NGS and FGS Announce Intent to Merge

P.O. Box 200940 
Austin, TX  787620-0941 
Phone: (888) 347-1500 Fax: (866) 347-1350 


August 21, 2019 – Washington, D.C.  
In a historic move, the boards of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) and the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announced today their intent to merge. The two organizations, both non-profit leaders in the dynamic genealogy industry, will form one consolidated group that will continue to operate as the National Genealogical Society. Both boards approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) earlier this week, and jointly announced the news at the Opening Session of the FGS Family History Conference in Washington, D.C. this morning. 

Leaders of both organizations believe this merger will serve the genealogy community by improving support of both individual members and societies in the pursuit of genealogical excellence. 

The organizational structure of NGS will be modified to increase functions that support genealogical societies and family organizations. Digitization projects of genealogical importance such as the War of 1812 pensions will continue. The two organizations will continue to operate independently while all details of the merger are completed, no later than October 1, 2020. 

Faye Stallings, President of FGS, said: “We are excited about this opportunity to combine with a premier organization that has been in operation since 1903. This will allow for improved and expanded services to help support societies.” Ben Spratling, President of the NGS, commented, “We look forward to continuing the strong legacy of FGS as a ‘gathering point’ for family historians and societies all across the nation.” 

About FGS 
FGS was founded in 1976 and empowers the genealogical and family history community, especially its societies and organizations, by advocating for the preservation of records and providing resources that enable genealogical organizations to succeed in pursuing their missions. FGS launched the Preserve the Pensions project in 2010 and raised more than $3 million to digitize and make freely available the pension files from the War of 1812. Fundraising was completed for that project in 2016 and the digitization continues. FGS was also the driving force behind the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors project alongside the National Parks Service. To learn more visit 

Contact:Federation of Genealogical Societies PO Box 200940 Austin, TX 78720-0940 Phone: +1 (888) 347-1500 

Mark Olsen 
Phone: +1 (801) 687-0599 Email: 

SLIG Scholarship Winners Announced

Press Release
Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Salt Lake City, Utah
6 August 2019

For Immediate Release

SLIG Scholarship Winners Announced

The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy is pleased to announce that five attendees have been awarded scholarships for upcoming courses in the Fall of 2019 and January 2020.

Laura G. Prescott Scholarship Winners

Eileen Ó Dúill and Julie Parillo were selected as the first recipients of the Laura G. Prescott SLIG Scholarship. Tuition to their course of choice at the 2020 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) or the 2020 SLIG Academy, plus hotel accommodations, will be paid out of scholarship funds generously donated by the genealogical community. Though designed to be awarded to one candidate annually, the scholarship is being doubled to celebrate its inaugural year.
 The scholarship honors Laura G. Prescott, a genealogy professional who enriched the field with her talents as a teacher, writer, researcher, mentor, society leader and volunteer, and as director of Ancestry Academy—Ancestry’s collection of instructional webinars presented by leading genealogical educators. Laura was also especially known for her bright smile, positive attitude, and encouraging nature.
 Scholarship winners are chosen by committee with Laura’s attributes in mind. Their short essay applications include information about what they hope to gain from attending SLIG, why they deserve the scholarship (not necessarily financial reasons), and how they intend to use what they learn. Those chosen embody Laura’s passion for and service to the genealogical community and thus will further her legacy.
 Eileen Ó Dúill is known to many in the genealogy field, as she has been a professional Irish genealogist since 1990, specializing in legal and probate research. She is a founding member of the Irish Probate Genealogy Partners. As a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, Eileen served on the APG board as the International Trustee for Britain and Ireland from 2007 to 2012 and received the APG Professional Achievement Award in 2016. She has lectured nationally and internationally and presented the Ancestry Academy webinar on Beginning Irish Research. Eileen has faced personal adversity with positivity and displays a passion to return as an active member of the genealogical community.

Julie Parillo is secretary for the Rockdale-Newton County Genealogical Society in Georgia and volunteers at the Henry/Clayton County Genealogical Society’s Brown House. She is a member of the Georgia Genealogical Society, the National Genealogical Society, and the Association of Professional Genealogists, and says she frequents as many seminars and watches as many webinars as possible to expand her knowledge. Julie’s passion for genealogy is clear when she says, “Genealogy not only offers me a glimpse into the lives of past ancestors, but will connect me to generations of the future. My goal is to enrich my part of the genealogical world as effectively as possible.”

