05 March 2020

The January–March 2020 Issue of NGS Magazine is Now Online

The January–March 2020 issue of NGS Magazine, Volume 46, Number 1, is available online in the Members Only section of the website and will be mailed to members in the coming weeks.

EDITOR'S NOTE by Deb Cyprych

In celebration of the NGS Family History Conference this May in Salt Lake City, Utah, this issue features the history, records, and resources of some of the people who settled in the West.

In the cover story, Grant Din and Linda Harms Okazaki describe the restrictions placed upon Asian immigration and the types of details in associated records. Chinese were prevented from entering the United States for sixty years but developed ingenious ways of getting around exclusion, such as “paper sons” with false identification papers. From 1908 to 1920 Japanese laborers already in the United States were allowed to send for their families, and the custom of marriage in Japan facilitated by photographs evolved so “picture brides” could immigrate. Interrogation of these immigrants—including children—produced thousands of extensive case files.

As might be expected for a church dedicated to preserving the world's records, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stresses record-keeping for its members. Angela Packer McGhie illustrates the wealth of resources for researching Mormons such as baptismal, membership, and ordinance records; meeting minutes; congregational histories; and many other sources.

A little-known chapter in American history involves the Jewish agricultural colonies founded west of the Mississippi for Jews fleeing Russian pogroms in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. Jane Neff Rollins and Andrea Massion explain the role of philanthropic organizations in the development of the colonies and provide strategies for researching Jewish agricultural ancestors.

Many migrants to the West travelled on trains, especially after 1869 when both parts of the transcontinental railroad were completed at Promontory Summit, Utah. Kathy Petlewski discusses the history of railroads and the types of records available for railroad workers.

Two articles delve into the topic of DNA. Cari Taplin summarizes the Board for Certification of Genealogists’ recent changes to its standards, primarily related to DNA, in the second edition of Genealogy Standards. Paul Woodbury uses story-telling to demonstrate how the inheritance patterns of X-DNA and autosomal DNA can help in solving research problems.

In a new column, Tech Tips, Carla Cegielski offers useful information gained from her experience as a webmaster, web designer, technological consultant, and genealogical researcher. In this issue she covers the basics of capturing, snipping, and saving images for personal use.

To see the digital issues of NGS Magazine in color for the last three years, visit https://www.ngsgenealogy.org/magazine/archives and log in as a member. Issues from 2005 to date are searchable individually, and all URLs mentioned in the articles are hyperlinked to the corresponding websites.



  • The NGS Family History Conference: A Rich Educational Opportunity by Erin Pritchett
  • Paper Sons and Picture Brides: Asian Immigrant Case Files, 1884–1944 by Grant Din and Linda Harms Okazaki
  • Researching Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Angela Packer McGhie, CG
  • Farming in the Golden Land: Jewish Agricultural Colonies West of the Mississippi by Jane Neff Rollins and Andrea Massion
  • New DNA-Related Standards Offer Guidance by Cari A. Taplin, CG


  • PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE by Ben Spratling
  • EDITOR’S NOTE by Deb Cyprych
    The Rise of Railroads and the Records of Railroaders by Kathy Petlewski, MSLS
    The Journey of DNA’s Inheritance Paths: X-DNA and Autosomal DNA by Paul Woodbury
    Capturing, Snipping, and Saving Images by Carla S. Cegielski

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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