Monday, July 25, 2016

Joint Fall Genealogy Conference VGS and MVGS

Joint fall conference presented by the Virginia Genealogical Society and Mount Vernon Genealogical Society. Join is Friday (free for all) September 30 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Prince William County Library's RELIC room in Manassas for strategy suggestions for difficult genealogical problems and to research at the library 

October 1st conference will offer two tracks:
Genealogy Basics and Digging Deeper in Local and Federal Records. Speakers are Chuck Mason and Sharon Hodges $44 for members , $55 for non-members, includes lunch. 

Conference will take place at the Hilton Garden Inn Woodbridge 2500 Neabsco Common Place Woodbridge, VA 22191

Conference Schedule 

9:00-9:45 a.m. Registration (Vendors Available) 
9:45-10:00 a.m. Opening Remarks 

Genealogy Basics (Track 1) 10:00-11:00 a.m. (S-11) Myths, Fairy Tales, and Stories Grandma Told – Chuck Mason – Family stories usually contain at least some true facts. But what do you do when almost nothing is true? This program demonstrates how the Genealogical Proof Standard was used to break down a 25-year brick wall. 

11:00-11:30 a.m. Break 

11:30-12:30 p.m. (S-12) Source Citations: They are not a One Eyed Monster – Chuck Mason – It is critical to Cite Your Sources as You Find Them! But for many genealogists, this is their worst nightmare. It does not have to be. With several guides available, citing sources is not the problem it was in the past. 

12:30-1:30 p.m. Lunch

1:30-2:30 p.m. (S-13) But My Family's Genealogy is All on the Internet! – Chuck Mason – There is a misconception that if the information is found on the Internet, that it must be fact. However, this is not true. It is a valuable source for clues, but all information must be verified. 

2:30-3:00 p.m. Break 

3:00-4:00 p.m. (S-14) Avoiding Mistakes – Sharon Hodges – The purpose of this beginning genealogy session is to provide those who are new to genealogy with good basic skills and information to help with your research. If you have been researching for a while, it will help with correcting any bad habits or help you realize what you haven’t been doing, but should. 

Digging Deeper in Local and Federal Records (Track 2) 

10:00-11:00 a.m. (S-21) Using Court Records - Sharon Hodges – Court and other legal documents may be searched by using court order books, marriage, and estate records, etc., but have you found everything? District Court records and loose papers are often overlooked, but may hold information that will help complete your genealogical research. 

11:00-11:30 a.m. Break 

11:30-12:30 p.m. (S-22) Historic Court Records – Fredericksburg – Sharon Hodges – Many courts were held in Fredericksburg since its founding. Until 1781 it served as the courthouse for Spotsylvania County and handled Spotsylvania District Court and various Superior Courts from 1789-1889. Learn about some of the more than 22,400 court records that have been extracted and indexed ready for you to search. 

12:30-1:30 p.m. Lunch 

1:30-2:30 p.m. (S-23) An Introduction to RELIC - Donald L. Wilson – Learn about Prince William County’s genealogy and local history collection (the Ruth E. Lloyd Information Center) and what services and special materials it offers. RELIC staff are trained to help researchers locate their families, regardless of where they lived. RELIC’s Digital Library provides online access to a growing collection of Prince William history sources. 

2:30-3:00 p.m. Break

3:00-4:00 p.m. (S-24) Depression Era Recovery Program, Genealogical Gold Mine: Records of the WPA – Chuck Mason – When Franklin Delano Roosevelt was inaugurated President on March 4, 1932, the country was in the throes of the worst economic depression in the history of the country. Roosevelt offered the country a “New Deal” with programs to get the workers back to work and the country financially sound once more. Many of the programs created to put citizens back to work and end the Great Depression created a Gold Mine for genealogists today

Friday, July 15, 2016

Jewish Genetic Genealogy Presentation July 25

Monday, July 25
Jewish Genetic Genealogy – A Study in Endogamy   (FxGS Education Class/Meeting)

7:00 pm

Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, 8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, VA
Sponsored by the Fairfax Genealogical Society and the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia.

