New GeneaGem: NARA Prologue – Genealogy Notes

The United States National Archives Records Administration, or NARA, is the caretaker of our nation’s historical documents.

While many researchers are aware of the National Archives, many seem to think of it as an inaccessible, far away place. For its undigitized records that may be true, but NARA offers some true GeneaGems.

In the past, I’ve written about the NARA Record Group Explorer and NARA’s Virtual Genealogy Fairs, held in the fall.

Today, I’d like to share a third NARA GeneaGem, which is Prologue.

Prologue was NARA’s print magazine that published fifty years of historical articles. The last issue of the magazine was published in Winter 2017-2018. Do take some time to browse through the digital issues, as there is a huge variety of articles pertaining to American history that make for really interesting reading.

However, that is not the portion of Prologue that I am naming as a GeneaGem. See the purple arrow in the image above? It is pointing to GENEALOGY NOTES.

Click on that link and a new page appears:

Genealogy Notes consists of 24 categories, plus a bonus called More Sources, of items that would have the most genealogical interest.

Prison Records is one of the topics. Now, remember NARA holds federal, not state, records. If you are looking for someone who spent time at Leavenworth, you have hit the payload because this article will tell you all about U.S. penitentiary records at Leavenworth, Kansas.

Want to learn more about the Gold Star Mothers (those who lost sons during World War I). Check out this article about their pilgrimages:

There are three other articles pertaining to the Great War – one about soldiers growing spruce trees for airplane production, one about FEMALE yeomen, and one about army service during the war.

Take a look at the general “Pre-Civil War” set of articles:

There are articles on the War of 1812 records, early Navy personnel records (1776-1860) and even Indian Bounty Land Applications, which is a resource that I’ve never heard of!

This is just a sampling of the articles identified as Genealogy Notes and it is also a teaser to draw readers into checking out the back issues of Prologue Magazine.

Searching articles isn’t the easiest task when one doesn’t really know what is in the magazine. I searched for “War of 1812” and got 82 hits in Prologue. “Civil War pension” brought up 166 results and “Slavery” had 165 results.

I hope this quick introduction to Prologue has whet your appetite and you’ll take some time to browse its contents. It is rich in historical knowledge and may lead you to new research avenues.



2 thoughts on “New GeneaGem: NARA Prologue – Genealogy Notes”

  1. Hi Linda,

    Thank you for once again helping, this time to navigate a particularly useful aspect of NARA.
    Your posts are always informative and well written, and have helped me find information that I might not have thought to look for.
    Carolyn Lancaster

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