Suzanne Johnston Memorial Scholarship

Suzanne Johnston

The Suzanne Johnston Memorial Scholarship is a yearly award of up to $250 to a current WPGS member to assist with the cost of attendance at a local, regional, national. or virtual genealogy conference. Suzie passed away in 2019 after 44 years of WPGS volunteering, serving as a Board member, chairperson of several committees, First Families reviewer, and genealogical researcher extraordinaire. She studied new techniques to not only further her own research but to assist others, so this scholarship is a fitting way to honor her memory.

This Suzanne Johnston Memorial Scholarship is open only to current WPGS members (you can join here). To be considered, members must write a 250-400 word statement explaining how attendance at the conference they have chosen will benefit their family history research. Download the application form. The deadline for receipt of this Application Submission for 2024 conferences is December 1, 2023. Submt your completed application to or mail to: 

Suzanne Johnston Memorial Scholarship Committee
Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Third Floor, Pittsburgh, PA  15213-4007  

2023 Winner: Lindsay Downs is the recipient of the 2023 Suzanne Johnston Memorial Scholarship. Lindsay plans to use the scholarship to enroll in Mastering Genealogical Documentation at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh in June 2023. As a self-taught genealogist, Lindsay is working on more formal education to enhance her skills to eventually pursue genealogy as a career. As one of the editors of the Quarterly, Lindsay also hopes to apply what she learns about genealogical documentation to the work she does helping authors ensure their articles meet WPGS’ standards for evidence.

2022 Winners: Since the pandemic has taken a toll on the availability of the WPGS resources, we have decided to award two scholarships. The full $250 scholarship winner is Erica Curtis, Member #8397. Erica enrolled in Walking in Penn’s Woods: Pennsylvania Research, a course at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP.) The second award for $150 went to Cynthia Steinhoff, Member #8344 to attend Beyond Name and Date: Advanced Practices in Social History, also offered at GRIP.  

2021 Winner: Laura Cubbage-Draper, a WPGS member from Metuchen, New Jersey, was awarded the 2021 Suzanne Johnston Memorial Scholarship. She chose the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, January 20-15, 2021 and since she was previously registered, she was reimbursed by check for the $250 award.