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.


Fall Seminar - September 16

Four Presentations by Judy G. Russell,
"The Legal Genealogist" 
Saturday, September 16
8:30 am to 3:15 pm
Hilton Garden Inn, 5015 Campbell Blvd, White Marsh, MD 21236
The Legal Genealogist is coming to town! Prepare for a full day of learning about critical sources and important strategies for tackling your most challenging ancestors. Judy is a nationally known presenter, blogger (, and coordinator of the Advanced Genealogical Methods and Evidence Analysis course at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at the University of Georgia. If you have already heard her, you know you want to be here. And if you haven't heard her, you need to be here.
These four excellent presentations will be delivered in Judy's straightforward and humorous style:
  • Finding the Law
  • When Worlds Collide: Resolving Conflicts in Genealogical Records
  • “Don’t Forget the Ladies”-A Genealogists’ Guide to Women and the Law
  • No Vitals? No Problem! Building a Family through Circumstantial Evidence 
More information on these presentations is available on our Events page.
The day includes continental breakfast and buffet luncheon in a beautiful conference wing of the hotel. Registration opens and breakfast is served at 8:30 AM. The first lecture begins at 9:30 AM.
Cost:    $70 – MGS Members  $80 – Non-members
Pre-registration closes on Tuesday, September 12 or when capacity is reached. Walk-in space will depend on pre-registration.
Traveling from a distance? Rooms are available at the Hilton Garden Inn at a rate of $129 per night (code MDGE 366101). There is a Hampton Inn at the same location.
Also joining us that day is vendor Jigsaw Genealogy, which sells wall-sized pedigree charts, forms, worksheets, research kits, archival-safe photo storage materials, and other research necessities.

Click the button below to register online or download the registration form and register by mail. 


July Newsletter

The July issue of The Newsletter of the Maryland Genealogical Society is now available for viewing and/or downloading. Go to the Members Only tab, enter your username and password, and open the Newsletter tab to view the latest issue.
In This Issue-----
  • Your registration form for our Fall Seminar  –  “The Legal Genealogist”
  • Leave No Stone Unturned –Administration Bonds: the First Step in Probate Research
  • New Database on our Website
  • MGS Officers Election Results
  • Genealogy Book Prizes Awarded by the Maryland Historical Society
  • New Find A Grave Website Coming Soon!
  • Basics+ Workshop Review  –  “Reward and Remembrance: Post-Military Service Records”
  • The Maryland Mayflower Society
  • Sanborn Maps Now Online at the Library of Congress
  • Conferences, Seminars, & Workshops
  • The Family Exchange
  • Membership Categories


New Journal Editor Appointed

We are pleased to announce that the MGS Board has appointed Vice President Malissa Ruffner as the new Editor of the MGS Journal. She replaces Nancy Lauer, who ended two years as Editor with the April 2017 issue.
Malissa has been assisting with the Journal by proofreading and serving as the Advertising Editor. Her own work has been published in multiple publications and formats – feature articles, peer-reviewed journals, her blog, and exhibit content. In December 2016, her article, “Indirect Evidence Corrects the Parentage of Lemuel Offutt of Baltimore, County, Maryland,” was featured in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.
In addition to her writing and publishing experience, Malissa brings experience with genealogical research and sources to the job. She is a Board-certified genealogist and director of the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed). She is also currently working for the Georgetown Memory Project, tracing descendants of slaves held on Jesuit plantations in Maryland.
Welcome aboard as Editor, Malissa, and many thanks to Nancy for a job well done! To learn more about submitting an article for publication, contact Malissa at


April 2017 Issue of the Journal

The April 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.
The April issue of the Maryland Genealogical Society Journal commemorates the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into World War I.
This issue honors the service of Frank Bartow Waters, Sr, the paternal grandfather of the editor, as well as the service of other Maryland military personnel such as MGS board member Gloria Day’s maternal grandfather, Private William H. Lathe; and MGS board member Seely Foley’s paternal grandfather, Lt. James W. Kenny. David A. Powell shares the memoirs of his grandfather, Andrew Graham Cleghorn.
Dr. William J. Sheleski discusses in his article how he used troopship records to locate and identify the service records of his grandfather, Private First Class John Frank Shedlewski.
Jane F. Burgess and James P. Burgess III have written an excellent article on the Montgomery County servicemen who died during the war.
Robert W. Barnes presents several interesting news items about Baltimore during the war that he obtained from a variety of sources.
The African American participation in World War I is discussed in Zaakira L. Sadrud-Din’s fascinating article.
Often knowing where to access records can be a challenge to the World War I researcher. To assist in this endeavor, Michael Dormer has written a World War I Pathfinder on World War I materials located in the Maryland Room of the Frederick County Public Libraries.
Service personnel in all wars stayed connected to their families by writing home. James R. Miller has captured this in his article, Writing Home to Maryland in World War I. He transcribed several letters that are currently in his possession.
Jane F. Burgess continues her regular feature with a World War I crossword puzzle focusing on Maryland and World War I. Many readers look forward to this continuing feature and won’t be disappointed with this issue’s submission.
Between 1917 and 1918, men filled out Draft Registration Cards. Two examples are presented—one for William Rockel and the other for my maternal grandfather, Charles Edward Oler.
Our Book Review section contains eight book reviews starting with a book by Dr. Margaret M. McMahon, Researching Your U. S. WWI Army Ancestors, reviewed by John M. Siemon. Genealogists researching their World War I ancestors will find Dr. McMahon’s book a valuable resource.


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.