Marion Woodfork Simmons

October 2012 ~ Edward Sluby, Sr. Meritorious Achievement Award

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Marion Woodfork Simmons received the Paul Edward Sluby, Sr. Meritorious Achievement Award during the national convention of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS) on October 6, 2012. The Meritorious Achievement Award is the second highest award that can be bestowed by AAHGS. It is presented for distinguished performance through a significant and measurable contribution to African American history and genealogy. Ms. Simmons was recognized for her tireless efforts to promote the awareness, documentation, and preservation of family and local history.

She is the owner of Woodfork Genealogy LLC in Burtonsville, Maryland whose mission is to empower ordinary people to take an active role in preserving family and community history. In 2009, she initiated the Union High History Project to preserve the history of Caroline County Virginia’s only high school for Negroes during segregation. She interviewed and collected information and artifacts from over 100 alumni, faculty, family and friends. The final result of the project was a self-published book titled Memories of Union High: An Oasis in Caroline County, Virginia 1903 to 1969. Ms. Simmons was recognized as a finalist in the African American non-fiction category for the 2012 National Indie Excellence Award, and has received local acclaim for her book.

Ms. Simmons frequently speaks to genealogy groups on the importance of preserving family and community history.