National Genealogical Society Releases Research in Pennsylvania, 3rd Edition

The following announcement was written by the folks at the (US) National Genealogical Society:

ARLINGTON, VA, 23 August 2016—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announces the publication of the newly revised and updated Research in Pennsylvania. This essential guide book introduces family historians to a wealth of historic documentation that can aid their genealogical research. Written by Kay Haviland Freilich, CGSM, CGLSM, FNGS, Research in Pennsylvania, 3rd edition, is part of the NGS Research in the States series and is available for purchase in the NGS online store in both PDF and print versions.

The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania is Moving

The following message was sent by The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania:

For quite some time, the Officers and Board of The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania have envisioned moving to an office with more space. A suburban setting with train and bus access and ample parking for those who would drive.

As luck would have it, we have been propelled into living our dream. A few weeks ago we were notified that the building we have been in for the past several years, 2207 Chestnut Street, has been sold and will be demolished. All tenants need to vacate by September 14th, 2016. That has stimulated a flurry of excited activity – considering and looking at a variety of possibilities while adhering to the mandate of our charter, which is, that we remain within the bounds of Philadelphia. We are pleased to announce that we have secured a suite of offices at 2100 Byberry Road in Northeast Philadelphia.

Facing Up to the Long-term Future of Your Genealogy Society

This article was first published as a Plus Edition article on March 7, 2012. It turned out to be a very popular article. At the suggestion of some newsletter readers, I am re-publishing it today as a Standard Edition article so that more people can read it. I have made a few minor updates to the original article as well.

Please feel free to forward this article to others or to republish it anywhere you please for non-commercial purposes. There is no need to ask for permission; “just do it.”

NOTE: This article contains several personal opinions.

I travel a lot (I am in Auckland, New Zealand today and going to Singapore on Monday), and I spend a lot of time with officers and members of many genealogy societies. Most everywhere I go, I hear stories of societies that are shrinking in size and even a few stories of societies that are struggling to maintain their existence. Even amongst all this “doom and gloom,” I do hear a few rare stories of genealogy societies that are thriving and growing larger. Not only are they attracting more members, but these few societies are also offering more and more services to their members with each passing year.

Why do the majority of societies flounder while a handful succeed?

A Genealogy Society’s Guide to Building Simple, Low-Cost Web Sites

I was planning to write a Plus Edition article aimed at genealogy societies who wish to create a new web site or to improve an existing web site. While researching the article, I discovered that a similar article has already been written. The other article isn’t specific to genealogy societies, but the information in A Nonprofit’s Guide to Building Simple, Low-Cost Websites is about 95% the same as I would have written in my article for genealogy societies.

Since most of the information I planned to offer is already available elsewhere, I will suggest any interested reader should first read the A Nonprofit’s Guide to Building Simple, Low-Cost Websites article by Chris Peters at I offer the following comments to supplement the original article with the other 5% of the information that I wanted to write about.

First, I strongly support Chris Peters’ suggestion to use blogging software as the society’s primary web-development tool. Most of today’s blogging software offers a variety of options so that any genealogy society should be able to tailor any of the leading blogging products in a manner to meet the needs of the society. Blogging software is easy enough to learn, and it lets you place your newest information—an announcement, article, or something else—right at the top of the web site’s home page to greet your viewers as soon as they enter your website. This dynamic display encourages viewers to return to your website time after time.

Newly Available Online: Marriage Notices Appearing in Troy, New York, Newspapers 1797 – 1860

The Troy Irish Genealogy Society (TIGS) has added yet another online database. (This has to be one busy genealogy society!) The following was written by the Troy Irish Genealogy Society:

An index to 6,177 marriage notices covering 12,354 names that were published in five different Troy, New York newspapers from 1797 to 1860 was created by staff at the Troy Public Library in 1938 through 1939. The Troy Irish Genealogy Society was allowed by the Troy Library to scan this book so these important records could be made available on-line for genealogy researchers.

