It is a little hard to believe that I am several months into my second term as President. The past year has gone by so quickly, and as I was writing up our annual report I realized why: We have had a really busy, successful year!
The report is available online here.
The 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Back 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.
Like many genealogists, my research has led me to several brick walls, those points in the process where there just does not seem to be any more information available to take that next step back in time, or to lead me to the next geographic location.
Happily for me, I was able to break through one of those walls recently. After painstakingly mapping the seemingly endless population of Amborns who migrated to, and thrived in, Southern Wisconsin in the late 1800’s I was able to identify the town in central Germany where they emigrated from.
As I was basking in the glow that comes from such breakthroughs I also reflected on all of the many seemingly random, yet interrelated, things that had occurred to allow me to make my personal discovery.
- My determination to keep looking was based on encouragement from others, and the strong belief based on their success, that I would eventually be successful.
- I drew on skills acquired from articles, conferences, conversations and presentations made by others who had no motivation other than to share their knowledge and empower me to make my own discoveries.
- My research was immensely aided by the advances in technology that placed a vast array of data just beyond the keyboard on my computer.
- In the end, my breakthrough discovery was enabled by an indexing and translation project performed by a group of strangers I have never met and whose existence I was completely unaware of (until now!).
And to me, that is a really tidy summary of why societies like ours exist. And it makes me hope that each of you will find a way to support our society, and the projects that we undertake, as we strive to help other researchers become motivated, knowledgeable, and successful.
I sincerely hope that your New Year be filled with unexpected and joyous discoveries!