WSGS Awards Announced at Annual Meeting in Yakima

Many thanks are extended to the Yakima Valley Genealogical Society for hosting the WSGS Annual Meeting and Awards Event on Saturday, 22 April 2017. The annual meeting was held in conjunction with YVGS’s Spring Seminar featuring Jay Fonkert, a Minnesota-based genealogy researcher, educator, and writer who focuses on nineteenth-century Midwest research. Nearly 90 people attended the seminar and annual meeting.

WSGS Vice President Donna Phillips presenting Outstanding Volunteer Award to Patricia McCann Manning from the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society.

Region 6 Representative Janet McKinnon presenting an Outstanding Team member award to husband Mikal McKinnon for his work on the Tri-City Genealogical Society’s Library Recataloging and Renumbering Team.

During the annual meeting and awards lunch, nearly 40 local society members were recognized with Outstanding Volunteer and Team awards. These volunteers were praised for their commitment and energies to promote genealogy and family history in their local communities.

Some of the 2017 local society award winners

Other awards presented included:

  • Outstanding CommunicationWhitman County Genealogical Society for its newsletter filled with personal stories, photos and “snippets from the olden days.” Their newsletter started on in 1984 with just a few pages focusing on Whitman County. Today the newsletter is 10 pages with a continued focus on the county, but has expanded to include a wide variety of genealogy-related articles, designed to educate and entertain the society’s members and other readers. Special acknowledgement was extended to newsletter editor Judy Standar McMurray, with assistance from Monica Bartlett Peters.
  • Outstanding ProjectGrays Harbor Genealogical Society for the preservation of thousands of records from a 100-year-old funeral home that closed suddenly. The records were in danger of being lost or discarded until the society stepped in. Twelve boxes of paper were organized, scanned, cataloged and indexed into 19 binders. While this was an effort tackled by almost half of this small society, special recognition was extended to Cathy Cook, Gary Parfitt, Marlene Payne and Bonnie Johannes.

Five local societies were awarded Innovative Grant Awards. See separate blog feature.

The President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement was presented to Joanne Egbert Calhoun of the Wenatchee Area Genealogical Society. See separate blog feature.

For more photos of the seminar and annual meeting, visit our Facebook page.

Outstanding Volunteers and Teams Honored

Almost 40 local genealogical society members were honored for their outstanding volunteerism at the WSGS Annual Meeting and Recognition Event in Yakima, Washington, on 22 Apr 2017. Nominated by their local societies, these individuals and teams spent countless hours supporting their local organizations, researching, cataloging, inventorying, teaching, and inspiring others. We are proud to announce the 2017 Outstanding Volunteer Awards:

Shirley Acheson, Leadership Team, Wenatchee Area Genealogical Society
Jody Alfiere, Mason County Genealogical Society
Veronica Anquiano, Library Recataloging and Renumbering Team, Tri-City Genealogical Society
Phyllis Barnett, Leadership Team, Wenatchee Area Genealogical Society
Margie Beldin, Library Recataloging and Renumbering Team, Tri-City Genealogical Society
Lisa K. Chan, Seattle Genealogical Society
Barbara Congdon, Leadership Team, Wenatchee Area Genealogical Society
Catherine Crabtree Cook, Grays Harbor Genealogical Society
Sandra Floberg, Library Recataloging and Renumbering Team, Tri-City Genealogical Society
Oweta Floyd, Eastern Washington Genealogical Society
Patricia Hert, Yakima Valley Genealogical Society
Barbara Freese Jolly, Eastern Washington Genealogical Society
John Hayes, Skagit Valley Genealogical Society
Darryl Jones, Yakima Valley Genealogical Society
Art Kelly, Tri-City Genealogical Society
Mary Kathryn Kozy, Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington State
Janis Littlefield, Tri-City Genealogical Society
Hank LuBean, Leadership Team, Wenatchee Area Genealogical Society
Sandra McBride, Leadership Team, Wenatchee Area Genealogical Society
Mikal McKinnon, Library Recataloging and Renumbering Team, Tri-City Genealogical Society
Patricia McCann Manning, Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society
Noel McRae, Lower Columbia Genealogical Society
Dan Metzger, Library Recataloging and Renumbering Team, Tri-City Genealogical Society
Patty Ostendorff, Leadership Team, Wenatchee Area Genealogical Society
Barb Peterson, Jefferson County Genealogical Society
Lynda Pheasant, Leadership Team, Wenatchee Area Genealogical Society
Susan Jensen Pointer, Lower Columbia Genealogical Society
Susan Rumble, Leadership Team, Wenatchee Area Genealogical Society
Beatrice “Bea” Ritter, Clark Cou Genealogical Society
Claire Smith, Bainbridge Island Genealogical Society
Linda Stephens, Library Recataloging and Renumbering Team, Tri-City Genealogical Society
Natalie Stien, Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington State
Pam Stinson, Jefferson County Genealogical Society
Mary Swartz, Leadership Team, Wenatchee Area Genealogical Society
John Jay Winsor (posthumous), Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society
Catherine Wooden, South King County Genealogical Society
Gilbert Wooden, South King County Genealogical Society
Norma Yost, Northeast Washington Genealogical Society

