31 October 2015

FREE Cemetery Record Access from NEHGS (30 Oct - 7 Nov 2015)



News from NEGHS ...

October 30, 2015, Boston, Massachusetts — “Your ancestors have been dying for you to uncover them. NEHGS has opened the cemetery gates so you can start digging!”

Just in time for the Halloween celebrations and to add some fun to ancestral research this holiday, AmericanAncestors.org and New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) have made their complete collection of American cemetery databases accessible for FREE to guest users on their data-rich website.

The collection of more than 100 databases comprising more than one million records is accessible FREE from Friday, October 30, through midnight on Saturday, November 7. The collection includes cemetery transcriptions from New England and other states and was compiled from many different sources to create a unique group of cemetery offerings.

Registration at AmericanAncestors.org is required as a FREE Guest Member to gain access to these valuable resources. Guest User accounts allow web visitors to use a limited suite of databases on AmericanAncestors.org and to access web content such as making purchases from the NEHGS online store. Unlimited access to more than one billion online records on the website and to other benefits is through membership at NEHGS.

Family historians may start digging for their ancestors in these historic American cemeteries at: http://www.americanancestors.org/free-cemetery-databases.

The cemetery databases included in this special offering and FREE Access event are:
American Jewish Historical Society – New England Archives:
Jewish Cemeteries in Massachusetts
Boston, MA: Old Cemeteries of Boston
Brooklyn, NY: Cemetery Inscriptions, 1686-1882
Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections
Charleston, SC: Inscriptions in Old Jewish Cemeteries, 1762-1903
Dedham, MA: Church and Cemetery Records 1638-1845
Gloucester, MA: Burials in Gloucester Cemeteries
New York: Long Island Cemetery Inscriptions, 1652-1910
North Andover, MA: Burials in Ridgewood Cemetery, 1848-1950
Northampton, MA: West Farms Cemetery
Rhode Island Historical Cemeteries Database Index
Sharon, MA: Sharon Memorial Park Cemetery
Sterling, MA: Leg Cemetery Records
Westbrook, CT: Cemetery Inscriptions
Western Massachusetts: Jewish Cemeteries of Western Massachusetts



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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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30 October 2015

FREE Index of 1.5 Million National Railroad Pension Records Now Available



Some great news from the Midwest Genealogy Center ...

Midwest Genealogy Center Launches New Research Resource
Public Index of 1.5 Million National Railroad Pension Records Now Available

Thursday, October 29, 2015--A free index to over 1.5 million pension records from the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board can now be located online for the first time ever through the Genealogy Quick Look from the Midwest Genealogy Center in Independence, Missouri.

“We are very excited to offer this free service for genealogy researchers throughout the United States in association with the National Archives and Records Administration,” said Cheryl Lang, manager of the Midwest Genealogy Center. “This is the first time this treasure trove of genealogical information is publicly available to search by name or date.”

Everyone can access the Genealogy Quick Look by visiting the MGC website at midwestgenealogycenter.org and clicking on the “Genealogy Quick Look” link.
The Genealogy Quick Look is a new online service from MGC that allows users to search the indexes of various genealogical resources. These indexes include the large volume of pension records which are housed at NARA’s Atlanta offices, as well as some materials held by MGC. A list of the additional materials is available on the Genealogy Quick Look website.

While it does not provide direct access to the pension records, Genealogy Quick Look can provide researchers with important information to locate a pension record held by NARA, and then it directs users to the NARA website to make their requests.

“Providing this public index of national railroad pension records has been a project in the making for more than three years,” Lang said. “This is a collaboration with NARA to make indexed information available to the public. Also, our staff and volunteers have been compiling indexes of various materials held by MGC that we would like to make searchable by the public. With the Genealogy Quick Look, we can now provide this service.”

In addition to the national railroad pension records which span the United States and range from 1936 through the early 2000s, Genealogy Quick Look provides an online name index to obituary, birth and marriage records from the Independence Examiner newspaper 1900 through 1959; obituaries and memorials from the Kansas City Call newspaper from 1995 to 2001; obituaries from the Kansas City Star in the 1970s; and a number of books. Outside of the railroad pension records, all of these materials are available in print, microfilm, or microfiche at MGC. Staff can provide digital copies of articles free of charge.

