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Genealogical and Biographical Research: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications

Front Cover - Genealogical and Biographical Research: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications

National Archives Trust Fund Board, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC, 1983, 1991, Softcover, 77 pages.

The cover illustration is from Record Group 121, Records of the Public Building Service (Box 1, File 32-D)

This catalog is one in a series that describes National Archives microfilm publications related to specific subjects of high research interest. Each catalog is compiled t6hrough an extensive review of microfilmed records to locate relevant publications. The catalogs contain descriptions of the records and roll-by-roll listings for each publication.

Introduction

This catalog lists records published on microfilm by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) that are useful for genealogical and biographical research. Extensive searches were made of available microfilm publications to select those that contain the most valuable information about individuals.

The records described here include such standard genealogical records as Revolutionary War pensions and bounty land warrants. Most of this catalog, however, details less well-known sources, such as land records, civilian government employee’s records, and amnesties and pardons. Other microfilm records commonly used for genealogical research are described in the companion catalogs, Military Service Records and Immigrant and Passenger Arrivals, and the catalogs to the 1790-1890, 1900, and 1910 censuses.

The publications described in this catalog are arranged by topic. For each publication, a brief description of the records and the type of information they con-tain is provided. The contents of each roll of film are listed; however, where the publication titles are self-explanatory and the publication consists of a single roll, the description and roll listing may have been omitted. For a few microfilm publications containing many rolls, only those rolls identified as containing information of a biographical or genealogical nature are listed.

Researchers should also be aware that three important limitations face genealogists doing research at the National Archives. First, the colonial period is not documented; few records predate the Revolutionary War. Also, in the 19th century, the government did not touch the lives of individual Americans to the extent that it does today.

The second limitation arises from the nature of archives. Records are arranged to reflect their original purpose, usually just as they were kept by the agency that created them. It is not possible to rearrange them in ways that might be more helpful to genealogists.

Third, NARA keeps only Federal records. Births, marriages, and deaths have not been primary concerns of the Federal Government. These records are best found in family, local, and State records.

The records listed in this catalog are from the following record groups;

Record Group Title
15 Records of the Veterans Administration
21 Records of the District Courts of the United States
28 Records of the Post Office Department
48 Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior
49 Records of the Bureau of Land Management
53 Records of the Bureau of Public Debt
56 General Records of the Department of the Treasury
58 Records of the Internal Revenue Service
59 General Records of the Department of State
60 General Records of the Department of Justice
85 Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service
92 Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General
94 Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780’s-1917
109 War Department Collection of Confederate Records
186 Records of the Spanish Governors of Puerto Rico
217 Records of the U.S. General Accounting Office
267 Records of the Supreme Court of the United States
351 Records of the Government of the District of Columbia

This catalog was compiled by Cynthia G. Fox and edited by Constance Potter and Katherine V. Coram.

Contents

  • Foreword
  • The National Archives Microfilm Publication Program
  • Catalogs of Microfilm Publications
  • Microfilm Pricing Policy
  • Microfilm Specifications
  • Introduction

Land Records

  • Records of the Bureau of Land Management, Record Group 49
  • Military Bounty Land Warrants
  • Donation Land Claims
  • Other Records
  • Private Land Claims Files
  • Records of the District Courts of the United States, Record Group 21
  • Court Cases Relating to Private Land Claims
  • Records of the Veterans Administration, Record Group 15
  • Bounty Land Warrant Application Files

Civilian Government Employees

  • General Records of the Department of State, Record Group 59
  • Applications and Recommendations
  • Other State Department Records Relating to Appointments
  • General Records of the Department of Justice, Record Group 60
  • Records Relating to the Appointment of Federal Judges, Attorneys, and Marshals
  • Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior, Record Group 48
  • Appointment Papers
  • Records of the Post Office Department, Record Group 28

“Old Loan” and Tax Records

  • Records of the Bureau of the Public Debt, Record Group 53
  • Continental Loan Office Records
  • Other “Old Loan” Records
  • Records of the Internal Revenue Service, Record Group 58
  • Internal Revenue Assessment Lists, 1826-1874
  • Records of the United States General Accounting Office, Record Group 217

Southern Civilians

  • War Department Collection of Confederate Records, Record Group 109
  • Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780’s-1917, Record Group 94
  • Records of the District Courts of the United States, Record Group 21
  • General Records of the Department of the Treasury, Record Group 56
  • Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, Record Group 92

District of Columbia Residents

  • Records of the Government of the District of Columbia, Record Group 351
  • Records of the District Courts of the United States, Record Group 21
  • Records of the United States General Accounting Office, Record Group 217

Other Governments

  • Records of the Spanish Governors of Puerto Rico, Record Group 186

Amnesties and Pardons

  • Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780’s-1917, Record Group 94
  • General Records of the Department of State, Record Group 59

Naturalizations

  • Records of the District Courts of the United States, Record Group 21

Aliens Residing in the United States

  • General Records of the Department of State, Record Group 59
  • Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Record Group 85

Attorneys

  • Records of the Supreme Court of the United States, Record Group 267

Index to Publication Numbers

Instructions for Ordering Microfilm Publications

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