10 October 2022

The Newest Issue of NGS Magazine is Now Online!

The October–December 2022 Issue  
of the NGS Magazine is Now Online

The October–December 2022 issue of NGS Magazine, Volume 48, Number 4, is being printed and is now available online in the Members Only section of the website. Delivery of print copies depends upon USPS schedules. This issue’s theme is Ancestral Places.

EDITOR'S NOTE by Deb Cyprych

Although genealogists can’t physically travel back to the past, often we can visit the places where ancestors lived, worked, and worshipped. Even if those places no longer exist, traces remain in their history and records. The process of locating, visualizing, and researching specific places improves genealogical outcomes and adds details to family histories.

When a place name is found in a record, it has to be read, interpreted, identified, and located. Pam Vestal demonstrates a variety of ways to overcome obstacles in a search for locations, including difficult handwriting, low-quality images, garbled spelling, repetition of names, variations of names, and other challenging issues.

Land records are among the most valuable records in genealogical research, and fortunately, many are being digitized. Jean Atkinson Andrews discusses the types of public land records commonly found online. Her case study for an early settler illustrates the use of these records to discover details about his experience.

Maps are essential for understanding a place’s geography and proximity to potential record sources. Google My Maps makes it possible to compile historical information on a modern map and access it from a mobile device. Melinda Kashuba explains how to create, edit, annotate, and share maps in Google My Maps for genealogical purposes.

Every house has a story that can open doors into research for the people who lived there. Betsy J. Green explores techniques for researching the history of current and ancestral homes. Aaron Goodwin shares an example of how records in the New York City Municipal Archives provide historical background for a house.

Federal agricultural census schedules between 1850 and 1880 contain details about farmers’ land, crops, production, livestock, and cash values—up to one hundred items of information for each farm. Kathy Petlewski covers the development of the schedules and their locations in digitized and microfilm format, with a case study for how they can be used to enhance research.

The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, has the agricultural census schedules for twenty-four states, as part of the largest genealogy collection in an American public library. John D. Beatty highlights the scope of the Center’s books, periodicals, microtexts, digital collections and databases, expert assistance, and free virtual educational programs.

In this issue’s columns, Carla Cegielski describes the benefits and components of family websites; Rhonda Hoffman concludes her article about society surveys by discussing online survey platforms; and Paul Woodbury explains tools for estimating the probability of different relationship levels based on amounts of shared DNA.



  • Where Did They Come From and Where Did They Go? Overcoming Obstacles in a Search for Ancestral Locations by Pam Vestal
  • Public Land Records Research Online by Jean Atkinson Andrews, CG
  • Using Google My Maps for Research, Analysis, and Sharing Information by Melinda Kashuba, PhD
  • Discovering a Home’s History by Betsy J. Green
  • The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library by John D. Beatty, CG


  • PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE by Kathryn M. Doyle
  • EDITOR'S NOTE by Deb Cyprych
    • Using Agricultural Census Schedules in Family History Research by Kathy Petlewski, MSLS
    • Creating a Family Website by Carla S. Cegielski
    • Surveying Society Memberships: Part 2, Online Surveys by Rhonda Hoffman, MLS
    • Surveying Society Membership: Part 2, Online Surveys 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.