MCLEAN, VA. Surrounded by great historical centers such as the National Archives, the Library of Congress and the Library of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Church's Family History Center in McLean, Va., has become something of a genealogical "mecca" among international researchers.
Located near Washington, D.C., researchers from around the world are referred to the center because of the Church's vast microfilm collection of names and dates, and because of the international expertise of the center's director, Linda Jonas, who is co-author of two genealogical research books and a popular lecturer on all aspects of British, Irish and immigration research.
Interest in the family history center is due, in large measure, to people who are not Latter-day Saints in the nation's capital. It has increased to the point where the center expanded facilities and extended operating hours.
Various classes are offered to assist patrons, including a beginner's class as well as regularly scheduled classes on British Isles research and computerized research. The British Isles class is especially popular, with an average of 60 people attending each week. In May, expert guests on Irish genealogy will lecture during a special seminar.