Mount Vernon Genealogical Society - Founded 1991
Founded 1991

1500 Shenandoah Road
Alexandria, Virginia 22308
Telephone:  (703) 768-4101
  Pat Trader and Cynthia Dailey Enjoy the Outer Banks Declaration
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Records: 1 to 11 of 11

Monday, July 3
Using  (Training and Education)
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Hollin Hall Room 214

Only a Few Bones: Case Studies in Assembling Sources to Reconstruct Real-Life Events
Tuesday, July 18
Only a Few Bones: Case Studies in Assembling Sources to Reconstruct Real-Life Events  (General Meeting)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Hollin Hall Room 112
Presenter:  John Philip Colletta, Ph.D.
Description:  The biographical facts we discover about our ancestors did not happen in a vacuum. Our ancestors were born, lived and died in specific physical circumstances at specific moments in time. To reconstruct their lives, therefore, the facts we discover about them must be “situated” in the proper historical context. Three 19th-century case studies drawn from "Only a Few Bones, a True Account of the Rolling Fork Tragedy and Its Aftermath" demonstrate how to use multiple sources to assemble vivid accounts of ancestral events and generate biographies that portray individualized ancestors.
Dr. John Coletta teaches diverse audiences nationwide how to reconstruct their family’s past from scraps of information found in old written records, maps, newspapers, photographs, tombstones and heirlooms. The detective work is challenging and fun. But creating a family tree is only half the goal. The other half is learning about your ancestors as men and women with personalities, character traits, motives and aspirations, joys and disappointments, just like you. His illustrated presentations use engaging case studies and real-life examples, and lots of humor, to show how to explore the world of your forebearers and write an account of their lives.

Thursday, July 20
Our Ancestors Didn't Live Alone  (Training and Education)
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Hollin Hall Room 214
Instructor:  Chuck Mason
Our ancestors did not go through life alone. They had family, neighbors, and other acquaintances. We must examine all our ancestor’s immediate family, collateral family, and associates to understand our ancestors and their lives.  For instance, the information needed to answer our research question may not have been required when our direct ancestor's record was created, but another family member’s record may have contained the answer.   Different answers may have been given in different records to the same question. Looking at various family members’ records may resolve conflicts or confusion created by differing answers.  This class will offer ways to look at various family member’s records.
To register, please send an email to Amy Breedlove at

Monday, August 7
Entering information onto the Family Tree on  (Training and Education)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Hollin Hall Room 214
Instructor:  Linda MacLachlan
Purpose of the workshop is to learn how to post information onto family trees on the website.  The workshop will be held 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 create your own account on BEFORE you come to class.  The website will email your password and account info to your home email.
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

Thursday, August 10
PICASA - An Electronic Image Organizer and Viewer  (Training and Education)
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Hollin Hall Room 217
Instructor: Charles Gearhart
Picasa was a free image organizer and viewer for organzing and editing digital photos, plus an integrated photo sharing website.  On February 12, 2016, Google announced it was discontinuing support for Picasa Desktop and Web Albums, effective March 15, 2016, and focusing on the cloud-based Google Photos as its successor.  Picasa Web Albums, a companion service, was closed on May 1, 2016.  Even though not supported, this program provides many great media enhancing features.
Picasa has file importing and tracking features, as well as tags, facial recognition, and collections for further sorting.  It also offers several basic photo editing functions, including color enhancement red eye reduction, and cropping.  This training session will discuss the capabilities of Picasa and the latest addtiion of Google Photos.
To register for this T&E session, please send an email to Amy Breedlove at

