National Genealogical Society

Conferences & Events

NGS Research Trip to Madison, Wisconsin

Discover Two of our Nation's Important Repositories for Genealogical Research

6-10 August 2018 - Register Today

  • Four Nights and Five Days of Research
  • Space is limited to 30 participants
  • Registration Opens: 15 February 2018
  • Early bird registration closes: 10 May 2018
  • Registration Deadline: 8 July 2018

Experienced, BCG certified genealogical consultants will introduce and mentor participants as they discover one of our nation's most extensive repositories of records from throughout the United States, Canada, and Wisconsin, and explore an invaluable resource for family historians with ancestors from Germany.

  • Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS) Library and Archives
  • Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies

Researchers will have ample time to conduct their own personal research at each facility.

The Wisconsin Historical Society

Dedicated to preserving history, the Society's 4+ million records extend beyond Wisconsin to the rest of the United States and to Canada. Its Draper collection' s 491 volumes (ca. 1775-1815) concentrates on the area known as "Trans-Allegheny West," including the western Carolinas and Virginia, some portions of Georgia and Alabama, the entire Ohio River valley, and parts of the Mississippi River valley. Both its library and archives' genealogy and history collections reflect the diversity of the people who have lived or passed through its territory. Native American tribes, French-Canadians, Northern Europeans' primarily from Germany and Norway, African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics have called Wisconsin home. The state has also seen the rise and diminution of miners, loggers, and railroad workers, and once held Confederate prisoners of war during the Civil War. Its collection of newspapers, journals, magazines, and union and guilds publications from around the country is only surpassed by the Library of Congress. The WHS also serves as Wisconsin State Archives that includes state, county, and local government records. Land deeds, naturalization records, tax rolls, and court documents are just some of the original records that genealogists can access at the archives. In all, WHS houses, 3.8 million North American volumes in print and microfilm, 25,000 maps, and three million images.

The Max Kade Institute

Explore the Institute's robust collection, including German-American newspapers, letters, diaries, and church and business records. The Institute is also an excellent resource for locating historic German-language, European towns and villages.

The research consultants for Madison, Wisconsin are Rev. David McDonald, DMin, cg® and Patricia Walls Stamm, cg®, cglsm.

Trip Details Registration Fees Schedule
Policies Accessibility Featured Consultants
Hotel Extra Night? FAQs

Trip Details

The research trip package price includes:

  • Online orientation and preparation assistance for the libraries in Madison, Winconsin
  • Five days of research in Wisconsin
  • Meet and greet for participants on Monday afternoon at the hotel
  • Orientation at Wisconsin Historical Society, the Wisconsin Archives, and Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies
  • Research consultations with group leaders during the trip
  • Four nights at the Lowell Center including:
      o daily continental breakfast
      o free Internet in rooms
  • Fees, taxes, and gratuities for all planned events

Registration Fees

Single Room
Before 10 May
11 May and after
Double/Shared Room
Before 10 May
11 May and after
$   855
$ 1,055
Person with non-researching companion1
Before 10 May
11 May and after



1Non-researching companion receives the benefits of the double room, and any events planned.

Schedule (Changes announced through the online orientation) 

Monday, 1:00 p.m.
Meet and Greet with questions and answers; snacks and beverages are included.
Monday, 2:00 p.m.
Orientation and research at Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS) and Library Archives
Tuesday to Thursday
Research at Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS) Library and Archives and at Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies.
Personal research at one of the facilities of Madison. Checkout from hotel before 11:00 a.m.


Roommates: NGS will aid participants in locating a roommate; however, no guarantees are made. Please see the FAQs for further information.

Payments: Full payment is required at the time of registration.

Cancellation: To cancel a trip, please send a written notice via e-mail to Courtney Holmes at [email protected].

  • If your cancellation request is received by 6 June 2018 (60 days prior to the trip), a $175 nonrefundable administrative fee is deducted from your refund.
  • After 6 June 2018, because of contract obligations, refunds (minus the nonrefundable administrative fee) are only available if a substitute participant is found.
  • Refunds are not available for missed events or early departures.
  • NGS recommends that you consider travel insurance to protect against monetary loss. Check with your personal insurance agent or online for different types of travel insurance policies.


    All the libraries, as well as the hotel, are handicapped accessible. If you need a handicapped-accessible room, please include that in the comments section of the reservation form.

    Please note that the hotel is about 0.2 of a mile away from the facilities.

    Cabs, parking meters, and public transit fees are not included in the cost of the trip.

    Featured Consultants

    Rev. David McDonald, DMin, cg®, is a longtime Madison-area resident. With nearly forty years as a genealogical researcher, he has been an adjunct instructor for the University of Wisconsin's continuing education program, concentrating on genealogy. He lectures periodically for the Wisconsin State Historical Society and is former editor of the Wisconsin State Genealogical Society's newsletter. A trustee and past president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, Dave served for several years as a Director of the National Genealogical Society. He has coordinated instructional tracks for the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History, the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy; he is an instructor at the Institute for Genealogical and Historical Research. He looks forward, especially, to introducing participants in this year's program to evenings on the University's Union Terrace overlooking Lake Mendota and fresh Babcock Hall Ice Cream.

    Patricia Walls Stamm, cg®, cgl, serves as the Education Manager of the National Genealogical Society. Pat lectures on a wide variety of topics at many National Genealogical Society and Federation of Genealogical Societies conferences. She is a graduate of the National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR) and the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR). Pat is a course coordinator at Samford University's Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) and teaches at St. Louis Community College.


    The hotel is the Lowell Center at 610 Langdon St, Madison, WI 53703. It overlooks Lake Mendota and is in the edge of the University of Wisconsin's campus.

    The rooms have data ports, cable TV, hair dryers, coffee makers, irons and ironing boards. The hotel has an indoor swimming pool, sauna, and fitness room.

    This hotel is a nonsmoking facility. Smoking outdoors must occur 25 feet from the building entryway.

    There are several free campus-wide buses to help you get around campuses.


    The hotel has two types of parking. For those who want adjacent parking to the Lowell center there is an extra charge of $10.00 per night or a total of $50.00 for one space per room. The other option is for parking off hotel site (three blocks away) at no charge. If you want an adjacent hotel spot, please make your reservation at the time of your reservation. Reservations are based on availability.

    Can I arrange for extra nights?

    NGS can make arrangements to extend your trip. The price is $125 for Sunday and $150 for Friday and Saturday. This price includes the breakfast voucher, and Internet in the rooms. If you want parking on the Lowell Center parking lot, it is an extra $10.00 per day.

    What other items should I know about?

    NGS does not offer a minus hotel "research only" option. This trip does not have the option of three researchers in the same room.

    *Certified Genealogist®, CG®, Certified Genealogical Lecturer and CGL are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists® used by the Board to identify its program of genealogical competency evaluation and used under license by the Board's associates.

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