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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.

2016 - 2017 Meeting Schedule :


Date Topic

6 Sept 2016

Genealogy: It's not a tree or a chart, it's a story: Maureen Wlodarczyk
Maureen Wlodarczyk will guide us in organizing our own family histories and share the story of her 30-year search for her beloved grandmother's Irish roots and the discovery of nearly 200 years of family history in Ireland and America.

A beloved storyteller,Ms. Wlodarczyk is also a columnist and blogger ( Her latest book Jersey! Then...Again gathers thirty-six remarkable and quirky stories from the early 1800's through the 1940's.

4 Oct 2016

Case Studies in New Jersey Genealogy: Melissa Johnson
Several case studies covering different time periods and various types of problems will be presented. Each problem will be resolved using different approaches and a variety of sources. Case studies will demonstrate how land records connect five generations of a family; how cemetery and probate records for collateral relatives connect an eighteenth century NJ man to his family when published sources identify his contemporary as their son; how state census records connect a nineteenth century NJ man to his parents when no other record names them; and how a twentieth century widow can be connected to her three husbands through land records.

Melissa Johnson specializes in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and British genealogical research, and also in family history writing, editing, and publishing.

1 Nov 2016

Mapping Family Stories: Mike Schwartz
A recalled 50+ year old discussion with Grandpa leads to an exploration of the family's migration to America from Eastern Europe, with surprising results. This talk explores various techniques used to trace a family from the pre - WW I Austria - Hungary and post war Poland to New York and (of all places) Charleston, West Virginia.

Mike Schwartz is a retired Telecom Executive who has filled much of his retirement with research into his family history. He  specializes in researching the mid-to-late 19th century and early 20th century history of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Russian Empire. He is a member of several genealogy groups in both NJ and Florida and is a frequent speaker, sharing his research techniques and results.


6 Dec 2016

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. 

3 Jan 2017 Genealogy Workshops
- "WorldCat and JerseyCat" by Susan Kehr
- "Deeds and Wills on FamilySearch" by Linda Mathew
- "Using DNA to Find Cousins" by Susan Simon
7 Feb 2017 Jersey Roots: Touring the Garden State: Michelle T. Chubenko
The talk will check out the top websites for researching your Jersey roots. From online indexes to scanned records, you will learn how to access historical material spanning three centuries.

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:
7 Mar 2017 Divorced, Widowed, and Estranged, the Three Marriages of Nancy Moore: Lisa Kerr Ilowite
Nancy Moore (1829-1917) was a survivor. The oldest daughter of immigrant Irish parents at the turn of the 19th Century, she grew up poor. She tried to change her lot in life, marrying three times and becoming a "black sheep" to her family. Learn the saga of Nancy's exploits through publicly available documents and the social history they reveal.

Lisa Kerr Ilowite is a research scientist who applies her scientific research skills to genealogy and has been conducting her family history for the past twenty years. Her areas of interest include Western PA,Scotland, social history, and Black Sheep ancestors. Her DAR ancestor, John Emery, is from Hunterdon County, plus she is a direct-line descendant of the FitzRandolph and Gaston families.

4 Apr  2017 Would I Lie To You? The Many Ways In Which Our Ancestors Lead Us Astray: Nancy C. Nelson and Carol M.Sheaffer   
Discussion will focus on records that are incorrect or inaccurate and, therefore, can lead research in the wrong direction.

Nancy C. Nelson is an active member of several genealogical and historical societies. With more than twenty years experience in genealogical research, her focus has been Burlington and Monmouth Counties, NJ.

Carol M. Sheaffer is an active member of several genealogical and historical societies. She has had more than thirty years experience in genealogical research with focus on Central and Southern NJ, Philadelphia, Lancaster and surrounding counties in Pennsylvania.
2 May 2017 Digging Pennsylvania Roots From Your Desktop: James M. Beidler   
A brief review of PA history relating to genealogy as well as types of records. Going over what major websites such as and have for researchers with PA ancestors. Surveying what statewide and county societies, courthouses and repositories have put online.

James M. Beidler is the author of The Family Tree German Genealogy Book and writes Roots & Branches, a weekly newspaper column on genealogy that is the only syndicated feature on that topic in Pennsylvania. He is also a columnist for German Life magazine and is editor of Der Kurier, the quarterly journal of the Mid- Atlantic Germanic Society. He sits on the selection committee for the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project and Pennsylvania's State Historic Records Advisory Board.

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


©  Morris Area Genealogy Society