03 September 2018

Passing of Russell Lawrence Henderson

Russell Lawrence Henderson


DECEMBER 2, 1942 – AUGUST 26, 2018

The National Genealogical Society (NGS) has learned of the passing of Russell Henderson. Russ was the former editor of the NGS NewsMagazine and performed many other important administrative tasks for the society. He was an excellent genealogist and a kind and giving colleague. NGS extends its deepest sympathy and condolences to Russ's entire family and his many friends.




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22 August 2018

Visit the National Genealogical Society (NGS) This Week at FGS


The 2018 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference #FGS2018 starts today in Fort Wayne, Indiana, August 22–25.

If you are attending, be sure to stop by NGS booth #519. The hours at the vendor hall are Thursday: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., and Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Susan and Julie will be staffing the booth—visit and learn about upcoming NGS conferences, new courses, publications, planned research trips, and more.

You can also purchase publications (including the Research in the States series, Mastering Genealogical ProofMastering Genealogical Documentation, Genealogy and Law, etc.)

Susan will handle three raffle drawings:
  • Friday, 24 August 2018: Choice of one Continuing Genealogical Studies course
  • Saturday, 25 August 2018: Choice of one book from the Research in the States series.
Be sure to enter to win!


NGS Booth #519

See you in the Exhibit Hall at Booth 519!


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15 August 2018

Hotel Reservations Now Open for the
National Genealogical Society’s 2019 Family History Conference



FALLS CHURCH, VA, 15 AUGUST 2018—Effective 15 August 2018, you may reserve accommodations for the National Genealogical Society’s forty-first annual Family History Conference, Journey of Discovery, which will be held 8-11 May 2019 at the St Charles Convention Center (SCCC), One Convention Center Plaza, St. Charles, Missouri.

The conference will feature more than 150 unique lectures on topics such as census, court, immigration, land, migration, military, and vital records as well as DNA, ethnic resources, government documents, maps, regional topics, technology, and much more.

NGS offers attendees several discounted hotels, convenient to the convention center. Embassy Suites St. Charles is the conference hotel and is connected to the 2019 NGS conference center site. Other conference hotels offer a variety of room rates, free parking, and internet service. Most offer free breakfast each morning. When making a reservation, be sure to ask for the 2019 NGS rate. Seven hotels, within a two-mile radius of the conference site, will have a complimentary shuttle service to the SCCC. Two additional hotels are a little farther away and do not offer shuttle service. Uber and taxi service are also available.

Since past experience has shown that conference hotels tend to fill quickly, early reservations are recommended if you intend to register and attend the conference. The hotels are offering the NGS rate three days before and three days after the conference, based on availability, so participants can do research or go sight-seeing in the area. Please check the hotels’ websites for cancellation rules and for additional amenities. Full details and links for NGS discounted, online reservation can be found on the NGS conference website.

St. Charles has a small-town feel and friendly people. Come early or stay after the conference and take a day trip to wine country, tour the Foundry Art Centre, and dine at a variety of restaurants and breweries. To learn about area research facilities for family history, several of which offer national collections, refer to the conference’s Announcement Brochure on the NGS conference website.

The four-day NGS 2019 Family History Conference promises to be a great opportunity for family historians to advance their research, hone their skills, and network with fellow genealogists. Be sure to reserve your hotel accommodations as soon as possible.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary stands of research, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Falls Church, 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.


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23 July 2018

NGS Magazine Volume 44, Number 2





The April–June 2018 issue of NGS Magazine has been mailed to members and is available online in the Members Only section of the website.


EDITOR’S NOTE by Deb Cyprych 

This issue explores a variety of records and techniques pertaining to nationality: foreigners in the United States, Americans overseas, foreign records, and translation.

During World War I all enemy aliens in the United States over age fourteen were required to register and obey special laws. Each four-page registration record contains personal details and a photograph. Julie Miller explains the background of the Alien Registration Act, the information in these records, and their known locations, in a comprehensive survey that reveals extant records in fourteen states.
Many American merchant seamen before the War of 1812 were impressed by the British into serving in the Royal Navy, usually but not always against their will. As Anne Morddel demonstrates, other records besides seamen’s protection certificates may reveal the history of an impressed seaman, such as in the dramatic case of Ambrose Dodd. 
During the 1930s the United States government transported more than 6,600 mothers and widows of World War I soldiers to Europe to visit the graves of their sons and husbands. John Graham describes the history of the pilgrimages and the records available for researching the Gold Star Mothers.
The most extensive German website with open access to genealogical content is Genealogy.net. Timo Kracke outlines the site’s wealth of indexes, abstracts, and searchable images including family trees, local heritage books, city directories, newspaper announcements, World War I casualty lists, and images of headstones as well as useful resources. Tips are given for translating German web pages into English.