To see these records go to the TIGS website – – click on PROJECTS and then, under Marriage Records, click on MARRIAGE NOTICES APPEARING IN TROY NEWSPAPERS.The five different Troy newspapers mentioned in the introduction to the index were:

Association of Professional Genealogists Names Annette Burke Lyttle Coordinator for 2017 Professional Management Conference

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

Lyttle Brings Broad Event-Planning Expertise to Premiere Professional Genealogy Event

Annette Burke LyttleWHEAT RIDGE, Colo., 11 July 2015—The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG®) today announced the appointment of Annette Burke Lyttle as coordinator for the 2017 Professional Management Conference (PMC). Lyttle of The Villages, Florida, brings lengthy experience in logistics and event management to the conference.

As PMC Coordinator, Lyttle will be responsible for the planning and implementation of the annual conference, which offers topics relevant to genealogy professionals and those interested in the profession. Her career began in logistics management in the U.S. Army, after which she moved on to positions in corporate, higher education, small business, and volunteer work. She holds an M.A. in English language and literature and a B.A. in journalism. She is the owner of Heritage Detective, LLC, and currently serves on the committee for APG’s 2016 PMC, which will take place 22–24 September, 2016 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Announcing the ASG Scholar Award

The following announcement was written by The American Society of Genealogists:

Established in 1996, the ASG Scholar Award is an annual scholarship now providing an increased stipend of $1,000 toward tuition and expenses at one of five major academic genealogical programs in the United States. Candidacy for the award is open to all genealogists, genealogical librarians, and researchers working in related fields. Applicants submit a published work or a manuscript of work in progress, to be judged by a panel of three Fellows. The goal of the award is to recognize talent and build genealogical expertise by providing promising genealogists the opportunity to receive advanced academic training in genealogy.

The ASG Scholar Award provides financial assistance for a developing scholar to attend one of five academic programs in American genealogy: the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University (Birmingham, Ala.), the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed) in Washington, D.C., the Certificate Program in Genealogical Research at Boston University, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), or the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP). The recipient may register for the program of his or her choice.

BCG’s SpringBoard Blog Sponsors “A Contest for the Genealogically Adventuresome: Number Modern Family”

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

The Board for Certification of Genealogists’ blog Springboard is sponsoring a contest. This past month’s series of SpringBoard posts on numbering a genealogy has highlighted complex family structures. It’s dense information, and now it’s time for some fun!

Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI) Celebrates its 30th Anniversary

On 13th May, Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI) celebrated its 30th Anniversary with a reception held in the former Public Record Office Reading Room in the Four Courts, now the Court of Appeals.

AGI (formerly the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland) was founded on 13th May 1986 in Belfast.  It was formed to represent professional genealogists across the island of Ireland and has, in its 30 year history, attracted members from all sections of the community, from both North and South.

AGI is the only accrediting body for genealogy in Ireland and works to maintain high standards in professional genealogy throughout the whole island.

Dallas Genealogical Society Announces Winners of 2016 Writing Contest

The Society is particularly pleased that the First Prize Winner tells the story behind the first DAR member to successfully use Y-DNA to prove a generational connection in the absence of other direct evidence. Other members have submitted Y-DNA in the past, but in those cases there was enough documentation that DNA was not needed.

The following announcement was written by the Dallas Genealogical Society:

DGSDallas, TX , May 11,2016 – – The Dallas Genealogical Society announces the winners of their 2016 Writing Contest. The Society is particularly pleased that the First Prize Entry tells the story behind the first DAR member to successfully use Y-DNA to prove a generational connection in the absence of other direct evidence. In the past, other members submitted Y-DNA, but in those cases there was enough documentation that DNA was not needed.

