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.  
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Basics+ Workshop - June 3, 2017

Reward and Remembrance: Post-Military Service Records 
9:00 am to 12:30 pm
Severna Park United Methodist Church, 731 Benfield Rd., Severna Park, MD 21146
It's often after military service that the most genealogically valuable records are created -- those that award benefits to a soldier and family or honor his or her memory and sacrifice. Hear our expert panel discuss records that offer family gold and human interest to your family tree. Featuring:
Angela McGhie, CGSM – Bounty Land Records
Jonathan Webb Deiss, owner/researcher at – Pension Records and How to Find Them

Constance Potter, retired NARA reference archivist – WWI Gold Star Mother Pilgrimages

In addition, as part of our continuing observation of the 100th anniversary of the entry of the United States into WWI, Connie will give a brief overview on WWI service records. 

Registration and Continental Breakfast begins at 8:30 AM. The first session begins at 9:00 AM.

Cost: $25  - MGS Members    $30 - non-members
(Walk-in registration is an additional $5.)
Pre-registration deadline is Tuesday, May 30.
Click the button below to register online or download the registration form below and register by mail.

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 Newsletter

The April 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 Basics + Workshop  –  “Reward and Remembrance: Post-Military Service Records”
  • Leave No Stone Unturned  –Original Records or Abstracts
  • Addendum to Church Records Bibliography
  • Malissa Ruffner Appointed Editor of the Journal
  • In Memoriam: Jerry M. Hynson (1938-2017)
  • Your Ballot and Candidate bios for the Election of Officers for 2017 - 2019
  • Spring Luncheon Review  –  “The Lacemaker: The Fabric of Family
  • Conferences, Seminars, & Workshops
  • Membership Categories
  • The Family Exchange


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.