NCGS library notes

Diary of Marie Witmer Jan 1926-Jan 1927

Located in our Family History collection is this binder that has a transcription of a Diary of Maria Witmer from January 1926-1927.

I found Marie Witmer in the 1930 Census living with her brother, Andrew Laur.  Marie is on line 44:

Come read the rest of Marie’s Diary along with our many other family histories that we have in our NCGS Library.  Our library is located on the 2nd floor of the Niagara County Historical Society located at 215 Niagara St., Lockport, NY  14094 and we are open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 1 – 4:45pm

Contributor: Jeanette Sheliga of Lockport NY is Vice-President of the Niagara County Genealogical Society, Organizer of the North Tonawanda Library Genealogy Club and a member of APG (Assn of Professional Genealogists)

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Events

The D in B-M-D

Death Records are very useful in tracing your family tree. So often, in genealogy, we need to start with a person’s death to move backwards in time to their birth and, hopefully, connect them to their parents.

Join us on Wednesday, Sept 25th at 7:00 pm at 215 Niagara St. Lockport, NY as Jeanette Sheliga packs this presentation with examples of documents concerning records of death, when they began to exist, and where to find them. Topics will include: death certificates, death indexes, obituaries, funeral home records, church records, cemetery records, coroner’s reports and more!

Jeanette Sheliga is Vice-President of the Niagara County Genealogical Society and Organizer of the North Tonawanda Library Genealogy Club.

NCGS library notes

Spotlight on our Vertical Files – Miller


Throughout the years, our librarians and volunteers have clipped and copied loads of news articles and filed them by surname in our library.  Files like these may also include pedigree charts, family group sheets, pictures, and more if members have donated them.

If you have family group sheets, pictures, newspaper clippings, etc. that you would like to donate to our Vertical Files, please contact us!  Our library is located on the 2nd floor of the Niagara County Historical Society located at 215 Niagara St., Lockport, NY  14094.  We are open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 1 – 4:45pm or you can reach us by e mail at: comments@niagaragenealogy.org


If you are unable to easily visit our library to check out our Vertical Files, remember that your membership to the Niagara County Genealogical Society entitles you to one FREE 30-minute Look-up in our Library’s holdings.  More information about our Society, membership and other benefits can be found at: http://niagaragenealogy.org/membership.html.  (Psst: You can apply for a membership and renew online from our website!)

Contributor: Jeanette Sheliga of Lockport NY is Vice-President of the Niagara County Genealogical Society, Organizer of the North Tonawanda Library Genealogy Club and a member of APG (Assn of Professional Genealogists)

NCGS Adventures

New York Genealogical & Biographical Society (NYG&B) https://www.newyorkfamilyhistory.org/

I spent some time hanging out in the NYG&B booth at the FGS 2019 conference.  NYG&B is celebrating their 150th anniversary this year having been formed in 1869 and has almost 5000 members. NYG&B publishes many materials including the revised edition (2017) of the New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer which is a 868 page, two-volume set.

In 2018, NYG&B became the new home of Kinship Books as the co-founders and owners donated the assets of their business to NYG&B.  Kinship Books has been publishing New York books for over 50 years from Rhinebeck, NY.  Their books include transcribing religious records, account books, store ledgers, census records, and more… focusing heavily on the areas surrounding the Hudson River.  You can view the book collection and order online at: https://kinshipny.com/.


NYG&B also has online record collections open to their members that are currently being housed at FindMyPast.com.  Right now, NYG&B members are given access to FindMyPast.com in order to view the records and, as a bonus, all North American record collections as well as the ability to build a family tree at no additional charge.  

News to me (though it was announced in their Spring 2019 New York Researcher publication), is that NYG&B has been working hard on creating their own records platform to be housed on their own website (https://www.newyorkfamilyhistory.org/) and moving away from keeping their holdings at FindMyPast.  They hope that the new records platform will be ready to launch by the end of 2019.


Some of the benefits that the new platform will feature are a reorganization of their collections making them easy to search and browse, the ability to automatically process new digital collections, and for members to be able to download full periodicals such as The Record (not one page at a time).


NYG&B members will still have access to FindMyPast until their year membership is up and then after that, it will most likely be going away.  Therefore, don’t wait too long to take advantage of the FindMyPast collections while you have the opportunity if you are a NYG&B member!


Sue Miller, the Director of Programs for NYG&B that I was talking to today, hopes that many of us from Niagara County and Western New York attend their New York Genealogy Seminar on October 12th, 2019 in Syracuse, NY.

You can learn more and register for the seminar here at: https://www.newyorkfamilyhistory.org/events/new-york-genealogy-seminar-syracuse-ny.


Road trip!!

Contributor: Jeanette Sheliga of Lockport NY is Vice-President of the Niagara County Genealogical Society, Organizer of the North Tonawanda Library Genealogy Club and a member of APG (Assn of Professional Genealogists)

NCGS Adventures

Virtual Genealogical Association (VGA)

We are very fortunate in our WNY area to have local genealogical societies to become members of and attend programs.  Thinking about this, Katherine Willson, the founder of the Virtual Genealogical Association (VGA), had the idea to form a virtual society and her dream came true when VGA launched on April 30th, 2018.

