Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Congratulations to Winners of GENEii Family History Writers Contest

GENEII WINNERS
by Pam Wiedenbeck

Congratulations to the winners of the 2014 GENEii Family History Writers Contest, sponsored by the Southern California Genealogical Society! The Family History Writing Contest honors writers who show mastery in the genres of Memoir and Literary Non-fiction.

223 entries were submitted by 178 authors. This is more than double last year's participation. The response was truly global. 41 of the 50 states were represented, as well as our first submission from Puerto Rico, a United States territory. In addition, we have entries from Australia, Canada, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Serbia, Turkey and various places in the British Isles. For winners, this seems to be a California year with 5 of 12 winners from the Golden State.

Many thanks to all the authors who collectively contributed these 223 entries making this the largest GENEii contest ever. The winning submissions will be published in The Searcher during 2015 and 2016 as indicated below. Winning entries from past years can be found on the SCGS website.

Category 1: submissions from 1,000 to 2,000 words
  • First Place: "Jonathan Emery " – Adrienne Boaz of Oxford, Michigan – Summer 2015
  • Second Place: "My Grandmother is My Guru" – Kelly Hirt of Snoqualmie, Washington – Winter 2016
  • Third Place: "Childhood’s Last Stand " – Lauren Reynolds of Bel Air, Maryland – Winter 2016
  • Runner Up: " At the Crossroads " – Amy Gordon of Gill, Massachusetts – Spring 2016
  • Honorable Mention: "Boca De La Playa" – Joyce Roberson of West Hills, California – Fall 2015
  • Honorable Mention: "Veiled Grace" – Cathy Wilson of Huntington Beach, California – Fall 2015
Category 2: submissions under 1,000 words
  • First Place: "Patrol Boat Stop on the Mekong River" – Michelle Robin La of Santa Barbara, California – Summer 2015
  • Second Place: "Under the Sun" – Kharis Adirahsetio of Sidoarjo, East Java, Indonesia – Spring 2016
  • Third Place: "My Great-Grandmother, Isabella" – Cassie Shehadeh of Monrovia, California – Winter 2016
  • Runner Up: "A Sprig of Life" – Jeremy Flood of Summerville, South Carolina – Spring 2016
  • Honorable Mention: "The Little Engine that Could" – Erika Hoffman of Chapel Hill, North Carolina – Summer 2015
  • Honorable Mention: "Uncovering Dad’s Secret History" – Fred Land of West Lake Village, California – Fall 2015
Note: The Searcher issues cover these dates - Summer 2015 (July-Sept.); Fall 2015 (Oct-Dec); Winter 2016 (Jan-Mar); Spring 2016 (Apr-June)

Monday, May 25, 2015

Genealogy Jamboree 2015 Live Streaming Announced

Registration is now open for live streaming of the Southern California Genealogical Society and the pre-event Genetic Genealogy: DNA Day Plus.

Sessions from Thursday's Genetic Genealogy: DNA Day Plus are available on a pay-per-view basis on Thursday, June 4, beginning at 8:30am PDT. 

Subscribe in advance.
The cost is $20 per session.
The full day of six sessions can be purchased for only $99.
Handouts will be are available for each session for which a person registers.
Sessions may be viewed in real time, or a time that is more convenient through July 5.
The schedule and other details can be found here.



FREE live streaming of sessions of the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree are available thanks to financial support provided by Jamboree's Diamond Sponsor, Ancestry on Monday, June 5 through Sunday, June 7.

Subscribe in advance.
Sessions will be streamed beginning 1pm PDT on Friday and ending 3:30pm on Sunday.
Handouts will be available for all free live-streamed sessions.
Streamed sessions will be available for viewing through July 5.
The schedule and other details can be found here.


Announcement: SCGS Genealogy Jamboree, Burbank Public Library & Ancestry Join Forces

The Southern California Genealogical Society is pleased to announce participation in a new initiative to build an historical photo archive of Burbank, California's people, places and things for the website of the Burbank Public Library.

According to Melissa Potter, Assistant Library Services Director, Burbank Public Library:  

"As genealogists, we all know the value of local history collections; and if you have historical photos of Burbank, you can help build one! In 2016, the Burbank Public Library will be launching a searchable, historical digital photo collection. We are looking for photos of historical people, places and events in Burbank." 

Members of the general public will have their first chance to submit photos to the project on June 5, 6, and 7 at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport, 2500 Hollywood Way, Burbank, in conjunction with the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree.

The collection event photo project is a collaboration among the Burbank Public Library, online family history website Ancestry.com, and the Southern California Genealogical Society. There is no cost to participate in this community project.

Potter continued, "If you have Burbank photos that you would like to submit for this collection, Ancestry.com has kindly offered to professionally scan them at Jamboree and give a copy of the digital image to the Burbank Public library. You keep your original photos, and share the scanned images through the library’s website! This is a wonderful way to build up your genealogy karma and repay those distant relatives in faraway cities that have done something similar. Thanks so much to the Southern California Genealogical Society and Ancestry.com for this exciting opportunity!"

Here's what to do if you have photos to be included in the new archive:
1. Sign up for a scanning appointment here: Scanning Appointments with Ancestry.  Walk-ins will be accepted as time permits.
2. Ahead of time, prepare your photos as described here:  Preparation Instructions
3. Bring your photos to the Marriott on the day of your appointment. Allow time to find a parking spot and check in.
4. Go to the Burbank Public Library table #143 in the Convention Center Exhibit Hall, where you will sign a release to confirm that you own the photo, and to identify the people, place or things in the photo. There is no cost to get into the Exhibit Hall.
5. Take your photos and documents to the Scanning Room, Producer A&B. Follow the signs.

Of course, you are welcome to bring your family history documents and non-Burbank photos that you would like scanned for your own personal use. Ancestry will scan your documents and return them to you, along with the scans on an official Ancestry thumb drive.

