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Call for NGS Hall of Fame nominations

This is SLIG week for The Legal Genealogist — the 2018 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy is now starting its fourth day at the Salt Lake Hilton, and everyone is having a ball.

Ballot_box_current.svgMore than 380 students in a dozen classes learning about everything from law to DNA to research in different locations like the Great Lakes Region or Portugal to methodology and genealogical writing. How much better does it get than that?

Yesterday, in my course, Corpus Juris: Advanced Legal Concepts for Genealogists, the students had a field day on a field trip to the University of Utah law library — and I hope most came away with confidence that they could use the law library records in the future.

And this all makes for very little time for writing. So this week is at best going to be hit and miss with the word-of-the-day, and today’s word is a little different. It’s nominate.

As in: your genealogical or historical society can nominate a candidate for the National Genealogical Society’s Hall of Fame award — but it has to act now.

Because the deadline is January 31.

Here’s the information:

The National Genealogy Hall of Fame is an educational project sponsored by the National Genealogical Society. The entire genealogical community is invited to participate in this project.


By focusing on the history of genealogy in the United States and on those elected to the Hall of Fame, there will be an increased awareness and appreciation of the high standards those persons advocated and achieved.


The National Genealogy Hall of Fame Committee, a group of distinguished genealogists from throughout the nation, elects one person to the Hall of Fame annually. Those elected are permanently commemorated in the Hall of Fame located in the headquarters of the National Genealogical Society in Arlington, Virginia, and in the virtual Hall of Fame on (the NGS) website. See National Genealogy Hall of Fame.1

Now… there are certain requirements for an individual to be considered:

1. The nominee must have been actively engaged in the field of genealogy in the United States for at least ten years.


2. The nominee must have been deceased for at least five years at the time of nomination.


3. The nominee must have made a contribution or contributions to the field of genealogy in the United States judged to be significant in a way that is unique, pioneering, or exemplary. The nature of those contributions may include, but need not be limited to, the following:


• authored books or articles that added significantly to the body of published works, and/or that serve as models of genealogical research and writing;
• made genealogical source records more readily available to the public by preserving, transcribing, translating, abstracting, indexing, and/or publishing such records;
• shared with others knowledge of genealogical research methods and sources through teaching and lecturing and/or publication of educational materials; and
• contributed time, labor, and leadership to a genealogical organization or a genealogical periodical publication, thus enabling that organization or publication to make significant contributions to the field of genealogy in the United States.2

And nominations have to come from genealogy societies or similar organization on the official nomination form, and mailed by the deadline — January 31 — to the National Genealogy Hall of Fame, 6400 Arlington Blvd, Suite 810, Falls Church, VA 22042-2318, or mailed electronically to [email protected] (And, of course, electronic submissions are encouraged.) Nominations can be supported by letters from other societies.

The rules specify that all nominations have to have email contact information, include a photograph of the nominee that can be enlarged and framed for display in the Hall of Fame, and must be signed by an officer of the nominating society.

So this is a real opportunity for each of our genealogical societies to honor a genealogist whose efforts or legacy projects have helped us today. Perhaps there was a notable genealogist in our state or county whose name should be memorialized in the National Genealogy Hall of Fame, to take his or her place alongside those honored in prior years, starting with Donald Lines Jacobus in 1986 and continuing through Peter Stebbins Craig in 2017.

Think about it. And if your genealogical or historical society knows of a worthy candidate, well, the word of the day is… nominate.

But — once again — nominations must be in by January 31.


  1. National Genealogy Hall of Fame”, National Genealogical Society ( : accessed 25 Jan 2018).
  2. Ibid.
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