National Genealogical Society

FGS and NGS to Merge

FGS and NGS have announced that they are going to merge. I received the following press release via FamilySearch. They stated that: ” David Rencher, FamilySearch CGO, said this is a significant move forward for both organizations. FGS has wanted to better serve individuals, and NGS has been seeking ways to better serve societies. Combining their efforts is a win/win for all genealogists at the local, state and international levels. FamilySearch is thrilled with the leadership of both organizations coming together to better serve all genealogists and family historians. “

What do you think of the merger? How do you think this will change the world of family history and genealogy conferences?

Press Release


(21 August 2019)–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 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.”

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary standards of research, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Falls Church, Virginia, based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, and guidance in research. It also offers many opportunities to interact with other genealogists.

NGS Conference Richmond Virginia – Day 4 – Wrap-Up #NGS2014gen


Well it was a hard choice for that 8 am lecture on Saturday May 10th but I finally chose “Your Computer: Back It Up or Lose It, Data Backup from A to Z.” I have been trying to decide which way to go with cloud back up services and am going to try Back Blaze. I still have to sign up and start the back-up process, just hoping it won’t take too long.

Then I attended “Tools to Help You Share Family Stories” and the last lecture of the morning was “Organizing Your Research without Losing Your Mind.” I am still not sure this is possible but got lots of tools to help make it easier.

This was the one day I didn’t attend a luncheon lecture. The first afternoon lecture was “I Can’t See My Audience: Web-Based Presentations” and the last one was “Keep the Message Consistent Sell/Document/Deliver from Proposal to Syllabus to Presentation.”

On the last day the crowds start to lessen particularly after the Exhibit Hall closes.

This conference had just over 2,500 attendees which included the wonderful volunteers, the people in the exhibit hall and those that just popped in for a day.

I will admit I am a conference junkie. I love them. The networking, learning, chatting and catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. The organization of this conference was very good and the volunteers and those who worked on putting it all together should be very proud of their efforts.

I did have some trouble with the Wi-Fi. It was hard to connect and since I was from Canada I didn’t have my cell phone on because of roaming charges, so doing things like Twitter had to wait until I was within Wi-Fi and hope it would not be too busy.

My friend and I are already making plans for St. Charles Missouri next year from May 13th to 19th. We discovered that Fort Wayne is the midpoint for the journey. It would mean having to stop and do research at the Allen County Public Library. Oh the hardship.

Here are some pictures that I took at the conference. If you ever get the chance to attend a national conference in the US or a Provincial or local one in Canada please do so, you won’t regret it.


©2014 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved


Exhibit Hall #1
Exhibit Hall #1
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Exhibit Hall #2
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Exhibit Hall #3
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Find My Past Breakfast #1
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Find My Past Breakfast #2
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2013-05-07 07.02.42
Opening Session
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2013-05-11 06.44.37
Richmond Virginia #1
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Richmond Virginia #2
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Richmond Virginia #3
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NGS Conference Richmond Virginia – Day 3 #NGS2014gen


Well, we are now in the home stretch of the NGS conference in Richmond. Tomorrow is our last day.

Today my day started with “How to Progress from Notes to a Draft Article” with Henry B. Hoff, CG, FASG. His presentation was very informative and he encouraged us to write our family history stories and submit them to publications.

I did not attend a lecture in the next slot, instead I went to the marketplace and did a little shopping. I have now visited all the vendors I had marked off in the app before the conference. I found most of what I was looking for which is good. My bag was full so it was time to attend another lecture.

This lecture was “Writing for Your Audience” by Linda Coffin her lecture gave us a different point of view to writing your family history. It needs to be more than names or dates if our families are going to read our work.

Today’s luncheon was hosted by the Genealogical Speakers Guild/International Society of Family History Writers and Editors and the speaker was the incomparable John Philip Colletta, PhD and his lecture was “The Keepers and I: Tales of Accessing Historical Sources.” His PowerPoint presentation was unbelievable and he had the room roaring with laughter.

I hadn’t chosen a lecture in the slot after lunch and a friend suggested I go to see Judy Russell’s “The Seanachie: Linking Life and the Law Through Storytelling.” Judy is always entertaining and her lecture was quite enlightening. Everyone remembers our parents saying “don’t take candy from strangers.” Judy found out why that is and it related to a kidnapping in the mid 1800s.

The last lecture of the day was D. Joshua Taylor’s “Criminals, Soldiers, and Apprentices: Unique UK Records for Your Research.” He started by showing the wonderful things that can be found in the British Newspaper Collection on Findmypast and went on to show what can be found in the other record groups on Findmypast.

Tonight we went to dinner at the Tobacco Company and it was fantastic. I had been there in 2007, the last time the NGS conference was in Richmond.

Now it is time to get ready for tomorrow and decide what lecture I will be attending at 8 am. It is one of those slots where I have more than one choice!


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