[This article is by Paula Stuart-Warren for Research Write Connect]
When I decided to join Research Write Connect Academy, I had some ideas for courses. Compiling the course Researching U.S. Government Records 101 was done first as I hoped that students would get as excited as I am about the fantastic information found in these records. Then I hoped they would delve into the various finding aids at the U.S National Archives (NARA) website. Oh, did they get excited and involved!
I’ve spent many years researching at the National Archives locations in Washington, DC, College Park, Maryland, and several of the regional locations. At any one of these locations, I could still spend many years delving into records.
I may be guilty of getting a whole lot of students itching to visit one of these locations. The course shows not only online material, but also some of the textual records that still remain at NARA. The details all these records hold are phenomenal. My reward for the work on the course is hearing about what the students have found and what they are itching to research once NARA reopens. These comment are shared on a private Facebook page just for the students.
The government records I have personally found show things such as:
• A steer fell on my one and only Civil War soldier during the war
• My brother-in-law’s family now has details on their ancestor’s 1867 home birth
• My late uncle’s horrific time as a POW during the Korean War and his death in the camp
• The height of my grandfathers and their male siblings
• One of my father-in-law’s female ancestors and other women in the family were guilty of ________. No way am I sharing that here!
• The proof that a man was the half-brother of a woman I knew
One of the great finds that I share is correspondence related to multiple orders for government headstones for veterans. These requests are not online but exist in multiple files at NARA. A funeral director or cemetery official prepares this bulk order. Names, dates of death, and other details appear.
Why not sign up for the October Family History Month special price for the course? SAVE 30% through 12 October 2020 with promo code: OCTOBER30.
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Copyright, 2020 by Paula Stuart-Warren
for Research, Write, Connect