To read each individual’s accomplishments and why they were nominated, visit the Outstanding Volunteer Awards Program page.

For more information about the Outstanding Volunteer Awards Program, contact Roxanne Lowe at Roxanne@thekeeffes.com.

Yakima Valley Gen Soc and WSGS Partner for Recognition Awards

Featured speaker Jay Fonkert

The WSGS Annual Meeting, which includes the announcement of the Outstanding Volunteers and Teams, Outstanding Communication and Project awards, WSGS President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement and Innovative Grant winners, will be Saturday, April 22, 2017 during the lunch period of Yakima Valley Genealogical Society’s Spring Seminar. The seminar and awards event will be held at the Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Yakima. The seminar’s featured speaker will be professional genealogist Jay Fonkert, a renowned authority on 19th Century Midwest research. His presentations will be:

  • Genealogy Detective Skills: Following Clues from the Census
  • Finding Your Pre-1850 American Ancestors
  • Why Were They There?
  • Who’s on First: Merging and Separating Identities in Family History Research

The YVGS Spring Seminar flyer, including a registration form, can be downloaded here: YVGS Spring Seminar flyer or visit the YVGS website.

Lola Swearingen Weber Awarded 2016 Outstanding Volunteer Honor

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized almost 500 outstanding volunteers and teams, nominated by their local society or genealogical organization for their service and dedication. These volunteers are the backbone of their local society, giving their time and expertise, to the organization and the field of genealogy. In the last of the 2016 series, you will be introduced to each of the award recipients and learn why they received the 2016 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Lola Swearingen Weber

Today we’re introducing Lola Swearingen Weber of Longview, Washington, who was nominated by the Lower Columbia Genealogical Society (LCGS). She was recognized for her unwavering dedication and enthusiasm to the LCGS.

As a long-time member of LCGS, Ms. Weber has served as president, vice-president, trustee and program chairman. She presently serves on the program committee.

Ms. Weber has fostered genealogical education by organizing research trips, presenting informative programs and visiting senior living facilities to encourage writing their life stories. She has submitted articles for the society’s newsletter, The Key, donated time in the genealogy section of the Longview Public Library and volunteered for the rest stop fundraiser.

Ms. Weber has been an asset, as well as an inspirational and motivating presence in the ranks of the society’s membership, and demonstrates that she richly deserved being a recipient of a 2016 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award.

For more information on the WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award program, visit the Recognition page of the WSGS website or contact Roxanne Lowe, Recognition Chair, at Roxanne@thekeeffes.com.

Sandra Wade Awarded 2016 Outstanding Volunteer Honor

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized almost 500 outstanding volunteers and teams, nominated by their local society or genealogical organization for their service and dedication. These volunteers are the backbone of their local society, giving their time and expertise, to the organization and the field of genealogy. In the next few weeks, you will be introduced to each of the 2016 award recipients and learn why they received the 2016 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Sandra Wade

Today we’re introducing Sandra Wade of Graham, Washington, who was nominated by the Tacoma Pierce County Genealogical Society (TPCGS). She was recognized for her diligence and attention-to-detail in transcribing data from local records.

