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.

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