Barriers arise but can be overcome when researchers encounter documents in a language or script they don’t understand. Bryna O’Sullivan examines two records, one in German script and one in French, to illustrate the benefits and process of working with genealogical translators and the 
techniques they use.

Narrow search parameters can also block research. Shannon Green uses a case study to demonstrate how logging search criteria and revisiting results to broaden parameters in spelling, time period, place, and associates can lead to success in identifying the parents of an ancestor.

In the last part of her series about the dissenting churches of Ireland, Fiona Fitzsimons describes the Irish Baptists, Plymouth Brethren Christian Church, Salvation Army, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Christian Scientists.

Our columnists are taking a well-earned break and will resume in the next issue.

Sue Zacharias, our layout manager since 2007, has resigned to focus on other pursuits. Her creative talents and collaborative working style have been key elements in the high quality of NGS Magazine. We wish her well in her new endeavors.

Table of Contents

Features

  • Enemy Alien Registrations during World War I, by Julie Miller, CG, CGL, FNGS
  • Resources for Tracing Impressed American Seamen, by Anne Morddel, MLIS, CG
  • Gold Star Mother Pilgrimages of the 1930s, by John W. Graham
  • Discover German Families in Compgen’s Free Databases, by Timo Kracke
  • Overcoming the Language Barrier: The Genealogical Translation Process, by Bryna O’Sullivan
  • Broadening Search Parameters: A Case Study, by Shannon Green, CG
  • The Records of Irish Dissenting Churches: Part 3, by Fiona Fitzsimons

Departments

  • President’s Message, by Ben Spratling
  • Editor’s Note, by Deb Cyprych
  • NGS News
  • NGS Presents Awards at Grand Rapids Conference
  • 2017 NGS Donations and In-Kind Contributions
  • 2019 NGS Family History Conference—A Journey of Discovery: Missouri Was Central to Westward Expansion, by Janet L. Powell
  • NGS Members’ Book Notices
  • Save The Dates!



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29 June 2018

Deadline Extended! Join NGS for a Trip to Madison, WI, and Two of the Nation’s Best Repositories



Deadline Extended!
Join NGS for a Trip to Madison, WI, and Two of the Nation’s Best Repositories


If you are still thinking about what to do this summer to advance your genealogical research, we have a wonderful suggestion. NGS has organized a trip for family historians to participate in on-site orientations in genealogical research at the Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS) Library and Archives and the Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies, 6-10 August 2018.


Register By 8 July


The WHS Library and Archives’ genealogy and history collections are among our nation’s most extensive repositories and reflect the diversity of the people who have lived or passed through its territory. Native American tribes, French-Canadians, Northern Europeans—primarily from Germany and Norway—African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics have called Wisconsin home. The state has also seen the rise and diminution of miners, loggers, and railroad workers, and once held Confederate prisoners of war during the Civil War. Dedicated to preserving history, the Society’s more than four million records extend beyond Wisconsin to the rest of the United States and to Canada. 

Its Draper collection’s 491 volumes (ca. 1775-1815) concentrates on the area known as "Trans-Allegheny West," including the western Carolinas and Virginia, some portions of Georgia and Alabama, the entire Ohio River valley, and parts of the Mississippi River valley. Its collection of newspapers, journals, magazines, and union and guilds publications from around the country is only surpassed by the Library of Congress. The WHS also serves as Wisconsin State Archives that includes state, county, and local government records. Land deeds, naturalization records, tax rolls, and court documents are just some of the original records that genealogists can access at the Archives.  

Family historians with ancestors from Germany will be especially interested in the Max Kade Institute’s robust collection of German-American newspapers, letters, diaries, and church and business records. The Institute is also an excellent resource for locating historic German-language, European towns and villages.

Space is limited for this new NGS research trip. Experienced, BCG certified genealogical consultants will introduce and mentor a group of 20 individuals as they explore the wealth of data at both facilities Participants will have ample time to conduct their own personal research during this four-day trip in Madison, Wisconsin, 6-10 August 2018.

Research consultants Rev. David McDonald, DMin, CGSM, and Patricia Walls Stamm, CG, CGLSM; will insure that your introduction to these institutions is both productive and enriching. 

The trip includes:

  • Guidance from BCG certified, leading experts
  • Online orientation  
  • Meet and greet on Monday afternoon at the hotel
  • Five days of research
  • Orientation at the repositories
  • Personal research consultations with group leaders throughout the trip
  • Four nights at the Lowell Center, including daily continental breakfast and free internet in rooms
  • Fees, taxes, and gratuities

Register Now!


