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13 November 2013

There Are More to Federal Records than Census

Remember that there are a variety of ways your ancestor could have interacted with the federal government--besides the census. Your ancestor could have served in the military, received a military pension, purchased federal property, homesteaded, etc.

All of these interactions could have generated records. Most federal records are at the National Archives in Washington D. C.

1 comment:

  1. My attempt to access my grandfather's pre-WW I military record in the National Archives failed to turn up anything until a NARA archivist dug into the civil service personnel files. I had given her the information that he was an assistant manager of the first Veterans Affairs office and opened the first Social Security office in Portland, OR, these being his only two jobs between the time he returned from France and the day he retired. She pulled his entire salary history out of the civil service records and sent it on. It filled in a lot of blanks, showing where he was trained and for how long, how much he made each year for almost 30 years of work history, and when he received raises and promotions. Even home addresses around Portland, which allowed me to track where the family lived for several decades. I wouldn't have known to even ask for this record because I didn't know it existed.

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