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Genealogy Fair: Wednesday, April 11, 2007

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Buried Biography:
Bring 'Em Back to Life!

Learn about the genealogy records found only at the National Archives

2007 Genealogy Fair

Wednesday, April 11, 2007
National Archives Building, Research Center Lobby
This event is free and open to the public.

WHAT: The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) hosted its third annual Genealogy Fair on Wednesday, April 11, 2007. 

This year’s theme, Buried Biography:  Bring 'Em Back to Life! focused on Federal records located at the National Archives that relate to genealogy and cannot be researched online. 

To encourage family historians to come to Washington, DC and NARA's regional archives to further explore their family history, speakers demonstrated how discovering these sometimes obscure records can aid researchers who are writing family histories and biographies.

Session topics include records concerning: immigration, naturalization, weather as it effects families and communities, and black emigration. There were presentations on the published government documents and how to use the Serial Set; finding information about births and deaths in Federal records; and a case study about biography using records documenting the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Demonstrations and ongoing exhibits include Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services records; special media records; how to use a digital camera in research; NARA's beginning genealogy tutorial; preserving your important papers and photographs; and demonstrations of databases, the Archival Research Catalog (ARC), and the Access to Archival Databases (AAD).

See Genealogy Fair Program below for more details.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 11, 2007, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 

WHERE: National Archives Building, Research Center Lobby, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. between 7th and 9th Streets, Washington D.C.  Government-issued photo identification is required to enter the building. The closest Metro stop is the Archives/Navy Memorial stop on the Yellow and Green lines.  The National Archives is fully accessible. 

If you need to request an accommodation (e.g., sign language interpreter) for a public program please email or call 202 357-5000 at least 2 weeks prior to the event to ensure proper arrangements are secured.

WHO: Speakers include Marian Smith, Historian at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and NARA staff Kenneth Heger, Constance Potter, Jeffery Hartley, Claire Prechtel-Kluskens, Damani Davis, Patrick Connelly, Lynn Goodsell, Jill James, Daniel Law, and NARA volunteer Susannah Brooks.


Genealogy Fair Program

Featured Speakers

Susannah E. Brooks has been a volunteer genealogy aide at the National Archives (NARA) since 1998. She specializes in and lectures on 19th and 20th century U.S. research, German research, and the use of bank records in genealogy. She is the vice-president of the Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society.

Patrick Connelly has been an Archives Specialist with NARA’s Mid Atlantic Region since 2000. He develops educational programs that promote civic understanding through the use of primary documents. He resides with his wife and four children in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.

Damani Davis is an archivist at NARA’s Research Support Branch in Washington, DC. He graduated from Coppin State College in Baltimore, MD, and earned an M.A. in American/African-American history at the Ohio State University in Columbus. He is a native of Philadelphia, PA and currently lives in Baltimore.

Lynn Goodsell is an archives specialist with the Electronic and Special Media Records Services Division. She provides reference services for NARA's electronic records.

Jeffery Hartley is the Chief Librarian of the National Archives. He holds an M.A. in History and an M.L.S. from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Kenneth Heger (PhD) is the branch chief of the Archives I Research Support Staff at the National Archives Building, in Washington, DC. Previously, he was the projects manager for Modern Military Records at College Park, MD. Dr. Heger received his MA and PhD from the University of Maryland.

Jill James is an Archives Specialist with the Policy and Planning Staff at the National Archives in College Park, MD. She works on the Archives Research Catalog (ARC) staff. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a Master of Arts in U.S. History and a Master of Library Science in Archives.

Daniel Law is an archives specialist with the Electronic and Special Media Records Services Division. He provides reference services for NARA’s electronic records.

Constance Potter is an archivist in NARA’s Research Support Branch, Customer Services Division, Washington, DC. She specializes in Federal records of genealogical interest.

Claire Prechtel-Kluskens, NARA’s microfilm projects archivist, has conducted genealogical research since 1976. She has published extensively in genealogical periodicals and lectures frequently.

Marian Smith is the Senior Historian at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security. She regularly lectures at national and international genealogy conferences on the history and uses of immigration and naturalization records held in the National Archives, Washington, D.C.


Concurrent Lectures

9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

  • Introduction to Genealogy at the National Archives, Claire Prechtel-Kluskens, speaker (Room G-18)
  • Access to Archival Databases (AAD) – Using NARA Electronic Records on the Web for Your Family Tree, Lynn Goodsell and Daniel Law, speakers (Room G-24)
  • Buried Births: Finding Birth Information in Federal Records, Susannah Brooks, speaker (Room G-30)

10:30 a.m. – Raffle (Registration Area)

10:45 – 11:45 a.m.

  • The Archival Research Catalog (ARC): NARA’s Online Door to the Archives, Jill James, speaker (Room G-18)
  • Hidden Treasures in the National Archives’ Mid Atlantic Region (Philadelphia): Part 1, Patrick Connelly, speaker (Room G-24)
  • Using the Congressional Serial Set for Genealogical Research, Jeffery Hartley, speaker (Room G-30)

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. – Lunch on your own

2:45 – 1:45 p.m.

  • Hidden Treasures in the National Archives’ Mid Atlantic Region (Philadelphia): Part 2, Patrick Connelly, speaker (Room G-24)
  • Stormy Weather, Kenneth Heger and Constance Potter, speakers (Room G-30)

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

  • More than Microfilm: Immigration and Naturalization Records at the National Archives, Marian Smith, speaker (Room G-24)
  • Exodusters: The Origins of Black Migration, Damani Davis, speaker (Room G-30)

3:00 p.m. – Raffle (Registration Area)

3:15 – 4:15 p.m.

  • Events over Time: Using Immigration and Naturalization Records in Writing Biographies, Marian Smith, speaker (Room G-24)
  • Little House in the National Archives: Federal Records Relating to Laura Ingalls Wilder, Constance Potter, speaker (Room G-30)

Information Tables
(Research Center Lobby)

  • Access to Archival Databases (AAD)
  • Archival Research Catalog (ARC)
  • Footnote
  • Help, I’m Stuck: Getting Started
  • Handouts and Special Databases
  • NARA Library
  • Online Genealogy Tutorial
  • Preservation
  • Special Media
  • You and Your Digital Camera

NOTE: Please visit our registration desk and pick up your 15% discount coupon for our Archives Shop.


Genealogy Fairs & Series Past

Family TreeEvery year, the National Archives hosts a free, virtual Genealogy event live webcast on YouTube. The sessions offer family history research tools on Federal records for all skill levels. Join thousands of family historians participating during the live event. Attend free of charge and no reservation.

  - Watch previous session video recordings on YouTube

  - See past event web pages, posters, session videos, and handouts below. 


All events listed in the calendar are free unless noted.