Mount Vernon Genealogical Society - Founded 1991
Founded 1991

1500 Shenandoah Road
Alexandria, Virginia 22308
Telephone:  (703) 768-4101
  Maury Cralle Admires the Ft Belvoir Model
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Friday, March 31 through Saturday, April 1
Fairfax Genealogical Society Spring 2017 Conference  (Conference)
9:00 am
Westin Tysons Corner
The Fairfax Genealogical Society invites you to mark your calendar for its annual spring conference, “Finding Elusive Ancestors - Tools and Techniques for the Search.” This event will be held at the Westin Tysons Corner, 7801 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, Virginia.
 
For more information from their website click HERE.
 



Monday, April 3
Entering information onto Find-A-Grave  (Training and Education)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Room 214 Hollin Hall Senior Center
Instructor:  Linda MacLachlan
 
Purpose of the workshop is to learn how to add information onto the Find-A-Grave website. The workshop will be taught in room 214, the MVGS Research Center. It will be limited to 12 attendees. There are 7 PC’s in the room that people can use. The remaining 5 people will need to bring their own laptops.
 
In addition to registering for the workshop with MVGS, you will need to register ahead of time as a user on the Find-A-Grave website as well.
 
When you register, please indicate whether you will bring your own laptop/tablet or not.  To register, please send an email to Amy Breedlove at albreedlove@comcast.net.
 


Wednesday, April 5
MVGS Methodology SIG - Solving Research Problems and Dead Ends  (Special Interest Group)
1:30 pm to 3:30 pm
Hollin Hall Room 214
Instructor:  Chuck Mason
 
Do you have an ancestor who you cannot find, or conflicting evidence about an ancestor?  Learn how to gather and evaluate evidence to solve the problem.  Sessions will include hands on problem solving workshop and help to resolve one of each SIG member’s personal research problems.  This will be an ongoing topic between the January and April meetings.
 


Thursday, April 6
New England SIG: New England Historic Genealogical Society Study Projects  (Special Interest Group)
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
McLean Family History Center
Moderator:  Linda MacLachlan
 
A webinar on all 4 of NEHGS's study projects, two of which feature information on pre-1700 settlers, one on Western Massachusetts heads of households in 1790 and one pre-1742 Vermonters.
 
To register for this class please click HERE.
 


Monday, April 10
FxGS Methodology SIG: Your Personal Digital Library, Educational Opportunities, Newspaper Research  (Special Interest Group)
12:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Kings Park Library, 9000 Burke Lake Rd., Burke, VA
Presenter: Sharon Cook MacInnes
In this session, we'll explore how to create your own personal digital library, what the best educational opportunities are for you, and how to conduct newspaper research.
 
NOTE: Sharon MacInnes needs to "retire" from the Methodology SIG in June due to increased professional responsibilities. If you can volunteer to lead this SIG, please contact her at smacinnes@cox.net.


Monday, April 17
German SIG: "Subject TBD"  (Special Interest Group)
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Kings Park Library
Moderator: Robert Dunfield
 
Contact SIG Leader Robert Dunfield at missingbranch@hotmail.com for more information.
 


Exploring the FamilySearch Website
Tuesday, April 18
Exploring the FamilySearch Website  (General Meeting)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Hollin Hall Room 112

Presenter: Carol Petranek

 

Presentation DescriptionFamilySearch.org is the world's largest free family history website. It is the repository of millions of records, both U.S. and foreign countries. It also has a research wiki, a robust family tree, free online classes, and social media connections. This presentation will provide an update on all features of the website. You will learn specific steps to effective searching of its contents, including indexed, non-indexed, and microfilm. There will also be an overview of the collaborative FamilyTree. 

 

Carol Kostakos Petranek serves as a Co-Director of the Washington, D.C. Family History Center where she coordinates classes, conferences and community outreach projects. She is a Citizen Archivist at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. and volunteers as a Genealogy Aid in the Research Room. Carol is the Volunteer Coordinator for a FamilySearch/Maryland Archive digitization project of Probate and Estate Records. Carol is a Research Specialist  in Hellenic (Greek) Genealogy and supports this community through her participation in websites, conferences and lectures. Carol gives presentations on various genealogy topics, and writes and edits personal and family histories.  Carol and her husband, Gary, reside in Silver Spring, Maryland and are the parents of 4 children and 15 grandchildren.

 



Friday, April 21 through Saturday, April 22
Virginia Genealogical Society Spring 2017 Conference  (Conference)
8:30 am
Library of Virginia, 800 East Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia
VGS invites you to join their experienced researchers at the Library of Virginia, who will answer questions, provide individual assistance to beginners and offer strategies for difficult genealogical problems.

