FGS-NGS Merger Party

The National Genealogical Society (NGS) and the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) are extremely pleased their merger will be finalized on 1 October 2020. We invite you to join us as we celebrate “the new NGS” on 1 October at 8:00 p.m. (EDT) at a virtual merger event, featuring host Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL. Grab some snacks, put on your party hat, get your noisemaker ready, and join us for an exciting evening of fun! Share the experience by posting a photo of yourself on social media using #NewNGS. To attend, simply click the link below and use passcode newngs. 


Help us commemorate FGS and salute the new NGS by creating a digital card with Vivid-Pix. Submit by 5 October to see your card live on the NGS website.


Time is Running Out

Like sands through an hourglass, so are the… Wait, that’s been used before!

Well, you get the idea, don’t let time escape you!
2020 FGS Virtual Family History Conference
Early Bird Registration
Ends Saturday, August 15th!

Register Now!

You Won’t Want to Miss
FGS Live!
September 2nd
with Judy G. Russell, Thomas W. Jones, CeCe Moore,
Lisa Louise Cooke, David Rencher, Ari Wilkins, Jenn Utley, and Ron Tanner

All registration packages include 30+ FREE BONUS hours
16 FREE Society Management sessions
Access to the Virtual Exhibit Hall
Digital Syllabus of ALL sessions
Access until March 15, 2021!
  Register Now!

FGS-NGS Merger Vote

A Toast to the Future! FGS Membership Approves Decision to Merge with NGS
The boards of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and the National Genealogical Society (NGS) are thrilled to announce that the FGS membership has voted to approve the merger with NGS. The final tally of eligible voters expressed unanimous support for the merger.
“We are so excited about the bright future of the combined organization that is the new NGS. During the process of preparing for this merger, we have seen a unified commitment and huge enthusiasm of the leaders for serving family history organizations,” said Faye Stallings, FGS President.
“We are so thrilled to be ready to welcome all of the FGS membership to the new NGS,” said Ben Spratling, NGS President. “This merger is all about building a strong, vibrant community of family history organizations that assist people as they discover their ancestors, connect with their relatives, and learn their family stories. This is an exciting time to be part of the genealogy community.”
While there are still several steps before the merger is effective on 1 October 2020, the vote was a big milestone on the way to creating the “new” NGS. The next big step is the NGS election, which will take place from noon (CDT) on Friday, 28 August 2020, and close at 5:45 p.m. (CDT) on Tuesday, 1 September 2020. 
The slate of candidates includes several candidates with connections to FGS. Cheri Hudson Passey, the FGS Secretary, is the candidate for the new NGS role of Vice President of Society & Organization Management. Current FGS Board member Ed Donakey is nominated as Secretary of NGS, and current FGS President Faye Jenkins Stallings is nominated as a director. Former FGS President David Rencher, who replaced Mike Hall on the NGS Board earlier this year, is also again nominated. Three other first-time nominees to the NGS Board are Colleen Robledo Greene of California; Marlis Humphrey of Florida; and Andre Kearns of Washington, DC.
Keep an eye on the NGS-FGS Merger Gathering Place for more exciting merger news!

FGS Member Society Offer

The FGS 2020 Family History Conference Blazing Trails in the Heart of America is quickly approaching! Yes, we are disappointed that we won’t be gathering together in Kansas City in a little over a month, but there’s always a silver lining where there’s disappointment. In this case, the exciting genealogy event we had planned can now come to you in your own home! Many more participants can join us virtually than could have made the trek to KC.

But the world has become a challenging place for us all. We have not been able to gather together in the spirit of genealogy and friendship to network and learn from each other. Seminars, workshops, and conferences have been cancelled or postponed. The lack of in person events also presents the challenge of how to create awareness and promote our 2020 Virtual Conference.

