Lillian G. Leger was also inducted posthumously. Born and raised in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. She began researching her Acadian roots after attending a cultural event in her city. Like many involved in genealogy research, Lillian asked her relatives about the Leger family history.
She collected names, dates and other facts and began making connections with individuals with the same interest. Lillian also began accumulating historical books on individuals and places in Acadia.
Acadians are descendants of French colonists who settled in Acadia during the 17th and 18th centuries.
The colony was located in what is now Eastern Canada’s Maritime Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, part of Quebec, and present-day Maine to the Kennebec River.
Lillian eventually created a library in the basement of her Fitchburg home and helped establish the Acadian Cultural Society.
She added microfilm, databases of birth, deaths, and marriages of the Archdiocese of Moncton, New Brunswick.
As membership grew the society shifted its meetings to the Fitchburg Public Library, where the society’s collection is permanently housed. AFGS also has received some of the society’s materials.
In addition to her work on behalf of Acadian genealogy, Lillian was also a founder of the New England Regional Genealogical Conference. The Conference has been held every 18 months in cities around New England since 1992.
Lillian was also very community and civic-minded. She served on the Fitchburg Housing Authority, the Cleghorn Neighborhood Center, the United Way, the Fitchburg Public Library board. She was an Election Warden and chaired the city’s Franco-American Committee.
Lillian’s sister Alice Leger accepted the award on behalf of the Leger family.