The 2011 NCGS Awards were presented at the NCGS annual meeting held in conjunction with the Fall Workshop on 29 October 2011 at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh. Several individuals were recognized for their contributions to the North Carolina genealogical community through their published efforts and to the North Carolina Genealogical Society.
Several individuals were recognized for their contributions to the North Carolina genealogical community through their published efforts and to the North Carolina Genealogical Society.
- The Award for Excellence in Periodical Publishing for a newsletter published by a local North Carolina genealogical society was presented to Roslyn Panichas, editor of WCGS Updates, the newsletter of the Wake County Genealogical Society. Accepting the award was Diane Richard, president of the society. This quarterly publication is never printed but is delivered electronically as a Wake County Genealogical Society member benefit. Its editor provides useful and timely information to WCGS members and always has content that will be helpful and interesting to all readers. Giving notice of current and noteworthy events of the society and other societies, libraries, and classes in the Wake County area, the newsletter also presents good articles and is a treasure trove for genealogists who enjoy researching on their home computers.
- The Award for Excellence in Periodical Publishing for a journal published by a local North Carolina genealogical society was presented to Hope Blackford, editor of Wake Treasures, published by the Wake County Genealogical Society. Accepting the award were society representatives Diane Richard, president, and June Lioret. Two times each year since 2005, Hope Blackford, who is soon to retire as journal editor, has created issue after issue of a journal that is full of names, history, and useful information relating to Wake County genealogy. This journal is chock full of abstracts, articles, case studies, a variety of genealogical tidbits, and much more. The journal is very well documented with sources for each and every article and abstract and is every name indexed. Wake Treasures is available also as an electronic version, accessible as a WCGS member benefit.
- The Award for Excellence in Publishing for a book, or set of books, of abstracts or transcriptions of original North Carolina primary source material and published within eighteen months preceding the award was presented to Laura Edwards for Dead or Disabled: The North Carolina Confederate Pensions 1885 Series. This very timely book, published as we mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, abstracts over 4,600 Confederate pension claims filed under the 1885 pension law enacted by the North Carolina General Assembly. A valuable resource for genealogists and historians, it will serve to make more researchers aware of this record and will provide greater access to information that supplements and sometimes corrects what is in service records, especially when the military records are incomplete.
- The Award for Excellence in Publishing for a book of secondary source material relevant to North Carolina and published within eighteen months preceding the award was presented to Marie Benge Craig Roth for History of Davie County Schools. Two years of researching and writing went into this history that preserves, in print, a wealth of information on over 140 schools that existed in Davie County from 1847 to the present. Using a variety of printed, oral, and original official resources (some often overlooked by genealogists), this publication provides a valuable added resource for Davie County historical and genealogical researchers.
- The Award for Excellence in Publishing for a book of family history relevant to North Carolina and published within eighteen months preceding the award was presented to Dr. John Quinly Williams Jr. for Our Roots: African Origins and the Reclaimed Legacy of Three American Families. Inspired and driven since childhood by family stories about slavery and Africa, Dr. Williams spent forty-eight years of research that took him from front porch family gatherings to courthouses, libraries, and archives in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, and ultimately to West Africa. The heart of the book revolves around his ancestors and elders in four North Carolina counties. Williams made good use of his family’s oral tradition as well as modern genealogical resources, including DNA, to research—as well as possible—the very difficult subject of African American ancestry. He passes on his family legacy to future generations in this family history that reads like a story rather than just facts and figures.
- The Award for Outstanding Contribution to NCGS by a Member for an individual whose work within the NCGS has been outstanding was presented to Sharon Gable. Sharon was chosen for this award for her dedication to the North Carolina Loose Estates project. Her commitment to this project has taken many, many hours of her time, and her participation has been at least double, if not triple, the output of any other individual involved in the project. Her contributions to the Loose Estates Project are even more remarkable when you consider that, because she lives in the boondocks somewhere outside of Suffolk, Virginia, she does not have high-speed Internet access. Sharon’s enthusiasm for this project is evident in this comment from her: “Coming from a state without estate records like these I can really appreciate them. … They are truly gems.”
- The Award for Outstanding Contribution to North Carolina Genealogy for an individual whose outstanding genealogical contributions have greatly enhanced the study of family history in North Carolina was presented to Helen Bell Leverton. Finding her Georgia ancestors in North Carolina records long before they moved further south was just the beginning of Mrs. Leverton’s involvement in North Carolina research. After she and her husband retired to Moore County she joined with others to start the Moore County Genealogical Society and became its first president, from the start advocating and initiating informative programs to exchange information. Mrs. Leverton soon became associated with the North Carolina Genealogical Society through her friendship with Helen Leary, who persuaded her to do some work for its board, and in 1987 and 1988 Leverton served as its Program Chairman.
Even though she moved to Cary in 1993, she continued supporting the Moore County society. She even managed to organize a small genealogy group at her retirement home. When the Moore County society fell on hard times in 2002 and was near extinction, Helen Leverton rushed from Cary to save her baby. The society started again with Helen as president, and by 2004 MCGS was again conducting workshops. Helen is now 94 years YOUNG but still plays an active role in the Moore County society and her local genealogy group.
- The NCGS Board also expressed its thanks to three individuals who have served in several capacities in the society and are leaving their positions. Certificates of Appreciation for Outstanding Performance and Commitment were awarded to Jeffrey Haines for his work as Journal Editor and Parliamentarian, to Carrie Henry for her work as Book Review Editor, and to Ann Basnight as Past President.