Mount Vernon Genealogical Society - Founded 1991
Founded 1991

1500 Shenandoah Road
Alexandria, Virginia 22308
Telephone:  (703) 768-4101
  Research Time

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

Hollin Hall Elevator

The Hollin Hall elevator will be replaced, tenatively scheduled for November 2016. You can read the Fairfax County letter regarding the replacement HERE .

2016 - MVGS is 25 Years Old

May 1991, 25 years ago, at the suggestion of Hollin Hall management and assisted by a retired High School teacher named Mr. Bernard Hensley, it was decided that he would lead a small group of Northern Virginia ancestry enthusiasts in a class entitled "Tracing Your Roots."  The catalyst for MVGS was formed.
To celebrate our anniversary year, your board is planning a year full of activities as listed below.  
JANUARY --  MVGS Lock-In - The anniversary year started with the January Lock-In, we gathered a group of ancestry enthusiasts into one area for six hours, presented them with nine different topical briefings, from which they selected three to attend.  We ended up with 78 registered individuals and a very successful endeavor.
MAY -- Your Ancestor is Memorable Because? - In March, MVGS members were asked to submit a personal statement regarding something outstanding about their ancestor using the prompt "My Ancestor is Forever Memorable Because _____."    During the weeks leading up to an 8 May deadline, members submitted their ancestor's noteworthy activity to  When the member arrived at the May meeting they were asked to write a one/two-word hint on a sticker placed on their back.  Other members saw the clue and attempted to guess.
MVGS 25th Birthday CakeOn 17 May Dr. Tom Jones presented “Can a Complex Research Problem Be Solved Solely Online?” Following his presentation pictures of our long time members were taken and everyone enjoy birthday cake.  While one and all were socializing and enjoying their cake, they were attempting to determine which members submitted an ancestor's accomplishment.  Those who did submit an ancestor’s unusual activity wore their “clue” to assist in the hunt.  An example of an activity could be "My 4th great grandfather explored with Lewis and Clark" and the clue could be “Sacagawea.” Everyone had a score sheet to keep track of their successful speculations.  It was amazing how many prominent citizens are related to our membership.
JULY --The plot thickens! The time is 1776 and the aristocratic Lee family of Virginia is in peril -- the victims of a Play/Pot LuckTory plot. To flush out the would-be assassin, the family invites you, their neighbors, to a dinner at Stratford Hall. Before they can even discover who is after them, they find the assassin dead in their midst. Flummoxed, they must now find out who killed the killer!
That was the tease that brought 35 MVGS members and guests to the Murder Mystery/PotLuck event on July 9th. The acting troupe Entrée Act gave us a rollicking look at a tongue-in-cheek (and cheeky) plot against the important patriot Lee family. The audience members, as neighbors of the Lee family were invited to attend a luncheon at Stratford Hall, were tasked with ferreting out the guilty party. Twists and turns and red herrings, however, completely stymied us.
Our lovely luncheon at “Stratford Hall,” however, left us most satisfied.
NEWSLETTERS --  History of MVGS Series - Starting with the May/June newsletter the lead article will be a historical trace of the events, and particularly the names of the pioneering individuals who kept this 1991 fledgling organization afloat.  This series will continue for several editions giving the perspectives of past presidents and how we have grown.  A gigantic thanks goes to Mr. Jack Schleight, past historian, for having recorded the Society’s history through the year 2000.
We have parts 1, 2 and 3 of the MVGS history in previous editions; part 4 will be in the Nov/Dec edition - stay tuned.
SEPTEMBER --  Writing Contest: "Believe it or Not" - The fall event of our anniversary year is a writing contest.  Members will submit stories of their ancestors to before the 5 September deadline.  A committee will evaluate all entries with winners announced at the 18 October general meeting.  Write an episode or event which brings your ancestor to life. Some possibilities are: a story of his or her survival (war, accident, fire, etc.), westward (or other) movement, a criminal or emotional/financial/locational devastation. Your entry should allow us to know your ancestor's character a bit better and should be interesting for a non-descendant to read. Include historical context and vivid description--engage your reader!  Further details under the "Events" tab.
Believe it or Not we received 15 entries in this contest.  STAY TUNED TO FIND OUT OUR WINNERS.
DECEMBER --  2016 Holiday Party - Last but not least will be our Holiday party on 20 December.  In addition to great food, we will have a photo matching contest where an ancestor's photo will be matched to a picture of a MVGS member.  We are still working on the details.
There you have it.  A yearlong party to celebrate our 25th anniversary.  Plan on participating, join in the fun and meet new friends.  Yes, there are more details about these events, so keep coming back to this web site, attend the monthly meetings, read the newsletters and watch for emails with specifics.

MVGS is 25 Years Old - We Ate Cake

Dr. Tom JonesThe 17th day of May 2016 found the MVGS group enjoying Dr. Tom Jones' presentation, “Can a Complex Research Problem Be Solved Solely Online?”   The audience (87 members and 6 visitors) enjoyed his research story about the electrician, Mr. Edison, his many aliases, homes and wives.  The lessons learned from tracing this ansestor were many and varied, as he kept not only the researcher guessing, but probably all the people associated with Mr. Edison when he was living.
Following his presentation we were fortunate to have members who were actually involved in the start of MVGS.  Before the cake was cut these long-time members gathered for pictures.Cut the Cake
Pictured on the right are Jack Shawn (1991), Ann Hanley (1992) and Ray Bailey (1994) long-time active members and past presidents preparing to cut the birthday cake.
Senior Members
All of our senior members pictured on the left include:
Front Row:  Jack Shawn, Richard Deighton, Ray Bailey and Ann Hanley
Back Row:  Roy Parker, Julia Carr and Clare Coulter
The Society thanks these and other long-time members who persevered over time to lead us to an organization full of energy and populated by very talented individuals.

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NARA Guides
NARA Guides
October 24
Mid West
Instructor: Jon Marie Pearson   How Your Ancestors Were Convinced To Go West
October 25
CLASS FILLED - How to Effectively Use the Internet for Genealogical Research
Instructor: Jim Fisher CLASS IS FILLED. The internet is a fabulous tool for researching your family history. But it is much more than, and other genealogy specific sites. You may be surprised what resources are actually available on ...
November 7
Instructor: Linda MacLachlan Purpose of the workshop is to learn how to use the website more effectively. The class will be taught in room 214, the MVGS Research Center. The class is limited to 12 folks. There are ...
November 14
Methodology SIG: Using the BLM Website as a Door to Further Records
Instructor: Sharon Cook MacInnes   If your ancestors homesteaded or purchased land from the federal government, you may be able to unearth (pun intended) much more personal informationl than you think. NOTE CHANGE OF TIME--WE'LL START AT NOON INSTEAD OF ...
November 15
Advanced Census Research
Census records are an essential resource for genealogists. This session will focus on going beyond basic census research and assist participants in effectively using the pre-1850 census records; discovering how the non-population schedules can enhance research; and locating and searching ...