Friday, May 22, 2015

New records available to search this Findmypast Friday 22 May 2015



This Findmypast Friday marks the release over 154,000 fascinating apprenticeship records from two of London’s historic liveries. This week's additions also include mortuary register records from the London borough of Southwark, Royal Navy officer’s award index records and over half a million new passenger list records from Victoria, Australia’s most populous state.

Haberdasher and Ironmonger records

Containing over 136,000 records, City of London Haberdashers, Apprentices and Freemen 1526-1933 lists the details of apprentices who trained with the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers in the City of London. Founded in 1516, the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers is one of London’s twelve historic liveries. Haberdashers sold accessory items such as hats, scarves, gloves, shawls, parasols, needles, buttons and thread. They traded from the shops and stalls around Cheapside and probably worshipped together in the old St Paul’s Cathedral in a chapel to St Catherine of Alexandria, who was to become the Fraternity of Haberdashers’ chosen patron saint. Company membership allowed individuals to become a Freeman; a person who was not tied to land as a villein or serf. Apprentices travelled from all over the country to join the company.

Each record includes an image of the handwritten registers held by the London Metropolitan Archives and a corresponding transcript. The registers list the details of apprentices, masters and freemen from a wide variety of occupations. They reveal when their apprenticeship began and the role they took as well as the names, occupations and addresses of their parents and the names of the masters they trained under. From the early 17th century, the records contain a variety of different occupations, not just haberdashers, as from that time onwards it was possible to become a Company Freeman by invitation, paid membership or patrimony.

Containing over 17,000 records, the City Of London Ironmongers, Apprentices and Freemen 1511-1923 records contain the details of members of the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers. One of the ‘great twelve’ London liveries, the company was incorporated under Royal Charter in 1463. The Company’s links with the iron and steel industry go back some 500 years. From the sixteenth century onwards, most iron smelting and founding took place in the Midlands and north of Britain, and the activities of the Company in London were reduced to the administration of charities, participation in the affairs of the City, and its own domestic affairs.

Each record includes an image of the original documents held by the London Metropolitan Archives and a corresponding transcript. The records list the details of apprentices, masters and freemen and reveal when they were admitted to the company, the role they took, the names, occupations and addresses of their parents and the names of their masters. Three types of document are included in the images; Registers of freedom admissions, Apprentices' book of signed oaths and Registers of apprentice bindings.

Southwark, St George the Martyr Mortuary Register

St George the Martyr Southwark Mortuary Register 1880-1891 contain over 1,900 records. The records were compiled using information taken from the mortuary register for the parish of St George’s, Southwark. Each record contains a transcript of the original document that can include the deceased’s name, age, year of birth, date of death, address, entry date and any additional notes. The records will also reveal whether the deceased received a post mortem or inquest.

British Royal Navy, Foreign Awards to Officers Index

Containing over 3,000 records, the Royal Navy Foreign Awards to Officers Index 1914-1922 contains the details of awards presented to officers of the Royal Navy by foreign governments. Each record consists of a transcript that may contain a combination of the following information: name, rank, official number, unit, service branch, foreign award, British awards, date of death, cause of death and any additional notes. A few entries pertain to Naval Other Ranks and Civil Admiralty Staff.

Victoria Inward Passenger lists 1839-1923

Over half a million new records have been added to the Victoria Inward Passenger lists 1839-1923, consisting of transcripts compiled using information held by Public Record Office Victoria. They form an index now containing the records of over two million assisted and unassisted passengers who arrived in Victoria between 1839 and 1923. The amount of information listed varies. Most transcripts will include a combination of the passenger’s name, age, year of birth, nationality, native place, ship name, departure port, destination port and the month and year of their arrival.

Remember to check our dedicated Findmypast Fridays page every week to keep up to date with the latest new additions.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

NEHGS Commemorates Memorial Day with FREE Access to Important Military Databases on AmericanAncestors.org


Family Historians May “Honor the Fallen” by Searching FREE on AmericanAncestors.org for Patriots on the Family Tree Who Served in Colonial Times

May 20, 2015—Boston, Massachusetts—In the spirit of Memorial Day and to make ancestral research even more productive this holiday weekend, AmericanAncestors.org and New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) have made several online military databases accessible FREE to all who wish to search for patriots in early American colonial wars.

Colonial Soldiers and Officers in New England, 1620-1775 is accessible FREE this week through next Wednesday, May 27. Prior to the American Revolution, many men served in the militia and fought against Native Americans, the French, and other opponents. Many of these battles were extensions of European wars. This database contains more than 35,000 records of service for individuals in Massachusetts and other New England states who served from the seventeenth century to the Battle of Lexington and Concord. These records, originally published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society with support from the Society of Colonial Wars in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, were compiled from many different sources to create as comprehensive a list as possible.

Massachusetts Revolutionary War Pensioners’ Receipts 1799-1807 and Massachusetts Revolutionary War Pensioners’ Receipts 1829-1837 are also accessible through Wednesday, May 27. Many of the soldiers who served during the Revolutionary War were given pensions from the federal government for their service. These manuscript collections at NEHGS contain a number of original receipts with the soldiers’ signatures, acknowledging the receipt of their pension funds. These two searchable databases contain images of these receipts, including the original signatures or marks of the pensioners.

Registration at AmericanAncestors.org is required as a FREE Guest Member to gain access to these valuable resources. Guest User accounts allow web visitors to use a limited suite of AmericanAncestors.org databases and access web content such as making purchases from the online store. Unlimited access to all 450+ million records and other benefits is through membership at NEHGS.

Family historians may start their search for their ancestors who bravely served in our country’s colonial times at this site: AmericanAncestors.org/memorialday.

