23 May 2017

#52Stories


#52Stories

FamilySearch has an initiative where you are encouraged to write one story every week for a year, thus completing 52 stories.

To add some fun to the process, FamilySearch has printables (my favorites are the Weekly Questions).  You can also access the complete list of 52 questions here though that can sometimes be intimidating!

Many people believe that it takes a lot of time and work to write their life story and feel that the task is just too big. Because of that, they never start. But sharing memories of your life does not have to be a big, involved effort. Imagine how much easier the task of writing about your life might be if you were to focus on writing about just one topic each week. It doesn’t matter if you write a few paragraphs, a single page, or several pages. The important thing is that you write something. Anything is better than nothing at all.

I can see this as a fun project to engage family members in also.  Maybe send out a weekly email or post to your family on FB.  Odds are that everyone can take a few minutes to answer “one” question with a sentence or two or more (not expected and always appreciated!) and you can then compile them and create a fun and incredibly personal family gift.

As mentioned above, getting started is key.  It’s amazing all the things that we spend time doing each week, and yet often balk at spending a few minutes to leave a lasting legacy.  I am as guilty of this as the next person.  The closest I get is to still maintain a paper calendar where I jot notes of what I do, observations, and more and serve as family photographer.  And, that’s still just a skeleton of my life and not nearly so thought-provoking and intimate as the answers to any of the questions which are part of #52Stories!

Wouldn't this be a fun event to do with a youth group?  At a family reunion or while celebrating a holiday or when on vacation?

What's your excuse for not getting started this week?



What question is your favorite (either in terms of a response you would give or in terms of the answer you would love to receive from a family member)?

What questions might you add?

Which family member has surprised you the most with their answers?





























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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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22 May 2017

DNA news -- The Legal Genealogist and Ancestry.com weigh in on a recent controversy & MyHeritage is running a father's day contest


DNA news -- The Legal Genealogist and Ancestry.com weigh in on a recent controversy & MyHeritage is running a father's day contest

Here are a couple of DNA news items relevant to genealogists …

(1) Recently there was a bit of controversy over an article published regarding Ancestry.com DNA testing whose intent seems to have been to alarm users and potential users of such DNA testing.  As always, The Legal Genealogist (Judy G. Russell) responded with a well-thought out article where she talks about the FACTS of the issue in her usual straightforward manner.  Please read her article, With all due respect

It’s not that everything said in the article was wrong; to the contrary, much of it is absolutely right. It’s more that perfectly ordinary facts are presented in alarmist terms, as if they were new or surprising or unusual when they’re none of those things.

Additionally, AncestryDNA responded via Setting the Record Straight: Ancestry and Your DNA

The article is inflammatory and inaccurate, and contains wild scenarios of the “did you know [insert scary hypothetical]” variety. If you don’t read our terms, and don’t spend a lot of time with our products and services, you might find this article alarming. So, let me try set the record straight by sharing some of the basic principles that guide everything we do at Ancestry.

We do always need to read and understand Terms of Service provisions and we do always need to seek the facts and hopefully an unbiased interpretation of said, as we make decisions.  And, we need to be cautious before embracing and sharing the aspersions cast by others, especially when not factually accurate.

(2) On a completely different note, MyHeritage is running a Father Look-alike Competition where you can win a MyHeritage DNA Kit.

Have you heard all your life that you look exactly like your father? Do you have any photos of yourself and of your dad that make you do a double-take? We want to see the uncanny resemblances between the two of you, and we’re offering one lucky winner the chance to win a MyHeritage DNA kit!


























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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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19 May 2017

NGS Conference ... Attendance, Video and Audio Recorded Options ...


NGS Conference ... Attendance, Video and Audio Recorded Options ...
#NGS2017GEN

Here are some snippets from an email received by those who attended the recently completed NGS Conference …

Thank you for attending the NGS 2017 Family History Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. We were delighted to see you and hoped you enjoyed the conference as much as we did. In all, 2,450 people participated in the conference. We hope the conference enhanced your research and analytical skills and provided you with more technological tools. Most important, we hope the knowledge that you gained will help you as you advance your research, analysis, and writing.

