Societies

Genealogical Research Society of Northeastern Pennsylvania has Shut Down

For close to 20 years, the Genealogical Research Society of Northeastern Pennsylvania has occupied an old church on Main Street in Peckville. However, the building is now locked and “closed” signs cover the building. The society’s web site at https://www.grsnp.net now says, “We are no longer in business as of November 4, 2017. Scranton Public Library, and other local 501c3 organizations, have our records.”

Society officers are in the process of dissolving the non-profit organization that helped people research their family histories. The society reportedly closed because of a lack of volunteers.

National Genealogical Society Seeks Nominations for 2018 National Genealogy Hall of Fame

The following announcement was written by the folks at the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:

At the 2017 NGS Conference in the States, held in Raleigh, North Carolina in May, the National Genealogy Hall of Fame welcomed Peter Stebbins Craig, a devoted historian and relentless genealogist whose pioneering research led to significant publications on the early Swedish settlements along the Delaware River. He was nominated by the American Society of Genealogists and became the thirty-second member to be so honored.

Would your society like to honor a genealogist whose unique, pioneering, or exemplary work lives on today? Perhaps there was a notable genealogist in your state or county whose name should be memorialized in the National Genealogy Hall of Fame.

NEHGS Honors Historian and Bestselling Author Winston Groom with Its Lifetime Achievement Award

The following announcement was written by the folks at the New England Historic Genealogical Society:

A Genealogy by NEHGS of Groom—Author of Forrest Gump — Tells of Southern Ancestry and of Notable Kin Including Harper Lee and Truman Capote

October 26, 2017—Boston, Massachusetts—Best-selling author Winston Groom was honored by New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) with its Lifetime Achievement Award in History and Literature at its Fall Family History Benefit Dinner in Boston on Thursday evening.

At the event Brenton Simons, NEHGS President and CEO, presented Groom with an expertly prepared genealogy of his family—a tradition of NEHGS for many years. Simons revealed in detail Groom’s deep southern roots and ethnic variety including Croatian, Irish, Spanish, and French ancestry. Highlighted were the author’s ancestors noted for their patriotic service including the Civil War, the War of 1812, and the Revolutionary War.

Tax is Considered the Last Chance for some Colorado Historical Societies

An article by Ryan Summerlin in the Post Independent Citizen Telegram points out the financial difficulties that historical societies in Garfield County, Colorado, are facing. The historical societies say a proposed tax increase is their last shot at sustainable funding that will safeguard their futures.

On the Nov. 7 ballot, seven of the county’s historical societies and museums are asking voters to approve a property tax increase that would generate an estimated $1 million a year — without which, some organizations wonder if they’ll stay open. Advocates estimate that the increase would cost residential property owners about $3.24 per $100,000 of assessed property value.

The American Society of Genealogists elects a new Fellow: Rachal Mills Lennon

The following announcement appeared first on the web site of the American Society of Genealogists:

The Fellows of the American Society of Genealogists (ASG) held their annual meeting on Saturday, October 7, 2017, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Rachal Mills Lennon of Hendersonville, Tennessee, was elected to the Society as its 167th Fellow.

Rachal Mills Lennon has been a Certified Genealogist since 1987. Her research focuses on challenging problems in the American South, especially those involving African Americans, Native Americans, and white yeoman farmers. Along with numerous scholarly genealogical articles in The National Genealogical Society Quarterly and The American Genealogist, her published work includes a compiled genealogy, Some Southern Balls: From Valentine to Ferdinand and Beyond (Tuscaloosa, Ala., 1993), and a methodological guide, Tracing Ancestors among the Five Civilized Tribes: Southeastern Indians Prior to Removal (Baltimore, 2002), which is one of the cornerstone references for Native American genealogy.

Ontario Genealogical Society to Operate CanadianHeadstones.com

The following announcement was written by Jim McKane:

Jim McKane, founder and president of CanadianHeadstones.com is pleased to announce that the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) has agreed to assume responsibility for the operation of the corporation and its namesake website, www.CanadianHeadstones.com to ensure the continuation and growth of Canada’s premier collection of headstone photographs and transcriptions, together with its sister sites www.ObituaryNetwork.org, www.OldFamilyPhotos.ca, http://GenDexNetwork.org/ and http://CHFamilyTrees.com/.

FGS National Conference to be held in Pittsburgh on August 30 to September 2

The annual conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies will be held soon: August 30 to September 2. This year’s event is shaping up to be a good one with a theme of Building Bridges to the Past. This year’s event is expected to attract close to 2,000 attendees from all over the United States and the world. If you can be in Pittsburgh during this event, you absolutely will want to attend at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

The Federation of Genealogical Societies is an “umbrella organization” of local, statewide, and regional genealogical societies. In fact, FGS includes 500+ member societies representing more than 500,000 genealogists.

The David L. Lawrence Convention Center is a good venue for an event of this size. First, it is modern with all the state-of-the-art one expects on a convention center these days. In addition, it is close to numerous restaurants, shops, research facilities, and historic sites.

