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Tag: genealogy

Descendants of the signers to read the Declaration of Independence on July 4

Founding Fathers reenactors read the Declarations of Independence at NARA's July 4 celebration in 2011.

With Independence Day around the corner, we caught up with a few of this year’s speakers to get their thoughts on the Declaration of Independence, their connection to history, and celebrating at the National Archives.

Four descendants from the original signers will read the Declaration of Independence this year.

Three are members of the Society of the Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence and one is a member of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). While the Declaration of Independence holds special value for all Americans, the document holds a personal significance for the descendants of the signers.

“I feel a great sense of pride in this beautiful document,” said Laura Haines Belman, who is related to three of the Founding Fathers. “I’m happy to know it and to be reading it. There are certain phrases that have their own lives: ‘We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.’ As Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, when we gather three times a year in Philadelphia, the Declaration of Independence is read aloud at least twice a year. That phrase is something we all know—it just rings in the ears.”

Belman is descended from three signers: Samuel Chase of Maryland, William … [ Read all ]

The Crossroads of the Genealogy World

(Courtesy of NARA Staff)

Pennsylvania Avenue is synonymous with iconic destinations and extraordinary events. From the White House to the United States Capitol, the notable institutions that line the street have hosted many of America’s most momentous occasions. Last month, the National Archives Building at 700 Pennsylvania Avenue continued this tradition by holding its Eighth Annual Genealogy Fair.

The fair, which was free to the public, took place April 18-19 on Pennsylvania Plaza in front of the Archives. Throughout the two-day event, the National Archives showcased Federal records that can be used as resources for family history research. In addition, staff members and exhibitors provided information for both experienced genealogists and novices.

This year’s fair featured the addition of three large classroom tents for informational lectures. These sessions included workshops on records relating to immigration, land, naturalization, military, online resources, and more.

When visitors were not viewing exhibits and attending sessions, they were primarily discussing the recent release of the 1940 census in digital form. Many visitors revealed that they are now using social media and web tools to locate their relatives.

If you are interested in helping to index the 1940 census, join the online indexing project and start creating a name index for the 1940 census today. To start, find census maps and descriptions to locate an enumeration district. Then browse census … [ Read all ]

Social Media for Genealogists

Even if you can't attend our annual Genealogy Fair in Washington, DC, you can use social media to hear from subject matter experts at National Archives events

Are you thinking of starting to research your family tree? Or maybe you’re wondering how to use bounty land warrants to find your ancestors? Or do you’re confused on how to search immigration records? The National Archives has programs and resources for beginning and expert genealogists. And one way to use these resources, regardless of where you are in the world, is to use social media.

Follow us @archivesnews. When Hurricane Irene was coming, we tweeted out links on how to keep your personal records safe. Follow us for genealogy workshop announcements at our National Archives locations across the country or for updates on the 1940 census. If it is a genealogy announcement, we use #genealogy. And feel free to tweet your questions to @archivesnews!

The National Archives has 13 blogs to choose from, but genealogists will be especially interested in NARAtions. With NARA staff from across the nation contributing, this blog features posts on “Family Tree Friday” with all kinds of useful information for genealogists. We also like The Text Message–look over to the right-hand side of the page under “categories” and click on “genealogy” to bring up all the posts that might interest you.

Prologue magazine online[ Read all ]