Mount Vernon Genealogical Society - Founded 1991
Founded 1991

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

Research Center Volunteer Training

Are you a MVGS member, use at home, already a volunteer, or maybe love to do your research through our library?  Would you like to assist others with their research?  Then you could be a volunteer in the MVGS Research Center. 
Here is your opportunity…
Research Time
3 June 2016, Hollin Hall Room 214
10 AM until 12 PM. 
Save the date
Training class to discuss volunteer responsibilities - procedures on opening up the Center, turning on the computers, where to find a library source, what is new in RC procedures and much more. 
If interested click HERE

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 memberw 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 --  Pot Luck and Murder Mystery Play - A Murder Mystery titled “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Tories” will be held at Hollin Hall from 12:30 to 3:30PM on Saturday 9 July.  The cost is $23 per person, plus one pot luck dish to share.  A theater group will present a murder mystery in a theater-in-the-round environment to MVGS members and their guests.  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.

Dotted Divider Line
NARA Guides
NARA Guides
June 1
Instructor:  Charles S. Mason, Jr.   The Federal Census and Your Ancestor   Census Schedules are one of the types of records most often used by genealogists as they begin researching their ancestors. The Federal Population Censuses taken between ...
June 2
New England
Facilitator: Linda MacLachlan   Researching Your Connecticut Ancestors   Webinar by Marian Pierre-Louis of Fieldstone Historic Research. This webinar will be repeated for those individuals who did not have the occasion to attend the May meeting.  
June 3
Research Center Volunteer Training
Are you a MVGS member, use at home, already a volunteer, or maybe love to do your research through our library?  Would you like to assist others with their research?  Then you could be a volunteer in the ...
June 6
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 ...
June 13
FxGS Methodology
Presenter: Sharon Cook MacInnes   How Can We Get the Biggest Bang for Our Genealogical Bucks?   How do the big subscription database sites differ (Ancestry, FindMyPast, My Heritage, Fold3, NewspaperArchive, etc.)? What free sites are genealogical musts? Bring your experiences with ...