Please help us spread the word and use this links in communications with your membership. They provide additional information on our website that you may want to refer to:

Conference Registration https://fgs.org/conferences/registration/

FGS Live! Program https://fgs.org/conferences/fgs-live/

Bonus Sponsored and Society Leadership Sessions https://fgs.org/conferences/sponsored-sessions/

Conference Program https://fgs.org/conference/2020-conference/?viewBy=speaker

To further help, we have a special offer for our member societies and your members in return for your help in getting the word out about the conference. For each member that registers for the conference at the Regular or Supersized level, the member will receive a $2 discount and we will donate $10 back to your society. A minimum of 10 participating members is required to activate this benefit for your society. If you have 10 members that participate, your society will receive a $100 donation from FGS! All of your society members must register before the close of registration on August 27th.

If your society is interested in participating, please contact treasurer@fgs.org for a special coupon code.

Thank you for helping to get the word out!

FGS Virtual Conference

There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but the 2020 FGS Virtual Conference offers exclusive FREE genealogy education!   FGS is offering three sizes of registration packages to meet your specific needs. BONUS content is included for FREE with all packages! For more information on registration packages, see https://fgs.org/conferences/registration/.

In addition to your on-demand sessions AND the FGS Live! event, registration gives you FREE access to: 30+ BONUS sessions from our conference sponsors including Ancestry, FamilySearch, American Ancestors, MyHeritage, Missouri State Archives, and many more 16 BONUS society leadership sessions designed to provide helpful tools and techniques to benefit genealogy societies Our Virtual Exhibit Hall FREE Digital syllabus containing material for ALL sessions For more information on all of the FREE bonus sessions, see https://fgs.org/conferences/sponsored-sessions/.

Hurry! Register Now! Early bird registration ends August 15. Register Now

FGS Live

A More Exciting 8 Hours of Genealogy Learning
Can’t Be Found!
The 2020 FGS Virtual Family History Conference will kick off on September 2, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. EDT, with an exciting line-up of leading genealogy speakers. This is eight hours of genealogy learning you will not want to miss. Join us to see: David E. Rencher, “FGS: Celebrating the Past and Future” Judy G. Russell, “Quarantined! Genealogy, the Law and Public Health” Ari Wilkins, “Scaling the 1870 Brick Wall in African American Research” Thomas W. Jones, “Building a Respectable Genealogy, One Documented Biography at a Time” CeCe Moore, “Strategies of The Genetic Detective” Lisa Louise Cooke, “The 2020 Genealogist’s Google Search Methodology” For more information on this and other conference registration details, see FGS 2020 Conference.
  Register Today
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FGS 2020 Conference

FGS 2020 Conference

2020 FGS Conference Header

The 2020 FGS Family History Conference is Going Virtual


You won’t want to miss the final FGS Conference virtual-style! We have a variety of learning sessions to meet every genealogist’s needs. We have so many topics—including DNA, Ethnicity & Nationality, Methodology & Skill-building and so much more! And of course, we have your favorite speakers that you love learning from!

How does it work?

First, join us on September 2 for Live! sessions that include CeCe Moore, Thomas W. Jones, Ari Wilkins, Judy G. Russell, and Lisa Louise Cooke. We’ll also have special presentations and hear the latest from Ancestry and FamilySearch. Participate in a live chat with genealogists from around the world!

You will also have the opportunity to select the right-sized package for your viewing pleasure from our On-Demand content that contains over 80 sessions, PLUS you will receive more than 30 sponsored sessions and a collection of 15 society management sessions for FREE. And, just in case you miss the Live! Session, you will have the opportunity to view it together with the On-Demand content, which will be available starting September 15 and will be available for your viewing until March 15, 2021.


To celebrate the history of FGS—in recognition of this last Family History Conference—and to add a little fun, a commemorative goody bag is available with the maximum registration package. For more information on the contents of each registration package, see the Registration Page.

You will also be able to visit our Virtual Exhibit Hall starting September 15.

We hope that you will enjoy blazing new trails with us in this virtual experience!

