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

Thursday, November 21
Church Records for Genealogical Research  (Training and Education)
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Hollin Hall room 201
Instructor:  Chuck Mason.
Note - This class was originally scheduled in Nov 2018 but was cancelled due to snow.  
Many of the early settlers of the American Colonies came to find religious freedom.  The church was an important part of our ancestors' lives.  In small communities it was often the center of their social lives.  The records kept vary from one denomination to another.  Even the denominations that kept very few records can play a very critical part in documenting our ancestors, especially in the time-period before vital records began.
To register, please send an email with your name, phone number, class subject, and date of class to Amy Breedlove at

Monday, December 2
Using Workshop  (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 use the website more effectively.  
Workshop is limited to 10 folks.  There are 6 computers in the room for folks to use.  If the workshop is full, at least 4 people will need to bring their own laptops.  I-Pads and phones don't work for this workshop.
To do anything on you need to have a free account.  If you don't already have one, please set up an account ahead of time and remember to bring the id and password with you to the workshop.
To register, please send an emaily with your name, phone number, workshop name and date to Amy Breedlove at

Monday, December 2
African American Genealogy Study Group  (Special Interest Group)
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Centreville Regional Library, Meeting Room 1&2

Instructor:  Steve Walker


Join fellow genealogists researching African American ancestors in this facilitated study group.  Share your brick wall challenges and research success stories.  We'll learn from each other.  Centreville & Virginia Room program.


Follow the Virginia Room genealogy program HERE.


Thursday, December 5
New England SIG: Early New England Research  (Special Interest Group)
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
McLean Family History Center
Moderator:  Linda MacLachlan
Webinar entitled "Top Ten Published Resources for Early New England Research."

MVGS Annual Christmas Party
Tuesday, December 17
MVGS Annual Christmas Party  (General Meeting)
12:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Hollin Hall Room 112
“An Olde Virginia Yuletide Celebration”
A Lunch of Traditional Virginia Fare Will Be Provided
Please Bring:
     Dessert To Share
     Canned Goods For Hollin Hall Food Donation
     Cash For Raffle Tickets - $1.00 Each or Six For $5.00

Monday, January 6, 2020
New England SIG: Early New England Research  (Special Interest Group)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Hollin Hall Room 214
Moderator:  Linda MacLachlan
Webinar entitled "Top Ten Published Resources for Early New England Research."

Alien Registration Files
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Alien Registration Files  (General Meeting)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Hollin Hall Room 112
Presenter: Carol Kostakos Petranek, Co-Director of the Washington, D.C. Family History Center
Discussion: The Alien Registration Act of 1940 was a WWII national security measure which directly impacted immigrants who planned to remain in the U.S. for 30 days or longer. This presentation will examine this often-overlooked resource which may be the key to finding an immigrant ancestor’s original surname and village of origin.
Carol 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. She 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.

State Archives: What They Are and How to Use Them.
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
State Archives: What They Are and How to Use Them.  (General Meeting)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Hollin Hall Room 112
Presenter: John Philip Colletta, Ph.D. 
Discussion: State archives hold vast collections of materials that document the lives and activities of the state’s residents. Each state’s archives is tied organizationally to the state library, and sometimes to historic sites and museums. These repositories hold population censuses, vital records, land transactions, public school, hospital and other institutional records, newspapers, manuscript and cartographic collections, cemetery information, military service and pension records, naturalization and other court records, and more. This lecture examines the Websites of select state archives from the North, West, East and South, displaying the wealth of genealogical and biographical resources they contain. It also explores the electronic and paper finding aids that help family historians access the treasures in state archives.

Dr. 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 forebears and write an account of their lives.

Strategies for Resolving Conflicting Evidence.
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Strategies for Resolving Conflicting Evidence.  (General Meeting)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Hollin Hall Room 112
Presenter: Angela Packer McGhie, CG®
Angela Packer McGhie is a professional researcher, lecturer and instructor. She is the coordinator for the Intermediate Genealogy course at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, and coordinator of the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. She served as the administrator of the ProGen Study Program from 2008-2014 and is now on the board of directors.
Angela is an instructor at the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records, the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, and the Virtual Institute on Genealogical Research. Angela has served on the Education Committee of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and is a past president of the National Capital Area Chapter of APG. She is a contributing author for the APG Quarterly and was honored with a certificate of appreciation from the Association of Professional Genealogists for her leadership and service. She lives in Maryland with her husband and three children.

Arriving in America
Tuesday, April 21, 2020
Arriving in America  (General Meeting)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Hollin Hall Room 112
Presenter: Sharon Hodges, Past President, MVGS
Discussion: Millions of immigrants have come to call America home. For some the process was easy. For others it was more difficult and more restrictive, but none more so than New York City. Knowing what it was like to arrive in New York City gives an understanding of arrivals in other cities and the process for admitting aliens. This session is the culmination of immigration to this country. Each port maintained some sort of private or government-run immigration station, but none was as rigorous as Ellis Island. The initial reason for the opening of reception centers such as Castle Garden, Ellis Island, or Angel Island in California, was to protect and aid new arrivals to this country. This presentation covers arriving in New York City, pre-1855, through the Barge Office, Castle Garden, and Ellis Island, as it was more difficult for an alien to be admitted in this city than anywhere else. A good overview of what the process was like for an alien coming to America.
Sharon has been a professional genealogist, author, and teacher for about 30 years, having lectured in New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. She is a past grader for the National Genealogical Society Home Study Course and a graduate of the National Institute for Genealogical Research. Sharon is a member of numerous local and national genealogical societies, past Secretary and Awards Chair of the Virginia Genealogical Society, and Past President of the Mount Vernon Genealogical Society.

Why Can’t I Find My Ancestor’s Vital Records?
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Why Can’t I Find My Ancestor’s Vital Records?  (General Meeting)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Hollin Hall Room 112
Presenter: Charles S. "Chuck" Mason, Jr., CG.
Discussion: Often beginning researchers encounter problems when they search for their ancestor’s vital records.  Sometimes even more advanced researchers have problems finding or understanding their ancestor’s vital records.  There are a number of reasons why researchers encounter these problems.  This lecture will address a number of misconceptions researchers have about vital record.  Often the main problem is a misunderstanding of vital records, how and why they were created, and where the records may be kept.
Charles S. “Chuck” Mason, Jr., CG SM is a Professional 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), is an instructor for the NGS course Beyond the Basics, 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), and has attended numerous NGS conferences, state and local conferences in the Washington, DC area and in New Jersey.  He was a certified by the Board for Certification of Genealogists from 1999 to 2019, at which time he decided not to renew his certification.
Chuck is a member of both the Fairfax and the Mt. Vernon Genealogical Societies, served in various positions on the board of both societies including President (MVGS 2000-2002 and FxGS 2008-2009).  He is a past President (2004-2006) of NIGR Alumni Association, and was a Director of the Northern Virginia Association for History (1999-2006).  Chuck is the host of Tracing Your Family Roots at Fairfax Cable Television Channel 10.  Rebroadcasts of the show can be viewed at their website at
Chuck teaches genealogy classes for the Fairfax County Adult and Community Education (ACE) program.  He lectures at many of the genealogical societies in the Washington DC area, NIGR, and in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  He has had articles published in National Genealogical Society’s magazine, the National Association of Retired Federal Employees, and a number of genealogical society newsletters.  In 2017 he received the National Genealogical Society’s President’s Award.  He received the Fairfax Genealogical Society’s President’s Award in 1996 and 2007.  In 2013 Chuck received the Lifetime Sustained Meritorious Service Award from the Mount Vernon Genealogical Society.