DGS Receives 2016 Rescuing Texas History Grant

The Dallas Genealogical Society is pleased to announce that we are the recipient of a 2016 Rescuing Texas History grant from the University of North Texas. This grant will fund activities required to place the 2013 and 2014 editions of Pegasus – The Journal of the Dallas Genealogical Society on the Portal to Texas History.

The DGS has benefited from previous Rescuing Texas History grants:

Work still continues on the Probate Records… The images are all available on the Portal, but DGS volunteers are examining the images to determine the date range and other information about each case. This is something you can do from the comfort of your own home. See our Volunteer Signup page for details on how you can help!

What will you be doing on September 22?

Do you have plans for Thursday, September 22, 2016?

With your help, this will be a very special day for the Dallas Genealogical Society and the University of North Texas Portal to Texas History.

As you probably know, the Portal to Texas History is an amazing online repository of rare, historical and primary source materials from or about Texas. The Dallas Genealogical Society is one of more than 300 partner societies who have made resources available that are viewed by more than a half a million people from around the world every month.

The DGS has been the recipient of numerous “Rescuing Texas History” grants that have helped us digitize our materials: in fact, we were just notified on August 16 that we received another one that will make the 2013 and 2014 editions our acclaimed Pegasus – Journal of the Dallas Genealogical Society publication available on the Portal.

Now it is time for us to give back a little.

The Portal to Texas History Endowment fund was established by the UNT libraries in 2012. And in 2015, it received a National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant of $500,000. As a part of UNT’s commitment for the grant they have accepted the challenge of raising an additional $1.5 million dollars over the next several years.

The board of directors of the Dallas Genealogical Society has decided to help UNT reach their goal by allocating $2,500 to be used as matching funds for donations made through the DGS. And we will be kicking this fund raising effort off as part of the North Texas Day of Giving, which will be held on September 22 this year.

All you need to do is go the DGS page on their website on September 22 and make a donation of $25 or more. The DGS will match each donation on a dollar for dollar basis, up to a total of $2,500.

In addition, please tell your friends, neighbors, relatives and fellow genealogists about what we are trying to do. When you see posts about this on our Facebook page, re-post it so your Facebook friends get the word. In short, help us make sure that Portal to Texas History will continue to grow and be available for future researchers.

The link to our page on the North Texas Giving Day web site is provided below. Go there now to see the short video we have created to learn more about this effort.

https://northtexasgivingday.org/npo/dallas-genealogical-society

Tony Hanson – President

2016 – 2017 Budget

It has been a busy summer for the DGS! We have just concluded a highly successful summer Seminar featuring Denise Levenick, and are gearing up for our September 17 Fall Seminar featuring the ever popular Curt Witcher.

As required by our bylaws, a budget committee was created earlier this year to create a financial blueprint for the upcoming year. David Temple (Past President and former Treasurer), Sandra Crowley (Past President), Kathleen Murray (Vice President) and myself have been meeting under the direction of committee chair Susan Rainwater (Treasurer) and have produced a proposed budget for 2016 – 2017. It was reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors at the August 6 board meeting and will be presented to the membership for approval at our September 10 general meeting.

Please take a few minutes to review the proposed budget (view it here). If you have questions or comments I would be happy to try to answer them for you… just send me email (president@dallasgenealogy.org), or ask me at the September 10 meeting when those in attendance will be asked for a vote of approval.

Tony Hanson

President – Dallas Genealogical Society

 

 

Probate Record Update

May was another productive month for the Probate Indexing project… a total of 159 cases were completed, bringing us to a total of 584 (just a hair under 19%).

Congratulations (and deep gratitude) to our indexers:

  • Karen Walker (60)
  • Joe Connelly (47)
  • Gloria Goodwin (28)
  • John Withers (19)
  • Susan Rainwater (4)
  • Tony Hanson (1)

Anybody interested in lending a hand can see which cases we are working on and get full details on our Volunteer SignUp Page.

April General Meeting Materials Available

Did you miss our April meeting? Watch the business portion here!

View on YouTube | March 5 meeting

Unfortunately, Ari Wilkins outstanding presentation on Ante-Bellum Southern Plantation Records was not recorded. Here is some of the feedback we received:

  • OUTSTANDING!  Best ever!
  • One of the best monthly meetings I’ve been too in a long time.  It was more like a seminar than a meeting!
  • This was an amazing session. I learned a ton about the period leading up to the civil war as well as records and techniques. The case studies were well done, interesting and relevant! I was amazed that the slide count was nearly 90 at the end – time flew by with the info and story telling. Really great session!
  •  I would very much like a copy of her syllabus, please! The presentation was one of the best I have ever attended at the DGS  regular meetings. Kudos to Ari and her work on southern records.

Ari has generously provided us with a PDF copy of her syllabus.

Bylaw Changes: Why and How?

