Friday, November 28, 2008

First Experience at a Family History Center

You will notice that my last post on this blog was dated 2 Nov 2008. That does not mean that I was too busy to do genealogy for most of this month; I was just too busy to spend the longer stretch that writing requires as opposed to just fitting in bits and pieces of research here and there. In fact, quite a few things that have helped advance my research have taken place this month. There was actually an entire day I took off early in the month to visit the local Family History Center (FHC) in McLean. The Fairfax Genealogy Society organizes trips to various local (and sometimes not-so-local) research venues for tours and instruction, and this FHC is one of the regular sites visited. The volunteers were very gracious and helpful, and it was tremendous fun to share stories with them and other visiting researchers. The McLean Center has undergone some recent improvements and is a very pleasant setting for research. The Center has numerous research guides and six or seven terminals for accessing online databases. Though there were a number of these databases that were of interest to me, I focused on Footnote, since I already knew that it contained a number of documents of interest, I have not yet purchased a personal subscription, and there were several Civil War service records that I was keenly interested in obtaining.

Here are the service records I pulled: Joseph M. C. Norman, Preston E. Moore, James West Lewis, Richard M. Brinlee, Samuel D. Lewis, Manning P. Lewis, and William T. Sisson. I also printed out a birth certificate for Odessa Beatrice Lewis, daughter of Elizabeth Ann Brinlee and Harve Mulder. The Civil Service records will keep me busy for quite a while; as a matter of fact, I seem to be falling into the genealogy trap of collecting materials without devoting sufficient time to transcribing and reviewing them -- that will have to be one of my New Year's resolutions!

There are still a few more service records and other records on Footnote that I am interested in, but because it takes time to pull the images up on Footnote and the printer at the FHC is fairly slow, there was just not enough time. I look forward to returning for more research, and the Center is open late during the week for an evening or two, so I won't even have to take time off from work to do research. Before the next visit I will probably visit the Family Search website to find materials to be ordered from Salt Lake City. But first, getting to those transcriptions....

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