We especially want to thank all the conference speakers. Their excellent presentations enabled NGS to deliver an outstanding program…

You can still sign up for the on-demand presentations of the ten lectures recorded via live streaming from http://www.PlaybackNGS.com. If you are interested or if you have a friend who missed the conference, the on-demand recordings will be available for viewing through 13 August 2017. The package includes a full downloadable version of the syllabus. The details and costs for the recordings are available at http://www.playbackngs.com/2017-raleigh-ngs-live-streaming-plus-3-months-access.

Audio recordings of more than 150 lectures are also available. See http://www.playbackngs.com/7770-r for titles and prices.

A number of awards were presented at the conference. Details about the 2017 awards and the recipients can be found at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/pressroom/press_releases. We encourage you or your society to enter the 2018 competitions and awards. Details about the awards and submission deadlines can be found at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/awards_competitions.

We look forward to seeing you next year at the NGS 2018 Family History Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2–5 May. Details will be available in the coming months on the NGS Family History Conference website.

-NGS Conference Committee

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary standards of research, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Arlington, Virginia-based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, and guidance in research. It also offers many opportunities to interact with other genealogists.
























~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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18 May 2017

Attending A Genealogy Conference – Something Inexplicable Happens When a Large Group of Genealogists Get Together …

Everyone Heading to the Vendor Hall for the First Time at NGS 2017
by Diane L. Richard
Attending A Genealogy Conference – Something Inexplicable Happens When a Large Group of Genealogists Get Together …

When the NGS conference wrapped on Saturday, I was exhausted – mentally and physically.  Though, it’s the good kind of exhausted.

For this particular conference I wore many hats …
(1) Represented NGS as the editor of Upfront with NGS
(2) Represented the local host organization, the North Carolina Genealogical Society (NCGS), as Vendor Support Chair and as Local Publicity Co-Chair
(3) Represented myself as a professional genealogist and speaker and attendee

Over the course of the conference, I was fortunate to …
(1) Greet almost every vendor as they checked in
(2) Dialogue with colleagues in many different ways and in many different places
(3) See Facebook friends
(4) Meet in person past clients and future clients
(5) Chat with many individuals as I tried to answer questions about vendors, events, and more
(6) Encounter those who have heard me speak before and who introduced themselves to me
(7) Re-connect with individuals from past events and conferences
(8) Catch-up with people that I know locally and whom I haven’t seen in ages (particularly at the Society Night event)
(9) Facilitate researchers in my “office away from home” at the State Archives of North Carolina
(10) Support some vendors by giving them a shout-out in talks or when in conversation – they have long supported me by publishing my writing or offering my research services
(11) Talk with many new individuals after each presentation as we further explored the topic at hand
(12) Interact with NGS and NCGS individuals, some of whom I’ve only previously interacted with via email, Facebook, Go-to-Webinar, etc.
(13) Honor someone who I greatly admire by attending her lunch (with over 400 others!), Helen Leary
(14) and so much more …

The funny thing is that I was constantly busy, from the time I opened the vendor hall every day until I shut it down every night) and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  There was so much ENERGY and EXCITEMENT in every interaction.  It was exhilarating and it’s not often that an introvert says something like that (see Genealogy conferences and the introvert ...)

This all came to mind and then was reinforced when I read what a longtime Upfront with NGS reader (John D. Tew, Filiopietism Prism) had to say about attending his very first conference, which was NERGC, just a few weeks ago -- What Is The Greatest Thing About A Genealogy Conference?  His post conveys so well the feeling most conference attendees walk away with …

You want to tackle that brick wall yet again -- and probably with some new approach you learned about from others at the conference.  In short, you realize the conference and the energy generated by the presenters and the participants has rejuvenated and invigorated your enthusiasm for genealogy and you cannot wait to get back to the detective work of discovering and documenting your family history.

So, though some are ready to proclaim in-person genealogy conferences dead, I think the attendance numbers for NGS this year (not yet officially released) and the experience of John and many others, whether attending their first conference or their 30th speaks volumes that genealogy conferences are incredibly dynamic and invaluable to our community.

Though I spend a lot of my time working alone, out of my office, researching long-ago dead people, it was fun to take a week and connect and re-connect with so many living people who share my passion about family history.

As you consider whether to attend NGS 2018 or any other future conference, do keep in mind all the benefits that come from attending a conference, as shared by John, which goes well beyond the content shared via presentations!