The materials indexed on Genealogy Quick Look represent a small portion of MGC’s almost three quarter of a million genealogy-related holdings. For example, the Kansas City Call newspaper for the African-American community is available on microfilm at MGC from 1919 through the present. For more information about how the Midwest Genealogy Center can help your family research, visit the website at midwestgenealogycenter.org.



Editor’s Note: The Genealogy Quick Look link is in the right side navigation panel.

Editor’s Note: Learn more about the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) here.







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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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29 October 2015

The Atlantic -- a few genealogy-relevant articles published in October



After I wrote the Upfront with NGS post on DNA.Land for Tuesday, which includes a reference to a post written on The Atlantic about DNA.Land (in the Science category), I realized that in my queue of neat reads that I wanted to bring to your attention were two more pieces, both found on The Atlantic web site (in the Technology category)! 

That’s quite a concentration of “must reads” found on “a” web site within the span of a few weeks.  I’ve now signed up for The Atlantic Daily newsletter and it will be interesting to see what else shows up in my inbox.  My other finds were serendipitous references found on various Facebook pages.

That said, the two pieces I did want to share with you are:


Borders in North Carolina, like in much of the United States, are disappearing. Lines drawn centuries ago weren’t just marked on maps—they were physical demarcations, denoted by ditches, fences, or markings on trees. But ditches can be filled, fences fall apart, and trees are cut down, and over time these visible landmarks have vanished. In their absence, some cities and counties have become unsure about who should be paying their taxes, attending their schools, and using their services...


The web, as it appears at any one moment, is a phantasmagoria. It’s not a place in any reliable sense of the word. It is not a repository. It is not a library. It is a constantly changing patchwork of perpetual nowness.

You can't count on the web, okay? It’s unstable. You have to know this.   

Digital information itself has all kinds of advantages. It can be read by machines, sorted and analyzed in massive quantities, and disseminated instantaneously. “Except when it goes, it really goes,” said Jason Scott, an archivist and historian for the Internet Archive. “It’s gone gone...

Have you come across other family history related “neat reads” on The Atlantic web site?





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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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28 October 2015

Kansas Supreme Court Adopted New Rules Limiting Access to Marriage Records -- Effective 1 October 2015



The Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC) shared that some new rules regarding access to Kansas marriage records unfortunately went into effect 1 October.

Back in April, Upfront with NGS posted RPAC Records Access Threat Alert Issued for Kansas when the possibility of more restrictive access to Kansas marriage records was brought to our attention.

This is an update ...

The [Kansas] Supreme Court adopted ... two rules which severely restrict access to the marriage records and redact information on the marriage records from the public view. The new rules become effective October 1, 2015.

The two new rules may be accessed at:
and

Rule 106 states that marriage license documents are confidential and not subject to disclosure. A marriage licensing document is a cover sheet completed with the marriage license application and the document containing the personal and statistical information of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the marriage license. Disclosure of the information is restricted to the person to whom the marriage license was issued and selected personnel of the court, and Department of Health and Environment. A “limited” marriage license record is publically available with certain information redacted: Social Security Number, applicant’s date or city of birth, applicant’s mother’s maiden name, and other confidential information. Marriage license documents created before October 1, 2015 may be closed in whole or in part by redaction dependent upon the discretion of the chief justice of the judicial district or the applicant may petition to have their marriage document closed.

Rule 108 calls for the destruction of the confidential cover sheet of the marriage license application mentioned in Rule 106 within one year of its issuance. It also adds marriage license applications to the requirement that they may not be destroyed until they are reproduced.  In other words the original marriage record may be destroyed once the state reproduces it but the confidential marriage cover sheet with information is destroyed.









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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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27 October 2015

Genealogy TV Show Updates -- Genealogy Roadshow and Finding Your Roots



When Who Do You Think Your Are? finished its summer season, I know many who went into genealogy TV programming withdrawal.

Well, there is some relief in sight!

Finding Your Roots will return to PBS on January 5, 2016 with its 3rd season.  The new season will include Julianne Moore, Shonda Rhimes, Neil Patrick Harris, Julianna Marguiles and more.

