Mesquite Historical and Genealogical Society Meets January 14

Join MHGS on Thursday, January 14, 6:30 pm, at the Mesquite Main Library, 300 W. Grubb Drive, Mesquite, Texas 75149.  Map

MHGSProgram: “Orphan Train Riders: Tracks to Texas & Beyond, All Aboard 1854 to 1929”. One in every 25 Americans has a connection to an Orphan Train rider and between 1854 and 1929, over 200,000 children were relocated from the East to the West coast on trains. Some were young enough that they lost knowledge of their families, ages and even their names. This is a vital part of history with research techniques and resources available that will assist in researching an Orphan Train Rider.

Speaker: Paula Perkins, professional genealogical consultant, lecturer, and instructor of genealogy classes.

Everyone is invited and welcome, and you do not have to be a member to attend. Come early for visiting and refreshments.

Sandra Eckstein, Publicity

Mesquite Historical and Genealogical Society

DGS January 2016 General Meeting is Tomorrow, the 9th

J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, First Floor Auditorium, 1515 Young Street, Dallas, TX 75201  Map

Hospitality – 10:30am-11:00am
Let’s Talk – 10:45am-11:00am*
Meeting – 11:00am-11:30am
Program – 11:30am-12:30pm

Secretary’s Minutes of November 2015 General Meeting

*Let’s Talk. Board members will be available in the Auditorium to hear comments, suggestions, compliments, criticisms, questions or anything else you want to say about your society.

Judy Allen KnightSpeaker: Judy Allen Knight is a genealogical speaker with over 40 years of experience in family history. She has been president of Mid-Cities GS and District #11 Representative of TSGS. In 2006 Judy was the Conference Chair for the TSGS Conference held in Fort Worth, Texas.

Program: From Respected Lawyer to Counterfeiter. Digging for details using genealogical and federal court and penitentiary records tells quite a story.

DGS web site


DGS Technology SIG Meets Thursday, January 7

When: 6:00 – 8:00 pm on Thursday, January 7, 2016
Where: 5th Floor Hamon room, J Erik Jonsson Central Public Library, 1515 Young Street, Dallas, 75201.  Map

The presentation is “Your Digital Afterlife,” which refers to all of those digital assets you’ve created. These assets include files, pictures, videos, genealogy websites, Facebook,blogs, cloud storage sites, etc. What happens to your digital assets when you can no longer access them or, ultimately, after your death? We will discuss issues to be considered for your digital assets.

For those of you who cannot attend in person please join the conversation using the DGS GoTo Meeting account (note that we are limited to 25 users).

GTM logoGoTo meeting is a web based tool that will allow you to see whatever the leader shows the in-person group on his/her laptop. It also has an audio bridge and your choice of using your telephone or your PC’s microphone and speaker (actually a headset works better).

You will need to download some free software which works on just about any type of PC, laptop, tablet or smart phone.

Thu, Jan. 7, 2016, 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM Central Daylight Time
Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
This is the URL you will use to join us on Thursday:; access code=270-215-877.
Use this audio phone number if you run into trouble getting connected: +1 (224) 501-3412 with the same Access Code: 270215877.



Grand Prairie Genealogical Society’s monthly meeting will be held Thursday, January 7, 2016

The GPGS monthly meeting will be held Thursday, January 7, 2016 at The Ruthe Jackson Center, 3113 S. Carrier Parkway, Grand Prairie. Meet and Greet begins at 6:30 pm with program at 7:00 pm until 9:00 pm. Map

GPGSProgram: Digital Scrapbooking. Create scrapbook pages in various sizes using Photoshop Elements and web resources. Learn how to add journaling to your pages. Get tips on sizing photos.
Speaker: Sandra Crowley is a popular lecturer, speaker and genealogist specializing in          technology for all aspects of family history. Sandra has served as a volunteer and leader for various local, state, and national genealogical organizations.

John H. Tull
Publicity, Grand Prairie Genealogical Society


REMINDER: First Meeting for January is Next Saturday, January 9

The Dallas Genealogical Society hopes that your New Year’s Resolutions include energizing your family history research and attending more DGS meetings.

