DGS Tech SIG March Meeting is this Thursday, the 3rd

The Technology Special Interest Group of the Dallas Genealogical Society holds its March meeting this Thursday, from 6-7:30 pm on the 5th floor  of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young Street, Dallas, TX, 75201.

Speaker:  Suzan Younger

Program:  “Using Web-based Apps to Publish,” You’ve spent years researching your family history, locations and special or unique sources. You do not have to publish a book to share and publish your research and your conclusions. On Thursday night, we’ll look at web-based repositories where you can publish your findings. These include: family history e-books, Dallas Genealogical Society resources, Find-a-Grave.com, Billiongraves.com, US Gen Web, Blogs, Wikis, genealogical society publications, FamilySearch trees, Ancestry.com Trees, My Heritage.com trees. You can publish in small pieces or produce that final book.

If you cannot attend in person, please join the conversation using our GoTo Meeting account (note that we are limited to 25 users): https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/270215877.  The access code is 270-215-877.  Use this audio number if you run into trouble getting connected: +1 (224) 501-3412, with the same Access Code: 270215877.

SIG Leader: Suzan Younger, technologysig@dallasgenealogy.org.

Technology SIG

DGS 2016 Writing Contest Accepting Entries Through March 31

It’s time to cross your final “t” and dot the last “i”. The Dallas Genealogical Society’s Writing Contest closes Thursday, March 31, 2016. This is a great opportunity to publish a part of your family history. It is  the fourth year the Society has sponsored this contest, which comes with cash prizes.

The contest is open to both members and non-members of DGS, as well as hobbyists and professionals. Only original material not previously published elsewhere in any format is eligible.

While DGS has a goal of preserving Dallas history, subject matter for the competition may range beyond the local geographic area. Articles may include

  • advanced methodologies and case studies (not limited by geography)
  • family histories and genealogies, particularly those linked to North Texas, including those who came from or left to settle elsewhere
  • transcriptions, abstracts or indexes of record groups (including family records) not yet filmed or digitized that relate to Dallas or North Texas
  • ethnic, house, or military histories related to Dallas and surrounding counties.

Entries will be judged on accuracy, clarity of writing, and overall impact and interest. First prize is $500; second prize is $300 and third prize is $100. Complete Rules are available at: http://dallasgenealogy.com/dgs/publications/pegasus.

Winning articles are eligible to be published in Pegasus: Journal of the Dallas Genealogical Society. Past winning entries can be read in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Research Issues of Pegasus, which members can access through the DGS website. Non-members may read Previews of these issues. Use them as examples of outstanding research and writing.

Send entries via email only, with “DGS Writing Competition” in the subject line to: pegasus@dallasgenealogy.org.


It’s Almost Milner Time!

Saturday, March 12, 2016 | Registration 9:30 AM | Seminar 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM

In a few weeks, Paul Milner will be with us for our Spring Seminar. We’ve been looking forward to this event for several months and are very pleased with the great response from the genealogical community. We’ve even booked a booth at the North Texas Irish Festival to promote the Seminar and the Society. (If you’re at the Festival here in Dallas, March 4-6, please stop by!) I think it’s great for the Society to be visible in  the community at events like this, especially with family history research capturing the interest of so many people of all ages.


Return Visit

I first heard Paul speak at a DGS seminar, “Irish Research”, on 29 February 2009. It was the first genealogical event I ever attended. I was introduced to the awful destruction of vast numbers of Irish records in 1922 in the Public Records Office at the Four Courts during the Battle of Dublin. Paul also explained in depth the process of locating families in mid-nineteenth century Ireland using the Tithe Applotment and Griffith’s Primary Valuation. Even with his step-by-step guidance, I found this a daunting research prospect!

But what most captured my interest was his enthusiastic demonstration of a free new website: Ask About Ireland.  Here is a site where you can search for your ancestors in Griffith’s Valuation and locate their property on maps created at the time of the Valuation. In a wonderful application of technology, the old maps are overlaid on modern maps. I was thrilled with the discovery process this offered to link my ancestors’ homes and farms to current locations in Ireland. In 2011, I used this website to create a video showing the old and new town of Saintfield for the reunion of the descendants of Hugh Murray, my great-grandfather who emigrated from Northern Ireland in 1857.

