John T. Humphrey, CG, Memorial Lecture at NGS

This week the National Genealogical Society (NGS) will have its annual conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are several lectures per hour and many other activities such as group breakfasts and sponsored luncheons.

One of the lectures is sponsored by GRIP: “Baptism: Sacrament, Ceremony, Practices, and Records, ” on Thursday, 9 May, 8:00 a.m., T203, presented by Rev. David McDonald, CG.

When John T. Humphrey, CG, died 12 August 2012, (see related post) he left a large hole in our genealogical community. Well-known for his German research expertise, John’s final public appearance, just two weeks prior to his death, was teaching a week-long German genealogy course at GRIP. Not only did his class enjoy his presence and knowledge that week, but students and faculty from other courses were able to sit with him for a meal or have conversations with him on campus.

John was also known for the Pennsylvania Births book series in which he indexed church baptismal records for southeast Pennsylvania counties. His roots were deep in that area and it is where he was raised and has been laid to rest. Many people can claim being a cousin with John due to those early German roots, including GRIP co-director Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, who is related to each of John’s parents.

It is quite fitting that GRIP sponsor this memorial lecture and that David McDonald, CG, a pastor in his “day job,” present it at an NGS conference, a society for which John worked as education director. In areas where civil birth records do not exist, church baptismal records, if kept, may be the only direct evidence of a child’s birth. John was aware of their importance and dedicated years to compiling his books. He probably would be pleased that David is making this presentation on the same subject.

Our thanks to Dave for doing this presentation.

Look to for audio CDs of lectures taped at NGS and other genealogical conferences.

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