News Alert: Hotel Accommodations for 2016 NGS Conference in Fort Lauderdale Will Open 27 May 2015


Last week at the NGS Conference in St. Charles, NGS announced that hotel accommodations for the 2016 NGS Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida would open today, May 20th. Unfortunately, the hotels have advised us of a few technical glitches. We are working with the Convention Visitors Bureau (CVB) in Fort Lauderdale to resolve these issues quickly.

On Wednesday, May 27th, NGS will provide the CVB direct link and all other pertinent information for making hotel reservations for the 2016 conference. Please go to the NGS homepage for that information www.ngsgenealogy.org.

In order to streamline the hotel reservation process, the CVB will offer a direct link from the NGS website for booking any of the three hotels offering NGS discounts for the 2016 conference, which are described in the NGS Announcement Brochure. We will also have a telephone number for the CVB, if you prefer to book by telephone. The conference hotels will not be accepting reservations for NGS discounted rooms from their hotel websites or by their regular reservation numbers.

We apologize for any inconvenience and hope that you will join us in Fort Lauderdale for Exploring the Centuries: Footprints in Time from 4-7 May 2016.

NGS Introduces Four New Research in the States Books: California, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Nebraska


ARLINGTON, VA, 20 MAY 2015—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) is pleased to announce the publication of four, new books as part of its Research in the States series, which now covers research in more than twenty-two states. The newest volumes are Research in California by Sheila Benedict; Research in Missouri, 3rd edition, by Ann Carter Fleming, CGsm, CGLsm, FNGS; Research in Oklahoma, by Kathy Huber, MLS; and Research in Nebraska by Roberta “Bobbi” King. The books are now available in the NGS store in both PDF and print versions. The print versions will ship after 31 May.

Research in California

Research in California covers the State’s history, settlement and migrations, State and National archives, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, an overview of the county, local and religious records, its ethnic records, its Mission system, the movie industry, each county’s genealogical and historic societies, as well as more esoteric topics such as cattle brands, and much more. Author, Sheila Benedict, is a life member and former board member of NGS, a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, member of Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy, a past President of the California Genealogical Alliance, and a life member of the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society. A part-time archivist at Old Mission Santa Inés in Solvang, California, Benedict is a self-employed historical and forensic genealogist.

Research in Missouri, 3rd edition

Research in Missouri, 3rd edition, contains references to digitized sources, indexes and images that have been made available online within the past seven years. The volume also includes records that were created by the Spanish and French governments prior to the Louisiana Purchase. Other valuable information found in this book includes Missouri’s archives, libraries and societies; major resources such as atlases, gazetteers, maps, censuses, city and county directories; court, ethnic, land, military, and naturalization records, as well as newspapers, tax records, etc. Author, Anne Carter Fleming, is the 2015 Family History Conference Chair, a Fellow of NGS, and a former president, vice-president, and secretary of NGS. A writer, teacher, and lecturer, she has served on the board of several state and local organizations, including the St. Louis Genealogical Society, Missouri State Genealogical Association, and the Friends of Missouri State Archives.

Research in Oklahoma

Research in Oklahoma provides genealogical resources in the context of information on the history and settlement of the state, which was the home of Apache and Kiowa tribes. Once claimed by France and later Spain, Oklahoma was divided into two territories by the U.S. government. The Indian Territory was set aside for Indian tribes from the southern states and later the Midwest who were forcibly resettled. The Oklahoma Territory was settled by white pioneers, new immigrants, and former African American slaves. The Civil War, land rushes, and the discovery of oil all brought changes to the land and its people. Research in Oklahoma offers a wealth of records for genealogists seeking to learn about their ancestral heritage. Author, Kathy Huber, MLS, is a specialist in early Oklahoma records and the Five Civilized Tribes. She has been the Genealogy Librarian for the Tulsa City-County Library for more than twenty years and manages its Genealogy Center, one of the largest genealogy collections in Oklahoma.

Research in Nebraska

Research in Nebraska contains family history resources and information regarding the history and settlement of the state. Numerous Native American tribes were living in the Nebraska territory when the Homestead Act with its promise of cheap land drew Czechs, Germans, and Irish settlers to its lands. Others arrived to work on the railroads. The Union Pacific terminus at Ogallala brought ranchers with their herds of cattle to be shipped to the East. A guide to records for all of these people—including records for various ethnic groups and religious denominations and standard records used in genealogical research—can all be found in Research in Nebraska. Author, Roberta “Bobbi” King, is a third generation Nebraskan, the author of numerous articles on homestead research, and the book review columnist for Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter. A member of NGS, she has contributed articles to NGS Quarterly and NGS Magazine.

The Research in the States series editor Barbara Vines Little, CGsm, FNGS, FVGS, is a former NGS president and editor of the Magazine of Virginia Genealogy. Other titles in the series includes Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York City, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Additional states guides are planned.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary standards of research, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Arlington, Virginia, based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, and guidance in research. It also offers many opportunities to interact with other genealogists.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

2015 William Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship Awarded at National Genealogical Society Family History Conference in St. Charles, Missouri


ARLINGTON, VA, 19 May 2015—The National Genealogical Society’s William Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship is presented yearly to a librarian whose primary focus is genealogy and local history and who is employed in a public, academic, or special library. The 2015 award was given at the National Genealogical Society’s Librarian Day, one of several special events at their Family History Conference in St. Charles, Missouri. The award and a $1,000 prize underwritten by ProQuest, went to Scott Holl, MLIS, the manager of the History and Genealogy Department at St. Louis County Library. Prior to coming to St. Louis, Holl started his library career at the Newberry Library in Chicago and worked as the archivist and librarian at Eden Theological Seminary for the United Church of Christ.

Since he began his tenure at St. Louis County Library in 2007, Holl has undertaken many new initiatives to enhance genealogical research. He is the creator and editor of the History and Genealogy Department’s electronic monthly publication, PastPorts. This free, online publication not only helps local patrons, but also out-of-town researchers. He designed and edited the state, country, and topic research guides, which are available online making all cited records more useful. He also created a one-of-a-kind, how-to finding aid for using the Deutsche Gechlechterbuch collection, a series of German lineage books of non-noble families.

