Morris Area Genealogy Society

Morris Area Genealogy Society meetings are held the first Tuesday of the month, from September through May, at the Morris County Library, 30 East Hanover Ave., Whippany, NJ.  Refreshments are served at 6:30; the program begins at 7:00.  (Directions to the Library) 

A list of our past monthly programs, since the startup of MAGS in 1988, can be found here. 

In addition to its regular meetings, MAGS also sponsors Special Interest Groups.

2017 - 2018 Meeting Schedule :


Date Topic

5 Sept 2017

What WAS That Enumerator Thinking? Case Studies in Census Confusion: Liz Haigney Lynch, The Ancestral Archaeologist
Anyone tracking their family in U.S. censuses knows how frustrating it is when ancestors aren’t where you thought they’d be. Tempting as it is to blame vindictive census-takers, it’s likely not their fault – and your family may not really be missing. This presentation outlines some key ways of using census research wisely and in depth. This session will focus especially on immigrant ancestors in densely populated urban areas, a group that presents interesting challenges in narrowing broad search results to specific, plausible possibilities.

A former newspaper writer and editor, Liz began serious genealogical research about 20 years ago, and holds a certificate in genealogical studies from Boston University. In addition to occasional client research, she coordinates repository tours for the New Jersey chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), of which she is a charter member.
Liz continues her work as a freelance writer and editor. Check out her blog, The Ancestral Archaeologist!

3 Oct 2017

Tracing Your Pre-Civil War Ancestors in New Jersey: Catherine Stearns Medich
Some of New Jersey's important resources, such as the decennial census, are missing for early decades of the nineteenth century. There are other ways to fill in the gaps. Learn more from a reference archivist at the NJ State Archives.

Catherine Stearns Medich is a reference archivist at the New Jersey State Archives. Her work duties include helping researchers utilize the records at the Archives. She is a longtime genealogist, focusing her own efforts on ancestral families in New England.  

7 Nov 2017

Holiday Talk: Getting to Know Your Family’s History: Michelle Chubenko
Each year families gather for holiday dinners and the opportunity for discovering our own roots presents itself. Discover methods to learn about your family’s ancestral connections and traditions. Learn about the top 3 ways to share your family legacy with other family members and fellow researchers.

Michelle Chubenko has over 24 years’ experience in researching families in New Jersey, Maryland, southwest Virginia, and Oklahoma/Indian Territory. She is a member of several genealogical societies and history organizations. Her website is found at:

5 Dec 2017

Annual Holiday Party. Members Only
Come share in the fun! We’ll hear stories from members and draw for turns at the gift exchange table. If you can, please bring a treat to eat/share and an item to give away at the “gift exchange.” Such items may be items potentially of interest to a genealogist— books that you’re finished with, genealogical periodicals, reference CDs, etc. 

2 Jan 2018 A Genealogy Potpourri

"Using Your DNA Results"
- by Susan Simon

"What's New at"
- by Martha Corson

"Finding Your Way Around the MAGS Website"
- by Susan Kehr
6 Feb 2018 DNA: Jody Lutter
6 Mar 2018 Genealogy and Land Records: James Lewis

3 Apr  2018 German Genealogy Digital Searching: Tom Peters Performing German genealogical research is fun! Germans have always produced great records that are often fairly detailed in their content. We actually are quite spoiled by the fact that the and websites often provide details on our German ancestors with the click of our mouse. Sometimes though, they are merely indexes. Even if you are positive that your ancestor has been found, resist the urge to add the information to your family tree until it can be verified by looking at the record itself. Transcriptions of records are often misread. In this digital age, there is no excuse not to go to the source of the information. I will provide some sources to help you in your search.

My given name, Tom, is very apropros. I am the original doubting Thomas. As genealogists, we should all be doubters until proven. We are in the “armchair genealogy phase of research” in this digital age that we live in. No need to travel or even to correspond for records needed in our research. All we have to do is turn on our TV and see how easy it is to do your genealogy! You don’t even need to break out in a sweat! Be a doubter. An autosomal DNA test will give you broad categories of your ethnicity. You need to do your family tree. On the bright side, it is much easier than when I started some 40 years ago. It gets easier with every passing day.

1 May 2018 The Fire Burned: Now What? Finding Your WWII Relative: Sharon B. Hodges   
The US entered World War II December 1941. More people than ever are attempting to find out exactly what their relatives did in WWII, but many are finding that the personnel file was burned. This session will explain what records are available and where to locate them in order learn what your relative did during the war. (Emphasis will be placed on Army and Army Air Force records, but sufficient information will be given on where to locate Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine records as well.)

For almost 30 years, Sharon has been a professional genealogist, author, and teacher having lectured in New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. She is a past grader for the National Genealogical Society Home Study Course and a graduate of the National Institute for Genealogical Research. Sharon is a member of numerous local and national genealogical societies, on the Board of Governors of the Virginia Genealogical Society, and is now Past President of the Mt. Vernon Genealogical Society.

  There are generally no meetings in June, July and August.

 This page was last updated  Sunday, 12-Nov-2017 14:39:29 MST.

©  Morris Area Genealogy Society