The Florida State Genealogical Society recently gave several well-deserved awards for outstanding achievements. I was especially pleased to see that a Distinguished Service Award was given to George G. Morgan. George is a frequent contributor to this newsletter and I already know that he is a prolific genealogical speaker, instructor, and writer. It's nice to see others recognizing his achievements as well.
Here is the official announcement written by the Florida State Genealogical Society:
The Florida State Genealogical Society held its 32nd annual conference at the Sheraton Orlando–North hotel in Maitland on November 14-15, 2008. In addition to a full two days of informative and interesting workshops with featured guest speaker Ms. Jana Sloan Broglin of Swanton, OH, FSGS awarded several awards to honor those who diligently research and assist others in genealogy. The awards were presented at a banquet on Friday evening. A number of Florida Pioneers and their descendants were also honored as the descendants received Florida Pioneer Certificates for either a state level or county level pioneer who resided in either the state or county before or at the time of statehood or county organization. The descendants had to have research to prove the ancestral link to the pioneer in order to qualify for the certificate. The awards given are as follows:
Florida Genealogy Outstanding Achievement Award: Pinellas Genealogy Society, Inc., nominated by Peter Summers, President PGS
The Pinellas Genealogy Society has been a leader in Florida genealogy since its founding in 1972. The active membership provides an active volunteer group assisting the Largo Public Library from day to day. Its assets have continued to grow over the years and make up about 25% of the genealogy collection at the library. The educational offerings have grown from 7 different classes in 2006 to 29 classes in 2008 with 7 active instructors to share the teaching load. PGS offers an annual seminar featuring nationally-known speakers, a journal/newsletter and other publications and projects. The society is also actively involved in historical preservation of artifacts that have come into their possession. The list goes on and on. This award is well deserved for a job that continues to be well done.
Genealogy Outstanding Achievement Award: Anza Bast, nominated by The Genealogy Club of Osceola County
Ms. Bast has been an active member of the Club for more than six years and has served in many official positions as well as teaching children's genealogy classes for the Historical Society at summer sessions. She has constantly contributed old photos, postcards, obituaries and biographies of local personalities to the website. Anza has been responsible for organizing cemetery surveys, compiling old records and transcribing various documents in order to publish seven books for Osceola County and for creating our banner. She is a life member and serves on the boards of the Historical Society and the Florida State Genealogical Society and is a Pioneer Committee member and reviewer. The Genealogy Club proudly recognizes Anza's dedication.
Virginia Brush Britten, nominated by Cathy Vance, Pasco County Genealogical Society:
Virginia Brush Britten has been a tireless promoter of the Pasco County Genealogical Society and genealogy since she joined in 1996. In addition to serving in many official positions in the society, she has assisted in the growth of the society by arranging for meetings at the local LDS church and obtaining dedicated space for a library. Since 1999 Virginia has maintained, enhanced and promoted the research library. She has recruited and trained a volunteer staff offering year-round public access three days and one night each week. Ms. Britten has developed into an accomplished speaker and teacher whose presentations are always innovative and interesting. For most meetings, Virginia prepares a storyboard with photographs and memorabilia on a specific theme complimenting the program for the month. Members enjoy and learn from these. Taking an active interest in researchers at the library, she has been known to make follow-up phone calls to see how the research is going. For her 50 wedding anniversary, she turned the tables on her family and presented them with a present–a copy of the first edition of her published genealogy. PCGS wants to recognize her efforts and thank her for the activities that will benefit the entire community.
Damon Hostetler, nominated by Peter Summers, Pinellas Genealogy Society
Mr. Hostetler has been a mainstay of the Pinellas Genealogy Society for several decades. He has served officially in many elected capacities as well as in numerous other ways. Damon serves as the PGS representative on the Board of the Greater Largo Library Foundation and is a member of the Ohio Genealogical Society and the Florida Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society. Lasting contributions to genealogy and his family's history include numerous publications. He is widely sought as a speaker and genealogy lecturer. He sometimes portrays his ancestor, George Bushong, relating through George's eyes and voice 100 years of US History. He is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, the General Society of the War of 1812, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Society of Civil War Families of Ohio, and First Families of Ohio. His dedication to the fields of genealogy and family history are deep and passionate.
Nancy C. Sieck, nominated by Barbara Maloney, Historian, Genealogical Society of North Brevard
Nancy Sieck was the "rock" of the Genealogical Society of North Brevard since its founding in 1982. In addition to serving in several positions in the society, she was instrumental in starting the genealogy department in the Titusville Public Library. She volunteered for many years one afternoon each week and faithfully offered assistance to anyone needing help. Nancy taught genealogy classes for many years at Brevard Community College and was a popular and well- known speaker through Florida. The application included many tributes from her friends and fellow genealogists. Sadly, Nancy passed away on June 21, 2008, and this award is being given posthumously to a lady who well deserved the recognition of her peers.