First Prize $500: A Case Study in Using DNA for DAR Membership: First Successful Application by Ray Harriot

National Genealogical Society Announces Grand Rapids, Michigan, as the Site for 2018 NGS Family History Conference

The following announcement was written by the folks at the National Genealogical Society:

ARLINGTON, VA, 10 May 2016—National Genealogical Society (NGS) President, Jordan Jones, announced the 2018 NGS Family History Conference will be held at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2‒5 May 2018.

DeVos Place, Grand Rapids

Devos Place, Grand Rapids

NGS selected Grand Rapids for its significant historical importance as a city centrally located between all the Great Lakes. In the nineteenth century, the Great Lakes were major, strategic waterways that helped Americans moving West and immigrants coming from overseas through Canada to settle and develop the Midwest. Cheap land, mining, and the timber industry made the area attractive. The combination of water power from the rivers and rapids, together with access to grain and lumber, encouraged manufacturing and industry, including breweries, furniture, and cereal. Entrepreneurs flourished as Michigan became the center for the automobile industry for seventy-five years, encouraging migration from the south and attracting an influx of new immigrants in search of jobs and the American dream.

2016 NGS Conference in Ft. Lauderdale is a Success

NOTE: My pictures are available at

The 2016 NGS Conference in the States closed on Saturday. I was at the conference and must say that I enjoyed it. The conference included four days of presentations, workshops, luncheons, events, and an exhibits hall with a large number of genealogy vendors in attendance.

Presentations were made on a wide variety of topics, including federal records, the law and genealogy, methodology, analysis and problem solving, military and land records, DNA, BCG Skillbuilding, and the use of technology.

Excellence in Genealogy Scholarship and Service Honored by National Genealogical Society Awards

The following announcement was written by the National Genealogical Society:

ARLINGTON, VA, 6 MAY 2016—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) held its annual banquet on Friday evening, 6 May, at the NGS 2016 Family History Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to present awards that acknowledge and honor genealogical scholarship and service. The banquet speaker, David E. Rencher, AG, CGSM spoke on the topic “It Don’t Matter,” a lighthearted look at what really matters to genealogists. Each year, these awards are presented to organizations and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to NGS programs or have performed outstanding work in the field of genealogy, history, biography, or heraldry.

National Genealogy Hall of Fame

Beginning in 1986, the National Genealogy Hall of Fame program, administered by the NGS, has honored outstanding genealogists whose achievements in the field of American genealogy have had a great impact on our field. Qualified nominations are solicited annually from genealogical organizations. Those nominated must have been deceased for at least five years and have been actively engaged in genealogy for a minimum of ten years. Their contributions to the field of genealogy in this country need to have been significant in a way that was unique, pioneering, or exemplary. Such contributions could have been as an author of books or articles that added significantly to the body of published works, served as a model of genealogical research or writing, or made source records more readily available. Nominees could also have been a teacher or lecturer, or contributed to the field through leadership in a genealogical organization or periodical.

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society Wins Two Awards for Excellence from the National Genealogical Society

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

nygb-logoNew York, NY, May 6, 2016. The National Genealogical Society (NGS) presented the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B) with two distinguished prizes at the NGS Family History Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The NYG&B’s groundbreaking book, the New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer, is the recipient of the 2016 NGS Award for Excellence: Methods and Sources Book. And the NYG&B’s quarterly magazine, the New York Researcher, has been recognized as the best Major Genealogical or Historical Society Newsletter for 2016.

NGS States Concerns About HB 2 Impact on Their 2017 Raleigh Conference

The national news media has been full of stories in recent weeks about North Carolina’s controversial new law, called HB 2. In short, the law allows and even encourages discrimination against LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) individuals. Even the U.S. Justice Department officials are on record as stating the law violates the U.S. Civil Rights Act and Title IX – a finding that could jeopardize billions in federal education funding. You can read more about that issue at

Many people, myself included, are boycotting North Carolina businesses until the law can be repealed and full civil rights are restored to all citizens.

