Free two-day genealogy fair: Branching Out: Exploring Your Family Tree

The National Archives will host its eighth annual Genealogy Fair: Branching Out: Exploring Your Family Tree on April 18-19, 2012, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This year’s two-day program will showcase the diversity of Federal records located at the National Archives as resources for family history research. Speakers and exhibitors include National Archives staff, historians, and genealogy professionals. This popular fair – which attracted over 5,000 people last year – will provide information and guidance for experienced genealogy professionals and novices alike. Three additional classroom tents will accommodate the overflow crowds. The fair is free and open to the public, and presented in partnership with the Foundation for the National Archives and with support from Lead Sponsor Ancestry.com.

Sessions include workshops on records relating to the Titanic, African-American history, the Civil War, naturalization, courts, the military, immigration, land, and the 1940 Census. See a full schedule of lectures and demonstrations [http://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/know-your-records/genealogy-fair]. National Archives staff and guest organizations will demonstrate how to use Federal records and other resources for genealogical research.

WHEN: Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, Wednesday, April 18, 9 a.m., Pennsylvania Avenue Plaza of the National Archives Building. Deputy Archivist of the United States, Debra Steidel Wall, will cut the ribbon to open the fair.

Genealogy Fair: Wednesday and Thursday, April 18-19, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

WHERE: National Archives Building Pennsylvania Avenue Plaza
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington DC.

A government-issued photo ID or student ID is required to enter the building. All attendees exiting the building must pass through security screening. The closest Metro stop is the Archives/Navy Memorial stop on the Yellow and Green lines.

The National Archives is fully accessible. To request an accommodation (e.g., sign language interpreter) please e-mail KYR@nara.gov or call 202 357-5333 at least two weeks prior to the event.

WHO:Speakers include professional genealogist Claire Bettag; Zack Wilske from USCIS; Guha Shankar from the Library of Congress; Quinton Atkinson from Ancestry.com; Gordon Atkinson from Fold3; Carol Kostakos Petranek from FamilySearch; and National Archives experts Elizabeth Burnes, Patrick Connelly, Damani Davis, John Deeben, Alison Gavin, Jeffery Hartley, Claire P. Kluskens, Catherine Nicholson, Constance Potter, Diane Petro, Mary Lynn Ritzenthaler, Rebecca Sharp,Sara Schlanger, Timothy Syzek, Katherine Vollen, Reginald Washington, and Nancy Wing.

National Archives exhibitors include staff demonstrating how to use databases including Online Public Access (OPA). Staff at the “Help! I’m Stuck” table will be available to assist researchers. Guest exhibitors include the US Census Bureau, Library of Congress, Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, Fold3.com, and local genealogical societies.

Background
The National Archives holds the permanently valuable records of the Federal government. These include records of interest to genealogists, such as pension files, ship passenger lists, census and Freedmen’s Bureau materials. For information on National Archives holdings see www.archives.gov.

For more information, e-mail KYR@nara.gov. Follow the National Archives on Twitter: @ArchivesNews and @USNatArchives Join the Genealogy Fair conversation on Twitter using #geniefair2012.