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Archive for December, 2009

Family Tree Friday: Passport Applications Provide Information About Individuals

Did your ancestor travel abroad?  If your ancestor was a U.S. citizen, then he or she may have applied for a U.S. passport.  The records include standard information such as the date of birth, occupation, and citizenship information.  Some of the applications provide additional information that may lead to immigration or naturalization records.  Some even […]

Question: How should NARA use Twitter?

Cultural organizations sometimes get a bad rap for adopting “technology for technology’s sake.” This tends to happen when observers feel that the excitement and widespread appeal of a new product has eclipsed its actual usefulness within the scope of the organization’s existing mission and strategic plan. On the other hand, with the proper research, planning […]

NARA Staff Favorites- Online Records

We’ve loved reading your suggestions and comments about sharing NARA’s holdings on Flickr, and it’s been interesting to see which images people are marking as favorites. All of this got us wondering about which records NARA insiders are particularly fond of, so we asked a few of our experienced colleagues for their picks. This week’s […]

Family History Friday: The real scoop about name changes in immigration records.

Have you ever had an immigrant ancestor whose name appeared to change after they came to America?  It was a very common occurrence, but the popular perception is that U.S. immigration officials deliberately changed a person’s name if they couldn’t understand the verbal information relayed to them by the immigrant.  In fact, this is one […]

Question: What’s the biggest dead-end you ever hit in your research where you suddenly, unexpectedly found a way forward?

It happens to all of us.  You follow one lead after another, following a thread of information that seems to link your months, or even years, of research together.  Then, suddenly, the thread is gone.  What do you do then?  For many, this is a dead-end; all that time spent working on a topic has […]

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