07 October 2021

The October-December 2021 Issue of NGS Magazine is Now Online

The October–December 2021 Issue  
of the NGS Magazine is Now Online

The October–December 2021 issue of NGS Magazine, Volume 47, Number 4, is being printed and is now available online in the Members Only section of the website. The USPS is still experiencing long delays in some areas for delivery of print copies. This issue's theme is Census Records.

EDITOR'S NOTE by Deb Cyprych

April Fool’s Day next year will bring an extraordinary gift for genealogists: the release of the 1950 US census online. But research will require more effort than entering names in a database. Genealogists can start preparing now in order to locate records on 1 April 2022 and beyond.

Claire Prechtel Kluskens details the history and schedules of the 1950 census and discloses the preliminary plans of the National Archives for its release. She provides a comparison with the 1940 census, a complete list of the questions in the 1950 population schedule, and information about enumeration district (ED) maps digitized in the National Archives Catalog.

At first, researchers will have to browse the 1950 census by enumeration district. Steve Morse and Joel Weintraub suggest methods for finding 1950 ancestral locations and explain how to use the One-Step website to obtain ED numbers.

Learning about instructions to enumerators and what each census was designed to measure can assist genealogists in using census records to their fullest advantage. In part one of her article, Shelley Bishop explores the substance and availability of census instructions from 1790 to 1870.

When people can’t be located in census records, it may seem that enumerators missed them, but unsuccessful searches are usually due to other reasons. Jill Crandell illustrates strategies for overcoming search challenges related to given names, surnames, ages, birthplaces, and frequent migrations.

Some descriptions of social statistics census schedules are incorrect; Helen Shaw sets the record straight. She outlines the content, accessibility, and uses of social statistics schedules for constructing community profiles and finding clues that lead to other records.

In her column, Kathy Petlewski discusses the research value of mortality census schedules, which may have the only records of death for some ancestors. The 1850 and 1860 schedules list many deceased enslaved persons by name, although identification may be difficult.

In other columns, Cheri Hudson Passey gives helpful tips for societies to promote and conduct successful virtual meetings, Carla Cegielski presents five strategies for locating free online newspapers, and Paul Woodbury clarifies the use of ethnicity admixture estimates for context and clues in the interpretation of DNA matches.



  • NGS 2022 Family History Conference: Westward Ho! by Kathleen O. Beitiks 
  • The 1950 Census: Coming Soon! by Claire Prechtel Kluskens
  • Searching the 1950 Census by Location by Stephen P. Morse, PhD, and Joel D. Weintraub, PhD
  • The Evolution of US Census Instructions: Part One, 1790 to 1870 by Shelley Bishop
  • Locating Hard-to-Find Census Entries by Jill N. Crandell, MA, AG
  • Using Social Statistics Schedules to Learn About Ancestral Communities by Helen A. Shaw, CG


  • PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE by Kathryn M. Doyle
  • EDITOR'S NOTE by Deb Cyprych
    • Call for Proposals for NGS 2023 Family History Conference
    • Successful Virtual Meetings: Moving Societies Forward by Cheri Hudson Passey
    • Mortality Schedules: Death Records Before State Registration by Kathy Petlewski, MSLS
    • Five Strategies for Finding Free Online Newspapers by Carla S. Cegielski
    • Using Ethnicity Estimates to Generate Genealogical Hypotheses by Paul Woodbury

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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