12 July 2024

Join our Culture Conversation with Mark Russ Federman about Food, the Family Business, and New York City

Join David Morrow for a "chew and a chat" with Mark Russ Federman, author of Russ & Daughters: The House That Herring Built, which made the NY Times extended best-seller list. Mark is NGS Executive Director Matt Menashes's first cousin once removed; Matt will join David and Mark for the event.

The conversation will explore the "Jewish food" experience in New York City, starting with Joel Russ, a Polish-Jewish immigrant selling pickled herring from a pushcart on the Lower East Side to the ubiquity of bagels in modern America. The conversation will cover New York City life, family business, and generational change over 100 years, with fun and a lesson on lox.

Mark's passion for food and family history, and the Russ family's connection to the immigrant experience in New York make for a memorable conversation, incredible stories, and a chance to learn more about the food and culture that add so much to the American experience.

7 August 2024 8:00 p.m. ET

11 July 2024

The June 2024 Issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly is Now Online

The June 2024 issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ), Volume 112, No. 2, is now available online in the members-only section of the website.

The NGSQ is published four times per year in March, June, September, and December.

The NGSQ editors invite you to take the #iReadtheQ Quiz at the end of this article. It's like a scavenger hunt, and answers to the questions can be found as you read the articles in this issue. We'll email the answers to NGS members in August so you can see how you did and pat yourself on the back! Let us know your results on social media by posting with #iReadtheQ and in the #iReadtheQ and Genealogy Methods community for individual members of NGS on FORUM.



  • "Mitochondrial DNA and an Inferred Conclusion: Revisiting Eleanor (—?—) Tureman Crow Overton in Culpeper and Madison Counties, Virginia," by Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGG, FASG, FNGS, FUGA
  • "A Family for Mike Fendricks of Hardin County, Tennessee," by Robyn N. Smith
  • "Generations of Familial Ties Identify Parents for Nathaniel Atwell of New York," by Jenny Rizzo Irwin, CG
  • "Parents for Ann Cosden of Calvert County, Maryland," by Gary L. Ball-Kilbourne, PhD, CG


  • The Need for Roots


  • A Peculiar Deed
  • Choices Matter in Love
  • Heirs Commence Treasure Hunt
  • Qualifications of a Mississippi Editor


  • Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace. Reviewed by Jill Morelli, CG, CGL
  • Sayre, Pamela Boyer and Richard G. Sayer. District of Columbia. NGS Research in the States Series. Reviewed by Darcie Hind Posz, CG, FASG
  • McDonald, Thomas O. Texas Rangers, Ranchers, and Realtors: James Hughes Callahan and the Day Family in the Guadalupe River Basin. Reviewed by Mary Wiley Campbell, CG
  • Lenzen, Connie. Oregon. 3rd ed. NGS Research in the States Series. Reviewed by Barbara Northrop, CG
  • Broglin, Jana Sloan, ed. Our Quaker Ancestors: Finding Them in Quaker Records. Reviewed by Katharine Korte Andrew, MS/LIS
  • Hanson, Anne. Buried Secrets: Looking for Frank and Ida. Reviewed by Sara Gredler, CG, AG
  • Clampitt, Bradley R. Lost Causes: Confederate Demobilization & the Making of Veteran Identity. Reviewed by David M. Morehouse, JD, BCL, MSc, CG
  • Ullmann, Helen Schatvet, ed. Western Massachusetts Families in 1790. Vol. 5. Reviewed by Michael Brophy
  • Dollarhide, William. American Migration Routes: Part I and Part II. Reviewed by Sheila Benedict
  • Rowlands, John and Beryl Evans. Genealogy at a Glance: Welsh Genealogy Research. Reviewed by Deon Holley Bingham
  • Andrews, Gregg. Shantyboats and Roustabouts: The River Poor of St. Louis, 1875–1930. Reviewed by Amanda Clark
  • Dollarhide, William. Federal, State & County Land Records & Maps, Names & Places. Reviewed by Bryna O'Sullivan
  • Smith, Drew. Generation by Generation: A Modern Approach to the Basics of Genealogy. Reviewed by Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, CG

JUNE 2024 #iReadtheQ QUIZ

  1. When was Eleanor, whose parentage is discussed in the article, likely born?
  2. According to the prior publication about Eleanor, who were Eleanor's likely parents?
  3. Which characteristic of mtDNA makes it useful for identifying unknown mothers?
  4. Who was the informant on Mike Fendricks's death record, and what was notable about their relationship to him?
  5. Where did Mike Fendricks and his family primarily reside after migrating from Alabama?
  6. What area is included in the Black Belt?
  7. Who were Nathaniel Atwell's parents according to the handwritten letter?
  8. Who was Nathaniel Atwell's wife?
  9. What war did Nathaniel Atwell serve in?
  10. Who stood bond when Ann Cosden administered her husband's estate?
  11. When did Ann (Brooke) Beanes die?
  12. What source suggests that Ann Cosden's parents were Christopher Beanes and Elizabeth Higham?
  13. How does Evidence Explained approach the use of templates in citation examples?
  14. The District of Columbia holds records for which group of people?

Remember, we'll email answers to the quiz to NGS members in August. Please join us in the #iReadtheQ and Genealogy Methods community on FORUM. If you need assistance with FORUM, visit the Help/FAQs page.

