04 January 2019

NGS Welcomes New NGSQ Editors – Effective Winter 2019 Issue



The National Genealogical Society Welcomes
Nancy Peters and Allen Peterson as its New NGSQ Editors

The National Genealogical Society (NGS) has named Nancy A. Peters, CG®, CGLSM, and Allen R. Peterson, CG, as co-editors of its National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ). They take the reins of editorial responsibility for this prestigious publication from retiring editors Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA, and Melinde Lutz Byrne, CG, FASG, FNGS. 

“It is an honor to serve as co-editor of the NGSQ,” said Nancy Peters, of Aiken, South Carolina. Allen Peterson of Katy, Texas, concurred, noting, “The NGS Quarterly is among the most scholarly genealogical journals in the United States and in the world. Nancy and I are determined to maintain the high standards set by our predecessors.”

Nancy A. Peters, CG, CGL
A full-time professional genealogist, Peters serves on the executive committee and as a trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) and is the former editor of its newsletter, OnBoard. She has conducted in-depth genealogical research to solve complex “brick wall” problems of identity and kinship for clients. Her personal and client research focuses primarily in England, Germany, New York, and southeastern United States. She lectures at the NGS Family History Conference and is an instructor for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and the BCG Education Fund on skill-building topics and genealogy standards. Her articles have appeared in NGSQ and other genealogical journals. She is the author of Chapter 18, “Research Reports” in the Writing, Editing & Publishing section of Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice, & Standards (2018). 


Allen R. Peterson, CG
Peterson is a BCG trustee and was vice-president of the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History from 2016 through 2018. He has both published and peer reviewed numerous articles in the NGSQ during the past decade. His research experience is primarily focused in England but extends to genealogical records in Kentucky, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Virginia. Peterson served as the director of the Katy Texas Family History Center—an annex of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City—for seventeen years and is a member of NGS, and several other genealogical societies in the United States and Britain. In addition to the NGSQ, his articles have appeared in NGS Magazine; the Jackson County (North Carolina) Genealogical Society’s Journeys Through Jackson; and The Derbyshire Family History Society. He is the author of two, privately printed, family history books.


“We are fortunate to have recruited such excellent genealogists to take the helm of the Quarterly,” said NGS President Ben Spratling, JD. “NGS is profoundly grateful to our retiring editors, Tom Jones and Melinde Byrne, who have served as co-editors since 2002 and 2006, respectively. Their genealogical expertise and editorial acumen enhanced the Quarterly’s reputation as one of the foremost scholarly genealogical journals.”


Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG
Thomas W. Jones is an award-winning genealogical researcher, writer, editor, and educator. A professor emeritus at Gallaudet University, he is a former trustee and past president of BCG and has taught genealogical courses at Boston University, Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, Institute on Genealogy and Historical Research, Western Institute of Genealogy, and elsewhere. He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles and the best-selling NGS textbooks Mastering Genealogical Proof and Mastering Genealogical Documentation. 


Melinde Lutz Byrne, CG
Melinde Lutz Byrne has been a genealogist, author, consultant, and editor since 1976. She has authored and co-authored thirty books and more than sixty articles as well as numerous editorials and reviews. She is the director for genealogical programs at Excelsior College and at Boston University (BU) and has worked with local law enforcement on “John or Jane Doe” cold cases and with estate lawyers on missing heir cases. She is a former president of the American Society of Genealogists.



“I know that Tom and Melinde join me in welcoming incoming editors Nancy and Allen,” said Spratling. “I extend my best wishes to Alison Hare [CG] who had to step aside as a incoming co-editor due to health reasons.”

The words Certified Genealogist and its acronym, CG, are a registered certification mark, and the designations Certified Genealogical Lecturer and its acronym, CGL, are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation.


02 January 2019

NGS 2020 Conference - Call for Proposals Now Open


The National Genealogical Society Announces
Call for Proposals
for 2020 Family History Conference

The National Genealogical Society 2020 Family History Conference, Echo of Our Ancestors, will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, 20‒23 May 2020. NGS will open the call for proposals on 2 January 2019 and proposals will be accepted until 1 April 2019.

The echoes of our ancestors resonate within us. Their voices, beliefs, cultures, choices, experiences, and traditions still influence the people we are today. We carry their physical traits in our DNA, and display some of their talents and occupational inclinations. The choices our ancestors made—including their decisions to migrate and where to settle—continue to influence new generations and are often reflected in their religion, associations, sense of cultural heritage, and ties to communities.

