By Kimberly Brown, Family Historian
The National Genealogical Society (NGS), based in Arlington, Virginia, was founded in 1903. It is a society dedicated to genealogy research and records for American families of any ethnic background. The NGS remains a membership organization to this day. Members receive a subscription to the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, a subscription to the NGS Magazine, opportunities for conferences and research trips, and a searchable index of the Quarterly from 1912 to 2008.
The National Genealogical Society Quarterly, commonly referred to as the NGSQ, has been published quarterly since 1912. Issues are sent out each March, June, September, and December. The NGSQ publishes case studies, compiled genealogies, previously unpublished sources, and essays on new methodologies.
The NGSQ accepts case studies from genealogists and historians. To be published in the NGSQ, a case must demonstrate advanced research and analysis skills. These research cases demonstrate to readers how to overcome "brick walls" like burned courthouses, name changes, and illegitimate ancestors. The submission process for the NGSQ is very rigorous and competitive; thus publishing a piece in the NGSQ is a badge of honor for the few elite genealogists that have proved that they are true experts in their field.
All case studies that are submitted to the NGSQ are peer-reviewed, and revised, before they are published. Every statement of fact and every source in an article must be well-documented according to the citation style given in Elizabeth Shown Mills' Evidence Explained. Also, for any article published in the NGSQ, more than three words taken from a source must be properly identified with quotes and a footnote with a source citation. If more than three paragraphs are taken from a source, written permission must be obtained from the author of the source.
Aside from the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, members of the organization also receive a subscription to the NGS Magazine. Unlike the NGSQ, this magazine is geared toward amateur genealogists. It discusses beginning to intermediate genealogy research techniques and methodology, and it covers topics like immigration, software programs, and courthouse records.
Aside from printed publications, the National Genealogical Society also maintains a blog of current events and news for members and non-members alike. The blog, called Upfront with NGS, can be found at upfront.ngsgenealogy.org. The National Genealogical Society also sponsors an annual conference, the NGS Family History Conference. This week-long conference is one of the most popular and well-attended genealogical conferences in the country, held in a different location every year. The 2011 conference will be held 11-14 May in Charleston, South Carolina. Go to http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/conference_info to register.