National Genealogical Society

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Arlington, VA, 10 May 2013: The National Genealogical Society held its annual banquet on Friday evening, 10 May, at the NGS 2013 Family History Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, to present awards that acknowledge and honor genealogical scholarship and service. 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 Genealogical Society 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, Earl Gregg Swem, whose nomination was made by The Virginia Genealogical Society, was elected to the NGS Hall of Fame. For thirty-seven years his career was devoted to the collection and publication of materials on Virginia and Virginians. He was the assistant librarian at the Virginia State Library for twelve years and then became the head of the William and Mary College Library from which he retired in 1944.

Fellowship in the National Genealogical Society recognizes a valued servant of the National Genealogical Society. This year’s Fellow, Donn J. Devine, is a retired Brigadier General with the Delaware National Guard and a resident of Wilmington, Delaware. He has been the archivist of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington since 1989. He served eight years as a director of NGS from 1994-2002. Donn was one of the first lecturers on the appropriate use of DNA and serves as the administrator of two family DNA projects. He has been Board-certified since 1987 and has performed many services for the genealogical community at large. He chaired NGS’s committee on standards and currently serves on the Records Preservation & Access Committee and is a member of the NGSQ Editorial Board. He is a former trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (1992-2006), for which he currently serves as general counsel. He is a past president of the Delaware Society, Sons of the American Revolution, and is a trustee of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania.

Among Donn’s publications are “Sorting Relationships Among Families with the Same Surname: An Irish American DNA Study” published in The National Genealogical Society Quarterly in December 2005. His articles have been published in The American Genealogist and The Delaware Genealogical Society Journal. His most recent article, “The European Origin of George Falk (1823-1900), Brooklyn Watchmaker” was published in The New York Genealogical & Biographical Society Record in January 2013.

For his years of service to the genealogical community; his dedication to meticulous adherence to best practices in the field of genealogy as researcher, writer, and lecturer; and for his unflinching volunteer efforts on behalf of the National Genealogical Society and the genealogical community at large, the NGS Board has elected Donn J. Devine a Fellow of the National Genealogical Society.

William Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship is awarded to a librarian whose primary focus is genealogy and local history and who is employed in a public, academic, or special library. This year’s award, and a $1,000 prize underwritten by ProQuest, went to Elizabeth Crabtree Wells, manager of the Special Collection Department at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Active in the genealogical and historical community, she served as past president of the Alabama Genealogical Society, the Birmingham Genealogical Society, and is a founder and past president of the Society of Alabama Archivists. She is a regular lecturer at the Samford Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research. She is co-author of The History of Judson College. Elizabeth holds a BA from Judson College, an MA from Auburn University, and a MLS from the University of Alabama.

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. For over twenty-five years Carolyn Marguerite Hutchinson Brown has taught genealogy classes and passionately and unabashedly promoted genealogy. She has published six books on her family and her husband’s family lines and has authored many articles published in a variety of genealogical publications. She also founded the Bouse Genealogical Society in Bouse, Arizona, in 2008. She continues to chair, teach, and mentor the group today. As the nomination form concluded, “One person can and does make a difference!”

Family History Writing Contest: Paul K. Graham of Salt Lake City, Utah, was the winner of the Family History Writing contest with his entry, A Love Story Proved: The Life and Family of Laura Lavinia (Kelly) Combs. This award is to encourage NGS members to write a family history that covers at least three generations and not more than four generations of their family.

National Genealogical Society Quarterly’s Award for Excellence: This award is presented for an outstanding article published in the NGSQ in the previous calendar year. The winner of this year’s award emphasized the importance of cultural practices, comprehensive research, and creative problem solving. For 2012, the editors have chosen Without Land, Occupation, Rights, or Marriage Privilege: The Bittner Family from Bavaria to New York, by F. Warren Bittner, cg, published in the September 2012 issue of the NGSQ.

Award for Excellence: Genealogical Methods and Sources: This year’s recipients were Robert S. Davis of Hanceville, Alabama, and Ted O. Brooke of Cumming, Georgia. The title of their entry was Georgia Research: A Handbook for Genealogists, Historians, Archivists, Lawyers, Librarians, and Other Researchers. 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, which 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 Helen Schatvet Ullmann, cg, fasg, of Acton, Massachusetts. The title of her entry was Some Descendants of Roger Billings of Dorchester, Massachusetts. 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 (for students in grades 10-12 or between the ages of 16 and 18): Andrew Staton of Simpsonville, South Carolina, was this year’s winner. The title of his entry was My Windsor and Young Ancestors. The Senior Rubincam Award was established in 1986 to honor Milton Rubincam, cg, fasg, fngs, for his many years of service to the National Genealogical Society and to the field of genealogy. The award encourages and recognizes our youth as the next generation of family historians.

