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What Genealogy-related Magazines and Journals are you Reading?

What Genealogy-related Magazines and Journals are you Reading?

As genealogists, we need to engage in continuing education. Your continuing education plan can benefit from magazines and journals as they provide the latest thought, resources, and ideas concerning research and methodology.

I'm a big fan of magazines. I like to receive them and scope out what is the latest on the newsstand at my local bookstore. Right now, my nightstand includes a variety of magazines and journals, including the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, American Ancestors Magazine, Utah Genealogical Society's Crossroads magazine, Uncoverings, the Journal of the American Quilt Study Group, Family Tree Magazine (US), Discover Your Ancestors, and Markers, the Journal of the Association for Gravestone Studies, among others. I read each one for a different reason to learn more and improve my knowledge of resources, history, and research.

What Magazines and Journals do you Read?

There are a variety of magazines and journals that can be useful to researchers. They may be published by:

  • Genealogy Societies
  • Historical Societies
  • Museums
  • Membership Organizations
  • Popular Press
  • Academic Publishers

As a researcher, I'm reading magazines and journals that can help me learn more about:

  • Location
  • Era
  • Methodology
  • Subject
  • History
  • Social History
  • Resources

Reading magazines and journals is not limited to those that were recently published. Through digitized book websites such as Hathi Trust or Internet Archive, I can read magazines published by earlier generations helping me better understand what my family may have been reading as well as better understanding that time and place. It's also possible to find an ancestral name in a periodical in an article with an index of names or even a case study.

Where to Find Them

One way to acquire magazines and journals is to subscribe or become a member of a society or organization. Membership benefits may include magazines and journals, but that isn't the only way. I mentioned previously using digitized book websites to read older magazines. Look for publishers, organizations, and society websites to find indexes, sample articles, and archived issues. Periodical Indexes can help you find articles that fit your research. Consider using JSTOR, PERSI, and Google Scholar. You can learn more about JSTOR by watching the Legacy webinar; History Lives at JSTOR. The new version of PERSI is explained in a Legacy webinar by Sunny Jane Morton. Use keyword searches such as where your ancestor lived (not your ancestor's name) to find relevant articles.

It's easy to ignore periodicals in our search for our ancestors. Don't make the mistake of picking and choosing resources. Periodicals provide everything from historical context to resources to even the possibility of your ancestor's name. Utilize online sources, indexes, and memberships to acquire the periodicals that will help your research.

What periodicals have helped you with your research? What are your favorites? Please let me know in the comments below.


Gena Philibert-Ortega is an author, instructor, and researcher. She blogs at Gena's Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera. You can find her presentations on the Legacy Family Tree Webinars website.



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I read BBC History magazine, British Columbia History magazine, Family Tree (UK), and Who do you think you are magazine...

I read Family Tree Magazine, prefer the paper edition as I can take it with me anywhere. I loved the Genealogical Helper by Everton's and Ancestry magazine, which I have been told is on Internet Archive now. I use PERSI a lot to find articles in periodicals and have even found photos of my ancestors I did not have. Magazines are a great resource and easier to read a short article on how to do something than a book. Thanks for the great article and references on where to find some of the publications.

Six degrees of separation: I love creating teas, went to lots of live community theater pre-Covid and, of course, have a passion for family when Covid hit, a friend sent me a link to a lady in my former neighborhood who had moved her living history presentations from local locations to Zoom. It ended up with me getting on several library email lists from that locale enjoying her online talks and performances. One email listed an offering from a monk who bakes presenting on scones. I attended and enjoyed his talk, and discovered he was a Benedictine monk and his order was affiliated with the university my kids went to--so being curious to find out where his monastery was located, I did a Google search and was amazed to discover that he was in the same small town where I was researching my paternal grandfather's line. There are several families with the same surname in the area that I have yet to connect together--and I was amazed to be find out that one of his Abbey's past Abbots was from one of those families I am trying to connect to and they have a webpage listing each of their past leaders with a bio! Now I've got a new lead and anxious to contact their Abbey historian to find out if they have further family history beyond what was written up! You NEVER KNOW where serendipity will take you--So I, too, suggest you follow the scone crumbs, read, explore! And enjoy the journey! Thanks, Gena!

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