Mount Vernon Genealogical Society - Founded 1991
Founded 1991

1500 Shenandoah Road
Alexandria, Virginia 22308
Telephone:  (703) 768-4101
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MVGS 2018 Writing Contest

MVGS is excited to sponsor our 3nd Genealogical Writing Contest to help support and encourage our members to write and share their family history.  All entries will be considered for publication in our newsletters.
Writing Topic Ideas: 
  • Family histories and genealogies of those who came to America.
  • Ancestors contribution to their community.
  • The uncovered truth about your ancestor.
  • Court case that changed your ancestor’s life.
  • Your Civil War ancestor.
  • An event that impacted your ancestor directly.
  • Have you found an ancestor that you can really connect with? 
Entries will be accepted now through 1 August 2018
Winners will be announced at our meeting on 16 October 2018.
For guidelines, grading criteria, how to submit your paper and further details go to the "Events" tab or click HERE.

Joint Program With Martha Washington Library

On Monday, September 17, the Mount Vernon Genealogical Society and Martha Washington Library will provide a joint program to the general public on the resources of the Virginia Room, City of Fairfax Regional Library.  This FREE program will be presented at 7-8:30 pm at the Martha Washington Library, 6614 Fort Hunt Road, Alexandria, VA 22307.  Laura Wickstead, Librarian of the Virginia Room, will discuss the numerous resources available for genealogists.
The Virginia Room maintains a collection rich in regional history and genealogy, as well as local and state government information and legal resources.  The staff collect the historical record of the people, associations, events and places of Fairfax County, Virginia.  In addition to these local history resources, researchers can use the Virginia Room’s print holdings and online databases to research genealogy from all 50 states.  Other resources available for use are: maps, an extensive photographic archive, manuscript collections, local newspapers, and rare books.

June Monthly MVGS Meeting

LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson's focus was on African American families who came out of slavery; however, she emphasized that the methodology and standards of evaluation are the same for every community. Also for these families, many of the relevant records are the same for families of Western European descent. Thus, in addition to providing what she believed is a useful review of the Genealogical Proof Standard, she hoped to enlighten the audience with information that is relevant to any genealogical research.

LaBrenda has been a Board-certified genealogist since 2015. She focuses on African American families with roots in the South. She was elected as a trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists in 2016 and is a frequent speaker at national and local venues. She earned a BA in government from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, and has both a law degree and a Master of Laws degree from New York University School of Law. 
MVGS members may click HERE to see a video of her presentation.

Library Catalog Now Online!

The Mount Vernon Genealogical Society library catalog has now been ported to the website as a fully functional interactive on-line application. The cataloging system software in the Research Center was no longer supported by the developer.
You now have access to all the information in our library holdings from anywhere you have internet connectivity. A number of features, not found in the index system previously online, are now available to members and the public. Searches by “Subject”, “Location” and “Media Type” can now be made on almost 2800 holdings in the library. Further searches can then be done on “Title”, “Author” and “Call Number”. Once the desired list of records is found they can be “printed” to a PDF document by clicking on the “PDF List” icon.  Additionally, each record can be viewed and printed by clicking on the “eye” icon. Clicking on the “Broom” icon will clear the information in the selection or search box. In addition to searching the database for individual records by "Call Number", "Title", and "Author", the entire database or any filtered selections can be sorted by "Call Number", "Title", or "Author" by clicking on the word at the top of each column.
Clicking on the “View Categories” icon provides another method of search for desired material. Categories of holdings can also be filtered by “Subject”, “Location”, and “Media Type”
The library catalog will always be current now because library accessions are available for viewing as soon as they are put into the online system. Previously the indexes were only updated periodically.
This additional Society benefit would never have been possible without the hard work of volunteers who planned and executed the library database conversion; thank you Jeanne Wilson, Anne Barber, and Gerry Ward.
You can find the library catalog HERE.

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NARA Guides
NARA Guides
August 20
Writing Family History SIG:
Instructor:  Paul Phelps   Participants will learn that writing family history is a different and equally challenging proposition, but one with satisfactions and discoveries of its own.  The idea is to get something on paper, even if it's just a ...
August 21
History of Ellis Island, with emphasis on the Medical Inspection of Immigrants.
Presenter:  Dr. Alan Kraut, University Professor of History, American University.   Dr. Kraut is University Professor of History and an affiliate faculty member of the School of International Service at American University. He is also a Non-resident Fellow of the Migration ...
September 10
Entering Information onto Find A Grave
Instructor:  Linda MacLachlan     Purpose of the workshop is to learn how to add information onto the Find-A-Grave website.  The class is limited to 12 people; 6 of those will need to bring a laptop, etc.   In addition to ...
September 10
New England SIG:
Moderator: Linda MacLachlan   A recent webinar on Searching Databases on  
September 17
Joint Program With Martha Washington Library on Virginia Room Resources
On Monday, September 17, the Mount Vernon Genealogical Society and Martha Washington Library will provide a joint program to the general public on the resources of the Virginia Room, City of Fairfax Regional Library.  This FREE program will be ...