1500 Shenandoah Road
Alexandria, Virginia 22308
Telephone: (703) 768-4101
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
On 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 arist
ocratic 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!
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 and 2 of the MVGS history in the previous two editions; part 3 will be in the Sep/Oct 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 email@example.com 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 keep coming back 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
30 Sep - Tour and researching in the RELIC library
~~ 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
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
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
The 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.
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.
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.
Entering Information Onto The Family Tree On Familysearch.org
Instructor: Linda MacLachlan Purpose of the workshop is to learn how to post information onto family trees on the FamilySearch.org website. The class will be taught in room 214, the MVGS Research Center. The class is limited to 12 ...
Instructor: Charles S. Mason, Jr. State Censuses: What can they tell us? Every state except six took at least one state census. They can help track our ancestors between federal censuses. Those taken between 1880 and 1900 ...
Moderator: Bob Dunfield No SIG Meeting - Summer Break
What's So Special About Special Collections?
As genealogists, we hear a lot about Special Collections in libraries, but what do they contain? Leslie Anderson, MLS, a native Virginian, is a reference librarian at Alexandria Library, Special Collections Branch. Her publications include Alexandria and Virginia ...
Using Pinterest for Genealogy
Instructor: JonMarie Pearson “Using Pinterest for Genealogy.” People who are acquainted with Pinterest think of it as being a website for craft and home improvement ideas. Pinterest can actually be a boundless tool for genealogist. Discover the benefits ...