Hotel Reservations Now Open for the National Genealogical Society’s 2018 Family History Conference

The following announcement was written by the folks at the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:

ARLINGTON, VA, 15 AUGUST 2017— Effective 15 August 2017, you may reserve accommodations for the National Genealogical Society’s fortieth annual Family History Conference, Paths to Your Past, which will be held 2−5 May 2018 at the DeVos Place Convention Center, 303 Monroe Avenue NW, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The conference program will focus on ancestors’ migration paths with an emphasis on the states that border the Great Lakes, strategic waterways that aided Americans moving west and immigrants coming from overseas through Canada to settle and develop the Midwest throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Some lectures will enhance your proficiency as a researcher and your methodological and analytical skills. Other presentations will broaden your understanding about your ancestors’ ethnicity, occupation, religion, military experience, economic status, and associations. In addition, the program will feature tracks that highlight DNA and technology.

NYG&B and the Ontario Genealogical Society Announce Partnership

This looks to me to be a major announcement. Two large genealogy societies in two different countries offering reciprocal membership at a discount to all members?

The following was written by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society and the Ontario Genealogical Society:

Today the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B) and the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) announced a new partnership offering reciprocal membership at a discount to all members. The two societies hope that this will allow their respective members to gain access to even more records and resources.

NYG&B President, D. Joshua Taylor noted “The NYG&B is delighted to partner with OGS. Numerous New York families had connections with Ontario and we look forward to working together to provide resources that help share and tell their stories.”

OGS President Patti Mordasewicz said: “We are excited to announce this expansion in our advantages of OGS membership for our members and to partner with the NYG&B. Our respective members should benefit greatly from enhanced access to resources for researching their Ontario and New York family histories. This is of particular importance when traditional migration and settlement patterns are considered.”

FGS Announces Webinar Series on Society Management

The following announcement was written by the Federation of Genealogical Societies:

Monthly webinars will be free to the general public.

July 12, 2017 – Austin, TX.
The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces the launch of their Society Management webinar series, scheduled to begin July 20, 2017. This series of free events will bring a much-needed aspect to the array of learning opportunities currently provided in the genealogical community; focusing solely on the leadership and management of non-profit societies.

The series will begin July 20, 2017 at 7:00pm central with a presentation by Fred Moss discussing The Open Death Records Initiative. The August session will feature David Rencher, CG, presenting on the best practices – and challenges – surrounding The Nominating Committee.

NYG&B Announces the Retirement of Karen Mauer Jones and the Selection of Laura Murphy DeGrazia as Editor of The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record

The following announcement was written by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society:

Today the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B) announced the retirement of editor Karen Mauer Jones and the selection of Laura Murphy DeGrazia as editor of The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record (The Record).

Earlier this year the NYG&B announced that Karen Mauer Jones wished to retire as editor of The Record. Since 2011 she has brought her expertise and vision to one of America’s oldest—and most respected—scholarly genealogical journals. An editor, author, speaker, and professional genealogist, she has a long and distinguished career. The author of numerous books and articles, including those published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and The Record, she is widely respected in the genealogical field and has been a Board-certified genealogist since 2011 from the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG). A noted New York scholar, she was elected as a Fellow of the NYG&B in 2013 and served on the editorial team for the NYG&B’s award-winning New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer. She is also a member of the NYG&B’s Family History Advisory Committee. A past board member and regional vice president for the Association of Professional Genealogist (APG), she also served as a board member and vice president of administration for the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS). Under her careful stewardship The Record has published hundreds of pages reflecting the diverse stories from families across the state of New York.

Two Minnesota Societies to Merge

The Dakota County Genealogical Society (DCGS) will become part of the Dakota County Historical Society (DCHS) as of September 2017, with full integration of services and operations by January 2018.

Details may be found at: http://strib.mn/2smoJT2.

Findmypast Announces Online Release of over Six Million Ontario Records in First Phase of new Partnership with the Ontario Genealogical Society

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

Leading family history website Findmypast has just announced an exciting new partnership with the Ontario Genealogical Society. Announced today at the Society’s 2017 annual conference in Ottawa, the partnership will see Findmypast publish millions of OGS records online in a series of phased releases. The first phase will be launched later this year with the online publication of over six million fascinating Ontario records, including;

Julie Cahill Tarr Named Editor of APG eNews

The following announcement was written by the Association of Professional Genealogists:

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo., 13 June 2017 – The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG?) has named Julie Cahill Tarr as the new editor of APG eNews. Tarr, a professional genealogist, brings years of experience in writing, editing, and graphic design to the organization’s monthly electronic newsletter.

Tarr serves as the managing editor and designer for FORUM, the quarterly magazine for the Federation of Genealogical Societies. She has held editorial positions for the journals of the Dallas (Texas) and the Illinois State Genealogical Societies and for her chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. She was a coursewriter for the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, having written the Breaking Down Brick Walls course.

