CLAYTON LIBRARY FRIENDS


2023 CLF Executive Board Elections

Clayton Library Friends is pleased to announce that voting for the 2023 CLF Executive Board election is now open. Voting members have the opportunity to shape our organization’s future by participating. The election is being conducted entirely online on the CLF website. You will receive a separate email with the link to your ballot.

The election will close at 11:00 a.m. (CT) on Saturday, November 19, 2022, during the Annual membership meeting. Once you vote, you will not be able to revise your vote.

This slate was recommended by the CLF 2022 Nominating Committee as prescribed in the bylaws.

SLATE OF NOMINEES

Jessica Horne Collins - President

A former information systems analyst, Jessica Horne Collins now documents ancestors rather than software bugs. Jessica has served on the CLF board for three years as 1st Vice President-Membership and represents our organization to the National Genealogical Society Delegate Council, of which she is an incoming Steering Committee member. Jessica assisted with the planning and launch of Genealogy Face2Face, CLF's virtual meetings/Zoom hangouts, that began in 2020 after the library's COVID-19 closure. She continues as one of its rotating hosts and as an occasional speaker on genealogical topics.

Since discovering family history in 2012, Jessica has furthered her genealogical knowledge through study groups (ProGen, GenProof, NGSQ) and by attending local seminars, state conferences, and the Texas Institute for Genealogical Research (TIGR). She was a 2022 recipient of an AncestryProGenealogist scholarship, attending the Midwest African-American Genealogical Institute (MAAGI) this summer as its awardee.

Jessica is active in the Texas State Genealogical Society, serving as a contributing editor for its journal, Stirpes, and on the DNA committee. She is also a member of the Association for Professional Genealogists (APG), South-Central Chapter, and National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

When she's not researching, Jessica stays busy as the mom of two boys. She volunteers with the Parent/Teacher Organizations at her sons' schools, is involved with her church's music ministry, and sometimes finds time to papercraft.

Mary Ramsey Hollis - 1st VP - Membership

Mary Hollis

Mary caught the genealogy bug from her Aunt Mildred who began genealogy research in the 1960s (before computers and Ancestry.com).

Mary enjoys research & tying historical events to the family history. She’s been involved in genealogy for only about twenty-five years. Mary has been retired since 2016 and doesn’t know how she had time to do her day job, which was on the systems side of HR/Payroll/Benefits in the field called Human Resources Information Systems, always in the corporate world. Mary has been a volunteer at Clayton Library for several years and looks forward to the day she can return to the library in that capacity, in addition to going as a patron. She’s been a member of CLF since about 2019.

Mary was one of the five women who worked on the Houston Suffragists Project in 2020, finding the women who likely voted in 1920 in Houston & Harris County after the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920. See HoustonSuffragists.org. We found approximately 3500 women who likely voted in 1920.

Mary has become the family historian & archivist and the repository/custodian for all family things as closets, garages, & attics are cleaned out. She enjoys attending online webinars in between research and helping with two great-nephews, ages 10 and 6, and a great-niece, age 4.

Mazella Boulden – 2nd VP - Ways and Means

Mazella Boulden

I was born and raised in Ponca City, OK. I graduated from Ponca City High School and Central State University, now known as University of Central Oklahoma in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Math.

My first job was with Conoco, Inc. for summers during college and for 5 years before relocating to Freeport, TX where I negotiated Wastewater, Solid Waste and RCRA permits for 29.75 years for BASF Corporation. After retiring, I worked for IEA, Inc. an Environmental Consulting Firm in Houston. This job included Environmental auditing and allowed me to travel through numerous cities and states and 2 provinces in Canada.

In retirement I have helped to lead the Senior Adult Ministry for 15 years at the New Faith Church in Houston where I have been a member for 30 years. Co-current jobs included pianist and organist at several churches in Brazoria County as well as teaching piano to young children.

Currently my hobbies include making handmade greeting cards and of course Genealogy. I got hooked on genealogy when I found out that my 2 nd great grandfather was a Free Person of Color and was one of three black members of the Creek Tribal Leadership in Indian Territory. I sometimes attended Clayton Library Presentations prior to the Pandemic and eventually discovered Face2Face Genealogy and I have been hooked ever since.

Susan Hoover – Secretary

Susan Hoover

I've been doing genealogy and going to Clayton as a patron for 30+ years. I started volunteering just before the pandemic hit, so I only got in a couple of sessions of volunteering before it got shut down. I’ve been a member of Clayton Library Friends since August 2019.

