The Ted Gilberd Family History Award

The NZSG sponsors an award for the best family history article published in the New Zealand Genealogist each year. The Ted Gilberd Family History Award is a certificate and a $100 NZSG voucher.

Any original and previously unpublished work of the writer, who must be a member of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists at the time the article is submitted, is eligible for judging.

The criteria for inclusion in the judging are that the article should show a clear relationship between the research evidence and the written result, be well referenced and include illustrations. The NZSG evaluates each essay for:

  • the effort to provide a broader context for the story rather than just a description of a family or person
  • clarity of structure and style
  • organisation and evaluation of the evidence
  • evidence of sources through references and/or bibliography.

2021 Winner

Stephen Palmer, #27335, for his article 'Adventure ahead? First World War experiences of Philip Palmer, organist' published in February 2021. The judges commented: ‘Adventure ahead?’ relates the WWI experiences of Philip Palmer, organist and singer, journalist and clerk, and explores the influence of those experiences on his later life. His choice of a formal mode of narration enabled the writer to present a clear storyline while also exploring his subject's motivations and perspectives objectively but sympathetically. Relevant historical context, skilfully integrated, supports the narrative without ever feeling intrusive.

Throughout this engaging story there is evidence of thorough and wide-ranging research which is clearly and consistently documented. The author judges well when to drill into facts for the insights they can reveal, and when to leave them to speak for themselves. Analysis of the systemic denial and cover-up of the incidence of shell-shock among the troops, and its impact on his subject, is particularly well handled.

The article is appropriately illustrated, although the inclusion of a map of the war zone where Philip Palmer saw active service would have enhanced the passages about troop movements. Overall the story is well told: well structured, well written and well referenced, a worthy recipient of this Award.

2020 Winner

Catherine Clarke, #18886, for her article 'Felonious, wicked and diabolical?' published in October 2020. The judges commented: This article tells the story of a man accused of homosexual crimes at a time when their penalty was death. The difficult subject matter is handled sensitively in a well-researched, well-structured and well-referenced story. The author makes good use of a variety of resources to provide social context, and highlights attitudes through the media focus of the day, while appropriate illustrations support and add value to the narrative.



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