2019 NCGS Awards

The Awards Committee is pleased to present the winners of its 2019 NCGS Awards that honor outstanding contributions to the North Carolina genealogical community.

Back row, L-R: Kay Tillotson, Cyndi Deal, Denise McLain, Ashley Sedlak-Propst, Morgan Jackson, Roy A. Archbell Jr., Chotsey Winborne
Front row, L-R: Sharon Rea Gable, Pam Toms
Photo courtesy Maryann Tuck

The Award for Excellence in Periodical Publishing for a newsletter published by a local North Carolina genealogical society is presented to Wake Genealogy Watch, published by the Wake County Genealogical Society and edited by Cyndi Deal.

This newsletter is easily readable and clearly laid out. It updates members on society happenings as well as other genealogical events happening in the area. There are also a wide variety of articles covering everything from helpful websites to new DNA tools. The newsletter is distributed electronically and is accessible to both members and non-members at https://www.wakecogen.org.

The Award for Excellence in Periodical Publishing for a journal published by a local North Carolina genealogical society recognizes The Cabarrus Golden Nugget, published by the Cabarrus County Genealogy Society and edited by Ashley Sedlak-Propst and Denise Steward McLain.

With the merging of the Cabarrus County Genealogy Society and the Historic Cabarrus Association, Inc., The Cabarrus Golden Nugget became a joint publication effort and was redesigned. The new journal contains a wide variety of articles including case studies, local histories, family trees, and transcriptions. An interesting article published last year used genealogical resources to tell the story of a man who was enslaved, but came to own land after the Civil War only to lose it after the end of Reconstruction. Genealogical and historical articles and resources are married together in a journal of interest to all.

The Award for Excellence in Web Presence for a freely accessible website promoting North Carolina genealogy is presented to The Wallace Family of Moore County, North Carolina (https://moorecountywallaces.com/), webmaster Morgan Jackson

The Wallace Family of Moore County, North Carolina, is a comprehensive website focusing on the Moore family that includes family trees, Bible records, DNA results, land records, and more. With all the detailed information and original documents that have been scanned and linked to individuals, this site could be beneficial to anyone doing research in North Carolina, even if they were not directly related to the Wallace family. There are several allied families included in a database of over 45,000 people. With the searchable name index, it is easy to check if your ancestor is listed on the website. 

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 2019 closing date) is presented to Camden County, North Carolina, Deed Books G-H, 1795-1799 by Sharon Rea Gable.

This volume is the third published in the Camden County Deed series. The deeds were abstracted instead of transcribed, making it more clear and concise, and easier for the reader to interpret the information from a difficult record set. There are also extensive footnotes that add critical information any genealogist or historian would find valuable. This is a wonderful resource for anyone researching Camden County land ownership. 

Order from The Family Research Society of Northeastern North Carolina, 410 East Main Street, Suite 204, Elizabeth City, North Carolina 27909 or from the author, 2971 Desert Road, Suffolk, Virginia 23434.

The Award for Excellence in a Publication Relevant to North Carolina Genealogy (and published within eighteen months preceding the 15 August 2019 closing date) is presented to Berea Notebook: Tracing the Early History of Berea, North Carolina, through Property Deeds by Chotsey Winborne.

The Berea Notebook details the early history of the area through the painstaking work the author has done tracing the land ownership through property deeds. Additional research was done on the families mentioned in the deeds and notes are included that reference other genealogical information found. Some of the deeds were platted and include colorful illustrations with clear links to ownership. The book is very nicely laid out and presents an interesting take on researching the history of an area.  

Order from BW&A Books (https://bwabooks.com/portfolio/histories/)

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 2019 closing date) is presented to Archbell Genealogy: The Descendants of John Archbell of Beaufort County, North Carolina, by Roy A. Archbell, Jr

Roy Archbell, Jr.’s, incorporation of photographs, illustrations, maps, and other documentation along with rich detailed biographical stories make Archbell Genealogy not only a good family history but also a good read. The book traces descendants of John Archbell from the 17th century to the present and reflects an amazing amount of research. Overall, this is an excellent book. 

Order from the author: 6300 Moncap Trail, Roanoke, Virginia 24018 (royarchbell@yahoo.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 is presented to Kay Tillotson

If you’ve visited the State Library of North Carolina, then you have probably met Kay Tillotson. She served as Genealogical Reference Librarian there from 2001 until her retirement this year. Her major contributions to North Carolina genealogy center around her depth of knowledge and her willingness and ability to help answer any genealogical question a patron might bring to her, all with patience and a cheerful demeanor. If she didn’t know the answer to a question, she would dig to find it. She could often be found at genealogical workshops either attending to improve her own knowledge or presenting to others. She has also served on committees for the North Carolina Genealogical Society and frequently attended the society’s events. Though her retirement is well deserved, her smiling face and in depth knowledge of North Carolina genealogy will be missed at the State Library by genealogists everywhere. 

The Award for Outstanding Contribution to NCGS by a Member for an individual whose work within NCGS has been outstanding is presented to Pam Toms.

Pam Toms served as the Chair of the NCGS Awards Committee for several years, which included soliciting nominations, organizing the judging, ordering the plaques, and notifying all the winners as well as writing the award winner summaries. She also has contributed greatly as a volunteer for the NCGS Journal. She not only abstracts and transcribes records, but also researches and offers a critical evaluation of the material. Pam’s librarian background, her attention to detail and accuracy, and her willingness to tackle less-defined explorations of materials to see how they might benefit genealogists has really benefited the NCGS Journal and helped expand the possibilities of where genealogists just might find a genealogical gem.

The Awards Committee thanks all who submitted nominations to help NCGS recognize and honor worthy individual and society accomplishments in publishing and personal 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 expresses its thanks to the following individuals who have served in official capacities in the society and are leaving their positions. Certificates of Appreciation for Outstanding Performance and Exceptional Commitment are awarded to Cassandra Shaw, 2nd Vice President and Publications Committee Chair; Phyllis Matthews Ziller, Newsletter Editor, and Tim Pinnick and Diane L. Richard, Nominating Committee Members.