02 September 2019

Celebrate Labor Day with 50% off a MyHeritage complete subscription, valid through 12 September 2019

A Special Offer From Our Trusted Partner

The National Genealogical Society has an exclusive offer for our members, friends, and family:

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*Offer valid for NEW MyHeritage subscribers only, valid through 12 September 2019.

21 August 2019

NGS and FGS Announce Intent to Merge

6400 Arlington Blvd., Suite 810
Falls Church, VA 22042-2318
Phone 703-525-0050 or 800-473-0060

Press Release

Contact: Kathryn M. Doyle
Phone: 510-388-6477
Embargoed until 9:00 a.m. EDT 21 August 2019


In a historic move, the boards of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) and the Federation of GenealogicalSocieties (FGS) announced today their intent to merge. The two organizations, both non-profit leaders in the dynamic genealogy industry, will form one consolidated group that will continue to operate as the National Genealogical Society. Both boards approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) earlier this week, and jointly announced the news at the Opening Session of the FGS Family History Conference in Washington, D.C., this morning.

Leaders of both organizations believe this merger will serve the genealogy community by improving support of both individual members and societies in the pursuit of genealogical excellence.

The organizational structure of NGS will be modified to increase functions that support genealogical societies and family organizations. Digitization projects of genealogical importance such as the War of 1812 pensions will continue. The two organizations will continue to operate independently while all details of the merger are completed, no later than October 1, 2020.

Faye Stallings, President of FGS, said: “We are excited about this opportunity to combine with a premier organization that has been in operation since 1903. This will allow for improved and expanded services to help support societies.” Ben Spratling, President of NGS, commented, “We look forward to continuing the strong legacy of FGS as a ‘gathering point’ for family historians and societies all across the nation.”

Founded in 1903, the NationalGenealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary standards of research, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Falls Church, Virginia, based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, and guidance in research. It also offers many opportunities to interact with other genealogists.

15 August 2019

Hotel Reservations Open 15 August 2019 for the 2020 Family History Conference

#NGS2020GEN Hotel Reservations Now Open

Reserve your accommodations starting 15 August 2019 for the National Genealogical Society’s forty-second annual Family History Conference, Echoes of Our Ancestors. 

The conference will be held 20-23 May 2020 at the Salt Palace Convention Center (SPCC), 100 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah. It will feature more than 150 genealogy lectures on a wide variety of topics including DNA, ethnic sources, historical migrations, immigration, research techniques, specialized collections at the Family History Library, and more.

NGS offers attendees a choice of several hotels with discounted rates. All are convenient to the convention center. The official conference hotel, the Hilton Salt Lake City Center, is just a short walk from the convention center. The Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown is located adjacent to the convention center, and the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel is only half a block away. The three hotels offer complimentary wireless internet. 

As a rule, conference hotels tend to fill quickly, so we recommend making your reservations early if you intend to register and attend the conference. The hotels are offering the NGS rate three days before and three days after the conference, based on availability, so participants can do research or go sightseeing in the area. Check the hotels’ websites for cancellation rules and for additional amenities. You can find full details and links for discounted, reservations on the NGS conference website.

Set in the beautiful Wasatch mountain range, Salt Lake City is a sophisticated city with a modern convention center and many great choices for hotels, restaurants, and shops. For family historians, it offers some of the best genealogical research resources in the United States. To learn about research facilities in the area, refer to the conference’s Announcement Brochure on the NGS conference website.

The four-day NGS 2020 Family History Conference promises to be a great opportunity for family historians to advance their research, hone their skills, and network with fellow genealogists. Be sure to reserve your hotel accommodations as soon as possible.

19 July 2019

NGS Magazine April–June 2019 Issue Now Online

The April-June 2019 issue of NGS Magazine, Volume 45, Number 2, is ready for mailing to members and is available online in the Members Only section of the website.

EDITOR'S NOTE by Deb Cyprych

This issue takes a look at the value of lineage societies for genealogical research. While these societies are by definition closed to those who don’t meet their eligibility standards, most lineage societies welcome new members and graciously share their resources.

Kimberly Ormsby Nagy discusses the broad range of societies and their activities. She explains why and how to apply for membership, pointing out that the application process can sharpen research skills, and that members preserve their family histories while supporting societies’ missions.

Shelley K. Bishop provides a sampling of the wealth of public resources offered by sixteen lineage societies in their libraries and online databases. Researchers can take advantage of collections including finding aids, digitized books, and lists of approved ancestors.

Kathy Petlewski’s column describes the history of lineage societies and the controversies surrounding them as early as 1783. The incredible growth of lineage societies between 1880 and 1900 was due in part to fear of immigrants and the desire of prominent families to set themselves apart from new millionaires.

Two articles highlight the improved standards and new types of evidence incorporated by some societies that may be useful to many family historians.

Sara Louise Sukol examines the changes in documentation requirements for the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). Since the first application in 1890, which had no dates or places, DAR has steadily increased its requirements for proof of lineage and service.

