2017 NCGS Awards

The Awards Committee is pleased to present the winners of its 2017 NCGS Awards that honor outstanding contributions to the North Carolina genealogical community.

front row: Lois Johnson Meekins
back row L-R: Mary Katherine Sherrill Lowder, Nancy Sherrill Wilson, Lisa Marley, Linda Gray Mayo, Phyllis Matthews Ziller, Dr. Laura R. Ostrander, Pam Toms, and Victoria P. Young

The Award for Excellence in Periodical Publishing for a newsletter published by a local North Carolina genealogical society recognizes the Albemarle Genealogical Society Newsletter, published by the Albemarle Genealogical Society and edited by Dr. Laura R. Ostrander.

The Albemarle Genealogical Society Newsletter is the primary communication device for this society serving Currituck and Dare counties. This attractive, easy to read, professional publication is nicely laid out. It is well organized, consistent, clean, and uncluttered. The use of color and the addition of many illustrations and photos make the newsletter visually appealing. Each issue keeps its members up to date with a society calendar, an upcoming meeting agenda and program schedule, and a coming events calendar with descriptions. An electronic version is distributed by email to current society members prior to each quarterly meeting. It features a variety of interesting and very readable articles. The Albemarle Genealogical Society Newsletter clearly meets its recently updated goals of keeping members informed, sharing information, and offering outreach to “genealogy enthusiasts unable to attend AGS functions.” The Albemarle Genealogical Society, which in 2017 is celebrating its 35th year, can take pride in this well-done publication.

Subscription included with AGS membership: Albemarle Genealogical Society, PO Box 2931, Elizabeth City, NC 27906-2931 or agsncnewsletter@gmail.com.

The Award for Excellence in Publishing for a book, or set of books, of abstracts or transcriptions of an original North Carolina record (and published within eighteen months preceding the 15 August 2017 closing date) is given to Early Hyde County, North Carolina Marriage Records: 1735-1899, edited by Linda Gray Mayo and published by the Hyde County Historical and Genealogical Society.

This well-done and well-presented hardcover book abstracts one marriage contract, sixty-three marriage bonds, and over three thousand licenses and certificates, the latter providing names of parents, race, date and place of marriage, officiant, and witnesses. It features a well-written and informative introduction on the development and recording of marriages in this state, the intention of the work, and identification of the records being abstracted. The book is alphabetized by grooms and has a brides’ index. It is a joy to use with its clean, uncluttered appearance and easy-to-follow layout, which organizes data in grids and identifies each column on each page. An easy-to-read font with surnames in bold facilitates a quick and easy location of a marriage record. With Early Hyde County, North Carolina Marriage Records, Linda Mayo and the Hyde County Historical and Genealogical Society have published a very valuable resource for Hyde County researchers.

Order information: Hyde County Historical and Genealogical Society, PO Box 517, Engelhard, NC 27824 or email romsandy@embarqmail.com.

The Award for Excellence in Publishing for a book of family history relevant to North Carolina genealogy (and published within eighteen months preceding the 15 August 2017 closing date) recognizes Ancestors and Descendants of John Vernon Guyer and Georgia Winifred Pate Guyer: Their North Carolina Heritage, Volumes I and II, by Nancy Sherrill Wilson and Mary Katherine Sherrill Lowder.

Sisters Nancy and Mary Katherine spent more than ten years of research gleaning sources from official repositories, published works, family interviews, and contributions from family members sharing information to create two hefty volumes of family history spanning dozens of generations from the seventeenth century to the present. This well-written work presents an easy-to-read font, a nice page layout, and a clean, uncluttered appearance. Each of the volumes feature a preface explaining the numbering system, an appendix with abbreviations and glossary of legal terms, a relationship chart, and, most importantly, name and geographical indexes. Illustrations of grave markers and home places, reproductions of official documents and personal signatures, maps, and tables enhance the vital data and biographical narratives. Numerous photographs are a treasure for descendants. Descendants of these Guyers who settled in Guilford and Forsyth counties and Pates who resided in Wayne County will welcome the comprehensiveness of this pleasant family history.

Order Information: Self published, 1594 Grace Landing Drive, Mebane, NC 27302-9620 or seeconrad@aol.com.

The Award for Outstanding Contribution to North Carolina Genealogy for an individual whose longtime genealogical contributions have greatly enhanced the study of family history in North Carolina honors Lois Johnson Meekins.

