28 September 2022

Foundations in Family History Course: Creating a Research Plan

Do You Use a Research Plan for Your Family History?

Researching family history is a gratifying and addictive pastime. Sometimes we chase down a rabbit hole and don’t find the elusive ancestor we're looking for. That particular ancestor and their parentage may be the key to the next generation we're trying to identify.
Creating a research plan helps us stay focused. An important first step is to formulate a specific research question for one person and focus on records that may answer that question.
Next, review the documents collected for information relating to the question and identify additional records available for the time and place. This effort at the beginning of the research project will pay off. Some research plans can be accomplished in a couple of hours (for example, to find when and where John Smith and Mary Jones got married). More extensive research plans (for questions such as “Who were the parents of John Smith and Mary Jones?”) may include several phases and require research over longer periods of time.

Whether you have a simple or complex question in your research, the National Genealogical Society (NGS) can help. The NGS Foundations in Family History online course will teach you all eight steps for creating a research plan and using a research log.
The lesson on creating a research plan is just one of the eighteen lessons in the Foundations in Family History course that will help you become a more successful genealogist and researcher. Learn more and sign up online.


Visit the NGS website to discover additional genealogy courses.

15 September 2022

NGSQ September Issue is Now Online!

NGSQ cover Sept 2022
Andrew Blanchard Marriner, ca. 1890s

The September 2022 Issue of the NGSQ is Now Online

The September 2022 issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Volume 110, Number 3, is available online in the members-only section of the website and printed issues are being prepared for mailing. The USPS is still experiencing delays in some areas for the delivery of print copies. We apologize if your print copy is affected.


  • “The Brambach, Mangold, and Beplat Saga: Evidence Supports Sensationalist News Stories” by Amy Larner Giroux, PhD, CG, CGL
  • “Parents for Mary Ann (Marriner) Graves of New Jersey and Pennsylvania” by by Debbie Hadley

  • “Do Slave Schedules Accurately Report Owners?” by Tony Burroughs 

  • Making the Most of What You Have

  • Wall Family Bible
  • The Three Bears Revisited


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®.