Holl has dedicated considerable time and effort to develop a strong European collection. When a donor stepped forward ready to buy new material for the library in honor of his family members, William C. E., & Bessie Becker, he located an available collection of German and French records from Canton Bern, Switzerland, consisting of 847 rolls of film featuring birth, marriage, and death information ranging from the 16th to 19th centuries. Today, St. Louis County Library and the Family History Library are the only known U.S. facilities to hold this collection. He also played a major role when Picton Press owner, Lewis Bunker Rohrbach, decided to donate his private library of more than 11,000 books and journals to St. Louis County Library, thus expanding the resources for Maine, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, as well as for England, Wales, and Scotland.

His efforts have been the driving force for the library’s acquisition of Ortssippenbücher books (local family genealogy registers) and Deutsches Familienarchiv books used by genealogists across the country. These collections join the Yizkor books, which memorializes destroyed Jewish communities in Europe.

After the library discovered the availability of original records from Centenary Methodist Church in downtown St. Louis, Holl organized the collection and indexing process, all the while preserving historical records and making the index available online.

Holl’s unique input to collection development and his ability to envision, organize, and execute projects of value to researchers has enhanced the research experience for those who visit the department, use its website, or interact with the staff, including researchers using the National Genealogical Society’s Book Loan Collection, which makes it’s home at the library.

About ProQuest (http://www.proquest.com)

ProQuest connects people with vetted, reliable information. Key to serious research, the company’s products are a gateway to the world’s knowledge including dissertations, governmental and cultural archives, news, historical collections and ebooks. ProQuest’s technologies serve users across the critical points in research, helping them discover, access, share, create and manage information.

The company’s cloud-based technologies offer flexible solutions for librarians, students and researchers through the ProQuest®, Bowker®, Dialog®, ebrary® and EBL™ businesses – and notable research tools such as the Summon® discovery service, the Flow® collaboration platform, the Pivot® research development tool and the Intota™ library services platform. The company is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with offices around the world.

* * *

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary standards of research, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Arlington, Virginia, based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, and guidance in research. It also offers many opportunities to interact with other genealogists.

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


ARLINGTON, VA, 19 May 2015—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) held its annual banquet on Friday evening, 15 May, at the NGS 2015 Family History Conference in Saint Charles, Missouri, to present awards that acknowledge and honor genealogical scholarship and service. 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. This year, twelve awards were presented.

National Genealogical Society Hall of Fame

Inaugurated in 1968, the National Genealogical Society Hall of Fame has honored outstanding genealogists whose achievements have had a significant impact on the field of American genealogy. Nominations are solicited annually from genealogical organizations. Those nominated must have been actively engaged in genealogy for a minimum of ten years and have been deceased for at least five years. Their contributions must have been substantially unique, pioneering, or exemplary as an author of books or articles, as a model of genealogical research or writing, or by making source records more readily available. Nominees could also have been a teacher or lecturer, or contributed to the field through their leadership in a genealogical organization or a periodical. Entries are judged by a panel of genealogists from various parts of the United States.

This year, Donald Arleigh Sinclair, nominated by The Genealogical Society of New Jersey, was elected to the NGS Hall of Fame. The main body of his work consists of more than fifty articles about his transcriptions of cemetery and bible records of New Jersey families that were published in The Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey. Other notable publications include A Guide to Manuscript Diaries and Journals in the Special Collections Department, Rutgers University (1980); New Jersey Family Index: A Guide to the Genealogical Sketches in New Jersey Collective Sources (1991); and A New Jersey Biographical Index: Covering Some 100,000 Biographies and Associated Portraits in 237 New Jersey Cyclopedias, Histories, Yearbooks, Periodicals, and Other Collective Biographical Sources Published to About 1980 (1993).

Fellow of the National Genealogical Society (FNGS)

Fellowship in the National Genealogical Society recognizes those who have been of outstanding service to NGS. The 2015 Fellow was posthumously awarded to Patricia Shawker. Shawker served on the NGS Board from 2003–2006 as treasurer and lectured at a number of NGS conferences. She wrote Research in Maryland, a NGS Research in the States series publication; authored several guides published in the Maryland Genealogical Society Journal; and was a long time contributing editor to The Prince Georges County Genealogical Society Bulletin. Shawker served on the board of the Maryland Genealogical Society for several years, including one term as treasurer. She became the registrar of the Prince George’s County Genealogical Society in 1998, a position she still held at her death. She had been a volunteer staff aid at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) since 2005 and served as a mentor for the ProGen 6 study group. She will be remembered for her expertise, generosity, ready smile, and remarkably broad career. Her specialties were Maryland research, federal records, lineage applications, and methodology. She was widely known as the Director of the National Institute of Genealogical Research (NIGR) for the past seven years, guiding hundreds of attendees during their first research endeavors at NARA in Washington, D.C.

NGS Award of Merit

The Award of Merit is presented to an individual or non-profit genealogical or historical organization in recognition of exceptional contributions to the field of genealogy that have significantly aided research or increased interest in genealogy over a period of five or more years. The 2015 Award of Merit was presented to Reginald Washington of Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

Washington’s contributions to the study and preservation of African-American records is truly exceptional. For three decades, he has introduced researchers to many little-known, but incredibly rich, record collections that are now staples for genealogical research. His labors have given researchers online access to a half-million documents from the files of the Southern Claims Commission and more than a million from the Freedmen’s Bureau and the Freedman’s Savings & Trust Company. Washington has taught at the National Institute for Genealogical Research and has been a popular draw at NGS conferences for two decades. He has published articles in the NGS Quarterly, in Prologue (the scholarly journal of the National Archives), and in popular magazines such as Ancestry. He authored the National Archives’ guide, Black Family Research … At the National Archives; created instructional videos for occasions such as the 150th Anniversary celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation; and was a featured expert in the BYU television series Ancestors.

