IGRS Revives its Student Membership Scheme

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

The Irish Genealogical Research Society is pleased to announce that it has revived its Student Membership Scheme and admitted a young enthusiast under the category. Daniel Loftus, a teenager from Co. Cork, has been made a student member of the IGRS, with annual membership fees waived, for a period of three years.

The status was granted to offer encouragement for Daniel to develop experience and knowledge of genealogy. It was given in recognition of the commitment to the subject he has shown already in setting up a website, a blog and social media accounts to engage with people, sharing his enthusiasm for family history.

The Student Membership Scheme was first introduced over a decade ago and awarded at the discretion of the Society’s Council, though it has not been active in the past few years. This is the first time it has been granted to a secondary school student. Daniel responded ‘Wow, this is an honour!’ when informed that he was to receive this concession from the IGRS.

Book Your Hotel Reservations Now for the 2020 NGS Family History Conference

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

Discounted hotel rooms are rapidly selling out for the National Genealogical Society’s forty-second annual Family History Conference, Echoes of Our Ancestors. Lock in your reduced rate by reserving your accommodations today.

The conference will be held 20-23 May 2020 at the Salt Palace Convention Center (SPCC), 100 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah. It will feature more than 150 genealogy lectures on a wide variety of topics including DNA, ethnic sources, historical migrations, immigration, research techniques, specialized collections at the Family History Library, and more.

NGS offers attendees a choice of several hotels with discounted rates. All are convenient to the convention center. The Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown is located adjacent to the convention center, and the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel is only half a block away. Only a few rooms remain available at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel. The NGS room block in official conference hotel, the Hilton Salt Lake City Center, is currently sold out.

Dirk Weissleder elected new General Secretary of the World Federation of Genealogy and Heraldry (CIGH)

The following announcement was written by the International Confederation of Genealogy and Heraldry:

The General Assembly of the International Confederation of Genealogy and Heraldry (Confédération Internationale de Généalogie et d`Héraldique, CIGH) on Friday, 20.09.2019 in Antwerp, Belgium, elected Dirk Weissleder (50), Chairman of the German umbrella organization (DAGV), from Laatzen near Hanover, as its General Secretary. Weissleder, who heads the German umbrella organization for family history research (genealogy) and heraldry, succeeds the Russian Dr. Stanislav V. Dumin from Moscow, who was elected 3rd Vice President. Weissleder is the first German to hold the position of General Secretary of the World Federation.

CIGH President Pier Felice degli Uberti from Italy
(right) welcomes Dirk Weissleder as new General
Secretary of the World Federation of Genealogie
and Heraldry (CIGH)
Foto: privat

Association of Professional Genealogists Awards Members for Contributions to the Organization and Profession; Announces Golden Chapter Award

The following announcement was written by the Association of Professional Genealogists:

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, and WHEAT RIDGE, Colo., 19 September 2019 − The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG®) honored several members for their achievements and service to the profession at its 2019 Professional Management Conference (PMC) in Salt Lake City, Utah. APG President Billie Stone Fogarty presented the awards at today’s opening session of the PMC.

The Laura G. Prescott Award for Exemplary Service to Professional Genealogy was presented to Paula Stuart Warren, CG.® The award recognizes exemplary professionalism and continuing encouragement to other professional genealogists. A past officer of APG, Paula is an educator, lecturer, author, and institute course coordinator. She is a past recipient of the APG Grahame T. Smallwood Award of Merit and, in 2011, was named a Fellow by the Utah Genealogical Association. She has served on the boards of the Minnesota Genealogical Society and the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and, in 2017, received the FGS Loretto D. Szucs Service Award. She is the author of Your Guide to the Family History Library and Minnesota Genealogical Reference Guide and of numerous articles on various research facilities and types of records.

Association of Professional Genealogists Announces Staff Changes

The following announcement was written by the Association of Professional Genealogists:

Names Seema-Jayne Berquist Kenney as Coordinator for 2021 Professional Management Conference

APG Thanks Annette Burke Lyttle for her Service to the Field’s Premier Professional Genealogy Conference

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo., 19 September 2019—The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG®) today announced the appointment of Seema-Jayne Kenney as coordinator for the 2021 Professional Management Conference (PMC). Kenney, of Upton Massachusetts, joins Judy Nimer Muhn, in rotating coordination of this premier event for professional genealogists. Kenney is a researcher and speaker, who has served on the New England Regional Genealogical Consortium planning committee and is certified through the Birren Center as an Autobiography Consultant and through Legacy Stories as a Legacy Planner.

Ontario Genealogical Society Presents Peter Wilson with the Society’s Award of Merit

Peter Wilson (left) was presented the Award of Merit by the Ontario Genealogical Society’s President Steve Fulton

Peter Wilson, the Richmond Hill, Ontario, Public Library’s Local History Librarian, was recently award the Ontario Genealogical Society’s Award of Merit for his work in leading the Library’s efforts in the organization, preservation, and digitization of genealogical and local history material.