Home Study Course Scholarship: Kristin Harms of Alpharetta, Georgia, was the winner of the Home Study Course Scholarship. Harms received the award for having demonstrated her serious interest in pursuing a career in genealogy. Criteria include attending genealogy conferences and training, subscribing to genealogical publications, and membership in NGS.

The renowned NGS Home Study Course provides a solid foundation for researchers just starting out and new possibilities for experienced researchers more difficult problems. The self-paced, year-long course is published on CD and is offered with a grading option. Learners receive feedback from experts while conducting their personal research.

Ann C. Hilke was presented with the NGS Past President’s pin in recognition of her dedication and service to NGS.

My first lecture on Friday was Microsoft Excel: A Little Known Genealogy Research Tool with Jill N. Crandell, AG. It was a great lecture on how to use the tools in Excel to help you research your family history. She had some great suggestions about using Excel for trying to find your ancestor in a database. Now all I need is the time to go in and try this for myself.

The next lecture I attended was Would the Real Molly Brown Please Stand Up? with Julie Miller,CG. This was one lecture I was really looking forward to and it did not disappoint. It was facinating to follow the trail to find the siblings and family of Margaret Tobin Brown and JJ Brown. I am a fan of the movie The Unsinkable Molly Brown starring Debbie Reynolds and Julie interwove the movie with the real story. There weren’t many similarities.

I missed the last lecture because I wanted to get ready for the Banquet. There were awards presented and door prizes given away before the speakers took the podium. First up was Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak who talked about her Grant Program which is celebrating its thirteenth anniversary and she introduced a new program. Megan is going to give away thirteen grants to people who go into pawn stores to rescue family heirlooms and do the research to return them to the right family. When you have completed this you apply for a grant.

The highlight of the evening was Mark Hall-Paton of Clark County museums and the Pawn Stars TV show. His topic was “Do You Think Anyone’s Going To Watch This Show?” He had the hall laughing with his first sentence. His stories were very entertaining and it was great fun.

It was nice to end the day on such a nice note.

©2013 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Thursday was a long day filled with lots of learning and fun.

The first lecture was Maximizing Your Use of Evidence with Thomas W. Jones. I had seen this one before but I like to see this type of lecture several times as I can pick up something new each time. Then it was Finding Ancestors through Their Lawsuits in English Chancery Court with Ronald Ames Hill PhD, CG, FASG. I have some English ancestors and wanted to learn more about these records.

The next lecture I went to was Organizing Your Family History Electronically with Ann Carter Fleming CG, CGL, FNGS. I am at that awkward in between stage of paper and digital. I was looking for tips to start my digital organizing.

I didn’t go to the final lecture of the day because my friend and I went to Ceasar’s Palace and had an early dinner at Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill where the food was wonderful. Unfortunately no room for dessert.

Then we went and saw Elton John in concert. It was the best concert I have ever attended. The music brought back memories. He opened with The Bitch is Back and ended with Crocodile Rock which had the joint jumping. His encore was The Circle of Life. The two hour concert was filled with music, stories, chat and just plain fun.


©2013 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Arlington, VA, 8 May 2013: The National Genealogical Society honored excellence in the categories of newsletter editorship and service to the Society with the presentation of several awards at the Opening Session of the NGS 2013 Family History Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, on 8 May 2013. The Opening Session keynote speaker was historian Marian Smith, Chief, Historical Research Branch, US Citizenship and Immigration Services who spoke on the topic People, Policy, and Records: The Importance of Historical Background after which NGS President Jordan Jones presented the following awards.

Each year, the NGS Newsletter Competition recognizes the hard work, long hours, and creativity that editors devote to their newsletters. A panel of three judges reviews each newsletter on material interest, variety, organization, quality of writing and editing, readability, and attractiveness. This year’s categories and winners are:

Family Association Newsletter:

Winner: The Andreas Killian Descendants Historical Association Newsletter, edited by Charles D. Killian of Ellenwood, Georgia.

