National Archives Grants Excellence in Genealogy Awards
Press Release · Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Press Release
May 5, 2009

National Archives Grants "Excellence in Genealogy" Awards

Essay contest celebrates 75th Anniversary of the National Archives

Washington, DC…Acting Archivist Adrienne C. Thomas has announced the winners of the National Archives "Excellence in Genealogy" Awards. The essay contest was held to celebrate both the 75th anniversary of the National Archives and the Fifth Annual National Archives Genealogy Fair. The awards recognize significant achievements in genealogy research, based on genealogical records from the National Archives. Acting Archivist Adrienne C. Thomas presented these awards at the Fifth Annual Genealogy Fair at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, on April 22, 2009.

First place ($1,000 award) was awarded to Myron McGhee of Decatur, GA, who is a Library and Information Science Masters student at Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA. Mr. McGhee's essay, "The Use of National Archives Holdings for Genealogical Research," traces his family's ancestry using Federal, state, and local government records.

Second place ($500 award) was awarded to Stephanie D. Smith of Richtor Park, IL, who is studying intellectual property law at the John Marshall Law School, Chicago, IL. Ms. Smith's essay, "Resounding Resonance: Heeding the Call of My Male Ancestors," details her use of Federal census, military service, and pension records to trace her family history.

The National Archives is known worldwide as a treasure chest of genealogical information. Each year, millions of people use Federal records in the National Archives to search for their family roots. Census schedules, ship passenger arrival lists, citizenship papers, military pension files, land patents, and court records offer detailed evidence to flesh out family histories. Information about National Archives holdings relating to genealogy can be found at the webs site ( This competition provided an opportunity for students to share their research "treasures" with the public.

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For Press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.


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