The North Carolina Genealogical Society Awards for 2004:
- THE AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN PERIODICAL PUBLISHING for a periodical published by a local North Carolina genealogical society goes to Pitt County Family Researchers Quarterly.
The Pitt County Family Researchers Quarterly is dedicated to collecting, preserving and sharing genealogical and historical information. The magazine has become a valuable resource and is highly acclaimed in historical circles. It provides transcriptions of original documents like court records, deeds, wills, letters and Bible records.
The Pitt County records from 1760 to 1858 were burned, except for the deeds, which makes every early record valuable. For the past 10 years the Quarterly’s goal has been to discover and put into print rare genealogical records of Pitt County, neighboring counties and eastern North Carolina. The Quarterly publishes only original unpublished documents that have been submitted by the members and the editor, Roger Kammerer.
The editor, Mr. Kammerer, while not a North Carolina native has called Swansboro, NC home since the first grade. He attended Eastern Carolina University and now works as a free-lance artist in Greenville, NC. In high school, he became became “immersed” in North Carolina history and genealogy thanks to a friend, State and local historian, Tucker Reed Littleton of Swansboro. Mr. Kammerer has been the editor of the Quarterly for 9 of the 10 years of its existence and is the current president of the Pitt County Family Researchers. He is well known in eastern North Carolina as being the consummate researcher, ferreting out many unknown records at the North Carolina Archives and in Private Collections. He has a reputation of being extremely generous with sharing his information. Mr. Kammerer is the author or co-author of 19 books on local records and genealogy and for nearly 20 years he has written a local history column in the Greenville Times, an entertainment newspaper.
Ms. Elizabeth (Betsy) Ross, an equally avid researcher, has assisted the editor since the beginning. She is a native of Edenton, NC and also attended Eastern Carolina University where she later taught painting and drawing for 25 years. She retired from the School of Art teaching digital imaging. She became interested in genealogy in the late 1970s and has become the author of a dozen books on Pitt County records and genealogy. She created the organization’s website and has been very active promoting genealogy on the internet.
Local members of the Society also assist by preparing the Quarterly for mailing to the members. The Pitt County Family Researchers and the Quarterly are celebrating their Tenth Anniversary this Fall.
- THE AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN PUBLISHING for a book, or set of books, of abstracts or transcriptions of original North Carolina primary source material goes to Martin County, NC Church RecordsFrom Bear Grass Conoho Skewarkey Smithwick Creek Primitive Baptist Churches, Martin County Genealogical Society.
According to the award nomination and the book’s introduction, maintaining birth and death records was not mandated until 1913. Before that time the primary source of records were family bibles, wills, word of mouth and information on tombstones. One source that is overlooked or is not readily available is church records.
In this volume, records from four (4) early churches in a “burned county”, the Primitive Baptist Churches at Bear Grass, Conoho, Skewarkey and Smithwick Creek are made available for researchers.
A “burned county” is a county that sustained a major loss of records often when the courthouse burned down. According North Carolina Research,1 edited by Helen Leary and The Formation of the North Carolina Counties 1663-1943 2 by David Leroy Corbitt, Martin County was formed in 1774 and its most recent loss of records was in 1884. Records in all four churches extend back well into the period of lost records with one of the earliest being 1785.
A brief history introduces each set of church records. The records may include birth, death, date joined or was excluded from church, became an elder, deacon or pastor, etc. Transcribed by members, Easter Mizell and Hilda Lee, every effort was made to correctly decipher the hand written records. To keep their records correct, if a name appears more than once or with various spellings no changes were made.
The 8 ½ X 11-inch soft-covered book contains 84 pages and an index that includes a list of slaves or servants found in the records.
To quote one of our judges “This book is a valuable addition to the publication of transcriptions of
original North Carolina source material.”
1 North Carolina Research: Genealogy and Local History, Second Edition; Editor: Helen F. M. Leary, C.G., F.A.S.G.; Raleigh: North Carolina Genealogical Society, 1996.2 The Formation of the North Carolina Counties 1663-1943, David Leroy Corbitt, Division of Archives and History, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, Raleigh, NC, 1987.
- THE AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN PUBLISHING for a book of secondary material, or family history relevant to North Carolina, and published within eighteen months preceding the award goes to A Family History/Genealogy of The SCHAUSS/SHOUSE Family in North Carolina 1755 - 1900 by Rev. Nelson Weller, Ph. D.
Dr. Weller holds memberships in many local, state, and national genealogical societies. He held offices in several of those societies including serving for five (5) years on the North Carolina Genealogical Society Board of Directors. He teaches Genealogy as an adjunct at Forsyth Tech. Community College and is the Pastor Emeritus, First United Church of Christ, Winston-Salem. He retired in 1992 and celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ordination in May. He is currently the Supply Pastor Elk Spur United Church of Christ, Fancy Gap, VA. He holds three (3) bachelor's degrees, two (2) masters’ and a Ph.D. He earned and holds a professional genealogist certificate from B.Y.U. and has been researching family history since 1948.
