Genchat 2014-02-28 NARA across the States

With my husband’s great grandfather being born in East St Louis Illinois and my own great great grandfather born in America  somewhere,  I was interested in finding how other genealogists approached the NARA resources.

I had started to look at NARA but it was during the Government shutdown, so I “parked” it till later. And I found some of the information I needed on Thomas Aron Tiearney via and Find My Past, anyway. Charles Adams is much more challenging.

Following the #genchat, I guess I was a little surprised that there wasn’t more familiarity with either the physical or on-line resources. Especially considering the heavy on-line use of our Australian National Archives and the State Records resources, which I have listed on my Tumblr blog (& need to re-check the links!).

Also some interesting tweets from the UK National Archives on #globalarchives last week

UkNatArchivesFeb 28, 9:21pm via HootSuite

More records available online yet the physical connection archives give us to the past means people still visit at Kew (CB) #globalarchive

madfamily75Feb 28, 10:44pm via Mobile Web (M2)

History distorted if you only use online sources, need to search out the hidden sources! Hidden from the digital world. #globalarchive

UkNatArchivesFeb 28, 10:45pm via HootSuite

Social media & technology have changed how many people interact and use archives, and also their expectations #globalarchive

UkNatArchivesMar 01, 2:26am via HootSuite

Listen to the History of the World #globalarchive

fearandsequinsMar 01, 3:29am via Twitter for iPad

Important point by @BAC_Chair that digitisation is all about access – but cataloging even more important for discoverability #globalarchive

So the homework challenge following this #genchat ? 

CHALLENGE: Identify one record set that might help you at NARA, learn how to access it and write it up. #genchat

Below are tweets that I highlighted from the #genchat on NARA resources 

imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 12:07pm via TweetCaster for Android

2 hours to #genchat discussing NARA Across the States, join us! 9pm central. #Genealogy
imagemdiane_rogersMar 01, 12:56pm via Twitter for Android

Friends of NARA Southeast #archives
imageConfKeepMar 01, 2:00pm via TweetDeck

Here we go! #genchat “NARA: Across the States” starts now! #genealogy
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:01pm via

Q1: How many of you follow NARA and all of its various branches? #genchat
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:04pm via

Q1, con: Are you all aware that the various branches have twitter, facebook, individual websites and sometimes blogs? #genchat

Kerrie (@steelygenes) observation : it seems that some people have used a couple of States’s NARA sites – but overall not a lot of following
imagekmjordan73Mar 01, 2:04pm via TweetChat powered by oneQube

A1, con: Websites, yes – other stuff….not so much. 🙂 #genchat
imageSparrowBeth73Mar 01, 2:04pm via

A1 con: I was aware some of the branches have Twitter and web site. #genchat

imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:04pm via tchat.ioFor those that live w/in driving distance – go. Tomorrow. (That includes me!) #genchat
imagePendlePostMar 01, 2:05pm via tchat.ioA1 I follow the main one on twitter @USNatArchives and just started following Preservations @archivespres #genchat
imageSeekingSurnamesMar 01, 2:05pm via TweetDeck@ancestryjourney A1 follow @NARA_RecMgmt@NARAMediaLabs @archivespres@NARA_RecMgmt @NARAFRC @KCArchives@OurPresidents #genchat
imagemdiane_rogersMar 01, 2:15pm via TweetDeck

Q1 – here’s a list of NARA Twitter… #genchat
imagecatekunziMar 01, 2:05pm via Web

@ancestryjourney A1con Yes! but I’m not following what I should/need. was looking forward to tonites #genchat for that reason 🙂 great topic
imagehuboutourvilleMar 01, 2:06pm via Twitter for iPhone

A1 I follow @USNatArchives on Twitter #genchat
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:07pm via

Q2: How many of us have researched in person at a NARA facility? Raise of hands, please!#genchat
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:08pm via

