A major announcement was released today: the Boards of Directors of both the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society and of the Federation of Genealogical Societies have announced they plan to merge the two organizations. This strikes me as a great idea as these two competing organizations have long overlapped many of each other’s efforts in serving their members, holding duplicate and expensive national conferences, and in many other ways. I am sure the transition will be challenging and probably not everything will progress smoothly. However, the end result should be one national organization that can better serve the genealogy community and do so at significantly lower expense than the two have been able to do separately.
Here is the announcement:
August 21, 2019 – Washington, D.C.
In a historic move, the boards of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) and the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announced today their intent to merge. The two organizations, both non-profit leaders in the dynamic genealogy industry, will form one consolidated group that will continue to operate as the National Genealogical Society. Both boards approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) earlier this week, and jointly announced the news at the Opening Session of the FGS Family History Conference in Washington, D.C. this morning.
Leaders of both organizations believe this merger will serve the genealogy community by improving support of both individual members and societies in the pursuit of genealogical excellence.
The organizational structure of NGS will be modified to increase functions that support genealogical societies and family organizations. Digitization projects of genealogical importance such as the War of 1812 pensions will continue. The two organizations will continue to operate independently while all details of the merger are completed, no later than October 1, 2020.
Faye Stallings, President of FGS, said: “We are excited about this opportunity to combine with a premier organization that has been in operation since 1903. This will allow for improved and expanded services to help support societies.” Ben Spratling, President of the NGS, commented, “We look forward to continuing the strong legacy of FGS as a ‘gathering point’ for family historians and societies all across the nation.”
FGS was founded in 1976 and empowers the genealogical and family history community, especially its societies and organizations, by advocating for the preservation of records and providing resources that enable genealogical organizations to succeed in pursuing their missions. FGS launched the Preserve the Pensions project in 2010 and raised more than $3 million to digitize and make freely available the pension files from the War of 1812. Fundraising was completed for that project in 2016 and the digitization continues. FGS was also the driving force behind the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors project alongside the National Parks Service. To learn more visit fgs.org.