The time that volunteers commit to scan, index, and transcribe records, documents, and photos is immense and often goes unrecognized. This is why we created the Unsung Heroes Programs. Please join us in giving thanks!
Media Release, Tampa, FL, September 1, 2020
Genealogy Guys and Vivid-Pix Announce Unsung Heroes Awards at Federation of Genealogical Societies 2020 Conference
The Genealogy Guys Podcast, co-hosted by George G. Morgan and Drew Smith, producers of the oldest continually produced genealogy podcast, and Vivid-Pix, makers of RESTORE photo and document restoration software, are pleased to recognize the winners in the Unsung Heroes Awards at the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference being held online.
The Unsung Heroes Awards acknowledge and celebrate those members of the genealogy community who digitize, index, or transcribe documents of value to genealogical researchers. The Unsung Heroes Award is designed to recognize the efforts of its recipients in multiple categories.
The winners selected for Unsung Heroes Awards for August 2020 are in the Individual and Genealogical Society categories:
Individual – Rosemary McFarland of Mount Eden, Kentucky. Rosemary created the Kentucky Genealogical Society's digitization project and has chaired the committee for the past three years. In this time, she has led an effort that first started by digitizing family bible records of members and anyone in the public. These digitized scans and indexes were then placed on the www.kygs.org website on the member portal where they are accessible for member researchers. This is an active project. Rosemary actively encourages members and the public to contribute family bible page scans to this ongoing effort. The current archive includes Bible records that date from the founding of the Commonwealth to today.
A second project that has been ongoing is the Kentucky Tax List project. This project is digitizing early tax lists from Kentucky counties that are not available anywhere else. Rosemary leads this effort and so far they have scanned and created indexes for the following Kentucky counties: Bourbon (1787-1788), Daviess (1873-1875), Fayette (1787-1789), Jefferson (1789), Lincoln (1787-1789), Madison (1787-1802) and Mercer (1789). These records would not otherwise be accessible unless a researcher were to physically go to the Kentucky Department for Library and Archives to view them.
Rosemary has also proactively identified rare and at-risk records and through her will and determination set out to get these records digitized and then made accessible to members of the Kentucky Genealogical Society through the member portal of the website.
She is also leading the volunteers who index these materials every single day. Just recently she led an effort to create an index for 46 years of the society's quarterly journal which had never been indexed.
Society – Eller Family Association
The Eller Family Association in Midlothian, Virginia, is the society winner. The EFA was created in 1987 to help “promote a sense of kinship” and to “encourage and aid genealogical and historical research on Eller and allied families in the United States and Europe.”
In November 1987, the Association published the first of thirty years of quarterly newsletters that have included extensive genealogical information. From the start, The Eller Chronicles were made available by mail and, for those interested, on the Internet. By the mid 90’s, the publication was on the Association’s own website.
For the first several years, The Eller Chronicles were just photocopies but soon they were able to scan photos and documents into the publication. The first foray into an Eller Association website was pretty basic but it soon added documents, photos and back issues of The Chronicles.
Now they boast a website (www.ellerfamilyassociation.com) containing an online database of more than 60,000 names. Because there are multiple contributors, there are some duplications. Nevertheless, they believe there are 50,000 individuals there. In addition, there are more than 800 photos, 40 documents, 780 headstone-photos, 200 research articles along with maps, obituaries and web-links. Nearly all are linked to the names in the database. And it’s all searchable. They also include Association news and information about upcoming conferences.
There are numerous books about the Eller family, both in Germany and in the United States. Where they have permission, those books are online, or their website has a link to the book. In other cases, they provide information and a purchase-link.
The thirty years of their newsletter have been converted to a digital format and are also online and searchable. They reserve some parts of the website, like the most recent Chronicles, the membership list and information on living people, for members of the association. But the rest is open to all researchers and even those with just a passing interest. They know they are making an impact. In 2019 there were more than 49,000 visits and 5,677,000 page-views. Their website is usually among the top returns on Google when researchers are looking for information on the Eller ancestors.
The winners will receive a beautiful custom-made commemorative mug from Vivid-Pix with their choice of one of their own images, and an announcement on an episode of The Genealogy Guys Podcast. A profile of each winner has been published today on The Genealogy Guys Blog at http://blog.genealogyguys.com/ and recognition will be published at the Vivid-Pix Unsung Heroes Blog at https://vivid-pix.com/blog as well. They will also receive a copy of Vivid-Pix RESTORE software.
The Individual Winner will also receive a one-year subscription to the Genealogy Guys Learn subscription genealogy website.
Many nominations in each category were received and these will be considered for future Unsung Heroes Awards. The nomination due date for the next set of awards is January 31, 2021. Full details and links to the nomination form can be found at https://ahaseminars.com/cpage.php?pt=24.
