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.
In July, the board of directors met to celebrate the society’s first year and to continue planning for the future. (Front row, from left: Sue Reeb, director; Hannelore Quigley, secretary; Doug Hill, president; and Christina Lyons, second vice president-communications. Back row, from left: Lori Kelman, director; Susan Wilbur, director/membership chair; Lorraine Minor and Elaine Hornauer, first vice presidents-programs. Not shown: Cheryl Peirce, treasurer, and Bryan Main, director.)
Celebrating Our First Year!
The Montgomery County Genealogical Society is a year old!
In July 2021, we began our efforts to launch an independent organization that could bring together genealogy enthusiasts and experts from around the county – and even beyond. We had no idea how much we could accomplish in just one year.
Thanks to the support of our members, MCGS has:
  • become a tax-exempt nonprofit;
  • provided monthly programming covering a range of topics and research interests;
  • brought together people from almost every area of the county, and even people around the state and the country (thanks to Zoom);
  • launched this website to keep you informed about our programming and link you to key resources;
  • provided our members the monthly “Genealogy Gleanings,” a roundup of interesting local or online events, articles and more that is compiled by our genealogy expert Lorraine Minor;
  • started connecting with other local and state genealogy and history groups to improve programming and other membership benefits.
  • become a member of the National Genealogical Society so we can keep you informed about events across the country, new resources, and educational opportunities; and more.
That’s just the beginning. We are brainstorming and laying the groundwork to launch some local projects that will improve access to local resources, further your education in historical research, and bring you together with others who share your enthusiasm for genealogy. And, of course, we will continue our regular monthly programs in September.
We are so thankful for the outpouring of enthusiasm and support from our members. Not a member yet? Please consider joining so you can obtain access to all of our programs and discussions, as well as to our archive of recorded presentations, handouts, and more. We also welcome new ideas and volunteer support.
Recordings Available
MCGS members can access recordings and handouts of past presentations by clicking on the Members tab on the left-hand column. Some of the presentations include:
  • Between Freedom and Equality: Barbara Boyle Torrey and Clara Myrick Green, authors of Between Freedom and Equality: The History of an African American Family in Washington, D.C. (Georgetown University Press, 2021), talk about the issues they faced reconstructing the genealogy of the family of Captain George Pointer, an eighteenth century slave who worked as a supervisory engineer for George Washington’s Potomac Canal in Montgomery Country. They are joined by James Fisher, an eighth-generation descendant of Pointer, and researcher Tanya Gaskins Hardy.
  • Beyond Names and Dates – Writing a Family History: Christina Lyons, a personal historian and journalist, talks about her recent client project, a 330-page, illustrated book describing 400 years of a family’s history. Christina touches on historical research techniques, narrative non-fiction writing, manuscript development and elements for book design (photos, maps, letters, etc.).
  • DAR Applications: Pamela Loos-Noji, a staff genealogist for the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, describes how to find and use records that pre-date the 1850 census and provide solid proof of dates, places and generational links necessary for DAR applications.
  • Maryland State Archives: David A Powell, a genealogy instructor at the Community College of Baltimore County and other venues, provides tips for navigating the extensive Maryland State Archives website and talks about how to access the archives in person.
  • Road to Publication: Nancy Waters discusses how to preserve your genealogy research for family, friends, and future generations.
  • Putting It All Together – Making Sense of Your Research: Robyn Smith shares some tips and tools for organizing, analyzing and properly citing historical records.
Program Planning Underway
The board of directors for the Montgomery County Genealogical Society is brainstorming ideas for the coming year, with several speakers already lined up (see the events listings on the right). Have an idea for a topic, event, or speaker? Please message us at
Join the 1950 Census Indexing Effort
A census worker gathers information in Hyattsville, Maryland, in 1950. (Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress)
Volunteers are working hard reviewing names and other data for the 1950 census to complete the indexing process and make the forms fully searchable. That includes work on the census forms for Maryland. You can join the effort via FamilySearch, which is looking for volunteers. On FamilySeach, you can join for our group, Montgomery County Maryland Genealogical Society, and share messages or questions as you work. Our members archive also includes tips for searching the 1950 census forms that area available at the National Archives and Records Administration.
Library is Open
The Jane C. Sween Research Library and Special Collections in Rockville is open and scheduling research appointments.