24 June 2024

Culture Conversation with Megan Smolenyak and Lisa Fanning's MemberConnects! Panel Now Posted to NGS YouTube Channel

Check out the recordings of our recent Culture Conversation with Megan Smolenyak and our MemberConnects! event with Lisa Fanning, Alison Wilde, Tristan Tolman, Kathey Williams, Tynan Peterson, and Rhone Kevorkian on the NGS YouTube Channel. There's plenty more on the channel as well, including SLAM! Idea Showcase videos and other webinars.

Join GRIP for Free Virtual Evening Events to Explore Genealogy Research Tools

You’re invited to free virtual evening events with the GRIP Genealogy Institute this week. Discover tools to help you with genealogy and family history research 24-27 June 2024 at 7:00 p.m. (ET) live via Zoom. Join Lynn Turner,
AG, FUGA, for updates from FamilySearch, Richard K. Miller showcasing Goldie May's efficiency, Carly Morgan on organizing with Family Tree Notebooks, and Ellen Goodwin from Artifcts revealing why our stuff matters.
Don't miss out! Learn more about each session on the GRIP website and register now.
Already know you want to attend certain sessions? Sign up via Zoom with each of the links below:
We look forward to seeing you at one or more of these sessions!

NGS Announces Upcoming Publication of Forensic Genealogy: Theory & Practice

Forensic Genealogy: Theory & Practice
—the first comprehensive text on this field of study—will be released this summer. Published by the National Genealogical Society (NGS), it is an expert overview of all areas of forensic genealogy practice. Genealogists and family history organizations can pre-order the book through the NGS online store.
Forensic Genealogy: Theory & Practice is the brainchild of Michael S. Ramage, JD, CG, and Catherine Becker Wiest Desmarais, CG. Contributing authors include Kelvin L. Meyers, FTxSGS, Angie Bush, David Gurney, JD, PhD, Cairenn Binder, and Rich Venezia. The authors deeply dive into the specialty areas and skills required to build a career as a forensic genealogist or understand the field better.
Part one of the book examines forensic genealogy’s major subspecialties, including missing and unknown estate heirs, real estate issues, and military repatriation as well as emerging and less-commonly practiced subspecialties such as copyright and trademark, reparations, and tribal-membership research. Part two focuses on the nuts and bolts of establishing and running a business as a forensic genealogist. The authors also cover best practices of casework and the convergence of Genealogical Proof Standards (GPS) and evidentiary rules in legal cases. The authors offer a seventeen-page glossary of terms for those new to the field.
Forensic Genealogy: Theory & Practice is a must-have for genealogists wishing to establish a career as a forensic genealogist and those interested in this specialized field. Edited by Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA, the book can be pre-ordered now.

Congratulations to the NGS 2024 SLAM! Idea Showcase Winner and Honorable Mention

2024 SLAM Logo

The National Genealogical Society (NGS) is excited to announce our 2024 SLAM! Idea Showcase results and highlight outstanding projects and programs by societies, libraries, archives, museums, and other organizations.
Watch the playlist on YouTube, including the program hosted by Judy Russell to kick off the NGS 2024 Family History Conference, or view the individual videos and PDF handouts linked below. See what sparks new possibilities for you and share this with family history friends and leaders of genealogy organizations you are part of.
Congratulations to this year's winner and honorable mention, and thank you to every organization that shared ideas to inspire the genealogy and family history community.
2024 Winner
Buffalo and Erie County Public Library and the Western New York Genealogical Society won with "Buffalo's Neighborhoods: Exploring Our Migrant and Immigrant Heritage." Watch the video and download the handout.
This project provides valuable history online for free as a digital exhibit and offers an example of a library and society working together and collaborating with other local partners. The inclusion of genealogical resources from a variety of organizations significantly expanded the information included in the project. It also provides lesson plans for schools in the area that have been shared with teachers to encourage the next generation of genealogists and historians, a great extension of the project into other programming and education.
2024 Honorable Mention
New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B) received the honorable mention for "Digitize New York: A Model for Record Preservation and Access." Watch the video and download the handout.
This project assists local governments, historical and genealogical societies, and religious institutions who want to preserve their materials. An organization can get materials processed at one of the NYG&B's digitization centers or get digitization equipment on loan at no cost. This model advances the overall scale of preservation while allowing local organizations to achieve at-risk record preservation at smaller scales. The NYG&B hopes it will serve as a guide for organizations of all sizes that want to save records and make them accessible.
2024 Participants
You will also want to check out these five entries featuring an index generating revenue for a society, an outreach tool showing people how they may be connected to someone, leadership and management training, and a way to honor pioneer ancestors while promoting genealogy research.
  • BYU Family History Technology Lab and Connected Tempe - "Connected MyTown Pages" video and handout
  • Colorado Council of Genealogical Societies - "CCGS Society Management Workshop" video and handout
  • Michigan Genealogical Council - "Michigan Genealogical Council Pioneer Program" video and handout
  • Niagara Peninsula Branch of Ontario Ancestors - "The Master Index" video and handout
  • Texas State Genealogical Society - "TxSGS Genealogical Society Leadership Forum" video and handout
Thank you to sponsors FamilySearch, Family Tree Maker, and VIVID-PIX. NGS deeply appreciates the 2024 SLAM! Idea Showcase Committee for their work on this year's competition.

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!