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.

2013 - 2014 Meeting Schedule :


Date Topic

3 Sept 2013

Obituaries and Beyond: Using Newspapers for Genealogical Research at the Morristown and Morris Township Library: Carolyn Dorsey, Librarian and Cheryl Turkington, Assistant Archivist
Newspapers are one of the best and most underused resources in genealogical research. They are often used by genealogists, mainly as a source of obituaries, but there is so much more family information to be found in old newspapers than just obituaries and death notices. You can learn not only about the communities in which our ancestors lived, but also many rich details about their lives.  Carolyn Dorsey will review the many newspaper resources at the NJH&GC (New Jersey History & Genealogy Center at the Morristown and Morris Township Library, Morristown, NJ), and present an overview on how to use them, and Cheryl Turkington will discuss the kinds of family information you might find by searching through newspapers of the past.

1 Oct 2013

City Directories: Beverly Yackel of Monmouth County Genealogy Society
A city directory is a listing of the population of a given city. They were particularly popular before the coming of telephone books. City directories always list the head of household, occupation and residence.  Later the wife’s name appeared.  In some cases even more information is found, such as name and address of employer, and even the former spouse's name in the case of a widow. As time went on the listings grew to include all the members of a household who were employed. Some directories include  a cross-index, arranged by street address, which list the householders. These are useful for finding neighbors.  Later directories contain an abundance of other useful information.

Beverly Yackel will offer a presentation on making the most of city directories in your research, including tips on how to find them.  They can also lead you to “living” relatives.

5 Nov 2013

Tracing Your Revolutionary War Family at the David Library of the American Revolution: Katherine Ludwig, Librarian at the David Library
The David Library of the American Revolution provides a unique resource not only for soldiers and their families, but Loyalists, British and Hessian soldiers and their origins, groups that did not fight such as Quakers, Mennonites, and neutrals. The collection focuses on the period from 1750-1800 and includes military, social, political documents, old newspapers, and even material from the British Archives and Germany that is available nowhere else in this country.

3 Dec 2013

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 and an item to share 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. 

7 Jan 2014 Morris Area Genealogy Society presents: 'MAGS Mysteries' Decoded -- Special websites, resources, databases, interest groups, and more.
Membership in the Morris Area Genealogy Society comes with a variety of benefits beyond attendance at general meetings. Learn what is happening in our Special Interest Groups! SIGs are for members only (though visitors may come once). Beyond the public website, members can join the “MAGSmembers” Yahoo group (photos, files, links, databases) or Yahoo groups related to various SIGs. Learn about the cousins’ projects, indexes, surname connections, and many more helps for members!
4 Feb 2014 An Ordinary Man: Hunting for your not-so-rich-and-famous Ancestor:  Cheryl Turkington
Most of us have at least a few forebears who were not wealthy or celebrated. Finding and getting to know these ordinary folks can be a struggle. Help is on the way with this presentation by Cheryl Turkington, author and assistant archivist at the North Jersey History and Genealogy Center at Morristown/Morris Township Library. Ms. Turkington will show how she utilized local records to do an in-depth search on one individual, starting with only a photograph.
4 Mar 2014 Some Lessons in Irish Genealogy: Dick O'Malley
Irish researcher Dick O'Malley will explain research in the U.S. and Ireland. His presentation will highlight what you need to know to begin, plus sources, books, contacts, records, repositories, websites, DNA, brickwalls, and getting help from other researchers. Listeners will be able to learn from his difficulties and also from his successes.
1 Apr  2014 Brick Wall Busting Strategies: Susan Simon
The presentation will consist of some ideas in how to attack a brick wall. There will be seven different steps or methods to help solve a brick wall. Examples from her research will be shown using the methods presented. Susan Simon is the leader of the MAGS Brick Wall SIG and has been doing genealogical research since the mid-1970s.
6 May 2014 Research Strategies in NJG&HC: James Lewis
The North Jersey History and Genealogy Center is considered one of the top local and family history resources in the state. Director James Lewis will highlight the three notable strengths of the collection: New York/New England sources (since many New Jerseyans can trace their earliest roots to that region), north Jersey materials (with particular depth in Morristown, of course), and holdings on places to which Morris County families emigrated. Researchers count themselves fortunate to have this valuable family history collection “right in our own backyard!”
  There are generally no meetings in June, July and August.


©  Morris Area Genealogy Society