The Gentleman's Magazine was founded in London in 1731. The first publication of its type, it featured a broad mix of news, essays, poetry, parliamentary debates, book reviews, and antiquarian notes.
For the genealogist it is an absolute treasure-house of useful data. From the day of its inception until 1868 it published columns listing births, marriages, and deaths, enabling people throughout the English-speaking world to keep abreast of friends and relatives at home and abroad. These columns contain thousands of entries relating to North American which have now been extracted to form a unique source of genealogical reference material for the period from 1731 to 1868.
The Magazine was issued in a number of series, which is reflected in the system of referencing used in this book. Entries extracted from the original series bear references which comprise, first, the volume number, then the page number, while in subsequent series the volume number is prefixed NS, meaning New Series, or NS2, meaning Second New Series, etc.
Taken from: Dobson, David. Note to American Vital Records From the Gentleman's Magazine, (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1987), vii.