The South Dakota Genealogical Society has named Kay Hendricks of De Smet as the 2022 Genealogist of the Year.
Hendricks has been active in the Kingsbury County Genealogical Society (KCGS) for 35 years. She was one of the founding members and was nominated for the honor by the local society. The first slate of officers included Kay Hendricks as the Vice President. Over the years, she has served as the president and secretary too
Pat Tvinereim, president of the Kingsbury society, said Hendricks was selected for this honor because of her enthusiasm and passion for genealogy.
“Whenever we had a query, we contacted Kay first,” Tvinereim said. “She became our ‘go-to’ person for information. Kay and her husband were life-long residents. She knew the history of the county and had many contacts. Even though it might not concern her family, she knew who to call. She had visited with enough people about family connections and knew those who had Irish, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Australian, or German ancestors.”
Hendricks did not hesitate when burial information had to be collected and the cemeteries needed to be walked. She was always willing to help others so they might discover more about their own family history.
In March 2004, Hendricks attended the 23rd Annual Dakota Genealogy Tour in Salt Lake City, and made significant progress on her father’s family history. Even though she was in her 80s, she came home convinced that she could produce a family history book on her computer. And she did. Later, she published another book, complete with family pictures.
Hendricks said she developed her interest in genealogy because both her parents came from large families. She wanted to know more about their native countries. In 1986, when she was working at Raven’s and found that others who worked there had the same interest, the Kingsbury County Genealogical Society was born.