General Society of Mayflower Descendants has cancelled its 42nd Congress

The cancellation is due to the Covid19 (CoronaVirus) pandemic. The society plans to hold its next Congress in September 2021.

Announcing the 400th Anniversary Edition of “Of Plimoth Plantation”

The following announcement was written by American Ancestors|New England Historic Genealogical Society and the Colonial Society of Massachusetts:

Native American Historian and American History Experts
Offer a Groundbreaking Look at
the Most Important Eyewitness Account of the Mayflower Story

A Newly-Annotated Edition of
Governor William Bradford’s Account of Plymouth Colony,
Published by American Ancestors and the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, Provides New Perspectives on Colonization and Conflict

May 21, 2020—Boston, Massachusetts—In this first-of-its-kind edition of Bradford’s account of the Mayflower’s journey, its arrival in 1620, and life in the New World—published this week by American Ancestors and the Colonial Society of Massachusetts—Wampanoag, American, and Dutch scholars set the record straight about the impact of the arrival of 102 passengers to what they would call Plymouth Colony. This new book offers a fresh perspective on what took place over the first years of settlement—particularly the interactions between the Pilgrims and the Native people—in time for this year’s 400th anniversary of one of the most impactful events in world history.

National Genealogical Society Announces Its 2020 Awards & Competition Honorees

The following announcement was written by the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:

FALLS CHURCH, VA, 20 MAY 2020—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announced its 2020 award honorees and competition winners at its Virtual Family History Conference NGS 2020 Live! on 20 May 2020. The following awards were announced to recognize excellence, achievement, and genealogical service.

National Genealogy Hall of Fame: George Ely Russell, CG®, FASG, FNGS

NGS introduced its National Genealogy Hall of Fame in 1986. The award honors outstanding genealogists whose achievements in American genealogy have had a great impact on the field.  We invite you to visit the National Genealogy Hall of Fame and learn about its honorees. This year George Ely Russell, nominated by the American Society of Genealogists, was elected to the National Genealogy Hall of Fame. Born in Niagara Falls, New York, on 24 November 1927, George died in Ijamsville, Maryland, on 9 January 2013.

Registration Now Open for NYSFHC and NYSFHC @Home

The following announcement was written by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society:

Dear Friends –

The NYG&B has been actively working to transition our plans for the 2020 New York State Family History Conference (NYSFHC) to ensure a safe, healthy, and productive experience for everyone. NYSFHC is New York’s largest family history event, with attendees from across the United States. This year, we are proud to announce the addition of NYSFHC@Home—a digital conference experience in conjunction with our activities in Albany. Thanks to the dedication of our speakers and sponsors, this brand-new experience will deliver the NYSFHC experience remotely, from the comfort of your home.

What is NSYFHC@Home?

Ohio Genealogical Society Launches New Website

The following announcement was written by the Ohio Genealogical Society:

The Ohio Genealogical Society has officially launched its new website. Almost a year in development, it is now an easier site to navigate with its reformatted design, integrated access to database content, new catalog interface, a consolidated blog, and much more. As we continue to develop this new resource for research, you can expect to see more digitized material on the website. We are also positioning to be able to present webinars and other programming. The site is located at

Australian Genealogist Keith Johnson Elected a Fellow of The IGRS

The following announcement was written by the Irish Genealogical Research Society:

Keith A. Johnson

It is with pleasure that we announce that high profile Australian genealogist Keith A. Johnson, AM, FSG, FSAG, FRAHS, has been elected a Fellow of the Irish Genealogical Research Society.  The formal, public announcement of his election would have occurred at the IGRS Annual General Meeting in London on Saturday, 9th May, but due to the Covid-19 health crisis that event has been postponed.

In announcing this award IGRS Chairman Steven Smyrl said “Keith has had a long and distinguished career in genealogy and he has been to the forefront of developments in the field in Australia for decades. He is the 92nd person to have been honoured with the Fellowship of the IGRS in its 84-year history.  He is the sixth Australasian (and fifth Australian) to be so elected, following Andrew Clifford (New Zealand, 1995), Rosemary Coleby (2005), Nick Reddan (2006), Lindsay Bellhouse (2009) and Terry Eakin (2012).”

