Sunday, August 14, 2011


Missouri State Genealogical Association (MoSGA) Awards Summary
Holiday Inn Select Executive Center
Columbia, Missouri
August 5, 2011

The Missouri State Genealogical Association (MoSGA) presents two types of awards for outstanding contributions to the field of Missouri genealogy and/or family history – Certificates of Appreciation and Awards of Merit – at its Annual Conference Awards Banquet. Certificates of Appreciation are presented to an individual, group, organization, or institution expressing thanks officially for compensated, i.e. paid, duties related to Missouri genealogy and/or family history performed in an exemplary and outstanding manner. Awards of Merit are given to an individual, group, organization, or institution in recognition of meritorious service or distinguished work in Missouri genealogy and/or family history for which no compensation was received, i.e. on a volunteer basis.

The following awards were presented this year at the MoSGA 2011 Annual Conference Awards Banquet held August 5 at the Holiday Inn Select Executive Center in Columbia, Missouri (Note: Awards photos are available in a previous post to this blog).

1. Certificates of Appreciation:

a. Gasconade County Historical Society Archives and Record Center, Gasconade County. Nominated by Historic Hermann, Inc., the Archives and Record Center serves as the repository of Gasconade County records, private collections, and provides personal assistance to individuals doing family history and genealogical study. The award was accepted for the Center by Lois Puchta, Director (Volunteer) of the Gasconade County Historical Society Archives & Records Center.

b. Ruth Ann (Abels) Hager, Reference Specialist, Special Collections Department, St. Louis County Library, St. Louis. Nominated by John Dougan of the Missouri State Archives. Mr. Dougan wrote “Ruth Ann (Abels) Hager and the St. Louis County Library should be recognized for the publication of ‘Dred and Harriet Scott: Their Family Story’. This volume is one of the finest examples of family history recently published. Well researched, readable, comprehensive, and profusely illustrated with the original resources being discussed, this volume not only provides previously unknown information on the subject of one of America’s most significant court cases, but it also creates a model work that can be used by anyone willing to create a first-rate history of their family.”

2. Awards of Merit:

a. Barbara Sheehan. Nominated by both Sandra Gadberry, President of the Putnam County Historical Society, and Maribeth DeHaven, Secretary of the Putnam County Genealogical Society, Sheehan “has been the driving force behind reading, recording, and taking photos of all stones in the Unionville Cemetery.” Many hours were spent in brushy, overgrown cemeteries and interviewing farmers and neighbors in areas where cemeteries or burials were known to have been located. Sheehan did all the computer preparation for the Unionville Cemetery Book and the recently published East End Cemetery Book. Despite health problems, Sheehan started work on a third cemetery book – the West End Cemetery Book -- in the summer of 2010. She has also served as the past Vice President and President of the Putnam County Genealogical Society.

b. Barbara Duemler. Duemler “has provided leadership to modernize many of the aspects of the Four Rivers Genealogical Society in Franklin County. She has contributed thousands of hours of her time to these efforts” according to her nominator, Steven Claggett, President of the Four Rivers Genealogical Society. Duemler has been a member of the Four Rivers Genealogical Society for 8 years; contributed to the Society’s newsletter; initiated a project to upgrade the Society’s web site; served as the Society’s Corresponding Secretary, Vice President, and President; completely reorganized the Society’s library; computerized the library catalog; served as monitor for the library; and initiated a Program Series of speakers on genealogical and historical topics. In addition, she is a 6-year member of the volunteer State Archives Team to microfilm Franklin County Probate records, has served as Vice President for the Franklin County Historical Society, and presented several programs for a local history series.

c. Tanit J. Langley, despite a medical disability, has “tirelessly devoted hours and hours to the Old Mines Area Historical Society” in Washington County. Langley was nominated by Pat Moore of the Old Mines Area Historical Society for being “such as asset to our organization and the volunteer in our group who has donated the most volunteer hours”. Langley established a database of the early inhabitants of Washington County which has grown to list over 13,000 names and includes birth and death certificates, marriages, baptisms, and census records. She has scanned hundreds of old photographs and newspapers; compiled family information for the Society’s archives; and secured records and resources for the Society. In addition, Langley maintains the Old Mines Area Historical Society’s membership records, collects membership dues, and donates handmade craft items for the Society’s biggest annual fundraiser.

