Researching For My Day Of Research

In a few weeks I am flying to the East Coast to meet my new nephew.  I am so excited to finally meet the little man in person!  He arrived a few weeks early so I have been obsessing over him through the photos my sister has been sending.  While I love the little man, I plan on disappearing one day of our trip to get some genealogy research done.

This year I am jumping in with the big boys and girls.  I am going to spend my day researching at the National Archives.

Photo from www.archives.gov
Photo from www.archives.gov

I spent a couple of hours last weekend getting ready for my trip.  First item on my list was to learn more about visiting the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). At the NARA website one of the first tabs you see invites you to learn more about planning a visit to one of their locations.  I clicked on the District of Columbia location and found address, hours, transportation, food information, etc.  I also visited the webpage for Researchers.  This was important because it outlined the procedures, types of records, and orientation information.  Also included on the page was a video explaining what to expect when you research at the National Archives.

Now that I know how to behave myself, I turned my genealogy powers to what exactly I wanted to learn more about.  I am currently transcribing a series of deed records for my ancestor Moses Mitchell.  He bought land from one of his brothers in Jackson County, Kansas in November 1858.  This trip will be a great time to research how the family obtained the land in Kansas.

After consulting the NARA website, I know that I will need specific information ahead of time to pull the land entry case file I am looking for.  I am using the Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records website (BLM-GLO) to find the original land patents to identify the state, land office, certificate number and type of entry for each transaction.  I have started an excel file to keep information organized by family and state.  I will print out a copy of my excel sheet to take to NARA and use it to fill out my pull slips.  Here is an example of what it looks like for the Mitchells in Kansas:

NARA land file

As I complete my research to do my research I am remembering the day Joshua Taylor spoke at the Spring Seminar at the San Mateo Genealogical Society.  I distinctly remember when he said you generally need to put in an hour of work ahead of time for each hour you plan to spend at a research facility.  I am getting my hours in so that my trip will hopefully be successful.  Wish me luck!

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