DGS Jewish Interest Group Meets This Wednesday, June 15

Jewish SIG

The June meeting of the Dallas Genealogical Society’s Jewish SIG will be held this Wednesday, the 15th from 10am to 1pm on the 8th floor of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young Street. Dallas, TX 75201.

Learn the terminology of the Jewish faith and race, and the various methods for researching these families. Emphasis is on cultural differences (from other races and creeds) which may require alternative genealogical research methods and records from those usually employed. Domestic (United States) and international aspects are both explored.

The meetings are free and open to the public.

Leader: Liz Kutz,  jewishgen@dallasgenealogy.org.

DGS MacGen SIG Meets Saturday, June 11


MacGen Reunion SIG

The June meeting of Dallas Genealogical Society’s MacGen Reunion Group will be held on Saturday, the 11th from 1pm to 3pm on the 8th floor of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young Street, Dallas, TX 75201.



  • getting your family tree (or a portion of it) onto to the Internet
  • review of the 2015 updated version of Herds, genealogy software program

Leader: Happi McQuirk, macs@dallasgenealogy.org.

Preserving Our “Stuff”

Join the Dallas Genealogy Society on July 29 & 30, 2016
Denise Levenick presents a 7-part program:
Preserving & Sharing Our Family History


News came to us yesterday of the death on May 2, 2016 of Margaret Ann (Schmidt) Hudson (1943-2016). Margaret Ann was an avid genealogist who served the DGS over many years in several capacities, including president in 1983-1984. Her obituary states that “in her pursuit of family history and stories, she amassed a substantial collection of materials and documents.”1 Her son, Matthew Hudson, fondly noted that Margaret Ann gave books of genealogical charts to each of her children.


Another son, James Hudson, reported in a Dallas Morning News blog that his grandfather and Margaret Ann’s father-in-law, Elmore Hudson, left a massive collection of photographs and negatives. Included in his collection were several 1936 photos capturing the construction and early days of Fair Park buildings in Dallas, Texas. Margaret Ann alerted James to the collection and the family subsequently preserved “each picture and negative in acid-free sleeves, numbered, [and] boxed.”2


Denise May Levenick

Denise May Levenick, our DGS Summer Seminar speaker, comments in her blog (The Family Curator) that “in every family, someone ends up with “the stuff”.”3 Margaret Ann Hudson organized and published her research findings and passed them on to her children in book form. Her children, in turn, preserved and shared their grandfather’s photography collection. These are two examples of  wonderful outcomes for any family historian!

All family history researchers have “stuff” –
usually, lots of stuff.

As in the case of Elmore Hudson’s photographic collection, some of our personal collections are well-organized and preserved using good archival practices. But the reality for many of us is that our stuff consists of a challenging array of physical and digital formats and is stored or stashed in every conceivable manner.


We know our research records and family treasures are valuable and vulnerable. We want practical approaches to organization, preservation, and sharing that do not require advanced technical degrees and small fortunes to implement.

When Denise Levenick inherited her grandmother’s trunk filled with photos, documents, and family keepsakes, she set about adapting archival practices for the organization and preservation of these family treasures. She understands the challenges we face in organizing, preserving, sharing, and passing on our family records, keepsakes, and miscellaneous “stuff”. She feels our pain.

Denise Levenick | July 29 & 30, 2016
Preserving & Sharing Our Family History


Denise’s 20 plus years of research and practice resulted in her blog, which contains practical tips, techniques, and DIY projects. She has also published two books: How to Archive Family Keepsakes and How to Archive Family Photos. 

Denise is a frequent contributor to family history magazines and online publications, and presenter for webinars and workshops. She is also a member of the 2016 faculty for the Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh.

Register now for this Special Event!

1. “In memory of Margaret Ann Hudson,” Dignity Memorial, Memorial Funeral Chapel College Station, (http://obits.dignitymemorial.com/dignity-memorial/obituary.aspx?n=Margaret-Hudson&lc=4540&pid=179864821&mid=6913451# : accessed 5 June 2016).

