Tuesday, December 23, 2014

FGS Presidential Citation: Henry and Loekie Boersma.

FGS Presidential Citation: Henry and Loekie Boersma via FGS.org. #genealogy
Henry and Loekie Boersma with FGS Vice-President Kris Rzepczynski and WMGS President Don Bryant
Another of the awards presented at the 2014 FGS conference in San Antonio, was given for an amazing series of efforts by a couple from Michigan. They were not at the FGS conference so Federation of Genealogical Societies Vice President Kris Rzepczynski of Michigan presented the award personally to them at a recent monthly meeting of the Western Michigan Genealogical Society for "For their contributions in cemetery preservation and historical research that benefits the genealogical community and as an inspiration to the rest of us.”

The audience at the FGS conference learned this about Henry and Loekie:

In 1995, a few years after their retirement, Henry and Loekie found an unknown cemetery in Tallmadge Township, close to where they live in Michigan. The cemetery was completely overgrown with brush and weeds. The markers had fallen over and some buried beneath the earth. They spent the next few months working to restore the cemetery, headstones, and the history of those burials, the early residents of Tallmadge, most who were from New York.

Next they volunteered to be the Tallmadge Township historians. They retrieved boxes of unorganized records from the township office, organized each book and every piece of paper from the beginning of records in the 1830s. Loekie then indexed every name in records pertaining to the people who have lived in Tallmadge, up to the early 1900s.

In their 80's today, they continue working on the records of Tallmadge and help neighboring townships who ask for help with their own records."

An article last June on http://www.mlive.com/walker/index.ssf/2014/06/local_historians_honored_for_2.html was published after the couple were awarded the Grand Rapids Historical Society's Albert Baxter Award for their contributions "to the preservation and interpretation of the history of the Grand River Valley."

Please consider nominating other deserving persons, organizations, or projects for an award. Visit the FGS website http://fgs.org/ and click on Awards for the details of each award category and the nomination form. Awards will be presented at various times during 2015 but if you are interested in a nomination for an award to be presented at the next FGS conference, the deadline is 1 January 2015. The next conference will be held 11-14 February 2015 in Salt Lake City in conjunction with RootsTech. Details are on the FGS website and everyone is welcome! Register now.

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