The study of family history gives greater meaning and dimension to our lives. As the prior generations fade from view, the results of our research illuminate the pale echoes of the past and bring our ancestors back to life to resonate for future generations. The NGS 2020 Family History Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, will explore our connections to our ancestors and the vestiges of their lives, which we can discover through the records that still exist. Conference tracks under consideration include the following:
  • Impact of wars, poverty, famine, persecution, and the industrial revolution on movement from ancestral homes in the Americas and abroad 
  • Immigration, naturalization, and passenger records 
  • Historical migrations, trails, and events that affected patterns of settlement
  • Hard-to-find ancestors who seem to disappear from records
  • Approaches to rural and urban research
  • Military records
  • Occupations and trades
  • Modes of transportation
  • Religions and related record collections
  • Ethnic resources and research techniques
  • Postcards, letters, diaries, and manuscripts
  • Immigrant, benevolent, and religious associations
  • Specialized collections of the Family History Library and other repositories
NGS also requests proposals that include the integration of DNA and technology in family history research as well as methodology and problem solving. NGS encourages proposals that demonstrate methods to help genealogists accurately identify ancestors through reasonably exhaustive research, proper source citations, analysis and correlation, resolution of conflicts, and sound reasoning and coherent writing.

Speakers who wish to submit lecture proposals may submit up to eight proposals electronically. The speaker compensation is described in detail on the website. Please visit the website for details about required speaker information and each submitted proposal.

This year NGS has included a free webinar, Becoming a Better Conference Speaker: Proposals and Preparations, which can be found on the National Genealogical Society YouTube channel. Speakers are encouraged to view the webinar before beginning the proposal process. Topics covered include: Lecture Proposals, Presentation, Syllabus, Communicate, and Deliver.

NGS members will receive first consideration as speakers. Notifications for acceptance will be issued in September 2019. Syllabus material, due 28 January 2020, is required for each lecture or workshop presentation and will be included in the syllabus distributed to all conference registrants. Electronic presentation programs are expected from the speakers. Presenters must provide their own digital projector, laptop, and connector to projector cable. NGS will provide projector support, which consists of a VGA or HTMI cable, cart, and power strip. Internet connections will not be provided in lecture rooms.

Sponsored Lecture Proposals
If your genealogical organization would like to sponsor a lecture, submit proposals to NGS. If your organization would like to sponsor a luncheon, please contact [email protected]. Do not use the sponsored lecture form.

Please consider preparing a proposal for the 2020 NGS conference in Salt Lake City.
The NGS Conference Committee

28 December 2018

Angela McGhie To Lead NGS Education Program with Liz Stratton



Angela Packer McGhie & Liz Stratton to Lead
The National Genealogical Society’s Education Program

The National Genealogical Society (NGS) is pleased to welcome Angela Packer McGhie, CG, as its education director and Liz Stratton, PLCGS, as its administrative course manager. They succeed Julie Miller, CG, CGLSM, FNGS, who has ably served as the interim education manager since March 2018.

NGS President Ben Spratling announced that McGhie, as the new education director, will be responsible for identifying and developing overall educational programming for new online courses that take advantage of sophisticated software to deliver optimum learning experiences. “As the administrative course manager, Stratton will complement McGhie’s work,” said Spratling, “managing the day-to-day operation of educational courses, coordinating the workflow, and acting as liaison to our students.”

McGhie has a background in secondary school education and is a board-certified genealogist, author, and lecturer who brings ten years of genealogical education experience to her new position. McGhie wrote the curriculum for the ProGen Study Program, served as its administrator (2008–2014), and is now on the board of directors. The ProGen Study Program guides aspiring professional genealogists to develop genealogical writing and business skills. McGhie has developed numerous genealogy institute courses including for the Institute for Genealogy and Historical Research and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. She also served as an instructor for the Boston University Certificate Program in Genealogical Research and for Howard Community College.

“I began my own genealogical education with the NGS Home Study Course,” said McGhie. “I’m excited to bring my expertise in genealogical education to developing courses for NGS. Both Liz and I look forward to continuing NGS’s tradition of providing educational opportunities for the genealogical community.”

Stratton holds a Professional Learning Certificate in Genealogical Studies (PLCGS) from the National Institute of Genealogical Studies and is a regular attendee of genealogical institutes and conferences. She served as a GenProof mentor (2013-2016) and ProGen coordinator (2010-2012). She is the recent past-president of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) Virtual Chapter, for which she developed monthly educational programs. During her tenure as Education Director of the Hamilton County (Ohio) Genealogical Society, she developed three, interactive education series and started the Advanced Genealogy Forum.

“We are deeply indebted to Julie Miller,” said Terry Koch-Bostic, chair of the NGS Education Committee. “She stepped in and took charge of the Society’s education department at a critical time and restructured it. She established new process guidelines; developed short and long-term goals; and reviewed all of NGS’s courses, overseeing updates and revisions in the 2018 calendar year. Miller also helped insure the education section was ready for the launch of the new NGS website this past fall. Thanks to her, Angela and Liz will be able to take the reins of an educational program that reflects the exemplary standards for which the National Genealogical Society is known.“

We look forward to our members meeting Angela and Liz at the NGS Conference in St. Charles, Missouri, in May 2019.

24 December 2018

Happy Holidays!