Have a wonderful summer!  


Your friends at NGS


Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary standards of research, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Falls Church, 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.


#     #     #


The words Certified Genealogist and its acronym, CG, are a registered certification mark, and the designations Certified Genealogical Lecturer and its acronym, CGL, are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation.


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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 6400 Arlington Blvd, Suite 810, Falls Church, VA 22042-2318. 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 [email protected] All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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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22 June 2018

Offer Ends 24 June. MyHeritage 50% OFF for NGS Members, Family and Friends.


Only three more days to activate the MyHeritage special offer for NGS members, family and friends! Sign up before midnight on Sunday, 24 June to get COMPLETE access to everything on MyHeritage at an amazing 50% off.  MyHeritage is a all-in-one toolbox for discovering and preserving  your family’s story for future generations.


Get full access to everything on MyHeritage — a leading destination for family history research and DNA — for 50% off, through June 24.


MyHeritage is an award-winning genealogy website that helps millions of users around the world discover their family history. And it can help you achieve a breakthrough in your research too. A Complete subscription includes everything MyHeritage offers, including the One-to-Many DNA Chromosome Browser. In addition, you can access 9 billion international historical records, enjoy automatic matching of individuals in your family tree to millions of other trees and billions of records and so much more. You don’t want to miss out on this deal!


*Not valid for current subscribers




Join 96 million users who have already built family trees totaling 3 billion tree profiles. 



  • Unlimited family tree size (option to upload a GEDCOM file)
  • Unlimited photo storage
  • Consistency Checker
  • 9 billion international historical records
  • 500 million new historical records on average added every year; we recently added 11 collections that include 9.8 million historical records like newspapers from 5 U.S. states, censuses, vital records, and passenger and crew lists
  • Automatic Record Matches
  • Smart Matches™ with millions of family trees
  • PedigreeMap™
  • Consistency Checker
  • Photo Discoveries™
  • Apps for iOS/Android smartphones and tablets
  • Family Tree Builder software premium edition
  • Advanced DNA features like the One-to-Many Chromosome Browser
  • And so much more 


Don't Wait! For a limited time, every NGS member and their friends and family can get a one-year Complete subscription for only $125.


*Offer good through June 24. Not valid for current subscribers



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
copyright © National Genealogical Society, 6400 Arlington Blvd, Suite 810, Falls Church, VA 22042-2318. 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 [email protected] All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Follow NGS via Facebook, Flipboard, Google+, Twitter, YouTube


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15 June 2018

MyHeritage 50% Off for NGS Members, Friends and Family


We are writing to let you know about a special offer for NGS members, their family and friends just in time for Father’s Day! What better way to spend time with dad or thinking about him, than researching his (and your!) family history. This all-in-one toolbox for discovering and preserving your family’s story for future generations is the most unique and meaningful gift a family can give or receive.


Get full access to everything on MyHeritage — a leading destination for family history research and DNA — for 50% off, through June 24.


MyHeritage is an award-winning genealogy website that helps millions of users around the world discover their family history. And it can help you achieve a breakthrough in your research too. A Complete subscription includes everything MyHeritage offers, including the One-to-Many DNA Chromosome Browser. In addition, you can access 9 billion international historical records, enjoy automatic matching of individuals in your family tree to millions of other trees and billions of records and so much more. You don’t want to miss out on this deal!


*Not valid for current subscribers




Join 96 million users who have already built family trees totaling 3 billion tree profiles. 



  • Unlimited family tree size (option to upload a GEDCOM file)
  • Unlimited photo storage
  • Consistency Checker
  • 9 billion international historical records
  • 500 million new historical records on average added every year; we recently added 11 collections that include 9.8 million historical records like newspapers from 5 U.S. states, censuses, vital records, and passenger and crew lists
  • Automatic Record Matches
  • Smart Matches™ with millions of family trees
  • PedigreeMap™
  • Consistency Checker
  • Photo Discoveries™
  • Apps for iOS/Android smartphones and tablets
  • Family Tree Builder software premium edition
  • Advanced DNA features like the One-to-Many Chromosome Browser
  • And so much more 


Don't Wait! For a limited time, every NGS member and their friends and family can get a one-year Complete subscription for only $125.


