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NGS-FGS Merger Party Today

The wheel is about to turn.

Two genealogy societies officially merge today. A little over a year ago, the National Genealogical Society (NGS) and the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announced their intention to combine into one organization. The consolidated group will operate as the National Genealogical Society.

The new NGS plans to continue its mission of supporting individual members. It will also take on the FGS role of supporting local genealogical societies and family organizations. The FGS work of advocating for the preservation of records and running digitization projects will continue.

I have long belonged to NGS, probably since 1996 or so. My local societies, The Colorado and the Highlands Ranch Genealogical Societies, both belong to FGS.

My NGS membership has enriched my genealogy career over the years. They publish a superb quarterly journal, the scholarly National Genealogical Society Quarterly. Any serious genealogist should read this publication to see the results of well-executed research projects.

NGS also puts out a quarterly magazine, the NGS Magazine, which is packed with Society news and how-to articles.

Another benefit of NGS membership is the annual conference. I have attended two of these multi-day events over the years—I volunteered at the 1998 conference in Denver, and we drove to Kansas City for the 2008 conference. FGS has hosted conferences, too, although I have not been to one.

This evening the new NGS will celebrate the merger with an online party hosted by well-known blogger, Judy Russell. I plan to tune in.

I do not know whether they are serious in their request to wear party hats and bring noisemakers. Perhaps I will dig into my New Year’s Eve box for these accessories. It will not hurt to be prepared.

This merger represents a big change for the genealogy world. Now we will have one-stop shopping for excellent publications, educational offerings, and research guidance. We will have an expanded opportunity for interacting with other genealogists and volunteering on record preservation projects.

The architects of this union hope it will better serve the genealogy community by creating a larger organization with more resources. It all starts tonight.



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