Placing Your Past – Slides Available

DGS member Carolyn Davis made a very interesting and informative presentation to the Technology Special Interest Group on May 1. Her topic was “Placing Your Past”, and she reviewed several web sites that you can use to place your families history on current and historical maps. She has kindly made her PowerPoint slides available for anybody who wants to review her materials… they are available on our Meeting Handouts page.

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Migration Trails Maps Available

Thanks to Judy Allen Knight for her fascinating presentation on American Migration Trails. Judy has graciously allowed us to make the maps featured in her presentation on our web site: View them on our Meeting Handouts page.

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Dallas Observer Blog Article Highlights Poor Library Funding

The headline sums up the sad state of affairs ‘Dallas Has “Most Poorly Funded Public Library in the United States,” Advocates Say’.

To quote a bit more:

“Their case is a simple one. Dallas, whether you compare it with local suburbs or peer cities nationwide, is stiffing its libraries.

“The main downtown library here is open a mere 40 hours per week. That’s last among suburbs and large Texas cities, fewer than at the central library Carrollton, Colleyville and University Park (45 hours per week); DeSoto, Duncanville, Forth Worth (sic), and Houston (50-plus); and Arlington, Frisco, Garland, Richardson and San Antonio (60-plus), to name a few.

“Dallas also fares poorly when measured by library funding, both as a percentage of its annual budget and per capita.”

Read the entire article (published on-line at by clicking here…

Please let your elected representatives know if you support increasing funding for the library… Find your City Council Member here.

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Summer Symposium Featuring John Colletta

Colletta_JohnThe Dallas Genealogical Society invites you to join us for a two‐day symposium (Friday – Saturday July 11-12) featuring John Colletta, an author (“Only a few bones”, “Finding Itallian Roots”, “They Came in Ships”) and Lecturer in genealogy. Visit John’s web site at

Register early and save $50! Read More…

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Confederate Cemetery Records

Chances are you have never heard of the Old Confederate Cemetery, located on Electra and Reed Streets, southeast of the larger and better known Oakland Cemetery. After all, it only contains 101 graves. Fortunately for all of the researchers who ARE interested, the DGS has just added those 101 records to our on-line, publicly accessible database that now contains information about 36,037 burials in and around Dallas. Read More….

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Meeting Handouts

Several of our recent speakers have generously agreed to allow us to make copies of their handouts available on our web site… Go to our new Meeting Handouts page to see information from Meg Hatcher’s “NARA’s Online Public Access: Live Demonstration” and Michael Bassett’s “DNA Testing for Genealogical Purposes”.

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2013 Fall Lecture will feature D. Joshua Taylor



Dallas Genealogical Society’s Fall Lecture on Saturday, October 12, features D. Joshua Taylor, a nationally known and recognized genealogical author, lecturer, and researcher. Back by popular demand, Josh will show us how to unravel the real story behind family legends, take advantage of online archival materials, use research time wisely to maximize results, and take advantage of various methods to share our stories with friends and family.


  • Finding the Roots of Your Family Legends
  • Treasures in the Archives: Using Archive Grid
  • The Modern Genealogist: Timesaving Tips for Every Researcher
  • Sharing in the 21st Century

This event will be held at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young Street, Dallas, TX.  Registration begins at 9:30am.

Register by September 27 and save $10 off the cost of the lecture.  The Early Bird fee is $40 for DGS members and $50 f0r non-members.

Full descriptions of the sessions and registration instructions are on DGS’s web site.

Please join us for a day of family history.

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2013 DGS Writing Contest Deadline Is August 31

DGS Writing Contest

The Dallas Genealogical Society reminds all potential entrants to its 2013 Writing Contest that the deadline for submissions is August 31. The contest will accept original material, not previously published, from members and non-members, hobbyists and professionals.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the winning articles: first prize is $500, second prize is $300 and third prize is $150.

Among the judges will be J. Mark Lowe, a professional genealogist, author and lecturer.

Submissions will be judged on accuracy, clarity, and style. Winners will be announced at the annual DGS Awards Luncheon in December 2013 (winners need not be present), and will be published in a future DGS publication. All prizes may not be awarded.

For more information see the Rules and Guidelines and the Entry Form.

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GenealogyBank and Digital Sanborn Maps – New Additions to Dallas Public Library’s Resources

Dallas Public Library has added these two databases of interest to family history researchers to the Databases collection on its web site.


GenealogyBank, a resource from NewsBank, Inc. is a database comprised of the following collections:

  • Historical Newspapers (1690 – 1999) is a newspaper archive that features over 1000 titles covering 320 years of fully-searchable historical newspapers printed in small towns and big cities throughout the U.S.  Find old newspaper articles, obituaries, birth, and marriage records, sports articles and stats, photographs, advertisements, and more.
  • Historical Books (1749 – 1900) provides the complete text of more than 11,700 books, pamphlets and printed items including: genealogies, biographies, funeral sermons, local histories, cards, charts and more.
  • Historical Documents (1789 – 1994) includes military records, casualty lists, Revolutionary and Civil War pension requests, widow’s claims, orphan petitions, land grants, and other interesting historical documentation. Two of the prominent titles in this collection are the “American State Papers” and the “US Congressional Serial Set”.
  • America’s Obituaries (1977 – Current) often provides ancestor names, dates, birthplaces, marriage info, death records, and other relevant family history information.
  • Social Security Death Index (1937 – Current) contains more than 92 million death records for individuals with US Social Security numbers.

If you live within the city of Dallas and have a DPL library card, you can connect to GenealogyBank from home via their web site:  Click on the Databases tab on the home page, then scroll down to “NewsBank Online Service”, then choose “America’s GenealogyBank” from the list.  If you don’t have a library card, you can still access these databases via the public computers available at all Dallas Public Library locations:



The Dallas Public Library has also expanded its geographic coverage of the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps.  For some time, the digitized maps that provide detailed property and land-use records maps have been available for Texas cities and towns.  Now you can access maps for more than 12,000 U.S. towns and cities.  The maps cover the time period from the mid-1860s to 1970 and depict the commercial, industrial, and residential sections of these towns and cities. From the Library of Congress web site – “the maps were designed to assist fire insurance agents in determining the degree of hazard associated with a particular property and therefore show the size, shape, and construction of dwellings, commercial buildings, and factories as well as fire walls, locations of windows and doors, sprinkler systems, and types of roofs. The maps also indicate widths and names of streets, property boundaries, building use, and house and block numbers”.

Like GenealogyBank, the Sanborn Maps can be accessed in two ways – from home, if you live within the Dallas city limits and have a DPL Library card, or from the public computers at any DPL physical location.  From the Databases tab on the Library’s home page, scroll down to “Texas Digital Sanborn Maps”.  The title of the database link has not yet been updated to reflect the new geographic coverage.


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Sneak Peek at 2013 DGS Fall Lecture

One of DGS’s most well-received speakers is returning to headline our 2013 Fall Lecture program on October 12 – D. Joshua Taylor.  Check back on our web site later this summer for details.

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