*Offer good through June 24. Not valid for current subscribers



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
copyright © National Genealogical Society, 6400 Arlington Blvd, Suite 810, Falls Church, VA 22042-2318. 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 [email protected] All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Follow NGS via Facebook, Flipboard, Google+, Twitter, YouTube


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25 May 2018

NGS Issues Apology and Correction


National Genealogical Society Issues a Correction
To its Announcement of the
NGS Family History Writing Contest Award Recipients


At the NGS 2018 Family History Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the National Genealogical Society (NGS) presented awards that acknowledge and honor genealogical scholarship and service during the final evening’s banquet. Among them were the award recipients of the highly regarded Family History Writing Contest.
Unfortunately, the information provided to the NGS Board of Directors was incomplete.
Only one winner was announced at the banquet when there were, in fact, two winners. Morna Lahnice Hollister’s name and her award recognition were accidentally omitted from the final results and therefore her name was not announced. To clarify, the award for this year’s Family History Writing Contest goes to two individuals:
Morna Lahnice Hollister of Simpsonville, South Carolina, with her entry, The Kennedy-Burns Family of South Carolina and New York.
Sharon L. Hoyt, MLIS, CG®, of Saratoga, California, with her entry, Her Sixth Matrimonial Venture: The Many Marriages of Ida May Chamberlain.
“On behalf of NGS and the NGS Awards Committee,” President Ben Spratling stated, “I extend my sincere apologies for the mix-up that occurred in bestowing this prestigious award. I also wanted to publicly recognize Ms. Hollister and her fine work selected by the committee for the award. I extend my congratulations to both winners for their outstanding written family histories.”
Ms. Hollister was also the recipient of the NGSQ 2014 Award for Excellence for Goggins and Goggans of South Carolina: DNA Helps Document the Basis of an Emancipated Family’s Surname, published in the NGSQ September 2014.




NGS Family History Writing Contest Award Recipients


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04 May 2018

NGS Presents Awards for Excellence in Scholarship and Service


NGS Awards Excellence in Genealogy Scholarship and
Service at Its 2018 Family History Conference


NGS held its annual banquet on Friday evening, 4 May, at the NGS 2018 Family History Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to present awards that acknowledge and honor genealogical scholarship and service. The banquet speaker, Ric Mixter, spoke on the topic “Great Storms of the Great Lakes.” 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 the field. Qualified nominations are solicited annually from genealogical organizations. Those nominated must be 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 be 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 a person who 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, Mary Smith Fay, whose nomination was made by the American Society of Genealogists and the White County Historical Society, was elected to the National Genealogy Hall of Fame.

Mary Smith Fay was one of the country’s most eminent genealogists. She became a professional genealogist after retiring from the Shell Oil Company in 1969. Her research interests spanned the United States from New England to Texas, which led her to author two books and more than three dozen articles, all of which highlighted her genealogical research skills. Her professional work included serving as genealogist for the Howard Hughes estate and investigating claims of those purporting to be his heirs. She was active in numerous genealogical societies and lectured at both local and national genealogical conferences. Fay was born in Burnt Prairie, Illinois, on 27 August 1915; she died in Houston, Texas, on 7 July 2000.


In 1979 she published War of 1812 Veterans in Texas. Eleven years later the Fay genealogy, Edwin Fay of Vermont and Alabama 1794-1876: His Origins from 1656 and His Descendants to 1987 was published. Numerous articles appeared in the major genealogy journals. Notably, “The Three James Hickmans: Identifying Revolutionary War Veterans,” Virginia Genealogist, 41(1997):52-54; “Genealogy of Howard Robard Hughes, Jr.,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly, 71(1983):1-12; “Sheltons of Connecticut to Texas,” The Genealogist, 2:1(Spring 1981):115-23; and “Some Descendants of Richard and Sarah (Best) Tritton of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and New Haven, Connecticut,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 145(1991):125-28.


Fay served as president of the Houston Genealogical Forum in 1968; as State Chairman, Lineage Research Committee for the Texas Society, DAR, 1973-1976 and 1979-1981; and as a trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) 1983-1995. She was certified by BCG in 1974, became a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists in 1997, and an Honorary Admiral, Texas State Navy. In December 2000, the Mary Smith Fay Genealogy Library of the White County Historical Society, Carmi, Illinois, was named in her honor.


NGS Fellow
Fellowship in the National Genealogical Society recognizes a valued servant of the NGS. This year’s Fellow was presented to Melinde Lutz Byrne, CG®, FASG, of Derry, New Hampshire.

