Charles S. "Chuck" Mason, Jr.

Chuck is a Certified Genealogist, specializing in Southern New Jersey and 19th and 20th Century Death Records.  He is a graduate of the National Genealogical Society’s (NGS) American Genealogy: Home Study Course, (1994), is a grader for the course for many years. He is currently a teacher for the NGS’s American Genealogical Studies, a graduate of the National Institute for Genealogical Research (NIGR) at the National Archives (1996 & 2001) and the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University. He has attended numerous conferences of the National Genealogical Society, the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, and many state and local conferences in the Washington, DC and Philadelphia/New Jersey areas.
Chuck is a member of both the Fairfax and the Mt. Vernon Genealogical Societies, served in various positions on the board of both societies including President (MVGS 2000-2002 and FxGS 2008-2009). He is a past President (2004-2006) of the NIGR Alumni Association and was a Director of the Northern Virginia Association for History (1999-2006). He is currently the SIG leader of the Fairfax Beginner’s SIG and the Mt. Vernon Methodology SIG.
Chuck has numerous articles for the National Genealogical Society Magazine and the newsletter of both the Fairfax and the Mt. Vernon genealogical societies. He teaches genealogy classes for Fairfax County School’s Adult and Community Education and is a co-host of Tracing Your Family Roots ( at Fairfax Cable Television Channel 10. Rebroadcasts of the show can be viewed on their website at  
In May 2012 he received the Shirley Langdon Wilcox Award for Exemplary Volunteerism from NGS and the MVGS Lifetime Sustained Meritorious Service Award in 2013. He also serves as the awards chair for both the National Genealogical Society and the Mt. Vernon Genealogical Society.
Friday Sessions - Probate: More Than Wills!
1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
F31 - Understand Probate Law
American probate laws are based on British probate laws. Effective genealogical research in probate records requires and understanding of probate laws and the processes they created.
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
F32 - Testate and Intestate Estates
Did your ancestor leave a will?  If not, how was their property disposed of and who received what?  What records were created and what can they tell you about your ancestor’s life and family?  Depending on the records created you can learn a great deal of information about your ancestor from probate records.
4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
F33 - Estate Inventories
Was he rich or poor?  What did he do for a living?  What was his everyday life like?  Did he owe money to others or did they owe money to him?  Analyzing his estate inventory can answer many questions about an ancestor’s life.
7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
F34 - Guardianship Records
In the male-dominated world of the 19th century, a widow had to be appointed the guardian of her own children by the court.  The laws governing guardianships vary from state to state and time-period to time-period.  The records documenting guardianships vary as well.  Guardianship records may contain a wealth of genealogical information and leads to other records.