Season's greetings from the NGS Board of Directors and NGS staff.

In observance of the upcoming Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays, the NGS office will be closed on the following dates:
  • Tuesday - December 25, 2018
  • Wednesday - December 26, 2018
  • Tuesday - January 1, 2019


19 December 2018

Take a Look At NGS’s Holiday Gifts



NGS Holiday Gifts

‘Tis the Season of Giving and in the spirit of giving NGS has extended its deadline for enrolling in the Salt Lake City 2019 Research Trip to 27 December 2018. Why not share your love for genealogical research with someone you love and invite them to join you as you explore the world-renowned Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, from 27 January to 3 February 2019? 

Other great gift ideas include purchasing a year’s Membership in the National Genealogical Society for a friend so he or she can take advantage of all our member benefits.  You also can use your Membership Discount to purchase gifts for friends and family including books from our Research in the States series and skill-building books that cover topics such as genetic genealogy and genealogical documentation. There are many educational courses to choose from too.  

Or relax over the holidays and take some time to cruise around our new website for genealogy guidance, or take our newly revised and updated free Family History Skills course, a benefit of your membership. 

Wishing you a joyous holiday season!

13 December 2018

Three Days Remain for NGS Awards & Competitions Submissions


Only Three Days Left for Submissions to the
NGS Annual Awards & Competitions

Final Deadline: 15 December 2018

Less than seventy-two hours remain for anyone who wishes to submit a nomination for the National Genealogical Society’s 2019 Awards and Competitions. Show your appreciation of one or more individuals, a deserving organization, or an NGS volunteer by nominating them for one of the Society’s prestigious awards, including: 
  • NGS Award of Merit
  • The Shirley Langdon Wilcox Award for Exemplary Volunteerism 
  • NGS Distinguished Service Award
  • The Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship (sponsored by ProQuest)
  • National Genealogy Hall of Fame
  • Fellow of the National Genealogical Society

Or enter one of our competitions, including:
  • Family History Writing Contest
  • Award for Excellence: Genealogy and Family History
  • Award for Excellence: Genealogical Methods and Sources
  • NGS Newsletter Competition
  • John T. Humphrey, CG, Memorial Scholarship Award
  • Rubincam Youth Award

The deadline for submissions for both the awards and competitions is 11:59 PM, 15 December 2018.

NGS believes that outstanding work in the field of genealogy—indexing and digitizing records, creating free websites and webinars, writing articles, lecturing, chairing conferences, blogging, leading special interest groups, and creating communications and newsletters—deserves national recognition. We encourage you to nominate a genealogist or organizations or submit your own work to the NGS 2019 Awards and Competitions. Winners and award recipients will be recognized at the NGS 2019 Family History Conference, 8-11 May 2019, St. Charles, Missouri.

Complete details and all necessary forms can be found at the NGS website. All nominations must include email contact information for nominees and the persons nominating them.

Send nomination forms by postal service or email.
NGS Awards Program
6400 Arlington Blvd, Suite 810
Falls Church, VA 22042-2318
Include "NGS AWARD" in the Subject line of your message.

30 November 2018

Important Update Regarding Conference Registration


Registration Will Open Thursday 6 December
for the National Genealogical Society's
2019 Family History Conference


NGS will open registration on Thursday, 6 December, at 10:00 a.m. EST for the National Genealogical Society’s forty-first annual Family History Conference, Journey of Discovery, which will be held 8–11 May 2019 at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Missouri.
NGS originally announced it would open registration for the 2019 conference on Saturday, 1 December, but made the decision to delay the opening in order to provide full staff and technology support on the opening day. Since this is the first conference registration event on our new website, we want the registration process to go smoothly, so we ask for your patience and understanding as we do further testing.

For NGS members visiting the new NGS website for the first time, you will need to reset your password in order to login and register. You may also update your profile in “My Account” in advance of registering. You will find “My Account” in the NGS Store, on the left side navigation menu. We encourage all members to visit the new site as soon as possible and explore the new design and content, and please share it with other family and friends interested in genealogy.

If you have family or friends intending to register for the conference who are non-members, they will be required to create a free account so they have a user name and password. If they create a guest profile prior to registering it will accelerate their purchase. Also, visiting the new NGS website in advance offers the opportunity to explore the new features of the website, and information on the conference discount available as a benefit of NGS membership.


Questions? Contact Conference Registrar Courtney Holmes or Conference Manager Erin Shifflet.




21 November 2018

Happy Thanksgiving From NGS



The National Genealogical Society wishes you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

At this time of year when we reflect on all we are grateful for, NGS wants to thank all of our members for their continued support throughout the year, and also a heartfelt thank you to the many volunteers who make our success possible.

Best Wishes,

The NGS Board of Directors and the NGS Staff


Please Note: The NGS office will be closed from Thursday, 22 November until 9:00 a.m. on Monday, 26 November 2018 in observance of the holiday.