DGS Announces Winners of 2015 Writing Contest

The Dallas Genealogical Society is pleased to announce the winners of its 2015 Writing Contest. The contest was open to both members and non-members of DGS, as well as amateurs and professionals, and only original material not previously published elsewhere in any format was eligible.

First Prize $500: Rising – the Story of John Wesley Barnes and Edna Mollie Crawford by Diane Gawedzinski

Diane Barnes Gawedzinski is a Dallas native, raised in the Elmwood section of Oak Cliff. As a junior at Duncanville High School, she interviewed her grandfather Wesley Barnes for a school project. Those notes inspired her first baby steps into genealogy and are the basis for this article. She has a B.A. in English from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.Ed. in Counseling from the University of North Texas. She lives in Rockwall and is a school counselor at Wylie High School. Husband Rob, sons John and David, and Diane’s parents John and Jane Barnes have provided her with great support and encouragement over the years, even as Diane continues to hijack family vacations to visit another great-great-somebody’s gravesite. Following the lead of her maternal aunt, June Chandler Everheart, Diane has learned genealogy mostly through trial-and-error, experiencing the rush of excitement when discovering treasures in obscure courthouse drawers, and knowing the frustration of those slippery ancestors who disappear behind brick walls. “Rising” is her first genealogical article to be published.

Diane Gawedzinski photo
Second Prize $300: Tracing Polly’s Life from Slavery to Freedom by RL Canady

RL Canady began doing genealogy research in 1979. He is a retired communications electronic specialist and has a B.S. in Business Management. He has attended workshops and classes in genealogy at numerous state and local conferences, and the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University, Alabama. His research focuses on the southern states with emphasis on African American and slave genealogy. In January 2012, together with Barbara Ware, he transcribed information on the Daniel Family Cemetery for the Dallas Genealogical Society Cemeteries listing on its website. His current volunteer work involves data archiving of the McGowan Funeral Home Collection also for the Dallas Genealogical Society. He is president of the Little Rocky Cemetery Association, whose mission is restoration and preservation for an abandoned cemetery of early settlers and former slaves in Milam County. He is a Lifetime Member of the Dallas Genealogical Society and participates in the African American Genealogy Interest Group in Dallas, Texas. The winners will be honored at the DGS Annual Awards Luncheon December 12, 2015, celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Dallas Genealogical Society. No Third Prize was awarded this year.

RL Canady photo

MacGen Reunion Group August Meeting

The Dallas Genealogical Society’s Special Interest Group for Macs, including the Reunion software programs for desktops/laptops, iPad and iPhone, meets this Saturday, August 1st from 1-3pm on the 8th floor of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in downtown Dallas.

SIG leader Happi McQuirk will lead a discussion of the changes and improvements made to the Reports feature in the new Reunion 11.

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WDYTYA Season Premiere

The Learning Channel (TLC) begins a new season of its two-time Emmy nominated genealogy program Who Do You Think You Are? on Sunday evening, July 26, at 8pm CDT. The premiere episode features actress Ginnifer Goodwin; other celebrities in the current series will include Bryan Cranston, Alfre Woodard, Tom Bergeron, and J. K. Rowling.

The program shares fascinating stories, and sheds light on surprising revelations, of the real life family history of celebrities.

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3 More Days to Save on Summer Symposium

Saturday, July 25 is the final day to register for the Early Bird pricing discount to attend our two-day 2015 Summer Symposium “Researching in Texas” to be held August 7 – 8. The discounted cost is $129.00 for DGS members and $149.00 for non-members

Noted genealogist Teri Flack is our featured speaker.

This event of eight presentations focuses on resources, sources, methodologies, and techniques for finding your Texas ancestors. Teri’s lectures will cover researching the Republic of Texas, Civil War, and Reconstruction periods, as well as using manuscript collections. Representatives from the State of Texas General Land Office, The Portal to Texas History (University of North Texas Libraries), the University of Texas at Arlington Library’s Special Collections, and the Texas/Dallas History & Archives Division of the Dallas Public Library will describe the depth and breadth of materials related to Texas history and genealogy that are in their collections.

 

Program details and registration instructions are on the DGS web site.

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Mix and Index – Dallas Public Library Genealogy Division

The Genealogy Division of the Dallas Public Library (on the 8th floor of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in downtown Dallas) has initiated a monthly opportunity to contribute to the recently announced partnership from FamilySearch, NARA, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Afro­-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS), and the California African American Museum to index the already digitized documents of the Freedmen’s Bureau.

DPL’s Genealogy Division invites family history researchers to come together the 3rd Thursday of every month from 5-8pm in order to contribute to this important indexing project.

