1 Reply Latest reply on Jul 9, 2020 8:37 AM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking personnel records of Minnie Christensen


      Hello, I am researching my grandmother Minnie Christensen, who moved to Washington D.C. sometime before 1920, and obtained work as a secretary in the War Dept. I heard she passed a stenography test in her hometown in Michigan and was accepted, along with another young woman. Does anyone know anything about the program or anything on this subject?

        • Re: Seeking personnel records of Minnie Christensen
          Jason Atkinson Guide

          Dear Ms. Cazabon,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          We suggest that you request a copy of her Official Personnel File (OPF). OPFs and medical information for individuals who worked for the U.S. government in a civilian capacity prior to 1952 are in the custody of the National Archives at St. Louis, P.O. Box 38757, St. Louis, MO 63138. Please include the full name used during Federal employment, date of birth, Social Security Number (if applicable), name and location of employing Federal agency, beginning and ending dates of Federal Service. If you do not know all of these facts, you may omit some or provide estimates, however the more information you provide, the easier it will be for NPRC staff to locate the correct file. For more information, the web site is https://www.archives.gov/st-louis/civilian-personnel.


          Please note that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has suspended non-emergency reproduction and digitization services until further notice due to COVID-19. Orders will not be serviced until operations can resume safely. Once operations resume, document reproduction requests will be filled in the order in which they were received. We apologize for any inconvenience.


          As for the stenography test, it sounds as if it was a civil service examination.  During much of the 20th century, the federal government required applicants to pass civil service examinations.  The content of examinations were often tailored to the type of job for which the person was applying, so for example in this case, a person applying for a clerical position took a stenography test. Depending on the circumstances, tests might be given to individual applicants, or the government might schedule exams in various locations and announce it to the time and place in local newspapers. At the end of our response we are attaching an example of such an announcement.


          We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!