Honorable Mention: The Seeley Genealogical Society Newsletter, edited by Paul Taylor of Alexandria, Virginia.

County/Local Genealogical and/or Historical Society, for societies with less than 500 members:

Winner: The Newsletter of the Irish Family History Forum, edited by Patricia Mansfield Phelan of Freeport, New York.

Honorable Mention: The Quarterly Newsletter of the South Bend Area Genealogical Society, edited by Eric Craig of South Bend, Indiana.

Major Genealogical and/or Historical Society, for societies with more than 500 members:

Winner: PastFinder, the monthly newsletter of the Silicon Valley Computer Genealogy Group, edited by Janet Brigham of Mountain View, California.

The President’s Citation is given in recognition of outstanding, continuing, or unusual contributions to the field of genealogy or the society. The National Genealogical Society President selects the recipient and this year Jan Meisels Allen has been selected.

Jan has been a key leader of the Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC), a joint committee of NGS, the Federation of Genealogical Societies, and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. Over the last few years she has tracked legislation that may impact genealogists’ access to the Social Security Death Index in the US Congress and access to vital records in many states. She is relentless in writing statements as appropriate to House and Senate committee chairs as well as governors and state representatives advocating open records access. She is a dynamo on RPAC as the voting member representing the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS). She doggedly finds bills being proposed that affect records access and brings them to the attention of RPAC, and thus the genealogical community. She has served in many roles, including vice president, IAJGS; president, Jewish Genealogical Society of Conejo Valley and Ventura County; and board member, Friends of the Agoura Hills Library. Jan receives the President’s Citation for her vigilance in support of records preservation and in defense of public access to public records.

NGS also recognized several individuals for their dedicated efforts in support of the NGS 2013 Family History Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada:

The Award of Honor was presented in recognition of dedication and sustained service in support of the conference. Recipients of the award were Michael Brenner, Chair, Local Host Societies; and local host societies Centennial Las Vegas Genealogy Society, Clark County Nevada Genealogical Society, Jewish Genealogy Society of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas FamilySearch Library, Nevada African American Genealogy Society, and Nevada State Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

Certificates of Appreciation were given to recognize the committee chairs who spent countless hours preparing for the conference. NGS is aware that there could be no conference if it were not for the volunteers’ efforts and commitment. So honored were Lynne Bogner and R. Wayne Stoker, Co-Chairs of Volunteers; Patricia Dell’aira and Rebecca Eisenman, Co-Chairs of Hospitality; Betteann Meyers, Publicity Chair; Carole Montello, Registration Chair; Leo Myers, Exhibits Chair; and Bill White, Local Events and Tours Chair.

We arrived around lunch time on Tuesday and once settled in the hotel we went and registered for the conference. It was nice to have the conference bag filled with very useful information. My favourite has been the syllabus on a flash drive. I had printed off syllabus material at home of the lectures I wanted to attend but once here I considered some different lectures so it was nice to have the syllabus material to help me make that decision.

It was early to bed on Tuesday because of the early start on Wednesday morning. The Opening Session was People, Policy, and Records: The Importance of Historical Background by Marian Smith.

The Marketplace opened at 9:30 am with the help of a wonderful Mariachi band.


(C) 2013 by the National Genealogical Society, Inc. Used by permission of the National Genealogical Society and the photographer, Scott Stewart.

The first stop in the Marketplace for me and many others was the NGS booth to purchase the new Thomas W. Jones book called Mastering Genealogical Proof.

Then it was off to Lisa Louise Cooke’s lecture called How the Genealogist Can Remember Everything with Evernote. As usual Lisa did not disappoint and I can’t wait to find a quiet corner and start learning more about Evernote. I already have the program downloaded so that is a start.

After lunch it was Genealogical Writing Made Easier with Scrivener with Kimberly Powell. This is a program I have been considering downloading to see how it will help me with my genealogical writing.

The last lecture of the day was Research Ties: The Power of an Online Research Log with Jill N. Crandell, AG.

In the evening we went to Bennihana for dinner and that was quite an experience. Then it was an early night. Another big day tomorrow.

©2013 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Conferences are great fun and I enjoy attending them. I have already set up the NGS App on my IPod and have my schedule in it. I like the fact that I don’t have to be online to use it which is helpful if you can’t get internet access. The maps are great and I have got a rough idea of where things are located. I have even marked the vendors in the marketplace that I want to visit. We also got some tickets to go and see the Donny and Marie show. I am a child of the seventies and they are considered the best show on the strip. The confirmation for the hotel has come through and the flights are booked. Now what to pack?

