Nominations sought for NGS Hall of Fame

Thirty two times, the genealogical community has honored one of our best, one that we’ve lost.

ngshofThirty two times, the focus has been on someone who has made contributions to the field of genealogy that were of lasting significance in ways that were unique, pioneering, or exemplary.

Thirty two times, individual genealogists and groups have nominated those persons whose achievements or contributions have made an impact on the field — and one has been selected: a genealogist whose unique, pioneering, or exemplary work lives on today.

Thirty two times.

Starting in 1986 with Donald Lines Jacobus and continuing to 2017 with Peter Stebbins Craig, 24 men and eight women have been elected to the National Genealogy Hall of Fame.

Jacobus, the first person chosen, was “nominated for this honor by the American Society of Genealogists, the Genealogical Society of Utah, and the DuPage County (IL) Genealogical Society. During his lifetime, Jacobus was widely regarded as the dean of American genealogists, and he is recognized as the founder of the modern school of genealogy in the United States. He was the editor and publisher of The American Genealogist for forty-three years, and he may have been the most prolific genealogical writer of any generation. His writings include the classic, Genealogy as Pastime and Profession. On his death, he was described by his colleague Milton Rubincam, as ‘the man who more than any other single individual elevated genealogy to the high degree of scholarship it now occupies.’”1

Craig, the most recent honoree, was an expert on New Sweden and its genealogy:

Peter Stebbins Craig was born in Brooklyn, New York, on 30 September 1928 and died in Washington, D.C., on 26 November 2009. A devoted historian and relentless genealogist, he specialized in publishing genealogies of the first European settlers of southeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. This settlement, better known as New Sweden, began in 1638 along both sides of the Delaware River. His pioneering research and significant publications on the early Swedish settlers in the Delaware Valley earned him fellowships from both the American Society of Genealogists and the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania in 1991. In recognition of his contributions to Swedish history, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden bestowed on him the title of Knight First Class of the Royal Order of the Polar Star in 2002. He was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 by the Swedish Colonial Society in Philadelphia.

 

He was the founder of the journal Swedish Colonial News, published by the Swedish Colonial Society. There he published dozens of his articles on Swedish and Finnish in southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He served as both historian and genealogist for the Society. He also chaired the publication committee that initiated the Gloria Dei Church records series titled Colonial Records of the Swedish Churches in Pennsylvania. Now in six volumes, this indispensable reference work details the church records for the years 1646-1768. He left his extensive research collection including books and monographs to the Society. They are adding his research, “The Craig Collection,” to the Society’s website.

 

As contributing editor for the Swedish American Genealogist, he published numerous articles. Especially notable are his “New Sweden Settlers,” an eight-part series that ran from 1996 to 1999, and “The 1693 Census of Swedes on the Delaware,” a series published 1989 to 1991.

 

Peter Stebbins Craig received his BA from Oberlin College in 1950 and his law degree from Yale Law School in 1953. Prior to his career in genealogy, he was a lawyer specializing in railway law in various private and government positions. He served on the boards of the Swedish Colonial Society and the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania and often lectured on the “Antient Swedes.”2

In between, a wide variety of genealogical giants: Walter Goodwin Davis (1987); Gilbert Cope (1988); John Farmer (1989); George Andrews Moriarty, Jr. (1990); Lucy Mary Kellogg (1991); Meredith Bright Colket, Jr. (1992); Henry Fitzgilbert Waters (1993); Archibald Fowler Bennett (1994); Joseph Lemuel Chester (1995); George Ernest Bowman (1996); John Insley Coddington (1997); Jean Stephenson (1998); James Dent Walker (1999); Rabbi Malcolm H. Stern (2000); Richard Stephen Lackey (2001); Hannah Benner Roach (2002); Milton Rubincam (2003); Herbert Furman Seversmith (2004); Mary Campbell (Lovering) Holman (2005); Kenn Stryker-Rodda (2006); Walter Lee Sheppard, Jr. (2007); Lowell M. Volkel (2008); Willard Calvin Heiss (2009); Rosalie Fellows Bailey (2010); Albert Cook Myers (2011); Josephine Cosette Mayou Stillman Frost (2012); Earl Gregg Swem (2013); Florence Harlow Barclay (2014); Donald Arleigh Sinclair (2015); and Marsha Hoffman Rising (2016).3

Thirty two of our best… And it’s up to us to help select the 33rd person.

The National Genealogical Society and the National Genealogy Hall of Fame Committee are seeking nominations from the entire genealogical community for persons whose achievements or contributions have made an impact on the field. The next honoree and the society that honored the nominee will be announced at the NGS 2018 Family History Conference in Grand Rapids in May.

Nominations for election to the National Genealogy Hall of Fame are made by genealogical societies and historical societies throughout the United States, and have to be submitted by 31 January 2018.

Here are the guidelines for nominations:

• “A nominee must have been actively engaged in genealogy in the United States for at least ten years, must have been deceased for at least five years at the time of nomination, and must have made contributions to the field of genealogy judged to be of lasting significance in ways that were unique, pioneering, or exemplary.”4

• “The National Genealogy Hall of Fame is an educational project in which the entire genealogical community is invited to participate. Affiliation with the National Genealogical Society is not required.”5

• “The National Genealogy Hall of Fame Committee elects one person to the Hall of Fame annually. Those elected are permanently commemorated in the Hall of Fame at Society headquarters, Arlington, Virginia.”6

• “Nominations for election to the National Genealogy Hall of Fame are due by 31 January each year. Official nomination forms are available from our website, www.ngsgenealogy.org, Awards & Competitions, or by contacting the National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22204-4304; phone 1-800-473- 0060.”7

Here’s a link to the official nomination form so no excuses!

Let’s all put on our thinking caps and consider those who were among our best… those we can honor for their service to our community.

It only takes a few minutes to help honor and remember a lifetime of service.


SOURCES

  1. “DONALD LINES JACOBUS Elected 1986,” National Genealogy Hall of Fame Members, National Genealogical Society (http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/ : accessed 28 Nov 2017).
  2. Ibid., “PETER STEBBINS CRAIG Elected 2017.”
  3. Ibid.
  4. Call for Nominations,” National Genealogical Society (http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/ : accessed 28 Nov 2017).
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Ibid.
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