The Shirley Langdon Wilcox Award for Exemplary Volunteerism

The Shirley Langdon Wilcox Award for Exemplary Volunteerism recognizes a volunteer whose generosity of spirit and time has greatly benefited NGS, as well as the genealogical community, over a period of years. David Rencher of Riverton, Utah, was the recipient of this year’s award.

Rencher has had many professional and volunteer roles in the field of genealogy. He is one of a small number of genealogists who are both accredited and certified. He serves as the Chief Genealogical Officer for Family Search and is a well-known, respected, and sought-after lecturer. The award was given in recognition of Rencher’s service as a volunteer, including his support of NGS and many other non-profit genealogical organizations. He has served as the president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and of the Utah Genealogical Association. He was a visionary chairman of RPAC, the Records Preservation and Access Committee, which is a joint operation of NGS, FGS, and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. Rencher has also voluntarily provided his substantial assistance to preserve and make genealogical records accessible when there were access or preservation issues in Virginia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Georgia, and many other places in the United States and internationally.

Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes an individual’s dedication to the work of NGS. Recipients must have been a member of the society for at least one year. The Award may be presented to an individual more than one time. This year, the NGS Board of Directors has awarded Barbara Ann Renick of Brea, California, its 2015 Distinguished Service Award.

Renick has been a tireless advocate and enthusiastic supporter of NGS and its programs. She served NGS as a board member and Secretary. In addition to being a respected speaker and workshop leader in the application of technology to genealogical research, Renick has been a volunteer at NGS booths at many conferences around the country, as well as at NGS conferences. She has extended the outreach of NGS in tangible and intangible ways through her appearances at AARP, FamilyHistory Expos around the west, and state and local conferences and events in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, and Nevada. Renick did this on her own initiative, and usually at her own expense. Her work contributed to a rise in the visibility of NGS and of membership in NGS in the western states.

Family History Writing Contest

The winner of the Family History Writing Contest was William Cox of Austin, Texas, with his entry, From Slavery to Society: The Jerry Moore Family of Pennsylvania. This award was created to encourage NGS members to write family histories that cover at least three generations and not more than four generations of their family.

National Genealogical Society Quarterly’s Award for Excellence

National Genealogical Society Quarterly’s Award for Excellence is presented for an outstanding article published in the NGSQ in the previous calendar year. For 2014, the editors have chosen “Goggins and Goggans of South Carolina: DNA Helps Document the Basis of an Emancipated Family’s Surname,” by Morna Lahnice Hollister, published in the September 2014 issue of the NGSQ.

The Award for Excellence: Genealogical Methods and Sources

The Award for Excellence: Genealogical Methods and Sources’s recipient was Robert Anderson of Jaffrey, New Hampshire. The title of his entry was Elements of Genealogical Analysis. This award is for a specific, significant single contribution in the form of a book, an article, or a series of articles that discuss genealogical methods and sources, which serves to foster scholarship and/or advances or promotes excellence in genealogy.

The Award for Excellence: Genealogy and Family History Book

The Award for Excellence: Genealogy and Family History Book’s recipient was Christopher C. Child of Boston, Massachusetts. The title of his entry was The Nelson Family of Rowley, Massachusetts. This award is for a specific, significant single contribution in the form of a family genealogy or family history book published in the past five years. Entries serve to foster scholarship and/or otherwise advance or promote excellence in genealogy.

The Senior Rubincam Youth Award and Junior Youth Award

The Senior Rubincam Awards were established in 1986 to honor Milton Rubincam, cgsm, fasg, fngs, for his many years of service to the National Genealogical Society and to the field of genealogy. The awards encourage and recognize our youth as the next generation of family historians.

The Senior Rubincam Youth Award (for students in grades 10–12 or between the ages of 16 and 18) was presented to Erin Rose O’Hara of Collegeville, Pennsylvania. The title of her entry was The Maternal Ancestry of Erin Rose O’Hara, The first five generations.

The Junior Rubincam Youth Award (for students in grades 7–9 or between the ages of 13 and 15) was presented to Adam Wickham of New York, New York. The title of his entry was Landon H. Wickham: Family is Key.

The John T. Humphrey, CG Memorial Scholarship

Formerly the Home Study Scholarship, The John T. Humphrey, CG Memorial Scholarship was renamed in 2013 to honor John T. Humphrey, cg, for his many years of service to both the field of genealogy and the National Genealogical Society. Julie L. Bartimus of Naperville, Illinois, was the winner of this year’s award. Bartimus received the award for demonstrating her serious interest in pursuing a career in genealogy. In addition to her membership in NGS, she attended genealogy conferences and subscribed to various genealogical publications.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary standards of research, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Arlington, Virginia, based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, and guidance in research. It also offers many opportunities to interact with other genealogists.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Launch of French Genealogy Booklets



Anne Morddel, who writes The French Genealogy Blog (http://french-genealogy.typepad.com/genealogie/), has launched a series of themes booklets on research skills in French genealogy:
  • Death and Cemeteries in France
  • Parisian Genealogy
  • Protestant and Huguenot Research
  • Research in French Municipal Archives
  • The FGB Tours Departmental Archives
  • The Genealogical Proof Standard and French Genealogy
  • The Months of the Republican Calendar Year
  • Women and Children in French Genealogy
The booklets cost $5.50 each and are available from her storefront at Lulu:

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/morddel

Future titles are planned and suggestions for subjects are welcome.

New records available to search this Findmypast Friday including Dublin Workhouse Records


This week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of over 2.5 million fascinating Dublin Workhouse records that highlight the devastating impact the great famine had on Irish society. This week’s additions also include baptism and burial records from the English county of Nottinghamshire, birth, marriage and death Index records from Australia’s Northern Territory and millions of historic British newspaper articles.

