The US National Genealogical Society (NGS) its 2022 Family History Conference in Sacramento, California, and presented awards to acknowledge and honor genealogical scholarship and service.
Speaking at a dinner where the awards were announced, Andre Kearns spoke about the opportunity genealogy offers us to uncover the stories of people traditionally excluded from historical narratives in his presentation, “Revealing Our Full American Mosaic.” Awards Committee Chair Judy Nimer Muhn opened the awards portion of the banquet.
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 American genealogy have had a great impact on the field and who have been deceased for at least five years. Their contributions to genealogy in this country need to be significant in a way that was unique,
pioneering, or exemplary. Entries are judged by a panel of genealogists from various parts of the United States.
This year, Clarence Almon Torrey, FASG, nominated by the American Society of Genealogists, was elected to the National Genealogy Hall of Fame.
Torrey was born 28 August 1869 in Manchester, Iowa; he died 5 February 1962 in Newton, Massachusetts. For forty–one years (1921–1962), he was actively engaged in the field of genealogy. From 1927 until his death, he compiled information on New England marriages. The compilation became a twelve–volume manuscript, titled “New England Marriages Prior to 1700.” It includes approximately 37,000 New England couples and was drawn from many thousands of references from printed sources. First published (without the references) in 1985, the manuscript has gone through many printings, eventually with notated references.
Torrey was elected a fellow in the American Society of Genealogists in 1942. As a contributing editor for its publication, The American Genealogist, Torrey provided numerous articles including “Marriages in England of Early American Immigrants,” “Some Early Marriages at Reading, Massachusetts,” and “Errors in Printed Massachusetts Vital Records.” He also published a number of genealogies and family histories including David Roe of Flushing, Long Island, and Some of His Descendants: A Record of Six Generations.
Torrey specialized in uncovering English origins and identifying the maiden names of the wives of seventeenth century New England and Long Island colonists. He was a careful, meticulous researcher. His long and extensive labors in the field of New England genealogy made him an “elder statesman” to other genealogists.
The Lou D. Szucs Distinguished Service Award recognizes exemplary contributions to the mission of NGS. At the banquet, the Board of Directors presented the award to Janet Bailey, Frances Millhouser, Connie Jeremiah, and Shirley Langdon Wilcox, CG, FNGS, FVGS, for their outstanding service to NGS. When NGS moved to new offices in 2017, the paper archives of the society were stored in a basement which flooded in 2021. This team of volunteers dedicated more than 300 hours through the summer and fall of 2021 to the preservation of these documents. They dried and organized over forty bankers boxes of documents during the pandemic, providing all the necessary work needed to save these historical items of the Society.
The Award of Merit is presented to an individual or non–profit genealogical or historical organization to recognize exceptional contributions to the field of genealogy over a period of five or more years, which have significantly aided research or increased interest in genealogy. This year the NGS Board of Directors presented the award to Kathleen Hrenko Rubano. She has been a member of the Bristol Chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, Inc. (MSOG) for more than ten years with six of those years as president of the Chapter.
Rubano has devoted much of her time helping to promote the study of genealogy beginning with novice learners to those with advanced skills. As president of Bristol Chapter (2013–2019), she was the driving force in the recruitment of new members and arranging for quality monthly presentations. She also presented a “Getting into Genealogy” program to community groups, local libraries, and other organizations interested in genealogy, a project in which she continues to participate. She was instrumental in creating an “International Ancestry Day” when members volunteer to share family stories and the techniques used during their research as well as ethnic food associated with the topics of the day. Rubano continues to offer her volunteer service to the local Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) chapter and Massachusetts State Archives.
Awards for Excellence are presented for a specific, significant single contribution in the form of a family genealogy or family history book, a publication discussing
or demonstrating genealogical methods and sources, or an article published in the NGS Quarterly. Entries serve to foster scholarship and/or otherwise advance
or promote excellence in genealogy.
- Award for Excellence: Genealogy and Family History Book
This year’s recipient is Pamela Stone Eagleson, CG, for Descendants of Thomas Stone, ca. 1720–1791 of Prince William County, Virginia. Amherst, Mass.: P. S. Eagleson, 2021. Second place went to Karen Stein Daniel, CG, for Victor Massé and Emilie Lucile Vincent from the First French Republic to the Republic of Texas. San Antonio, Tex.: K. S. Daniel, 2020.
- Award for Excellence: Genealogical Methods and Sources
This year’s recipients are Sunny Jane Morton and Harold Henderson,CG, for How to Find Your Family History in U.S. Church Records. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2021. Second place went to Robert. W. Johnson, JD, CG, and Elizabeth Williams Gomoll, CG, for Husförhörslӓngder: Swedish Household Examination Records: Framing the Solutions to Your Swedish Ancestry Puzzles. St. Paul, Minn.: Johnson & Gomoll, 2021.
- Award for Excellence: National Genealogical Society Quarterly
Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FUGA, FVGS, received the award for “Correct Interpretation of an Eighteenth–Century Virginia Will Restores the Parents of Allerton Newton of Westmoreland County, Virginia.” published in the December 2021 issue of the NGSQ