Then on Saturday you may spend the day at the Four Points by Sheraton-Richmond Airport with Shannon Combs-Bennett as she shares her knowledge of Genetic Genealogy, DNA and social media.

Full details may be found in the conference brochure HERE.
 


Monday, April 24
Midwest SIG - Topic TBD  (Special Interest Group)
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Hollin Hall Room 214
Moderator - Jon Marie Pearson
 
 


Monday, April 24
Organizing Genealogy Notebooks  (Training and Education)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Room 214 Hollin Hall Research Center
Instructor:  Jonmarie Pearson
 
Using binders to organize your genealogy research and keeping it all together is a great choice for those who don’t want to keep all their research online. Come learn one of the ways that you can use binders to keep your ancestry information all together. 
 
To register, please send an email to Amy Breedlove at albreedlove@comcast.net
 


Friday, April 28
Genealogy Roundtable  (Training and Education)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Room 214 Hollin Hall Senior Center
Instructor:  Sharon Hodges
 
[6 attendee limit] 
 
Topics of your choice.  Informal discussion group - learn from each other, trade tips, share your successes and brick walls.
 
To register, please send an email to Amy Breedlove at albreedlove@comcast.net.
 



Monday, May 1
Everything FTM  (Training and Education)
10:00 am to 12:00 am
Hollin Hall Room 217
Instructor: Charles Gearhart
 
This Family Tree Maker study group meeting will concentrate on the windows version.  Users may bring their laptops, and issues to a round table type meeting where we will discuss user questions, discoveries, lessons learned and some new stuff from fellow users.  The class will be basic enough for the beginner to get a fast start, and also connect a few dots for the experienced user.
 
We will investigate the new 2017 version, look at FTM/Ancestry interaction and continue to track the progress of software MacKiev in their continuance of the FTM product.
 
To register for this T&E session please click HERE.
 


Monday, May 1
New England SIG: New England Probate Records  (Special Interest Group)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Hollin Hall Room 214
Moderator:  Linda MacLachlan
 
A webinar discussing New England probate records.
 


Monday, May 8
FxGS Methodology: Social Security Records  (Special Interest Group)
12:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Kings Park Library, 9000 Burke Lake Rd., Burke, VA
Presenter: Sharon Hodges
 
Sharon will explain the Social Security Death Index and beyond. She'll talk about the Social Security Applications and Claims Index on Ancestry and illustrate what information was given by the applicant on his/her Social Security Application. She'll also describe what you might find if you order a copy of the original application using the SS-5 form.
 


Let Me Tell You About Your Genes
Tuesday, May 16
Let Me Tell You About Your Genes  (General Meeting)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Hollin Hall Room 112
Presenter: Shannon Combs-Bennett
 
Description:   The reason for taking a genetic genealogy (DNA) test will vary from person to person, but what most will have in common is confusion over what it all means.  In this two-hour presentation you will learn the basics of genetic genealogy and how you can use it as a tool in your research.  Shannon will cover the basics of each test, what the various companies offer you, the validity for ethnicity testing, as well as a few real-life examples of how to merge DNA and genealogy research.
 
Shannon Combs-Bennett is an award winning author, presenter and lecturer on topics ranging from methodology to DNA. She currently works as a staff genealogist at the National Society of Colonial Dames 17th Century in Washington D.C. Shannon has a BS in Biology with an emphasis in genetics from Indiana University. She also completed the Boston University certificate program, earned her PLCGS – American Records from The National Institute for Genealogical Studies, and is currently enrolled in the University of Strathclyde MSc program studying Genealogical, Heraldic, and Paleographic Studies.
 


Monday, May 22
Helping Connect with Cousins on ancestry.com  (Training and Education)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Room 217 Hollin Hall Senior Center
Instructor:  Jonmarie Pearson
 
Once you get your Ancestry.com DNA results you will suddenly be matched with tons of matches. Learn what you can do to learn more about how you’re related and how to connect with these new cousins. It is always fun to find new cousins, and who knows what else you might learn from those cousins! 
 
To register for this T&E session please click HERE.
 



Thursday, June 1
New England SIG: New England Probate Records  (Special Interest Group)
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
McLean Family History Center
Moderator:  Linda MacLachlan
 
A webinar discussing New England probate records.
 


