Author: admin

Help Ensure Access to New York City Vital Records

As some of you may have heard, New York City is trying pass a proposal which will significantly restrict access to vital records.  Here at The NextGen Genealogy Network, we stand with our colleagues all over the world in opposition to these proposed changes.

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene wants to dramatically increase the amount of time that birth and death records are kept locked away from the public eye.  They are proposing that birth records would be locked for 125 years and death records for 75 years.

This would be catastrophic for researchers who rely on these documents and those of us with New York ancestors.

There are several ways you can help to try and stop this from happening.

*Write a letter to the NYC Department of Health stating that you are against this proposal and emphasize how damaging this would be for genealogists.

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Gotham Center
42-09 28th St., 14th Fl, CN31
Long Island City, NY 11101-4132

*Sign the petition – found at the link below

*For those of you local to the NYC area, attend the public hearing for this issue on Tuesday October 24th at 10am-12pm.

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Gotham Center
42-09 28th Street, 3rd Floor, Room 3-32
Long Island City, 11101

*Spread the news!

Share on social media, tell your friends and family – get the word out!


Faces of NextGen LIVE! Meet Deborah Sweeney

The NextGen Genealogy Network’s Faces of NextGen LIVE! is a popular feature hosted by Education Coordinator Eric Wells. In this recorded interview, get to know Deborah Sweeney!

Want to say hello to your fellow young genealogists during a fun and informal interview with Eric? Let us know at

Don’t forget to bookmark our YouTube Channel to keep up with the latest on Faces of NextGen LIVE!



T-Shirt Design Contest

The NextGen Genealogy Network is excited to announce our new T-Shirt Design contest!









We are looking for creative genealogists to put a fun spin on the merchandise in our online store.

The winner of the contest will not only receive a NGGN swag bag with their designed t-shirt, but also have their design featured on our merchandise page.

How to Enter

Entries must be submitted to by November 12.



The design must include the following things

  1. The NextGen colors – lime green, gray, teal and white.
  2. The NextGen logo (available to download below).

The design must be original content – no trademark infringement or plagiarized content







Faces of NextGen: Meet Madam Ancestry

Madam Ancestry, Georgia

What five words would you use to describe yourself? Family-oriented, Inquisitive,Determined,Humorous and Committed

 Why genealogy?

Why not genealogy?! There’s always something exciting to be discovered when doing genealogy. I will never understand how people can spend so much time following other families but don’t know anything about their own family. Genealogy is the story of what makes you who you are! I aim to learn everything I can learn about my story and strive to keep family history alive.

 What’s the coolest discovery you’ve made?

Every time I make a discovery I think it’s the coolest! BUT…if I had to pick just one…I’d say it’s discovering the story of my 2x Great Grandfather. I went from not knowing his name, to discovering a fascinating chain of events surrounding him murdering his wife! He spent the rest of his days in prison and (according to newspaper sources) is buried on the prison grounds. His story was very shocking and unfortunate, and would also make a very good screenplay! I was able to obtain a copy of his prison ledger from the early 1900’s and that was definitely a surreal feeling. Everything was there except his mugshot, so I’m still on the hunt for that!

 What are you working on this week?

Preparing to resume client work and working on new features for my blog

What’s the number one secret to your success in genealogy?

Simply sticking with it. All the answers may not be found in one day or one year. We’re all eager to find answers but you come to a point where you realize finding those answers takes time. It’s ok to take a break sometimes and regroup. I’ve had moments where I’ve hit a brick wall with one ancestor, so I took a break from that one and focused on another instead, or I’ll go back and review the things I’ve researched. And it’s always beneficial to keep learning along the way – workshops, webinars, lectures, ask questions, and don’t forget to follow others in the genealogy community. No matter how much we know we can always gain new insight and inspiration from these resources.

 What superpower would you want to help you uncover your family history?

 Can I have two?

  1. Time travel, because I love the thought of just randomly popping in on ancestors at any given time like “Hey, I’m your family from the future! You may as well tell me what’s going on now because I’ll find out anyway through countless hours of research and DNA testing!”


  1. I would be the person who somehow saves the 1890 Census!

*Genealogy world erupts in a thunderous applause*

What are we most likely to find you doing when you’re not researching family history?

When I’m not doing family research, I’m still doing family things. Most things that I love, I love to do with them. What can I say? Family is my lifeline. Periodically I escape to write, try out new recipes, or rock a karaoke session (smile)! I love to laugh and enjoy life with the people I love.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I’d like to urge people to get involved in their family history now. It’s important to ask questions while you have relatives who are still here to give you the information. Also, never throw out family history; this includes pictures, personal papers, family heirlooms, etc. Those things may not mean anything to you at this moment but may be the key to answering family questions down the line. If you don’t want the items or don’t know what to do with them, contact me and I’ll help you find a safe place to preserve them.

Find Madam Ancestry online at

The NextGen Genealogy Network is made up of young genealogists with diverse backgrounds, interests, and experiences. Faces of NextGen showcases a different member of our community each month. If you would like to be considered for an upcoming feature, simply complete our questionnaire and submit a selfie.