Black History Month Conference

Our WDCFHC African-American Special Interest Group has partnered with local AAHGS chapters to sponsor “Our Stories,” the Black History Month Virtual Genealogy Conference.

Date: Saturday, February 12, 2022
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 2:15 p.m.
This event is free to attend, and will be broadcast via Zoom. Registration is required.

For registration, program descriptions and additional information, please view the conference website here.

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Goodbye, and Hello

Goodbye, and HelloWe say goodbye with heartfelt gratitude to Linda and Kurt Christensen, who are relocating to Colorado this month. We thank them for their dedication and tireless support of our FHC and its patrons. We will miss their cheerful and caring dispositions, and their willingness to go to any lengths needed to ensure that our FHC has what it needs to serve our community. We wish them every happiness as they begin a new life closer to family.

And we welcome with enthusiasm our new Director, Ben Mieremet:

Dear Fellow Generation Readers,
With the departure of Linda and Kurt Christensen, Co-Directors of the Washington DC Family History Center, I have been asked to carry on in their stead along with Carol and Gary Petranek and I look forward to the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. I have served as a FHC consultant and did my share of shift work for many years in helping patrons who visited the Center. Fortunately, I was the lucky one who was able to use my time and the Center’s resources to further my research work in filling out my Family Tree. I was born in The Netherlands during WWII and our family emigrated to Utah in 1948. Almost all my genealogy on both sides of the family is Dutch so my research knowledge has pretty much been limited to that area. But the Dutch kept excellent records and almost all of it has been digitized and made searchable and I have been able to add hundreds of names making for an impressive fan chart. I consider myself lucky and I’m not done yet.

I’m retired now but I worked 37 years for the federal government as a scientist and had a wonderful and exciting career while at the same time doing military duty in the Army Reserve for 37 years (18 in Special Operation Forces and the rest in small intelligence detachments). Just glad PT tests are a thing of the past.

Let me end by wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable month of peace and goodwill. I especially want to thank the dedication of the Christensen’s for their years of selfless service to the cause of genealogical research and wish them a safe journey to Colorado where they can be closer to their posterity.

Richard B. “Ben” Mieremet

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WDCFHC to Reopen with Limited Hours; Reservations Required

We are pleased to announce that the Washington DC Family History Center will be reopening on Wednesday, September 8th.  Our weekly hours will be Wednesday & Saturday from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.   Additional hours will be added depending on patron needs and staff availability.

For the protection of our staff and patrons, please note:

1. Only persons with  an appointment may use the Center.

2. There will be a limit of 6 patrons at a time.

3. Patrons will have to be fully vaccinated (as staff members will also be).

4. Masks will be mandatory while inside the center.

5. You will need to sanitize your hands upon entry. 

** We have two touchless hand sanitizer units for your use while at the center.

To schedule an appointment, call the center at 301-587-0042 during our open hours of 10-1 on Wednesdays and Saturdays, starting this coming Wednesday, September 1st.  Note that the Center will be closed on Saturday, September 4 for Labor Day weekend.

Unvaccinated patrons may schedule a virtual (Zoom) one-on-one consulting session by leaving a message to that effect at the Center.  A consultant will call you back within 48 hours to schedule your appointment.

When driving to the FHC, please note: Beach Drive in Kensington, between Kensington Parkway and Old Spring Road, will be closed from Aug. 30, 2021 through early June 2022 as the two-lane bridge carrying Beach Drive over Silver Creek will be replaced. Traffic will be detoured through MD 185 to MD 192 to Stoneybrook Drive and Beach Drive.

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Family History Activities and Resources Enhance your Family Time at Home!

Choose one activity a week – Choose one activity a day!

Find a look-alike; facts about your birthday; try traditional recipes; questions for your story; Ancestor Challenge; Roots Tech Classes –

In home activities; Who served in WW2? Women of faith in my family?

Share favorite family stories; tell about a family heirloom; schedule an indexing night –

Charades; ancestor dress-up –

Relative Finder;   Tree Sweeper,   Matching games –

Check out YouTube — Search for: “Family History Can Be Fun” – 10 Fun FH Activities

TV/movies — Relative Race, Finding Your Roots, Roots ($ Hulu, Amazon Prime)

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New Resources at WDCFHC for Colonial Maryland Researchers

The Washington DC Family History Center’s already strong collection of books on Colonial Maryland research has been augmented by over 100 books through a generous donation by staff member Vern Skinner.

Books donated include Revolutionary Patriots (all 4 volumes), Quaker Records in Maryland, Early Settlers of Maryland, Directory of Maryland Church Records, Maryland, Genealogies (both volumes), and British Roots of American Families (both volumes). Also included are two books on American wills probated in England.

The majority of the additions are abstracts, primarily from the Prerogative Court of Colonial Maryland, covering the period 1635-1777. By noting pertinent names, dates, locations, etc., from the original documents, abstracts can help family history researchers identify which documents they should study when they do research at that repository. These abstracts series are not available online (and not likely to be in the foreseeable future), and some of the volumes are out of print.

Included are:

  • Abstracts of Testamentary Proceedings of the Prerogative Court (42 vols.)
  • Abstracts of the Administration Accounts of the Prerogative Court (11 vols.)
  • Abstracts of the Balance Books of the Prerogative Court (4 vols.)
  • The Maryland Calendar of Wills (16 vols.)
  • Abstracts of Proprietary Records of the Provincial Court
  • Abstracts of the Chancery Court (1669-1782)
  • Abstracts of the Debt Books of the Provincial Land Office (37 vols.)

These additions should be of great value to Colonial Maryland Researchers. Thanks again to Vern for making these available to our Center.

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