28 January 2022

Introducing a New Course: Foundations in Family History


National Genealogical Society Introduces New Course
Foundations in Family History

Today NGS launched Foundations in Family History, a new online course designed for genealogy hobbyists and intermediate researchers. This course was developed to give each family historian a solid foundation in the research skills needed to find and evaluate records for their family and to build their family tree—generation by generation.

The course consists of three parts with eighteen lessons which build on one another. Students will learn how to examine sources and develop a research plan. The course demonstrates how online resources and published family history sources can impact students’ research. Also featured are
  • a step-by-step process for using, locating, and evaluating genealogy records;
  • practical applications to apply lessons to personal family research;
  • case studies and citations that illustrate how to put lessons into action; and
  • complementary NGS Magazine articles and videos.

Foundations in Family History is the ideal course for the DNA test taker who wants to create a family tree to connect with matches; the genealogy enthusiast who wants to take their family history knowledge to the next level; or the librarian or archivist who wants to learn more to assist their patrons. This course, along with a new certificate course for more advanced researchers coming later in 2022, replaces American Genealogical Studies.

For more information and to enroll, visit NGS Foundations in Family History.

20 January 2022

The January–March 2022 Issue of NGS Magazine is Now Online

The January–March 2022 Issue of the NGS Magazine is Now Online

The January–March 2022 issue of NGS Magazine, Volume 48, Number 1, 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 the delivery of print copies.

EDITOR'S NOTE by Deb Cyprych

This issue’s theme features the people and records of California and the West, in celebration of the NGS Family History Conference this May in Sacramento, California. Genealogists across the country are anticipating the opportunity to share and learn together at the first in-person NGS conference in three years. (Virtual and package options are also available.)

Conference attendees can take advantage of the proximity of the California History Section of the California State Library in Sacramento. Another section of the California State Library is the Sutro Library in San Francisco. Angela Maani and Dvorah Lewis describe the multitude of genealogical resources in both collections.

From 1819 to the 1960s, thousands of Indigenous children were relocated to Indian boarding schools in twenty-nine states, usually far from their homes, under the US government’s forced assimilation policy. Judy Nimer Muhn discusses the history of the boarding schools, the traumatic experiences endured by many children, and the resources available for researching the schools and the students.

Records created since about 1906 at Mexican border crossing stations in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas provide rich biographical details. Colleen Robledo Greene explains border crossing manifest cards and sheets, associated records, and strategies for accessing them.

Two articles continue the census theme of the last issue, leading up to the release of the 1950 US census on 1 April. Shelley Bishop covers the evolution and specifics of enumeration practices and instructions from 1880 to 1950, and Kathy Petlewski explores the value and variety of state census records, which include some questions not asked in federal censuses.

David Rencher examines the history and achievements of the Stern-NARA Gift Fund, which has facilitated the microfilming and digitization of millions of documents in the National Archives through the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, Preserve the Pensions—War of 1812, the US-Mexican War Project, and many other projects.

Scott Holl profiles the winners of the 2021 SLAM! Idea Showcase. SLAM! stands for Societies, Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and members of organizations may glean ideas to consider for their own projects. Paul Woodbury makes recommendations for analyzing and interpreting a test taker's closest autosomal DNA matches, and Carla Cegielski offers useful tools for understanding and calculating dates in genealogical research.



  • Stern-NARA Gift Fund: Together, Genealogists Have Made a Difference! by David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FUGA, FIGRS
  • NGS 2022 Family History Conference: Striking Genealogical Gold in Sacramento by Kathleen O. Beitiks
  • Genealogy Research at the California State Library by Angela Maani and Dvorah Lewis
  • Researching Children in Indian Boarding Schools by Judy Nimer Muhn
  • Researching Mexican Families in Border Crossing Records by Colleen Robledo Greene, MLIS
  • The Evolution of US Census Instructions: Part Two, 1880 to 1950 by Shelley Bishop


  • PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE by Kathryn M. Doyle
  • EDITOR'S NOTE by Deb Cyprych
    • Genealogical Gems in State Census Records by Kathy Petlewski, MSLS
    • 2021 NGS SLAM! Idea Showcase Projects by Scott Holl, MLIS
    • The Closest Autosomal DNA Matches by Paul Woodbury
    • Calendar Tools and Calculators for Genealogy 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.

19 January 2022

Call for Submissions for the 2022 SLAM! Idea Showcase is Open


National Genealogical Society Announces
Call for Submissions for the
2022 SLAM! Idea Showcase

The National Genealogical Society announced the call for submissions for the SLAM! Idea Showcase scheduled for May 2022. The event is one of several components of the 2022 NGS Family History Conference, 24–28 May 2022.

The showcase allows genealogical information providers to share their work with genealogists and family historians while encouraging collaboration among information providers. This is the second year that NGS is hosting the showcase in conjunction with the conference. Help us spread the word by sharing this information with genealogy society, library, archive, and museum (SLAM) friends and colleagues.

Societies, libraries, archives, and museums and other organizations such as universities are encouraged this year to submit posters or videos to illustrate their creative and innovative projects or programs.
Posters and videos will be available for viewing by attendees In-Person in Sacramento, California, and Online at Home using the Whova virtual event platform. Presenters will also be able to discuss their posters with participants. NGS will select the top posters and videos for cash awards; additional submissions will be selected for honorable mentions. The top six videos will be shown during the SLAM! Film Fest in Sacramento on 24 May 2022.
NGS will accept submissions through 15 March 2022. Submission requirements and online submission forms are posted on the NGS conference website.

For more information, contact Kate Smith, Organizations and Communities Manager at [email protected].


05 January 2022

NGS Launches Forum: A New Online Platform for Members



National Genealogical Society Launches Forum: 

A New Online Platform for Members

Today the National Genealogical Society launched a new membership benefit—Forum, a networking platform for both individual members and delegates from member organizations.

Forum is a private, online platform that allows members to engage with fellow members, share knowledge and best practices, and discuss a wide range of family history topics. Featuring groups called communities, Forum connects member genealogists, family historians, and organizations who share research interests.

At launch, unique communities exist for general discussion and specialty topics such as methodology, libraries, and reference resources. Over time, NGS will add additional communities to meet a variety of needs. Members also have access to libraries of resources specific to each community and can post images, videos, and documents.

To learn more, log in as a member and visit Forum.

03 January 2022

NGSQ December 2021 Is Now Online!

Mary Frances (Ellsworth) Larner
Hanley McPherson Smith O'Brien

The December 2021 Issue of the NGSQ is Now Online

The December 2021 issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Volume 109, Number 4, is available online in the members-only section of the website and printed issues are being prepared for mailing. The USPS is experiencing long delays in some areas for the delivery of print copies. We apologize if your print copy is affected.


  • “Correct Interpretation of an Eighteenth-Century Will Restores the Parents of Allerton Newton of Westmoreland County, Virginia” by Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS
  • “A Father for William E. Enfinger of Alachua County, Florida” by Nancy A. Peters, CG, CGL

  • “The Many Names of Frances Ellsworth: Unraveled Evidence Identifies a Birth Name” by Amy Larner Giroux, PhD, CG, CGL

  • Learning Never Stops
  • Caution for Confederate Wives
  • Anna May Takes a Side Trip
  • A Sporting Couple



The National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ) is published four times per year, in March, June, September, and December. The journal is edited by Nancy A. Peters, CG®, CGLSM, and Allen R. Peterson, AG, CG®.