Historian/Author Stephen Puleo to Appear on “American Stories, Inspiration Today”

American Ancestors, also known as the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), has been sponsoring a series of FREE online virtual programs titled “American Stories, Inspiration Today” done in collaboration with the Boston Public Library. The latest announcement certainly will interest many people, especially those with Irish ancestry. Here is the announcement written by American Ancestors:

American Ancestors│NEHGS and the Boston Public Library Present a True Tale of Irish-U.S. History and Humanitarian Aid

Boston Historian Stephen Puleo, Author of Voyage of Mercy,
Talks Tuesday, May 14, at 6 p.m. EDST
in a Virtual Event Series Titled “American Stories, Inspiration Today”
Providing History, Inspiration, Intelligence on the American Experience
for This Unprecedented At-home Time

Talks Are Free – Online Registration Now Open

Heinz History Center to Host Virtual Genealogy Workshops

Has your local library or genealogy society stopped holding weekly or monthly genealogy activities because of the present pandemic? If so, perhaps that organization should consider offering virtual meetings and workshops. One excellent example may be found at the Detre Library & Archives of the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The Senator John Heinz History Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, will be holding two virtual genealogy workshops this month. The workshops will feature live presentations from renowned genealogists and examine historic records and electronic resources.

You can learn more in an article by Paul Guggenheimer in the TribLive web site at However, there appears to be a broken link in that article. At the bottom of the page at, the last sentence should read, “Both workshops will be conducted virtually via Zoom. Those interested can register online at”

My thanks to the several newsletter readers who sent corrections to the broken link.

National Genealogical Society is Providing Free Access to NGS Monthly Archives Through 31 July 2020

The following announcement was written by the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:

During this time when so many Americans must stay at home, the National Genealogical Society (NGS) is offering non-members free access to five years of NGS Monthly. Starting immediately through 31 July 2020, everyone interested in family history can read insightful articles in our digital publication archive.

Edited and authored by Aaron Goodwin, an award-winning genealogist, NGS Monthly’s articles help researchers of all levels. The articles offer family historians invaluable insights on methodology and digestible recommendations on genealogical research by considering the techniques of skilled researchers and scholars, and how they solved difficult research problems. Topics often examine valuable lessons in case studies published in the scholarly NGS Quarterly to help readers understand how to apply new concepts to their own work.

American Ancestors│NEHGS and the Boston Public Library Present a Story of Immigration and Assimilation

The following announcement was written byAmerican Ancestors│NEHGS

American Ancestors│NEHGS and the Boston Public Library
Present a Story of Immigration and Assimilation

Author Phuc Tran with His New Book SIGH, GONE
Talks Tuesday, April 28, at 6 p.m. EDST in a New Virtual Event Series
Titled “American Stories, Inspiration Today”

Topics to Range from 1630s Plymouth to Immigrant America 1980s Style,
Ties to Ireland and the Potato Famine to the Impactful Realm
of DNA Testing Today – All Providing History, Inspiration, Intelligence
on the American Experience for This Unprecedented At-home Time

Talks Are Free – Online Registration Now Open

Phuc Tran

April 24, 2020—Boston, Massachusetts—On Tuesday, April 28, at 6:00 p.m. EDST, author Phuc Tran, who was born in Vietnam, will share his story of immigration and assimilation with online audiences in a virtual event presented in a new series titled “American Stories, Inspiration Today” by American Ancestors │New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS). Presented in partnership with the Boston Public Library, the online series features best-selling authors and their new illuminating works.

The new virtual event series aims to “provide our quarantined audiences with the context of history, some hard-won insight and intelligence, and a dose of inspiration that might get us all through this unprecedented at-home time,” said Margaret Talcott of American Ancestors │NEHGS, one of the series’ producers. Tran is the second author in the series, with two more to come in May.

