The Florida State Genealogical Society has established several awards and one scholarship that are presented at their yearly conference. These awards were created to encourage and reward genealogical excellence in several categories. The following awards were presented at the recent FSGS conference in Panama City Beach, Florida, on 11-12 November 2005:
Charlotte Freels Duvall / FSGS Librarian Scholarship
Todd W. Booth
Todd W. Booth of the St. Johns County Public Library is the winner of the $500.00 Charlotte Freels Duvall/FSGS Librarian Scholarship. He has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Relations with a minor in Russian. He is a Reference Assistant II at his library, and his duties include genealogy reference. He is currently enrolled in the Master of Library Science Program at the University of South Florida. He is planning to attend the 2006 Florida State Genealogical Society conference.
Outstanding Achievement Awards in Genealogy
Theora has been a member of the Tallahassee Genealogical Society for 23 years. She has recorded all 3,500 graves of the Tallahassee Memory Gardens Cemetery and donated the transcription to USGenWeb. In Leon County and in online genealogical circles, she is known as the “Obituary Lady”. Her current genealogy project is publishing daily one-line Tallahassee obituaries on Rootsweb.com, recording over 55,000 to date.
Margaret M. Harris
Margaret is the immediate past president of the Genealogical Society of Okaloosa County and has been a valuable resource for this group for many years. She has created and presented many programs for the Society ranging from a beginner’s program It’s A Matter of Form-Research Tools the more advanced Healing The Hurt, an excellent analysis of tragedies and genealogy. She has been a seminar leader for multiple conferences and served as an instructor for genealogy classes at the Center of Lifelong Learning. She contributes regularly to the genealogical blog Family History News and More.
Laura helped start three genealogical societies: the Volusia County Genealogical Society, the Roots and Branches Genealogical Society in DeLand, and the Halifax Genealogical Society in Ormond Beach. She has been a very active genealogical instructor, working with groups ranging from beginners to Boy Scouts earning their Genealogy Merit Badge. She has chaired an annual seminar in 2003 and performed as a “costumed asset” at a Family Train and Hobby Show Benefit at a society genealogy booth.
Outstanding Achievement Awards in Florida Genealogy
Neil has been a dedicated and enthusiastic supporter of genealogy in Volusia County since 1992. He helped establish the Volusia County Council of Genealogical Societies in 1993-1994. He also created an e-mail county-wide newsletter, Volusia Genealogy On-Line, that he published monthly for ten years. This newsletter was available to anyone interested in Volusia County and area genealogy, and was responsible for getting the word out about all sorts of genealogy happenings.
Jon has served as president of the Southern Genealogists Exchange Society in Jacksonville for several years. He is assisting with the transcription of burial records at the Evergreen Cemetery in Jacksonville with the goal of placing these records on CDS. He has also surveyed numerous cemeteries in Duval County and donated many of these to free Internet sites. He has been the main force behind the creation of the large obituary collection at the SGES Library. He speaks to many groups on genealogy and has done extensive look-ups for people all over the United States and as far away as Australia.
J.K. “Buddy” Irby
Buddy is making sure that all of the existing records held by the Alachua County Clerk of Court are made as accessible as possible. Volunteers under his supervision index and transcribe images of Alachua County records that are being placed online – now more than 168, 417 page images. 4,666 pages have been transcribed and are every word searchable. All of the marriages from 1837 to 1973 are indexed, and images of the licenses are online.
Ann Myrece James
Ann is another active member of the Suncoast Genealogy Society Her activities include holding multiple offices, chairing seminars and committees, compiling and editing a Members Home Library Booklet in 1999, assisting with cemetery canvasses, working with the Society’s newsletter editor, and serving as a substitute library volunteer at the Palm Harbor Library for over six years. From 2003 to 2005 she was a representative from Suncoast Genealogy Society to the Pasco-Pinellas Genealogy Council which serves as a conduit for communication between the societies of both counties.
Judith Richbourg Jolly
Judith serves as the librarian for the Genealogical Society of Santa Rosa County and has overseen the growth of their library from a few hundred volumes to a collection that exceeds 2500 books. She has worked with the Heritage Book projects in both Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. She has contacted many families and volunteers in these counties and volunteered to help them write their stories. Her total contributions number over 300 stories. On 21 April 2005 she donated well documented research that she had done on 56 different early Florida churches and 38 different Baptist preachers to the Florida Baptist Historical Society. This donation was a tremendous contribution to our knowledge of West Florida churches in the 1800-1900’s.
Osceola Library System
For more than five years, the Osceola Library System has provided support and assistance to the Genealogy Club of Osceola County and the community with regard to genealogical research opportunities. A Genealogy Lab has been set aside in the main library branch, equipped with reference materials, computers, and databases for local and family research projects. The Genealogy Club of Osceola County has been provided meeting spaces and speaker’s equipment as needed. As a cooperative effort between the Club and the Library System, computer training classes and general research subject programs have been provided for the public.
Thelma is a charter member of the Suncoast Genealogy Society. She has served that group in many ways including the contribution of articles to their newsletter, the Suncoast Searcher. She has volunteered at the Palm Harbor Library helping patrons with their genealogy research. She has chaired their Annual Seminar and given many programs on genealogical topics.
Rebecca Brown Saunders
Rebecca is the supervisor of the Local History Department of the Bay County Public Library. Under her leadership, this department has become the premiere Bay County history research collection. In 2000 the Library and the Bay District School Board obtained a grant to digitize photo collections owned by both organizations. Now 5,595 photos from the Bay County Public Library collection and 1,984 from the School Board are available online. As the current president of the Historical Society of Bay County, Rebecca has increased membership, overseen many projects that have helped preserve Bay County history, and attended all major meetings of the Planning Board and the Panama City City Commission to make sure historical concerns are not overlooked.
Howard has been an extremely active member of the Suncoast Genealogy Society since 1990. He has served as president, initiated the genealogy volunteer assistance program at the Palm Harbor Library, and has helped secure needed equipment and books for the library’s collection. He has helped partner his society with the Pinellas Genealogy Society to canvass that county’s cemeteries. Five cemetery index books have been published. He has taught many classes, helped with seminars, and in 1994 and 1995, assisted gifted 8th grade students at the Joseph L. Carwise Middle School in Palm Harbor with their genealogy research.