The Charlotte Freels Duvall/FSGS Librarian Scholarship 2008: Rebecca Brown Saunders, Bay County Public Library, Panama City, Florida, nominated by The Bay County Genealogical Society
Mrs. Saunders was promoted to the position of Genealogy Specialist of the Bay County Library in December, 2006. However, her library career began more than 40 years ago, and she has worked in almost every department in the library. She has served as the Local History Specialist since 1985. Becky supports the local community and the state in a number of roles relating to the preservation and promotion of genealogy and history. She is presently serving a fifth term as President of the Bay County Historical Society and is on the board of the Florida Historical Society. She has served as Awards and Scholarships Chair for FSGS and as a reviewer for the Florida Pioneer Committee. Becky is also a Florida Pioneer Researcher and chairs the library committee of BCGS and the First Families of Bay County Certification committee. On her own initiative, she started a "Genealogy After Hours" program that allows genealogists access to the genealogical facilities of the library after closing time and provides them with guidance and suggestions for using the library's extensive collection. BCGS proudly nominates Becky for this award and knows that Northwest Florida genealogists will definitely benefit from the additional training it will provide her. Mrs. Saunders plans to attend the National Genealogical Society Conference in Raleigh, NC, May 13-16, 2009.
President's Citation Award: The Central Florida Genealogical Society
The President's Citation is awarded in recognition of outstanding, continuing and/or unusual contributions to the FSGS. This year's President's Citation is given to the Central Florida Genealogical Society with deep appreciation of the Florida State Genealogical Society. The Central Florida Genealogical Society stepped up to the plate for the second year in a row and said "yes" when asked to host the 2008 conference. This is no small task and takes a lot of effort on the part of many of the CFGS members who also stepped forward in 2007 to help make that conference successful also. The award was accepted by CFGS president Greg Gronlund.
Distinguished Service Award: George G. Morgan
This dedicated genealogist began his long and distinguished service to the genealogical community in the mid-1990s as a volunteer in the Genealogy Forum on America Online. Since that time, he has continued to serve numerous genealogical organizations, and has held such offices as program chair of the 2003 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in Orlando, president of the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors, director of the Genealogical Speakers Guild, director of the Florida Genealogical Society of Tampa, and trustee of the Florida State Genealogical Society. He continues to serve the publicity needs of the Florida Genealogical Society of Tampa and the Florida State Genealogical Society.
He may be best known as a popular genealogical speaker, instructor, and writer. He has spoken at the conferences of numerous national, state, regional, andlocalgenealogical societies, including the Federation of Genealogical Societies annual conference, and the state conferences of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, North Carolina, Iowa, Ohio, Maine, southern California, Indiana, and the province of Ontario. For many years he has served the continuing education needs of Florida's genealogy librarians, providing workshops through the state's library consortia. And he has taught online genealogy workshops for The Generations Network, the University of Toronto's Institute for GenealogicalStudies, the University of South Florida's Continuing Education program, and Pharos Teaching & Tutoring.
His "Along Those Lines" genealogy column first appeared on America Online in 1998, continued on Ancestry.com, and as of 2008 now appears in Dick Eastman's Genealogical Newsletter. His numerous articles have been featured in many well-known genealogy publications, including Ancestry Magazine, Genealogical Computing, Family Chronicle, and Internet Genealogy, just to name a few. He has written a number of genealogy books, including "Your Family Reunion: How to Plan It, Organize It, and Enjoy It" and 2 editions of "The Official Guide to Ancestry.com", as well as the extremely popular "How to Do Everything with Your Genealogy", published by McGraw-Hill in 2004. He is currently hard at work on the 2nd edition of the McGraw-Hill book, to be published in 2009.
Last but not least, he has branched out into audio and video. Since 2005, he has co-hosted The Genealogy Guys Podcast, a weekly Internet-based audio show about genealogy that reaches an average of 2000 listeners each week and is the oldest continually produced genealogy podcast.
In the past year, he also co-hosted 3 episodes of "Down Under: Florida", a video series produced by Roots Television that featured interesting gravestones in the Tampa area.
Award of Merit An Award of Merit was given this year to honor the Florida Genealogical Society which is celebrating 50 years of service in Genealogy Research to the Tampa Bay Community. George Morgan & Drew Smith received the certificate for the society.