Illinois State Genealogical Society Announces 2012 Award Winners

Awards Announced At ISGS Annual Conference in Rockford, IL

October 29, 2012 – Springfield, IL. On Saturday, October 20, 2012, five individuals were honored by the Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) with awards for their outstanding achievements in the field of genealogy. ISGS presented the awards at the its annual conference – Family History In Profile – in Rockford, Illinois:

ISGS President Janice Fritsch and Rita Welsh
Mrs. Rita Welsh – Special Recognition
Oregon, Illinois
Mrs. Rita Welsh is a retired librarian for the Lee County Genealogical Society. Her wonderful memory for the local, and not so local, facts has made her invaluable to researchers who visited the library in search of their “roots.” Rita was an outstanding example of loyalty, efficiency and willingness to do all she could to help people find their needed information.

Janice Fritsch and D. Patrick Gorman
D. Patrick Gorman - Community Service Award
Dixon, Illinois
D. Patrick Gorman has helped military veterans from all over the world with their research, from the Civil War era through and including World War ll. He has even searched for and found records for many foreign citizens who enlisted and fought for our country. He has been instrumental in obtaining and having markers placed for many veterans even though they may be buried in their homeland.

Sheryl Prange, Janice Fritsch, and Merrill Prange
Merrill and Sheryl Prange - Community Service Award
Fults, Illinois
Merrill and Sheryl Prange have worked on 12 different cemeteries over the past 15 years, that no one else wanted to take care of. The cut the brush, mow the grass, and repair headstones. Each time they tackle a new cemetery, they type up an index of the stones and share them with the county genealogy society. They are not paid to do this, it is all done out of the goodness of their hearts.

Janice Fritsch and Thomas MacEntee
Thomas MacEntee - Volkel Medal of Honor
Chicago, Illinois
Thomas MacEntee is a genealogy professional specializing in the use of technology and social media to improve genealogy research and as a way to connect with others in the family history community. He is also the Webmaster for ISGS. Utilizing over 25 years of experience in the information technology field, Thomas writes and lectures on the many ways in which blogs, Facebook, and Twitter can be leveraged to add new dimensions to the genealogy experience.
According to Janice Fritsch, ISGS President: “Every year ISGS honors members of the genealogical community who have given beyond the ordinary and this year is no exception. Thank you to those who submitted nominees for an ISGS award and congratulations to all the award winners!”

About Illinois State Genealogical Society

The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) was formed in 1968 through the cooperative effort and forward thinking of Illinois genealogical society representatives, who envisioned a statewide genealogical organization. ISGS is a not-for-profit, nonsectarian, educational organization. ISGS was established for the following purposes:
  • To stimulate an interest in the people who contributed to the establishment and development of the State of Illinois.
  • To seek, preserve, and make available data pertaining to individuals, families, and groups who lived in Illinois and to events which took place therein.
  • To inform people of the value of, and need for, preserving family and local history for posterity.
  • To encourage the formation of local genealogical societies and to coordinate and disseminate information.
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