I am one of the in-between generation. I was not brought up with computers so I use both computers and the old fashioned pen and paper. I am slowly getting away from the paper as I find more time to learn the new programs that are available and hope to learn more about these programs at NGS. There are lectures on Evernote, Rootsmagic and Scrivener so I will be attending those.

There is a lecture entitled “Landlords and Tenants: Land and Estate Records for Irish Family History Research” with Brian Donovan. This lecture is sponsored by Findmypast.com and I am hoping to learn more about Irish land records. This lecture focuses on the tenants but I would also like to learn something about records for the landlords.

Paul Milner is presenting “Finding Ancestors through Their Lawsuits in English Chancery Court” which may help me learn more about a few of my English ancestors.

“Organizing Your Family History Electronically” is one lecture I really need to attend as I am in the process of changing things over to digital and have amassed a collection of digital files that need organizing.

One lecture I am really looking forward to hearing is “Would the Real Molly Brown Please Stand Up?” One of my favourite movies is “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” starring Debbie Reynolds and would like to know more about the real Molly Brown.

I will be attending my first NGS Banquet this year. The speakers at this event are Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak and Mark Hall-Patton of “Pawn Stars.” Mark is the Museums Administrator for the Clark County museum system.

As an Official Blogger for the NGS Conference I get no remuneration but I do get to meet new people and learn new things while at the same time sharing them with you.

Are you going to the conference in Las Vegas? If you are please come and find me and say hello. One of the best parts of a conference is meeting the people who follow my blog.

This could be one time when what happens in Vegas won’t necessarily stay in Vegas.

©2013 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

I have received my attendee information from the National Genealogical Society. The conference is getting closer and there is lots of preparation going on.

WiFi Hotspot

NGS wants you to stay connected! In order to offset the expense of in-room Internet fees, the NGS has partnered with Platinum Sponsors Findmypast.com and FamilySearch to provide conference attendees with free WiFi Internet access. A password-protected Internet café (WiFi Hotspot) just for NGS attendees will accommodate up to 300 users at a time, 20 minutes per session, 24 hours per day, Monday through Saturday the week of the conference. The free WiFi Hotspot will be located in Pavilion 5 and in the Pavilion Foyer between the Pavilion and the Paradise Event Center Foyer.

Thank you Findmypast.com and FamilySearch!

Conference App

Our conference app this year includes a daily schedule, personal schedule, speaker and exhibitor information, floor plans, and more. To identify sessions that will not be recorded, the app includes a separate line below the lecture description that states, “No recording available. Take notes.” You can select the sessions you plan to attend, create your own conference schedule, and add personal appointments and meetings. For more information and to download the conference app, please visit the NGS website.

Download the App it is a great tool!

Syllabus

The conference syllabus is now available online for registered attendees. The syllabus highlights the major points of each lecture as submitted by the speaker, and is often referenced during the sessions.

You will receive a digital copy of the syllabus at conference check in. If you purchased a print syllabus prior to the early bird registration deadline, you will also receive the print syllabus at conference check in. You can prepare for the conference before you leave home by viewing and printing syllabi for the sessions you would like to attend. NGS will not provide printing stations at the conference.

The syllabus material for the lectures I want to attend have been printed off.

Clothing

Dress in layers and wear comfortable shoes and clothing. You will do a lot of walking and sitting, and despite weather conditions outside, some areas of the event center will be cold.

Comfortable shoes are a must!

Registration and Attendee Check-In

Attendees must register or check in at the registration desk in person to retrieve conference materials (bag, program, name tag, and syllabus on flash drive). Materials will be released only to the person named on the registration and upon presentation of a valid ID that is consistent with that name. No exceptions.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013
12:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013
7:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Thursday, 9 May 2013
7:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Friday, 10 May 2013
7:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Saturday, 11 May 2013
7:00 a.m.–12 noon

Registration times duly noted.

Exhibit Hall Hours

The Exhibit Hall is free and open to the public. See the interactive map online. To see exhibiting company details, select a booth number, and then click to expand profile. Find a listing of all exhibitors by selecting “companies” at the bottom left corner of the page. Exhibitor information and the Exhibit Hall map are also on the conference app.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013
9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

Thursday, 9 May 2013
9:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

Friday, 10 May 2013
9:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

Saturday, 11 May 2013
9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.

