• Barbara Mathews

2022 Shirley Barnes Records Access Award Goes to Morse, Kehs and Weintraub for One-Step Webpages


"Massachusetts Genealogical Council Awards the Fourth Annual Shirley M. Barnes Records Access Award to Stephen P. Morse, Ph.D., David R. Kehs, Ph.D., and Joel D. Weintraub, Ph.D., for their collaborative work on One Step Webpages, making poorly indexed records, and newly released censuses available to all, for free."


VIRTUAL: 8:00 PM, April 25, 2021: During LIVE Events for the Massachusetts Genealogical Council’s Connections Virtual Conference, President Susan O’Connor announced the 2022 winners of the Shirley Barnes Records Access Award: Stephen P. Morse, Ph.D., Joel D. Weintraub, Ph.D., and David R. Kehs, Ph.D., for the One-Step Webpages.


WHO ARE STEPHEN P. MORSE, PH.D., JOEL D. WEINTRAUB, PH.D., AND DAVID R. KEHS, PH.D.? They are the men behind One-Step Webpages, the go-to for genealogists searching datasets subject to name complexity, such as census images, vital records, and passenger lists. Each tool on One-Step Webpages allows genealogists to specify what they want in a simple, easy to use manner. The tool then builds the URL of the website that would contain that information, sometimes in the form of a query to the website, sometimes as the URL itself. The One-Step site supports fuzzy names that take into account Eastern European languages. This Beidler-Morse Phonetic Matching tool was a game changer.


The 1950 census was not the first census release which has been supported by Morse, Weintraub, and Kehs. For the 1940 census release in 2012, Enumeration District information on streets covered, developed by Joel Weintraub, was brought to NARA Waltham’s Walter Hickey by David Kehs, and then brought into an online tool by Stephen Morse. Once there, volunteers helped to develop other ED-to-street listings.


In reading about the work of these men, it is clear that they work together and are generous of their time, ideas, and tools. The tools are free to use by everyone. Both the Italian and Jewish genealogy sites in New York City use these tools in their own websites. When asked, the men always see themselves as part of a co-operative working group.


MGC is pleased to announce that the 2022 Shirley M. Barnes Records Access Award is being given to Stephen P. Morse, Ph.D., Joel D. Weintraub, Ph.D., and David R. Kehs, Ph.D. (posthumously), for their collaborative work on One-Step Webpages, making poorly indexed records, and newly released censuses available to all, for free.


THE SHIRLEY M. BARNES RECORDS ACCESS AWARD:

The Massachusetts Genealogical Council, at the annual meeting on February 17, 2019, established an annual award to be given in memory of Shirley M. (Armstrong) Barnes at a luncheon, held in odd years at the New England Regional Genealogical Conference and in even years at the MGC Annual Seminar. The award recognizes people who emulate Shirley's volunteer spirit and whose dedication to records access has made a significant impact for genealogists. See www.massgencouncil.org/shirley-barnes-records-access-award for more information.


Photo credits: Morse, Kehs, and Weintraub courtesy of the JDW Talks channel on YouTube.

Shirley M. Barnes in the Massachusetts statehouse, 1983, from the MGC files.


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