Monday, June 5
Using FamilySearch.org  (Training and Education)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Room 214 Hollin Hall Senior Center
Instructor:  Linda MacLachlan
 
Purpose of the workshop is to learn how to use the FamilySearch.org website more effectively. The workshop will be taught in room 214, the MVGS Research Center. The class is limited to 12 attendees. There are 7 PC’s in the room that people can use. The remaining 5 people will need to bring their own laptops.
 
Please bring a copy of the handouts with you, or have them handy on your laptop to use.
 
To register for this workshop, please send an email to Amy Breedlove at albreedlove@comcast.net.
 


Monday, June 12
FxGS Methodology SIG: Comparing the Major Genealogy Software Programs  (Special Interest Group)
12:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Kings Park Library, 9000 Burke Lake Rd., Burke, VA
Presenter: Sharon Cook MacInnes

We've lost some major software programs such as The Master Genealogist recently. Now that Family Tree Maker has changed hands, some of the confusion over genealogy software has abated. We will compare the major genealogy software programs for how user-friendly they are, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and what the future holds.
 


FxGS Methodology SIG: Comparing the Major Genealogy Software Programs  (Special Interest Group)
12:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Kings Park Library, 9000 Burke Lake Rd., Burke, VA
Presenter: Sharon Cook MacInnes
We've lost some major software programs such as The Master Genealogist recently. Now that Family Tree Maker has changed hands, some of the confusion over genealogy software has abated. We will compare the major genealogy software programs for how user-friendly they are, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and what the future holds. 
NOTE: This is the last Methodology SIG class by Sharon MacInnes due to increased professional responsibilities. If you can volunteer to lead this SIG, please (please, please) contact her at smacinnes@cox.net.


Thursday, June 15
Getting Started in your Kentucky Research  (Training and Education)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Room 201 Hollin Hall Senior Center
Instructor:  Jonmarie Pearson
 
Have you suddenly learned that you have ancestors that lived in Kentucky? Come and learn about ways you can begin researching and finding information about your Kentucky ancestors.
 
To register, please send an email to Amy Breedlove at albreedlove@comcast.net
 


Tuesday, June 20
Sons of the American Revolution (SAR)  (General Meeting)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Hollin Hall Room 112
Presenters:  Paul Walden and Dave Thomas
 
Description:  Paul and Dave will discuss procedures for Joining SAR and explain the SAR Library.  Prospective members must prove that they are descended from a patriot who served in the American Revolution and supported the cause for American Independence.  Proven service can include not just military service, but also government service, signing an Oath of Allegiance, providing supplies, or even paying taxes during the time period 1775-83.   They will explain sources for this information as well as hints in proving the lineage.  Paul and Dave have a wealth of experience in having helped over 50 people join the SAR.
 
The SAR Genealogical Research Library, in Louisville, Kentucky, contains over 55,000 items including family histories; local, county, and state records; and on-line genealogical databases. The Special Collections Room features museum-quality pieces relating to the early history of the United States and the American Revolution.
 
Paul Walden is the past Registrar and current President of the George Washington Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), based in Alexandria. The George Washington Chapter is the largest chapter in Virginia. Their website is www.gwsar.org.  Paul has been researching his family’s history for the past 20 years and has been a member of the SAR for seven years. He has proven his lineage to nine (9) of his own ancestors who served in the Cause for Independence. He has a degree in Business Administration from Emory University and a Master of Science degree in Real Estate from Georgia State University. He has been in the Federal Civil Service for the past 28 years and is currently the Chief of the Property Management Division with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
 
Dave Thomas graduated from the University of Florida and moved to Alexandria in 1978. He began a career in information technology (IT) infrastructure support and corporate management that would span 37 years with General Electric, Martin Marietta, and recently retired as a Regional IT Manager for Lockheed Martin.  Dave and his wife Carole, currently live in Woodbridge, VA. He currently serves as the George Washington Chapter’s Secretary and Registrar and Virginia Society Registrar. He has approved 79 new member & supplemental applications to date.
 
Dave’s mother, aunt and cousin are members of the DAR in Pittsburgh, PA. Dave is a descendent of Revolutionary War patriots George Simmers and Robert Elliott. Patriot George Simmers served as a private in the Pennsylvania Lancaster County militia from August 1776 through 1777, was engaged with the fortification of Ft. Lee, and participated in the Battle of Trenton and Battle of Brandywine. Patriot Robert Elliott served as a private in the Pennsylvania Westmoreland County militia, and fought in one of the last engagements of the Revolution in July 1782 at Hannastown, PA. Both men survived the Revolutionary War, with Robert Elliott documented as a charter member of the first church on the west bank of the Allegheny River in 1796.