Maryland Genealogical Society
Maryland Genealogical Society


Since 1959, the Maryland Genealogical Society has been promoting genealogical study and research.   Through our publications, programs, resources, and outreach, the Society can help you explore your family history.
If you are already a member of the Society, you can log in by clicking on the Members Only link. If you are not already a member, we encourage you to become a member and begin receiving all the benefits of membership.  
And we hope that you'll follow us on Facebook for timely news and information.


2019 Fall Seminar Registration Open

MGS presents its Fall Seminar, which begins with registration and a continental breakfast and includes a plated lunch. The event will be held Saturday, September 14, from 8:30am to 3:30pm at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, 15101 Sweitzer Lane, Laurel, MD 20707.
Two well-known speakers will be sharing their genealogical knowledge and expertise. David A. Powell and Robyn N. Smith will be presenting the following lectures:
Finding Original Records Online” - David A. Powell
Genealogists may be frustrated by not finding ancestors in the records and places where they logically expect them to be. This presentation will explain several different ways to search for your ancestors including new techniques for commonly used web sites. Actual case study examples will be used along with suggested strategies to help attendees find their elusive ancestors.                       
Finding Foreign Original Records Online” - David A. Powell
Attendees will learn specific ways to find their ancestors in foreign genealogical sources. Original records are being digitized at an accelerated rate and millions more are being added monthly throughout the world.  Actual case studies in France, Poland and England will be used to illustrate the process used for any foreign research.  
A Tangled Web: Researching the Enslaved in Maryland” - Robyn N. Smith
Slavery research is difficult under almost any circumstance. In this lecture, Ms. Smith offers a brief overview of the history of African Americans in Maryland. Through case studies, she also provides examples of the unique records available to those researching the enslaved as well as the large population of free blacks.  
Cluster Research: Using Groups of People to Find Your People” - Robyn N. Smith
Our ancestors did not live in a vacuum. They lived, worked, socialized, and married amid a larger group of people. Those people included not just family members but friends, neighbors, employers, fellow employees, fellow churchgoers, and business associates. Elizabeth Shown Mills refers to this group with the clever shorthand of the “FAN” club—their family, associates and neighbors. Ms. Smith demonstrates how studying this larger group of people often increases our chance for success in our research.
Please go to the Events Page to register.


New MGS Journal Editor Appointed

MGS is pleased to announce that Jackie Fox has been appointed by the Executive Board to be the new Editor of the MGS Journal, succeeding Malissa Ruffner, who is ending her 2-year term.

Jackie has had a long career in journal publishing, having worked as a copyeditor and proofreader, managing editor, and publications director for several nonprofit professional associations in the Washington, DC, area. She was director of the US journals program for Oxford University Press for seven years. In her current position, she is publications director for the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and has served as managing editor of their journal for the past 17 years.

In addition to her publications experience, Jackie has for several decades researched her own family in the Baltimore area and in New England.

Many thanks to Malissa for her years of service to the Journal! Her excellence as Editor ensured that the Journal continued as a high quality publication devoted to informative and well-reasoned articles on Maryland families and sources.
If you have an interest in writing for the Journal or serving as a peer reviewer, contact Jackie at


New Journal Issue Available

The April 2019 issue of the Journal is available. Members receive their copies by mail. Limited quantities of the current and earlier issues of the Journal also are available for sale. Members receive a discounted price. Click here for information on prices and how to purchase.
This first issue of 2019 features the work of some of our most dedicated contributors. Rebecca Whitman Koford uses comparison of original signatures and correlation of timelines to differentiate between different men of the same name in the Porter family. Helen Hinchliff adds another article to her series on the women in her family from early Baltimore, this time solving a puzzle of an orphan’s parents. Two articles address Eastern Shore topics – Debbie Hooper, a leading expert on Eastern Shore research, explores the life and ancestors of Walter Jump Roe of Caroline County, and Robert Barnes examines families and individuals with the Taylor surname in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Dorchester County. Through the lens of the experience of her Huhn family ancestors, Nancy Lee Waters looks at the history of the packet ships that brought immigrants to America. Carleton Weidemeyer profiles the life of Henry Noah Greninger, notably his experiences in the Civil War. Western Maryland researchers will be interested in librarian Joseph Berger’s article on an indexing project for historic Hagerstown newspapers. Book reviews by Allender Sybert and a genealogy crossword puzzle by Jane Burgess round out the issue.
For a look at the full table of contents, click here.