Finding Pre-and Post-Civil War Virginia Records, Including Plantation Records
Tuesday, August 15
Finding Pre-and Post-Civil War Virginia Records, Including Plantation Records  (General Meeting)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Hollin Hall Room 112
Presenter: Char McCargo Bah
Description:  This lecture will present a variety of records that can be used in searching for your ancestors.  These records will include pre and post-civil war records for free and enslaved people.  A sample copy of each record group will show the genealogical value to uncovering more information about your ancestors.  For each record group, a description of where to find the record will be discussed.  
Char McCargo Bah is the CEO/Owner of FindingThingsforU, LLC.  She has been a genealogist since 1981; she has appeared in numerous television interviews with CBS, FOX-5, Comcast, Public Broadcasting Services just to name a few and documentaries. She has received numerous awards in 2014, 2013, 2010, and in 2009 for her work in genealogy.  She was the City of Alexandria’s genealogist on the Alexandria Freedmen and Contraband Cemetery. She became a “Living Legend of Alexandria in 2014.” She is co-author of “African Americans of Alexandria, VA: Beacons of Light in the Twentieth Century.” Char has over 39 articles for the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS) in a column called “Char’s Corner”.  She is currently working on her second book which will be available in 2018; and, she has just completed a PBS documentary on the first African American NBA player as well as working with PBS on other projects.  The documentary is scheduled to air in late Fall 2017 or early 2018.  The title “The First to Make It.”

Thursday, August 17
Finding and Using Unusual Records  (Training and Education)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Room 201 Hollin Hall Senior Center
Instructor:  Sharon Hodges
This class will address locating and using records such as insurance records, various licenses and their applications, etc. in your genealogy research.
To register, please send an email to Amy Breedlove at

Wednesday, September 6
Using Fold3 in your Genealogy Research  (Training and Education)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Hollin Hall Room 218
Instructor:  Sharon MacInnes
Fold3 provides convenient access to US military records, including the stories, photos, and personal documents of the men and women who served.  Additional types of records on Fold3 are:  Naturalization Records, Interactive Census (1860 & 1930), City Directories, Native American Records, Historical Photos; and Homestead Records. 
To register for this class, please send an email to Amy Breedlove at

Monday, September 11
Everything FTM  (Training and Education)
10:00 am to 12:00 am
Hollin Hall Room 214
Moderator: 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 also track the progress of software MacKiev in their continuance of the FTM product.
To register for this T&E session please click HERE.

A Christmas Flight: Aviation Pioneer, Dr. William Christmas.
Tuesday, September 19
A Christmas Flight: Aviation Pioneer, Dr. William Christmas.  (General Meeting)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Hollin Hall Room 112
Presenter: Mary Lipsey
Description:  Mary wrote "A Christmas Flight: Aviation Pioneer Dr. William Christmas" a story that chronicles her research of Dr. William Wallace Whitney Christmas, who was born in North Carolina in 1865.   Dr. Christmas became the third American to build and fly an airplane, when he flew in secret in 1908 in Fairfax Station, VA . His invention ailerons is used on over 90% of airplanes today.  Later, he built and flew planes at College Park, Maryland and then moved on to Mineola NY.  She will talk about her research and writing the book, which I think will be tremendously interesting. Mary drew heavily from newspapers and other primary sources and found out that Dr. Christmas was kind of an “oddball.” Those are lessons in genealogy our members will appreciate.  She will also have copies of her book for sale.  
Mary Lipsey spent 29 years teaching seventh-grade American History at Lake Braddock Secondary School.  She has been a volunteer docent for the National Museum of American History since 1980 and for the National Archives since 2004.  In addition to writing A Christmas Flight, she is the co-author of Braddock’s True Gold: 20th-Century Life in the Heart of Fairfax County.  She serves on the Fairfax County History Commission and is past president of the Fairfax County Cemetery Preservation Association, Inc., which works to preserve and protect family cemeteries in Fairfax County.

Thursday, September 21
Locating and Using Guardianship Records  (Training and Education)
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Room 201 Hollin Hall Senior Center
Instructor:  Chuck Mason

In the male dominated world of the 19th century, a widow had to be appointed the guardian of her own children by the court.  Children were often left inheritances by their grandparents or other relatives.  In some states, parents were prohibited access to their children’s legacies and a guardian was appointed.  The laws governing guardianships vary from state to state and time-period to time-period.  The records documenting guardianships vary as well.  Guardianship records may contain a wealth of genealogical information and lead to other records.  This class will address how to locate and use these records.


To register, please send an email to Amy Breedlove at