Mount Vernon Genealogical Society - Founded 1991
Founded 1991

1500 Shenandoah Road
Alexandria, Virginia 22308
Telephone:  (703) 768-4101
  Charles Belfield First American Ancestor

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 Tory 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! Unfortunately, the Lees are not much help to themselves. Arthur is an utter fop, more interested in fashions and young ladies than sleuthing. Henry is forever writing speeches for the Continental Congress. Elizabeth would normally have solved the entire problem herself but something is definitely amiss with the widow. Missy and her beau, Dr. Hall, are a bit too preoccupied with each other. That leaves Toby, Arthur’s manservant. But what is he to do? His every moment is spent attending to Arthur. It is up to the audience to help poor Toby solve this mystery and right the ship of the American Revolution, gone slightly astray in the straights of Stratford.
We expect this tongue-in-cheek murder mystery to be very popular and we can only accommodate 60 attendees, so please RSVP as early as you can. Sorry--no reservations taken without payment. Bring a check (made out to MVGS) or cash with you to our next general meeting on June 21, or mail it to Mount Vernon Genealogical Society, 1500 Shenandoah Road, Alexandria, VA 22308.
Who Should Attend? MVGS members, their guests, children over 10 and fellow local area ancestry enthusiasts.
When? Saturday, July 9, 12:30-3:00
Where? Hollin Hall Senior Center, Room 112
How Much? $23 per person to cover the acting troupe, plus one pot luck dish per family.
Questions to Sharon MacInnes.
Further information about the group may be found at .
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 will have part two of the MVGS history in the July/Aug newsletter, so 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.
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 stay tuned to this web site, attend the monthly meetings, read the newsletters and watch for emails with specifics.

Fall Conference 30 Sep - 1 Oct 2016

Genealogical Strategies: The Basics and More
The Virginia Genealogical Society (VGS), Mount Vernon Genealogical Society (MVGS) and the staff at the Ruth E. Lloyd Information Center (RELIC) for Genealogy and Local History, invite you on:
     30 Sep - Tour and researching in the RELIC library
          10:30 AM - 2:30 PM at RELIC, Bull Run Regional Library, 8051 Ashton Ave, Manassas, VA
~~ NOTE: Conference registration is not required to attend the library event~~
     1 Oct - Spend the day with Sharon Hodges, Chuck Mason and Don Wilson who will share their knowledge of basic genealogy.
          9:45 AM Opening Remarks
          10:00 AM - 4:00 PM Presentations
Myths, Fairy Tales and Stories Grandma Told
Using Court Records
Source Citations: They are not a One Eyed Monster
Historic Court Records - Fredericksburg
But My Family's Genealogy is All on the Internet
Avoiding Mistakes
An Introduction to RELIC
Depression Era Recovery Program, Genealogical Gold Mine:  Records of the WPA
Please view or print the Conference Brochure for more information.  Register HERE and click on "Register on EventBrite" or complete the conference brochure and mail to:  VGS Fall Conference, 1900 Burd Ave, STE 104, Richmond, VA 23230-3033
VGS/MVGS Member registration $44.00
Non-member $55.00
After 17 September please add $10.00
The conference hotel, Hilton Garden Inn Woodbridge is offering a special room rate of $119 for the conference.  Call (703) 490-2500 to make your reservation before 1 Sep 2016.  Be sure to ask for the "VGS Conference Rate."

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.

Dotted Divider Line
  NARA Guides
NARA Guides
July 6
Instructor:  Charles S. Mason, Jr.   Beyond the Census: Using Census Information   The answers given to the Federal Census questions can be used to locate other records of your ancestors.  With the census information, you will be able ...
July 9
Murder Mystery and Pot Luck
The plot thickens! The time is 1776 and the aristocratic Lee family of Virginia is in peril -- the victims of a Tory plot. To flush out the would be assassin, the family invites you, their neighbors, to a dinner ...
July 11
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 ...
July 18
Moderator:  Bob Dunfield   No SIG Meeting - Summer Break  
July 19
The Missing Connection – What You Need To Know About Adoption Searches Through The Generations
Adoption and Genealogy go together. It is a patchwork of people connected by a common thread. Are you an adoptee who was given up for adoption and searching for your birth family? Are you a birthparent who gave up a ...