Register Online: Go to the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia events page (, click on Register Online on the upper right corner of the events page. Then enter the key word genetic genealogy and press search.

Choose register online. New users must create an account to register for the event. Follow the instructions to create a new account by selecting “No, I am a new user.” When you get to the checkout, FxGS members should enter the promo code FXGS to obtain the discounted rate. 

Cost: $8/$5 members/$10 at the door

Presenter: Israel Pickholtz

Lecture Description: DNA results are especially complicated for Jews, who have largely "married within the tribe" for hundreds of years—a practice known as endogamy. This phenomenon, with variations, occurs in other populations including early American colonial. In this presentation, Israel Pickholtz will tackle this challenge head on. Since every family is different, rather than taking a "how-to" approach, he will demonstrate how he dealt with endogamy in his family and identify general lessons that apply to all DNA research. His goal is to inspire listeners and readers to say, "I can do this!" Following the talk, copies of his book, ENDOGAMY: One Family, One People, will be available for purchase and signing.

Israel is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-born genealogist who has been living in Israel since 1973. His personal research includes single-surname research in Galicia (formerly Austria, now Ukraine) as well as families from Slovakia, Poland, Belarus, Hungary and later in the US, UK and Israel. From there he developed skills relating to more general Jewish genealogy, including Holocaust research.

Israel has participated in grave translation projects, searches for missing relatives and Holocaust-era insurance claims, as well as traditional genealogy research using European, American and Israeli sources. His most frequent assignments from Israeli sources involve locating and photographing graves, locating living people, Mandatory Citizenship records, records for Galician residents in the 1920s and 1930s, inheritance matters and Holocaust research.

Registration Reminder for the July 25th genetic genealogy presentation.

While this presentation is focused on Jewish genetic genealogy, the practice of inter-family marriages is one that was not uncommon in many early American families and to an extent still occurs in many smaller rural communities. This presentation focus on the challenges faced in examining the genetic relationships of descendants from endogamous communities. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Flashback Thursday: 1790 US Census

The law that created the first United States Census was signed by  President George Washington, Vice President John Adams and Speaker of the House Frederick Muhlenberg on March 1, 1790. On August 2, 1790 all the households in the 13 states were supposed to be visited and the information recorded to create the record. Who was included on this census?
  • Free white males of 16 years and upward (to assess the country's industrial and military potential)
  • Free white males under16 years
  • Free white females
  • All other free persons
  • Slaves

It ended up taking more than 9 months to do the visits and record that information and in the meantime, Vermont had become a state so really it is a census of 14 states and some territories including what became the state of Tennessee

Information was gather in  Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
Not all the records have survived, North Carolina, New Jersey, Kentucky, Georgia, Virginia and Delaware were lost but some of them have been reconstructed using other records. 

Slightly less than four million people are included on that census. If your family goes back to that time period, where can you find these records. If you have a membership at they are available there. Family Search has an index to the records.

While this early census is not for everyone, it can be used in conjunction with some of the later ones to see where your family was living at the time and to develop a migration pattern.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Montanta State Genealogy Conference

Montana State Genealogical Society
September 22, 23, 24, 2016
Featuring Two National Speakers:
Judy Russell and Amy Johnson Crow
Full Registration is only $80.00 without meals,
$124.00 with 3 meals

Judy Russell will speak on Dowered or Bound Out: Records of Widows & Orphans, How Old Did He Have To Be...", What does THAT mean" Understanding the Language of the Law, DNA and the Golden Rule.

Amy Crow will speak about After Mustering Out: Researching Civil War Veterans, Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker: Using Occupational Records, Timelines: The Swiss Army Knife of Genealogical Research, and How Do I Know That's My Ancestor?