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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Dallas Genealogical Society 2013 Summer Institute

Pamela Boyer Sayre and Richard Sayre will be the keynote speakers at the DGS 2013 Summer Institute on Friday and Saturday, August 2-3, 2013, at the Dallas Public Library, in Dallas, Texas.

Entitled “Bits of Yesterday: Using Maps and Records to Complete Your Family Story”, their 2-day program includes these presentations:

  • Our National Treasure: The Library of Congress
  • Remote Research in the Databases of the Daughters of the American Revolution Genealogical Research System
  • Land Entry Papers and Records of the General Land Office
  • Sharing Your Family History
  • Maps: Where to Find Them and How to Use Them
  • Using Topographic and Other Maps
  • Google Earth for Genealogists

Early Bird registration (save $40.00) ends June 30.

For details about these topics or to register online, visit

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2013 Writing Contest

The Dallas Genealogical Society is pleased to announce its 2013 Writing Contest for original material on topics of interest to genealogists and family historians. The contest is open to members and nonmembers of the DGS. Hobbyists, transitional, and professional genealogists are welcome to submit entries.

Submissions may include genealogies, family histories, and case studies that demonstrate use of genealogical methodology, techniques, and sources.  The submission deadline is August 31, 2013.  First prize is $500, second prize is $300 and third prize is $150.

Winning entries will be published in a future issue of Pegasus: Journal of the Dallas Genealogical Society.

Subject matter for the competition is defined in the contest Rules and Guidelines.  Among the judges will be J. Mark Lowe, the professional genealogist, author and lecturer.

The 2012 winners of the Contest are listed on our web site and will appear in the premiere issue of Pegasus: Journal of the Dallas Genealogical Society.

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Be A Book Hero

I have recently discovered a program on the Dallas Public Library’s web site called Support Your Library – Be A Book Hero. I have donated books to the Genealogy Division in the past, but this approach is different.

A person specifies the book, DVD, or CD that he/she wants to donate either by selecting from a list on the DPL web site or recommending a title to purchase.  The donor pays a discounted, tax-deductible price for the item (including cataloging and processing fees), the acquisition is expedited through the system, and the donor gets first dibs on the title when it is received. The material is the property of the Dallas Public Library, however; the donor does not get to keep it.

A caveat – this program is aimed at “popular” items, not the reference volumes that the Genealogy Division usually deals with, because the titles have to be available through the 3rd-party outsourcer with which the Library contracts for its cataloging and processing.  This is what originally interested me, however, because I personally support the Genealogy Division’s recent decision to purchase materials that can be checked out.  I feel that we need to expand family history research material to include circulating titles that appeal to a wider audience.

The two titles that I have purchased/donated so far are How to Archive Family Keepsakes by Denise Levenick and Only a Few Bones by John Colletta, just to give you an idea of the range of possibilities.

As an individual, I’ll be donating more titles through this program because it’s a win-win deal.  I get to read the items first and the Library is able to add new material to its catalog which benefits the whole community.

Details about Be A Book Hero are on the Library’s web site.


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Dallas Public Library Named in “Top 10” for Genealogy Research

The Dallas Public Library has been selected by Family Tree Magazine as one of the Top 10 Public Libraries in the United States for genealogy research.  “Many public libraries now have dedicated genealogy or local history collections, making them an essential destination for every roots researcher. There you’ll find not only books, but also rare manuscripts, genealogical journals, census records, and CD-ROMs, all full of valuable information you won’t find on the Internet.”

The Top 10 ranking is based on collection size, geographic coverage, special collections, accessibility and much more. For more information, visit

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Dallas Genealogical Society 2013 Spring Lecture

We are very excited to announce that Paula Stuart-Warren, a nationally known and recognized genealogical author, lecturer, and researcher, is the featured speaker at our Spring Lecture to be held on March 16, 2013.

Her workshop is titled  “Records, Research & Stories”, in 4 presentations:

1. Tho’ They Were Poor, They May Have Been Rich in Records

2. Research Reports for Ourselves: More than a Research Log

3. Stuck? Have You Tried…? Have You Overlooked…?

4. A Baker’s Dozen: : Easy Ways to Begin Writing Your Family History

Details about the Lecture and registration are on the DGS web site.


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