If youve used USGenWeb, RootsWeb, a genealogy society library, the databases on FamilySearch Record Search Pilot, the Ellis Island passenger database, Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness, the photos on Dead Fred, or innumerable other resources and organizations, youve been helped by a stranger who just wanted to make it easier for people to find their ancestors.
Nope, your average genealogist wouldnt get very far without relying on the work of volunteers.
Which is why we started our Difference Maker seriesto highlight the efforts of all these unknown volunteers. Family Tree Magazine readers nominated volunteers throughout the year, and we profiled one nominee in each issue. Then readers voted, and the results are inour 2009 Difference Maker of the Year is Gail Reynolds of Myrtle Beach, SC.
Voters told us how this library volunteer and genealogy instructor has made a difference in their research. Shell get you maybe not through that brick wall, but under it or over it. Shell go to immeasurable lengths to help youand enjoy every moment.
Reynolds will receive a years subscription to Family Tree Magazine and $100 toward her favorite genealogy cause.
Were proud of all the genealogy volunteers youve met in the magazine this year. In addition to Reynolds, they are:
- Ellen Thompson, collecting history of local schools
- Robin Dickson, volunteering and indexing records at her library
- John Jackson, creating a virtual cemetery for Civil War soldiers
- Susan Steele, preserving historical insurance records
- Bennie W. White, compiling records and posting resources free online