National Genealogical Society

Awards & Competitions

John T Humphrey, cg sm Memorial Scholarship

Deadline for Submissions—15 December Annually

Applicants are notified by e-mail of the decision of the committee by 1 April annually.

To encourage those who are pursuing a career in genealogy by demonstrating a strong and serious interest in genealogy.

In 2013, NGS renamed the Home Study Scholarship to the honor John Humphrey for his many years of service to the National Genealogical Society and to the field of genealogy.

About John T. Humphrey

This Scholarship was renamed after John T. Humphrey, cg sm to commemorate his work in the genealogical field. John’s work in early Pennsylvania and German genealogy was considered the most important and essential work in this topic. He was a frequent teacher and lecturer, sharing his expertise in workshops, institutes, and conferences for genealogical learning as well as serving on many society boards. John served as a director of the NGS Learning Center and also as the NGS Education Director managing online and home study courses.


The winning application receives a scholarship to pay for the current NGS American Genealogical Studies series. The scholarship covers the cost of three online courses (The Basics, Guide to Documentation and Source Citation and Beyond the Basics).

These courses are cloud based so you need either a computer or tablet with an Internet connection to access to the course material. Please refer to the system requirements on the American Genealogical Studies.

Each course within American Genealogical Studies is designed for independent learning.

The Basics provides a solid foundation in genealogy while the Guide to Documentation and Source Citation helps genealogists understand the principles of citation for common sources. Beyond the Basics, one uses additional genealogical records, reinforces source documentation, writing reports, receiving comments from experienced genealogists while helping you expand your research possibilities.

Note: While the American Genealogical Studies series helps students learn about methods, skills, and standards for genealogy, NGS is not an accrediting body. So no formal genealogical credential or accreditation is conveyed upon successful completion.

The award will be in the form of a credit towards online courses offered by the National Genealogical Society, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. There is no cash award associated with this scholarship.

General Guidelines for the Awards

  • It is open to applicants who are member of NGS and have been for a minimum of two years.
  • All persons worldwide are eligible to apply
  • The application is in English.
  • It becomes the property of NGS.
    • Receives no further comments on personal improvement.
    • Is not returned.
    • Is destroyed after the competition.
    • It is not eligible for later resubmission.
  • Awardees are allowed the following time limit per course.
    • The Basics for six months from date of registration
    • Guide to Documentation and Source Citation for six months from date of registration
    • Beyond the Basics for twelve months from date of registration
  • There is no monetary award for unused portions of the courses

    Not eligible are: individuals who were previously enrolled in the NGS Home Study Course, received a certificate of completion from the NGS Home Study Course, or hold a genealogical credential from either The Board for Certification of Genealogists® (BCG) or International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen).

    Submission Requirements

    The application consists of the word document which you can complete online and an essay. Please use the essay to describe

    • the type of career they intent to pursue in genealogy;
    • why they plan to pursue that career path in genealogy;
    • the extent of their current research experience; and
    • how the NGS American Genealogical Studies series will aid in their career development.


    The NGS Scholarship Committee reviews all applications. Notification of the award is made annually by 1 April and announced at the annual NGS Family History Conference.

    Application for John T. Humphrey, cg sm Scholarship

    • Application Form (PDF 145KB)
    • An essay of 500–1,000 words explaining why completing the Home Study Course would be a valuable educational experience
    • e-mail the completed application (form and essay) to: include "John T. Humphrey Memorial Scholarship" in the subject line of your message..

Questions? Contact the NGS Awards Chair at

Text Size Increase Text SizeDecrease Text Size

Bookmark and Share


If you have free time, there's an NGS volunteer opportunity for you. From a few minutes a week to a continuing long-term committment, see how you can help NGS as a volunteer.