What is your favorite part of attending a conference?

What pleasantly surprised you at the most recent conference you attended?

What is/was the first thing you decided to do post conference as a direct result of attending a conference?





















~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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17 May 2017

Archive About Eyeglasses, A Place to "See" the History of What Has Aided Our Vision Through Time!


Archive About Eyeglasses, A Place to "See" the History of What Has Aided Our Vision Through Time!

As someone who has worn glasses since she was 5 years old (except for two years when I had braces, and that’s another story), and who can only see out about 6 inches without glasses, I am extremely appreciative of my glasses.

Now, when I was a kid and had to wear cat eye ones, which at the time were not a fashion statement and just a vision necessity, I was less than thrilled.  Other than a few years dabbling with contacts (perpetual feeling of dirt in my eyes), I have just been a glasses kind of girl. 

So, you can imagine my interest when I learned that someone has an online archive about antique eyeglasses, antiquespectacles.com.

There is a nice overview article, Sharon eyeglass aficionado sees mass recognition.

Over the years, the site has become an online museum and encyclopedia on visual aid. It features thousands of images of spectacles that date as far back as the 13th century. Fleishman also posts related news, art, and history regularly. The site generates about a million hits a month, he said.

“Eyeglasses are one of the greatest inventions of all time, yet they’re taken for granted,” he said.

I can tell you that I am one person who doesn’t take my ability to see, using glasses, for granted!  They are my constant companion!  And, based on family photos, a few ancestors were also long-time glasses wearers.

An associated one-hour documentary, Sight: The Story of Vision was released September 27, 2016, and shown on PBS and other stations.  If you have Amazon Prime membership you can access the documentary.  I suspect access can be gained via other platforms as well.

It’s always fascinating to learn the history of something we consider somewhat mundane and yet represents such an invaluable invention.




Share how glasses were important to your ancestors.

What other invention(s) that impacts the lives of many do we take for granted?





















~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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16 May 2017

FREE Access to ALL Pennsylvania Resources on AmericanAncestors.org (16-23 May 2017)


FREE Access to ALL Pennsylvania Resources on AmericanAncestors.org (16-23 May 2017)

From our friends at American Ancestors …

May 15, 2017—Boston, Massachusetts—As one of the original thirteen colonies, Pennsylvania has a long history and many records available for tracing ancestors who lived there. Its size and central location on the Atlantic seaboard have made it an important player in the documenting of American family history. Prominent groups of immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania include Germans, Irish, African-Americans, Italians, Swiss, Dutch, and Chinese.

Starting at 12:01 a.m. (EDST) on Tuesday, May 16, through midnight (EDST) Tuesday, May 23, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and American Ancestors will offer free access to many Pennsylvania genealogical resources on AmericanAncestors.org. For one week, family historians may search databases for Pennsylvanian ancestors and register for a free webinar on Pennsylvania genealogical research methods.  Additional educational resources and features provided by NEHGS on Pennsylvania genealogy will all be free for one week with registration as a free Guest Member on AmericanAncestors.org/Pennsylvania.

NEHGS genealogist, Pennsylvania expert, and author Ann Lawthers points out that “By 1790 Pennsylvania was the most populous state in the country”—with Philadelphia being the largest and busiest port in British North America. With its prominence as an important immigration destination from many points in Europe and beyond, the state is a significant point of consideration for many Americans who are researching family history. 

Among the many features available during this week-long promotion is a free webinar by Lawthers on “Resources for Pennsylvania Genealogy.” Lawthers's webinar starts with a description of Pennsylvania settlement patterns and how those patterns and changing county borders influenced the surviving genealogical resources. Special attention is given to early German, Scots-Irish, Welsh, Quaker, and Mennonite immigration. A discussion of standard and unique genealogical resources for researchers is included in Lawthers's online presentation.

The free webinar and other valuable Pennsylvania research resources may be accessed free at AmericanAncestors.org/Pennsylvania. Registration at AmericanAncestors.org is required as a free Guest Member to gain access to these valuable resources. Guest Member accounts allow web visitors to use a limited suite of AmericanAncestors.org databases and access featured web content. Unlimited access to all 1.4 billion records and other benefits is through membership at NEHGS.


