Montgomery County Genealogical Society


The Montgomery County Genealogical Society in Maryland is a venue for individuals to share their interests and projects and to learn new techniques. The society meets the fourth Wednesday of the month (except November when we meet the third Wednesday due to Thanksgiving) from 7:30-9:00 p.m., September-November and January-May. New members are welcome. Read HERE for details.

Directions for Accessing Maryland Vital Records

For several months Maryland vital records have been available at Internet Archive courtesy of Reclaim the Records. Finding the record for a specific person requires interfacing with vital record information at the Maryland State Archives and is not an easy process. Detailed directions for accessing Maryland birth, death and marriage records are now available HERE for download.
Hankins, Petranek Elected to Board of Directors
Voters in the recent Montgomery County Genealogical Society election supported two new board members: Patty Hankins and Carol Petranek. Participants also supported the re-election of President Doug Hill, First Vice Presidents (Programs) Lorraine Minor and Elaine Hornauer, Hannelore Quigley as Secretary, and Susan Wilbur as a Director.
Mutual Fire Insurance Records Online
Montgomery History has released a collection of policy documents from the Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Montgomery County that date from 1849-1900. More than 3,300 documents representing 1,408 policyholders are available online. The policies describe properties throughout the county, as well as some properties in Anne Arundel, Howard, Talbot, Washington, Carroll Charles, Baltimore, and Queen Anne’s counties and Washington, D.C.
County School Documents Online
Policy documents of the Board of County Commissioners on black and white schoolhouse buildings between 1887 and 1913 are available via Montgomery History. The documents, which include physical and geographical descriptions of the schools, are digitized and can be searched.
More Maryland Vital Records Available
Reclaim the Records, a not-for-profit activist group, has obtained Maryland birth, marriage, death and naturalization records. Indexes and digital images of vital records are available. The date ranges of available records vary. Birth certificates between 1898 and 1922, marriage certificates from 1914 to 2007 (with length gaps) and death certificates from 1898 to 2012. The date ranges for Baltimore records differ. The last year of availability for bith and death records is based upon the one-hundred-year limit for access, so later years will become available in the future. For  more information and to search the records, go HERE.
Discussion Groups
The Board of Directors would like to know if members are interested in any of the following discussion groups:
DNA discussion group. The FamilySearch Center already has two DNA special interest groups and this discussion group is not meant to replace either of them. Some members have said that they have found even the beginning group to be intimidating. The purpose of the MoCo group is to allow a place for people to informally discuss general DNA questions and specific questions about their matches. The group may be able to resolve the problem or may suggest bringing it to one of the FamilySearch SIGs.
AI discussion group. The National Genealogical Society is already offering courses on using AI in genealogy and Legacy Family Tree Webinars has a whole series scheduled for 2024. Like the DNA group, the AI group will informally discuss ways to use AI tools and learn from each other.
Writing discussion group. We all probably hope to write “the book,” or at least find an interesting way to share all of our research with family and others. This group will share ideas about how best to approach a narrative, various ways to display ancestry information, repositories for written materials, and more. The group also will be designed to help one another brainstorm each individual’s project and to help them find the scope, theme, and visual/design elements.
Interested in participating in one or more of the discussions described above?
Please let us know by sending an email with your name and specific interest to
Research Resources
Members of the MCGS board have been compiling a list of resources to help anyone exploring their ancestry. Available under the tab "Research Resources" on the left, a new page includes profiles of early settlers in Montgomery County. We will continue to expand this list of biographies over time. Have something to add? Please let us know at
Program Planning
The board of directors for the Montgomery County Genealogical Society is always brainstorming ideas for the coming year, and are lining up speakers. Have an idea for a topic, event, or speaker? Please message us at
Library is Open
The Jane C. Sween Research Library and Special Collections in Rockville is open and scheduling research appointments.

September 25
7:30 pm to 9:00 pm
BEFUDDLED BY THE RECORDS: Building Our Own Brick Walls by Debbie Wilson Smyth
If something in a record seems “off” or is confusing or conflicts with known information, do you still accept it at face value? Or, do ...

October 23
7:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Enslavers in Your Family Tree? Moving Past the Emotions to Help Families Connect By Cheri Passey
Have you found a record of your ancestor showing the ownership of the enslaved? What do you do with the information? Learn how to move ...