Announcing $20 off all New Memberships from American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society

The following announcement was written by American Ancestors / New England Historic Genealogical Society:

American Ancestors and NEHGS, America’s founding genealogical organization, has announced a special discount on new memberships during the month of April 2020. Given the unprecedented global health crisis, with individuals remaining at home, the organization is offering a $20 discount on any new annual membership for a limited time to encourage others to engage in the rewarding activity of researching family history. Throughout April, the cost of a new, individual, annual membership has been reduced to $74.95.

American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is the nation’s most comprehensive resource for family history research. Members have access to expert family history services through the organization’s staff, original published scholarship, its data-rich website at, outstanding online educational opportunities, and a state-of-the-art research center located in downtown Boston, Mass. American Ancestors helps family historians of all levels explore their past and understand their families’ unique place in history.

An annual, individual membership with American Ancestors includes:

ISBGFH DNA Virtual Institute Registration is Now Open

The following announcement was written by the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History:


The International Society for British Genealogy and Family History is pleased to announce that registration for the DNA Virtual Institute by Dr Maurice Gleeson is now OPEN!

The virtual institute will run over two days and all presentations will be LIVE so seats are limited. The presentations will be held on September 8 & 9, 2020.

Topics to be covered:

How to Quickly Pull Together an Online Streaming Event

Has your local society been forced to cancel a planned event due to the CoronaVirus concerns? Would you like to convert it into an online video conference? If so, how do you plan to do that?

Many variables are involved, of course. However, you can learn how one (non-genealogy) organization managed to hold a well-attended online event on short notice.

Quoting from the article by Alan Soon in the NiemanLab web site:

“If you’re reading this, you’re probably trying to figure out how to do your first online event. We decided to do Splice Low-Res because (1) we needed to learn how to do this, as COVID-19 leads us deeper online, and (2) we wanted to see how the media startup community was holding up.

“We haven’t figured it all out — but this is what we’ve learned so far. Let us know where you think we could have done better.”

Plans for the National Genealogical Society’s Annual Conference in May

The (U.S.) National Genealogical Society’s Annual Conference is planned for May 20 to 23, 2020 in Salt Lake City. Obviously, with all the news and the impact of the CoronaVirus (also called COVID-19) and especially the frequent announcements of cancelations or postponements of other large conferences, conventions, and other meetings, the wisdom of holding a major conference at this time is in question.

Specific questions include:

Should the conference be canceled?

If it is held as an in-person event, how many people are willing to travel to the event in these times?

Will the convention center, nearby hotels and restaurants, and even the airlines be capable of handling a large conference during these times of many events being canceled? (Many of those organizations are presently operating with minimal staffing; in some cases, the needed facility may be closed.)

Society of Genealogists and FamilySearch Partnership to Digitize the SoG’s Collection of Compiled Family Histories

The following announcement was written by the Society of Genealogists:

The Society of Genealogists and FamilySearch are about to start work on a programme of digitization of some 9000 family history books and over 5000 genealogy pamphlets, offprints and unpublished tracts from the Society of Genealogists’ extensive genealogy library.

Since its foundation in 1911 the Society of Genealogists has collected the largest assembly of narrative family histories and biographies in the United Kingdom. Some of its collection are unique materials deposited in in the Society’s library for the use of genealogists. This digitization programme not only ensures the preservation of the library’s books, bound monographs and multi-volume histories, but also enables the Society to make them available to a wider audience. Scanned digital images of the works will be available for use in the library and, where possible, will be published online as part of the SoG’s digital collections.

