Conjuring the Spirits of Long Dead Ancestors with Help from the National Archives

Virtual Genealogy Fair to feature live help from experts, September 3-4, 2013

By The Contemplative Genealogist©™

Do you have an ancestor who stubbornly insists on remaining veiled behind the gauzy mists of time? Have you reached the point where you’re seriously considering giving up the ghost – or at least your search for one?

Then lift your head up off of your desk and despair not. Experts from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) are riding to your rescue!

NARA just announced that it will host its first live Virtual Genealogy Fair from 10 am to 4 pm Eastern Time on September 3-4, 2013. Designed for everyone from beginning family historians to hardcore professional genealogists, the live webcast with presenters from NARA and the U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services will teach participants how to use military, immigration and other federal records to batter down the most resistant of research brick walls.

Was your great-grandfather among these Civil War soldiers? According to NARA, "The Petersburg identification appearing in the official caption for this photograph received ... from the Army Signal Corps has been disputed. Civil War historians and photo-historians have uncovered documentary evidence suggesting that this image of Union forces was taken by Andrew J. Russell just before the Second Battle of Fredericksburg in the spring of 1863.

Was your great-grandfather among these Civil War soldiers? According to NARA, “The Petersburg identification appearing in the official caption for this photograph … from the Army Signal Corps has been disputed. Civil War historians and photo-historians have uncovered documentary evidence suggesting that this image of Union forces was taken by Andrew J. Russell just before the Second Battle of Fredericksburg in the spring of 1863.”

Participants will be able to learn from the comfort of their own homes from experts who will be sharing their best strategies for researching African American and Native American history and working with Civil War and immigration records. In addition, armchair family historians will be able to receive live advice through the Archives’ “Help! I’m Stuck” Call-In Consultation service throughout the duration of the webcast. Assistance will also be provided for hearing impaired participants.

And, for those unable to catch the webcast live, NARA plans to make recordings of the webcast available online for later viewing.

To join in the fun or receive more information about the fair, contact: KYR@nara.gov. Or, follow along on Twitter, using #genfair2013 hashtag.

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About Laurie Snyder

Laurie Snyder is a writer, editor, traveler, history researcher, humanities advocate, and educator. An award-winning journalist, her interviews with survivors of Pearl Harbor, Midway, and the Holocaust have appeared in national and regional news publications. The creator and managing editor of the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers: One Civil War Regiment's Story ©™, The Contemplative Genealogist ©™ and The Contemplative Traveler ©™, she also serves as the principal consultant for Snyder's Point Communications.
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