Our first meeting of 2016 is Saturday, January 9.  Please join us starting at 10:30 am for hospitality and mingling. The business meeting starts at 11:00, followed by our featured speaker about 11:30. We meet in the first floor Auditorium of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in downtown Dallas. 1515 Young Street, 75201. Map

Judy Allen KnightSpeaker: Judy Allen Knight.  Judy Allen Knight is a genealogical speaker with over 40 years of experience in family history. She has been president of Mid-Cities Genealogical Society and District #11 Representative of the Texas State Genealogical Society. In 2006 Judy was the Conference Chair for the Texas State Genealogical Society Conference held in Fort Worth, Texas.

Program: “From Respected Lawyer to Counterfeiter“.  Digging for details using genealogical and federal court and penitentiary records tells quite a story.


Why Are We Here?

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!

Honorees-Dallas Genealogical Society’s 2015 Awards!

At DGS’s 2015 Awards Luncheon, held Saturday, December 12, the Society honored the following for their contributions to the genealogical community:

  • Award of Merit – Sandra Crowley, DGS Immediate Past President
  • Volunteer of the Year –  Todd DeDecker, DGS Webmaster
  • Historic Preservation Award – Dallas Jewish Historical Society, Debra Polsky, Executive Director
  • Bockstruck Distinguished Service Award – Sammie Townsend Lee, Dallas Public Library, Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division
  • Renee Jackson Smith Award – Elizabeth Kutz, DGS Jewish SIG Leader and former President
  • President’s Special Award – Jeri Steele, former IT Administrator, Treasurer, VP, and President of DGS
  • 2015 Writing Contest Winners –  Diane Gawedzinski, 1st place; RL Canady, 2nd place

Wholehearted congratulations to the winners with sincere acknowledgement of their dedication to family history research.


From l to r: Crowley, Polsky, Canady, Lee, Gawedzinski, Kutz, DeDecker. Missing-Steele


Dallas Genealogical Society DNA SIG Meets Thursday, Dec. 17 at the Dallas Public Library

The DGS DIG will meet in the Hamon Room on the 5th floor of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in downtown Dallas from 6-8pm.  Map



  • Use DPL WIFI to look at some of the tools and filters on FTDNA and if needed, Ancestry or 23 and Me.
  • Use Y-DNA and Family Finder:  (From Mic) My Finch cousin is matching a man in England. Our Finch family left England and came to Virginia in the 1600’s. So, now it is looking like I am going to figure out from where in England my Finch family came from.



Mic Barnette, DIG leader,

Visit my Blogs at:

  • http;//


DGS Announces 2015 Writing Contest

The Dallas Genealogical Society announces that its 2016 Writing Contest will open for entries on January 1, 2016. This is the fourth year that the Society has sponsored this contest, which comes with cash prizes.


The contest is open to both members and non-members of DGS, as well as hobbyists and professionals. Only original material not previously published elsewhere in any format is eligible. Entries will be accepted January 1 through March 31, 2016. Winners will be announced in May 2016.

While DGS has a goal of preserving Dallas history, subject matter for the competition may range beyond the local geographic area. Articles may include

  • advanced methodologies and case studies (not limited by geography)
  • family histories and genealogies, particularly those linked to North Texas, including those who came from or left to settle elsewhere
  • transcriptions, abstracts or indexes of record groups (including family records) not yet filmed or digitized that relate to Dallas or North Texas
  • ethnic, house, or military histories related to Dallas and surrounding counties.

Entries will be judged on accuracy, clarity of writing, and overall impact and interest. First prize is $500; second prize is $300 and third prize is $100.  Complete Rules.

Winning articles are eligible to be published in Pegasus: Journal of the Dallas Genealogical Society. Past winning entries can be read in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Research Issues of Pegasus, which members can access through the DGS website. Use them as examples of outstanding research and writing. Non-members may view a preview of of the past few issues.

Send entries via email only, with “DGS Writing Competition” in the subject line to:


Mesquite Historical and Genealogical Society meets Thursday, December 10

Celebrate the ending of 2015 with food, fun, and visiting starting at 6:00 p.m. in the Mesquite Main Library, . Map



Holiday Treats and Exciting Discoveries: Share a favorite holiday treat and your most exciting family discovery of the year. Please be prepared to limit your story to 5 minutes so everyone can participate.


Everyone is invited and welcome. You do not have to be a member to attend.

MHGS web site.