29 April 2020

The April–June 2020 Issue of NGS Magazine is Now Online

The April–June 2020 issue of NGS Magazine, Volume 46, Number 2, is available online in the Members Only section of the website and will be mailed to members in the coming weeks. Log in soon to read the article about the virtual NGS 2020 Family History Conference and its 15 May registration deadline. If you have not already discovered the pleasure of reading the digital edition of NGS Magazine, we urge you to start with this issue. Editor, Deb Cyprych and Designer, Mikayle Stole have worked tirelessly to bring you excellent and informative articles in a pleasing format with beautiful color images. Many of us at NGS can’t wait to see and read the digital version and then savor it all over again when the print version arrives. We hope you enjoy reading each issue as much as we do!

EDITOR'S NOTE by Deb Cyprych

This spring, while people around the world stay at home to slow the spread of COVID-19, workers are risking their health to provide medical care and other essential services. Dedicated to the spirit of these heroes, this issue highlights the records of ancestral military veterans who risked their welfare to serve their country.

In gratitude for the work done by military personnel, Congress passed a series of acts to award bounty land to enlistees and veterans for service between 1790 and 1855. Susan Goss Johnston demonstrates that far more veterans applied for bounty land than for pensions, and that their applications are becoming more accessible. These files, which are not identical to the warrants and patents found in online databases, may offer detailed information.

American citizenship was granted to three hundred thousand immigrants who served in US military forces during World War I. Since the process occurred in military camps usually far from the soldiers’ homes, their records can be hard to find. Debra M. Dudek addresses the myths associated with these naturalizations, access to the records, and the types of information in petitions, naturalization certificate files, and Alien Papers.

Some immigrants provided military service opposed to the United States. During the Revolutionary War, King George III of Great Britain negotiated treaties with the rulers of six German principalities to furnish so-called Hessian soldiers to fight against the American patriots. Craig R. Scott outlines the process for researching ancestors among the five thousand soldiers who remained in North America.

Descendants may not even be aware that their ancestors served in the military. Kathy Petlewski explains how to thoroughly check the census columns requesting brief information about military service in 1840, 1890, 1910, 1930, 1940, and 1950 (after its release in 2022). Some state censuses also requested information about veterans.

In this issue’s other articles, Teri E. Flack describes the history and achievements of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, Paul Woodbury explains the biological aspects that control DNA inheritance, and Carla Cegielski covers the value and process of using RSS feeds to receive useful information.

Annette Burke Lyttle reveals that the opposition of Quakers to slavery evolved over time. Focusing on the Friends of the Philadelphia area, she illustrates that early Quakers participated in the purchase and sale of enslaved people, while later Friends forbade such transactions but tolerated slaveholding until it was prohibited in 1776. The records of many monthly meetings contain manumissions and personal details.

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.



  • Five Things to Know about FGS before the Merger by Teri E. Flack
  • An Underutilized Treasure: Bounty Land Warrant Applications by Susan Goss Johnston
  • Researching Hessian Soldiers in the Revolutionary War by Craig R. Scott, CG, FUGA
  • Immigrant Ancestors in World War I Military Naturalizations by Debra M. Dudek
  • Quakers and Slavery in the City of Brotherly Love by Annette Burke Lyttle


  • PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE NGS and the New Normal by Ben Spratling
    NGS 2020 Family History Conference is Now Virtual by Jan Alpert, NGS Conference Chair, and Luana Darby, 2020 Conference Chair
    Finding Veterans in Federal Census Records by Kathy Petlewski, MSLS
    The Biological Journey of DNA Inheritance: From Meiosis to Fertilization by Paul Woodbury
    Using RSS Feeds for Productivity 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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