“Thank you to the APG Executive Committee for choosing me as editor of APG eNews,” said Julie Cahill Tarr.” APG has a unique offering in its publications aimed at the professional. I look forward to further developing this important resource to serve the needs of APG’s membership.”

Digital Maine Transcription Project

The Digital Maine Transcription Project (DMTP) encourages “crowdsourcing.” That is, you or anyone else with an interest can help make significant Maine documents accessible online so that others may benefit.

According to the DMTP web site at http://www.digitalmaine.net/projects/about:

DMTP started in 2016 as a collaborative project of the Maine State Archives and Maine State Library. The decision was made to open up access to as many digital images of original documents as possible, but staff lacked time to transcribe them.

FGS 2018 Call for Presentation Proposals

The following announcement was written by the Federation of Genealogical Societies:

2018 FGS National Conference ​Call for Presentation Proposals
Deadline for Submissions is 14 July 2017

16 May 2017 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces that presentation proposals are now being received for the FGS 2018 Conference, “On the Three Rivers—Past, Present & Future” to be held 22-25 August, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The conference will be held in conjunction with the Allen County Public Library as local host. Outstanding nearby research facilities and attractions will enhance the conference experience. The deadline for submission of lecture proposals is Friday, 14 July 2017.

The program committee specifically seeks new and dynamic proposals that will provide exceptional and unique educational experiences for conference attendees. Proposals for workshops and sponsored talks are also encouraged. Categories for submissions include:

Excellence in Genealogy Scholarship and Service Honored by National Genealogical Society Awards

The following announcement was written by the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:

ARLINGTON, VA, 12 MAY 2017—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) held its annual banquet on Friday evening, 12 May, at the NGS 2017 Family History Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, to present awards that acknowledge and honor genealogical scholarship and service. The banquet speaker, Stuart Watson, spoke on the topic “Who is Family.” 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 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, Peter Stebbins Craig, whose nomination was made by the American Society of Genealogists and the Swedish Colonial Society, was elected to the National Genealogy Hall of Fame.

The Guild of One-Name Studies has Appointed its First Patron

The following announcement was written by the Guild of One-Name Studies:

At the Guild of One-Name Studies’ Annual General Meeting held on the 1st April 2017 Peter O’Donoghue, York Herald was appointed as the Guild’s first Patron.

Patron – The position of Patron is purely honorary and thus the Guild looked for someone who would enable the Guild to maintain and strengthen its position as a global organization committed to the study of surnames.  The College of Arms has been pursuing excellence in genealogy for over 500 years and a Herald from the College seemed like the perfect partner.

Appointment – The Patron selected for appointment at the Guild’s 2017 AGM is Michael Peter Desmond O’Donoghue. He was appointed to the position of York Herald of Arms in Ordinary at the College of Arms in London in 2012, prior to that he served as the Bluemantle Pursuivant at the College of Arms from 2005. During 1993-1994 he was President of the Cambridge University Heraldic and Genealogical Society. He has worked as a professional genealogists and researcher and is the usual spokesperson for the College on BBC television programmes Who Do You Think You Are (UK, USA and Irish versions), subsequently made available globally. Mr O’Donoghue has over 20 years’ experience in the field and has given numerous lectures (including the to the Guild) and written in several publications.

National Genealogical Society Presents Awards Honoring Excellence in Newsletter Editorship and Service to NGS

The following announcement was written by the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:

Arlington, VA, 10 MAY 2017—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) 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 2017 Family History Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, on 10 May 2017. The Opening Session was a multi-media presentation, entitled Family History Lives Here, after which NGS President, Ben Spratling, JD, 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:

National Genealogical Society Announces The 2017 Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship

The following announcement was written by the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:

ARLINGTON, VA, 9 MAY 2017— Larry W. Cates is the 2017 recipient of the Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship. Cates, who is librarian at the Heritage Research Center of the High Point Public Library, High Point, North Carolina, received his award and its $1,000 prize, which is underwritten by ProQuest, at the Librarians’ Day event of National Genealogical Society (NGS) 2017 Family History Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina., also underwritten by ProQuest. The Filby Award is named for the late P. William Filby, former director of the Maryland Historical Society and author of many core genealogical reference tools that genealogists have relied on for decades. Created in 1999 by NGS, the award has been sponsored by ProQuest and Mr. William Forsyth since 2006.

Cates has been Librarian at the Heritage Research Center of the High Point Public Library since October 2007. During the course of his career, he has created innovative programs for family historians. In 2010, Cates co-founded the Heritage Book Club to introduce genealogists to the historical context in which their ancestors lived. He initiated a “Field Trip to Archives” program with the Guilford County Genealogical Society to mentor inexperienced researchers. He also has provided programs to local genealogical societies; served as journal editor for the Randolph County Genealogical Society and Guilford County Genealogical Society; and helped to promote their activities through his library’s mailing list and at genealogy fairs at his library.