Upon her retirement as a school bus driver for 32 years, Ms. Wade joined TPCGS and began researching her family history in earnest.  In 2013, when TPCGS began a special project to transcribe records from the Tacoma City Light Register, Book 2 (1904 – 1940), society members, including Ms. Wade, volunteered. Ms. Wade tackled the task, completing the majority of the work. After the data entry, Ms. Wade undertook the majority of the proofreading work, then single-handedly made the corrections to all 282 pages.

All agree that this compilation of data will be invaluable to researchers as the time period 1904 to 1940 is sometimes difficult to locate records placing people in a certain area during a certain time. Ms. Wade’s dedication to the project illustrate proves she richly deserves being a recipient of a 2016 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award.

For more information on the WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award program, visit the Recognition page of the WSGS website or contact Roxanne Lowe, Recognition Chair, at Roxanne@thekeeffes.com.

Louellen Verellen Awarded 2016 Outstanding Volunteer Honor

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized almost 500 outstanding volunteers and teams, nominated by their local society or genealogical organization for their service and dedication. These volunteers are the backbone of their local society, giving their time and expertise, to the organization and the field of genealogy. In the next few weeks, you will be introduced to each of last year’s award recipients and learn why they received the 2016 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Louellen Verellen

Today we’re introducing Louellen Verellen of Chelan, Washington, who was nominated by the Chelan Valley Genealogical Society (CVGS). She was recognized for her enthusiastic promotion of genealogy and the CVGS.

Lou, a descendant of an early Chelan family, has a passion for family history. Before the CVGS was formed, she was the librarian at the Chelan Community Library. She collected source books, instructed patrons how to order film from the American Genealogical Lending Library, and how to use the film readers. When a box of films arrived, Lou would call the person who placed the order, then present it like a precious gift.

When CVGS was formed in 1990, Lou became our stalwart advocate. Chelan City officials moved the library to a school district building where Lou designated a room for the newly formed group. When the move to the Bradley Street building was made, Lou insisted that CVGS books and materials be included, saving the society much effort, time and money.

Lou has been an inspiration, instructor and friend to the CVGS. Her dedication proves she richly deserves being a recipient of a 2016 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award.

For more information on the WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award program, visit the Recognition page of the WSGS website or contact Roxanne Lowe, Recognition Chair, at Roxanne@thekeeffes.com.

Marge Samuelson Awarded 2016 Outstanding Volunteer Honor

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized almost 500 outstanding volunteers and teams, nominated by their local society or genealogical organization for their service and dedication. These volunteers are the backbone of their local society, giving their time and expertise, to the organization and the field of genealogy. In the next few weeks, you will be introduced to each of last year’s award recipients and learn why they received the 2016 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Marge Samuelson

Today we’re introducing Marge Samuelson of Port Townsend, Washington, who was nominated by the Jefferson County Genealogical Society (JCGS). She was recognized for her never-ending commitment to preserving the history of Jefferson County and the field of genealogy.

Ms. Samuelson has been an invaluable volunteer with the JCGS for many years. She has served as treasurer, membership chair, historian and vice president. She was also newsletter editor for more than four years, wrote many articles for the county history section of the newsletter and maintained a blog, researching and writing articles about local historical topics.

Ms. Samuelson has also worked tirelessly averaging over 75 hours a month transcribing records from the local newspaper. To date, she has extracted over 100,000 names.

Ms. Samuelson’s passion and commitment to researching and sharing the local history prove she richly deserves being a recipient of a 2016 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award.

For more information on the WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award program, visit the Recognition page of the WSGS website or contact Roxanne Lowe, Recognition Chair, at Roxanne@thekeeffes.com.

