National Genealogical Society

Societies offer networking opportunities and valuable resources.

If you're searching for a national genealogical society, the most prominent one in the United States is NGS. Founded in 1903, the National Genealogy Society (NGS) is a non-profit organization for members ranging from beginners to advanced genealogists. There is a subscription fee to join. NGS is governed according to a set of bylaws and is presided over by a board of directors. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, NGS employs staff to assist in carrying out its mission. Individual programs are administered by committees, working under the auspices of the board of directors and president. Joining a national genealogical society brings the member a variety of benefits, such as those detailed below.

National Genealogical Society

NGS is a good resource for genealogists of all skill levels. The NGS regularly organizes conferences and events, such as group trips to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. The annual conference features four days of lectures, luncheons and workshops with nationally-renowned speakers.

Publications

The National Genealogy Society publishes NGS Magazine and National Genealogical Society Quarterly. Members enjoy subscriptions to these magazines as one of their benefits. The society also publishes UpFront with NGS, a blog. NGS publishes special interest books, including the Research in the State series and Numbering Your Genealogy. NGS also publishes the video, Paths to Your Past.

Member Benefits

Memberships are offered to individuals, families and organizations. Memberships are available in one-, two-, or three-year periods. Member benefits are subject to change, so please visit the NGS website for the latest, most comprehensive information. At the time of this writing, members in NGS receive:

  • Magazine Subscriptions to the society's two main publications, NGS Magazine and National Genealogical Society Quarterly
  • Discounts on courses, conferences and store items
  • Access to the society's index from 1912 to 2008 and selected back journal issues
  • Free worksheets and forms
  • Free online forums
  • The NGS website is an excellent resource, one of the leading ancestry websites

Mission

Per the website, the society seeks "to serve and grow the genealogical community by providing education and training, fostering increased quality and standards, and promoting access to and preservation of genealogical records."

Programs and Trips

In addition to its own sponsored conferences and trips, NGS offers the latest information on a variety of genealogical or family history events, educational opportunities and family reunions. A local and national events calendar is updated regularly on the website. Free listings are available for family reunions. NGS also sponsors awards and competitions. For more information, contact the NGS Conference Manager at conference@ngsgenealogy.org.

Educational Courses

NGS offers its members access to numerous courses related to the study of genealogy. These courses are designed for people of all skill levels, from beginners to professionals. They also offer home study courses on CD. A very popular course is the Basic Family History Skills online course. Other courses focus on specific topics, such as transcription, abstracting deeds and census records.

Other Genealogy Societies

NGS is not the only national genealogical society. Other societies you may be interested in include the following:

  • Hamilton National Genealogy Society was formed in 1978. This tax exempt national genealogical society publishes The Connector. Offering an archive in electronic format, the organization is currently computerizing all of its records, including 21,000 family names. One card file is maintained strictly for the Hamilton / Hambleton surname, while another card file covers all collateral lines. Paid dues entitle members to unlimited free queries.
  • The Genealogy Society of Sweden provides 26,000 links to genealogy databases, including census records.
  • Founded in 1976, Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) represents 500 genealogical societies and their members. For more information, please visit the website or email fgs-office@fgs.org. Telephone is 888-347-1500. This society is based in Austin, Texas.
National Genealogical Society