A2: Denver and Seattle (long, long time ago…)#genchat

imageValsRootsMar 01, 2:08pm via TweetChat powered by oneQubeQ2: practically lived at Denver once a week or more for 20 years! KC in person! National is on my bucket list. #genchatShow Conversation

imagekmjordan73Mar 01, 2:08pm via TweetChat powered by oneQubeA2: Yup, downtown DC. Saw some pension records with @tntfamhist and heard the squees! 😉 #genchat

imagePendlePostMar 01, 2:08pm via tchat.ioA2 I’ve researched at NARA in Anchorage AK#genchat

imageDrGranmaMar 01, 2:09pm via

Those who have been….. How did you prepare for the visit? #genchat
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:09pm via

Q2, con: For those that have, what advice would you give to the first time visitor? #genchat
imagekmjordan73Mar 01, 2:10pm via TweetChat powered by oneQube

@DrGranma Research catalogs online and put your list together before you go to maximize actual record review on site #genchat

imagemslaceylooMar 01, 2:10pm via NurphI wish there was a society for genealogists with disabilities. I have LOTS of accessibility questions. #genchat

imageSeekingSurnamesMar 01, 2:10pm via TweetDeck@ancestryjourney Q2 attened workshops, didn’t actually research #genchatShow Conversation

imageValsRootsMar 01, 2:10pm via TweetChat powered by oneQubeA2 con: plan what to do before you go, check online see what specific things at that branch. If can’t pre-plan, just go! #genchatShow Conversation

imageconfusethedeadMar 01, 2:10pm via tchat.ioq2 con. research plan… be ready to wait! have options, I had to wait for so long for just one thing.#genchat
imageRoreyCathcartMar 01, 2:11pm via TwubsA2 know as much about the record groups you need as possible. #genchat

imagePendlePostMar 01, 2:11pm via tchat.ioA2 cont. Look up the record collections you’d like to see on their website and make a list. Not all branches have the same thing. #genchat
imageValsRootsMar 01, 2:12pm via TweetChat powered by oneQubeA2 con: call ahead to make sure open. went out 1 day in Denver & was closed due to construction. Ugh! #genchat1 retweetsShow Conversation

imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:12pm via tchat.ioThey have a great #genealogy FAQ page on the site:… #genchat
imageValsRootsMar 01, 2:12pm via TweetChat powered by oneQubeA2 con: call ahead to make sure open. went out 1 day in Denver & was closed due to construction. Ugh! #genchatRetweeted by PendlePost

imageRoreyCathcartMar 01, 2:12pm via TwubsA2 And my personal favorite: Check to make sure they are open/not under renovation B4 you plan your cross country road trip! #genchat
imagekmjordan73Mar 01, 2:12pm via TweetChat powered by oneQubeI requested records from NYC while they were prepping for their recent move, and after months they canceled my requests. 😦 #genchat
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:13pm via tchat.ioA3: Anybody planning on researching at the St.Louis branch for 2015 NGS Conference?#genchat
imagekmjordan73Mar 01, 2:14pm via TweetChat powered by oneQube

@catekunzi I would have been happy to have them sit and wait for the new location. Lesson learned – save copies of online requests!#genchat
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:16pm via

A4: What record collection would you access first in a branch location? #genchat
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:16pm via

A4, con: And HOW do you determine what each site has? #genchat
imagelamacki88Mar 01, 2:16pm via Twitter for iPhone

It’s good to know what records you are seeking and call ahead to the branch in StL if you can so they can have recs ready for you #genchat

imageSparrowBeth73Mar 01, 2:16pm via tchat.ioA4: Gee, I don’t know. Something that would help w/ my “brick wall” ancestors #genchatimageDrGranmaMar 01, 2:17pm via