Which Pennsylvania-based ancestor are you researching?

If you found something new, please share!



















~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
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12 May 2017

Excellence in Genealogy Scholarship and Service Honored by National Genealogical Society Awards


Excellence in Genealogy Scholarship and Service Honored by National Genealogical Society Awards
#NGS2017GEN

Arlington, VA, 12 MAY 2017—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) held its annual banquet on Friday evening, 12 May, at the NGS 2017 Family History Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, to present awards that acknowledge and honor genealogical scholarship and service.  The banquet speaker, Stuart Watson, spoke on the topic “Who is Family.” Each year, these awards are presented to organizations and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to NGS programs or have performed outstanding work in the field of genealogy, history, biography, or heraldry.

National Genealogy Hall of Fame

Beginning in 1986, the National Genealogy Hall of Fame program, administered by the National Genealogical Society, has honored outstanding genealogists whose achievements in the field of American genealogy have had a great impact on our field. Qualified nominations are solicited annually from genealogical organizations. Those nominated must have been deceased for at least five years and have been actively engaged in genealogy for a minimum of ten years. Their contributions to the field of genealogy in this country need to have been significant in a way that was unique, pioneering, or exemplary. Such contributions could have been as an author of books or articles that added significantly to the body of published works, served as a model of genealogical research or writing, or made source records more readily available. Nominees could also have been a teacher or lecturer, or contributed to the field through leadership in a genealogical organization or periodical. Entries are judged by a panel of genealogists from various parts of the United States.

This year, Peter Stebbins Craig, whose nomination was made by the American Society of Genealogists and the Swedish Colonial Society, was elected to the National Genealogy Hall of Fame.

Peter Stebbins Craig, a devoted historian and relentless genealogist, specialized in publishing genealogies of the first European settlers of southeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. This settlement, better known as New Sweden, began in 1638 along both sides of the Delaware River. Craig was born in Brooklyn, New York, on 30 September 1928 and died in Washington, D.C., on 26 November 2009. His pioneering research and significant publications on the early Swedish settlers in the Delaware Valley earned him fellowships from both the American Society of Genealogists and the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania in 1991. In recognition of his contributions to Swedish history, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden bestowed on him the title of Knight First Class of the Royal Order of the Polar Star in 2002. He was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 by the Swedish Colonial Society in Philadelphia.

He was the founder of the journal Swedish Colonial News, published by the Swedish Colonial Society. There he published dozens of his articles on Swedish and Finnish families in southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He served as both historian and genealogist for the Society. He also chaired the publication committee that initiated the Gloria Dei Church records series titled Colonial Records of the Swedish Churches in Pennsylvania. Now in six volumes, this indispensable reference work details the church records for the years 1646-1768. He left his extensive research collection including books and monographs to the Society. They are adding his research, “The Craig Collection,” to the Society’s website.

As contributing editor for the Swedish American Genealogist, he published numerous articles. Especially notable are his “New Sweden Settlers,” an eight-part series that ran from 1996 to 1999, and “The 1693 Census of Swedes on the Delaware,” a series published 1989 to 1991.

Peter Craig received his BA from Oberlin College in 1950 and his law degree from Yale Law School in 1953. Prior to his career in genealogy, he was a lawyer specializing in railway law in various private and government positions. He served on the boards of the Swedish Colonial Society and the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania and often lectured on the “Antient Swedes.”

This year’s nomination was submitted by the American Society of Genealogists with supporting recognition by the Swedish Colonial Society and the editor of the Swedish American Genealogist.

The Shirley Langdon Wilcox Award for Exemplary Volunteerism

The Shirley Langdon Wilcox Award for Exemplary Volunteerism recognizes a volunteer whose generosity of spirit and time has greatly benefited the National Genealogical Society and the genealogical community in general over a period of years.  Ruth J. Turner of Vienna, Virginia, was this year’s award recipient.

Ruth J. Turner has been a very active member of the National Genealogical Society, the Fairfax Genealogical Society, and the Virginia Library Association for many years.  She managed the NGS book store at Glebe House and would often stuff conference envelopes and assist with other projects at NGS headquarters.  She has also served on the board of the Fairfax Genealogical Society in a number of positions, including the records chair, and selected and purchased books for the Fairfax County Library’s genealogy collection. 

