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JGS to Induct Gene Hurdt into Hall of Fame

April 3, 2016

The Jonesborough Genealogical Society (JGS) was founded in April 1990 by a handful of members. The officers of this organization included: Rosa Russell, President; Anne Shaw, Vice President; Jan Teinert, Secretary and Genealogical Services Chair; Ruby Russell, Treasurer; Mildred Kozsuch, Program and Projects Chair; Loraine Bennett Rae, Genealogical Library Chair and “The Jonesborough Record” Editor; and Elaine Scott Cantrell, “Digging for Your Roots” Editor. On August 22nd, 1990, Loraine Bennett Rae wrote the first article for “Digging for Your Roots” entitled “Serendipity,” in which she identifies two main objectives of the JGS. “1) To develop the best genealogical and historical library in upper east Tennessee; and 2) To obtain as much data as possible concerning the people and events of this area, with special emphasis on a) Jonesborough, and b) black families.”

On Saturday, April 23rd, the JGS will celebrate its 26th anniversary and induct the “Hall of Fame” Class of 2016, Gene Hurdt, into the Jonesborough Genealogical Society “Hall of Fame” at 10:00 a.m. at the Washington County-Jonesborough Library, 200 Sabin Drive, Jonesborough, Tennessee. Brunch will be served at 9:30 a.m. Richard Griffin, Jr., the director of Jonesborough-Washington County Library, will be our speaker.

Gene Hurdt has served as JGS President for twenty years, during which time, he fulfilled the mission of the Jonesborough Genealogical Society is “to promote, study, and document the families of Jonesborough, Washington County and East Tennessee” (JGS Constitution, Section 1).

Through his leadership, the JGS established “Genealogical Day” at the Washington County Library.  As he would always say, ‘Genealogical Day is the 4th Saturday.’  With the start of “Genealogical Day,” the JGS began the move from the Courthouse to the library.  At first, the Washington County Library invited us to update the vertical files in the genealogy collection.

Over time, the JGS added a “Genealogy Help Night” which is every second Thursday evening at the library. In 2008, Gene suggested the creation of the JGS Hall of Fame!  In 2009, our first inductions into the JGS Hall of Fame were inducted.  In 2010, the JGS Board of Directors changed with the several new board member and officers of our society.  This Board of Directors took our early settlers project and published our first award-winning book titled, “Early Settlers of Washington County: (pre) 1768-1777.”

The Washington County Historical Association in November 2009 awarded Gene the Samuel Cole Williams award.  In May 2010, the East Tennessee Historical Society awarded him the Leadership in Community History Award.   After attending the Tennessee Archives Institute, Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett certified Gene as Archival Manager in 2012.

In 2013, the Washington County Library and Friends of the Washington County Library presented him the Ann de Normandie Volunteer Award 2012.

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