For Extraordinary Service to the Board for Certification of Genealogists

Established in 2018, the Donn Devine Award for Extraordinary Service to the Board for Certification of Genealogists recognizes that the foundation of any great organization is rooted in service; it is the nurturing force which fuels all growth.

Any board member can nominate any individual in writing, setting out the service justifying the award. The essential criterion is extraordinary service to the Board. A nominee may be living or deceased and may be actively practicing in the field or retired. From those nominated, the BCG president selects one or more awardees and submits that selection to the board with the reasons for the award. It is not limited by numbers, thus more than one individual may be recognized in any year, and there may be any number of years in which no award is made.


Donn Devine, JD, CG® Emeritus, FNGS

The award itself is named in honor of a man whose extraordinary service to BCG truly exemplifies those whose activities may be honored by the award in years to come.

A New Jersey native and Delaware resident, Donn Devine, JD, CG® Emeritus, FNGS, first became a board-certified genealogist in 1987—a credential he last renewed at the age of 88. His extraordinary service to the Board for Certification of Genealogists spanned more than a quarter century, first as a trustee and later as its general counsel. In his four-decade genealogical career, he served the broader genealogical community as a society leader and through research, lecturing, and scholarly publications. His work earned him recognition as a Fellow of the National Genealogical Society (2013), honorary lifetime membership in the Association of Professional Genealogists (2014) and, in 2018, election to Certified Genealogist Emeritus status.

A renaissance man, Donn has been a chemist, an urban planner, a lawyer, a National Guardsman rising in rank from private to brigadier general, an archivist and, perhaps most importantly, a husband and father. To BCG, he will always be a cherished colleague.


On 10 May 2019, the president of BCG announced the first recipients of the Donn Devine Award. The honorees are Alison Hare, CG, of Ottawa, Canada, Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA, of Monroe, New York, and Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA, of Hendersonville, Tennessee. BCG President Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA, said, “BCG thanks each of these individuals for their service. They truly epitomize the level of dedication and service shown by Donn Devine. Their contributions are extraordinary and enduring.” Their citations and biographies are located here:

Alison Hare, CG
Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA
Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA


With thanks to Successories Awards & Recognition for the award image.