Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society (MAGS)

Type: German Genealogy Society
Purpose: Provide educational opportunities for our members in the pursuit of their genealogy interest. Identify German genealogical resources in the Mid-Atlantic region, and make these resources known to our members.
Contact Information: John Frank
  • Website: www.magsgen.com
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Mid-Atlantic-Germanic-Society-182626951765986/
  • Email: lakeb_frank@yahoo.com
  • Mailing Address: John Frank, PO Box 241, New Wndsor, MD 21776
  • Phone Number: 703-627-8441
  • Auf Deutsch? None of our pages are in German. One of our members, Gunter Schanzenbacher, is fluent in German, if assistance is required.
Membership: Yearly membership fee of $15 for a quarterly electronic version of our color newsletter. 
A black and white printed version of the newsletter can be obtained for $20 a year.
Membership Benefits: The society conducts lectures and workshops for members. The society has several unique databases of German immigrants containing tens of thousands of names. In addition, the society publishes a quarterly newsletter, Der Kurier.
Events: The society has spring and fall educational meetings on Saturday twice a year. On the day before the Saturday meeting, we conduct a half-day hands-on workshop on a German related topic. The date of the meeting adjusts each year to avoid conflicts with larger regional genealogy societies.
Research (or Focus) Areas:  Germans in the states between Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia and including the District of Columbia. 
The Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society emphasizes identifying and publishing the genealogy resources unique to the Washington, DC region.
Research Services:
Research Services: Our Society does not conduct research for members; however, we make available a list of translators who have genealogy expertise.
Library:  MAGS donated a collection of genealogy related books to the Shenandoah County Library in Edinburg, Virginia. Members can borrow books from this collection by mail.
Store/Publications: We currently sell books at our meetings and on our web page; however, long term plans call for an end of this activity.  MAGS also has a collection of the John Humphrey Pennsylvania Births series for sale. We have a quarterly newsletter that comes with our membership fee.
-- Research resource documents
  • Searchable databases containing over 80,000 names extracted from National Archives (NARA), New York City Lutheran Church, and other records.
  • Records of U.S. consulates in Germany. These unique sources were generated and maintained by the individual consulates during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They are found in the following NARA record groups:  RG 48, Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior; RG 59, General Records of the Department of State; RG 84, Records of Foreign Service Posts of the Department of State.  All of them can be viewed at Archives II, in College Park, Maryland.
  • Since the Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society (MAGS) does not have dedicated office space, MAGS decided to provide a proper home for the German related books that had accumulated over the years by donating the books to the Shenandoah County Library, Edinburg, Virginia.  Library borrowing privileges are described on the MAGS website.
--Geographic area(s) expertise
  • Our focus of interest is the Mid-Atlantic states: Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.
  • In addition, we primarily focus on the following areas of Germany: Alsace-Lorraine, Baden, the Bavarian Palatinate, Hesse-Darmstadt, Hesse-Homburg, Hesse-Kassel, Nassau, Oldenburg, and Württemberg.
--Noteworthy nearby research facilities
Within an hours drive from Washington DC:
  • National Archives (DC and College Park),
  • Library of Congress, DC
  • Daughters of the American Revolution, DC
  • Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, Maryland
  • Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Fairfax City Library, Virginia room, Fairfax, VA
Further afield
  • Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA
  • Pennsylvania State Archives and Historical Society, Harrisburg, PA
  • Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, Lancaster, PA
  • Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center, Kutztown, PA
  • Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
--Immigration/emigration group
MAGS has not developed expertise in a specific sub-group of  Germans.
  • MAGS does not deal exclusively with specific surnames; however, MAGS databases are open for search on the MAGS website to determine if the surname appears in our databases.