Jennifer Zinck investigates the evolving use of DNA in the policies and practices of the Mayflower Society, DAR, and the Sons of the American Revolution, and delineates the specific types of genetic evidence these societies have recently begun accepting.

Other articles in this issue feature city directories, a case study about conflicting evidence, and so-called Confederate slave payroll records at NARA.

City directories may have unusual content such as photos, ethnic and biographical information, farm listings, social registers, and church maps. Terry Koch-Bostic explores the special content of directories, presents research strategies, and lists resources for using these multi-faceted people-finders.

Jean Atkinson Andrews, CG, uses a case study about a Civil War veteran to demonstrate how she resolved a problem of conflicting evidence by analyzing source and informant reliability. Her techniques can be adapted for many other situations when records disagree.

Finally, Claire Prechtel Kluskens’s NARA column profiles a series of payroll records for payments to slaveholders based on the labor of enslaved people impressed to work on Confederate fortifications and production. The records list the names and locations of thousands of slaves and slaveholders.

After writing this column for over fifteen years, Claire is taking a break for a year. Her articles about the records of the National Archives are valuable resources, and we thank her for the knowledge she has shared with our readers.

Table of Contents


  • Lineage Societies: Leaving a Legacy for Future Generations, by Kimberly Ormsby Nagy, MD, PLCGS
  • A History of Changes in DAR Documentation Requirements by Sarah Louise Sukol
  • Making Discoveries in Lineage Society Resources by Shelley K. Bishop
  • Evolving Genealogical Evidence: DNA and Lineage Societies by Jennifer Zinck
  • City Directories: Antiquarian People Finders by Terry Koch-Bostic
  • Strategies to Resolve Conflicting Direct Evidence by Jean Atkinson Andrews, CG


  • PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE by Ben Spratling
  • EDITOR’S NOTE by Deb Cyprych
  • NGS 2020 Family History Conference Returning to Salt Lake City by Erin Pritchett
  • NGS Awards Presented at St. Charles Conference by Janet L. Bailey
  • REFERENCE DESK The History of American Lineage Societies by Kathy Petlewski, MSLS
  • NATIONAL ARCHIVES Civil War Confederate Slave Payroll Records by Claire Prechtel Kluskens

NGS Magazine is published quarterly to update members of the National Genealogical Society on NGS activities and to provide genealogists with special information and guidance on conducting effective genealogical research. The magazine is sent to libraries by subscription. Online access to NGS Magazine is available only as long as membership is active.

16 July 2019

NGSQ June 2019 Issue Now Online

The June 2019 issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Volume 107, Number 2, is ready to be mailed to members and is available online in the Members Only section of the website.



  • A Blended English Family in Clark County, Ohio: Was Elizabeth (Blenkinsop) Pearson Inman Winchester a Bigamist? by B. Darrell Jackson, PhD, CG
  • Untangling Two Edward Marlows in Colonial Southern Maryland by Michael Hait, CG, CGL
  • Was Dr. Isaac Teller of Dutchess County, New York, and New York City a Patriot of the American Revolution? by Mara Fein, PhD, CG
  • The Two Deaths of Arthur J. Crim of New York, Iowa, Washington, California, Missouri, and Oklahoma by Trish Hackett Nicola, CG

    • Averilla [—?—], Colonial Virginia Adventurer: Wife of Majors Thomas Curtis and Robert Bristow by Glade Isaac Nelson


      • The Book of Life and Unbiased Conclusions 3 administration 4 



      • It Was All about Money 
      • New World Births Recorded in London 
      • Getting in Training 
      • Murder by Furniture? 
      • Give the Old Folks the Dodge 

      The National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ) is published four times per year, in March, June, September, and December. The journal is edited by Nancy A. Peters, CG®, CGLSM, and Allen R. Peterson, CG.

      15 July 2019

      Special Value Audio Packages from #NGS2019GEN & #NGS2018GEN

      NGS Offers Special Value Audio Packages
      from its 2019 and 2018 Conferences

      The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announces the availability of two special value audio packages from our 2019 and 2018 conferences featuring twelve sessions for the price of ten. Listen to a variety of topics in the field of genealogy spoken by nationally recognized speakers. These audio packages are an excellent option for those who were not able to attend the conferences in person.

      Both packages—the 2019 NGS Family History Conference and the 2018 NGS Family History Conference—feature some of the most sought-after speakers and topics. Speakers include Blaine Bettinger, John Grenham, Thomas Wright Jones, Elizabeth Shown Mills, David E. Rencher, and Judy G. Russell. Topics focus on DNA’s role in genealogical research, documentation, ethnicity, immigration, methodology, problem-solving techniques, and more. A sampling of titles include “Advanced Research in Passenger Arrival Records,” “Proving Your Case: Using the Rules of Logical Argument,” “Starting Research in Irish Records,” and “Using Evidence Creatively: Spotting Clues in Run-of-the-Mill Records.”

      Individual audio recordings can also be purchased for $14 each. Family historians can find details about the special value audio packages, individual audio recordings, and on-demand video from the PlaybackNGS website.