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Archive for December, 2009

Family History Friday: Expect the Unexpected

Everybody starts researching their family history with the expectation of finding out about their ancestors.  Researchers are usually looking for such information as the names of previously unknown ancestors or immigration and naturalization dates. Sometimes, however, they get more than they bargained for. Take, for example, this census record.  In 1870, Maggie Taylor and Jennie […]

Question: Do you have a favorite NARA photograph or document? Is it already available in our catalog or on our website?

One of the most requested photographs at the U.S. National Archives is an iconic photo of President Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley meeting at the White House in 1970. Recently, this photograph has become more available to the public on our online research catalog, ARC, as well as through our photostream on  Now anyone […]

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: Seamen’s protection certificates served as an early mariner’s passport.

Customs records at the National Archives often provide interesting glimpses of personal information about our seafaring ancestors.  The occupational hazards of the maritime trade after the Revolutionary War, especially the threat of Impressment by the British, caused many American sailors to purchase seamen’s protection certificates, such as the one pictured here that was issued to […]

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