Volunteers are needed to make these records searchable online. No specific time commitment is required, and anyone may participate. Volunteers simply log on, pull up as many scanned documents as they like, and enter the names and dates into the fields provided. Once published, information for millions of African Americans will be accessible, allowing families to build their family trees and connect with their ancestors.

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Discount Pricing Extended for DGS 2015 Summer Symposium

DGS wants to make this excellent program more affordable to as many genealogists as possible so we are extending the date to sign up for a reduced registration rate to Saturday, July 25. Save $20 – $40.

Researching in Texas, August 7-8, 2015 is a 2-day program of eight presentations that focus on resources, sources, methodologies, and techniques for finding your Texas ancestors. Our featured speaker is Teri Flack. Her lectures will cover researching the Republic of Texas, Civil War, and Reconstruction periods, as well as using manuscript collections. Additional speakers from the State of Texas General Land Office, The Portal to Texas History (University of North Texas Libraries), the University of Texas at Arlington Library’s Special Collections, and the Texas/Dallas History & Archives Division of the Dallas Public Library will describe the depth and breadth of materials related to Texas history and genealogy that are in their collections.

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“Late Night at the Library” is a free, bonus event. The Genealogy Division of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library will remain open on Friday evening, August 7, from 5-10 pm, exclusively for Summer Symposium attendees. Professional librarians from the Division and DGS volunteers will be available to offer assistance.

Program details and registration instructions are available on our web site.

We look forward to meeting you.

DGS Web Site Updated

Our webmasters (Todd DeDecker and Tony Hanson) have just completed a 6-month effort to re-design, update and improve our web presence.

We were compelled to do this because the version of software used to create our web site in 2010 was no longer being supported. Since we had to undergo a fairly major update anyway we decided to re-write it using WordPress, which has emerged as the most widely used web and blog software in use today.

A large part of our focus was making the information we had on the old site much easier to find and use. In addition, the new site is much more compatible with smart phones and tablets that are increasingly being used to view the materials we have available.

Another advantage of using WordPress is that is has a wide variety of add-on tools that can be used to increase the usefulness of our web site. We have several enhancements lined up that you can expect to see in the coming months.

If you encounter any bugs or problems while visiting the site  ( http://www.dallasgenealogy.org/ ) please click on the ‘Contact Us’ link at the top of the page and tell us about them and we’ll get them corrected as soon as we can.

There will be a demo of the new site at the September 5 General Meeting.

 

FamilySearch Worldwide Indexing Event

Join volunteers around the world to Fuel the Find during the Worldwide Indexing Event on August 7 to 14, sponsored by FamilySearch.

Join volunteers from around the world to help “Fuel the Find” August 7-14 (wherever you are). You will have one week to participate by indexing at least one batch in the language of your choice. If you are fluent in French, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish—our focus languages for 2015—please help index records in one of those languages. Special training will soon be available to help you prepare!

The goal is for 100,000 people to participate in one week.

You can help  Fuel the Find!

The Freedmen’s Bureau Project

To help bring thousands of records to light, the Freedmen’s Bureau Project was created as a set of partnerships between FamilySearch International and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Afro­-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS), and the California African American Museum.

A press conference to talk about this indexing project will be streamed live tomorrow, June 19th (the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth) beginning at 10am PDT/noon CDT/1pm EDT. Link to http://www.discoverfreedmen.org.  The web site also provides details about the project.

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HISTORICAL NOTE: On June 19 (“Juneteenth”), 1865, Union general Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and issued General Order Number 3, which read in part, “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.” Source:  Texas State Historical Society, The Handbook of Texas.

Summer 2015 Edition of Pegasus Now Available

Pegasus__2015_July_Vol_3_Num_1_CoverThe Summer, 2015 edition of Pegasus: Journal of the Dallas Genealogical Society has been published. Members can view a PDF version by going to Publications -> Pegasus

Each year the Texas State Genealogical Society presents awards in a number of categories to publications by Partner Societies or individual members. The 2014 TXSGS Award for Category VI, Official Periodicals of Partner Societies, was presented to the Dallas Genealogical Society for its Pegasus journals (read more here).

The category is open to Partner Societies. Requirements are that the Journals must be published at least once each year, but could be more than once. A full year’s copy of publications was submitted; these copies will be archived as part of TSGS’s archival collection at the Stephen F. Austin Library.

Judging criteria included binding, design, organization, content, interest, editing and index.

“Pegasus was clearly at the top from the time it was submitted,” stated a committee member. “ If a Partner Society is evaluating starting to publish a journal, they would do well to look at Pegasus as a model.”

Copies can be purchased for $15.

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