Each year the Nebraska State Genealogy Society offers an award to one genealogist or family historian for exceptional and outstanding service to his or her local genealogical society and the genealogy community as a whole. Nominations are sought from all the genealogical societies and organizations in the state. The NSGS board then selects the winner from the nominations received, and a Genealogist of the Year is recognized at the Annual Conference each spring.
Past genealogists of the year:
2008 Denny Norvell, Auburn
2009 Kenneth Freeman Moseman
2010 Mary Landkamer, Broken Bow
2011 Ruby Coleman, North Platte
2012 Sue Doak, McCook
2013 Judi Cook, Lincoln
2014 Sandra Slater, Holdrege
2015 Phyllis Ericson, Lincoln
2016 Rosalie McKnight, Broken Bow
2017 Ruth Briney, Lincoln
Ruth Briney, 2017 Genealogist of the Year
The Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society nominated Ruth Briney in recognition of her dedication and leadership for taking their society in a new direction beyond traditional genealogy. Phyllis Ericson, LLCGS President, highlighted Ruth’s contributions in her nomination.
Ruth Briney is a recent “non-traditional” genealogist. When she “retired” again about four years ago she discovered genealogy and family history. At 88 years of age she began attending genealogy meetings and sharing with others her new found family discoveries. She quickly learned how to use the internet for her searches and was delighted to track her ancestors back several hundred years.
When members of the our society dreamed of starting a writer’s group, Ruth Briney stepped forward and volunteered to form and lead the group. In four years, the “Time Travelers” writing group has grown from four original interested members to over 30. Ruth Briney, at 92 years of age, is the inspiration of the group which meets twice a month to share and critique short stories written by members of the group as we write our "Memories into Memoirs for Posterity". Ruth Briney has taught us the importance of incorporating writing as a tool for our genealogy research. She believes that writing not only tests our research, it also preserves our work and also helps us connect with others.
Members of the group who can keep up with Ruth’s enthusiasm and writing discipline are thrilled to have created over 20 short stories and poems about their ancestors and their own memories each year. The LLCGS has created a “Writer’s Corner” on our website to share examples of some of the Time Traveler’s writings.
Ruthie is an overachiever, a role model, a shepherd to her writing flock; an organizer extraordinaire; a good friend. She goes out of her way to support other writers, cares about people, and protects the group so we don’t sabotage it. She is someone who dreams big and drags us along with her. We’ve all done more writing and gone more directions in our writing than we ever thought we would because of Ruthie.
- Moni Usasz, Time Travelers member