In 2009, I found that DGS Seminar with Paul Milner a great value. I still remark on the value the Society’s seminars offer local family history researchers. For most attendees, there are no hotel and travel costs, except gas or public transportation. The day-long event includes four lectures from an acknowledged authority. What a pleasure for the Dallas Genealogical Society to be able to offer this to the community!

Lecture Topics

Paul will be giving four lectures and covering a lot of geography!

  • Effective Use of England’s National Archives Website
    Learn how to effectively use the research tools, indexes and catalogs on this large website to find your ancestors and to put them into their correct historical context
  • Irish Emigrants to North America: Before, During and After the Famine
    Learn about the routes taken and the reasons for the emigration from Ireland to the U.S. and Canada before, during and after the famine. Learn how this mass movement of people can affect your research, plus what tools and records are available to trace your Irish ancestor.
  • Scottish Emigration to North America: Before, During and After the Rebellions
    Learn the reasons for emigration from Scotland to the U.S. and Canada and how it was influenced by events on both sides of the Atlantic. Learn where the emigrants settled, what records they created and what tools are available for tracing your Scottish ancestors.
  • Overlooked Sources for 17th and 18th century English Research
    Going beyond the basics learn what records, published and originals are available for 17th and 18th century English research jumping the gap created by England’s Civil War and the problems of migration due to the industrial revolution.


1st floor Auditorium
J. Erik Jonsson Central Library
1515 Young Street
Dallas Texas, 75201
Parking: $1.50 in the library garage

Looking Ahead

We are very excited about our 2016 Seminar line-up. Paul is kicking off this year’s events in March. This summer, Denise Levenick, aka The Family Curator,  will be with us Friday and Saturday, July  29 and 30. Denise is an author and speaker specializing in the preservation of family heirlooms and using them as sources for family history research. Our Fall seminar features Curt Witcher, the almost legendary manager of Special Collections & Genealogy at Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana.


Stay tuned to the DGS blog for more information about upcoming seminars.

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DGS Brown Bag SIG Meets Saturday, 27 Feb – Writing a Book of Family Letters

The Brown Bag group’s February meeting is Saturday, the 27th, from 10:30am to noon, on the 8th floor of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in downtown Dallas.

Member Ed Millis will lead a discussion about his experience in writing a book of family letters.

Want to pass on your family lore? What better way than with a book of family correspondence—annotated, illuminated, and explained by you, put in such a form as to make it like a visit to…. where? …maybe to a family birth, a funeral, or to school? Or, of course, to war—wherever your ancestor chose to take you. It is a unique way to get to know your family.

Janet Khashab, SIG leader.

DGS Brown Bag websitebrownbag@dallasgenealogy.org

Brown Bag SIG

DGS African American SIG Meets Saturday, Feb 20

The February meeting of the African American Genealogical Interest Group will meet on Saturday, February 20 from 2 2 – 4:45 pm in the East/West Rooms on the first floor of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

AAGIG SIGThe AAGIG discusses and explores areas of research unique to the African American community. The group discusses a variety of  sources that provide information for this special area of genealogy research. Expert researchers and speakers make presentations on Slavery, customs, tradition, state laws, and the techniques and methods used in their research.

Meetings are free and open to the public. Please join the group for a special Black History Month program.

Contact: AAGIG@dallasgenealogy.org

DNA Interest Group Meets Thursday, Feb 18

The Dallas Genealogical Society’s DNA SIG (DIG) will meet this Thursday, February 18, from 6 to 8pm, on the 5th floor of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

This month, DIG will review GEDMATCH Tools for DNA and Genealogy Research. GEDMATCH allows you to compare your DNA results with others who match you but are using a different testing company.

The group will cover how to download your DNA data (autosomal) from FamilyTreeDNA, Ancestry, and 23andMe, then look at how to upload DNA data and GEDCOMs to GEDMATCH.

DIG participants will look at the following GEDMATCH tools:
• One-to-many and the results page
• One-to-one
• X One-to-one
• Search all GEDCOMs
• GEDCOM + DNA match

Leader: Mic Barnette,  dna@dallasgenealogy.org

DIG resources.

