Washington DC Family History Center

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FamilySearch This article describes the services and resources available at a Family History Center, a branch facility of the Family History Library.

The Washington DC Family History Center welcomes you, and we look forward to assisting you with your genealogical research. We provide access to digitized and microfilm records, books, and genealogical websites. Our all-volunteer staff is ready to answer questions about the resources available in the FHC and give limited research guidance.There is no charge for using the facility, and only nominal charges for copies, forms, and rental of microfilms or microfiche.

Center Contacts and Hours

Mailing Address: PO Box 49, Kensington, MD 20895
Street Address: 10000 Stoneybrook Drive, Kensington, MD 20895

Directions: I-495 to Connecticut Avenue NORTH. At first traffic light outside I-495, turn right onto BEACH Drive. Follow until Beach Drive dead-ends into STONEYBROOK Drive. Turn left. Turn left again into the 3rd driveway. The FHC is on the right side of the building, half-way back.
Location on Map


Phone:  (301) 587-0042

E-mail:  info@wdcfhc.org

Website:   http://www.wdcfhc.org

Hours of Operation: 

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. & 7:00 - 9:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. & 7:00 - 9:30 p.m.
  • Thursday: 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. & 7:00 - 9:30 p.m.
  • Friday: 9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

2013 Closings & Holiday Schedule:

  • Closed when Montgomery County Schools are closed.
  • January 19-21 (Martin Luther King Holiday)
  • February 16-18 (President's Day)
  • April 6 (LDS General Conference)
  • May 4 (Washington DC FHC Annual Conference)

Procedures & Rules

No materials can leave the FHC, including books, microfilm, microfiche or CD-ROMs. Smoking, alcohol and illegal drugs are not permitted anywhere on the premises. No food or drink (except for water) is permitted. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult and must not disturb other patrons.

Calendar and Events

Upcoming Events

Annual Family History Conference:  May 4, 2013

Upcoming Classes

January 19, 9:30 a.m. Using Wills for Genealogy Research, presented by Sue Mortensen

February 16, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Black History Month Seminar.

March 16, 9:30 a.m. - Digging Deeper: City Directories, Taxes, and Voter Registrations, presented by Rebecca Koford.

Classes will be held at the Washington DC Family History Center
10000 Stoneybrook Drive, Kensington, MD 20895

For registration and further information:  info@wdcfhc.org  phone: 301-587-0042

Staff Training Meetings




Center Resources

 Newsletter

Our free monthly newsletter, Generations, is sent via email during the first week of each month. It has timely information about activities and events at our FHC as well as research tips and links. To subscribe, please send an email to: info@wdcfhc.org

Oral History Room

A unique feature of our FHC is our Oral History Room, which is equipped with professional audio and digital video technology. This is an easy way to capture and preserve the living history of a family member or loved one. For further information or to schedule the room,call Linda Christensen at 301-587-0042; email: info@wdcfhc.org.

Collections

  • Family History Library Catalog: This center has the ability to order any of the films and fiche available through the Family History Library Catalog.
  • Books - Shelved by Locality, Subject, or Family Name. Books for each state in the U.S. are arranged alphabetically; each state has a binder containing a Research Outline and other materials. There are books on immigration, church records, census, military, and foreign countries; maps and atlases.  

Additional Resources

  1. Card Catalog - Items in this FHC are found in the card catalog, which lists microfilm, fiche and book presently onsite. Cards are arranged by Locality, Surname, and Subject.
  2. Family Group Records Archives (FGRA) - This is the only FHC east of the Mississippi River to have a full set of these microfilms which represent the largest part of the Family History Library’s collection of over 8 million Family Group Sheets. There are roughly 1991 films, arranged alphabetically by the husband’s surname.
  3. Other Finding Aids - research guides, handwriting guides, letter writing guides for foreign countries, magazines.

Databases and Software

  • FHC Portal This center has access to the Family History Center Portal page which gives free access in the center to premium family history software and websites that generally charge for subscriptions : Ancestry.com FHC Institution version, World Vital Records; Fold3.com, NewspaperArchive.com, Heritage Quest, FamilyLink, Godfrey Memorial Library, Genline, FindMyPast.uk, FamilyHistoryLink, Alexander Street Press (Civil War), The Genealogist, Historic Map Works, 19th Century British Library Newspaper Digital Archive.
  • Our computers have links to hundreds of genealogy websites.
  • Genealogy software available on our computers: PAF, RootsMagic, Legacy, Family Tree Maker.
  • Additional software programs include: Adobe Photoshop Elements, a software editing program for photos, slides and negatives; and ABBY Reader, which converts digitized documents into text documents.
     

Hardware and Equipment

  • Wi-Fi
  • Twelve computers
  • Six printers (one color)
  • Two microfilm reader-printers (Canon and ScanPro)
  • Two flatbed Epson scanners (to scan and edit photographs, slides, photo negatives and documents, and save them to a removable drive or CD)
  • Ten microfilm readers
  • Three microfiche readers

Center Services

Staff Research Specialties

Staff specialists are available to assist patrons in a variety of areas of research within the U.S. and many countries. We also have several staff members who are members of APG (Association of Professional Genealogists). If you have a specific research need, please view the specialists on our website (wdcfhc.org/consultants.php) or contact us to determine how we can be of help.

Special Interest Groups

We are organizing special interest groups focused on specific areas of genealogy research. Working with others is an excellent way to learn new research strategies, brainstorm brick wall issues, give and receive support and advice.  

  • African-American research group meets every Monday from 9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
  • Irish research group meets on the 1st, 3rd & 5th Tuesday nights from 7:00 - 9:30 p.m.

Additional groups will be formed as requested by patrons.


Resources in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area

National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC www.archives.gov/

Library of Congress, Washington, DC www.loc.gov/index.html

DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution)  www.dar.org/

Martin Luther King Public Library, Washington DC Special Collections  www.dclibrary.org/research/collections

Maryland Archives  www.msa.md.gov/

Maryland Genealogical Society  www.mdgensoc.org/

Virginia Room of the Fairfax County Virginia Library  www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library/branches/vr/

Genealogy Events (sponsored by the Mt. Vernon Genealogy Society)  www.mvgenealogy.org/PDFs/Upcoming_Genealogy_Events.pdf

Virginia Genealogical Society  www.vgs.org/

Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society (AAHGS) www.aahgs.org/


Links

FamilySearch Wiki, Maryland Maryland

FamilySearch Wiki, Virginia Virginia

FamilySearch Wiki, Washington DC District of Columbia


Volunteer at the Center

Would you like to enhance your family history research skills and share what you already know? We are seeking volunteers to staff our Center and assist our patrons. For further information, contact Linda Christensen at info@wdcfhc.org. or call 301-587-0042.