Consider This

Ever want to give back to the genealogy community? Sure you have! Get started by volunteering for a position on the DGS Board! Don’t worry – there are several folks who can assist you as you gain experience and expertise. In fact, to ensure a smooth transition, both outgoing and incoming Board members meet as needed June – August. 

Officer Nominations Due March 31st!

Online Nomination Form


Officer Positions

The Nominations Committee will announce a slate of 4 officers at the April 1st DGS General Meeting: President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

*** We are particularly seeking a candidate for Treasurer. ***

The Treasurer pays the Society’s bills and reconciles accounts monthly. The Treasurer also:

  • Makes brief reports to the general meeting regarding the state of the organization’s finances (account balances, income and expenses)
  • Chairs the Budget Committee

It is helpful for the candidate to have a working knowledge of (or be willing to learn):

  • A recent version of Quickbooks and Windows
  • EXCEL (or another spreadsheet application) and Gmail

Read more about the Treasurer’s responsibilities. You might be a great fit!

Jimmy Walters, Sales Manager & Susan Rainwater, Treasurer

Directors & Advisors

There are several additional open Board positions for you to consider!

Directors are appointed by the Executive Committee (DGS Officers and Immediate Past President) and ratified by the membership at the September General Meeting.We particularly need people for the following 4 positions!

  • Education (Click Responsibilities & Duties.)
    Selects programs for the general business meetings of the Society and coordinates the special interest groups.
  • Publicity & Public Relations (Click Responsibilities & Duties.)
    Promotes the Society and its activities through traditional and social marketing outlets.
  • Publication Content (Click Responsibilities & Duties.)
    Chairs the Publication Committee.
  • Volunteer Coordination (Click Responsibilities & Duties.)
    Develops a volunteer corps and manages its utilization.

Advisors participate in discussions at Board of Directors meetings. The President appoints the non-voting advisors to the Board. We particularly need people for the following 3 Advisor positions!

  • IT Administrator
  • Administers the Society’s neon CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software platform, which is used for managing membership information and event registration.
  • Web Master
    Develops and maintains the Society’s web presence.
  • Editor of the DGS Newsletter
    Edits and publishes our eNews, the Society’s digital newsletter.

Please feel free to contact the DGS President to discuss any position!

Online Nomination Form

Gloria Goodwin, Membership Director & Lisa Ross, Volunteer

A Personal Note

In 2015, I agreed to be nominated for the position of Vice President of the DGS Board. Actually, I told the Nominations Committee that I would serve only if they could find no one else to do so. Surprisingly, they could not!

My reluctance was three-fold. On the one hand, my sister was dying and I was not sure how much time or energy I would be able to bring to the position. On the other hand, I am by dint of personality shy and not much of a joiner. On the third hand, I had recently retired and was not anxious to re-engage in organizational and managerial activities.

Gnawing at me was a sense of it being my turn to show up and give back.

Despite my hesitations, I was elected Vice President in May 2015 began my tenure on the DGS Board. I worked with a great group of volunteers and continue to enjoy their friendship and comaraderie. The benefits:

  • I learned A LOT!
    • About the genealogical community
    • About the DGS
    • About event management
    • About Google tools and social apps

Please consider joining the DGS Board for the next year.

You might be a great fit!

Online Nomination Form


2016-2017 DGS Board Members

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 (, 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



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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.

Help Determine the Future of the DGS

Help WantedThe future of our society depends on having enthusiastic, motivated and talented individuals on our board of directors.  That all begins with our nominations committee which is being formed this month.

We are looking for individuals who want to work with other motivated genealogists to help lead our society into the next 60 years. Serving on our board is a great way to meet other people and learn new skills. Go to our Society Leaders page to view the variety of skills required for our society to operate.

Not ready to serve on the board? You can still help by identifying other members you know who you think would be good candidates. Encourage them to volunteer, or submit their name by sending email to the committee at


DGS Officers for 2015-2016 Term

The Dallas Genealogical Society elected the following slate of officers to its Board of directors at the September 5 General Meeting:

  • President – Tony Hanson
  • Vice-President – Kathleen Murray
  • Secretary – Brenda Cannon
  • Treasurer – Susan Rainwater

In addition to the slate of officers elected, the membership ratified the appointment of these Directors to the Board:

  • Education – Cheryl Freeman
  • Membership – Gloria Goodwin
  • Printing – Harmon Adair
  • Publicity – Carolyn Davis
  • Volunteers – Mic Barnette
  • Publication Content – (vacant)

The officers and Board members are busy planning for this, the Society’s 60th Anniversary year. DGS was founded December 12, 1955. Our annual Awards Luncheon on Saturday, December 12, 2015 will celebrate this, as will a forthcoming issue of Pegasus; Journal of the Dallas Genealogical Society.

