25 November 2020

Happy Thanksgiving from NGS!

The National Genealogical Society wishes you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

In this very memorable year, we celebrate the strength of family connections. We are grateful to be connected to you.

Thank you for your continued support throughout the year. And an extra dose of gratitude to the many volunteers who make our success possible.

Be safe and stay well,

The NGS Staff and Board of Directors

Please Note: The NGS office will close for Thanksgiving at 3:00 p.m. Wednesday and will reopen Monday with normal business hours.

We thought you might enjoy Thanksgiving Goes Virtual: How to Carve Out New Traditions Amid the Ongoing Pandemic from the Washington Post. It includes suggestions from NGS on sharing family stories.

24 November 2020

New Books for Arizona and Nevada Research from NGS

 NGS Introduces Two New Research in the States Books: Arizona and Nevada

NGS is pleased to announce the publication of two new books as part of its Research in the States series, which now covers research in twenty-nine states. The newest volumes are Research in Arizona by David E. Rencher, AG, CG®, FUGA, FIGRS, and Research in Nevada, by Stefani Evans, CG. The books are available in the NGS store in both PDF and print versions.

Both guidebooks provide detailed information on a wealth of resources, including:
  • Archives, Libraries, and Societies
  • Atlas, Gazetteers, and Maps
  • Business, Cemetery, Ethnic, Institutional, Military, and Naturalization Records
  • Organizational Records, Directories, and Newspapers
  • Probate, School, State, Tax, and Vital Records
  • Railroads, Religious Records, Women, and more
The authors include the website address, physical address, and telephone number for each resource.

In Research in Arizona, Rencher also provides detailed information for those researching Native American ancestors, which include Apache, Hopi, Navaho, and Pueblo of Zuni tribes. The guidebook covers Arizona’s pre-territorial, territorial, federal, and Indian censuses. For those researching Spanish and Mexican ancestors, Research in Arizona offers helpful information on finding records from the state’s pre-territorial periods when it was ruled by Spain (1562–1821) and Mexico (1821–1853).

The author also includes out-of-state repositories for Arizona related records.

Rencher is the director of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the chief genealogical officer for FamilySearch, and serves on the NGS board of directors as chair of the Development Committee. He is the Irish course coordinator and instructor for several prestigious genealogical institutes. He also is the past chair of the joint committee for Record Preservation and Access and a Fellow of Utah Genealogical Association.

Research in Nevada discusses Nevada’s land records and the Desert Land, Homestead, and Taylor Grazing Acts. Water and mining records are noted as are records from the Great Depression including the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Enrollee Records and works created by the Works Projects Administration. Evans also includes records of brands as well as resources to aid genealogists interested in researching ancestors who worked on the construction of the Hoover (Boulder) Dam or lived in Boulder City during that time.

Evans has served as an NGS director, Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) trustee, BCG Education Fund trustee, and Nevada Delegate for the Southwest Oral History Association. She chaired the NGS 2013 Family History Conference in Las Vegas and has written for the NGS Quarterly, NGS Magazine, and the NYG&B Record.

Research in the States series is edited by Barbara Vines Little, CG®, FNGS, FVGS, a former NGS president and editor of the Magazine of Virginia Genealogy. Research in Arizona and Research in Nevada are available for purchase in the NGS online store in both PDF and print versions.


11 November 2020

NGS Introduces New Course: Reading Old Handwriting


NGS Introduces New Online Course: Reading Old Handwriting

The National Genealogical Society introduced today the newest course in its Continuing Genealogical Studies series, Reading Old Handwriting. This illustrated course is essential for everyone researching their family tree. It offers family historians tips to understand hard-to-read handwriting in documents such as wills and deeds. Its practice exercises teach how to read and interpret handwritten land records, probate files, and, of course, your ancestors’ personal letters.

NGS Education Director Angela McGhie states, “…the ability to read old handwriting is a foundational skill for understanding many of the documents family historians discover in their research. Being able to read old handwriting is the first step in interpreting genealogically relevant facts. Our new course Reading Old Handwriting complements NGS’s course, Transcribing, Extracting, and Abstracting Genealogical Documents, which was released in June 2020.”

The course guides genealogists through ten modules. Every module has multiple hands-on exercises to help family historians develop expertise in reading documents from a variety of locations and time periods. Course author Carla S. Cegielski is a freelance genealogical researcher and author of the Tech Tips column in the quarterly NGS Magazine.

For more information and to register, visit Reading Old Handwriting on NGS’s website.