The 2017 Awards Banquet was held on December 9, 2017 in O’Hara Hall at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library.

2017 Award Recipients

Ken Johnston, President’s Special Award
with Todd DeDecker

President’s Special Award

Ken Johnston is a genealogist and professional artist. In the spring of 2016, he volunteered his time and talents to design and craft our seminar marketing materials: the brochure and themed images for use on the website and in social media. The results to date have not only been beautiful but have created professional promotional materials worthy of the stature of the Society and the national speakers DGS hosts. He is responsible for the artwork used for all three 2017 seminars.

Ken has been quite generous with his time. He attends marketing launch meetings for each seminar. He is consistently responsive to requests and meets with his DGS coordinates to review and revise materials. Additionally, Ken has created artwork for other DGS efforts in the past year, notably the masthead for the renovated eNews publication.

Ken is great talent and DGS is lucky he found us!

Linda & Bob Lane, Renee Jackson Smith Award
with Kathleen Murray

Renee Jackson Smith Award

This year we awarded two scholarships to two people who have generously provided hospitality and refreshments at Society events since 2011.

Linda Lane and Bob Lane are often the first early arrivals at Society events in order to ensure that the coffee is ready when the rest of us arrive. They have consistently taken the time necessary to maintain an inventory of drinks, food, and supplies in the DGS storeroom on the 8th floor. At each event they make numerous trips between the event location, the storeroom, and their vehicle.

Of special note are the “themed” treats specially baked for each event as well as their cheerful and welcoming demeanor that makes newcomers and members alike feel welcome.

At many events they have had to miss some of the program content and we hope that these Seminar scholarships will serve as a token of gratitude for their efforts from a grateful DGS.

Thanks Linda and Bob!

Jean Larson, Award of Merit
with Suzan Younger

Award of Merit

Jean Larson has consistently contributed time, talent, expertise, and abilities to the Society over a period of years as evidenced in the DGS Board positions she has held:

  • Vice President: 2015 & 2014
  • Director for Education: 2013 & 2012
  • Secretary: 9/2011 – 8/2013
  • Parliamentarian: 2011 & 2012

She remains an active member and is a consistent volunteer at DGS events. She is willing to step in and help just about any time.

Jean is truly deserving of this award!

Susan Rainwater, Volunteer of the Year
with Tony Hanson

Volunteer of the Year

Susan Rainwater has worked tirelessly in her role as Treasurer for the Society for the past two years. When asked why she became Treasurer, she said simply “It’s my turn. I can do this!”

Much of her first year was spent enhancing and simplifying the budgeting tracking process utilized by the board to manage the finances of the Society. She was responsible for the acquisition of a new PC, updated software and arranged for the services of qualified QuickBooks consultant. As a result, the board now benefits from improved reports and a more refined budgeting process. Susan was also responsible for taking steps to insure that the Society was properly filing required state and federal reports accurately and in a timely manner. All of this required a unique skill set and a high degree of initiative, as well as performing a lot of research and consuming a considerable amount of Susan’s time.

When her two terms as Treasurer ended in 2017, she volunteered to be the DGS webmaster, but would have taken the IT Administrator position if Jim Thornhill had not came forward.

Susan is a fantastic volunteer!

Tony Hanson, Heritage Preservation Award
with Suzan Younger

Heritage Preservation

In 2017 Tony Hanson’s eight years of work to collect, digitize, and make accessible complete runs of all the original publications (newsletters, quarterlies, and journals) of the DGS since its inception in 1955 was completed. His almost singular achievement of preserving and making publicly available the Society’s publications on the DGS website will help insure that this rich source of family history content and Society history will endure into the future. Of particular note are the efforts Tony has put forth to secure grant funding and to raise funds to make the DGS journals available on The Portal to Texas History. The online DGS publications collections include:

  • Physical newsletters: Published from 1955 through 1963 and from 1976 through January, 2015.
  • Electronic newsletters: Published 2010 – present
  • The Quarterly“: Published 1955-1994
  • Dallas Journal“: Published annually 1995 -2012
  • Pegasus: Journal of the Dallas Genealogical Society“: Published bi-annually 2013-2016

As DGS Webmaster from 2010-2015, Tony retrieved archived versions of records from earlier website implementations and made them available on the current website. These included the publications of earlier Society historical transcription projects, among which are Cemetery Inventories, County Tax Records, District Court Records Indexes, Marriage Records, Mortality Schedules.