Registration is now open for the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ Virtual Family History Conference!
The virtual event will begin with FGS “Live!” on September 2, 2020, starting at 11:00 a.m. (EDT) and concluding at 7:00 p.m. (EDT). In addition to the Live! event, all conference registrations will include a collection of 16 society management sessions assembled by FGS and more than 30 sponsored sessions. The registration packages allow you to further select either 10, 20 or 45 sessions from the On-Demand content from leading genealogists (more than 80 sessions from which to choose). All registration packages include online access to our digital conference syllabus. A special commemorative goody bag is included with the 45-session package. If you had already registered for the FGS conference in Kansas City, your registration will convert to the 20-session conference package. For more information, visit our conference website.
The FGS Live! event will feature lectures from some of the most popular genealogy speakers:
  David E. Rencher, “FGS: Celebrating the Past and the Future” Judy G. Russell, “Quarantined! Genealogy, The Law & Public Health” Ari Wilkins, “Scaling the 1870 Brick Wall in African American Research” Thomas W. Jones, “Building a Respectable Genealogy, One Documented Biography at a Time” CeCe Moore, “Strategies of “The Genetic Detective”” Lisa Louise Cooke, “The 2020 Genealogist’s Google Search Methodology”  
The Live! event will also include special presentations from our two Platinum sponsors: Ancestry’s “Journey to “Roots Less Traveled”” Ron Tanner of FamilySearch, “What’s New at FamilySearch”  
An online chat will take place during the Live! event and there will be a Q&A session following each session.
The following two-hour workshops will also be held on September 3-4:
  Angie Bush, “Using the “What are the Odds” (WATO) Tool” on 9/3/2020 Cari Taplin, “Using Google’s My Maps as a Planning & Analysis Tool” on 9/3/2020 Angie Bush, “Latest Developments in Company Tools for DNA” on 9/4/2020 Pam Vestal, “What the Heck Does That Say” on 9/4/2020  
For a full description of the registration packages, a list of the available On-Demand content, a list of all of the free sessions, and much more information, visit our conference website.
Keep updated on the FGS 2020 Conference! Visit our webpage:  FGSConference.org
Don’t forget to subscribe to the Voice blog! Follow us on social media:
Facebook: facebook.com/FGSgenealogy/
Instagram: instagram.com/fgsgenealogy/
Twitter: twitter.com/fgsgenealogy

FGS Unsung Heroes Program

We want to share some exciting news for societies from our friends at the Genealogy Guys Podcast and Vivid-Pix, one of the FGS partners… The Genealogy Guys and Vivid-Pix Announce
Society Grants Program and New Unsung Heroes Program Nominees
The Genealogy Guys Podcast, the world’s oldest genealogy podcast, and Vivid-Pix, makers of the acclaimed RESTORE photo and document image improvement software, announce a new Unsung Heroes Program and a call for nominations for Unsung Heroes Awards. The partners created the Unsung Heroes Awards in 2019 to encourage, acknowledge and celebrate members of the genealogy community who lead the way in digitizing, indexing, and transcribing photos and documents, for use by researchers around the globe. They have added a brand-new Unsung Heroes Societies Grant Program for societies to obtain a scanner and high-quality software to make digitization projects a reality. They have also adjusted the Unsung Heroes Awards Program eligible nominees and the contents of the prize package. Unsung Heroes Societies Grant Program This program will award grants to two societies each year to facilitate their digitizing, indexing, and transcribing photographs and documents. The grantees will each receive a high-quality scanner, a backup and online storage software package, and two copies of Vivid-Pix RESTORE software to improve the legibility of documents, the color/contrast of photographs, and to add image tags and other important information to the image metadata. The grant package is valued at $500. Applications must describe the intended use of the grant. Multiple applications may be submitted by a single society/chapter but grantees are limited to one grant per society. The grant application form is available at the Aha! Seminars, Inc., website at https://ahaseminars.com/cpage.php?pt=24. The due date for the first grant is by midnight EDT on August 1, 2020, and should be sent to genealogyguys@gmail.com. Successful grantees will be announced separately at different times of the year by The Genealogy Guys Podcast and Vivid-Pix via press release, social media, and the partners’ websites. The first grant recipient society will be announced during the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, September 2-5, 2020. The next grant due date will be announced later in 2020. Unsung Heroes Awards Program The Unsung Heroes Awards Program continues to recognize individuals, societies, and libraries for their work in digitizing, indexing, and transcribing photographs and documents and making that work accessible to the genealogical community. All nominations are to be submitted using the nomination form at the Aha! Seminars, Inc., website at https://ahaseminars.com/cpage.php?pt=24. Self-nominations are welcome and encouraged. The due date for the next set of nominations is midnight EDT on August 1, 2020, and should be sent to genealogyguys@gmail.com. Award winners will receive a commemorative certificate, a customized mug that can include an image of their choice, and a copy of Vivid-Pix RESTORE software. Individual winners will also receive a one-year subscription to Genealogy Guys Learn, the online subscription education program. Winners will be announced by The Genealogy Guys Podcast and Vivid-Pix via press release, social media, and on the partners’ websites. Winners for the next round of category nominations will be announced during the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, September 2-5, 2020. Nominations of non-winners will be retained for consideration for future awards.  Instructions for Submissions Full details of the programs are available at the Aha! Seminars, Inc., website at https://ahaseminars.com/cpage.php?pt=24. The grant application form and the award nomination form are available there in PDF format for download. If you have any questions, please email genealogyguys@gmail.com or aha@ahaseminars.com.  Contacts:  George G. Morgan   The Genealogy Guys Podcast                   http://genealogyguys.com/ genealogyguys@gmail.com  (813) 220-6274   Rick Voight Vivid-Pix https://vivid-pix.com/ rick.voight@vivid-pix.com  (404) 664-9897  

