The September 10, 2009, meeting of the Madison County Genealogical Society was held at the Edwardsville Public Library in Edwardsville, Illinois.
President, Robert Ridenour, called the meeting to order.
In the absence of our
Treasurer LaVerne Bloemker, Secretary Barbara Hitch presented
the financial report for the month of August 2009.
On September 10, 2009,
Diane Walsh presented a program titled An Introduction to the
National Archives and Its Treasures.
Her presentation covered what a researcher should know and have ready before making the trip to Washington, D. C. Most of the preparations that she discussed can be done from home online. She gave several websites that are available to help the researcher prepare for their trip to the National Archives.
The topics covered included:
Ready for Archival Research? http://archives.gov/research/start/
Information for Researchers http://archives.gov/research/start/introduction.html#can-do-here
Researcher Card http://archives.gov/research/start/researcher-card.html
Paraphernalia Allowed http://archives.gov/research/start/whats-allowed.html
For information about an individual to be found in the National archives, that individual must have some connection with the federal government. The first step a researcher must take is to determine their subject's connection to the federal government, i.e., presidential, military, immigration, land, census. It will help to determine which agencies, offices, or individuals are involved, i.e., Bureau of Land Management, etc.
The researcher needs to determine the record type and location using the finding aids available:
Research tools http://archives.gov/research/tools/index.html
Guide to Federal Records http://archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/
Descriptive pamphlets for microfilm publications can be found at the microfilm webpage plus 32 are available in
co-operation with the St. Louis County Library-Lindbergh http://www.slcl.org/branches/hq/sc/dps/dplist.htm
A List of Publications of the National Archives and Records Administration can be ordered free of charge http://www.archives.gov/publications/lists/list-inventories.html
Records with genealogy emphasis are segregated into separate groups/lists:
Diane also discussed the Archives' record arrangement and "lingo."
Record Arrangement: Record Group - Series - File Unit - Items (Documents)
All district court records held by the National Archives are in the same record group
Records of District Courts of the United States (Record Group 21)
Within that record group are series of records
Admiralty Case Files, 1790 -1966
Civil Case Files, 1938 - 1967
Criminal Case Files, 1791 - 1970
Within the Series are file units (each court case is a separate unit)
United States versus Henry Sims, #68 August Session 1851
United States versus Samuel Williams etal., #159 August Session 1851
Within the file units are individual items (documents). The Archives calls them Items; Ms. Walsh refers to them as Documents.
Indictment of Samuel Williams
Lists of Witnesses and the Jury
This presentation was well received and prompted several questions, as several of those in attendance were planning research trips to the National Archives.