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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 […]

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 […]

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 second […]

Follow-up to Our Question About Transcription

Yesterday we asked a question on the blog about transcribing NARA’s handwritten records. Thanks to those of you who commented for the ideas and examples! We love the idea of crowdsourcing and have been thinking about how we could make it work for NARA. Projects like the one that Craig mentioned at the Australian National […]

Family Tree Friday: How did your ancestors interact with the federal government?

Family research at the National Archives centers on the use of federal records.  To start the process, we always advise researchers to first consider how their ancestors may have come into contact with the federal government during the course of their daily lives.  If your great-grandparents purchased a homestead in Nebraska, they probably filed an application […]

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