Mayflower Essay Contest Challenges Massachusetts Students, Grades 5-12

The following announcement was written by American Ancestors, also known as New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS):

A Massachusetts Statewide Student Essay Competition Will Commemorate the 400th Anniversary of the Landing of the Mayflower

American Ancestors|New England Historic Genealogical Society Challenges Massachusetts Students to Reflect Upon the Relevance of the Voyage of the Mayflower 400 Years after Its Arrival

January 14, 2020—Boston, Massachusetts—400 years ago the Mayflower landed on the shores of what would later be known as Massachusetts, forever changing the course of history of four nations: America, England, the Netherlands, and the Wampanoag. American Ancestors—also known as New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS)—a national family history organization headquartered in Boston and one of the groups leading activities to commemorate the quadricentennial of the landing of the Mayflower, has announced a statewide student competition in Massachusetts to honor the story of the Pilgrims and of the native Wampanoag people. The 2020 American Ancestors Young Historians Essay Contest asks students to explore how this 400-year old history relates to our national, familial, and/or personal stories and identities.

Open to students currently enrolled in grades 5–12 in public, private, and parochial schools, and those in home-study programs across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the contest asks participants to address one of three topics:

The U.S. National Genealogical Society Announces Call for Proposals for 2021 Family History Conference

The following announcement was written by the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:

FALLS CHURCH, VA, 8 JANUARY 2020—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) will hold its 2021 Family History Conference, Virginia: The Deep Roots of a Nation, in Richmond, Virginia, 19‒22 May 2021. NGS will open the call for proposals on 8 January 2020 and proposals will be accepted until 1 April 2020.

Seventeenth century, native born Virginian William Byrd II once said, “In the beginning, all America was Virginia.” And, as any native Virginian will tell you, he was correct. The first permanent English settlement in what was to become the United States was established at Jamestown in 1607. Patrick Henry’s famous “Give me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech was given in 1775 at St. John’s Church in Richmond. Virginia is the birthplace of eight US presidents—a list which includes four of the first five presidents. The Virginia General Assembly is the longest continuously operating legislative body in North America ―first meeting in Jamestown’s church in 1619. Since 1607 immigrants from many countries have made Virginia their home. Some remained for generations while others moved on to new frontiers to expand, populate, and build a nation.

Steven Smyrl Elected a Fellow of the Society of Genealogists

The following announcement was written by the Accredited Genealogists Ireland:

The prominent Irish genealogist Steven Smyrl has been elected a Fellow of the Society of Genealogists (SoG). The London-based organisation is one of the most prestigious bodies dedicated to ancestral research and it is, indeed, an honour to be granted its Fellowship. His election may be seen as due recognition of his long years of distinguished service to the field of Irish genealogy.

Steven’s most significant contribution to the wider genealogical community, and to society at large, relates to civil registration in Ireland. He was the driving force behind a successful campaign which achieved fundamental change on both sides of the border.

American Ancestors Offers New Employee Benefit Program to Corporations

The following announcement was written by American Ancestors (also known as the New England Historic Genealogical Society):

December 10, 2019—Boston, Massachusetts—In a crowded field of employee benefit options available to companies in Boston, a new program offered by American Ancestors stands apart. The growing interest in genealogy, family history, and DNA testing has inspired American Ancestors to offer companies something unique in the category.

American Ancestors, also known as New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), has announced a new Corporate Membership Program designed for Boston-area companies that want to offer a genealogical research experience with its many celebrated benefits to company personnel. Researching and studying genealogy and family history has experienced a surge in interest and participation in recent years and NEHGS, creators of the respected American Ancestors brand in genealogy with many popular products and services, is among the leaders in the industry.

The National Genealogical Society Introduces Its Newest Online Course: Understanding and Using DNA Test Results

The following announcement was written by the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:

FALLS CHURCH, VA, 10 DECEMBER 2019—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) unveiled the newest course in its Continuing Genealogical Studies series, Understanding and Using DNA Test Results. The course is designed to help the millions of individuals, who have taken a DNA test to learn more about their family tree, get the most out of their test results. Students learn at their own pace, in their own home, on any tablet or computer.

“Taking a DNA test is easy,” noted NGS Education Director, Angela McGhie, CG. “Understanding the results and knowing how to use the data to identify your ancestors is more challenging. We are pleased to be able to offer a new course that will teach family historians about patterns of genetic inheritance and how their DNA matches can lead to building a broader family tree.