Do all of them pull ahead of time if you call?#genchat

imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:17pm via tchat.ioI like the statement on the website: think of possible ways your ancestor interacted w/ Fed Gov. Then seek those records. #genchat
imagePendlePostMar 01, 2:18pm via TweetChat powered by oneQubeA4 Even tho I’ve been to NARA, I’ve not used it for genealogy. Just archaeology related research#genchat
imagelarrytom2Mar 01, 2:18pm via tchat.ioA4 what to access first would depend on what I’m researching and what they have should be discoverable on the website. #genchat
imageValsRootsMar 01, 2:18pm via TweetChat powered by oneQube

A4: I’d also get some censuses that I need a better copy and have it 11 x 17 – can’t do that on Ancestry! #genchat

Show Conversation

imagegeneapleauMar 01, 2:18pm via tchat.ioA4: I do have some notes about NYC NARA. Gotta see what they have #genchat
imageRoreyCathcartMar 01, 2:18pm via TwubsBoston was naturalization. Philly will be Federal Court District records. DC will be Mexican War#genchat

imageDrGranmaMar 01, 2:18pm via tchat.ioI like idea of looking for documents that help with Brick Walls #genchat
imagelamacki88Mar 01, 2:20pm via Twitter for iPhoneThe research room in StL is nice but not terribly big. Can fill up fast. Definitely plan ahead here for a smoother experience. #genchat
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:20pm via tchat.ioNARA does have some material…
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:22pm via

Q5: What success have you had at NARA, either on site or by ordering material? Can you share with us re: process? #genchat
imageSeekingSurnamesMar 01, 2:22pm via TweetDeck

. @ancestryjourney some of KCs records need 1 day notice, they are stored offsite in their cave facility #genchat
imagekmjordan73Mar 01, 2:24pm via TweetChat powered by oneQube

A5: I used the online catalog to locate naturalization records on microfilm, and then located microfilm room on site. #genchat

imageSeekingSurnamesMar 01, 2:24pm via TweetDeck.@ancestryjourney Social Media allowed me to connect with a DC Archives volunteer who pulled Civil War pension file for me FREE! #genchat
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:24pm via tchat.ioA5: Years ago, received pension files for both GGgrandpa and GGgrandma. Before cost went up… so much info, & still reviewing. #genchat
imageRoreyCathcartMar 01, 2:24pm via TwubsA5 I was able to get Mexican War pension through the online system when I didn’t have all the details I needed. #genchat

imageValsRootsMar 01, 2:24pm via TweetChat powered by oneQubeQ5: hard to answer in 140 characters! Great success, tenacity, know what’s there, enum dist maps Chicago at the Denver branch! #genchat
imagekmjordan73Mar 01, 2:25pm via TweetChat powered by oneQubeA5: Also note the record pull times for a facility, posted on site. And the actual locations of records. DC records may be in MD. #genchat
imageRoreyCathcartMar 01, 2:25pm via TwubsA5. For Boston, I went with a print of the naturalization index card and index page from Ancestry #genchat
imageValsRootsMar 01, 2:25pm via TweetChat powered by oneQube

A5: great success ordering online – super easy. teach my beginner class how to do. #genchat


imagehuboutourvilleMar 01, 2:25pm via Twitter for iPhoneA5 found valuable info in CW pension ordered online. Other were just a few pages. It’s like a lottery, sometimes you get lucky #genchat
imagecatekunziMar 01, 2:26pm via WebA5: I’ve only been able to get civ war pension files thru the online request system-but 4 those who got assistance for FREE – YAY! #genchat
imageDrGranmaMar 01, 2:27pm via tchat.ioA5: So are materials dupliated in more than one center? Or does each have special collections?#genchat

imagekmjordan73Mar 01, 2:25pm via TweetChat powered by oneQubeA5: Also note the record pull times for a facility, posted on site. And the actual locations of records. DC records may be in MD. #genchat
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:28pm via tchat.ioQ6: Are you familiar w/the branches? Do you know where they are? Who can name them all?#genchat
imageSparrowBeth73Mar 01, 2:28pm via tchat.ioI would guess census records & such are duplicated. Others may be local due to region#genchat
imageSparrowBeth73Mar 01, 2:29pm via