Genealogy Roadshow will also return to PBS on May 17, 2016 with its 3rd season with participants from Boston, Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, and more.  Videos from Season 1 are online here.













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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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26 October 2015

23andMe receives approval to provide health information



Last week 23andMe announced via email to its customers ...

Today marks a great milestone in the history of personal genetics. I am thrilled to let you know that 23andMe is now the first and only genetic service available directly to you that includes reports that meet FDA standards.

After nearly two years of work with the FDA, extensive user comprehension testing and a complete redesign, 23andMe is launching an entirely new experience that includes carrier status, wellness, trait and ancestry reports. We have also developed new and improved tools to share and compare your genetics with friends and family - and for those of you participating in research, we will provide new insights to explore.

As one of our earlier customers, you will continue to have access to your current health reports. The new experience will include redesigned versions of many of the same health and ancestry reports that you currently have. We have also added some new features and tools.

Our team will be rolling out the new experience to you by early next year. We will send you an email when your account is updated.

If you have any questions on the new experience, you can visit
our new FAQ page. Additionally, we have updated our Privacy Statement and Terms of Service to support the new features, which I encourage you to read.

We are committed to bringing you a world class service which provides you with ongoing updates. The genetics revolution is here and we are excited to enable customers like you to keep learning about your DNA. Today is only the beginning!

Anne Wojcicki
CEO, 23andMe

The associated press release can be found here.

Several in the genealogy community have reported/commented on what this means for family historians.  Whether you have already tested with 23andMe or are consider doing so, I suggest you read these blog posts:
+ 23andMe to Get a Makeover After Agreement with FDA (DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy)
+ The changes at 23andMe  (The Legal Genealogist)



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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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23 October 2015

Google Books Wins When Court of Appeals Rejected Author Guild's Copyright Infringement Claim

Google Books Project Example Book Snippet

Late last week the Second Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Author Guild’s claim that the Google Books Project infringes on copyright. 

I personally find the Google Books Projects and its snippet feature very helpful when doing family history research.  Seeing a snippet in a book has sent me on a mission to then try and find a hard-cover version of the book, either in a library or for purchase for my research, or to access an e-version via The Internet Archive, Hathitrust, or via similar online projects.  Without some of the snippets I have come across, I would have never thought to consult some of the books which have popped up and which I have then used as wonderful sources for clues, obscure document references, historical context and more.

You can read the various details about the lawsuit and the issued opinion as written by those more knowledgeable than I.

+ Google prevails in copyright appeal (The Legal Genealogist)

Interested in the nitty-gritty details?  Check out the full opinion in Authors Guild vs Google, Inc.

Here’s some press from non-genealogical perspectives ...
+ Big Win For Fair Use In Google Books Lawsuit (Electronic Frontier Foundation)




Editor’s Note: Related Upfront with NGS blog posts




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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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22 October 2015

Online Archives Seeks to Reunite Holocaust Victims (or family members) with Heirlooms


A unique collection has been put online in the hopes that doing such will connect lost heirlooms with their former owners or their families.  To genealogists heirlooms are invaluable and often the only physical link we may have with our ancestors.

Recently an article made the rounds on Facebook (FG) that caught my eye -- Do you recognize this item of a concentration camp prisoner?

New online archive aims to reunite Holocaust victims and their families with lost heirlooms

A gold-plated wrist watch with a red band, an engraved pocket watch, numerous jewelry items and wedding rings, and of course photos. Those are all items taken from prisoners in German concentration camps, which now can be viewed online, as part of the new archive of the International Tracing Service (ITS).

50,000 documents have been uploaded last week to the center's website, among them are photos of 3,300 personal items which lay in ITS's archive in Bad Arolsen, Germany, just waiting for someone to recognize them...

Do read the article for more details on what is (and is not) included in the archive with regard to heirlooms as well as document.

You can access the database here. Do check it out. Please assist the ITS and its goal of returning the effects to former prisoners and family members.


  
Editor’s Note: Upfront with NGS posts on related topics.





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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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21 October 2015

DPLA Fest 2016 will be held in Washington DC 14-15 April



Here’s a save the calendar message from the sponsors of this important event ...

