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Local resident Erin Neill named Pioneer of Rockwall County

(ROCKWALL, TX – Sept. 25, 2018) Local resident Erin Neill was recently certified as a Rockwall County Pioneer by the Rockwall County Genealogical Society.

The Society formed its Pioneer Certification Committee in January 2018 as a way to recognize living residents who are longtime descendants of the county’s earliest settlers. To qualify for a Pioneer Certificate, one must have either a direct descendant or collateral descendant who resided in Rockwall County prior to March 1, 1873. Supporting documentation must be provided to RCGS’s Pioneer Certification Committee, which will then verify the information before issuing the certificate.

Neill, who works as an agent at Hanby Insurance in Rockwall, has an ancestor named Franklin Sullivan who was appointed Postmaster of the area known today as Rockwall County in 1859. Neil moved to Rockwall in 2002, and said it was curiosity that led her to researching her ancestry.

“I grew up in the area but I had no idea my family had specific ties to Rockwall County,” Neill said. “I feel really connected to the Rockwall community, and this Pioneer Certificate deepens the connection I have to the community I love.”

The certificate also grants Neill a one-year membership in RCGS. The Society was founded in 1982 by a group of local Rockwall County citizens with a desire to advance the understanding of genealogical research methods for both beginners and advanced researchers. RCGS members dedicate themselves to preserving the history of their ancestors – especially the history of Rockwall County and its citizens.

“Because of internet research and sites like Ancestry.com, many beginning genealogists have the misconception that there is no longer a need for local genealogy societies. This couldn’t be further from the truth,” said 2018 RCGS President Denise Slosar. “RCGS members and speakers can help give a much broader understanding through experience and lessons learned, of what for most is a life long journey.”

The Society meets 11 months out of the year, with a program presentation and an update on the various genealogy society happenings among RCGS members, as well as local and national genealogy societies. Meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

RCGS welcomes anyone interested in genealogy to become members. Membership dues are $20 for an individual, $25 for a family and $30 for an institution.

For more information visit www.rockwallroots.org/rcgs.

Story and photo by Austin Wells.

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