2nd Quarter Unsung Heroes Award Update

PlaqueUnsung Heroes Award Presentation to MyHeritage at Jamboree
Dateline: Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree, Burbank, CA, June 1, 2019

Here is a photo from Saturday, June 1, 2019, at the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank, California, at which Daniel Horowitz of MyHeritage accepted the Unsung Heroes Award. Left to right; Rick Voight of Vivid-Pix, Daniel Horowitz, and Drew Smith of The Genealogy Guys.

The Genealogy Guys Podcast and Vivid-Pix have today given MyHeritage Ltd. its highest Unsung Heroes Award for extraordinary service to the genealogy community.

Said Drew Smith in his presentation, “MyHeritage has been involved with numerous pro bonoprojects over the years. We are here today to recognize the completion of their unprecedented five-year project to digitize every cemetery in Israel. MyHeritage employees, friends, and volunteers systematically photographed and transcribed almost every grave. The company specifically recruited full-time employees to complete the work. They photographed 638 cemeteries throughout Israel. 2.1 million photos were taken of 1.5 million gravestones, and the company teamed with BillionGraves to make the results available online.

“MyHeritage embodies the true spirit of volunteerism, and this project is just one of its manymitzvahs or good deeds for the global community. We are therefore presenting this plaque to Daniel Horowitz of MyHeritage today as part of our Unsung Heroes Awards. It reads:

In recognition of the completion of its landmark

project to digitize all of the cemeteries in Israel

and make the records available online, we hereby honor 

MyHeritage Ltd.

This award acknowledges the company’s continuous

commitment to the documentation of the past

and its dedication to preservation for future generations.

“Thank you, MyHeritage, for your great leadership and generosity!”


Pic Stacy 2Unsung Heroes Award – Individual – Stacy Ashmore Cole
Dateline: Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree, Burbank, CA, June 1, 2019

The Genealogy Guys Podcast and Vivid-Pix have today given Stacy Ashmore Cole the Unsung Heroes Award for an Individual for the second quarter of 2019.

The pre-Emancipation records of African-Americans in Liberty County, Georgia, are online at FamilySearch.org, but they are not indexed and online summaries normally omit their names. Stacy Ashmore Cole created TheyHadNames.net at  https://theyhadnames.net/ to remedy that gap. So far, more than 4,500 African-American names have been transcribed and added to a searchable database of wills, estate inventories, bills of sale, and other documents. From the pre-Emancipation probate and deed/mortgage records of the Liberty County courts digitized by FamilySearch, TheyHadNames.net now has:

  • transcripts or summaries of 160 wills with more than 1,220 names of enslaved people;
  • more than 200 estate inventories with more than 1,900 names’
  • 30 deeds with more than 300 names; 
  • 1,151 names of African-American church-goers in 1846;
  • and more.

Individuals with African-American ancestry in Liberty County may now use the information in this site to trace their families back before the U.S. Civil War. Researchers and historians may also use it to shed light on the experiences of these people.

Stacey Ashmore Cole exemplifies the great qualities of a volunteer who sees something that needs to be done and does it. 

We Sing Your Praises!

FamilySearch Georgia DeedsMortgages Book P p141Liberty Estate Extract2

MidwayChurchRecord 2

LibraryAward PlanoUnsung Heroes Award – Library – Genealogy Center at the Plano Public Library
Dateline: Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree, Burbank, CA, June 1, 2019

The Genealogy Guys Podcast and Vivid-Pix have today gave the Genealogy Center at the Plano Public Library the Unsung Heroes Award for a Library for the second quarter of 2019.

The Genealogy Center at the Plano Public Library (https://www.plano.gov/907/Genealogy-Center) features a vast collection of digitized images for Collin County, Texas. These include photographs, documents, diaries, personal papers, family collections, newspapers, yearbooks, mayoral dockets, and more. These archive materials represent the people and places of the county. Some of the earliest documents and photographs date back to 1857.

In the mid-1970s, the Friends of the Plano Public Library, library staff, and a few other researchers were gathering information such as photographs, diaries, and oral histories to write a history of Plano, Texas. The Carpenter family was one of the early settlers of Plano. Lizzie Carpenter wrote five diaries covering the years from 1857-1890. One of the descendants, Roy Carpenter, donated in 1976 one of her original diaries and it is that which the library owns. Based on the notes in the box where the diary is stored, the diary was transcribed about that same time period. The transcription was typed and bound into a book when it was completed. About twelve years ago, the Plano Public Library began a digital collection online called Collin County Images. The first items to be available to the public were the pictures used in the book Plano, Texas: The Early Years and the diaries of Lizzie Carpenter. The library has only have the one original diary but has the transcriptions of her other four diaries and they are all available online.

Staff used a scanner to scan each page. They were unable to use OCR because the transcriptions were typed on a typewriter and made to look like the diary. This means if Lizzie had written on the side for some notes the transcription was typed on the side. OCR was confused by this format. The library personnel had to re-enter the metadata into the description field to help it be searchable.

Diary1 2Diary2 2These are just two examples of from this library’s extraordinary digital collection. This is undoubtedly one of the most impressive digital public library collections in the United States.

We Sing Your Praises!

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