Read more about Tony’s wonderful preservation work!

Fred Moss, Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck Distinguished Service Award
with Tony Hanson

Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck Distinguished Service Award

Fred Moss is an independent law practice professional. He has been active within the genealogical community at a national level for the past 22 years. He was an adviser to the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) from 1995 – 2010 and is currently FGS Legal Advisor.

Fred is known to many in the genealogical community for his strong advocacy as a member of the Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC) for the past 19 years. The RPAC is a joint committee of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the National Genealogical Society, and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. His RPAC blog posts regarding specific issues of concern to the genealogical community are quite informative and include specific calls to action.

It is a pleasure to honor Fred with this distinguished award!

Pegasus Writing Contest Award

Karen Walker was awarded first place and $500.00 for her article, “Defending Dicy Dillon”.

2017 Texas State Genealogical Society Award

The Dallas Genealogical Society was awarded $50.00 for third place in the category of Website for a TxSGS Partner Society.

2017 DGS Donations

Dreanna Belden, The Portal to Texas History
with Todd DeDecker

Cathy Nelson Hartman Portal to Texas History Endowment Fund – $7,500

The Portal is an online preservation repository for a wealth of Texas related publications, documents, and images, including the DGS Journals, Pegasus, and (soon) our Quarterlies. Contributing funds to the Portal is consistent with the DGS mission to “collect, preserve, copy, and index information relating to Dallas County and its early history”.

In 2016, DGS donated $5239.73 to the Portal. ($2500 came from Society funds and the balance was donated during the 2016 North Texas Day of Giving).

The Portal is in the 3rd year of an effort to raise $1.5 million dollars, which would trigger a $500,000 NEH challenge grant. They hope to raise $750,000 this year. Our $7,500 contribution will help reach that goal!

James Harkins
Texas General Land Office
with Tony Hanson & Todd DeDecker

Texas General Land Office Endowment – $7,500

The preservation, digitization and educational activities of the Texas General Land Office are in perfect alignment with the goal and objectives of the Dallas Genealogical Society. DGS members and supporters recognize the importance of repositories, and are proud to be supporting the ongoing efforts to preserve and digitize documents that will be available to current and future generations of researchers.

The donation from the Dallas Genealogical Society will be used to preserve the Peters Colony Records. The Texas General Land Office will match the Society’s generous $7500 donation thereby allowing the entire Peters Colony Records and Peters Colony map to be preserved and conserved.

The work will flatten, re-sleeve, and re-house these records into archival boxes in order to make sure they are preserved. The records will also be digitized and make them available online – which has never been an option until now. The Peters colony archival collection is geographically relevant for Dallas/Dallas County, as well as a large part of North Texas.

This will also allow the conservation of an 1858 Map of the Surveyed Part of Peters Colony. This is a beautiful map, with one of the great title blocks in our collection. This item is 46×58.5 inches (very large), and is laminated. The Dallas Genealogical Society will be identified as the “Adopter” of the entire Peters Colony Records Collection, and the 1858 map of Peters Colony. The Dallas Genealogical Society’s name will appear with each individual document and map in their searchable Land Grant Database and Map Database.

Read the article published by the Texas General Land Office on their blog and see the Thank You letter we received.

Dallas Public Library – $5,500

Gayla Bush, Dallas Public Library
with Tony Hanson

It is the Society’s pleasure to fund the acquisition of some 125+ Hispanic genealogy books for the Genealogy Section of the Dallas Public Library. This donation reflects the Society’s core mission to support the Genealogy Section since the Society’s inception in 1955.

Because many Hispanic genealogy books are not available through traditional library acquisition channels, a considerable amount of out-of-the box research was needed to identify these books. Stephanie Bennett, a librarian in the Genealogy Section, devoted the necessary time and talent to achieve this result!

What a joy to add genealogical content to address the research needs of the significant Hispanic patron base that the Library serves!

Truly a Special Event!