Election Results

Congratulations to our newly elected slate of officers: 

  • Druscilla Null, President
  • Heather O’Hara, Vice President
  • Allender Sybert, Treasurer
  • Betty deKeyser, Recording Secretary
​We thank the outgoing officers - John Siemon, Ellen Ward, and Debra Hoffman - for their service and thank the incoming officers for volunteering their time and energy to make the MGS a success.


May MGS News Available

The May 2019 edition of MGS News is now available. If you are a MGS member, you should have received the issue by email. If you are a member and haven't provided us with your email, please contact us at so that you can begin to receive MGS News
This issue features news items on past and future MGS events, and the appointment of the Society's new editor of the Journal. There is information on the MGS project to index the Baltimore City Male Marriage Index (1886-1914) and our work to assist in the preservation of the Baltimore First German United Evangelical Church records. Other stories discuss projects by other organizations to index Maryland probate records and identify Maryland Civil War grave sites. This issue also contains a new "Leave No Stone Unturned" article by Bob Barnes.
Archived copies of this issue and previous issues are available in the Member's Only area. 


New Maryland Will and Probate Indexes

The Maryland State Archives is participating in a joint project with the Comptroller of the Treasury, the Registers of Wills, and FamilySearch to have the state's probate records from 1634 to 1940 indexed, scanned, and made available online. Volunteers are preparing the documents for scanning and indexing the records. The indexed information eventually will be available in an online FamilySearch database. In the meantime, as county indexes are completed, the Maryland State Archives is making the spreadsheets available for researcher use.
Many thanks to MGS Board Member Tom McCarriar - who is participating as a volunteer on the project - for providing us with copies. Click here to see the index spreadsheets currently available - Baltimore County, Caroline County, and Carroll County. Visit the Maryland State Archives web site for more information about volunteering for this or other projects.


View Back Issues of the MGS Bulletin

We are pleased to announce that digitized copies of Volumes 1-38 of the Maryland Genealogical Society Bulletin are now available in the Members Only portion of the web site. Access is available to MGS members as an exclusive member benefit. After signing in as a member, look for the "MGS Bulletin Archive" link under Members Only on the lefthand navigation bar.
There are 150 issues available dating from 1960 to 1997. While the earliest issues from the 1960s are more like a newsletter than the later issues of 100+ pages, all have interesting content. You can consult the cumulative table of contents to learn what articles appear in each issue.
Each issue is a PDF that is full-text searchable. Our ultimate goal is to offer the capability to search across all issues in a single search, and we are working toward adding that feature.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at


Leave No Stone Unturned

“Leave No Stone Unturned” is a series of occasional articles in MGS News and its predecessor, the MGS Newsletter, by Board Member Robert Barnes. Bob has had over 50 years’ experience tracing Maryland families. He is the author of many source books, compiled family histories, and guides, and has taught many courses in genealogical research and lectured at genealogical conferences.
We have assembled an archive of his articles - 28 to date - which is available to MGS members in the Members Only section of the web site. MGS thanks Bob for sharing these articles on a variety of Maryland genealogy topics. 

We're Looking for Your Photos!

Would you like to see images of your ancestors included on the MGS Web site? Members are encouraged to submit photos for inclusion in the gallery of images at the top of the page that rotate and change each time visitors go to a new page on the Web site. (Each has a caption that you can read by hovering your cursor over the image.) For more information about submitting images, click here.