25 April 2024

Kimberly Powell Named as Director of Education for the National Genealogical Society

The National Genealogical Society (NGS) is excited to announce the appointment of genealogy educator Kimberly Powell as its new director of education. With over twenty years of experience in genealogy instruction and course design, Powell brings extensive expertise to her new role.

Starting her employment on 1 May 2024, Powell will spearhead the implementation of NGS's vision for the future of genealogy education and learning.

Prior to joining NGS, Powell held several positions as a professional genealogy writer and educator. From 2000 through 2016, she was the genealogy expert for About.com. She has been a faculty member and course developer in Boston University's Genealogy Studies program since 2018. She also operates Level Up Genealogy, a business committed to providing genealogy education, mentoring, and accountability.

Powell is a longstanding member of NGS and the Association of Professional Genealogists, where she served as a director and officer, including a term as president from 2014 to 2015. She also contributed her skills as the assistant director of the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) and as an instructor at SLIG, NGS's GRIP Genealogy Institute, and the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR). Renowned for her expertise, Powell is a frequent speaker and lecturer at national, state, regional, and local genealogy events.

In addition to her extensive instructional work, Powell's published works include "The Challenge of Endogamy and Pedigree Collapse" in the book Advanced Genetic Genealogy: Techniques and Case Studies (Iron Gate Publishing, 2019). She is also the author of The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy (Adams Media, 2008; 2nd ed. 2011; 3rd ed. 2014) and The Everything Family Tree Book (Adams Media, 2006). She has contributed articles on various genealogy topics to the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, NGS Magazine, Family Tree Magazine, Who Do You Think You Are? magazine, and Everton's Genealogical Helper.

Expressing her enthusiasm about her new role, Powell said, "I am excited for the opportunity to help NGS serve its membership and our genealogy community. Thanks to Angela McGhie's exceptional leadership and vision, we have a solid foundation from which we can continue to grow. It's a privilege to join such a dynamic team and to contribute to our shared mission of excellence in genealogy education."

Executive Director Matt Menashes, CAE, shared his excitement about Powell's appointment, stating, "We are delighted to welcome Kimberly as part of the NGS team. Her extensive background as an educator, her exceptional writing skills, her deep knowledge of the community, and her focus on the future of genealogy education make Kimberly an outstanding addition to NGS. We are thrilled to have her on board and working towards the expansion of our educational programs."

16 April 2024

Join our Culture Conversation with Megan Smolenyak, A Genealogical Adventurer and Storyteller Solving Mysteries!

Join us for a captivating conversation with Megan Smolenyak, a renowned genealogical adventurer, storyteller, and expert in pushing the boundaries of conventional genealogy.

Megan Smolenyak is a name that resonates across the genealogical community. As a popular writer, speaker, and TV guest, her expertise has been featured on prestigious shows like Good Morning America, the Today Show, CNN, and the BBC. Megan's passion for solving mysteries and making unexpected discoveries has taken her on remarkable adventures that have reshaped history and provided invaluable insights into the backgrounds of notable individuals.

Megan's expertise has led her to unravel fascinating stories and genealogical mysteries. From tracing Michelle Obama's roots showcased on The New York Times' front page, to revealing the true Annie Moore, the first immigrant through Ellis Island, Megan's discoveries have captivated the world. Learn about her incredible journey in correcting history and unraveling the roots of notable individuals like Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and many more.

Megan's work isn't limited to historical figures. She has delved into the ancestry of well-known celebrities, shedding light on their roots and fascinating connections. From Martha Stewart to Lin-Manuel Miranda, Katy Perry to Prince, Megan's expertise has uncovered surprising genealogical links that demonstrate how we are all connected in unexpected ways.

22 May 2024 8:00 p.m. ET








Join us for an exciting exploration of the world of genealogy with Megan Smolenyak. Don't miss out on this chance to witness her passion, uncover hidden stories, and learn from a true expert in the field. Spaces are limited, so be sure to secure your spot now!

Beyond Family History: Taking Your Genealogy Research Skills Further - Join us for an Enriching Webinar!

Have you ever wondered how genealogists and genetic genealogists utilize their skills to uncover mysteries beyond the realm of traditional family history? Are you curious about the profound connections and fascinating discoveries they make? If so, you won't want to miss our upcoming webinar, "Taking Your Genealogy Research Skills Beyond Family History" on 29 May 2024 at 8 p.m. ET.

