The 2012 NCGS Awards were presented at the NCGS annual meeting during the Fall Workshop on 13 October 2012 at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh. Eight individuals and societies representing northeasten, Piedmont, and western North Carolina were recognized for outstanding publications and personal contributions to the North Carolina genealogical community.
The award for excellence in periodical publishing for a newsletter published by a local North Carolina genealogical society went to Bob Peaseley, editor of Mecklenburg E-Messenger, the newsletter of the Olde Mecklenburg Genealogical Society. This monthly newsletter, which went electronic in March 2011, communicates news of the society to its members. Editor Peaseley was commended “for moving the OMG Society into the realm of electronic publishing.”
The award for excellence in periodical publishing for a journal published by a local North Carolina genealogical society was presented to Carolina Trees & Branches, published by the Family Research Society of Northeastern North Carolina. Accepting this award was Chris Oakley. This quarterly journal lives up to its goal to include at least one article specific to each of the seven northeastern counties in which it collects information—Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Pasquotank, and Perquimans, all “part of the original Albemarle County, the first organized and settled area of the Carolinas.”
The award for excellence in web presence for a freely accessible website promoting North Carolina genealogy went to the Albemarle Genealogical Society website at http://library.earlibrary.org/ags/. Dorothy Hocutt, Currituck County Library genealogist, accepted the award. The Albemarle Genealogical Society, which serves Currituck and Dare counties, and the East Albemarle Regional Library teamed up to launch the AGS website in April 2012. This young website is off to a good start in reaching genealogists near and far with online access to local, often unique, genealogical resources in the Currituck-Dare region.
The award for excellence in publishing for a book, or set of books, of abstracts or transcriptions of original North Carolina primary source material went to John Anderson Brayton for Annotated Transcriptions of Colonial Currituck County, North Carolina, Wills. This excellent, well-documented work covers 167 Currituck County wills signed before 1760 or included among the Secretary of State loose wills. John Brayton’s full transcriptions and the added bonus of thoroughly researched annotations will help genealogists read these wills and, in many cases, learn of other resources for further research.
The award for excellence in publishing for a book of secondary source material relevant to North Carolina was shared by two winners. Larry Crawford accepted the award for Macon County Cemeteries, Volume II (West of the Tennessee River), published by the Jackson County Genealogical Society. This well-done cemetery volume includes locations of and directions to over seventy cemeteries with practical comments, such as instances when “permission must be obtained” and alternate names of a particular cemetery. Jackson County Genealogical Society was commended for the significant work involved in transcribing these grave inscriptions and for producing a great resource book, which is a valuable contribution to Macon County and western North Carolina genealogy.
The second co-winner in this category is John Anderson Brayton for Order of First Families of North Carolina Ancestor Biographies Vol. 1 “The First Two Hundred.” This excellent, well-written work features detailed biographies of the first 200 families on the roster of the Order of First Families of North Carolina, which requires that one’s ancestor must have resided in North Carolina on or before 12 July 1729. Using his extensive knowledge of colonial Virginia and North Carolina, as well as numerous county and state records, published abstracts and transcriptions, Bible records, published sources, and some family genealogies that he considers “worthy of citation,” Brayton has expanded upon the members’ original research submitted for eligibility, explored the origins of each family, and added all known children and their spouses.The award for excellence in publishing for a book of secondary source material relevant to North Carolina was shared by two winners. Larry Crawford accepted the award for Macon County Cemeteries, Volume II (West of the Tennessee River), published by the Jackson County Genealogical Society. This well-done cemetery volume includes locations of and directions to over seventy cemeteries with practical comments, such as instances when “permission must be obtained” and alternate names of a particular cemetery. Jackson County Genealogical Society was commended for the significant work involved in transcribing these grave inscriptions and for producing a great resource book, which is a valuable contribution to Macon County and western North Carolina genealogy.
The award for excellence in publishing for a book of family history relevant to North Carolina went to Margo Lee Williams for Miles Lassiter (circa 1777-1850) An Early African-American Quaker from Lassiter Mill, Randolph County, North Carolina: My Research Journey to Home. Margo Williams’s engaging story begins with a few of her mother’s stories and carries the reader with her as she meets previously unknown Randolph County relatives. Her research odyssey leads her to a Lassiter family and a man named Miles Lassiter. Ms. Williams discovers that he was a free person of color and, even more to her surprise, a Quaker in Randolph County, one of very few African American Quakers admitted to formal membership in North Carolina. Margo Williams has bestowed Miles Lassiter his rightful place in history and left an amazing legacy for his descendants.
The award for outstanding contribution to NCGS by a member for an individual whose work with the NCGS has been outstanding was given to Terry Moore. Terry began her volunteer work with NCGS by assisting the Program Committee at society workshops. In 2007 she agreed to become secretary, taking on more than the prescribed tasks for this position. She helped transport numerous boxes of older, disordered society files and sorted through them, paper by paper, to determine which the society should retain. She then developed a retention system and organized all the society paperwork to ready the files for storage. Terry has served as the society’s liaison with the North Carolina State Archives’ Private Manuscript Archivist to develop guidelines for the internship program established by the Frances Wynne Fund. She has also been an auditor on the Loose Estates project. Terry’s attention to detail, her organizational abilities, and her aptitude for staying on top of matters have been immensely valuable in helping the NCGS board run more smoothly and efficiently.
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 given to Betsy Dodd Pittman. Betsy regularly travels to the North Carolina State Archives. She has copied 340 extant Burke tax lists and all 277 Burke election records. Back home in the Burke County Court House she has surveyed and inventoried records in the Register of Deeds and Clerk of Court offices. The wealth of data she has gathered from these record searches has helped establish transcription, abstraction, and publication projects of the Burke County Genealogical Society. A member of the Burke society for many years, Betsy has served as vice-president and program chair, president for three years, publicist for seven years, and society advisor since 2004, and has been made an Honorary Lifetime Member. She is a prolific contributor to the Journal of Burke County Genealogical Society in the form of transcriptions, abstracts, and instructional articles. Three of Betsy’s journal articles received D. T. Smithwick Newspaper & Magazine Article Awards from the North Carolina Society of Historians. She is a devoted volunteer in the North Carolina Room of the Burke County Public Library and has been involved in the North Carolina Genealogical Society by serving on the Board of Directors and as Book Review Editor. The North Carolina Society of Historians honored Mrs. Pittman with the 2005 Historian of the Year Award–West “for her numerous and extensive contributions to the preservation and dissemination of North Carolina historical records” and recognized her as “the epitome of what a researcher should be.”
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 Lucinda Glover for her work as program chair, Jordan Jones as webmaster, and Terry Moore as secretary.