New DGS Board Elected

DebraPolskyThanks to all who attended today’s meeting. The election was held and we have a new board of directors!

As an added treat, Debra Polsky from the Dallas Jewish Historical Society ( provided a fascinating overview of Dallas Jewish history and shared information about some of the programs her organization has initiated to foster an interest in family history in Dallas students.

View an excerpt of the “A Dallas Jewish Journey” documentary.

Introducing Slate of Officers for DGS Board

WHAT:  September General Meeting of the Dallas Genealogical Society

WHEN: Saturday, September 5. Hospitality time, 10:30-11:00 am. Business Meeting, 11:00-11:30 am. Program, 11:30 am-12:30 pm.

WHERE: Auditorium. J.Erik Jonsson Central Library. Dallas, TX.  Directions

WHY: Election of officers for the Society’s 2015-2016 term (our 60th anniversary year). A quorum of members is needed in order to vote on the slate of officers and ratify the appointed Directors.  Bonus: all members in attendance at the meeting will be entered in a drawing to receive a free registration to our Fall Seminar on October 24 – Thinking, Assessing, & Storytelling: Genealogy Beyond Birth, Marriage, & Deathpresented by Dr. Michael Lacopo.

The following Slate of Officers will be presented for a vote.

  • President – Tony Hanson

Tony Hanson’s educational background and career have been focused on technology. By training an engineer, he is fascinated by the capabilities that the evolution of the personal computer, wireless technology and the internet have provided to us as individuals and as a society.

His hobbies include photography, travel and, of course, genealogy, particularly Norway (his father’s family) and Germany (mom’s side). Tony has been actively involved in researching both branches for the past 15 years. Tony wrote a history of his father’s side of the family (‘The Family of Hans Emahus Isakson’) in 2008.

Active in the Dallas Genealogical Society since 2009, Tony has held various positions (Webmaster, Technology SIG Leader and Director of Education). He is excited about working with such a knowledgeable and capable group of people on the DGS Board of Directors and looks forward to being a part of the team that will help launch the next 60-year period of the Dallas Genealogical Society.

  • Vice President – Kathleen Murray

Kathleen Murray began researching her family history in 2003 and joined the Dallas Genealogical Society in 2009. She holds a PhD in Information Science and a Certificate in Genealogical Studies. In 2013 she retired after 15 years as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of North Texas in Denton, TX. In that capacity she conducted user studies for state and national digital library and Web archiving projects. Prior to that, she held various management positions in sales, strategic planning, and new product development at Southwestern Bell Telephone Company in St. Louis, MO. She has presented research findings and educational programs at several local, regional, national, and international genealogy and library conferences.

  • Secretary – Brenda Cannon

Brenda Cannon brings a wealth of knowledge to the DGS secretary position with more than eight years of nonprofit management and working with nonprofit boards.  Notable is her membership in the African American Special Interest Group.  She also volunteers as part of the DFW Airports Ambassador program.

Brenda is a Navy veteran and graduated from UT Arlington with a degree in Information Systems.  She was born and raised in Northern Louisiana and now lives in Irving; she has two sons and a grandson.

  • Treasurer – Susan Rainwater

Susan Chance Rainwater has a BSC from Ohio University in Radio-Television Communications. She spent the first twenty-five years of her working life at a variety of television and video companies, including 5 1/2 years at Turner Broadcasting (WTBS).  In 1999, she left video for the Internet and works as a combination office manager-website technician for NCC Internet Services, based in Deep Ellum.

Born in Delaware, Susan became interested in genealogy after seeing the television mini-series, “Roots.”  She began active pursuit of this hobby/obsession in 1991, and has published a book on the genealogy of her husband’s family, ” The Family Tree of Clois R. Rainwater & Nancy Jane McIlhaney: One Texas Family’s Origins, 1706-2012.”  She has also authored four articles for Chesapeake Cousins (the Pegasus of the Upper Shore Genealogical Society), including one that was a write-up of a seminar sponsored by the DGS.

Susan is active on and  She has been married, since 1991, to Steve Rainwater, a native Texan.

In addition to the slate of officers who will be vote on, the membership will be asked to ratify the appointment of these Directors:


Education – Cheryl Freeman
Membership – Gloria Goodwin
Printing – Harmon Adair
Publicity – Carolyn Davis
Volunteers – Mic Barnette
Publication Content – (vacant)

PROGRAM: Following the short business meeting, Debra Polsky, Executive Director of the Dallas Jewish Historical Society will discuss the history of the Jewish community in Dallas, share information about a program her organization has initiated to discuss history and genealogy with Sunday schools, and will tell us about a new initiative being planned to engage with the community using extant family trees to show relationships within the community.