DGS members and others interested in DNA as a genealogical search strategy are invited to participate. The meetings are free and open to all.


DGS Jewish SIG Meets Wednesday, Feb 17, 2016

The Dallas Genealogical Society’s Jewish Special Interest Group meets this Wednesday, February 17 from 10am to 1pm on the 8th floor of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

Jewish SIG

Learn the terminology of the Jewish faith and race and the various methods for researching these families. The emphasis is on cultural differences (from other races and creeds) which may require alternative genealogical research methods and records from those usually employed. Both domestic (United States) and international aspects are explored.

Members bring research problems and successes to each meeting for group discussion.

Jewish SIG meetings are free and open to all.

Leader: Liz Kutz; jewishgen@dallasgenealogy.org


Paul Milner – March 12, 2016 – England, Ireland, & Scotland

2016 Spring Seminar: “From Whence They Came”

Paul Milner’s seminar is a unique opportunity to learn directly from a highly respected, professional genealogist and international lecturer without leaving Dallas. Both Society members and the general public are invited to register and attend. NOTE: Discounted registration rate thru Sunday, February 21st!

Seminar Program

Milner_PaulPaul will deliver four one-hour lectures. Two deal with emigration to the US and Canada from Ireland and Scotland. Each will situate emigrations within unique historical contexts and identify available records for family history research.  A third lecture discusses available records related to 17th and 18th century English research, jumping the gap caused by the English Civil War (1642–1651) and the problems of migration resulting from the industrial revolution.

While the seminar’s particular geographic focus (Ireland, Scotland, and England) may seem afield from your particular family history research interests, the emphasis on the relationship between historical context and available records will resonate with many experienced researchers. Many of us can attest that research methods learned for one geographic area were useful in informing methods used in other areas.

The fourth lecture explores key research tools available at The National Archives of the United Kingdom.

The National Archives

The National Archives is located west of London at Kew. It is the official public archive of the government of the United Kingdom, with records covering over 1,000 years of history. The Archives’ “collection is one of the largest in the world, containing over 11 million historical government and public records” (1).

Obviously, one thousand years of history from a British perspective includes more than the records of countries currently comprising the UK (i.e., England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). There are, for example, records related to Ireland, over which England established rule in the late 12th century and, in 1801, established the constitutional entity of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. This entity existed until 1922, when the Anglo-Irish Treaty established the Irish Free State.

Due the sheer size and scope of its collection, The National Archives is challenging to investigate effectively. What records of importance to family history researchers are hidden to the more casual researcher? Paul Milner will provide direction on the effective use of the research tools, indexes, and catalogs available on the Archives’ website.

So, whether you’re planning a research trip to The National Archives or researching remotely, you are most welcome to join the Dallas Genealogy Society at its 2016 Spring Seminar featuring Paul Milner.


From Whence They Came
Date: Saturday, March 12, 2016
Registration: 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Program: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Location 1st floor Auditorium, J. Erik Jonsson Central Library
1515 Young Street, Dallas, TX   75201
Cost: $45 Members – $55 Others – by February 21, 2016
$55 Members – $65 Others – after February 21, 2016
Lunch: $12 – if ordered by March 9, 2016
Parking: $1.50 – in the Dallas Public Library Garage

(1) The National Archives – What We Do. Accessed February 13, 2016 at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/about/our-role/what-we-do/.

DGS Member Fred Moss’s Presentation at RootsTech 2016 Available Online

Frederick Moss, Counsel for the Federation of Genealogical Societies, member of FGS’s Records Preservation and Access Committee, former Associate Dean Texas Wesleyan University School of Law…and long-time DGS member, was a speaker at RootsTech 2016. His presentation “Closing Death Records: Silver Bullet or Dead End?” was videotaped and is available to view in its entirety on the RootsTech 2016 website.

Description of session: The threat of Identity Theft has prompted over a thousand legislative proposals at the Federal, state or local level in recent years which impact access to vital records.  An on-going case study reviews the most dramatic modern example of this approach at the Federal level where a statute has limited access to the content of the Social Security Administration Death Master File. Preliminary results suggest more harm than good.

Records Preservation and Access Committee blog