30 March 2018

NGS Magazine Volume 44, Number 1

The January–March 2018 issue of NGS Magazine has been mailed to members and is available online in the Members Only section of the website.

EDITOR’S NOTE by Deb Cyprych 

In celebration of the fortieth NGS Family History Conference in May in Grand Rapids, Michigan, this issue explores the history, people, resources, and repositories of the Great Lakes region.

A large concentration of Dutch immigrants settled in this area in the nineteenth century, and the conference features eight sessions on Dutch genealogy. In this issue, Yvette Hoitink delineates their reasons for emigration, methods for researching Dutch immigrants in American records, and resources for research in Dutch records.

The Archives of Michigan is the repository for Michigan state and local governmental records and the home of the Abrams Foundation Historical Collection, one of the larger genealogical collections in the United States, with many materials beyond Michigan’s borders. Kris W. Rzepczynski describes the Archives and the Abrams Collection as well as the digital resources on the Seeking Michigan website.

Created by a federal ordinance in 1787, the Northwest Territory included all of the land in the current states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin, and part of eastern Minnesota. Kathy Petlewski’s column explores the settlement of the area and genealogical resources for the early period.

Registration is now open for NGS’s guided research trip to Madison, Wisconsin, in August. Pam Stone Eagleson shares some of the discoveries she and others made as participants in the inaugural trip last year, in the Wisconsin Historical Society and the Max Kade Institute.

Two articles continue the search strategies theme featured in the last issue. Kimberly Powell provides a guide to unusual and sometimes complicated indexing systems used in many courthouse records. Many of these indexes have been digitized, and an understanding of their organization can help with locating records. Mary Kircher Roddy reports on the reasons names may be spelled differently in newspaper databases, ranging from reporters’ misspellings to inaccuracies resulting from optical character recognition systems. Searching for incorrect spellings can lead to relevant articles.

During World War I, fifty-three thousand men with a connection to the United States enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, including both Canadians and Americans living in the United States and American-born residents living in Canada. Michael Strauss outlines the numerous records that survive.

In their columns, Jordan Jones discusses the benefits of note-taking software, Diahan Southard gives tips on communicating effectively with DNA matches, and Claire Prechtel Kluskens presents an example of unusual records in the National Archives.

Table of Contents


  • Reasons to Attend the NGS Family History Conference by Janet A. Alpert, FNGS
  • Notice of 2018 NGS Annual Meeting, Nominations, and Election for Officers and the Board of Directors 
  • Researching Nineteenth-Century Dutch Immigrants by Yvette Hoitink, CG
  • Family History Gold at the Archives of Michigan by Kris W.  Rzepczynski, MLIS, MA
  • The Newest NGS Research Trip: Madison, Wisconsin by Pam Stone Eagleson, CG
  • Navigate Courthouse Indexes Like a Pro by Kimberly T. Powell
  • Goodspelliarmus! Wizardry for Effective Newspaper Searces by Mary Kircher Roddy
  • Brothers in Arms: Americans in the Canadian Expeditionary Force by Michael L. Strauss, AG

  • President’s Message by Ben Spratling
  • Editor’s Note by Deb Cyprych
  • NGS News
  • Reference Desk The Northwest Territory and Its Settlement by Kathy Petlewski, MSLS
  • DNA Demystified Effective Communication with DNA Matches by Diahan Southard 
  • National Archives No Horsing Around! Unusual Records in the National Archives by Claire Prechtel Kluskens
  • Technology Note-Taking Software by Jordan Jones

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.

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