Thursday, June 16, 2016

Two FGS Awards Given at Southern California Genealogical Societies' Annual Jamboree

Two FGS Awards Given at Southern California Genealogical Societies' Annual Jamboree via
Paula Johnson Hinkel and J. Paul Hawthorne (Photo Credit: Mike Provard)

The Federation of Genealogical Societies presents awards throughout each year to volunteers and organizations. On June 3, 2016, FGS presented two awards during the Southern California Genealogical Society’s Annual Jamboree in Burbank.

Paula Johnson Hinkel 

Paula Johnson Hinkel was presented with a Distinguished Service Award. The Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS) nominated her for this award for a multitude of reasons. She has been instrumental in increasing the visibility of the society and in easing it into the 21st century, enabling it to continue to fulfill its mission of fostering interest in family history, preserving genealogical materials and providing instruction in accepted and effective research techniques.  

Among her many accomplishments at SCGS, Paula has volunteered as President and 2nd Vice-President of the society, as a member of the Long-Range Planning Committee, as champion of the 1890 Project, and as co-chair for the Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree from 2005-2014. Together with her co-chair Leo Myers, she grew Jamboree from a small, local event into one of the most respected and well-attended genealogical conferences. From concept to marketing design and product development, Paula was instrumental in the successful evolution of Jamboree. Paula was also the first to identify and market the use of an App for genealogical conferences. She also expanded the society outreach by making Jamboree available to researchers who could not attend. Her launch of live-streaming Jamboree sessions allowed members of the genealogical community to participate from all over the world.

In 2011, Paula pioneered the launch of the Jamboree Extension Webinar Series. This was the first time a genealogical society had offered regularly scheduled live webinars. This program is one of the most celebrated programs of SCGS, and has helped extend the awareness of the society and promote genealogical education around the world. Paula has utilized her marketing skills through the redesign of the SCGS website, the development of the Jamboree website, and the design of both the SCGS and Jamboree blogs. She was also one of the early champions of social media creating a presence on Facebook and Twitter for both SCGS as Jamboree.

J. Paul Hawthorne

In a few short days at the end of March 2016 the world of genealogy exploded in many shades of color. While genealogy is a world of many shades of color, this specific explosion resulted in the colors of our ancestral migration patterns.

J. Paul Hawthorne, Historian and FGS Delegate for the San Diego Genealogical Society, posted this hashtag on Facebook and Twitter:


Then he showed what that meant! As he stated on Facebook, “A little visual I created in Excel. 5 Generation chart of my direct ancestors birth state -- starting with me. A good way to visualize migration patterns. He used other Twitter hashtags, too: #genealogy and  #GoofingOffAtWork.”

Goofing off? This meme is still going strong on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other media around the world! Variations of the meme arose. People from across the U.S, Canada, Australia, and other countries participated and posted their charts on social media. They asked questions of one another. They learned about research in specific places from others whose colorful charts showed ancestry in those same places. For spearheading this colorful worldwide sharing of genealogy, the Federation of Genealogical Societies presented J. Paul Hawthorne with the Technology Advances Award.

Please consider nominating a deserving person, organization, or project for an FGS award at

Awards are presented at various times during each year, but if you are interested in a nomination for an award to be presented at the FGS 2016 National Conference, the deadline is 15 July 2016, which will be held August 31 — September 3, in Springfield, Illinois. Join fellow genealogists and family historians at "Time Travel: Centuries of Memories," designed to inspire you and enrich your family history! Register today at

Paula Stuart-Warren
FGS Awards Committee Chair

 Register for #FGS2016 today!

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