According to the announcement, “Peter has worked tirelessly to preserve the area’s local history and to ensure that materials are made available and accessible through digitization. In addition to providing access to a diverse local history collection housed in the Richmond Hill Public Library’s Mary-Lou Griffin Local History Room, Peter and the Library also support the Ontario Genealogical Society’s York Branch by showcasing the branch’s collection of material through the RHPL online catalogue, and by offering training opportunities for the use of genealogy tools like Family Tree Maker software and Ancestry Library Edition. Congratulations Peter!”

My thanks to newsletter reader Terry Mulcahy for telling me about this award.

Board for Certification of Genealogists Elects 2019-2020 Officers

The following announcement was written by the Board for Certification of Genealogists :

At its semi-annual meeting held 7 September 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Board of Trustees of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) elected officers for the coming year. Elected were:

LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL

    • President LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL
    • Vice-President Angela Packer McGhie, CG
    • Secretary Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL
    • Treasurer Scott Wilds, CG
    • Executive Committee Member at Large Laurel T. Baty, CG
    • Executive Committee Member at Large Sara Anne Scribner, CG

Bruegger’s Bagels Co-Founder Nordahl Brue and Wife Suzanne Brue Donate $1.5 Million to the New England Historic Genealogical Society

The following announcement was written by the New England Historic Genealogical Society:

Gift of $1.5 Million from Nordahl and Suzanne Brue to Advance Educational Programming at American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society

The Brue Family Learning Center at American Ancestors Will Inspire New Family Historians and Genealogists

September 12, 2019—Boston, Massachusetts—Bruegger’s Bagels co-founder Nordahl Brue and his wife Suzanne Brue have made a gift of $1.5 million to New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) to endow the creation of a family history learning center where visitors from all backgrounds can learn more about their ancestry.

New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS)—known online as American Ancestors to millions of users—is the nation’s oldest and largest genealogical society. The gift will endow the creation of a new Brue Family Learning Center as part of a campus expansion program to introduce family and local history to wider audiences. It will also fund the creation of unique program content in family history for the organization’s online and special events offerings. This gift follows American Ancestors and NEHGS’s successful $62.5 million capital campaign and its acquisition of an adjacent building at 97 Newbury Street, into which its facilities will soon expand.

A Report from the FGS Conference in Washington, DC

I had a great time the annual conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) last week. I thought I would share some of the highlights with you. Hopefully, some of my photos will give you an idea of some of the events at this major genealogy conference.

NOTE: Click on any image in this article to view a larger version. Please feel free to save or to republish any image in this article. There is no need to ask me for permission. “Just do it.”

The conference started on Wednesday, August 21, 2019. The big news that morning was the announcement that FGS and the U.S. National Genealogical Society (NGS) have agreed to merge and become one organization, to be called the National Genealogical Society. You can read the announcement in an earlier article in this newsletter at:

The announcement created a lot of “buzz” and was discussed most all week. Most of the folks I talked with seem to believe it will be a positive move for both organizations.

Society of Genealogists Seeks to Relocate

The following announcement was written by the Society of Genealogists in London, England:

After two years of careful analysis and discussions the Trustees of the Society of Genealogists have concluded that that we have finally outgrown our premises in Clerkenwell and are seeking to relocate.

Charterhouse Buildings is our fifth home since the Society was founded in 1911. But after 35 years, the current library no longer provides adequate space and facilities for our needs and requires significant investment for major repairs, maintenance and IT.

Moving to more suitable premises will enable the Society to reinvest in our core services of providing the best genealogical library and collections in the UK, to continue and expand upon our education programme and to create a more convivial space for our members and users.

NGS and FGS Announce Intent to Merge

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.

Historic Catholic Records Online Project Expansion Announced by American Ancestors and the Archdiocese of Boston

The following announcement was written by England Historic Genealogical Society:

20 Additional Years of Records—from 1901 through 1920—and more than 60 Additional Greater Boston Catholic Parishes Are To Be Added to the Historic Digital Genealogy Project at

August 7, 2019—Boston, Massachusetts—American Ancestors and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston (RCAB) today announced an expansion of its ongoing program to digitize important sacramental records in the history of Boston’s Catholic Church. This expansion of a project collaboration announced in early 2017 will effectively double the original 11 million names of parishioners to be included when the project is completed to encompass a total of approximately 21 million names—a treasure in research terms for historians, genealogists, scholars, and the public at large. Images are available to browse now. Name-searchable records will be available in an expanded database from American Ancestors on their award-winning website

These historic records document several sacraments of the Catholic Church in Boston and surrounding towns including baptism, confirmation, holy communion, marriage, and the anointing of the sick. They are valued for research because they contain detailed information about the Catholic parishioners of greater Boston, their relationships with each other, the church, and often the community.

