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.

Washington DC Family History Center

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[edit | edit source]

Location Map: Location Map

Address: 10000 Stoneybrook Dr, Kensington, MD 20895

  • Directions I-495 to Connecticut Avenue N. At first traffic light outside I-495, turn right onto BEACH Drive. Follow until Beach Drive dead-ends into STONEYBROOK Drive. Turn left on STONEYBROOK Drive. Go up the hill; turn left into the 3rd driveway, which is the driveway at red brick church building (10000 Stoneybrook Drive). The FHC is on the right side of the building, half-way back.

Phone: 1-301-587-0042

E-mail: DC_Washington@familyhistorymail.org or info@wdcfhc.org

Language: English

Open Hours: Wednesdays 10-1; Saturdays 10-1

For the protection of our staff and patrons, please note:

1. Only persons with an appointment may use the Center.

2. There will be a limit of 6 patrons at a time.

3. Patrons will have to be fully vaccinated (as staff members will also be).

4. Masks will be mandatory while inside the center.

5. You will need to sanitize your hands upon entry.

** We have two touchless hand sanitizer units for your use while at the center.

To schedule an appointment, call the center at 301-587-0042 during our open hours of 10-1 on Wednesdays and Saturdays, starting this coming Wednesday, September 1st. Note that the Center will be closed on Saturday, September 4 for Labor Day weekend.

Unvaccinated patrons may schedule a virtual (Zoom) one-on-one consulting session by leaving a message to that effect at the Center. A consultant will call you back within 48 hours to schedule your appointment.

When Montgomery County Schools are closed for bad weather, the FHC will be closed. If schools have a delayed opening, we will open at 1:00 pm.

If it is a Saturday, please call before leaving your home:  301-587-0042

Website: Washington DC Family History Library

Center Resources[edit | edit source]

Newsletter[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

  • FamilySearch Catalog: This center may have various films and fiche available through the FamilySearch Catalog. Patrons' Microfiche Collection -- a collection of fiche ordered by our patrons, assorted titles. Contain family histories, vital records, and other types of information. Indefinite Film Collection -- a collection of films on a variety of subjects, to include vital records, county records, court records, etc. Book Collection: -- 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.

Finding Aids - research guides, handwriting guides, letter writing guides for foreign countries, magazines.

Databases and Software[edit | edit source]

  • Family History Center 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, Fold3.com, NewspaperArchive.com, MyHeritage, FamilyLink, 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.
  • 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.
  • We have subscriptions to, and offer our patrons free access to:
- Newspapers.com
All of these are available at every computer. Please ask a staff member for assistance in accessing these tools.

Hardware and Equipment[edit | edit source]

  • Wi-Fi
  • SnapScan photo scanner (can scan 500 photos per hour)
  • 12 computers
  • 6 printers (one color)
  • 3 microfilm reader-printers (Canon and ScanPro)
  • 2 flatbed Epson scanners (to scan and edit photographs, slides, photo negatives and documents, and save them to a removable drive or CD)
  • 3 microfilm readers
  • 1 microfiche reader

Center Services[edit | edit source]

Staff Research Specialties[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

African-American: Focus on all aspects of African-American research. Group meets every Monday at 9:30 a.m.

Beginning Genealogy: Personal assistance for the new researcher provided by Lorraine Minor. Group meets every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.

DNA: We sponsor two DNA Special Interest Groups for Beginning and Advanced researchers.

The Beginning DNA Group is led by Andy Hochreiter and meets twice a month at two locations; the class content will be the same for each:

1) At the WDCFHC on the 1st Wednesday night of each month at 7:00 p.m.

2) At the Columbia MD Family History Center on the 3rd Wednesday night of each month at 7:00 p.m.

The Advanced DNA Group, led by Jim Bartlett, meets on the 2nd Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. at the WDCFHC.

Interested persons are invited to attend either or both groups. To be put on the groups' mailing lists and for further information, contact:

Andy Hochreiter at ajhochreiter@comcast.net; Jim Bartlett at jim4bartletts@verizon.net

Eastern European: Focus on research and resources in Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Slovenia, Ukraine, and Belarus. Lecture and computer research assistance. Group meets monthly on the 3rd Saturday at 1:00 p.m.; please call as schedule may vary.

Irish: Focus on research in both Ireland and in the U.S. Group meets the 1st, 3rd & 5th Tuesday evenings at 7:00 p.m.

Metro DC RootsMagic Users: RootsMagic is a popular genealogical software which makes researching, organizing and sharing family history easy. This group explores its many features to maximize usage. Group meets the 2nd Saturday of each month at 9:30 a.m.

Additional groups will be formed as requested by patrons.

Resources in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area[edit | edit source]

National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC

Library of Congress, Washington, DC

DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution)

Martin Luther King Public Library, Washington DC Special Collections

Maryland Archives

Maryland Genealogical Society

Virginia Room of the Fairfax County Virginia Library

Virginia Genealogical Society

Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society (AAHGS)

See also the District of Columbia Archives and Libraries FamilySearch Wiki page.

Links[edit | edit source]

FamilySearch Wiki, Maryland Maryland

FamilySearch Wiki, Virginia Virginia

FamilySearch Wiki, Washington DC District of Columbia

Volunteer at the Center[edit | edit source]

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.