The National Genealogical Society got caught in a quandary. The Society had already committed to holding its 2017 conference in Raleigh, North Carolina before the law was enacted. Canceling the plans at this time would mean the violation of contractual commitments, probably resulting in thousands of dollars in financial penalties. Another problem is that finding and planning a new venue is difficult to impossible with only twelve months’ notice.

This left the senior management of the National Genealogical Society with a dilemma: how to hold a conference that will “ensure Raleigh is a safe and welcoming location for all of our 2017 conference attendees.” Now the NGS managers have published a statement, available at

NGS States Concerns About HB 2 Impact on Their 2017 Raleigh Conference

National Genealogical Society Presents Awards Honoring Excellence in Newsletter Editorship and Service to NGS

OK, if I may “toot my own horn” just a bit, I received a very pleasant surprise today during the opening ceremony of the National Genealogical Society’s annul conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I received an award. Actually, the award was presented to two people: myself and Cyndi Ingle, publisher of Cyndi’s List. If I am to share an award with anyone, I am proud to share it with Cyndi, a person whose work I have admired for years.

I never expected any such recognition. I was in the back of the room taking notes. When I heard my own name mentioned, I froze and stopped taking notes. I never knew what NGS President Jordan Jones said after that until I read the announcement later in the day.

A number of other people received special awards today as well. Here is the announcement sent today by the National Genealogical Society:

Drew Smith Awarded the Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship

The annual conference of the (US) National Genealogical Society starts tomorrow and I expect a number of new announcements will be issued. Here is the first one, written by the National Genealogical Society:

drewsmithARLINGTON, VA, 3 MAY 2016— Drew Smith, MLS, is the 2016 recipient of the Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship. Smith, an Assistant Librarian in the Academic Services department of the University of South Florida Tampa Library, received his award and its $1,000 prize, which is underwritten by ProQuest, at the opening session of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) 2016 Family History Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The Filby Award is named for the late P. William Filby, former director of the Maryland Historical Society and author of many core genealogical reference tools that genealogists have relied on for decades. Created in 1999 by NGS, the award has been sponsored by ProQuest and Mr. William Forsyth since 2006.

Troy Irish Genealogy’s new Data Base, St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Waterford, NY, is now Online

The Troy (New York) Irish Genealogy Society has been very active in transcribing cemetery  inscriptions and placing them online. See my earlier articles starting at to read about several of their previous successes. Now this Irish genealogy society has transcribed a French-Canadian cemetery as well.

The following announcement was written by the Troy Irish Genealogy Society:

TroyIrishGenealogySociety-logoNew Data Base – St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Waterford, New York

The latest addition to the transcription projects on the website of the Troy Irish Genealogy Society, are the interment records of St. Joseph’s Cemetery on Middletown Road in Waterford, New York.

This new data base covers interments from 1862 to 2013 and lists 17,237 names. To see these records on the TIGS website, – – click on PROJECTS and then under CEMETERIES click on ST. JOSEPH’S CEMETERY, WATERFORD, NY.

BCG Welcomes Alice Hoyt Veen, CG as New BCG Education Fund Trustee

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

BCG Welcomes Alice Hoyt Veen as New BCG Education Fund Trustee, Thanks Debbie Parker Wayne for years of service

Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, is stepping down after four years of volunteer service with the BCG Education Fund. While serving as a trustee Debbie organized an online repository for the documents so all trustees have immediate access to the same set of documents and helped create checklists and timelines to guide future trustees.

Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society in Arlington, Washington Opens a New Library

The library at 6111 188th Place NE, Arlington, Washington, is open to the public and has a wide range of information and records. One room of the library is filled with Washington state and Snohomish County information and records, sorted by the county in the state or the community in the county, respectively. Another room contains records from every state in the US, including a large amount of Pennsylvania archive books because of one donor. The library also has access to


The Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society web site may be found at, complete with a searchable online catalog of the library contents available. Information about the new library may be found in the North Country Outlook at


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