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 […]
Nov 2021

Free African Americans of the Colonial Southeast

As a rule, I don’t publish book reviews in NGS Monthly, nor have any of my predecessors. Within the National Genealogical Society, book reviews are the purview of NGSQ and its review editor, Christopher A. Nordmann, PhD. While this is no formal review, I can’t keep myself from bringing attention to Paul Heinegg and the […]
Sep 2021

Philadelphia Congregations Early Records Project

Led by the Christ Church Preservation Trust with a grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) and funding by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, “Digitizing the Records of Philadelphia’s Historic Congregations: Providing Documentation for the Political, Social and Cultural Developments in Philadelphia” is exactly what it says. Well, okay, it could bear […]
Sep 2021

YouTube as Contextualization Tool

I don’t think I need to tell anyone what YouTube is or how it works. I may not even need to say how useful it can be in building your genealogical knowledge base. But just in case I do, I’ll quickly point out that YouTube channels host tons of educational videos for organizations like FamilySearch […]
Aug 2021

Subtitles from the NGSQ “Genealogical Gleanings” Series

In last month’s issue, I wrote about the NGSQ online index, its limitations, and how best to use it. Among the examples of searches I discussed was author Peter Wilson Coldham and his 52 installments of the “Genealogical Gleanings in England” series published in NGSQ between 1971 and 1993. I also mentioned that this massive […]