Since 2006 Melinde Lutz Byrne has edited the National Genealogical Society Quarterly with Thomas Jones, PhD, CG, CGLSM, FASG, FUGA, FNGS.  As editor she has made a major contribution to NGS by continuing and enhancing the Quarterly’s standing as a premier scholarly journal of genealogy.  She has authored or co-authored thirty books, including the monumental Great Migration, Immigration to New England, 1634-1635. She also has written more than sixty articles as well as numerous editorials and reviews. She is the director for genealogical programs at Excelsior College and at Boston University (BU), including BU’s Essentials, its Genealogical Research Certificate Program, and the Summer Seminar Series. A past president of the American Society of Genealogists (ASG), she was elected a Fellow of ASG, which reinforced her status as a nationally recognized 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. Pamela S. Pearson of Somerville, New Jersey, was the recipient of the Shirley Langdon Wilcox Award for Exemplary Volunteerism.

Pam Pearson offered to assist the editors of the NGSQ.  Pam manages and tracks the flow of submissions of articles through their arrival, editorial reviews, field reviews, revisions, and contracting.  She routinely handles all incoming and outgoing correspondence with authors and field reviewers, and the editors. She organizes and documents each editorial decision at each stage of the review process.  

Pearson also manages the balloting for the annual Award for Excellence for an NGSQ article chosen by the editorial board.


Award of Merit
The Award of Merit is presented to an individual or non-profit genealogical or historical organization to recognize exceptional contributions to the field of genealogy over a period of five or more years, which has significantly aided research or increased interest in genealogy.

In recognition of her efforts on behalf of the National Genealogical Society, the Board of Directors has awarded Shirley M. De Boer of Grand Rapids, Michigan, its 2017 Award of Merit.

De Boer has been a very active member of the Western Michigan Genealogical Society for many years.  She has served as the society’s recording secretary, vice president, program chair, research chair, volunteer coordinator, and a contributor to the society’s quarterly magazine the Michigana.

De Boer has taught many genealogy classes, lead research trips to various research facilities, worked on local genealogy projects, and spoken at conferences. She wrote the National Genealogical Society’s Research in the States Guide for Michigan. She has also published a number of pamphlets and indexes including “Cite Your Sources?’ and “Memorial to the Pioneer Women of the Western Reserve” as well as an index to the Grand Rapids Newspapers based on “The Story of Grand Rapids” edited by Z. Z. Lydens.


In recognition of her efforts on behalf of the National Genealogical Society, the Board of Directors has awarded Nancy Simons Peterson of Portola Valley, California, its 2017 Award of Merit.

Nancy Simons Peterson, CG, served the California Genealogical Society for more than a decade. Her search for her maternal ancestors led ultimately to the publication of the definitive San Francisco research guide. “Raking the Ashes: Genealogical Strategies for Pre-1906 San Francisco Research,” first published in 2006 and revised and updated in 2011, it continues to be the society’s best seller. Peterson volunteered countless hours as the society’s research director. She co-led numerous research tours and served on the board of directors for three terms. Her research, writing, editing, and lecturing skills were always in demand, and she generously gave her time for an endless variety of projects.


In recognition of her efforts on behalf of the National Genealogical Society, the Board of Directors has awarded Gladys Cajke of Wahoo, Nebraska, its 2017 Award of Merit.

Gladys Cajka has spent thousands of hours fulfilling genealogical requests from all over the United States and other countries. She has researched records throughout Saunders County, Nebraska, in every county office, churches, cemeteries, and town and city halls. She has worked tirelessly for almost forty years on genealogical research and has contributed to the ongoing pursuit of preserving the history of Saunders County.

Cajka was instrumental in organizing and maintaining the research room at the Saunders County Museum.


Family History Writing Contest
The highly regarded Family History Writing Contest encourage NGS members to write a narrative genealogy that covers at least three generations and not more than four generations of their family. This year the award goes to two individuals:
Morna Lahnice Hollister of Simpsonville, South Carolina, with her entry, The Kennedy-Burns Family of South Carolina and New York.
Sharon L. Hoyt, MLIS, CG®, of Saratoga, California, with her entry, Her Sixth Matrimonial Venture: The Many Marriages of Ida May Chamberlain.


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 2017, the editors have chosen George Washington Cottrell of Texas: One Man or Two? by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL, of Avenel, New Jersey, published in the September 2017 issue of the NGSQ.  


Award for Excellence: Genealogy and Family History Book
This year’s recipient was Albert E. Fiacre, Jr., of Hartford, Connecticut. The title of his entry was Ancestors, Descendants, and Related Families of Jacob Smith, Sr. (1773-1834) and his Wife, Margaret Smith (1777-1834).  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.  


Senior Rubincam Youth Award
Ryan Bobo of Meridian, Indiana, was the winner of this year’s Senior Rubincam Youth Award for students in grades ten through twelve or between the ages of sixteen and eighteen. The title of his entry was A Genealogical History of Ryan Bobo. 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.  


We congratulate all of the award recipients.



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