First-Time Institute Attendees Winner

Julie Johns Defrancesco, resident of Bozeman, Montana was selected as the winner for the SLIG Scholarship for First-Time Institute Attendees for 2020.
 The competition was strong and many candidates submitted worthy applications. The committee determined that Ms. Defrancesco's application effectively conveyed her desire for a more in-depth learning experience at an intermediate (or above) level.
 Julie was born the fifth of five children in La Verne, California to a family with rich Italian, Swiss, French and Irish heritage. Three of her grandparents immigrated to this country between 1906-1929. The fourth grandparents’ line extends to this country’s earliest European settlers.
 Her love for genealogical research began at the age of 17 on a trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City in 1978. From that time to this, Julie has taken advantage of every opportunity to learn about family history. Her desire to discover more about her family line has inspired a hunger to learn everything there is to know about genealogical research. She has attended local LDS conferences, interviewed family members, participated in BYU Home Study Courses in Genealogy, and attended countless conferences and online courses. She is an annual participant in RootsTech.
 Her desire to learn more about her ancestry inspired Julie to make pilgrimages to Europe and the British Isles in search of more and better information and to become acquainted with the land, culture and the people that figure so prominently in her heritage.
 Julie loves sharing her discoveries with her large family of 5 siblings, 22 nieces and nephews, 38 great nieces and nephews, and an ever growing list of newly discovered relatives! “It is so gratifying to see them soak up the information I share at reunions and family gatherings and ask questions about their ancestors.” Twenty-five years ago in an effort to better share her research and unite her extended family, Julie began a quarterly newsletter called “A Common Thread”.
 Today, “A Common Thread” has become a well-received family ancestry blog to which she posts weekly. “I’ve learned so much and reconnected with family members, each of whom has added a few more strands to our family tapestry. I have such a love of family…those living, and those past. But, there is more to learn and more to discover.”
 Julie has a strong desire to broaden her knowledge and skills, and by so doing extend her family line and help others to do so; rarely does a guest leave her home without discussing their family history, and in some instances receiving a brief tutorial to help them get started in their research!
 Julie currently lives in the Gallatin Mountains near Bozeman, Montana with Steve, her husband of thirty-six years, their German Shepherd Lucia, and frequent guests. These guests include not only family and friends, but deer, elk, bear, moose and even mountain lions. The quiet, peaceful solitude of this alpine setting is ideal for long hours of computer research and reflection on generations past.

Jimmy B. Parker Scholarship Winner for 2020

Melody Daisson, resident of Payson, Utah, was awarded the UGA Jimmy B. Parker Scholarship for SLIG 2020.
 Named in honor of Jimmy B. Parker, whose legacy of service to the genealogical community covered more than 50 years, this scholarship is awarded to an individual who has "demonstrated commitment to genealogical excellence and community involvement."
 The competition was strong and many candidates submitted worthy applications. The committee determined that Ms. Daisson's application exemplified the culture of giving back to the community as demonstrated by Jimmy B.Parker.
 Melody Daisson is an Accredited Genealogist in the Southeast Region of the United States. Melody graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in family history and has 25 years of research experience She works as a professional genealogist at Family Locket. Melody is also on the online remote faculty at Brigham Young University Idaho and teaches FHGEN 112: Family History Research—Part 2: Analysis of Research Evidence. She wrote the Southern Research and African-American course modules for a U.S. Specialty Region Course at Brigham Young University-Idaho. Melody serves on the ICAPGen Study Group Committee as the curriculum designer and peer review lead for the Level 1 study group. Melody's genealogical passions are Southern Research and genealogical writing.

Intermediate Foundations Scholarship Winner for Fall 2019

Carly Morgan, resident of Murray, Utah was selected for the the SLIG Intermediate Foundations Scholarship for Fall 2019.
 New this year, this scholarship reaches out to those who haven’t yet attended an institute that need to strengthen their research knowledge and skills at an intermediate level in order to prepare to attend future institutes.
 The competition was strong and many candidates submitted worthy applications. The committee determined that Ms. Morgan's application exemplified the need to move her skills to an intermediate level.
 Carly has engaged in genealogical research for the last ten years and writes about genealogy at Her personal family research is focused on the Polish community in Chicago, the Chinese community in San Francisco, and her colonial roots in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. She is pursuing further education in genealogy to continue writing with a particular focus on family storytelling and digital genealogy.

Nicole Dyer
Publicity Assistant

Announcing the Polish Genealogy Conference 2019

Polish Genealogy Conference 2019

The Polish Genealogical Society of Connecticut and the Northeast, Inc. and The S. A. Blejwas Endowed Chair of the Polish and Polish American Studies, Central Connecticut State University cordially invite you to attend the 2019 GENEALOGY CONFERENCE to learn the strategies for tracing your Polish-American and Eastern European roots.

It will be held on Friday, October 18, 2019 and Saturday, October 19, 2019 at the Institute of Technology, Business and Development, downtown campus of Central Connecticut State University, 185 Main Street, New Britain, CT.

The conference provides an opportunity to learn strategies for tracing your Polish-American and Eastern European roots.  The speakers are well known in Polish genealogy circles and their discussions will enable attendees to fill in the missing pieces of their family history.  Speakers have extensive experience in their respective fields and have been featured at numerous regional, national and international conferences.