I have already marked the exhibitors I want to visit in the Exhibitors section of the App.

Las Vegas here we come!

For Release: 29 April 2013

National Genealogical Society Announces Release
of New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County Research Guide

Arlington, VA, 29 April 2013: The National Genealogical Society announces the release of the newest edition in its Research in the States series: Research in New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County. This publication was written by native New Yorker and nationally recognized genealogist Laura Murphy DeGrazia, CG, FGBS. Laura is a trustee and former president of BCG and co-editor of the NYG&B Record. Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FVGS, is a former NGS president and is the current editor of the NGS Research in the States series and the Magazine of Virginia Genealogy.

Research in New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County is an introduction to resources and repositories essential to genealogical research in these geographic areas. “Millions of Americans have ancestors who spent some time in the New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County area,” said Laura Murphy DeGrazia, author, “and knowing what resources exist and where they are located can help family historians be more successful in their research.”

The guide will be available for sale at the NGS 2013 Family History Conference in Las Vegas from 8–11 May in the NGS booth (#205). Author Laura Murphy DeGrazia will be available for book signings at the NGS conference booth on Thursday, 9 May from 9:00 a.m.–10:50 a.m.

Research in New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County will be available in the NGS store in a PDF and print version beginning 8 May; the print version will ship after 20 May. Other titles in the Research in the States series, which are also available in PDF and print form, include Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Additional states and a full New York State guide are planned for the future.

This has just been received from NGS. I will be picking up a copy for me and for a friend at the NGS Conference in Las Vegas.

NGS Announces Release of Mastering Genealogical Proof by Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS

ARLINGTON, VA, 24 april 2013: The National Genealogical Society announces the release of Mastering Genealogical Proof by Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS. As a unique textbook on genealogical methods and reasoning in the twenty-first century, Mastering Genealogical Proof guides readers in acquiring genealogical skills transcending chronological, ethnic, geopolitical, and religious boundaries. Dr. Jones, a noted writer, lecturer, and editor in the field of genealogy, explains and develops the level of proof that is appropriate to genealogy.

Dr. Jones relies on his vast experience as a genealogist to explain the various concepts and techniques involved in the genealogical research process. Mastering Genealogical Proof aims to help researchers, students, and new family historians reconstruct relationships and lives of people they cannot see. It presents content in digestible chunks. Each chapter concludes with problems providing practice for proficiently applying the chapter’s concepts. Those problems, like examples throughout the book, use real records, real research, and real issues.

Mastering Genealogical Proof will first be available for purchase at the NGS 2013 Family History Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, 8–11 May 2013. Dr. Jones will also be available for book signings at the NGS booth (#205) in the exhibit hall on Friday, 10 May, from 10:45 a.m.–12:00 noon and on Saturday, 11 May, from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Purchases may be made in advance of the signings in the NGS booth starting at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, 8 May, when the conference exhibit hall opens. Mastering Genealogical Proof may also be pre-ordered from the NGS online store.

Last Chance Today to Purchase Tickets for Meals and Tours for the NGS 2013 Family History Conference

ARLINGTON, VA, 22 APRIL 2013: Tick tock! Today is your last chance to purchase tickets for meals and tours and to pre-register for the NGS 2013 Family History Conference, 8–11 May at the LVH-Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. Pre-registration for the conference and ticket sales for meals and tours ends today, 22 April, at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

The conference begins in two weeks. You can still purchase tickets for meals, the Museums Tour, and the Hoover Dam Tour. The BCG Education Fund Workshop, Librarian’s Day, and the Night Tour of the Strip and Downtown are sold out.

To be placed on the wait list for the BCG Education Fund Workshop or Librarian’s, e-mail the NGS conference registrar, Courtney Holmes, at cholmes@ngsgenealogy.org. To register for the conference, visit the National Genealogical Society website. For tour information visit Las Vegas Area Tours.

On-site conference registration opens Tuesday, 7 May 2013, 12:00 p.m.−7:00 p.m. We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas!

Add Items to an Existing Registration

Meals and tours cannot be purchased on-site. Ticket sales close today, 22 April 2013.

Meals: log on at the National Genealogical Society website, click on My Account, select My Events, and then click to Add Sessions.

Tours: log on at NGS, click on My Account, and then select Upcoming Events.

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