Mount Vernon Genealogical Society - Founded 1991
Founded 1991

1500 Shenandoah Road
Alexandria, Virginia 22308

Special Interest Groups (SIG)

Virginia SIG
The purpose of the Virginia SIG is to bring together folks interested in Virginia, to learn about her genealogy related topics and resources; to share knowledge with each other; to help each other with brick walls, technology challenges; and whatever else folks want to address/do. 
Meetings are planned for the 4th Mondays of each month, from 1-2pm in the Research Library, room 214 at HHSC.  However, we'll have the room until about 3:30 if we decide we need more time. 
Meetings will likely be in-person or on zoom, depending on what works best at the time.  There will be informal presentations and discussions to help us learn about a topic or repository; folks sharing our successes and problems; computer time when needed; and anything else that helps us with our research in Virginia.
A few of the potential topics that have been mentioned so far are:
  • Background on the history of Virginia, county formation, settlement patterns, etc. What brought folks to Virginia in early 1900s?   What roads were there in 1910?
  • What areas of West Virginia and Kentucky may still have records here in Virginia? Is there somewhere to find info on who moved away, and when, and with whom?
  • All about the repositories in Virginia, their resources, availability, etc.
    Maybe do by geographic areas, e.g., Fredericksburg/Central Virginia; Northern Neck; Middle Peninsula, e.g., Gloucester, Williamsburg, Jamestown; Southeast Virginia; Southwest Virginia, etc.
  • What kinds of valuable info do folks find in various types of records/repositories?
  • Learn about using Virginia church records, road orders, land records, chancery records, David Rumsey maps, and more.
  • Look at different groups of folks in Virginia , e.g, Native Americans, Huguenots, African Americans, Germans, Scots-Irish; early Quakers, etc. 
  • Get help on navigating the Library of Virginia website.
  • Genealogy resources available on social media,

Field Trip/Road Trip SIG
The Field Trip/Road Trip SIG meets the Fourth Friday quarterly. Occasionally, the SIG meets on the Saturday following the Fourth Friday. The FT/RT SIG meets in January, April, July, and October.  
Prior outings have included the Daughters of the American Revolution Library, the Library of Congress, and a walking tour Old Town Alexandria with the Manumission Tour Company. Future outings will include the Maryland Archives, the Library of Virginia, and the National Archives. 
The start and finish times of the outings or tours, as well as any cost for tickets, usually depends on the number of people attending. Transportation to and from the outings or tours ranges from Metro to carpool to individual vehicles. If you are interested in joining us for a future Field Trip or Road Trip, contact Stephanie Campbell at

New England SIG
The special interest group for colonial New England genealogy will no longer meet regularly at the Mt. Vernon Genealogical Society Research Library and the McLean Family History Center. Instead, if there’s something you want to discuss on colonial New England, contact Linda MacLachlan at to make an appointment, or just come to one of the Centers below while she is staffing it:
  • McLean Family History Center, 2034 Great Falls Street in Falls Church, VA, any Friday between 9:30 am and 1 pm.  
  • MVGS Research Library, 1500 Shenandoah Avenue in Alexandria, VA, on the 2nd or 3rd Wednesday of any month between 10 am and 2 pm.

Writing Family History SIG
This group is intended for genealogists who may have done a lot of research but have written little or nothing.  Participants will learn that writing family history is a different and equally challenging proposition, but one with satisfactions and discoveries of its own.  The idea is to get something on paper, even if it's just a paragraph or a page, and then have other beginning writers suggest ways to make it clearer and more interesting.  The emphasis will be on storytelling rather than scholarship, but we’ll also include questions of evidence and documentation.   Paul Phelps will instruct and may be contacted at pbphelps1@verizon.netPlease Note:  This SIG is on hiatus beginning Nov 1, 2022 for approx 6 months.

African American Special Interest Group (AA-SIG)
The African-American SIG has been formed to explore the rich history of our ancestors and their experiences.  A combination of learning tools (group discussions, computer searches, lectures, presentations, case studies, site visits, etc.) will assist the genealogist in uncovering clues that help tell and document their stories.  Generations to come will appreciate and enjoy the care that went into preserving this bit of history.
Meetings are normally scheduled on the second Tuesday of the month from 1:00-3:00 pm.  When re-opened and available, meetings will be held in the MVGS Research Library, Hollin Hall Senior Center.  Meanwhile, be sure to register for a Zoom invite by sending an email to

Computer Technology and Applications SIG 
This SIG is instructor-led by Larry Dempsey and Emily Cole. Guided by questions and interaction from the participants, the goal is to discuss and demonstrate how one can use computers to make genealogical research less complicated.  Meetings will cover topics such as computer settings, features of genealogical programs/applications and genealogical websites.  Attendees should have a basic understanding of the applications and computers they use. To ensure we address your questions, participants are urged to send their inquiries to the email address COMPUTERSIG@OUTLOOK.COM at least two days before a SIG meeting.  Attendees can bring their own laptops. (Computer systems are limited to Windows 10 and 11 as well as IOS 15.)   

Initially, the SIG will meet on the 4th Wednesday in the months of January through June and October between 2 PM and 3:30PM in the MVGS Research Library.