30 October 2018

NGS Magazine July–September 2018 Issue

The July-September 2018 issue of NGS Magazine, Volume 44, Number 3, has been mailed to members and is available online in the Members Only section of the website.

EDITOR’S NOTE by Deb Cyprych 

Every family has its secrets—scandalous, tragic, embarrassing, or just different. This issue deals head on with some of these skeletons in the closet and the unusual techniques and records that may reveal them.

Sydney Cruice Dixon discovered a long-hidden family secret in the National Archives. Her case study examines the reaction of two communities to a Civil War court-martial and its long-lasting effect on a family, and introduces the use of genograms to chart patterns of behavior in family history. 

Divorce in earlier generations is seldom disclosed, although it has been part of American culture since the seventeenth century. Pam Stone Eagleson, CG, provides a comprehensive range of clues that a divorce occurred, examples of using indexes, and ways to locate records. 

Genealogists may want to know more about mentally ill ancestors but have low expectations about obtaining access to their records. Jill Morelli, CG, explains what is available publicly, where records may be held, and how to obtain state-held records when restricted by law. 

Some female ancestors who “disappeared” may have become prostitutes. Jane Haldeman demonstrates how an understanding of local and federal laws and the challenges prostitutes encountered can help with researching ladies of ill repute. 

Unscrupulous people took advantage of Civil War pension laws to obtain money under false pretenses. Claire Prechtel Kluskens gives examples of scams and highlights a National Archives collection that is being digitized. 

The 1880 Supplemental Schedules for Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes name thousands of people affected by blindness, child homelessness, deafness, imprisonment, insanity, mental disability, and poverty. Kathy Petlewski outlines the contents, purpose, and locations of these schedules. 

Jordan Jones discusses methods of physically and logically securing private information and ways to share data cautiously, with warnings about the sensitive nature of DNA data and evolving privacy laws.

Table of Contents


  • NGS 2019 Family History Conference: Journey of Discovery Events and Tours, by Ann Carter Fleming, CG, CGL, FNGS
  • A Family Secret: Desertion, Scurvy, and Abraham Lincoln, by Sydney F. Cruice Dixon
  • Divorce Records in Genealogical Research, by Pam Stone Eagleson, CG
  • Finding the Records of the Mentally Ill, by Jill Morelli, CG
  • Loose Women: Researching Prostitutes, by Jane G. Haldeman
  • Researching Eighteenth-Century Gemman Immigrants, by James M. Beidler


  • President’s Message by Ben Spratling
  • Editor’s Note by Deb Cyprych
  • NGS News
  • National Archives Thieves, Scoundrels, Impostors and More by Claire Prechtel Kluskens
  • Reference Desk 1880 Supplemental Schedules: Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes by Kathy Petlewski, MSLS 
  • Technology The Technology for Keeping Secrets by Jordan Jones
  • NGS Members’ Book Notices

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.

24 October 2018

National Genealogical Society Quarterly September 2018 Issue

The September 2018 issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Volume 106, Number 3, has been sent to the printer and will be arriving in members' mailboxes. Members can access the current issue at the NGS website (log in required).

Feature articles

Hiram Cochran, Freedman of Abbeville County, South Carolina by Nancy A. Peters, CG, CGL

A Parental Family for Thomas Tidball of North Molton, Devon by J. H. Fonkert, CG

Information in Family Papers and a First Name: Keys to a California Pioneer’s Simmons Ancestry by Shirley Langdon Wilcox, CG, FNGS

2017 Winner: Family History Writing Contest

“Her Sixth Matrimonial Venture”: The Many Marriages of Ida May Chamberlain by Sharon L. Hoyt, MLIS, CG

Editors’ Corner 

The “Street Lamp” Effect 163



Singular Union 
Attention, Veterans 
Wedded to Save Pig’s Life