Margaret Isabelle Obert, genealogist and security worker, dies

Margaret Isabelle Board Obert, a retired national security worker and genealogist, died March 7 at her’s daughter’s North Baltimore home.

Margaret Isabelle Board Obert, a retired national security worker and genealogist, died of cancer March 7 at her’s daughter’s North Baltimore home. She was 73 and lived on Riverside Avenue in Federal Hill.

Born in Baltimore, she was the daughter of Clifford Freeland Board, a landscaper, and his wife, Margaret Allen Board.


She was a 1962 graduate of Southern High School. She obtained a business administration degree from the University College, University of Maryland and a master’s degree in strategic intelligence from the Defense Intelligence College in Washington. She also had a certificate from George Washington University.

She joined the National Security Agency and worked as an analyst and cryptologic staff officer.


In 1982, she transferred to the Defense Intelligence Agency and became a counterintelligence research specialist. She joined the agency’s management as chief of security policy and chief of security awareness. She retired nearly 20 years ago.

She had received the Defense Intelligence Director’s Award.

Ms. Obert was a genealogist and published books on the Board and Allen families of Maryland and Virginia.

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She won the Maryland Historical Society’s 1999 Parker Prize, and served as a volunteer in the library of the Maryland Historical Society for many years.

She served as the national registrar of the United States Daughters of 1812, and was president of the National Society, Colonial Dames of America in the State of Maryland.

Ms. Obert was a member of the Maryland Historical Society; the Maryland Genealogical Society; the Baltimore County Genealogical Society; and the Virginia Genealogical Society. She served twice as president of the Maryland Genealogical Society.

She also had served on the board of the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House and was a past president of the Susanna Wesley House, which provides transitional housing for homeless women and children. She was also a past vice president and manager of the Girls’ Softball Division of the South Baltimore Little League.

A funeral was held March 17 at the Old Otterbein United Methodist Church, where she was a member and served as chair of the church trustees.


Survivors include a daughter, Margaret Obert Berish of Baltimore; a brother C. Allen Board of Brooklyn Park; a sister Nancy L. Swartwout of Baltimore; and two granddaughters.

--Jacques Kelly