DGS African American SIG Meets Saturday, Feb 20

The February meeting of the African American Genealogical Interest Group will meet on Saturday, February 20 from 2 2 – 4:45 pm in the East/West Rooms on the first floor of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

AAGIG SIGThe AAGIG discusses and explores areas of research unique to the African American community. The group discusses a variety of  sources that provide information for this special area of genealogy research. Expert researchers and speakers make presentations on Slavery, customs, tradition, state laws, and the techniques and methods used in their research.

Meetings are free and open to the public. Please join the group for a special Black History Month program.

Contact: AAGIG@dallasgenealogy.org

DNA Interest Group Meets Thursday, Feb 18

The Dallas Genealogical Society’s DNA SIG (DIG) will meet this Thursday, February 18, from 6 to 8pm, on the 5th floor of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

This month, DIG will review GEDMATCH Tools for DNA and Genealogy Research. GEDMATCH allows you to compare your DNA results with others who match you but are using a different testing company.

The group will cover how to download your DNA data (autosomal) from FamilyTreeDNA, Ancestry, and 23andMe, then look at how to upload DNA data and GEDCOMs to GEDMATCH.

DIG participants will look at the following GEDMATCH tools:
• One-to-many and the results page
• One-to-one
• X One-to-one
• Search all GEDCOMs
• GEDCOM + DNA match

Leader: Mic Barnette,  dna@dallasgenealogy.org

DIG resources.

DGS members and others interested in DNA as a genealogical search strategy are invited to participate. The meetings are free and open to all.


DGS Jewish SIG Meets Wednesday, Feb 17

The Dallas Genealogical Society’s Jewish Special Interest Group meets this Wednesday, February 17 from 10am to 1pm on the 8th floor of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

Jewish SIG

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

Members bring research problems and successes to each meeting for group discussion.

Jewish SIG meetings are free and open to all.

Leader: Liz Kutz; jewishgen@dallasgenealogy.org


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!

Information & Registration

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

Information & Registration

(1) The National Archives – What We Do. Accessed February 13, 2016 at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/about/our-role/what-we-do/.

DGS Member Fred Moss’s Presentation at RootsTech 2016 Available Online

Frederick Moss, Counsel for the Federation of Genealogical Societies, member of FGS’s Records Preservation and Access Committee, former Associate Dean Texas Wesleyan University School of Law…and long-time DGS member, was a speaker at RootsTech 2016. His presentation “Closing Death Records: Silver Bullet or Dead End?” was videotaped and is available to view in its entirety on the RootsTech 2016 website.

Description of session: The threat of Identity Theft has prompted over a thousand legislative proposals at the Federal, state or local level in recent years which impact access to vital records.  An on-going case study reviews the most dramatic modern example of this approach at the Federal level where a statute has limited access to the content of the Social Security Administration Death Master File. Preliminary results suggest more harm than good.

Records Preservation and Access Committee blog


DGS MacGen Reunion Group Meets Saturday, Feb 13

The next meeting is Saturday, February 13, from 1- 3pm on the 8th floor of the J.Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young Street, Dallas, 75201.

Main program topics:

  • Recording DNA data with Reunion
  • brief demo on exporting from Family Tree Maker into Reunion

Also, time permitting:

  • How to turn off the microphone when finished using Siri for dictation
  • Adding a re-marriage to a first wife after divorcing the second wife
  • Attaching media files correctly
  • Using Tags to facilitate quick searches

We will use GoToMeeting again.

Hope to see you there! As always, feel free to bring your computer and any questions you might have.

Facilitator: Happi McQuirk, macs@dallasgenealogy.org.

MacGen Reunion SIG

Bylaw Changes: Why and How?

The Society’s bylaws dictate the rules and procedures by which our Society operates (see our current bylaws here). When the bylaws become an impediment to the operation of the Society it becomes necessary to modify them. That is the position we are in today.

Two key activities require an authorization vote from our membership at a general meeting: The election of officers and changing the bylaws. Voting for these requires a quorum to be present.

Currently, 30 members must be present to establish a quorum at a general meeting.  The last time our bylaws were updated (2011), 30 members represented 3.75% or our membership. Today, 30 members translates to 7.5% of our membership.

At our May, 2015 meeting we lacked a quorum of members and the vote had to be postponed until our September meeting, which somewhat disrupted our established board transition process. As a result, the board of directors has decided to propose changes to the bylaws to minimize the possibility of such disruptions in the future.

The process that needs to be followed to change our bylaws is defined in Artivle XVII – Amendments:

These Bylaws may be amended or revised at any general business meeting of the Society by a two-thirds affirmative vote of members present and voting provided that the proposed amendment or revision has been either read or copies thereof distributed at the previous general business meeting, and that notice of said amendment or revision has been published on the Society web site at least fifteen (15) days prior to the general business meeting at which the proposed amendment or revision is read or copies thereof distributed. Notice of such publication will be distributed to members via mail or email.

