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!

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.

Volunteers Making Progress On Probate Records

CaptureVolunteers have completed work on the first 50 cases from the Dallas County Probate Records (1850 – 1900) collection that was recently digitized and made available on The Portal to Texas History digital archive.

The date range, and in some cases the actual date of death, is now recorded in the metadata fields for these cases (this information was not documented by the county clerks who recorded each case, and it was not indexed when DGS members microfilmed the records in 1977.

This project is a great example of how the DGS has, and continues to, fulfill its mission to preserve records pertaining to the greater Dallas region:

  • The original paper records were preserved by DGS volunteers using then state of the art technology (microfilm) in 1977. At that time the paper records were already deteriorating.
  • In 2013 the DGS initiated an effort to digitize the microfilms. The University of North Texas  agreed to perform the digitization and to archive the digital images on The Portal to Texas History. DGS members transcribed the index created in 1977 and this information was incorporated into the metadata for each case.
  • In this latest phase of the effort we are examining the images from each case to determine the dates associated with each case, and we are utilizing current technology to allow anybody with a computer, smart phone or tablet and internet access to participate.

We have made rapid progress on the first 50 cases, but there are many more remaining to be done. This is a great way to help us give back to family history researchers with North Texas interests… So far, researching one of these cases is taking, on average, less than 20 minutes. We have complete instructions (even a video!) explaining what you need to do and how to do it. Please go to our Get Involved page, select a Case and become part of the effort to complete this project!

Help Us Index Probate Records

probate_case_3100Back in the late 1970’s DGS members microfilmed documents related to 3100 probate cases filed in Dallas County from 1850 to the early 1900’s.

In 2015 the DGS partnered with the University of North Texas to have those microfilms digitized, and they are now available on their Portal to Texas History. DGS members pitched in again and transcribed the index to the microfilms, so the images have quite a bit of metadata available for each case.

Sadly, the index did not include any information about when the cases were filed or disposed of.

So… we have launched another phase of this project, with the goal of associating a date range and, when possible, the date of death, for each one of the 3100 cases.

Pitching in is easy… we have complete instructions (even a video showing you every step) in the ‘Get Involved’ section of our web site.