Instrumental in chartering the Albemarle Genealogical Society, Lois Meekins has been “a cornerstone” of that society since 1982 and has served in a number of leadership capacities, notably treasurer for over twenty years and also as newsletter editor. She is still active in the group and continues to share information and provide support. Her unanimous nomination by AGS proclaims that she “truly holds the institutional knowledge of the organization” and is “always the first person consulted when a question arises.” She served as Currituck County’s volunteer genealogist for many years and, with AGS, helped publish a number of valuable books, including the society’s first publication The Heritage of Currituck County, North Carolina and later The Histories of Currituck County, North Carolina Families. An outspoken advocate of cemetery preservation, Lois’ greatest long-lasting contribution is perhaps as the co-compiler of the valuable published comprehensive cemetery surveys of Currituck and Dare counties. In addition, she independently published Currituck County marriage records, Dare County death records, and Dare marriage records. With a lifelong interest in genealogy and particularly in preserving northeastern North Carolina family history, she has worked ceaselessly for accuracy and clear documentation for all genealogical work. It is clear that Lois Meekins has played a significant role in making and keeping her society strong over its 35 years.

 The Award for Outstanding Contribution to NCGS by a Member for an individual whose work with NCGS has been outstanding is presented to Lisa Marley.

Lisa transitioned seamlessly into the position of Treasurer and brought the NCGS up-to-date in software reporting and financial processes. Her experience with website design, technical knowledge, and can-do attitude contributed greatly to the successful completion of the new website. Lisa presented strategies for new membership levels and donation options and developed a working and active Finance Committee. She completed the 2016 society annual returns and saved the organization funds in excess of $1,000. For the NGS 2017 Conference she not only prepared sales forms but also took three days off work to spend their entirety in the NCGS booth. She did a fantastic job selling memberships and society publications at the conference, and then reconciled all transactions.

 The Award for Outstanding Contribution to NCGS by a Member for an individual whose work with NCGS has been outstanding is presented to Phyllis Matthews Ziller.

As NCGS newsletter editor, Phyllis has propelled NCGS News from a simple printed version to the electronic version with multi-links to provide more information to society members. In addition, as a volunteer, Phyllis edits NCGS correspondence, webinar flyers, brochures, and workshop print materials. She serves on the publicity, webinar, and program committees among other callings through the years. Phyllis makes society directors and committee chairs sound good as we receive the benefit of her editing skills. She supports and enhances the work of all directors and committees. In addition to her work with NCGS, she is also a volunteer proofreader for the NGS Magazine. In both 2009 and 2017 Phyllis served on the Local Host Committee for the NGS conference, which was a huge commitment of volunteer time.

The Awards Committee thanks all who submitted nominations to help NCGS recognize and honor worthy individual and society accomplishments in publishing and individual contributions to North Carolina genealogy by nominating their work for an NCGS Award this year.

These awards additionally serve not only to promote continued excellence in this field but also to inspire others to publish abstracts and transcriptions of original North Carolina records, cemetery and Bible records, family histories, and society journals and newsletters and to develop informative genealogical websites.

Certificates of Appreciation
The NCGS Board also expressed its thanks to several individuals who have served in official capacities in the society and are leaving their positions. Certificates of Appreciation for Outstanding Performance and Exceptional Commitment were awarded to Jennifer Crowder Daugherty as Director and Publicity Chair; Ann Christnacht Hilke as Past President; Lisa Lisson as Director and Membership Chair; Mabel Dillard, Nominating Committee; Virginia Thomas, Nominating Committee; and Victoria P. Young, President.

The Awards Committee wishes to acknowledge other nominees for the 2017 Awards

Break Every Yoke: The North Carolina Manumission Society, 1816-1834, by Roger N. Kirkman, for a publication relevant to North Carolina genealogy (Telikon Electronic Publishing, 2550 Bitting Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27104 or kirkman@telikom.com).

The Journal of the Forsyth County Genealogical Society, editor: Darla Johnson, for a journal published by a local North Carolina genealogical society (Forsyth County Genealogical Society, PO Box 30187, Winston-Salem, NC 27130-0187, with membership).

Samuel “Sam” West (deceased), Robeson County, for outstanding contribution to North Carolina genealogy.