Apr 2022

Help For Researching German Roots: German-Related Resources and Strategies

Finding the ancestral town of your German ancestors is typically not easy—especially for those of us with family members who arrived before the twentieth century and no oral history or home sources still exist. Few if any US records may state their exact place of birth. Most US citizenship records for German immigrants before 1900 […]
Apr 2022

Webinar Libraries: Easily Accessible Genealogy Knowledge

The advent of easily accessible, affordable, user-friendly technology has changed the field of family history forever. While there has been constant change and improvement in access to genealogical learning materials in the last three decades, the last three years accelerated access to expert instruction via webinars exponentially. Today, webinar libraries have become a critical component […]
Mar 2022

Learning How to Access the 1950 Census

It’s important to realize that 1 April 2022 kicked off the first stage of access, and in the coming months it will be easier and more fruitful to search records in the 1950 census. Now that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has provided access to the digitized census forms, other organizations can begin […]
Mar 2022

Help Wanted! All Genealogists Please Apply

The anticipation was painfully sweet. Finally on Friday, 1 April, family history enthusiasts and genealogists celebrated the release of another decennial US census. Will the 1950 census finally solve a family mystery? Will it connect me with the family members who moved west looking for a new start? Could it help find that relative impossible […]
Feb 2022

Records of the General Land Office

In their Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Archives, Anne Bruner Eales and Robert M. Kvasnicka describe a publication some of you may be familiar with: “The Territorial Papers of the United States is a multivolume documentary historical publication containing transcribed archival materials selected from many record groups of the National Archives. The objective […]
Feb 2022

Decrees of Legal Death

In April 1921, a 33-year-old man named Albert found himself unemployed after having worked for a while at the infamously short-lived Steel’s.[1] The circumstances leading to his unemployment aren’t currently known, but one thing is: That same month, Albert walked out of his Manhattan apartment and never returned.[2] He left behind his 28-year-old wife, Mary, […]
Jan 2022

The 1950 US Census

Harry S. Truman was president, the post-WWII economic boom was in full swing, New York was the most populous state, Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts first appeared in seven newspapers, and the total US population barely exceeded 150M for the first time at 150,697,361. It was a 14.5% increase over the 1940 population, but less than […]
Jan 2022

Is Something Missing? Analyzing an 1820 Census

Your ancestor and his brother were enumerated in Kings County, New York, in both the 1810 and 1830 federal censuses. But you haven’t been able to find either of them in the 1820 census. You went through every one of the 86 pages on 43 images for 1820 Kings County, but their names don’t appear. […]
Dec 2021

The Top 10 Most Popular NGS Monthly Articles Ever

Herewith is perhaps the last Top 10 list of the year. It’s a good way to remind ourselves that NGS Monthly has amassed a library of more than 120 articles on research methodology, resources, and genealogical writing since we began publication in February 2015. Take a browse through the NGS Monthly website. Your current research […]
Nov 2021

The Incredible Value of Probation Records

It took a remarkable amount of patience, persistence, and kindness with government officials and archivists—well over two years’ worth—but my client and friend finally did it. She got a copy of her research subject’s probation records from 1940s Brooklyn. What neither of us was prepared for was the volume of detailed information we’d find in […]