The following announcement was written by the U.S. National Genealogical Society:
The National Genealogical Society, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, is pleased to announce that Walter Lee Sheppard, Jr. has been elected to the Hall of Fame. The National Genealogy Hall of Fame program honors outstanding genealogists whose achievements in the field of American genealogy have had a great impact. Since 1986 genealogical organizations have been invited to nominate qualified candidates for consideration. Nominees 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 must 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. They could also have been a teacher or lecturer, or contributed to the field through leadership in a genealogical organization or periodical.
Walter Lee Sheppard, Jr., a native of Philadelphia, was born in 1911 and was a chemical engineer. He became interested in genealogy at the age of 18 and as his interest matured his primary areas of genealogical research were New England, the Mid-Atlantic States, and feudal British genealogy. His publications adhered as closely as possible to original records. He had an acute power of analysis and many of his articles provided lessons in genealogical research for novices. He insisted on documentation and was very emphatic about this in his book reviews. He was a writer and contributing editor for the Pennsylvania Genealogy Magazine and the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, and he lectured at some of the early national conferences.
In recognition of the quality of his genealogical works he was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists (ASG) in 1944. The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania elected him as a fellow in 1965 and he received the same honor from the National Genealogical Society in 1976. He was an active member in the National Genealogical Society, The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, The New England Historical and Genealogical Society, and the American Society of Genealogists. He was a founding trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) and later served as President from1970-78. He also served as president of ASG from 1970-73.
Lee played an import part in the establishment of several lineage societies such as the Welcome Society, Descendants of the Illegitimate Sons and Daughters of the Kings and Queens of Britain (better known as Royal Bastards), and the Flagon and Trencher, a society for descendants of colonial tavern keepers. His varied contributions helped shape modern genealogical studies. Last year, the Board for Certification of Genealogists established the Walter Lee Sheppard prize in his honor. This prize is given to select top-performing students in the Advanced Methodology track at IGHR. The Sheppard Prize covers the cost of the certification portfolio application fee.
We invite genealogical organizations to participate in the 2008 contest and nominate others who have had a lasting impact on the genealogical field. Please check our website at www.ngsgenealogy.org for details under activities and then competitions. A form can be downloaded for the National Genealogy Hall of Fame.