Dublin Workhouses Records

Containing over 1.5 million records, the Dublin Workhouses Admission & Discharge Registers 1840-1919 list the details of those who passed through the workhouses of the North and South Dublin Unions. Levels of poverty in Ireland were far higher than in England and the workhouse was often an inescapable part of life that would have touched many, if not most Dublin families. The North and South Dublin Unions were among the busiest in Ireland, not simply because they were in the capital but because they often took in paupers from across the country. This was especially true during the years of the Great Famine in the 1840s when crowds of desperate, starving people came to Dublin from all over the country. Given the lack of 19th century census material in Ireland, the registers will be an incredibly valuable resource to those with Irish ancestors. Dublin was the largest point of embarkation from Ireland during the 19th century era of mass Catholic migration and a significant number of those who emigrated would have passed through these workhouses.

Each record includes a transcript and an image of the original document. Entries list arrivals at the workhouse with details of their age, occupation, religion, any illnesses or infirmities, other family members, original parish and condition when they arrived (usually describing clothes or cleanliness).

Containing nearly 900,000 records, the Dublin Poor Law Unions Board of Guardians Minute Books from the National Archives of Ireland contain fascinating records of meetings held by the Board of Guardians of four Dublin workhouses. The Board of Guardians oversaw the running of the poor law unions as well as the hiring of teachers, staff and contractors. Guardians were elected by those who paid the taxes that funded poor law relief.

Each record contains a transcript and an image of the original handwritten minutes. The amount of information contained in the image can be considerable. The minute books recorded what was said at each meeting of the Board of Guardians, including correspondence and contracts but also individual cases that came before the Board. These include the day-to-day running of the workhouses, disciplinary matters concerning both staff and inmates, individual case histories, foundling children’s fostering and upkeep and the hiring of foster mothers and wet nurses. Later minute books follow a strict format to ensure that suitable care was taken about health provisions and deserted children. For the poor the Union provided the only social security available, as without a public health system, the workhouse hospitals were often the only health care that they had access to. A browse function is also available.

British newspapers

Over 2.2 million new articles have been added to Findmypast’s collection of historic British newspapers. The latest additions include 11 brand new titles including the Glasgow Sentinel, Lincolnshire Advertiser, Kentish Advertiser, Sheffield Iris, and the Yorkshire Early Bird. Substantial updates to existing titles include over 109,000 new articles from the Newcastle Journal and over 92,000 Birmingham Daily Gazette articles.

Nottinghamshire Records

Over 14,000 burial records and over 5000 baptism records have been added to our collection of Nottinghamshire parish records. Both the Nottinghamshire Baptisms and Nottinghamshire Burials consist of transcripts provided by the Nottinghamshire Family History Society.

The Baptism records date from 1538 to 1980 can include the child’s name, religious denomination, church, baptism date, residence, parent’s names and father’s occupation. The Burial records date from 1539 to 1905 and can include the deceased’s name, religious denomination, age at death, burial date, burial place, and any additional notes. Notes can include information about their marital status, cause of death, occupation or more biographical details.

Northern Territory Index records

Over 5,600 birth, marriage and death index records from Australia’s northern territory have also been added. The indexes were compiled using certificates held and administered by the Northern Territory Government’s Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the Department of the Attorney-General and Justice.

  • The Northern Territory Death Index 1870-1913 records comprise approximately 3,200 transcripts that list the deceased’s name, date of birth, date of death, residence, registration details and place of death.

Remember to check our dedicated Findmypast Fridays page every week to keep up to date with the latest new additions.

About Findmypast

Findmypast (previously DC Thomson Family History) is a British-owned world leader in online genealogy. It has an unrivalled record of online innovation in the field of family history and 18 million registered users across its family of online brands, which includes Mocavo, Genes Reunited, The British Newspaper Archive amongst others.

Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over two billion family history records, from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers and lots more. For members around the world, the site is a crucial resource for building family trees and doing detailed historical research.

In April 2003 Findmypast was the first to provide access to the complete birth, marriage, and death indexes for England & Wales, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Since that time, the company has digitised records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The In-Depth Genealogist Presents a New Series of Research Guides



IN-BRIEF WITH THE IN-DEPTH GENEALOGIST
A new series of research guides

The In-Depth Genealogist has developed a new series of research guides designed as a brief overview on a variety of topics. Each guide includes background information, research tips, websites, books, and other resources that can help in your research. The first four of the “In-Briefs” are:

  • "Researching the Forbidden” by Terri O’Connell
  • “Researching with the Dawes Rolls” by Liz Walker
  • “Researching Your Jewish Ancestors” by Jennifer Alford
  • “Researching Your Civil War Ancestors” by Cindy Freed

Each guide is available as a 4-page PDF available for download ($2.75) or get the laminated version ($10 + shipping) from The In-Depth Genealogist Store (http://theindepthgenealogist.com/shop-idg/idg-products/). Subscribers to the website receive a 10% discount on purchase of each guide. Attendees at the National Genealogical Society Conference have the opportunity to buy their laminated copy for a special price of just $8 + tax. Visit the IDG booth (#317) to get the conference special.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

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


Arlington VA, 13 May 2015—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 2015 Family History Conference in Saint Charles, Missouri, on 13 May 2015. The Opening Session keynote speaker was J. Mark Lowe, who spoke on the topic “The Tales of Pioneer Paths: Rivers, Roads & Rails” after which NGS President Jordan Jones 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:

Family Association Newsletter:

Winner: About Towne, newsletter of the Towne Family Association, Inc., edited by Rae Russell Johnson.

Honorable Mention: The Seeley Genealogical Society Newsletter, newsletter of the Seeley Genealogical Society, edited by Katherine M. Olson.

County/Local Genealogical and/or Historical Society, for societies with less than 500 members:

Winner: GRIVA News and Notes, newsletter of the Genealogical Research Institute of Virginia, edited by Sharon Barden Garber.