The Society’s bylaws dictate the rules and procedures by which our Society operates (see our current bylaws here). When the bylaws become an impediment to the operation of the Society it becomes necessary to modify them. That is the position we are in today.

Two key activities require an authorization vote from our membership at a general meeting: The election of officers and changing the bylaws. Voting for these requires a quorum to be present.

Currently, 30 members must be present to establish a quorum at a general meeting.  The last time our bylaws were updated (2011), 30 members represented 3.75% or our membership. Today, 30 members translates to 7.5% of our membership.

At our May, 2015 meeting we lacked a quorum of members and the vote had to be postponed until our September meeting, which somewhat disrupted our established board transition process. As a result, the board of directors has decided to propose changes to the bylaws to minimize the possibility of such disruptions in the future.

The process that needs to be followed to change our bylaws is defined in Artivle XVII – Amendments:

These Bylaws may be amended or revised at any general business meeting of the Society by a two-thirds affirmative vote of members present and voting provided that the proposed amendment or revision has been either read or copies thereof distributed at the previous general business meeting, and that notice of said amendment or revision has been published on the Society web site at least fifteen (15) days prior to the general business meeting at which the proposed amendment or revision is read or copies thereof distributed. Notice of such publication will be distributed to members via mail or email.

Our goal is to have the new process in place in time for the election of the next board at the May 7, 2016 general business meeting. Here is how we plan to do this:

  • We are publishing the proposed changes on our website (review the proposed changes here).
  • All members will receive a ‘Notice of Publication’ linked to these posts via eNews, the DGS Newsletter (formerly referred to as the eBlast) which is distributed via email.
  • We will have paper copies of the proposed changes available, and will discuss them, at the March 5, 2016 general meeting.
  • The vote for approval is tentatively scheduled for the April 2, 2016 general meeting.

Proposed Bylaw Changes

These proposed changes was were approved by the Board of Directors at the February 6, 2016 board meeting. The current bylaws can be viewed here.

Quorum

Section 3 in Article IV – Society Meetings defines the number of members required to establish a quorum at general meetings. The proposal eliminates the fixed number (30) and replaces it with a percentage of our total membership (5%). This will allow the number to change as our membership increases or decreases without the need for additional bylaw changes.

At today’s membership levels, 5% would translate to a requirement of having 20 members to establish a quorum.

Existing:

Thirty members shall constitute a quorum at Society general business meetings.

Proposed:

The number of members required to constitute a quorum at Society general business meetings will be set at 5% (numerically rounded up/down) of the current Society membership.

 This number shall be updated annually following the installation of the new board of directors. Additional updates may be initiated at any time by a majority vote of the board of directors.

 Changes in the number of members required to constitute a quorum shall be communicated to the membership electronically and will be documented on the society web site.

Election of Officers

Section 4 in Article V – Election of Officers details how the election of officers will be conducted. Our existing board migration process defines a four month overlap period (starting with the election in May and ending with the installation of the new board in September), so it is important to insure that there is no delay in holding the election.

For this reason the board is recommending bylaw changes that will allow for the utilization of electronic balloting. This may, at the discretion of the board, be the preferred method of voting. It will also be the default process if a quorum is not present at the May meeting.

Existing:

The Officers shall be elected at the general business meeting in May by a majority vote of those members present and voting. The presiding officer shall accept additional nominations from the floor, provided the nominee consents in person or in writing. The Officers shall be installed at the annual meeting in September and shall assume their official duties upon installation. Officers shall serve for a term of one year or until their successors are assigned.

Proposed:

Prior to the general business meeting in May the board of directors will select, via a majority vote, one of the following options for conducting the vote:

1)     By a majority vote of the members present and voting at the general business meeting in May, or

2)     By means of electronic balloting in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • The board of directors will select and document an appropriate methodology for distributing and collecting ballots
  • No provision shall be made for members who do not have an email address of record associated with their membership account
  • Ballots will be distributed to all members of record as of the date of the general business meeting in May within seven (7) days following the meeting.
  • Ballots must be returned as directed by the board within fourteen (14) days following distribution to be valid
  • A committee consisting of the Past President, the Director of Membership and the Director of Education will be responsible for collecting and validating all ballots and tabulating the results. Results will be communicated to the membership electronically within seven (7) days following the end of the balloting period.
  • If the number of valid ballots returned does not meet the quorum requirement the process will be repeated

The presiding officer shall accept additional nominations from the floor at the general business meeting in May, provided the nominee consents in person or in writing.

Once nominations have been closed the election shall proceed by the methodology previously determined by the board of directors. However, If the board has selected an in-person vote, and there are insufficient members present to establish a quorum, the vote will be conducted via electronic balloting.

The Officers shall be installed at the annual meeting in September and shall assume their official duties upon installation. Officers shall serve for a term of one year or until their successors are assigned.