Featured speakers will be Blaine Bettinger, Matthew Bielawa (Vice-President, PGSCTNE),
Dr. Mieczyslaw B. Biskupski, (Endowed Chair, Polish and Polish-American Studies, CCSU),
Daniel Bućko (Warsaw, Poland), Thomas Sadauskas (Virginia), Jonathan Shea, A.G., (President, PGSCTNE) and Maureen Taylor (Photo Detective, Rhode Island ).

Daniel  Bućko will speak on "Inaccuracies, Errors and Conflicts of Information in Polish Vital Records and How to Resolve These Problems” and “The Genealogical Value of Royal and Government Estate Inventories.”

A two-part seminar will be presented on "Introduction to Polish and Eastern European Family History."

Many lectures scheduled include:
1.  “ Introduction to DNA”
2.  “Phasing and Mapping Your DNA”
3.  “Photo Detecting 101”
4.  “Advanced Photo Detecting: Cracking the Cold Case”
5. “Who Created Modern Poland?”
6.  “A History of Ellis Island – Separating the Myth from Reality and What
       Really Happened There”
7.  “How Your Ancestors Came to America and Finding Their Records
       (1890 to 1950)

Another feature of the conference will enable participants to share their surnames and villages. This document will be distributed to all participants at the conference who will be able to view the information.  Hopefully, they will find a new connection to their roots.

For more information, please see our website at which includes our conference schedule, speakers' biographies, and lecture summaries.   Information and forms about our one-on-one consultation appointments with the speakers (a limited number are available), registration and lecture selections are also available.

Throughout the day, a collection of books, maps and other materials will be available to all attendees for consultation.  Officers of the Society will be present to answer questions.

We also have many exhibitors who will display their items.

For more information, please email Diane Szepanski at 

Genealogy Guys and Vivid-Pix Announce Genealogy’s Unsung Heroes Awards – Nominations Being Accepted for 3Q2019

Genealogy Guys and Vivid-Pix Announce Genealogy’s Unsung Heroes Awards – Nominations Being Accepted for 3Q2019

The Genealogy Guys, George G. Morgan and Drew Smith, co-hosts and producers of the oldest continually produced genealogy podcast, and Rick Voight and Randy Fredlund Voight, CEO the principals of Vivid-Pix, makers of RESTORE photo and document restoration software, today announce that the continuation of their activities to acknowledge and celebrate those members of the genealogy community who digitize, index, or transcribe photos and documents of value to genealogical researchers.  The Unsung Heroes Awards is a quarterly awards program designed to recognize its recipients in five categories: individuals, genealogical/historical societies, libraries/archives, young people, and a new posthumous certificate award.

Completed nomination forms are now being accepted for the 2019 Third Quarter awards. Nominations eligible for the third quarter of 2019’s awards must be received no later than midnight US Eastern Standard Time on August 1, 2019. Winners will be announced during the Federation of Genealogical Societies 2019 Conference in Washington, DC, by Rick Voight of Vivid-Pix.

Due dates for later quarters will be announced on The Genealogy Guys Podcast, The Genealogy Guys Blog, and the Unsung Heroes Blog at the Vivid-Pix website. All nominations received that do not win for this quarter will be reviewed for future quarters recognition.

Nomination forms (see below for link to the forms) should be completed and emailed to  Winners will receive: a custom-made commemorative mug with their choice of two of the winner’s images; an announcement of the winners on an episode of The Genealogy Guys Podcast; and a profile of the winner published on The Genealogy Guys Blog and the Unsung Heroes Blog at the Vivid-Pix website ( A certificate will be awarded in the name of the posthumous winner.

Full details and links to the nomination forms can be found at the website for Aha! Seminars, Inc., producer of The Genealogy Guys Podcast, at

Media Contacts:
George G. Morgan
Aha! Seminars, Inc.
(813) 220-6274
Rick Voight
(404) 664-9897

About the Partners
The Genealogy Guys Podcast is a production of Aha! Seminars, Inc., a Tampa Bay-based company that has been providing training to genealogists and library personnel since 1996. Its principals are George G. Morgan and Drew Smith, noted speakers, authors, and world’s longest genealogy podcasters. The company also produces the Genealogy Connection podcast and The Genealogy Guys Blog.

Vivid-Pix designs, creates and delivers Fast, Easy and Affordable Imaging Software. Since launching in 2012, Vivid-Pix has advanced its products to earn the support and respect of business leaders and photographers in over 100 countries. Co-Founder Randy Fredlund has more than 150 digital-imaging patents and has extensive experience in Research, Development and Commercialization, enabling him to translate theory into practice. Co-Founder Rick Voight has created billion-dollar businesses through Product Development, Sales and Marketing for Eastman Kodak and Hewlett-Packard. The Vivid-Pix Team is a far-flung group of excellent, enthusiastic people who deliver software that “Give your pics (and documents) the Vivid-Pix Fix!