National Genealogical Society

Conferences & Events

Research Trips


  • The thrill of holding in your hands your ancestor's Civil War pension file or manumission papers
  • The excitement at seeing the original plat map of your family's holdings in the early 19th century
  • The shear fun of reading in a small-town newspaper published in 1783 about an ancestor's run in with the law.

These are the kinds of treasured moments family historians can experience when they visit the country's renowned genealogical research facilities.

This year the National Genealogical Society is sponsoring research trips to three noteworthy genealogical research destinations: Madison, Wisconsin; Washington, D.C., and Salt Lake City, Utah.

Madison, WI
6-10 August 2018
Registration opens
15 February 2018

Washington, D.C.
4-10 November 2018
Registration opens
1 March 2018

Salt Lake City, UT
27 January - 3 February 2019
Registration opens
15 March 2018

Experienced, BCG certified genealogists, introduce participants to the repositories and the records they hold. They also mentor the attendees as they pursue their individual research during the entire trip.

Madison, Wisconsin | 6-10 August 2018
Registration Opens: 15 February 2018

Home to The Wisconsin Historical Society Library and Archives, one of our nation's most extensive repositories, which includes the Draper papers that cover 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 and the Max Kade Institute with its focus on German immigrants and their progeny.

Washington, D.C. | 4-10 November 2018
Registration Opens: 1 March 2018

The site of three of our nation' s most prestigious research centers: the National Archives, the Library of Congress, and the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Library.

Salt Lake City, Utah | 27 January - February 3 2019
Registration Opens: 15 March 2018

Home to the world-renowned Family History Library with its numerous commercial computer databases, more than two million rolls of microfilm, an immense collection of genealogical books, and outstanding worldwide maps.

All of the trips include:

  • Online orientation to help prepare prior to the trip
  • Hotel accommodations during the trip (extra nights available, please see particular details for additional costs)
  • Various complementary services at the hotel (see individual trip for particular details)
  • Meet and greet session with other researchers on the day of arrival
  • Research facility orientation
  • Research consultations with group leaders
  • Fees, taxes, and gratuities (unless otherwise stated)

Please select one of the trips for further details:

  • Madison, Wisconsin, two research facilities (the Wisconsin Historical Society Library and Archives, and the Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies) 6-10 August 2018
  • Washington, D.C., three research facilities (NARA, DAR, and LOC), 4-10 November 2018
  • Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, dates 27 January - 3 February 2019

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the difference between a research trip and a conference?

A research trip takes you to renowned genealogical research repositories. There, you have the opportunity to do your own personal research.

A conference or institute is an event where researchers can attend lectures and workshops on a wide variety of genealogical topics.

Is airfare included in the price?

Participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements. NGS strongly recommends that you contact your personal insurance agent to purchase of travel insurance to protect against monetary loss. Please review the cancellation policy below before signing up for the trip.

Is food included in the trip price?

Meals are not included unless stated in the trip details. This guarantees participants the freedom to determine their own meal times, places, cuisines, and price ranges.

What other costs are there?

Any incidentals for hotel (telephone, restaurant, or room service charges) or transportation costs are the responsibility of the individual. Please refer to the individual trip's details.

Can I arrange for extra nights?

NGS can make arrangements to extend your trip. However, please make these arrangements as quickly as possible since added nights are subject to the hotel's availability. Contact Courtney Holmes at [email protected] for further information.

Can I put a deposit only on the trip?

NGS requires full payment at the time of registration.

How are the hotels chosen?

Hotels are selected based on convenience, proximity to the research facility, and dining options. All of the guest rooms are 100% nonsmoking. See the individual trip for the hotel's name and location.

Can I stay either at a different hotel or with my friends in the area?

In arranging a genealogical research trip, NGS tries to provide a well-rounded, quality trip with a select group of experienced researchers at an affordable price.

NGS makes a commitment to the hotel for a number of rooms when it negotiates rates and dates. Having all participants in one location enables leaders to identify, assist, and exchange information with all participants.

Thus, NGS does not offer a "research only" option.

I would rather have a roommate but don't know anyone who wants to go on the trip. Can I still participate?

NGS does try to help you find a roommate, but there are no guarantees. Please register at a single rate. In the registration's comments section, please indicate if you wish to have a roommate as well as the type of roommate (male or female; smoker or nonsmoker). If NGS receives a request for a roommate, we will contact both parties. If the individuals want to share a room, the appropriate refunds will be issued.

My spouse/friend would like to travel with me but has no interest in researching. Can they?

All trips have a non-researcher roommate option. This fee covers the room charge as well as any events (get-togethers, meals, or activities) for two people. After selecting the "person with non-researching roommate" please include the person's name in the registration comments section. Do not register the person separately.

Is there a fee if three of us share a room?

Please check the individual research trip. Some hotels do not have a triple person option. Contact Courtney Holmes at [email protected] for further information. 

What type of orientation is there?

About four weeks prior to the trip, NGS sends participants an invitation to an online orientation geared toward assisting researchers with their preparation. Since it is a cloud-based orientation, you can use it at your convenience as often as you like.

I've conducted research there before; why should I participate in the orientation?

Each orientation provides current information about the schedule, area, hotel, and facility along with a variety of research tips. It also provides the opportunity to ask questions of the leaders. In addition, there is message board for announcements and updated information.

How many other researchers are there?

Each trip has its own limit on the number of participants, based on facilities and hotel availability. Trips usually have one leader to every 15 participants. To cover costs, NGS needs a minimum of 15 participants per trip.

What is the cancellation policy?

NGS understands that personal commitments may change your plans. To cancel a trip, please send written notice (e-mail) to Courtney Holmes at [email protected].

  • If your cancellation request is received more than 60 days prior to trip date, a $175 nonrefundable administrative fee is deducted from your refund.
  • After 60 days, due to 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 strongly recommends that you contact your personal insurance agent to the purchase travel insurance to protect against monetary loss.

I have further questions, whom do I ask?

Contact Courtney Holmes at [email protected].