Honorable Mention: The Newsletter of the Irish Family History Forum, newsletter of the Irish Family History Forum, edited by Patricia Mansfield Phelan, and BIGWILL News, newsletter of the British Interest Group of Wisconsin and Illinois, edited by Karen Glass.

Major Genealogical and/or Historical Society, for societies with more than 500 members:

Winners: Wisconsin State Genealogical Society Newsletter, the newsletter of the Wisconsin State Genealogical Society, edited by Tina Krummel.

The President's Citation

The President's Citation is given in recognition of outstanding, continuing, or unusual contributions to the field of genealogy or the Society. The NGS President selects the recipient(s). This year’s the citation went to two outstanding individuals: Pat Richley-Erickson aka Dear Myrtle of South Jordan, Utah, and Dr. Ruth Ann Murray, Assistant Dean of the Metropolitan College, Boston University.

Richley-Erickson’s ongoing engagement with the genealogy community continues in all media, including her blog, Google+ hangouts, and her flash interviews. She provides news and commentary for all levels of genealogists, encouraging beginners to continue to learn, and reminding more experienced genealogists that there is always more to learn. Pat has encouraged genealogists and genealogical societies to be more inclusive of people with diverse backgrounds and heritages, an initiative which has had challenges and can still improve.

The NGS Quarterly and genealogical higher education have never had a better friend than this year’s second President’s Citation award winner, Dr. Ruth Ann Murray. Her 2008 assessment of genealogy’s value in the education marketplace has resulted in more than one thousand students, graduating with a certificate in genealogical research from a major American university. Her faith in the rigor of this program—written by five experienced genealogists and taught by some of NGS’s best known conference lecturers —helped qualify this course for an A.C.E. recommendation of three graduate credit hours. Alumni across the country and around the world are putting what they have learned into practice, swelling the ranks of genealogical societies and taking leadership positions in those organizations. Graduates include many members of our NGS family.

Conference Award of Honor

NGS also recognized several individuals for their dedicated efforts in support of the NGS 2015 Family History Conference in Saint Charles, Missouri. The Award of Honor was presented to the Saint Louis Genealogical Society in recognition of its dedication and sustained service in support of the conference.

Certificates of Appreciation were given to recognize the committee chairs that spent countless hours preparing for the conference. NGS is aware it would be impossible to produce their conference without the volunteers’ efforts and commitment. So honored were Frances Behrman and Edward Dolata, Local Host Co-Chairs; Karen Goode and Jeani Ward, Volunteer Co-Chairs; Barbara Larson, Carol Bell, and Diane Broniec, Registration Co-Chairs; Ken Webb and Dan Kerchkoff, Exhibitor Co-Chairs; Viki Fagyal, Publicity Chair; Judy Belford, Hospitality Chair; Kay Weber and Carol Hemmersmeier, Youth Camp Co-Chairs; and Paula Novack and Margie Giblin, Booth Co-Chairs.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary standards of research, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Arlington, Virginia, based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, and guidance in research. It also offers many opportunities to interact with other genealogists.

Friday, May 8, 2015

More New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday



This week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of over 1.4 million cemetery Index records from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Australia and New Zealand. Over 1 million fascinating 18th century British Apprenticeship records and over 186,000 parliamentary papers from the Australian State of Victoria have also been released.

BillionGraves Cemetery Index records

Over 1.4 million cemetery index records from six different countries have been released in partnership with BillionGraves. With over 12 million headstone records, BillionGraves is the largest resource for GPS-tagged headstone and burial records on the web. Findmypast’s partnership with BillionGraves aims to make available all the cemetery records held on their site for free. These latest addition include;


Each entry has a transcript, which includes a link to an image of the headstone with GPS details. The amount of information varies, but the records usually include the deceased’s name, birth date, death date, cemetery, city, county and image link. The indexes will be regularly updated throughout the year.

Britain, Country Apprentices 1710-1808

Britain, Country Apprentices 1710-1808, contain over 1 million records taken from original registers kept by the Board of Stamps. These registers recorded the money received in payment of the tax on apprentices' indentures. An apprenticeship was a system where an artisan or craftsman took on a young apprentice to teach him/her skills of their profession. In Great Britain, the Statute of Apprentices of 1563 (sometimes called the Statute of Artificers) stated that no one could set up a trade without completing an apprenticeship. An apprentice was placed with or bound to a master for at least seven years.

Each record includes a transcript created by the Society of Genealogists from the original registers held by The National Archives. They contain the name of the apprentice and until the year 1752 the names of the apprentices' parents are given (usually the father, though sometimes the mother, if the father was dead), but after that year very rarely. They also included the place the apprentice came from, his father's trade, the name of the master to whom he was indentured, the master's trade, the place where the master lived, and the value of the premium paid to the master for taking on the apprentice. About 350,000 indentures are included, from all over Great Britain (about 20% are Scottish).

Victoria Parliamentary Papers 1852-1899

Over 186,000 records have been added to the Victoria Parliamentary Papers 1852-1899. This index includes Volumes 1-3 from 1852 to 1879 and enables family historians to search the previously unindexed Parliamentary Papers. The Papers are a wonderful source for the broader social history of the early days of the Colony of Victoria covering land, mining, occupations, etc.

Each record includes a transcript provided by the Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies Inc. The amount of information may vary but most records will include an individual’s name, event year and event description as well as the page number and reference.

Remember to check our dedicated Findmypast Fridays page every week to keep up to date with the latest new additions.

About Findmypast

Findmypast is an international leader in online family history and genealogy research with customers and operations in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia. Its searchable online archive includes over two billion family history records, from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers, the Periodical Source Index (PERSI) and lots more. For members around the world, the site is a crucial resource for building family trees and making family connections.

