Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

The Society has a number of active Special Interest Groups (SIGs) that serve to support Members with interests in special genealogical topics, as listed below.  These groups generally meet on a monthly or quarterly schedule and have a planned program of interest to the SIG members.  There are opportunities for discussion, questions, and sharing of information.

Volunteer Opportunities! We have several SIGs that are no longer active because they do not have a leader. These former SIGs include Methodology, Midwest, New York, Technology, Speakers, and Old Dominion (VA, WV, KY, and TN).  If you are interested in becoming a SIG Leader for a group, please contact the SIG Coordinator or one of the Board members.

SIG COORDINATOR - Sarah Fleming (sigcoord@fxgs.org)

Active SIGs



Laura Wickstead, SIG Leader

FxGS is pleased to welcome the African American Genealogy Special Interest Group (started by the Virginia Room of the City of Fairfax Regional Library) into the Society as the newest Special Interest Group. The SIG will explore areas of research unique to the African American community, including how using census records, Reconstruction and Freedman Bureau records, plantation records, slave schedules, and other record groups can reveal information about African American ancestors.

Meeting Time:  7:00pm-8:00 PM

Meeting Place: Online Zoom Meetings

Upcoming Meetings: View African American SIG Events



Laura Wickstead and John Turbyfill, SIG leaders

If you are new to genealogy, this is the group for you! At the Beginner's SIG, you will work with genealogists and archivists who will teach you the basics, answer your questions, and set you on the path to research success.

Available Video Lessons (Members Only)

Meeting Time: 2nd Thursday of the month, at 10:30 AM
Meeting Place: Online Zoom Meetings
Upcoming Meetings: View Beginner's SIG Events


Chuck Mason, CG, SIG Leader

Contact the SIG Leader if you are interested in learning more about and/or beginning the process of becoming a certified genealogist.  A mutually agreeable time will be arranged to meet.

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Lee James Irwin, Sean Furniss, and Fran Millhouser, SIG Co-Leaders

Done the research?  Begun to write?  Come to the writer’s SIG.  Learn to create non-fiction genealogic narratives so compelling that your family will crave to read them.  Learn to incorporate historical context, tell two stories at once, place your protagonist in the center of the action, add suspense, inject drama, and use dialogue to move your story forward.  Benefit from the critical review of your peers.  Pay us a visit and check it out.

Meeting Time: First Monday of the month (7:00 PM to 9:00 PM) - October - June

Meeting Place: Tysons-Pimmet Regional Library, 7584 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA.

Upcoming Meetings: View Family History Writing SIG Events

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Janet Hall Werner, SIG Leader
The Genetic Genealogy SIG (formerly the Surname Projects and Genetic Genealogy SIG) generally meets the first Wednesday of each month through the school year (October through June), at 7:00 PM in Classroom H108 at Kilmer Middle School.
The focus of the Genetic Genealogy SIG is primarily on the process of DNA testing and applications of test results to the genealogy process. This includes:
  1. The identification/confirmation of relationships between two persons who are thought possibly to be genealogically related;
  2. The search for persons in various DNA databases to identify persons who likely are related through a common ancestor and thus facilitate the exchange of genealogical data, and;
  3. Use of DNA profiles as keys into ongoing anthropological studies to infer “deep ancestry” such as possible migration paths of ancestors hundreds and thousands of years ago.

Meeting Time: First Wednesday of the month through the school year (October through June) at 7:00 PM

Meeting Place: Room H108, Kilmer Middle School, 8100 Wolf Trap Road, Vienna, VA

Upcoming Meetings: View Genetic Genealogy SIG Events



Bob Dunfield, SIG Leader

The German SIG’s mission is to promote historical and genealogical research into the lineage and lives of our German-speaking ancestors.  Our area of interest covers all German-speaking countries in Europe, both in today’s Germany and areas formerly part of the 1871 German Empire.  We emphasize how to track your German-speaking immigrant ancestor backward through American sources and repositories as well as in European archives.  We usually have a speaker and meet on the third Monday of each month from 10:00-12:00 except in December and the summer months.

Meeting Time: 3rd Monday of the month (unless it falls on a holiday) from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Meeting Place: Pohick Regional Library, 6450 Sydenstricker Rd, Burke, VA 22015

Upcoming Meetings: View German SIG Events


Paul McFarland, SIG Leader

Genealogists of varying experience meet to share their knowledge of Irish research and Irish history with other members; provide ideas or direction on how members could achieve successes; better understand why relatives left Ireland through the study of Irish history; locate family members the emigrant may have left behind through study of Irish records; encourage members participation in Irish research.

Meeting Time: 2nd Tuesday of the month, at 1:00 PM, October through May

Meeting Place: Pohick Regional Library, 6450 Sydenstricker Rd, Burke, VA 22015

Upcoming Meetings: View Irish Family SIG Events

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Don Coram, SIG Leader

The Mid-Atlantic SIG covers the states of New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania, as well as the District of Columbia and New York City. The SIG will also temporarily cover Virginia and West Virginia in the absence of an Old Dominion SIG leader, to the extent of interest. SIG meetings will consist of interactive presentations by SIG members of their own genealogical research, mostly related to the Mid-Atlantic region, but occasionally wandering further afield, if our Mid-Atlantic research leads to other places. We also go on field trips to Mid-Atlantic research facilities.

Meeting Time: Normally 3rd Wednesday of the month, 1:00 - 3:00 PM.  Occasionally, scheduling conflicts at the library require the SIG to meet on a different Wednesday.

Meeting Place: Conference Room A/B, City of Fairfax Regional Library, 10360 North Street, Fairfax, VA

Upcoming Meetings - View Mid-Atlantic SIG Events

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Linda MacLachlan, SIG Leader

The New England Study Group SIG is comprised of members of the Fairfax Genealogical Society and the Mount Vernon Genealogical Society. The group shares genealogy and related historical information related to New England states and the early English settlement in New York state. The New England SIG typically meets in an alternating format between Hollin Hall Senior Center and the McLean Family History Center, but until the Senior Center reopens, all monthly meetings will be held on the first Thursday at 7:00 PM at the McLean Family History Center, 2034 Great Falls St., Falls Church, VA. If you miss a meeting come to the MFHC Friday between 9:30 am and 1 pm and SIG Leader Linda MacLachlan will tell you everything you missed.

Meeting Time and Place: First Thursday at 7:00 PM at the McLean Family History Center, 2034 Great Falls St., Falls Church, VA

Upcoming Meetings - View New England SIG Events