Honorary Life Members
The following persons, each of whom has made an exceptional contribution to the development and progress of genealogy in Nova Scotia, were designated Honorary Life Members of the Association in the year noted. Where possible the citations given in association with the awarding of their Life Memberships has been provided.
Mildred was born at Sydney and received her early schooling at Cape Breton. Mildred was laways interested in family research and began her formal career in the 1970s with the Howard family shortly after her marriage.
In 1983 she established the Cape Breton Genealogical Society and conducted yearly seminars and workshops at the McConnell Memorial Library and assisted with workshops at the University College of Cape Breton. She was an early proponent of standards and in 1991 after passing her work sample, written and oral exams, The Genealogical Institute of the Maritimes bestowed the title of Certified Genealogist. She is the only perosn so qualified on the whole island an as such received numerous requests for assistance. Her name appears on the Archives list of responsible person avaiable for professional research and likewise so for the Beaton Institute, genealogical reference division of the University College of Cape Breton.
She has been a member of GANSsince it's inception in 1982 and before that when it was a committeeof the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society. In March 1997, her local genealogical contingent hosted a GANS sponsored computer workshop for beginners at the McConnell Library which was extremely well attended by followers throughout the island.
Under the auspices of teh Cape Breton Genealogical Society she compiled and published the 1838 Census of Cape Breton Island. Following this, she published a comprehensive compilation in three volumes of vital statistics from Cape Breton Newspapers 1834-1885.
On her research trips to Halifax she has extracted surnames from early passenger lists, extant at the Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management., withdestinations to Cape Breton and makes them available through her society. At the moment, she is presently engaged in completing the Cape Breton newspaper series to the year 1900 and the translation into English of the surviving issues dated between 1892 and 1904 of McTalla the newspaper which served the Gaelic speaking communities of the island. (Nova Scotia GenealogistI, Vol. XVII, no. 2, p. 98-99)
Gwen was born at Wolfville, N.S. and received her early schooling in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Acadia, and a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University in Ottawa. She married Stuart Trask and in Septemebr of 1998 they celebrated their 50th Anniversary. They are the parents of three children.
Gwen began researching the Trask family shortly after her marraige when she became aware of discrepencies in the data of Gerge S. Brown's Yarmouth Genealogies. She joined the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society's Genealogical Committee and pursued research at the former archives site. In the 70's she joined the New England Historical Genealogical Society Library in Boston and in 1976 attended the course given by NEHGS at Harvard University. The same year she did extensive research in England.
In 1977 she conducted courses with Margaret Stead in Montreal which was the basis for the Quebec Family History Society of which she was a Charter Member, participating in the creation of the Constitution and By-Laws. In 1979 along with her husband she started Stoneycroft Publishing chiefly because at that time period, established publishers were hesitant to produce genealogies.
In 1980 when the family moved from Montreal to the Boston area she became the second volunteer at NEHGS and in 1983 became director of the Volunteer Programme and remained chairman of that programme until she reited to Yarmouth.
In 1982 encouraged by Phyllis Blakeley, the former Provincial Archivist, she edited the Yarmouth Township Records. Later, in conjunction with her husband, she published the Records of the Church of Jeboque and has presented Papers at three PLanter Conferences at Acadia Unviersity, two of which have been published.
She was an early proponent of standards and ethics for genealogists, so when the Genealogical Institute of the Maritimes was formed she qualified in 1985 as a Certified Genealogist. She helped establish the Genealogy Group of the Yarmouth Historical Society (now defunct). She also remains a member and is active in the Argyle Historical and Genealogical Society; the Shelburne County Genealogical Society; the Loyalist Association (qualified by proving descent from Loyalist ancestor Isaac Guiou K.A.R.) NEHGS; New Brunswick Genealogical Society and was made a Friend of the Pilgrims by Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants by proving her husband's and children's descent from John Alden.
Mayflower research is a major part of her work as a Certified Genealogist. She has continued to teach both beginning and advanced Genealogy courses for continuing education programmesfor the Town of Yarmouth.