Findmypast has an unrivalled record of innovation in the field of family history, and works closely with the genealogy community, including local libraries, archives, societies, and other organizations from around the world, to preserve, digitize, and provide access to historical records. Findmypast’s historical records, advanced search tools and accurate data work together to help both professional and budding genealogists discover, explore and share their family stories.

Friday, May 1, 2015

ISFHWE 2015 Excellence-in-Writing Competition is now open for entries


May 1, 2015: The International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (ISFHWE) is reminding writers IN ALL MEDIA (magazines, newspapers, journals, websites, blogs) that the 2015 Excellence-in-Writing Competition is now open for entries through 15 June 2015.

The International Society of Family History Writers & Editor’s “Excellence in Writing” competition has a few more weeks before the June 15, 2015 deadline. Please submit your entries for your chance to win and showcase your work. Winning articles will appear in ISFHWE’s quarterly, “Columns”, win a cash prize and certificate. We need entries for Categories 4 & 5, but all categories are open. For more information, please visit http://isfhwe.org/writing2015.php. Competition is open to both members and non-members of ISFHWE. For more information, please contact Tina Sansone at famhistorywriter@gmail.com. We look forward to seeing your submission soon!

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday


This Findmypast Friday marks the release of over 584,000 records of Quaker births, marriages and deaths, Workhouse records from the London borough of Southwark, Australian Soldier Settlement records from New South Wales and Wills from the state of Queensland.


Quaker Records

The Society of Friends (Quaker) Births 1578-1841 contain over 234,000 records. Quakers have always had a reputation for keeping meticulous records and started to keep register books from the late 1650s. Births were recorded rather than baptisms as Quakers were not baptised into the faith. Each record contains both a transcript and an image of the original documents. Post 1776 birth records contain the date of birth, place of birth including the locality, parish and county, the parents’ names, often including the occupation of the father, the child’s name and the names of witnesses.

The Society of Friends (Quaker) Marriages 1578-1841 contain over 90,000 records. Their reputation for meticulous record keeping enabled them to gain exemption from the Clandestine Marriage Act of 1753 which made the keeping of banns registers mandatory and instructed that all marriages must take place in a Church of England parish. Each record contains a transcript and an image of original material. Post 1776 marriage records include the names and often occupation of the father of both bride and groom as well as the signatures of all witnesses present – frequently quite a long list with family of the bride and groom listed separately. These later records will also sometimes record the form of words spoken by the bride and groom in their vows.

The Society of Friends (Quaker) Burials 1578-1841 contain over 250,000 records. Quaker burial records are highly unusual but can be very informative. As Quakers believed in the priesthood of all believers and did not conduct sacramental ceremonies, the records take the form of a contract with the person who was to make the grave (the undertaker). Burial records charged the grave maker to dig a grave for the deceased and bury them before or on a certain date. The next of kin would sign the agreement as would the grave maker. Each record contains a transcript and an image of original material.


Surrey, Southwark St George the Martyr Workhouse records

The Southwark St George the Martyr Workhouse records 1729-1826 consist of a mixture of over 21,000 guardian minutes and records of overseer’s payments. The Board of Guardians comprised elected representatives from the parish ratepayers who were responsible for the operations of the workhouse. Minute books detailed the day-to-day running of the institution. Names found within the minutes include inmates and staff such as teachers, nurses, etc. In 1836, Saint George the Martyr was aligned with Saint Saviour’s and Saint Mary Newington to create Saint Saviour’s Poor Law Union. Each record includes a transcript of details taken from the original records.

Australian Records

The New South Wales, Returned Soldiers Settlement Loan Files 1906-1960 are transcribed from an index consisting of over 7,000 individual files relating to ex-servicemen’s applications for financial assistance as part of a soldier settlement scheme following the First World War. During World War One, the Australian government cooperated with the various state governments to recognise soldiers returning from the war front for their service and provide them with support in the form of land for farming. Many settlers needed further financial support due to the high costs of materials and applied for loans from the Commonwealth Government.

Containing over 4,500 records, the New South Wales, Closer Settlement and Returned Soldiers Transfer Files 1907-1936 & 1951 contain information about land purchased under the Closer Settlement Acts of 1901 and 1904, the Closer Settlement (Amendment) Acts of 1906 and 1907 and The Returned Soldiers Settlement Act 1916.

Containing over 514,000 records, the Queensland Wills Index 1857-1940 was compiled from ecclesiastical files from three former Supreme Court districts of Queensland: the Northern District, based in Townsville; the Central District, based in Rockhampton; and the Southern District, based in Brisbane. The records list the details of not only those who died in Queensland, but also those who registered their will in this state but may have been or lived elsewhere at the time of their death.

Remember to check our dedicated Findmypast Fridays page every week to keep up to date with the latest new additions.

About Findmypast

Findmypast (previously DC Thomson Family History) is a British-owned world leader in online genealogy. It has an unrivalled record of online innovation in the field of family history and 18 million registered users across its family of online brands, which includes Mocavo, Genes Reunited, The British Newspaper Archive amongst others.

Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over two billion family history records, from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers and lots more. For members around the world, the site is a crucial resource for building family trees and doing detailed historical research.

In April 2003 Findmypast was the first to provide access to the complete birth, marriage, and death indexes for England & Wales, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Since that time, the company has digitized records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States.

About The National Archives

For the record, for good… The National Archives is a government department and an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). As the official archive of the UK government and England and Wales, we look after and make available to the public a collection of historical records dating back over 1,000 years, including records as diverse as Domesday Book and MI5 files.

Our 21st-century role is to collect and secure the future of the record, both digital and physical, to preserve it for generations to come, and to make it as accessible as possible. We do this by devising technological solutions to ensure the long-term survival of public records and working to widen access to our collection. The National Archives also advises on information management across government, publishes all UK legislation, manages Crown copyright and leads the archive sector. We work to promote and improve access to public sector information and its re-use. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk