Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Saturday Field Trip to the National Archives

I had a lovely time this past Saturday with four ladies from the DAR chapter (Prairie Rose - Overland Park, KS) I will be joining in November.  Even though I'm not formally a member, they have graciously invited me to chapter functions, including a field trip to the National Archives in Kansas City.  While there, we attended a seminar on land records research, a subject which can be confusing (at least for me it is!).  

If you live near a National Archives facility, I  highly recommend their free genealogy seminars, as there is something for everyone no matter what research level you are, or what your interests might be!  Topics in July and August included:  Navigating the National Archives Website, Researching African-American Genealogy,  Using Federal Census Records to Find Your Ancestors, Finding Your Family in Federal Court, Ship Passenger Arrival Lists, and Bureau of Indian Affairs Records, to name a few.  On October 6, they are hosting a free day-long Fall Genealogy Symposium, with an in-depth look at records available at the federal level.

At the land records seminar, I did learn that for every land transfer from the government to an individual, a "land case file" was created.  Depending on the time period and the changing government regulations, the land case file could contain a lot of useful genealogical information.  The files exist for land claims that were both approved, and those that may have been cancelled for some reason.  As my great great great grandfather John Gannan (for whom this blog is named) held a land patent in Harrison County, Missouri, in 1855, I was able to order a land case file for his patent.  I'm excited to see what the file might contain, as Grandpa John is one of my longer-term brick walls.

Thanks again to the ladies of the Prairie Rose DAR Chapter for allowing me to tag along on your field trip!

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