Join us for an enlightening panel discussion featuring a diverse group of genealogical experts who utilize their research skills to uncover mysteries of lineage in various fields. From forensics and criminal investigation to reality television and identifying the unidentified, our panelists bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the table. Discover how these experts harness the power of genealogy and DNA to solve perplexing mysteries and make profound connections.

In this webinar, our panelists will share their insights and experiences, providing you with invaluable knowledge and inspiration to enhance your own genealogy research. Here's a glimpse of what you can expect:

  1. Gain a Deeper Understanding: Our panelists will delve into the intricacies of genealogical research, demonstrating how their skills can be applied beyond traditional family history. Explore how genealogy intersects with various disciplines and learn about the unique challenges and rewards each field offers.

  2. Expand Your Horizons: By attending this webinar, you'll broaden your perspective on genealogy as a versatile tool. Discover new paths to explore, unlocking hidden opportunities to contribute to genealogical research in various domains.

  3. Learn from the Best: Our panelists are highly respected experts who have significantly contributed to their respective fields. Gain insights from their wealth of experience and learn about the resources they rely on to successfully tackle complex research challenges.

  4. Find Inspiration: Whether you're a beginner or an advanced researcher, this webinar is designed to ignite your passion for genealogy and push the boundaries of your research. Unlock new possibilities and embrace innovative approaches that can yield unexpected breakthroughs.

To join us for this exciting webinar, simply scan the QR above or click here bit.ly/NGSMemberConnects29May2024. Together, let's embark on a journey to take our genealogy research skills beyond the limitations of traditional family history!

Can't make it to the live event? Don't worry! A video will be posted to the NGS YouTube channel to watch whenever you get a chance.

At NGS, we're committed to supporting and empowering genealogists at all levels. By attending our webinar, you'll become part of our vibrant community of researchers, where you can connect, collaborate, and learn from fellow enthusiasts. Remember, you're never alone in your genealogical journey—we're here to guide you every step of the way.

Uncover the wonders that lie beyond family history. Register now for the "Taking Your Genealogy Research Skills Beyond Family History" webinar and unlock a world of possibilities!

04 April 2024

Seats Added for April and June AI Toolbox Workshops


April 2024: Use AI to Draft Narratives from Timelines and Research Logs

Learn how AI can help you get started with your genealogical writing projects. This workshop will show you how to transform research logs into coherent research reports and timelines into vivid ancestral narratives.

Toolmaster: Nicole Dyer


Course Delivery: This workshop will be held live via Zoom on Thursday, April 11, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. A recording will be available to attendees for one month following the live event.

Price: NGS Members $45; Non-Members $50

Register: More Seats Added!>


June 2024: Use AI to Research Historical Documents & Letters

See how AI is revolutionizing the way genealogists interact with historical documents and letters. Using AI, projects that used to take weeks and months, and require specialty knowledge, can often be done in minutes and hours.

Toolmaster: Mark Thompson


Course Delivery: This workshop will be held live via Zoom on Thursday, June 20, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. A recording will be available to attendees for one month following the live event.

Price: NGS Members $45; Non-Members $50

Register: More Seats Added>


Unveiling the Power of Court Records: Judy Russell's Expert Session at the NGS 2024 Virtual Family History Conference

F102 Courting America: Using Court Records for Genealogy

May 17, 2024

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM

Need to fill gaps in your family narrative? Look no further! Court records are a powerful tool, capable of shedding light on crucial details about our relatives and the communities they were a part of. Join us on 17 May 2024 for an unmissable conference session titled "Courting America: Using Court Records for Genealogy," hosted by the esteemed genealogist Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGL.


When it comes to piecing together our family history, court records play a vital role. These precious documents not only document family relationships but also capture significant life events and provide intriguing glimpses into the social fabric of the time. From wills and probate records to land deeds and civil suits, court records offer an invaluable treasure trove of information waiting to be explored. They act as a passport to the past, enabling us to unravel hidden stories and bring our ancestors to life.


Prepare to be inspired by Judy Russell. With a wealth of knowledge and expertise in genealogy research and the law, Judy has dedicated her career to unlocking the mysteries of the past. Her unique insights and experiences in using court records for genealogical purposes are sure to leave you captivated and eager to delve deeper into this exciting field. Get ready to learn from one of the best!


Register for the conference today.