The Genealogy Guys Podcast and Vivid-Pix salute these selfless volunteers whose efforts make invaluable genealogical and historical information available to researchers around the globe. “We Sing Your Praises!”
Media Release, Tampa, FL, September 1, 2020
Genealogy Guys and Vivid-Pix Announce Unsung Heroes Society Scanning Equipment Grant Winner at Federation of Genealogical Societies 2020 Conference
The Genealogy Guys Podcast, co-hosted by George G. Morgan and Drew Smith, producers of the oldest continually produced genealogy podcast, and Vivid-Pix, makers of RESTORE photo and document restoration software, are pleased to recognize the first winner in the Unsung Heroes Grant at the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference being held online.
The Unsung Heroes Grant enables a genealogical society, historical society, or museum to make images available to the genealogy community. The award includes a high-quality scanner, software to save and back up images, and two copies of Vivid-Pix RESTORE software. The package is valued at $500.
The winner selected for the Unsung Heroes Grant for August 2021 is the Morgan County History Partnership (MCHP).
The Morgan County Public Library family files and business archives are in the Martinsville, Indiana, county courthouse. So, too, are the Morgan County newspapers, private collections of citizens of Morgan County, Indiana, and a vast collection of photographs and data that are available only to patrons who visit the county. The Morgan County History Partnership and Museum Committee is dedicated to enhancing the culture of their county by exploring who they were, who they are, and who they will be by preserving the History of the Morgan County from 1822. Highest priority will be given to pre-1923 material. Photos will be identified by date and description and/or name, and newspapers will be identified by edition and date. Everything will be indexed to provide seamless searches. Copyright laws will be adhered to and written permission will be received for digitization of any material requiring such permission.
The digitized documents/photos will be shared on the Morgan County History Partnership website, with the Indiana Historical Society, in the Morgan County History Museum, and accessible via the county library website. Morgan County was the home of numerous sanitariums, basketball icon John R. Wooden, small villages, Indiana State flag designer Paul Hadley, musician Bobby Helms, Congressman William G. Bray, is the goldfish capital of the world, Old Hickory Furniture manufacturer, and contains numerous other celebrities and noted businesses which they are eager to digitize and share.
For the beginning project, set to be available in 2022, photographs and documented histories of families, businesses, homes, Family Bibles, and events of Morgan County, Indiana will be digitized to celebrate the bicentennial of the county in 2022. Collaboration and sharing of private family albums and histories will be encouraged following the celebration to provide thousands more documents.
Genealogical research of the residents and history of Morgan County, Indiana, will be enhanced and shareable worldwide. Currently the following Morgan County, Indiana, digitized records are available at the Indiana State Library (42), Indiana Genealogical Society (56), Indiana Historical Society (less than 200). The digitization of materials on the MCHP and Genealogical Society websites include high school yearbooks, a few church biographies, and school graduation brochures. Digitizing, identifying, and categorizing materials will enable researchers to quickly find information pertinent to their research. The ability to restore photos and documents will improve the ability to transcribe and identify photos and documents that are faded. Having an accessible digital database that is indexed will provide their group with the ability to quickly assist researchers. This is a prestigious and appreciated beginning to our bicentennial work.
The Genealogy Guys Podcast and Vivid-Pix salute the Morgan County History Partnership and its volunteers whose efforts make invaluable genealogical and historical information available to researchers around the globe.
“We Sing Your Praises!”
About the Unsung Heroes Awards Partners
The Genealogy Guys Podcast is a production of Aha! Seminars, Inc., a Tampa Bay-based company that has been providing training to genealogists and library personnel since 1996. Its principals are George G. Morgan and Drew Smith, noted speakers, authors, and world’s longest genealogy podcasters. The company also produces the Genealogy Connection podcast and The Genealogy Guys Blog. The Genealogy Guys Podcast is a production of Aha! Seminars, Inc. In addition, we offer a subscription genealogy site, Genealogy Guys Learn, with educational videos and written lessons and new content added each month.
Vivid-Pix designs, creates and delivers Fast, Easy and Affordable Imaging Software. Since launching in 2012, Vivid-Pix has advanced its products to earn the support and respect of business leaders and photographers in over 100 countries. Co-Founder Randy Fredlund has more than 150 digital-imaging patents and has extensive experience in Research, Development and Commercialization, enabling him to translate theory into practice. Co-Founder Rick Voight has created billion-dollar businesses through Product Development, Sales and Marketing for Eastman Kodak and Hewlett-Packard. The Vivid-Pix Team is a far-flung group of excellent people who deliver software that “Give your pics (and documents) the Vivid-Pix Fix!”