I conduct family history searches and retrieve documents from repositories in the Washington DC area, including the DAR Library, the Library of Congress, the National Archives, and the Maryland State Archives.
The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Library
In the DAR library are more than 15,000 Genealogical Records Committee (GRC) reports compiled by DAR members, including bible records, cemetery transcriptions, vital records, personal family histories and extensive town and church records unavailable anywhere else. These records, along with thousands of typescripts, biographies, reference books, rare antique books, and limited edition genealogies, are shelved in the library’s vast reading room.
The Special Collection, also available to the public, includes unpublished family histories, historic newspaper and magazine articles, ephemera, rare manuscripts, and a vast array of notes and reports donated by professional genealogists. These materials are being indexed and added to the library’s online catalog on a daily basis.
The Library of Congress (LoC)
The LoC has more than 50,000 genealogies and 100,000 local histories, as well as a large collection of material on royalty, nobility, and heraldry. The library’s vertical files include family newsletters, correspondence, pedigrees, family group sheets, little-known genealogy publications, and other donated material. The collection is rich in manuscripts, microfilms, newspapers, photographs, and maps. The Genealogy Reading Room catalog is available online.
The National Archives (NARA)
The Archives’ vast holdings provide access to U.S. government records from colonial times to the present. The Archival Research Catalog online indexes thousands of documents, including applications for enrollment in Native American tribes, fugitive slave cases, military personnel records, and naturalization records.
Also helpful in obtaining information about NARA’s holdings is the Guide to Federal Records, based on the paper edition of 1995, which incorporates descriptive information about federal records. The online Guide is regularly updated to reflect new acquisitions of federal records.
The Maryland State Archives
The Maryland State Archives is the repository for Maryland records from the founding of the colony in 1634 to the present, including a great many original handwritten records. Included in the holdings are colonial and state executive, legislative, and judicial records; county probate, land and court records; church records; business records; publications and reports of state, county and municipal governments. There are special collections of private papers, maps, photographs, and newspapers, as well as donated family histories.
The Thomas Balch Library
The Thomas Balch Library in Leesburg is a specialized history and genealogy library owned and operated by the Town of Leesburg. Collections offer a range of documents relating to regional and Virginia history and genealogy, military history with emphasis on the Civil War, and ethnic history. The library's holdings are listed in WorldCat.
The Virginia Room at the Fairfax County Library
The Virginia Room in Fairfax offers a broad spectrum of genealogy resources from the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Virginia Room maintains a sizeable collection of Virginia regional history and genealogy, as well as local and state government information and legal resources. Resources include maps, an extensive photographic archive, compilations of early Virginia genealogy, manuscripts, local newspapers, and rare books.
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