Our goal is to have the new process in place in time for the election of the next board at the May 7, 2016 general business meeting. Here is how we plan to do this:

  • We are publishing the proposed changes on our website (review the proposed changes here).
  • All members will receive a ‘Notice of Publication’ linked to these posts via eNews, the DGS Newsletter (formerly referred to as the eBlast) which is distributed via email.
  • We will have paper copies of the proposed changes available, and will discuss them, at the March 5, 2016 general meeting.
  • The vote for approval is tentatively scheduled for the April 2, 2016 general meeting.

Proposed Bylaw Changes

These proposed changes was were approved by the Board of Directors at the February 6, 2016 board meeting. The current bylaws can be viewed here.


Section 3 in Article IV – Society Meetings defines the number of members required to establish a quorum at general meetings. The proposal eliminates the fixed number (30) and replaces it with a percentage of our total membership (5%). This will allow the number to change as our membership increases or decreases without the need for additional bylaw changes.

At today’s membership levels, 5% would translate to a requirement of having 20 members to establish a quorum.


Thirty members shall constitute a quorum at Society general business meetings.


The number of members required to constitute a quorum at Society general business meetings will be set at 5% (numerically rounded up/down) of the current Society membership.

 This number shall be updated annually following the installation of the new board of directors. Additional updates may be initiated at any time by a majority vote of the board of directors.

 Changes in the number of members required to constitute a quorum shall be communicated to the membership electronically and will be documented on the society web site.

Election of Officers

Section 4 in Article V – Election of Officers details how the election of officers will be conducted. Our existing board migration process defines a four month overlap period (starting with the election in May and ending with the installation of the new board in September), so it is important to insure that there is no delay in holding the election.

For this reason the board is recommending bylaw changes that will allow for the utilization of electronic balloting. This may, at the discretion of the board, be the preferred method of voting. It will also be the default process if a quorum is not present at the May meeting.


The Officers shall be elected at the general business meeting in May by a majority vote of those members present and voting. The presiding officer shall accept additional nominations from the floor, provided the nominee consents in person or in writing. The Officers shall be installed at the annual meeting in September and shall assume their official duties upon installation. Officers shall serve for a term of one year or until their successors are assigned.


Prior to the general business meeting in May the board of directors will select, via a majority vote, one of the following options for conducting the vote:

1)     By a majority vote of the members present and voting at the general business meeting in May, or

2)     By means of electronic balloting in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • The board of directors will select and document an appropriate methodology for distributing and collecting ballots
  • No provision shall be made for members who do not have an email address of record associated with their membership account
  • Ballots will be distributed to all members of record as of the date of the general business meeting in May within seven (7) days following the meeting.
  • Ballots must be returned as directed by the board within fourteen (14) days following distribution to be valid
  • A committee consisting of the Past President, the Director of Membership and the Director of Education will be responsible for collecting and validating all ballots and tabulating the results. Results will be communicated to the membership electronically within seven (7) days following the end of the balloting period.
  • If the number of valid ballots returned does not meet the quorum requirement the process will be repeated

The presiding officer shall accept additional nominations from the floor at the general business meeting in May, provided the nominee consents in person or in writing.

Once nominations have been closed the election shall proceed by the methodology previously determined by the board of directors. However, If the board has selected an in-person vote, and there are insufficient members present to establish a quorum, the vote will be conducted via electronic balloting.

The Officers shall be installed at the annual meeting in September and shall assume their official duties upon installation. Officers shall serve for a term of one year or until their successors are assigned.

Mesquite HGS Meets Feb 11: The Eagle and the Raven

The Mesquite Historical and Genealogical Society meets Thursday, February 11, 6;30 pm, at the Mesquite Public Library, 300 W. Grubb Drive, Mesquite, TX 75149.

The Society will host an imaginary visit with novelist and researcher James Michener and two of his famous (or infamous) characters depicted in his novel, “The Eagle and the Raven“. Meet up with The Raven, the highly lauded General and President of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston, and his nemesis—The Eagle, the egotistical, powerful and irascible President and General of Mexico Santa Anna. Be a witness to an incredible meeting and see if the two enemies can reconcile their differences and realize their similarities as they meet in a Mesquite Cantina rather than at San Jacinto. Three members of the Hiram Bennett Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas – Marjorie Bays’ two daughters, Glenna Johns and Sue Corey, and Linda Attaway – will present this historic meeting.


Come early for visiting and refreshments. You do not have to be a member to attend.