d. Jennifer Ruth Baker was nominated by David Baker because “she cares about preserving historical places and records”. In addition to serving as President of the Perry County Historical Society, Baker gives tours of, does the scheduling for, and makes sure the Faherty House, the oldest house in Perry County, is kept in good repair. She is also a member of the Perry County Lutheran Historical Society and the Foundation of the Restoration of Saint Genevieve, Missouri. Baker does historical research for patrons at the Perry County Court House on a volunteer basis and raised money to place a monument for those buried in an unmarked graveyard at the Perry County Poor Farm. By reading through hundreds of death certificates, she recreated 538 of about 800 burial records for the cemetery at State Hospital #1 in Fulton, Missouri, after discovering that their plot map was lost in a fire in 1956 and created a list of 100 burials at the Calloway County Poor Farm.

e. John Abney is “an invaluable member of both the Iron County Genealogy Society and the Iron County Historical Society, serving in any capacity needed, presenting thoroughly researched programs, and taking a major role in community activities”. Nominated by Wilma Cofer, President of the Iron County Genealogy Society, Abney helped organize several events to celebrate the County’s 150th Anniversary and produced DVDs on “Early Iron County History” and “Early Settlers of Iron County”. He was instrumental in preparations by the Iron County Historical Society for the three Courthouse Sesquicentennial ceremonies. This included building a replica of the Courthouse for a Christmas Parade float, organizing a Courthouse Sesquicentennial Student Art Contest, and serving as Master of Ceremonies for the final event. Abney organized the photographic files of the Iron County Historical Society and set up an ongoing Virtual Museum on the Society’s web site. In addition he has researched, compiled, and presented numerous historical and genealogical programs and taught a beginning genealogy workshop. His publications include the 1890 Personal Assessment of Iron County, Missouri, and Witnesses to History – Stories from Park View Cemetery. The latter publication traces the history of the cemetery and two of the men buried there – Solomon and Moses Lax. Moses Lax is regarded as one of the founders of Lincoln University. Park View Cemetery is the main site of burials of African-Americans in Iron County since the Civil War. Abney researched and created a list of 296 burials in the cemetery (which has few surviving grave stones) and well as a list of 42 burials for African-Americans in other Iron County cemeteries.

f. Wanda Blackwell was nominated by the Phelps County Genealogical Society for her contributions to the Phelps County Genealogy Society and the Maries County Historical Society. Blackwell transcribed the 1860, 1870, and 1900 through 1930 Federal censuses for Phelps County from hand written microfilm records into print ready manuscripts. She did the same thing for the 1860, 1870, 1900, 1910, and 1930 Federal censuses for Maries County. Blackwell’s other transcriptions include Phelps County absentee ballots for the military in 1944; Maries County registers of births and deaths, assessments, WW1 draft registrations, agricultural census, muster roll of Captain Hutchison for November 1861 and the index to the 1880 County census. She is currently working on a transcription of Phelps County Marriages from 1910 to 1945.

3. The MoSGA Directors’ Award is presented to an individual, organization, or institution for distinguished service over an extended period of time in support of Missouri genealogy, for exceptional contribution to the field and extra effort to promote good will and improve service.

The recipient of the MoSGA 2011 Directors’ Award, Isabella Feltmann, was nominated by the President of the Four Rivers Genealogical Society, Steven Claggett. He said, “Izzy (as she is known) has been one of those most responsible for the success and progress of the Four Rivers Genealogical Society in Franklin County. The number of hours contributed over the last 25 years easily exceeds 20,000.” Feltmann’s achievements include being one of the founders, a charter member, and a life member of the Four Rivers Genealogical Society and serving in various offices and board positions with 15 years as Society Treasurer. She has consistently supported the organization financially, contributed her time to research and indexing projects including indexing and publishing newspaper articles from 1875-1925 and preserving and indexing obituaries of Franklin County citizens. Feltmann has also served as monitor for the Society’s research library assisting members and visitors research their families.

MoSGA Awards Committee

Karen Scott (Chair--2011)
Debbie Furnell (Chair--2012)
Patricia Kroeger
Mark C. Stauter

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