21 August 2019

BIG NEWS: NGS and FGS to merge

The following is a news release issued simultaneously today. 21 August 2019 by FGS and NGS.
In a historic move, the boards of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) and the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announced today their intent to merge. The two organizations, both non-profit leaders in the dynamic genealogy industry, will form one consolidated group that will continue to operate as the National Genealogical Society. Both boards approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) earlier this week and jointly announced the news at the Opening Session of the FGS Family History Conference in Washington, D.C. this morning. 
Leaders of both organizations believe this merger will serve the genealogy community by improving the support of both individual members and societies in the pursuit of genealogical excellence. 
The organizational structure of NGS will be modified to increase functions that support genealogical societies and family organizations. Digitization projects of genealogical importance such as the War of 1812 pensions will continue. The two organizations will continue to operate independently while all details of the merger are completed, no later than October 1, 2020. 
Faye Stallings, President of FGS, said: “We are excited about this opportunity to combine with a premier organization that has been in operation since 1903. This will allow for improved and expanded services to help support societies.” Ben Spratling, President of the NGS, commented, “We look forward to continuing the strong legacy of FGS as a ‘gathering point’ for family historians and societies all across the nation.”
The merged entity will operate under the name National Genealogical Society which is the stronger component.
To be resolved is the path forward for organizations outside the US which have memberships in FGS.
Canada has no national genealogical organization but there is a precedent in other fields for Canadian branches of another nation's organization eventually becoming strong enough to form an independent national organization.
The UK might also consider the benefits of a similar amalgamation for the Society of Genealogists, Family History Federation (formerly Federation of Family History Societies) and perhaps some smaller organizations.

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