I enjoy digging into old unindexed handwritten documents and finding things that you just can't Google. I work on my own family as well as some of my friends'.

My day job for 35 years was software developer, but in January I started my real dream job as a librarian at UH. I'm in the metadata department, where I get to help make the digital collections discoverable.


Carol A. Peña – Director of Programs

Carol A Pena

Carol A. Peña is a native Texan with a passion for genealogy and creative writing. This fifth generation Texan has been researching her maternal line since 2011. Carol is an active Board member of the Bay Area Writers League and has published family stories in several anthology-style books. Growing up, the middle child of seven, she was always fascinated by her mother's ghost and family history stories. Her mother's storytelling led to Carol's love of reading and passion for genealogical discoveries. In 2015, to prepare for a family reunion, she stepped up her research. She successfully added the next generation to her maternal family tree with names, birth, death, and marriage information. Carol added +600-relatives and recorded several “Mom, Tell Me A Story” video segments in time for the reunion’s family history presentation. Carol has published family stories in several anthology-style books.

Carol has been active in Clayton Library Friends on the Programs committee, acting as co-host and helping to facilitate Face2Face sessions as well as presenting one. She successfully completed the Boston University genealogy program Principles class. She plans on completing the Certificate program there. BU recommends a break after the Principles class to practice and encourages volunteer work with genealogical organizations before starting the Certificate program. Carol has been a member of CLF since April 2021.

As her +45-year career in Information Technology winds down, Carol looks forward to spending more time on genealogy research and writing, along with continued adventures with Buster, her constant companion and Wonder-Yorkie.

Connect with Carol on her website at www.carolapena.com.

Kristin Dennis – Director of Volunteers and Hospitality

Kristin Dennis

My name is Kristin Dennis and I am so happy to have found Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research! I was absolutely blown away by it when I first stepped instead of the library just to see what resources were available when I moved here from Michigan in 2015. I was in AWE of all the wonderful resources they have available for researchers and was very fortunate that I could slip away during my workday to spend some time at Clayton. Eventually, I was encouraged to join the Clayton Library Friends and I started attending Genealogy Face2Face lectures. I started to volunteer as I decided to give back to the community that has given me so much more than I could ever repay and here I am now!

My educational background is in history and I am a very long-time antique photo collector, beginning when I was a teenager (over thirty years ago) spending my allowance at my local flea market from a gentleman who sold CdV (Carte de Visite) images, magazines, and other pieces of ephemera. My favorite images as a teen were the Civil War-era ladies, dressed to their very best! I particularly considered myself having a very good flea market day if I found tax stamps on the back of the images. These images definitely fostered a love and reverence for history. How on earth does this relate to genealogy? Well, some of the images had names and short biographies marking life events written on the verso. Bonus! When FamilySearch went online for the first time, I was absolutely on board even though I had absolutely no idea how to search records - what the records even were - and what to do with them if I bumbled around and actually found something. I backed away slowly, not understanding much at all, and frustrated that it wasn't intuitive as I'd have hoped.

Around 2005, I regained interest as I developed a better historical understanding after college and found employment in archives. I read a few books on genealogical research and spoke with my dear aunt who I knew was very focused on researching her father's line. She rekindled that interest and I checked out a few books on genealogical research from the library. Honestly, I still was focused on my photo collection, which grew into thousands of pieces by then, of all sorts of historical formats. Who were they?! What kind of lives did they lead? Did they have families? I had many more questions than answers. Slowly - very slowly - I started building their stories. I also started posting their images on FamilySearch under the "Memories" tab and on Find a Grave.

It dawned on me to start researching my own family lines and not just my photo collection about ten years ago. I really did not know much, due to early deaths and growing up very far from family. Researching these lines has been fantastic! I found some of my mother's cousins through Ancestry DNA and connected with them. I took to the academic side of genealogy and have attended many state and national conferences. I graduated from Boston University earning a certificate in Genealogical Research over the summer of 2022. Currently, I am attending GenProof 73 and ProGen 63. Upon completion, I will move on to earn my CG and AG credentials. I am constantly stunned over all the paths those little photos of mine have carried me, as all roads travel back to that initial interest.

My "favorite" areas of research are Colonial American through to the Reconstruction era. My main areas that I have researched are the whole Midwest, Pennsylvania, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the American South.

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