FGS 2020 Family History Conference

To our fellow genealogical family members and future conference attendees:
The 2020 FGS Family History Conference is now a little over four months away and our preparation for the event is moving forward. At this time, we understand individuals are focused on keeping themselves and their families safe and healthy. Our top priority is the well-being of all individuals who will be attending and supporting our event scheduled for September 2-5. Consequently, we are continually monitoring the situation related to COVID-19, nationwide and in our 2020 host city of Kansas City, Missouri.

We anticipate that our conference registration will be available online later this month. We will also be making information available to participants regarding the conference program and activities.  Please refer to our conference home page https://fgs.org/annual-conference/ and our social media sites as we begin providing more information. We are excited about the program we have developed and have an impressive line-up of highly engaging speakers.

As we press forward with optimism, we wish everyone safety and well-being.
Thank you and be well.
  Keep updated on the FGS 2020 Conference! Visit our webpage:  FGSConference.org
Don’t forget to subscribe to the Voice blog! Follow us on social media:
Facebook: facebook.com/FGSgenealogy/
Instagram: instagram.com/fgsgenealogy/
Twitter: twitter.com/fgsgenealogy

FGS & NGS Plan to Merge

Today is a landmark day in the history of the Federation of Genealogical Societies. We are excited to tell you that this morning, at our national conference in Washington D. C., we announced our intent to merge with the National Genealogical Society.

The Federation was formed in 1976 in order to provide support to genealogical and historical societies. Key objectives during the past four decades have been to: promote the study of genealogy, stimulate the activities of state and local organizations, provide resources that enable genealogical organizations to succeed in pursuing their missions, advocate for the preservation of records. The intended merger with NGS will enhance our ability to support societies and offer services that will help strengthen them and help them to adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing, technology-driven, volunteer-challenged environment.

You can read the full press release of the announcement on the FGS Voice blog.
  Preserve the Pensions Project You may be wondering how the merger will affect the Preserve the Pensions project. FGS launched the Preserve the Pensions project in 2010 and raised more than $3 million to digitize and make freely available the pension files from the War of 1812. Fundraising for the project was completed in 2016.

The Preserve the Pensions project will continue under its existing arrangements. FGS has an agreement with NARA for the preservation and digitization of the records and Ancestry is coordinating the digitization process. The funds for completing this project are set aside in restricted accounts.
  Conferences We also wanted to let you know that plans are still in place to hold our annual conference in Kansas City, Missouri, in 2020. Starting in 2021, the combined organization will hold one conference with four full days of genealogical lectures and a fifth day dedicated to society management topics.

I believe this merger will serve our members and the genealogical community by improving the support of both individuals and societies in the pursuit of genealogical excellence.


Faye Stallings
FGS President