A6: I can name some but not them all. Although I just looked on the web #genchat
imageKassieLNelsonMar 01, 2:31pm via

@ValsRoots I couldn’t get very far. Haven’t dug into federal too terribly much. Need too but first re-evaluating what I have. #genchat
imageDrGranmaMar 01, 2:31pm via

Chicago site lists all of the sites and where they are located… so I guess others do the same#genchat
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:31pm via

A6: Seattle, Chicago, Anchorage, Denver, Kansas City & St Louis, Boston, NYC, Phily, San Fran, Riverside, Fort Worth, Atlanta. #genchat
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:34pm via

Q6: So how do you know which branch has the material you are interested in? What do you do?#genchat
imageSparrowBeth73Mar 01, 2:34pm via

A6: Go online to the branch that’s closest to the area you’re searching (I guess) Or try the closest one 1st #genchat
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:35pm via

All the locations, including their various branches… #genchat

imagegeneapleauMar 01, 2:35pm via tchat.ioA6: their site would list it, no? #genchat

imageKassieLNelsonMar 01, 2:35pm via Web@ValsRoots Or rather I haven’t looked for federal records that are not online. #genchatShow Conversation

imageSeekingSurnamesMar 01, 2:35pm via TweetDeck.@ancestryjourney website, finding aides#genchat
imagekmjordan73Mar 01, 2:35pm via TweetChat powered by oneQubeA6, con: Search online catalogs, contact archivists for questions/clarifications #genchat
imageSeekingSurnamesMar 01, 2:36pm via TweetDeck.@ancestryjourney they have some beautiful publications on their resources if you catch them at a genealogy conference #genchat
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:36pm via

Guide to Federal… #genchat
imageValsRootsMar 01, 2:37pm via TweetChat powered by oneQube

A6: Also the Guide to Research at the National Archives and the Branches (not sure if that’s still in print or digital) #genchat
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:37pm via

Q7: How many have attended a workshop or class at a NARA facility? #genchat
imageSparrowBeth73Mar 01, 2:38pm via

Yep they have workshops. Don’t think I’ve been to one. What was the huge one in KS City? #genchat
imagegeneapleauMar 01, 2:38pm via

A7: want to; keep forgetting to look! That/’s why I need to follow on twitter #genchat

imagejbron1jonesMar 01, 2:38pm via TwubsA7. Nope, but that might be a good idea. #genchat

imagekmjordan73Mar 01, 2:38pm via TweetChat powered by oneQubeA7: Attended the genealogy fair in DC a couple years ago #genchat

imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:39pm via tchat.ioA7: Went to three workshops in Denver two years ago. On my list again for 2014. Great info! Learned a lot. #genchatimageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:39pm via

A7: and managed to stump the presenter at one of them! Hahaha! #genchat
imageRoreyCathcartMar 01, 2:41pm via Twubs

A7 would love to but time/distance is an issue.#genchat

imageKassieLNelsonMar 01, 2:40pm via tchat.ioKC is about 3 hours from me. Thinking roadtrip?#genchat
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:41pm via tchat.ioTheir workshops nationally can be found here, though not always 100%… #genchat

imageapmcghieMar 01, 2:41pm via Twitter for iPhone#genchat I used to attend a lot of programs at NARA in DC, but they don’t have many genealogy programs any more.
imagekmjordan73Mar 01, 2:42pm via TweetChat powered by oneQube@apmcghie Lots of gov’t budget foo recently had led to cancellation of stuff that used to happen. 😦#genchat
imageSparrowBeth73Mar 01, 2:42pm via OH I KNOW! I went to Midwest Gen Center & it’s is SO HUGE!! Didn’t know where to start. #genchat
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:42pm via TweetDeck

Last year they hosted an amazing #genealogyfair: videos online:…#genchat
imageawardeandcoMar 01, 2:43pm via Web

of NARA, I got the Nat. Archives’s Genealogy Toolkit: Researching at NARA book for xmas!… … I need to go! #genchat
imageValsRootsMar 01, 2:44pm via TweetChat powered by oneQube

