to move the story forward.
 
If you wish to be added to the members list and receive a copy of the draft manuscript by email, please send your name and email address to SIG co-leader Sean Furniss at Sean.Furniss@gmail.com.
 


Irish SIG:
Tuesday, November 14
Irish SIG:  (FxGS SIG Events)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Pohick Regional Library, 6450 Sydenstricker Rd, Burke, VA 22015
Standing meeting of the Irish Special Interest Group. Contact SIG Leader Paul McFarland at p7a2u4@verizon.net for more information.


Mid-Atlantic SIG: “Finding Mr. Sigman”
Wednesday, November 15
Mid-Atlantic SIG: “Finding Mr. Sigman”  (FxGS SIG Events)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
City of Fairfax Regional Library, Conf. Rm. A/B, 10360 North Street, Fairfax, VA.
Join the Mid-Atlantic Special Interest Group as Sue Roose presents "Finding Mr. Sigman." If you are interested in presenting at this meeting or additional information on the Mid-Atlantic Special Interest Group, contact SIG Leader Don Coram at coram_mirmirani@verizon.net for more information.


Your Ancestor in Black and White: Using Newspaper for Research with Chuck Mason
Friday, November 17
Your Ancestor in Black and White: Using Newspaper for Research with Chuck Mason  (FxGS Membership Meetings)
7:30 pm
Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Station Hall 2148 Gallows Road, Vienna, VA
 
Please be sure to note the changed meeting date and meeting location.
 
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 with Dr. Margaret McMahon
Saturday, November 18
Researching Your U.S. Army World War I Ancestors with Dr. Margaret McMahon  (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".


German SIG: The Impact of World War I on German Ancestors
Monday, November 20
German SIG: The Impact of World War I on German Ancestors  (FxGS SIG Events)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Pohick Regional Library, 6450 Sydenstricker Rd, Burke, VA 22015

This two-part presentation will include Bob Dunfield presenting, "WWI Effects on our German Ancestors in US & the Heimat" and Mark Lazroff presenting "My WWI Ancestor’s Service and where to look for Records."

Standing meeting of the German Special Interest Group. Contact SIG Leader Robert Dunfield at missingbranch@hotmail.com for more information.



Beginner's SIG
Monday, December 4
Beginner's SIG  (FxGS SIG Events)
10:30 am
City of Fairfax Regional Library, Room 214, 10360 North Street, Fairfax, VA
Want to learn the basics of genealogy? New to researching your ancestors? Come to the Beginner's Special Interest Group. Contact SIG Leader Chuck Mason at Mason at cgrs791@verizon.net for more information.


Family History Writing SIG
Monday, December 4
Family History Writing SIG  (FxGS SIG Events)
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library, 7584 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA
 
Please be sure to note the change of meeting location.
 
The members of the Family History Writers’ Special Interest Group would love to read and review your family narratives and help you to make them even better.
 
We are all at different levels of writing skills and experience, and we enjoy helping each other. Whether questions of grammar, comma usage, spelling variations or those fiendish footnotes, we welcome the opportunity to discuss and debate the issues.
 
Come to the meeting and see how historical context can be incorporated in family history narratives. See how two stories can be told at once, placing the protagonist in the center of the action, adding suspense, injecting drama, and using dialogue to move the story forward.
 
If you wish to be added to the members list and receive a copy of the draft manuscript by email, please send your name and email address to SIG co-leader Sean Furniss at Sean.Furniss@gmail.com.
 


Genetic Genealogy SIG
Wednesday, December 6
Genetic Genealogy SIG  (FxGS SIG Events)
7:00 pm
Kilmer Middle School, G101, 8100 Wolftrap Road, Vienna, VA 22027
Are you interested in DNA as a tool to help trace and identify your ancestors? Come to the Genetic Genealogy Special Interest Group to discuss and see presentations on this exciting part of genealogy. For more information, contact SIG leader Jim Logan at jjlnv@comcast.net for more information.
 


Irish SIG:
Tuesday, December 12
Irish SIG:  (FxGS SIG Events)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Pohick Regional Library, 6450 Sydenstricker Rd, Burke, VA 22015
Standing meeting of the Irish Special Interest Group. Contact SIG Leader Paul McFarland at p7a2u4@verizon.net for more information.


German SIG: The Inner Working of Emmigration: Transporation and Economics in Germanic Europe
Monday, December 18
German SIG: The Inner Working of Emmigration: Transporation and Economics in Germanic Europe  (FxGS SIG Events)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Pohick Regional Library, 6450 Sydenstricker Rd, Burke, VA 22015

Bob Dunfield will discuss how our ancestors got to port in regards to transportation changes in Germanic Europe; Why these ports; and Economic Drivers to Leave.

This is a standing meeting of the German Special Interest Group. Contact SIG Leader Robert Dunfield at missingbranch@hotmail.com for more information.



Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Family History Writing SIG  (FxGS SIG Events)
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library, 7584 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA
 
The members of the Family History Writers’ Special Interest Group would love to read and review your family narratives and help you to make them even better.
 
We are all at different levels of writing skills and experience, and we enjoy helping each other. Whether questions of grammar, comma usage, spelling variations or those fiendish footnotes, we welcome the opportunity to discuss and debate the issues.
 
Come to the meeting and see how historical context can be incorporated in family history narratives. See how two stories can be told at once, placing the protagonist in the center of the action, adding suspense, injecting drama, and using dialogue to move the story forward.
 
If you wish to be added to the members list and receive a copy of the draft manuscript by email, please send your name and email address to SIG co-leader Sean Furniss at Sean.Furniss@gmail.com.
 


Spotlight on Alexandria Library, Local History and Special Collections Branch with Leslie Anderson
Thursday, January 25, 2018
Spotlight on Alexandria Library, Local History and Special Collections Branch with Leslie Anderson  (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 with Leslie Anderson
Saturday, January 27, 2018
Private Lives, Public Records & The 'Free Negro' Dilemma in Virginia with Leslie Anderson  (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 with Lara Diamond
Thursday, February 22, 2018
Real-World Examples of the Frustrations of Endogamy with Lara Diamond  (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 with Gary Petranek
Saturday, February 24, 2018
Photography for Genealogy with Gary Petranek  (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 with Shannon Combs-Bennett
Friday, March 23, 2018
The Good, the bad, and the ugly truth about published family histories with Shannon Combs-Bennett  (FxGS Membership Meetings)
7:30 pm
Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Station Hall 2148 Gallows Road, Vienna, VA
 
Please be sure to note the change of meeting date and meeting location.
 
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
Saturday, March 24, 2018
Create Genealogy Videos and Images with Adobe Spark & 10 Databases you need to know  (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!


Hitting Pay Dirt: Gold in the NARA Homestead and Land Case Files with Sharon MacInnes
Friday, April 27, 2018
Hitting Pay Dirt: Gold in the NARA Homestead and Land Case Files with Sharon MacInnes  (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 with Chuck Mason
Friday, May 18, 2018
Myths, Fairy Tales, and Stories Grandma Told with Chuck Mason  (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 with Angela Packer McGhie, CG
Saturday, May 19, 2018
Using Identity Characteristics to Locate Your Ancestors with Angela Packer McGhie, CG  (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.