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Governor Jack Markell Presents Edward J. Freel with the 2016 Governor’s Heritage Award

Written on: November 29th, 2016 in Blog PostsEvents at the Archives

Governor Jack Markell today honored former Delaware Secretary of State Edward J. Freel as the recipient of the 2016 Governor’s Heritage Award.

In a ceremony held at the Delaware Public Archives with a large crowd of family, friends, and colleagues, the governor spoke of Mr. Freel’s commitment to the First State through his major role in the construction of the current Archives facility and his establishment of The Democracy Project at the University of Delaware.

“Ed has devoted his life to making our state a better place, whether as a public official working on policies that improve the lives of Delawareans or as a teacher transferring his passion for service to countless students,” said Gov. Markell. “No one is prouder of Delaware’s heritage than Ed and I’m thrilled that we have this opportunity to honor his incredible work to preserve our past while helping build an ever-brighter future.”

Established in 2003 by the Office of the Secretary of State, the Governor’s Heritage Award is presented to individuals who have made a distinguished contribution to the recognition, preservation, and celebration of Delaware’s heritage.

“I am honored and humbled to receive the Governor’s Heritage Award. As I looked at the previous distinguished recipients, I saw three who were personal mentors to me: Jim Soles, Bill Quillen, and Skipper Purnell,” Mr. Freel said. “Beyond any individual recipient, what is significant about this reward is the fact that the governor and the state pause to reflect on the importance of our heritage and the essential principles of democracy and civic engagement that are woven into Delaware’s history.”

“Ed Freel embodies a spirit of public service to the people of Delaware that we should all admire,” said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “Throughout his tenure in public life, and especially when he held the office of Secretary of State, Ed has been an advocate for the institutions and organizations charged with preserving our heritage for future generations. I thank him for his years of effort, as well as his enduring friendship and counsel.”

In 1994, a group of citizens concerned with the deteriorating condition of the Archives facility solicited the signatures of thousands of Delawareans supporting the construction of a new building. As secretary of state during Gov. Thomas Carper’s administration, Mr. Freel’s leadership guided the construction of a new, state-of-the-art Delaware Public Archives, which opened in 2001.
In his role at the University of Delaware, Mr. Freel manages The Democracy Project, which promotes civic engagement among young people and a better understanding of citizen responsibilities in a democratic society. Each year the Democracy Project sponsors the Institute for Teachers, which aims to improve the teaching of civics in Delaware schools. Through the Institute, instructors have the opportunity to meet with public figures and develop new and innovative lesson plans for the classroom. Over the past 18 years, more than 200 teachers have participated in the program.

Edward J. Freel accepts the 2016 Governor’s Heritage Award from Governor Jack Markell as Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock and State Archivist Stephen M. Marz look on

Edward J. Freel accepts the 2016 Governor’s Heritage Award from Governor Jack Markell as Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock and State Archivist Stephen M. Marz look on

Tracing Your Roots with “The Legal Genealogist”

Written on: October 31st, 2016 in Blog PostsDelaware HistoryEvents at the ArchivesResearch Room

(Dover, DE) On Saturday, November 5, Judy G. Russell, JD, CG CGL, known as “The Legal Genealogist” will present two programs at the Delaware Public Archives. The first presentation, at 10:30 a.m. is titled “Don’t Forget the Ladies” – A Genealogist’s Guide to Women and the Law. In early America, women were all too often […]


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Preserving Documents, Photographs, and Digital Memories

Written on: September 26th, 2016 in Blog PostsDelaware HistoryEvents at the ArchivesPhotographspreservationResearch Room

Looking for a way to preserve important documents, photos and videos for future generations? On Saturday, October 1 at 10:30 a.m., the Delaware Public Archives will present a program discussing how to preserve photographs, documents, and digital memories. You will leave this program with the knowledge needed to care for and preserve your irreplaceable memories. […]


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Integrating Your Ancestors into Desktop, Mobile and Cloud Technologies

Written on: August 23rd, 2016 in Blog PostsDelaware HistoryEvents at the ArchivesResearch Room

(Dover, DE) On Saturday, September 3, at 10:30 a.m. Shamele Jordon will present a program at the Delaware Public Archives focusing on new technologies that have proven to be most useful for genealogy research. Through her own quest for her family’s history, the presenter will discuss how she used new genealogical methods such as desktop […]


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In Pursuit of “Pancho” Villa: The Delaware National Guard’s 1916 Mexican Border Service

Written on: August 10th, 2016 in

In 1916, Mexican Revolutionary General Francisco “Pancho” Villa, led a raid against the U.S.-Mexican border town of Columbus, New Mexico. The U.S. government sent U.S. Army General John J. Pershing to capture Villa in an unsuccessful nine-month incursion into Mexican sovereign territory that ended when the United States entered World War I. Among Pershing’s troops […]


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The Cold War’s Effect on Dover Air Force Base and its Surrounding Communities

Written on: July 22nd, 2016 in Blog PostsDelaware HistoryEvents at the ArchivesResearch Room

Dover Air Force Base has been a cornerstone of Dover, Delaware for over 60 years. What is little understood is the impact the base has had on the communities that surround it. On Saturday, August 6, at 10:30 a.m. MSgt Eric Czerwinski, USAF, (Retired) will present a program at the Delaware Public Archives about Dover […]


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From Humble Beginnings: The First Thirty Years of Dover Air Force Base

Written on: June 17th, 2016 in Delaware HistoryEvents at the ArchivesResearch Room

(Dover, DE) On Saturday, July 2, at 10:30 a.m. Mike Leister, Director of the Air Mobility Command (AMC) Museum in Dover, will present a program at the Delaware Public Archives about the early years of the Dover Air Force Base. In 1940 the City of Dover accepted an offer to build a federally funded airport. […]


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Maximizing Ancestry.com to Find Your Genealogical Roots

Written on: May 24th, 2016 in Blog PostsEvents at the ArchivesResearch Room

Ancestry.com is one of the most popular and valued genealogical tools in the world. Understanding and maximizing its usefulness is essential in order to efficiently search and record your family’s history. On Saturday, June 4, at 10:30 a.m., professional genealogist Sydney F. Cruice Dixon will present a program at the Delaware Public Archives in which […]


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Celebrate Dover Days with Two Tours of the Delaware Public Archives

Written on: April 28th, 2016 in Blog PostsDelaware HistoryEvents at the ArchivesPhotographsResearch Room

A Dover Tour of the Delaware Public Archives On Monday, May 2, at 6:00 p.m., the Delaware Public Archives will offer a special evening program titled “A Dover Tour of the Delaware Public Archives.” While featuring all the traditional components of a “behind the scenes” tour of the facility, this visit will include documents, maps, […]


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The Basics of Italian Genealogical Research

Written on: April 8th, 2016 in Blog PostsEvents at the ArchivesResearch Room

On Saturday, April 23 at 10:30 a.m., Melanie Holtz, CG, will present a webinar program at Delaware Public Archives about Italian Genealogy for beginners. The majority of records used for Italian genealogical research come from two major record sets, civil registration and ecclesiastical records. This lecture will cover what type of civil and ecclesiastical records […]


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