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