Mark your calendars! We’re thrilled to announce that DPLAfest 2016—the third annual celebration of DPLA and its broad community—will take place on April 14-15, 2016 in Washington, DC. The hosts for DPLAfest 2016 include some of our nation’s most esteemed and important cultural institutions: The National Archives and Records Administration, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Library of Congress.

“To have these three remarkable American institutions join forces to host DPLAfest is a dream come true,” said Dan Cohen, DPLA’s Executive Director. “We cannot wait to join them, along with so many others, to celebrate how together our country’s libraries, archives, and museums are making vast resources available to all.”

Taking place in the heart of Washington, DC, DPLAfest 2016 will bring together hundreds of people from DPLA’s large and growing community over two days for interactive workshops, hackathons and other collaborative activities, engaging discussions with community leaders and practitioners, fun events, and more. DPLAfest 2016 will appeal to anyone interested in libraries, technology, eBooks, education, creative reuse of cultural materials, law, open access, and genealogy/family research.

“We are pleased to welcome DPLA back to the National Archives,” said Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero. “We are proud to be a leading DPLA content provider and to co-host this exciting event with our colleagues at the Smithsonian Institution and the Library of Congress.”

“The Library of Congress is excited to join with the National Archives and the Smithsonian to host next spring’s DPLAfest. This promises to be an excellent event, and I am looking forward to it,” said David S. Mao, the Deputy Librarian of Congress.

“The Smithsonian is pleased to co-host the 2016 DPLAfest with the Library of Congress and the National Archives,” said David J. Skorton, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.  “DPLA provides an essential platform for sharing our digital assets with the nation and the world.”

DPLAfest is an annual series of workshops, presentations, and discussions bringing together librarians, archivists, and museum professionals, developers and technologists, publishers and authors, teachers and students, and many others to celebrate DPLA and its community of creative professionals. The fest takes place in different locations each year and is open to the public. DPLAfest 2015 was co-hosted by the Indianapolis Public Library, Indiana State Library, Indiana Historical Society, and the IUPUI University Library. Those great institutions were proud to host well over 300 attendees from across the world for two-days of events.

Further information about DPLAfest 2016 — including ways to pitch workshop ideas, check out an early agenda, and learn more about the venues — will be made available in the coming months. Registration is tentatively scheduled to open in Winter 2015/16.
You can keep up to date about DPLAfest 2016 by subscribing to our news list, bookmarking the DPLAfest 2016 homepage, keeping tabs on our news and blog feed, or following us on Twitter and Facebook.

See you in Washington in April 2016!




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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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20 October 2015

Newest Edition of NGS Magazine Available to NGS Members Now! (Oct/Nov/Dec 2015)


The Oct/Nov/Dec issue of the NGS Magazine (PDF 5.1 MB) is now online in the Members Only section of the website.

Features

+ NGS 2017 Family History Conference Call for Proposals, Family History Lives Here, Raleigh, North Carolina
+ 2015 Volunteer List
+ Hotel Reservations Open for NGS 2016 Family History Conference, Exploring the Centuries: Footprints in Time, by C. Ann Staley, CG, CGL
+ Utilizing Outlining for Strong Genealogical Writing, by Paul Graham, AG, CG
+ Genealogical Numbers Systems: History and Reasoning, by Melinde Lutz Byrne, FASG
+ Building Citations While Writing, by Michael Hait, CG
+ Scrivener: An Organization Tool for Genealogical Writers, by Melissa A. Johnson, CG
+ Getting the Most from Case Studies in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, by Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CG, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
+ IN the Footsteps of Ancestors, by B. Darrell Jackson, PhD, CG

Columns
National Archives, by Claire Prechtel-Kluskens
Genetic genealogy journey, by Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL
Reference desk, by Kathy Petlewski, MSLS
Technology, by Jordan Jones

Departments
President’s message, by Jordan Jones
Editor’s corner, by Darcie Hind Posz, CG
NGS/Genealogy news



Editor’s Note: Please note that online access to the NGS Quarterly and NGS Magazine are available only as long as your membership is active. If you wish to discontinue this option and continue to receive print copies of the journal, please with our website and update your profile to indicate the same.



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