Saturday 9 May 2020

Australian Keith A Johnson elected a Fellow of the IGRS

Australian genealogist Keith A. Johnson AM, FSG, FSAG, FRAHS has been elected a Fellow of the Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS).

Keith Johnson became active in history and genealogy circles in the early 1960s, joining the Royal Australian Historical Society [RAHS] and the Society of Australian Genealogists [SAG].

Keith A Johnson, the Irish Genealogical
Research Society’s most recently elected Fellow.
Since 1980 he has been involved in publishing, originally in print but more recently online. His first significant publication was the Census of New South Wales, November 1828, which he edited with Malcolm Sainty.

In partnership with Malcolm, he founded the Australian Biographical & Genealogical Record [ABGR] in 1982, an ambitious project to build a biographical database of everyone born or arriving in Australia from 1788 to 1900 (including Aboriginal people). Through the ABGR they published various muster lists for the early colonies in Australia.

In 2006 they set up the Biographical Database of Australia [BDA] a non-profit project, now online, which continues the work of the ABGR. Keith is Vice-President of the BDA Board.

Chairman of the IGRS Awards sub-committee, Paul Gorry, said: “Over a period of a quarter century, the work for which Keith Johnson (working with Malcolm Sainty) has been most widely known internationally is the editing of the annual Genealogical Research Directory. Published from 1981 to 2007, the GRD provided an opportunity for family historians to connect with others throughout the world with shared research interests. Before the internet made such contact possible in different ways, the GRD was unrivalled in genealogy.”

IGRS Chairman Steven Smyrl added: “Keith has had a long and distinguished career in genealogy and he has been to the forefront of developments in the field in Australia for decades. He is the 92nd person to have been honoured with the Fellowship of the IGRS in its 84-year history. He is the sixth Australasian (and fifth Australian) to be so elected, following Andrew Clifford (New Zealand, 1995), Rosemary Coleby (2005), Nick Reddan (2006), Lindsay Bellhouse (2009) and Terry Eakin (2012).”