Turner has assisted with the Fairfax Society’s annual conference and annual fall fair, assisting with registration and other duties.  For many years, she was active in the Virginia Library Association and served as registration chair for their annual conference.

The Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes dedication to the work of the National Genealogical Society.  Recipients must have been a member of the society for at least one year. This award may be presented to an individual more than one time. 

In recognition of her efforts on behalf of the National Genealogical Society, the Board of Directors has awarded Sharon L. McKinnis of Temple Hills, Maryland, its Distinguished Service Award. McKinnis took over the Member Ancestor Charts scanning project in December 2010.  In the first six months, she scanned more than 8,400 charts.  She has continued to work at least ten hours a week since taking over the project and completed the project in April 2017.  As a result of her efforts, all 58,614 MAC charts in the NGS collection have been indexed and uploaded to the member only portion of the website and are available for research by NGS members.

Note: NGS is not able to accept additional ancestor charts.

The second recipient of the NGS Distinguished Service Award is Jane Van Tour of Redondo Beach, California. At the 2013 conference in Las Vegas, Van Tour observed how busy the staff was at the conference and offered to help.  At every conference since she has assisted in the registration booth whenever she was needed.  She has reprinted badges, stuffed conference bags, helped attendees with directions, helped with technology issues, and many other jobs, often with a funny story and always with a smile.

National Genealogical Society Past President, Jordan Jones, of Raleigh, North Carolina, was awarded the NGS Past President's pin for his service as president from 2012-2016. 

National Genealogical Society Quarterly’s Award for Excellence

The NGSQ Award for Excellence is presented for an outstanding article published in the NGSQ in the previous calendar year. For 2016, the editors have chosen Rafael Arriaga, a Mexican Father in Michigan: Autosomal DNA Helps Identify Paternity by Karen Stanbary, CGSM of Chicago, Illinois, published in the June 2016 issue of the NGSQ

Award for Excellence: Genealogical Methods and Sources

This year’s recipient was Aaron Goodwin of New York, New York. The title of his entry was New York City Municipal Archives: An Authorized Guide for Family Historians.  This award is for a specific, significant single contribution in the form of a book, an article, or a series of articles that discuss genealogical methods and sources that serves to foster scholarship and/or advances or promotes excellence in genealogy. 

Award for Excellence: Genealogy and Family History Book

This year’s recipient was Karen V. Sipe, of Seattle, Washington. The title of her entry was A History of the Youtsey Family in America. This award is for a specific, significant single contribution in the form of a family genealogy or family history book published in the past five years. Entries serve to foster scholarship and/or otherwise advance or promote excellence in genealogy.

The President's Citation

The President's Citation is given in recognition of outstanding, continuing, or unusual contributions to the field of genealogy or the society. This year, the President’s Citation honors Charles “Chuck” S. Mason Jr. of Virginia who has given generously of his time and talents to benefit the genealogical community by acting as Chairperson for the NGS Awards and Benefits for a number of years.

Senior Rubincam Youth Award

Ryan Patrick Day of Burlington, New Jersey, was the winner of this year’s Senior Rubincam Youth Award (for students in grades 10–12 or between the ages of 16 and 18). The title of his entry was The Day/Richmond Family History Five Generations.  The Senior Rubincam Award was established in 1986 to honor Milton Rubincam, CG, FASG, FNGS, for his many years of service to NGS and to the field of genealogy. The award encourages and recognizes our youth as the next generation of family historians. 

Junior Rubincam Youth Award

Katie Cowart of Kenneth Square, Pennsylvania, won this year’s Junior Rubincam Youth Award (for students in grades 7–9 or between the ages of 13 and 15).  The title of her entry was Katherine Violet Matchie Cowart's Biography.  The Junior Rubincam Award was established in 1986 to honor Milton Rubincam, cg, fasg, fngs, for his many years of service to NGS and to the field of genealogy. The award encourages and recognizes our youth as the next generation of family historians. 




Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary standards of research, and the preservation of genealogical records.  The Arlington, Virginia, based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, and guidance in research. It also offers many opportunities to interact with other genealogists.

Please visit the NGS Pressroom for further information.



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The words Certified Genealogist are a registered certification mark, and the designations CG, CGL, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®.




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