Her philosophy is modelled from the revered American Genealogist Gilbert Doane who taught at Harvard in 1976 that "all you need beside curiosity to be a good genealogist, is a sharp pencil and a clean pad of paper." (Nova Scotia GenealogistI, vol. XVII, no. 2, pp. 97-98).
Ross grew up in Beaver Brook, Colchester County receiving his early education there and graduated from Truro Academy. He graduated from Acadia University with a B.A. and B.Ed. and received an M.A. from the University of Orono, Maine. In the years following graduation, he taught in various Nova Scotia school.
Interest in family and local history have always held a keen interest for him. He has compiled his own family genealogy and collected material pertaining to Colchester County. As a member of the Valley Presbtery Archives Committee and Martimes Conference Archives Committee, he continued to work toward the preservation fo church archival marterial.
Ruth grew up in Margaretville, Annapolis County receiving her early education there and graduated from Middleton Regionl High School. Following high school graduation, she attended Provincial Normal College, Truro and received a B.A. and B.Ed from Acadia University. Ruth also taught in Nova Scotia Schools. She, too, has always been interested in family and local history concentrating her interest in Annapolis County. She has served various terms on the Board of Directors of teh Annapolis Valley Macdonald Museum; she was a 2nd Vice President of GANS and has been involved with working on the pre-1914 built heritage inventory of Annapolis County for the Annapolis County Heritage Advisory Committee.
Both Ross & Ruth have volunteered their time extracting information to aid genealogists and historians. Vital statistics from the Baptist Newspaper, "The Christian Messenger" 1847-1865 have been compiled and are available for use at Acadia University Baptist Archives, Wolfville, and the Macdonald Museum, Middleton. Vital Statistics from the Methods newspaper "The Wesleyan" 1828-1865 are available for researchers at Maritime Conference Archives in Sackville, New Brunswick and at a few museums in Nova Scotia.
Under the auspices of the Annapolis Valley Macdonald Museum they have compiled and published: Indexes to Annapolis County Birth Records 1864-1876: Annapolis County Township Book and the Granville Township Book.
The Burgess' are presently working on preparing the Wilmot Township Book for publication by the Macdonald Museum and an alphabetical index to the Annapolis County Marriages (1864-1908) for use at the museum. (The Nova Scotia Genealogist, vol. XIX, no. 2, pp. 76-77).
Jim was born in Norfolk, New York, but moved to Kenmore, Ontario at an early age. He recieved his education in Ontario schools, joined the RCAF, later the CAF, in 1950. He retired as a navigator in 1978 having served in various parts of Canada, USA, and Europe. His interest in family history began while living in Winnipeg. He and Shirley, have worked on both McCormick and MacKenzie family research, as well as collateral lines within those families since 1960. Jim was a member of the Osgoode Township Historical Society since its inception, and submitted his research on the McCormick family to their Museum library. Jim passed away in 2018.
Shirley was born in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, grew up in Union Centre, Pictou County, and received her early schooling and business education within the province. Following three years with the RCAF, she returned to bookkeeping and accounting before marriage. In 1960 a "bunch" of old letters was passed to her by her mother, the reading of which resulted in a labour of love in researching five different surnames connected to her family. A trip to Scotland in May 2001 provided the opportunity to visit the homestead of a direct ancestor who left Scotland in May 1803 to come to Nova Scotia.
Shirley served as genealogist for the Clan MacKenzie Society of Nova Scotia for twelve years, during which time she assisted people from different parts of the world in search of their family roots. Material on the various families she researched has been placed with the current genealogist, for the Clan MacKenzie Society collection.
Jim and Shirley collaborated in a compilation consisting of eight volumes of births, marriages and deaths as found in the Presbyterian Witness between the yeasr 1848 and 1908. An earlier and similar compilation from the Plain Dealer was done in 1982, and placed with the Provincial Archives.
Jim and Shirley were members of the Annapolis Valley Historical Society, Jim served on the Board of Directors for the Museum, was Chairperson of the Library Committee. Both were library volunteers and contributed to its holdings. (The Nova Scotia Genealogist, vol. XIX, no. 2, pp. 75-76).