2. Wilonsky, Robert. “The story behind a stack of rarely seen photos of Fair Park under construction in 1936,” The Dallas Morning News, City Hall Blog, 3 June 2016 (http://cityhallblog.dallasnews.com/2016/06/the-story-behind-a-stack-of-rarely-seen-photos-of-fair-park-under-construction-in-1936.html/#more-56945 : accessed 5 June 2016), paras. 8 & 11.

3. Levenick, Denise May. “About Denise Levenick, The Family Curator,” The Family Curator, 2016 (http://thefamilycurator.com/ : accessed 5 June 2016), para. 1.

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.

DGS Brown Bag SIG Meets This Saturday, May 28

The May meeting of the Dallas Genealogical Society’s Brown Bag Special Interest Group is this Saturday, May 28 from 10:30am-noon on the 8th floor of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young Street, Dallas, 76201.

This SIG is for genealogists who want to learn advanced methodology skills and techniques. The group studies best practices, including using the Genealogical Proof Standard. If you have genealogical best practices as your goal, we invite you to join us. The meetings are free and open to the public.

This month’s program: Chapter 4 “Writing When Questions Remain” from the NEHGS book Guide to Genealogical Writing, pp. 29-31.

Leaders: Janet Khashab & Elizabeth “Liz” Kutz. eMail: brownbag@dallasgenealogy.org.

Brown Bag SIG

DGS African-American Interest Group Meets This Saturday, May 21

The May meeting of the Dallas Genealogical Society’s African American Genealogical Interest Group is this Saturday, May 21 from 2pm-4:45pm on the first floor of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library 1515 Young Street, Dallas, 75201.

The AAGIG discusses and explores areas of research unique to the African American community, including census research, reconstruction and Freedman Bureau records, NARA combined military records of the U.S. Colored Troops, Plantation Slave records, Slave schedules and other records that provide information for this special area of genealogy research.

Meetings are free and open to the public.

Leader: Lois Lilly. AAGIG@dallasgenealogy.org.


DGS DNA SIG Meets This Thursday, May 19

The May monthly meeting of the Dallas Genealogical Society’s DNA Special Interest Group will be held this Thursday from 6pm-7:30pm on the 5th floor of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young Street, Dallas, 75201.

Program: Jean Larson will talk about DNA tools, the DNAGedcom website and the Ancestry Helper tool developed by Jeff Snavely. Jean has attended the beginning DNA course at GRIP (Genealogy Research Institute of Pittsburg), the advanced DNA course at SLIG (Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy) and the day-long workshop by Debbie Parker Wayne, sponsored by the Mid-Cities Genealogical Society. She will be participating in the Genetic Genealogy Tools & Techniques course at the Institute of Genealogical & Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University this summer.

Leader: Mic Barnette.  DNA@dallasgenealogy.org.


DGS Jewish SIG Meets This Wednesday, May 18

The Jewish Special Interest Group May monthly meeting is this Wednesday, May 18 from 10am-1pm on the 8th floor of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young Street, Dallas, 75201.

For anyone with actual (or suspected) Jewish ancestral lines, learn the terminology of the Jewish faith and race, and the various methods for researching these families. Emphasis is on cultural differences (from other races and creeds) which may require alternative genealogical research methods and records from those usually employed. Domestic (United States) and international aspects are both explored.

Leader: Elizabeth “Liz” Kutz. eMail: jewishgen@dallasgenealogy.org.

Attendance is free and open to the public.

Jewish SIG

DGS Celebrated Its 60th Anniversary at May Monthly Meeting

The Dallas Genealogical Society hosted an anniversary party at its May 7, 2016 General Meeting, celebrating 60 years as a leader in Texas’s genealogy community. DGS was originally known as the Local History and Genealogical Society.

No Label

DGS members Tony Hanson, Barbara Ware, Kathleen Murray, and Carolyn Davis presented DGS@60, a slideshow history of the Society that capsulized 60 years of our involvement in genealogy education, the collection and preservation of genealogical records, and support of the Genealogy Division of the Dallas Public Library.

