James Douthat is First Recipient of Historian of the Year Award

Monday, March 19, 2012
Rev. James Douthat with his award
Rev. James Douthat with his award

Signal Mountain resident, Jim Douthat, has added yet another honor to the many he has been given in the area of historical studies.  The Chattanooga Area Historical Association chose Mr. Douthat as the first recipient of the James W. Livingood Historian of the Year award. 

The Chattanooga Area Historical Association, founded in 1948, is dedicated to preserving the history of the Southeast Tennessee Region with special interest in sites within a fifty mile radius of Chattanooga. In their award selection process, the organization sought the participation of all historical and genealogical groups within this area.  Each club submitted candidates for the Livingood Award.  A plaque celebrating the Chattanooga Area Historian of the year will be on display at the Hamilton County Library in Downtown Chattanooga.

Mr. Douthat, a worthy recipient of the prestigious award, published his first book at the young age of seventeen.  The book on his family from East Tennessee and southwestern Virginia has been followed over the years by over 600 publications on various historical and genealogical subjects.  Articles written by Mr. Douthat have appeared in the Chattanooga News Free Press, the Signal Mountain Post, Signal Mountain Mirror, and countless society journals and publications.  In addition to his writing, Mr. Douthat has served as an adjunct teacher of genealogy at various East Tennessee schools and colleges. 

A Methodist minister, Douthat currently serves as vice-chair of the Holston Annual Conference of the Methodist Church and has published their journal, “Holston Heritage,” for the past seven years.

At Mountain Press, the publishing company he created to preserve and make available at reasonable prices the records of various counties across East Tennessee and other southern states, Jim maintains a collection of over 2200 volumes of public and private records.  Through his assistance many authors have been able to get their materials in print and available to researchers all across the world.

Because of his love for history and genealogy, Jim Douthat belongs to many of the areas more active societies and has served as an officer in most.  He currently serves as vice president of the Signal Mountain Genealogical Society and in a similar position in the Chattanooga Area Historical Association.  Of his many projects, one for which he is currently very enthusiastic involves the Signal Mountain Genealogical Society and the Delta Genealogical Society.  The two societies are planning a major genealogy conference to be held in Chattanooga on May 26, 2012.  The conference, according to Mr. Douthat, will provide a great learning experience for genealogists, both advanced and beginners.

Chattanooga can take great pride in the fact that organizations such as the Chattanooga Area Historical Association and people such as Jim Douthat so passionately preserve and make available the stories of our past.  Congratulations to the first recipient of the James W. Livingood Award, Historian of the Year, Mr. Jim Douthat.




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