• Barbara Mathews

Jan Meisels Allen of IAJGS Awarded 2021 Shirley Barnes Records Access Award

MGC announced on Sunday, May 15, 2021, that Jan Meisels Allen received the 2021 Shirley Barnes Records Access Award for her years of hard work on behalf of genealogists everywhere.

Since 2003 Jan has been the chairperson of the Public Records Access Monitoring Committee (PRAMC) of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS). She served on the IAJGS Board of Directors from 2004-2013. Since 2004 she represents IAJGS as a sponsoring member on the Records Preservation and Access Coalition (RPAC). In 2015 she was awarded the IAJGS Volunteer of the Year award. In 2013, the National Genealogical Society (NGS) awarded Jan the President’s Citation. In addition to her international and national work, she has served the boards of local Jewish genealogical societies in California. She continues to research her own Polish, Hungarian, and Galician roots. Jan’s work for records access is seen in her frequent Records Access Alerts on behalf of PRAMC. In recent years, Jan’s support of MGC in her letters citing law and precedent have been instrumental in our successes.


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 will recognize 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.