Maine Genealogical Society Annual Conference

The Maine Genealogical Society, in partnership with the Maine Historical Society, will present a two-day DNA themed research weekend in Portland, Maine on September 13 and 14.

Friday will be “Workshop Day” that includes:

  • Patricia Hobbs-Working with GEDMatch (hands on, charged laptop needed)
  • Karen Stanbary-Introduction to Chromosome Mapping & DNA Painter (presentation)

The full conference will meet on Saturday and the sessions will include:

FGS 2019 National Conference to be Held in Washington, DC on August 21–24

One of the major genealogy conferences in the U.S. is going to be held in 3 weeks in Washington, DC. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), in cooperation with sponsoring local societies, corporate sponsors, and partner organizations, is planning for a full four-day format jam-packed conference with topics of interest to every genealogist. This conference should appeal to genealogy newcomers and experienced genealogists alike.

The location in Washington obviously offers many more genealogy research opportunities, such as the nearby U.S. National Archives and Records Administration locations (yes, there are two of them), along with the Library of Congress, DAR Library, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and others. You might want to come early and stay late to do research at the many nearby archives!

Call For Presenters: Ontario Ancestors Conference & Family History Show 2020

The following announcement was written by the Board of Ontario Ancestors:

The Board of Ontario Ancestors (OGS) is delighted to announce that the 2020 annual conference will take place on June 5-7 at the Hamilton Convention Centre. The Conference Committee is already hard at work behind the scenes, planning an inspiring event under the banner, “Finding the Past – Moving into the Future.” Ontario Ancestors continues to boast the largest membership of any Canadian family history organization with its conference attracting speakers and attendees from across the globe.

The Program Committee invites proposals for Workshops and Lectures on:

The International Society of Family History Writers & Editors (ISFHWE) has Announced the Return of the “Excellence in Writing” Competition

The following announcement was written by the International Society of Family History Writers & Editors (ISFHWE):

The International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (ISFHWE) is reminding writers IN ALL MEDIA (magazines, newspapers, journals, websites, blogs) that the 2020 Excellence-in-Writing Competition is now open for entries through 15 March 2020.

The competition is open to both MEMBERS and NON-MEMBERS of ISFHWE; both published and non-published authors may enter (see category list below). The categories are:

Wapello County (Iowa) Genealogy Society Moves into New Home

This is a follow-up to my earlier (brief) article at

The Wapello County Genealogy Society has found a new home for its library, and members were busy moving items to it Thursday.

Bill Hansen, newsletter editor for the society, said the group has found space in the Wapello Building on West Main Street. By the afternoon, most of the items had been moved from the former space Wapello County Historical Museum, and it was time to start getting things organized.

Details may be found in an article by Tracy Goldizen in the Ottumwa Courier at

Wapello County (Iowa) Genealogy Society Plans to Move

The Wapello County Board of Supervisors are deciding whether to approve the Wapello County (Iowa) Genealogical Society’s desire to relocate from their present location to the Wapello County Historical Museum in Ottumwa.

Details may be found in a brief article by Chiara Romero in the Ottumwa Courier at

Association of Professional Genealogists Now Accepting Applications for Young Professional Scholarship, 1st of July Deadline

The following announcement was written by the Association of Professional Genealogists:

APG to Honor Student or Young Professional with Strong Interest in Developing a Career in Genealogy

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo., 24 May 2019 – The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) is now accepting applications for the APG Young Professional Scholarship. The scholarship goes to a young professional or a student who aspires to a professional career in genealogy. The scholarship awards a registration for the APG Professional Management Conference (PMC) and a stipend of up to $1,000 to defray costs of travel and lodging at the conference. The winner will be announced in July 2019 for attendance at the APG PMC 2019, which will take place in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 19–21 September 2019.

“Young professionals help bring energy and new ideas to the genealogy field,” said Billie Stone Fogarty, APG President. “As this is APG’s 40th anniversary, it is appropriate that we offer an up-and-coming genealogist this opportunity to learn more about the field at the premier conference for genealogy professionals. The winner will have the chance to delve into advanced genealogical business topics, as well as network with a wide variety of professionals.”

APG Young Professional Scholarship Eligibility and Application Details

NGS Awards Excellence in Genealogy Scholarship and Service

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

At our annual banquet on Friday evening on 10 May at the 2019 Family History Conference in St. Charles, Missouri, NGS presented awards that acknowledge and honor genealogical scholarship and service. The banquet speaker, David E. Rencher, AG, CG®, FIGRS, FUGA, spoke about the precarious future of tombstones in his presentation, “If Carved in Stone, Your Epitaph is Already Disappearing!” Awards Committee chair Janet L. Bailey opened the awards portion of the banquet.

Each year, NGS presents awards to organizations and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to NGS programs or have done outstanding work in the field of genealogy, history, biography, or heraldry.

National Genealogy Hall of Fame