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.


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 - 27 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. 

2018 Spring Luncheon - April 21

April 21, 2018 - Noon to 3 PM
Kelsey’s Restaurant
8480 Baltimore National Pike
Ellicott City, Maryland 21043
Presentation by Sharon B. Hodges
Professional Genealogist, Author and Teacher
There’s More to the Census Than What’s Online
As researchers we download census records, but do we fully understand what the record says? Learn about the instructions given to the census takers; how to use non-population schedules in conjunction with the population census; and discover some little-known census records.

Sharon Hodges is a recipient of the Mt. Vernon Genealogical Society’s Lifetime Sustained Meritorious Service Award and the Shirley Langdon Wilcox Award for Exemplary Volunteerism from the National Genealogical Society;  she is Past President of the Mt. Vernon Genealogical Society and currently serves as Secretary of the Virginia Genealogical Society.
Cost:    $40 - MGS members       $45 - Non-members
Buffet featuring Chicken Marsala, Pasta Rosa and Homemade Meatballs, House Salad, Fresh Vegetable, Dinner Rolls and Assorted Mini Desserts. Coffee, tea, and sodas included.
To download and print a mail-in registration form, click here. Or you can register online using the PayPal button below.
Registration Deadline: April 14 (Walk-in registration is an additional $5, space permitting.)


Margaret Isabelle Obert (1944 - 2018)

MGS is saddened to learn that past President and Board Member Margaret Isabelle Obert passed away on March 7. Details regarding her funeral and her life are available in her obituary.
Isabelle served as MGS President from 2003-2005 and 2007-2009. She was elected an MGS Fellow in 2014 in recognition of her outstanding genealogical scholarship and contributions to MGS and to the genealogical community (photo from 2014 Awards Luncheon at right).
Isabelle was a retired Federal research analyst and manager who specialized in Counterintelligence and Security. In retirement, she used the research skills she had honed in her job to explore her family history. In the mid-1990s, she began researching the Board family. That work culminated in the publication of The Board Family Chronicle: From Maryland to Bedford County, Virginia, for which she received the Maryland Historical Society’s annual Parker Prize for the best genealogical work concerning a Maryland family. Isabelle later published The Allen Family of Albemarle and Fluvanna and The Boards of Bedford : Their Family History in Virginia and Kentucky. She also posted portions of her research on the Board, Allen, and related families at her web site.
Isabelle was active in several lineage societies and served as an officer for: the National Society and Maryland State Society of the United States Daughters of 1812; Maryland Society, Daughters of Colonial Wars; Maryland Branch of the Sons and Daughters of the Pilgrims; Maryland State Society, Daughters of the American Revolution; and the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Maryland.


December Journal Issue

The December 2017 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 to the public at $15.00 per issue. Click here for information on how to purchase.
In this issue, MGS Board Past President Druscilla J. Null takes an in-depth look at the paternal ancestry of Baltimore's own Babe Ruth. Robyn N. Smith, our December luncheon speaker, shares Part 1 of her Prather family's journey from slavery to freedom. Several articles focus on the lives of women—Helen Hinchliff's article about an early businesswoman selling pastries and Harold Henderson's story of a Civil War widow trying to hold on to her pension. Two articles highlight Maryland resources. New contributor Pam Pashke describes Maryland penitentiary and pardon records of the early 1800s, and Mary K. Mannix of the Frederick County Public Libraries shares information about the O'Donoghue Index, which helps C. Burr Artz Room researchers get the most from published family histories. If you have ever wondered about religous camp meetings and what they might have been like, program excerpts and photographs  in this issue will take you there. Bob Barnes highlights the family of Ephraim Andrews.
The December issue includes a second brick wall: Who are the parents of Thomas Jefferson Burnham?  (If you have a brick wall you'd like to contribute to a future issue, send it to Jane F. Burgess has contributed a crossword puzzle on Saint Mary's County genealogy information. And our reliable book reviewers have once again culled through new publications to help you make the best selections for your research shelf. 
For a look at the full table of contents, click here.


Debut of the New E-Newsletter - "MGS News"

It's here! The first MGS News. Members for whom we have email addresses have received the new e-newsletter by email. 
As many other societies have done, we’ve converted from a printed paper newsletter to provide more timely information and to save the significant printing and mailing costs. While it may seem like a big change, our goal remains the same: to provide information and educational material of interest to those researching Maryland ancestors. We greatly appreciate the efforts of Newsletter Editor Paul Izat and Board Member Tom McCarriar, who’ve done the bulk of the work researching options and setting up the process for us. We expect that there will be improvements over time.  Send your suggestions to
If you are a MGS member and haven't provided us with your email, please contact us at so that you can begin to receive MGS News


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.