According to the inside cover page of this book, the original version of this book was presented as a dissertation to the Union Institute and University of Cincinnati, Ohio, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree with a concentration in Family History/Genealogy.
The degree was awarded in February 2004. It was the first time a fully accredited University had granted a doctoral degree in the field.
This project began with a request “Can you fill in our family line? We know pretty much back to greatgrandfather.” Finding the direct line back to 1620 wasn’t difficult. The findings were delivered but it didn’t end there. In the author’s words: What I also found was an interesting fact that led to a statement which no clear thinking genealogist would make nor a trained genealogist should make, i. e. “This family is unique in that there is only one colonial progenitor and everyone by the name Schauss is one of his descendants.” The trouble is that after working on this family for some time I am still making the same statement and have found nothing to indicate that it is in error.... It is the family
history of Johann Adam Schauss of Albisheim, Pfalz. ( a region in the southwest section of present day Germany.
The introduction states that this man left his homeland in 1736, traveled with his family to the British colonies in North America, settled in the colony of Pennsylvania for thirty years and then moved to the Piedmont section of the colony of North Carolina, as did four of his sons. One of those son’s remained in North Carolina when the others moved on to new areas, so that from one man and one son, descend all those written about in this work.
The genealogical sections are written in the Modified Registered System, recommended by the National Genealogical Society.
The family history section traces all the male lines during the period of 1620 to 1900 and presents at least one generation of the female lines after their names changed through marriage. Where possible, all facts presented are documented from primary sources. When primary sources were lacking, secondary sources were used, usually with an explanation of the nature of the source. One family line leaving few records made it necessary to assemble its make-up by a process of deduction.
The second section includes ten appendixes presenting the sources used with one additional appendix, The Final Analysis. It contains the process of deduction and the rationale that was used to determine the make-up of this part of the family as well as the research to determine the unrelated African American families that took the surname Shouse after 1865.
The introduction also points out a man by the name of Johann Georg Schauss who arrived at the Port of Philadelphia in 1739 but through research and the process of elimination does not appear to be related to Johann Adam Schauss of Albisheim, Pfalz nor that the family name was continued through Johann Georg Schauss.
The thorough introduction provides a glimpse into the thoroughness of his research, an explanation of the numbering system and system of documentation, a brief explanation of county history in the region, definitions of unusual terms used, spelling, the index, the calendar systems/dates, and the bibliography. The sources used in the Introduction are documented too.
This book contains photographs, images of original records, tables of extracted and transcribed records. It combines history, stories, data and analysis.
The award nomination states One of my hopes when writing the dissertation was, that it would present in modified register form with full documentation, a work that would serve as a model of one way to present family history….It goes on to say The second reason is that the Schauss/Shouse family is a typical example of the German-American families that settled in the Piedmont area of our state. They produced no outstandingly notable persons, yet every member of the family is a solid citizen and patriot. This family has the normal problems experienced by many families, including a few that might be considered “black sheep.” Because it is a “typical” family, I believe that fact makes its history that much more appealing to the majority of the people, who also tend to come from “typical” families.” A
third reason for presenting this work is Appendix K, which is devoted to using just about all our genealogical “tricks of the trade” to determine who are the children and grandchildren of one family who left a minimum of records.
This book is a wonderful example that we could all use for reference as we produce our own genealogies and family histories.
- THE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO THE NORTH CAROLINA GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY BY A MEMBER goes to Judith G. Hinton.
Judith Garner Hinton (Judi) was elected the NCGS Board as an At-Large member in 1992. In 1993, she accepted the job of NCGS Treasurer. It was a good day for our society and a turning point in our record keeping. Judi brought her knowledge and expertise in bookkeeping and computer technology to NCGS. Her first job was a big one -- to compile, heretofore, scattered data and prepare an accurate view of NCGS finances. Her hard work made the board focus
on what we were doing and what we needed to do to be fiscally sound. For over ten years she has continued to keep a close eye on our finances. Judi is so diligent about NCGS finances that her treasurer's reports are always peppered
with cautionary advice. On the other hand, no one celebrates our fiscal victories more than Judi.
Besides keeping us informed about our finances, Judi has volunteered for many society jobs. She has been incredibly helpful to other board members by firmly leading us "kicking and screaming" into the computer age. She and husband, Dwight, have been very conscientious about attending board meetings across the state as ambassadors for NCGS. She is also a warm hostess, delightful conversationalist and a good genealogist. NCGS was blessed when Judi Hinton decided to get involved.