The Dallas Genealogical Society announces the winners of its 2016 Writing Contest. The Society is particularly pleased that the First Prize Winner tells the story behind the first DAR member to successfully use Y-DNA to prove a generational connection in the absence of other direct evidence. Other members have submitted Y-DNA in the past, but in those cases there was enough documentation that DNA was not needed.
First Prize $500: “A Case Study in Using DNA for DAR Membership: First Successful Application” by Ray Harriot.
This entry was submitted as an advanced methodology and case study, which per the Contest Rules is subject matter not limited by geography. Ray Harriot of Laurel, Maryland, has been doing genealogy for 21 years and often uses unconventional methods
inspired by his training as a U.S. Army intelligence analyst and reporter during the Vietnam War. He serves as historian of the Herriott Heritage Association and has been the editor of their newsletter for the past 20 years. He was the author of the Boy Scouts of America’s two bestselling campfire story books from 1995–2014—”Stories for Around the Campfire” and “More Stories for Around the Campfire”, and has also written two genealogical books based on his research—”Beyond Trabroun: The Heriots of Scotland from 1400–1700″ and “A Historical Perspective: The Heriot and Herriott Families of South Carolina”. He is the husband of Janice (Arsenault) Harriot and has three children and nine grandchildren.
Second Prize $300: “The Elusive Andrew Lyday, 1804–1849” by Jana Walker.
Jana Walker is a native Houstonian, with deep Texas roots that span five generations. She has a degree in communications from
the University of Houston. She spent the first part of her professional career at NASA/Johnson Space Center, working for its television contractor as a writer/producer/director. Now she teaches piano at her own private studio. In her spare time, she uses her research and writing skills to discover and document the stories of her ancestors to share with family members present and yet-to-be. Finding her family connections to Texas and American history has led her to become a member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Third Prize $150: “Alice’s Looking Glass: Reflection on the Prussian Drahns to Texas” by Vicki Ayo.
Vicki Welch Ayo, a Texas native, now resides in southern California, close to her three grown sons, Matt, Nick, and Joey. She spent her early childhood years in the Houston area where she was immersed in the music revolution sweeping Houston during her teen years in the 1960s. As a high school graduate and after moving to California, Vicki attended Fullerton College in Fullerton, California, and later Irvine Valley College in Irvine, California, studying computer information and digital media. Since those early years, her passion for music has always been a cherished portion of her life and led to her books, “Boys from Houston I & II“, which detail the revolutionary music transition in the Houston area during the Vietnam War and the political unrest of the 1960s. Combining a passion for genealogy with Texas history, her latest book, “The Davis Gang, a memoir of sisters from East Texas who robbed banks with their siblings in the 1930s”, allowed her to fuse both loves.
The winners will be honored at the DGS Annual Awards Luncheon December 10, 2016.