I was going to Fairfax, VA, for my 40th high school reunion.  My husband and I would be in the area for a few days.  So, the thought came to me – go to NARA while there.

I grew up in the Washington, D.C., area.  I have been back to visit numerous times, as I continue to have family there.  But, I have never taken the time to go to NARA.

So, the plan was made.  We would have an entire day at NARA!

The first thought I had was to look at the NARA website – http://www.archives.gov/.  Upon doing this, I discovered that I had a lot to learn about visiting NARA in Washington, D.C.  There were many rules posted on the website – would I be able to remember everything?  Also, I checked on what records were available.  I decided that I would look at Civil War records and Spanish American War records.

Also on the website was an opportunity to contact the staff – exactly what Civil War and Spanish American War records did they have?  So, I contacted them.  And, they called me!  They explained which records they had, and assured me that they would be available for assistance in finding the records.  Wow!  They also recommended that I watch the video on the website.  I did this, and it really did help when I visited in D.C

And, after looking at the website, I did one more thing.  I posted a request for any “visiting hints” to everyone on the APG (Association of Professional Genealogists) Members list.

In my next post, I will continue with my visit to NARA in Washington, DC.