The following announcement was written by the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:
The National Genealogy Hall of Fame program honors outstanding genealogists whose achievements in the field of American genealogy have had a great impact on our field. The 2009 selection is Willard C. Heiss, an Indiana Quaker scholar. He was born in 1921 in Randolph County, Indiana and attended Indiana University and during World War II served in the Navy. After 25 years as administrator of the Records and Microfilm Division of the City of Indianapolis, he retired in 1986 after bringing order out of chaos in the city’s archives. At the same time he also retired as chairman of the Family History Section of the Indiana Historical Society and editor of its publication Genealogy. He died two years later in 1988 at 67 years of age.
He was a pre-eminent authority on Quaker history and genealogy and was a popular lecturer. Through his writing and lecturing, produced over a long and distinguished career, many people learned the rudiments as well as the fine points of genealogical research. He served as an NGS councilor from 1982 to 1986 and was a Certified Genealogist and an Accredited Genealogist. He was local arrangements chairman of the 1982 NGS Conference in the States held in Indianapolis. The following year, after the death of Richard Lackey, he was national chairman of the 1983 NGS conference in Fort Worth. He was elected a Fellow of the National Genealogical Society in 1976, and in recognition of the quality of his genealogical works he was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists in 1978.
Willard wrote genealogical columns for the Indianapolis Times and the Indianapolis News, as well as articles for a number of genealogical periodicals. He is perhaps most well known for the seven volumes of abstracts of all Indiana monthly meetings established before 1875, that he published over a fifteen year period. His interests in preserving and publishing genealogical records, in education both through the written and spoken word, and his leadership roles in many genealogical organizations, make him an example to others.
Please urge your genealogical society to make a submission for the 2010 election (deadline 31 January). 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. Details and a nomination form can be found at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/hall_of_fame.