From an info card at their booth in the vendor hall at FGS: “VGA recognizes that many family history enthusiasts are merging technology and globalization in their genealogical pursuits.  We provide a forum for genealogists worldwide to connect, network, and mentor with others through monthly meetings online, webinars, social networking, annual conferences, and meet-ups at events worldwide.”

Katherine Willson told me that she is very happy with the growth of the society.  Since it’s formation last year, the VGA has 1700 members from 21 countries.  They offer three online presentations a month and have formed different chapters and special interest groups (SIGs) on Facebook.  The annual cost for becoming a member is $20.  The VGA website is: https://virtualgenealogy.org/.

The VGA is going to host their first conference this year.  It is a virtual conference (of course) and the dates are Friday, November 1 – Sunday, November 3.  The conference is going to have 20 sessions (six each day with an additional two pre-recorded) across the three days.  Well-known genealogy speakers such as Blaine T. Bettinger, Lisa Alzo, Jen Baldwin, and Judy G. Russell are some of the presenters.  

The conference attendees do not have to watch the sessions live as they will have access to the recordings and handouts for 6 months following the conference.  The conference cost is $59 for members and $79 for non-members (which is the conference price with a membership added on).  Click here for more information about the VGA 2019 Conference: https://virtualgenealogy.org/2019-vga-conference/.

Contributor: Jeanette Sheliga of Lockport NY is Vice-President of the Niagara County Genealogical Society, Organizer of the North Tonawanda Library Genealogy Club and a member of APG (Assn of Professional Genealogists)

NCGS Adventures

Breaking News from the FGS Conference

On August 21st, 2019, the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announced during the opening session of their conference that the boards of FGS and the National Genealogical Society (NGS) have voted this past week and decided to merge organizations.

The primary benefits of merging the societies will be:
1. Improved focus on society needs
2. One large national conference
3. Reduction of duplicate costs

The expected completion of the merger is October 1, 2020.

NGS President Benjamin B. Spratling and FGS President Faye Stallings held a press conference later in the morning where attendees could ask questions.


The merged society is going to be called NGS.  Both organizations will have a separate conference in 2020 but will be combining their conference starting in 2021.

The 2020 separate conferences are:
NGS – May 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah
FGS – August 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri

The first combined conference will be in 2021:
NGS – May 2021 in Richmond, Virginia

They plan on increasing the current NGS 4-day conference format to a a 5-day conference to add in the FGS format of having a Society Management Day.  


The FGS magazine, Forum, will be incorporated into the NGS Magazine and then discontinued.  The FGS Preserve the Pensions Project will continue under its existing arrangements.    

More information can be found at the organization’s websites:

FGS – https://fgs.org/

NGS – https://www.ngsgenealogy.org/

Contributor: Jeanette Sheliga of Lockport NY is Vice-President of the Niagara County Genealogical Society and Organizer of the North Tonawanda Library Genealogy Club.

NCGS Adventures

News from the FGS Conference FamilySearch & DNA: What’s the Story?

I attended a lunch-time session in the vendor hall yesterday in the FamilySearch Booth at the FGS Conference.  The topic was FamilySearch & DNA: What’s the Story? 

What I learned is that FamilySearch is starting to get into the DNA game, however, they are NOT going to become a testing company as there are plenty of them out there.  

Their first step to incorporating DNA into FamilySearch was to create an unbiased page to help educate about DNA.  You can find that page here: https://www.familysearch.org/dna

They divided the webpage into three main areas: 

1. Which DNA test options are available?

2. What should I do after taking a DNA test?

3. FAQ/Terminology.

There is a team working at FamilySearch on ways to incorporate DNA into the FamilySearch Family Tree.  I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with!

Contributor: Jeanette Sheliga of Lockport NY is Vice-President of the Niagara County Genealogical Society and Organizer of the North Tonawanda Library Genealogy Club.

NCGS library notes

American Ancestors by New England Historic Genealogical Society

One of the periodicals that our library receives is American Ancestors by New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS).  It is delivered quarterly and their two goals are to give their readers news about their organization and to have useful and engaging articles from a variety of perspectives on many facets of genealogical research.

Earlier this year, NEHGS launched a new research tool on their website https://www.americanancestors.org/ giving their users the ability to create online trees called American AncesTREES.  You can build a tree for free on their website with a guest account or pay for an upgrade.

You can learn more about American AncesTREES in this NEHGS webinar at: https://youtu.be/NJlL-CowG4A

Don’t forget that we subscribe to the NEHGS American Ancestors website for our library patrons!  You can read more about that in an earlier blog post here: https://niagaracountygenealogy.wordpress.com/2019/05/02/american-ancestors/

Come read through our NEHGS American Ancestors magazines along with our many other periodicals in the NCGS Library.  Our library is located on the 2nd floor of the Niagara County Historical Society located at 215 Niagara St., Lockport, NY  14094 and we are open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 1 – 4:45pm. 

Contributor: Jeanette Sheliga of Lockport NY is Vice-President of the Niagara County Genealogical Society and Organizer of the North Tonawanda Library Genealogy Club.