RT @ancestryjourney @ValsRoots I haven’t either, and just checked for it this week. Nothing online. #genchat – maybe we should contact them?
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:45pm via

The workshop list… you have to keep checking it. Also, some of the branches put events on their FB pages instead. #genchat
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:45pm via

That’s why it pays to follow your nearest branch on social media! #genchat
imagemdiane_rogersMar 01, 2:46pm via TweetDeck

A7 On-site timing always awkward for me but looks as if some regional NARA sites offer remote talks etc. for groups #genealogy #genchat
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:46pm via

They also have a great YouTube… #genchat
imagelamacki88Mar 01, 2:47pm via Twitter for iPhone

#genchat StL uses its FB page to announce events. Also StL often called Natl Personnel Records Ctr (NPRC)
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:47pm via

Q8: Have you thought to search for ethnic records at NARA? #genchat
imagekmjordan73Mar 01, 2:48pm via TweetChat powered by oneQube

A8: Naturalization is the closest I get to “ethnic”#genchat
imagegeneapleauMar 01, 2:47pm via

A8: other than immigration? #genchat
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:48pm via

Their ethnic collection includes Japanese American, Chinese American, Native American… remember, anything related to Fed Gov! #genchat
imageconfusethedeadMar 01, 2:48pm via

BONUS… I already subscribe to NARA on You Tube.. forgot.. I listen to so many #genchat
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:51pm via

Example: arrival lists are arranged by port of entry and date of arrival. #genchat

imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:51pm via tchat.ioUnderstand how the records you are pursuing are organized for better results.
imageMelTafaroMar 01, 2:51pm via Twitter for iPad@ancestryjourney do all the branches have the same nat’l records & can u borrow between branches? #genchat
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:52pm via tchat.ioOnce you understand how your data collection was built, it becomes much easier to find what you are seeking. #genchat
imageSparrowBeth73Mar 01, 2:53pm via

@ancestryjourney REady? We did it already, just follow our branch & bookmark the site, right?#genchat
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:54pm via

CHALLENGE: Identify one record set that might help you at NARA, learn how to access it and write it up. #genchat
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:54pm via

Don’t have to actually order the records, but pretend that you someday will. Get it all ready for yourself. #genchat
imageValsRootsMar 01, 2:55pm via TweetChat powered by oneQube

<— my record set to learn is NARA YouTubing as my homework. Would that qualify? #genchat
imagemdiane_rogersMar 01, 2:55pm via TweetDeck

Anyone with a WW I war bride to USA? #genchat12 Resources for Researching WWI Overseas Marriages by Kathleen…
imagenelleFamTreeMar 01, 2:57pm via Nurph

Thanks all for the info. Haven’t done anything with NARA as of yet *hangs head in shame; Will have to change that! #genchat
imageDrGranmaMar 01, 2:55pm via

Great session. Thanks to you well-informed folks for all your sharing!! #genchat
imageancestryjourneyMar 01, 2:55pm via

Next #genchat: Mar 14: Early Census Years#genchat
imagekmjordan73Mar 01, 2:57pm via TweetChat powered by oneQube

Post link to @ancestryjourney on social media RT @DrGranma WHERE do you turn in homework?#genchat
imagekmjordan73Mar 01, 2:58pm via TweetChat powered by oneQube

I think it might be time to go re-request the NYC NARA records I asked for over a year ago!#genchat
imagegeneapleauMar 01, 2:58pm via

@DrGranma if u don’t blog, you can comment in response to @ancestryjourney ‘s blog post by next #genchat


About Kerrie Anne Christian

Interests - Travel, Photography, Developing Websites, Social Media, Writing, Local History, Researcher, Genealogy
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One Response to Genchat 2014-02-28 NARA across the States

  1. Pingback: March 2014 – Week 1 – Another Week of SteelyGene’s Activities. | A Steely Genes Journey

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