Spring 2018: Michael L Strauss, AG – Revolution to Reconstruction: Seeking Those Who Shaped America

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Michael L. Strauss, AG, is a professional Accredited Genealogist and a nationally recognized genealogical speaker. A native of Pennsylvania and a resident of Utah, he has been employed as a Forensic Genealogist for 25 years. Get more details»

  • Session 1: Revolutionary War Genealogical Research
    This lecture will focus on a variety of materials covering the War for Independence. Some records to be covered include Compiled Service Records, pensions, and bounty land.
  • Session 2: Manifest Destiny: Researching Your Mexican War Ancestors
    The Mexican-American War of 1846 marked the first U.S. conflict mostly fought on foreign soil. It would serve as a training and breeding ground for both officers and men who would fight each other in the Civil War fifteen years later.
  • Session 3: Refugees, Claims, and Conscription: Researching Your Ancestors during the Reconstruction Era
    Discover little known military and civilian records and resources from this unique period of history. Records from the Freedmen’s Bureau to the Amnesty Papers are only a small portion of the genealogy records existing today.
  • Session 4: More than Just Politics: Genealogical Research in Washington, DC
    Planning a research trip to our nation’s capital? Discover your ancestors in several key facilities located inside the District of Columbia.

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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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/.

What Constitutes the British Isles?

Milner_Paul_SquarePaul Milner, professional genealogist and international lecturer, will speak at our 2016 Spring Seminar, From Whence They Come. Two of his four lectures will provide opportunities to learn about Irish and Scottish emigration to the USA and Canada and the tools and records available to trace your ancestors.

He will also provide guidance regarding England’s National Archives website, specifically the research tools, indexes, and catalogs that can help you find your ancestors and put them into their correct historical context. His fourth lecture goes beyond the basics of 17th and 18th century English research to identify records that can help you jump the gap created by England’s Civil War and the problems of migration due to the Industrial Revolution.

As you can see, Paul will be covering a lot of territory and initially it seemed that “British Isles Research” would be an apt title for the seminar. After all, Paul’s biographical information states that he “has specialized in British Isles genealogical research for over 30 years”. I soon discovered my understanding of the term “British Isles” was hazy and, further, that the term itself often fosters misleading or incorrect assumptions.

I therefore undertook to re-enlighten myself regarding the distinction between the “British Isles”, “Great Britain”, “The United Kingdom”, and “Ireland”. (Surely I must have known this at one time.) I reviewed descriptions on several websites, including the FamilySearch wiki. I offer you the descriptions below and I credit much of the text to “Know Britain” and wikipedia.

The British Isles

The expression “British Isles” is geographical and not political. They are a group of islands off the northwest coast of Europe consisting of Great Britain, the whole of Ireland, the Orkney and Shetland Islands, the Isle of Man, the Inner and Outer Hebrides, the Isle of Wight, the Scilly Islands, Lundy Island, the Channel Islands, and many other smaller islands.

Great Britain

Great Britain is the largest island in the British Isles and is the collective name for England, Scotland, and Wales. Great Britain includes the small adjacent islands but excludes the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

The United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is comprised of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The official name “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” came into use in 1922 after the creation of the Irish Free State (1922-1937).


Ireland is the second largest island, after Great Britain, in the British Isles. Geographically, it includes Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom. In 1937 the Irish Free State adopted a new constitution that claimed all of Ireland as its territory and officially became”Ireland” in English and “Éire” in Irish. In 1948 Ireland declared itself the Republic of Ireland but retains “Ireland” as its official name.

Perhaps Paul Milner will plan a pop quiz for the March 12th Seminar! Hope to see you there!

DGS 2016 Spring Seminar With Paul Milner To Be Held March 12

The Dallas Genealogical Society’s 2016 Spring Seminar will be held on Saturday, March 12, titled From Whence They Came.  Millions of people immigrated to this country. This seminar will help people understand why our ancestors left, how they got here and how to trace their steps, with an emphasis on the British Isles.

Paul Milner, professional genealogist and international lecturer, will give four lectures:

  1. Effective Use of England’s National Archives Website
  2. Irish Emigrants to North America: Before, During and After the Famine
  3. Scottish Emigration to North America: Before, During and After the Rebellion
  4. Overlooked Sources for 17th and 18th century English Research

The event will be held in the Auditorium of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young Street,  Dallas, TX, 75201 from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm.  MAP

Save $10.00 by registering before February 22, 2016: $45.00 (Society members) | $55.00 (non-members).

Program details and registration information are available on the Society’s website: dallasgenealogy.org.

Milner_Paul_200HPaul Milner has specialized in British Isles genealogical research for over 30 years. He was raised in England and settled in the United States in 1975. Paul has been designing workshops and lecturing to a wide variety of audiences for over 35 years. As a genealogist he speaks on a variety of topics relating to research in the British Isles, migration to North America and research methodology. Paul is a past board member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Federation of Genealogical Societies and the Genealogical Speakers Guild.


Dallas Genealogical Society’s 2015 Spring Lecture Focuses on DNA

The Dallas Genealogical Society is excited to announce its Spring Lecture to be held on Saturday, March 21, 2015, “Genetic Genealogy Analysis and Tools; a Step Beyond the Beginner Level”.

Did your last lecture on DNA leave you with more questions than answers? Then please join us for a full day with noted professional genealogist Debbie Parker Wayne. Her presentations will review the basics as well as give you real-life analysis of DNA testing results.


  • Genetic Genealogy Today: Review and Updates: A brief review of genetic genealogy basics such as the inheritance patterns of each type of DNA used for genealogy. This includes an introduction to some of the tools to be illustrated in later sessions.
  • Genetic Genealogy Company Comparisons: Information on how to choose a DNA testing company, the pros and cons of each company’s offerings, and the tests available today.
  • Tools and Applications for mtDNA: Illustration of a real-life case study using the latest tools and techniques to analyze mitochondrial DNA (passed along the matrilineal line).
  • Tools and Applications for Y-DNA: Illustration of a real-life case study using the latest tools and techniques to analyze Y-DNA (passed along the patrilineal line).
  • Tools and Applications for atDNA : Illustration of a real-life case study using the latest tools and techniques to analyze autosomal DNA (inherited through all ancestral lines).

Program details and registration instructions are on our web site – dallasgenealogy.org.

Debbie Wayne’s web site – debbiewayne.com.