George Ridgeway, Jr. Awarded 2016 Outstanding Volunteer Honor

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized almost 500 outstanding volunteers and teams, nominated by their local society or genealogical organization for their service and dedication. These volunteers are the backbone of their local society, giving their time and expertise, to the organization and the field of genealogy.  In the next few weeks, you will be introduced to each of last year’s award recipients and learn why they received the 2016 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

George Ridgeway, Jr.

Today we’re introducing George Ridgeway, Jr. of Mount Vernon, Washington, who was nominated by the Skagit Valley Genealogical Society (SVGS). He was recognized for his generosity of time and energy dedicated to SVGS.

Mr. Ridgeway has served as the local society’s president, vice president and webmaster.  He has spent much of his time designing and maintaining the SVGS website. His most recent website additions include the addition of all newsletters since the organization of the society in 1987. He has added links for a blog, “Stories of our Ancestors” and a PayPal link allowing payment of membership dues and events. In addition, Mr. Ridgeway encouraged SVGS to hold an educational program series for beginners in Anacortes and Burlington, beginning in 2015 and still in operation.

Dedicated volunteers like Mr. Ridgeway are prized assets to any organization. That is why he richly deserved being a recipient of a 2016 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award.

For more information on the WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award program, visit the Recognition page of the WSGS website or contact Roxanne Lowe, Recognition Chair, at Roxanne@thekeeffes.com.

Gail Porter Awarded 2016 Outstanding Volunteer Honor

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized almost 500 outstanding volunteers and teams, nominated by their local society or genealogical organization for their service and dedication. These volunteers are the backbone of their local society, giving their time and expertise, to the organization and the field of genealogy. In the next few months, you will be introduced to each of last year’s award recipients and learn why they received the 2016 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Gail Porter

Today we’re introducing Gail Porter of Port Angeles, Washington, who was nominated by the Clallam County Genealogical Society (CCGS). She was recognized for her enthusiasm and willingness to take on challenging projects.

Although Ms. Porter has been the CCGS treasurer for five years, in 2016 she undertook the project of organizing the genealogies of the Clallam County pioneer families. This was no small project as there were more than 200 pioneer families and she had to sort through a hodgepodge of information. Using her organizational skills, she sorted them by family groups and is now in the process of indexing the information for inclusion on the CCGS web page. She has spent an average of 40 hours a week over the past eight months on this project.

Ms. Porter also makes herself available to all comers seeking assistance with their personal family genealogies, devoting many hours and donating her fees back to the society. This commitment to the CCGS and field of genealogy illustrate that she richly deserved being a recipient of a 2016 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award.

For more information on the WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award program, visit the Recognition page of the WSGS website or contact Roxanne Lowe, Recognition Chair, at Roxanne@thekeeffes.com.

Patricia Olsen Awarded 2016 Outstanding Volunteer Honor

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized almost 500 outstanding volunteers and teams, nominated by their local society or genealogical organization for their service and dedication. These volunteers are the backbone of their local society, giving their time and expertise, to the organization and the field of genealogy. In the coming months, you will be introduced to each of the 2016 award recipients and learn why they received the 2016 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Patricia Olsen

Today we’re introducing Patricia Olsen of Chehalis, Washington, who was nominated by the Lewis County Genealogical Society (LCGS). She was recognized for her commitment to provide quality educational programs for the society.

For the past two years, Ms. Olsen has single-handedly arranged for meeting program speakers with no assistance. Traveling to various genealogical events around Washington and Oregon so she is up-to-date on new research techniques, technologies, databases, and presenters, she evaluated speakers and subjects based on what she thought would be the most popular and useful to the LCGS’s members. After agreement by the society, she would finalize arrangements, including logistics, resulting in a diverse group of speakers and topics.

Ms. Olsen’s attention to detail and commitment to educating LCGS’s members in the field of genealogy illustrate that she richly deserved being a recipient of a 2016 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award.

For more information on the WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award program, visit the Recognition page of the WSGS website or contact Roxanne Lowe, Recognition Chair, at Roxanne@thekeeffes.com.