National Archives

9 Apr 2015

National Archives and Ancestry Staff Caught Discarding Thousands of Records

In an incident at the end of March, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatchan Ancestry.com employee was caught throwing away military records at the NARA facility in St. Louis. According to one blog report:

Bryan McGraw, director of the National Personnel Records Center, said Friday that his staff recovered all the papers, some of them from a trash can. The incident on March 12 prompted the federal agency to halt contract work by Ancestry Inc., which operates as ancestry.com, at St. Louis and four other sites.

McGraw said the employee apparently had been warned about productivity by his supervisor and tried to dispose of a pending stack of supplemental papers that had been attached to individual draft cards. McGraw said another person found some of the records on the employee’s desk and others stuffed into a latex glove in a trash can.

The employee is suspected of throwing away the […]

5 Feb 2015

Documenting Death in the Civil War

Documenting Death in the Civil War” is the title of a one-hour presentation by National Archives staff genealogist John Deeben. Available for free at the National Archives’s YouTube channel, this excellent presentation explores in depth records created by the War Department. These resources document the personal circumstances of soldiers’ deaths on the battlefield, in military hospitals, and in prisons.

Documenting Death in the Civil War” is just one of the links in the February issue of First Friday Genealogy with Sassy Jane, available by email subscription. My free monthly newsletter contains research ideas, search strategies, and information on resources to help your family history research.

The February issue is about Civil War resources, some essential and some lesser known. The issue coming out tomorrow also marks the first anniversary of First Friday Genealogy with Sassy Jane. Thanks to all my readers and commenters for the enjoyable mutual journey we’ve taken in the past […]

11 Sep 2014

Free Online Genealogy Fair 2014

Hello from Sassy Jane! My absence posting to the blog was due to software conflicts, security issues, and being a dummkopf with the brains of a potato, as my German ancestors would say.

Now that I’m back, I have good news. The National Archives is hosting their annual Free Online Genealogy Fair 2014 from October 28-30, 2014. Fall is so busy that I want to give my readers plenty of notice about this great Free Online Genealogy Fair 2014.

WHAT:       The National Archives will host a live, three-day, virtual Genealogy Fair via webcast on YouTube. The free program offers family history research tools for all skill levels on Federal records including census, American Indian, military, naturalization, and immigration. Other topics include overviews of online genealogy resources and guidance on preserving personal records. For complete schedule and participation instructions, visit the Virtual Genealogy Fair website.

WHEN:        October 28, 29, and 30, starting daily at 10 a.m. EDT

WHO:          Speakers include […]

19 May 2014

A World War II Widow Journeys to Normandy

World War II Widow Journeys to Normandy is the story of a 60-year search for the final resting place of 1st Lt. Billie Dowe Harris. If you read only one thing about World War II and Normandy as the 70th anniversary of D-Day approaches, I hope it’s about 1st Lt. Harris and his devoted wife, Peggy.

Peggy and Billie Harris were married just six weeks before 1st Lt. Harris left to serve in World War II. On July 17, 1944, 1st Lt. Harris flew a mission over Nazi-occupied France, from which he never returned.

For more than 60 years, Peggy has been on a journey to find answers to her husband’s whereabouts.

He was first reported as missing, and then reported as alive and coming home. But Peggy later received a letter saying he was killed and buried at a certain cemetery, then another letter that said he was buried in another […]