Highlights of the presentation included:

  • historical documents about our founding and our original members
  • workshops and institutes that we have sponsored over the decades, including DGS’s hosting of the 1997 Federation of Genealogical Societies Annual Conference
  • records indexing and preservation activities, including local cemeteries and funeral homes, Dallas County records, and area church records
  • our publications over the decades – Newsletters, Quarterlies, Journal, and currently Pegasus; Journal of the Dallas Genealogical Society
  • contributing partner to the University of North Texas Portal to Texas History
  • donation of over half a million dollars in money and materials to DPL

Lloyd Bockstruck (retired Head of the Genealogy Division of the Dallas Public Library), Shirley Sloat (a former DGS President), Suzan Younger (major contributor to DGS cemetery projects and a previous DGS Secretary), and Ora Penn (former editor of the Dallas Journal and leader of the McGowan Funeral Home Project) contributed their reminiscences about important DGS projects and programs.

DGS President Tony Hanson announced that, in honor of our 60th Anniversary, DGS has created a history timeline on our website. You can also access it from our home page by clicking on the Time Line link under the Home tab.

After the history presentation, our Hospitality team Linda and Bob Lane honored us with three choices of home-made cake. Fantastic!

DGS Announces 2016 Writing Contest Winners

The Dallas Genealogical Society announces the winners of its 2016 Writing Contest. The Society is particularly pleased that the First Prize Winner tells the story behind the first DAR member to successfully use Y-DNA to prove a generational connection in the absence of other direct evidence. Other members have submitted Y-DNA in the past, but in those cases there was enough documentation that DNA was not needed.

First Prize $500: “A Case Study in Using DNA for DAR Membership: First Successful Application” by Ray Harriot.

Ray HarriottThis entry was submitted as an advanced methodology and case study, which per the Contest Rules is subject matter not limited by geography. Ray Harriot of Laurel, Maryland, has been doing genealogy for 21 years and often uses unconventional methods
inspired by his training as a U.S. Army intelligence analyst and reporter during the Vietnam War. He serves as historian of the Herriott Heritage Association and has been the editor of their newsletter for the past 20 years. He was the author of the Boy Scouts of America’s two bestselling campfire story books from 1995–2014—”Stories for Around the Campfire” and “More Stories for Around the Campfire”, and has also written two genealogical books based on his research—”Beyond Trabroun: The Heriots of Scotland from 1400–1700″ and “A Historical Perspective: The Heriot and Herriott Families of South Carolina”. He is the husband of Janice (Arsenault) Harriot and has three children and nine grandchildren.

Second Prize $300: “The Elusive Andrew Lyday, 1804–1849” by Jana Walker.

Jana Walker is a native Houstonian, with deep Texas roots that span five generations. She has a degree in communications fromDGS-JanaWalker2 3 May fr SC
the University of Houston. She spent the first part of her professional career at NASA/Johnson Space Center, working for its television contractor as a writer/producer/director. Now she teaches piano at her own private studio. In her spare time, she uses her research and writing skills to discover and document the stories of her ancestors to share with family members present and yet-to-be. Finding her family connections to Texas and American history has led her to become a member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Third Prize $150: “Alice’s Looking Glass: Reflection on the Prussian Drahns to Texas” by Vicki Ayo.

Vicki Welch Ayo, a Texas native, now resides in southern California, close to her three grown sons, Matt, Nick, and Joey. She spent her early childhood years in the Houston area where she was immersed in the music revolution sweeping Houston during her teen years in the 1960s. As a high school graduate and after moving to California, Vicki attended Fullerton College in Fullerton, California, and later Irvine Valley College in Irvine, California, studying computer information and digital media. Since those early years, her passion for music has always been a cherished portion of her life and led to her books, “Boys from Houston I & II“, which detail the revolutionary music transition in the Houston area during the Vietnam War and the political unrest of the 1960s. Combining a passion for genealogy with Texas history, her latest book, “The Davis Gang, a memoir of sisters from East Texas who robbed banks with their siblings in the 1930s”, allowed her to fuse both loves.


The winners will be honored at the DGS Annual Awards Luncheon December 10, 2016.

Writing Contest