Notification of an award is a momentous occasion. Receiving a prestigious award may be a once in a lifetime happening.
The National Genealogical Society’s (NGS) 2008 Award for Excellence: Genealogical Methods and Sources was announced 15 May 2009: United Empire Loyalists: A Guide to Tracing Loyalist Ancestors in Upper Canada by yours truly:
“Presented to an individual or nonprofit organization for a specific, significant single contribution in the form of a book, an article, or a series of articles published during the past three years that discusses genealogical methods and sources and serves to foster scholarship and/or otherwise advances or promotes excellence in genealogy.” www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/competitions
Global Heritage Press now offers a coil bound edition as well as the hard cover version. See hardcover version southeast to the right. http://globalgenealogy.com
Reasonably stable recipients do not respond to the news with a) stunned silence, and b) unseemly babbling. Dignified recipients do not happy dance to the window and shout “YAAHOOOO!!” at bemused passersby heading to the Market around the corner. To be fair, all this was before enough caffeine had percolated into my central neurons. You have to understand part of the shock was not knowing my book had been entered in the competition! Sandra Roberts of Global Heritage Press, my publisher, was much more professional; she seemed certain no-one will call tomorrow to say it was a dreadful mistake.
So now I’m shamelessly blogging. The book took over five years to plan, write, research, assemble and endlessly re-write. Now it is deemed of some beneficial value by qualified genealogists. It was always intended as assistance for UEL descendants, based on my 30+ years of research encounters with their forebears in a sticky time period for sources and evidence. There have been so many misconceptions and misunderstandings about Loyalists among newcomers researching their ancestors and the public in general.
Would you believe, I have no Loyalist ancestors. More’s the pity. But I have a deep affinity for those whom I frequently meet in the zillions of documents I come across. Lifelong learning is a daily experience (aren’t we lucky?) and rarely stays static. That means if I were to put together such a book again, it might look quite different. I’ve already learned more. Then, the irresistible urge to re-write, re-write, re-write a manuscript, requires a firm voice to call “Enough!” (... enough for the moment, enough till the next time ...).
Regrettably I hadn’t planned to attend the NGS Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the award was announced at the banquet. It’s a while since I attended an NGS banquet and I don’t know if award recipients are allowed a few Oscar moments to thank everyone they ever met, including the kiddies and pets, until they weep. If I had been there (in a designer gown chosen by my avatar) I could have expressed my gratitude again —
* to LAC archivist and guru Patricia Kennedy who took time from her pre-Confederation immersion to review sections and send me reams of stuff;
* to Fawne Stratford-Devai who laboured uncomplainingly at nights to format text and difficult illustrations;
* to Alison Hare whose skills and friendship I strained in several sections (but she still speaks to me);
* to all the other Loyalist genealogists who answered my questions;
* to the Roberts team at Global who allowed the whole thing to start on Global Gazette;
* lastly, in lieu of parents, children, and everyone I ever met, dare I thank my camel Abdul for his ever-solid support and promise of adventure.