Maryland Genealogical Society
Maryland Genealogical Society

In Memoriam - Genealogists of Note

The work of family historians today is built upon the foundations laid by noted genealogists who came before us. The Maryland Genealogical Society would like to recognize the achievements of the following genealogists who are no longer with us. Some have passed away recently, while others we continue to remember fondly even after the passage of many years.
 
 
 
 
Peter Wilson Coldham was a Fellow of the British Society of Genealogists and the American Society of Genealogists. Many family historians with Maryland roots have benefitted immensely from his work on Colonial migration to the Americas. He was the author of more than 26 books and numerous articles, including many standard works on Anglo-American genealogy. Notable titles include Settlers of Maryland, The King’s Passengers to Maryland and Virginia, The Complete Book of Emigrants, and The Complete Book of Emigrants in Bondage.
 
A brief biographical sketch of Mr. Coldham is available on Origins.net, and the following is a remembrance of him by noted Maryland genealogist Bob Barnes.
 
Peter Wilson Coldham has died, and the world of genealogical research has lost a remarkable man.
 
I remember him not only as a fellow researcher but as a friend. The first time we met, via transatlantic telephone, when I started to address him as Mr. Coldham, he interrupted me and said, “Please, call me Peter.” Later when he and his wife came to a genealogical conference at Westminster, Maryland, I had the pleasure of having breakfast with Peter and Paulette, his wife, and I learned how much of their time was taken up in a ‘community service’ project, very similar to the Maryland Food Project.  As I thought about writing this article, I remembered Laertes’ words in the closing scene of Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “Good night, sweet prince. Choirs of angels sing thee to thy rest.”
 
 
 
John T. Humphrey, CG, was known nationally and internationally for his work in German genealogy and Pennsylvania genealogy. His many publications include: the sixteen-volume set Pennsylvania Births, which lists more than 200,000 births in fifteen eastern Pennsylvania counties; Finding Your German Ancestors: A Practical Guide for Genealogists; Early Families of Northampton County, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania Gravestones, Northampton County; and Understanding and Using Baptismal Records. In 2009, he shared his expertise on baptismal records at a Maryland Genealogical Society Basics+ Workshop on church records. During his career, he served as president of the Mid- Atlantic Germanic Society, a vice president of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, and director of the National Genealogical Society Learning Center.
 
An obituary appeared in the Express-Times (Easton, Pennsylvania) on 15 August 2012.
 
 
 
George Ely Russell was prominent not only in the Maryland genealogical community, but also nationally. He was an elected fellow of the American Society of Genealogists and served as editor of the National Genealogical Quarterly from 1971 to 1986. He also served as a contributing editor to The American Genealogist, The Russell Register, and Western Maryland Genealogy, and was the author of more than 140 genealogical articles and books. He founded the Prince Georges County Genealogical Society in 1969 and was a member of the Maryland Genealogical Society for many years.
 
An obituary appeared in the Frederick News-Post on 14 January 2013.