Searching the GRC Index in the GRS

Written by: Elizabeth Hopkins, DAR Library GRC Coordinator
December 7, 2017

The Genealogical Records Committee (GRC) has been in existence for more than one hundred years.  During that time, the committee has collected approximately 20,000 volumes containing original source records such as: court, baptismal, marriage, death, tax, probate and many other records useful for genealogical research.  Cemetery records were gathered from the early days.  Due to the inevitable deterioration of tombstones over the years, many inscriptions are now unreadable.  Surveys completed by the DAR members, during those early years of the committee and contained in GRC volumes, are now the only records in existence for many cemeteries. The value of such information is priceless.

The index of the twenty thousand volumes in the Genealogical Records Committee set has been completed.  The searchable index has more than 66,600,000 names and the collection includes more than 84,500 bibles, many of them photographs or photocopies of the original bible pages.  More GRC volumes are received every year and the indexes for the new volumes are regularly added to the GRS database.

The searchable index is available on the Genealogical Research System (GRS) at www.dar.org/grs.   Select the “GRC” tab.  Families migrated over the years, so when searching for a bible or other record for a family known to have lived in Virginia, also search in other states.  If you are searching by a name it may be a good idea to look first in the state where the family lived originally and then, if you find nothing, try a wider search.  Keep in mind that if you are searching for a common name, you may be faced with a large number of hits!

To search for an individual in the index you should use the “Name Search” option.  Select a state and enter the name.  If you are researching in the Seimes Technology Center and you find the person for whom you are searching, there is a link that will direct you to the page where the name is listed.  If you are interested in a particular volume and wish to look through it, you should use the “Browse Books” option.  Choose a state and scroll down the list of books to find the correct volume.

When searching outside the DAR building, you will not see a link to the page; however you are able to order copies of the relevant pages through the Library Search Service.  Use the “Overview” option, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on “DAR Library’s Search Service,” then “Photocopy Request Form.”  Complete the form and either fax or mail it to the DAR Library.

The GRC books are a unique resource and they may have the information that you need to solve that stubborn missing link. Good luck!

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