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October, 2017

Event Schedules:  General Meetings  |  Special Interest Groups  |  Seminars

Next General Meeting: Saturday, October 14

Doc_Butler-2007-350x350-300x300Our October 2017 General Meeting will be held on the second Saturday of the month, October 14th, in the 1st floor Auditorium at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, located at 1515 Young Street in Dallas.  Hospitality begins at 10:30 a.m., followed by our Business Meeting, which will begin at 11:00 a.m.

 Our Educational Presentation will be made by Dr. Steven Butler, PhD.  He is the author of "John Neely Bryan: The Father of Dallas", a biography about John Neely Bryan, which will be the topic of his presentation.  Dr. Butler has generously agreed to let us record his presentation and make the video available on our website following the meeting. 

You do not have to be a member of the Dallas Genealogical Society to attend the meetings. We welcome everyone who is interested.

September Meeting Recap
Our September meeting was attended by 44 members and 4 visitors who greatly enjoyed David Passman’s presentation, "Using Collateral Genealogy to Find Immigrant Origins in U.S. Records".  Thanks to David for all the great information and for allowing us to share a video of his presentation on our website. The presentation has already been viewed more than 160 times and David has generously allowed us to keep the video on our website permanently.

Upcoming Meeting: Saturday, ​November 4
Please ​join us at ​next month's General ​Meeting​, where journalist and published author, Thatcher Freund, will be talking to us about "Why Our Stories Matter".


Meeting minutes, video recordings of previous Business Meetings, and videos of our Educational Presentations (when the speaker permits) are available on our website


North Texas Giving Day Update

Thanks to our generous donors we have accumulated the funds required to digitize our society’s entire collection of early Quarterlies. Created between 1955 and 1994, these 161 publications contain more than 9000 pages!

Once digitized, the Quarterlies will join their successors on The Portal to Texas History:
  • The Dallas Journal (1995 – 2012), and 
  • Pegasus: Journal of the Dallas Genealogical Society (2013 – present).
Thus our efforts to digitize, preserve, and archive this important part of our society’s history will be completed, and all of these publications will be freely accessible to the public.

Results from the 2017 North Texas Giving Day event are still preliminary but as of now (mid-October) the total of our fundraising effort stands at $4,475:
  • $430 – Cash donations made at our General Meetings and Fall Seminar
  • $370  – Advance donations made via the DGS website
  • $1000 – Rescuing Texas History Grant from the University of North Texas Libraries
  • $2675 – Donations made through the North Texas Giving Day event
Overall this year’s Giving Day event raised $39 million for 2,723 organizations. Since its inauguration in 2009 more than $195 million dollars has been raised for North Texas nonprofits.

DGS Hosts 2017 North Texas Society Summit

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Nearly 60 leaders representing 20 North Texas Genealogy Societies met at the Dallas Public Library on Friday, September 29 to discuss Collaboration among Societies. Panel discussions focused on four areas: Membership, Marketing, Leadership, and Fund Raising. Our special guest, D. Joshua Taylor, made two presentations related to society collaboration, which were well received.

One outcome of the Summit was an agreement that several societies would jointly explore participating in the 2018 North Texas Giving Day to raise funds for The Cathy Nelson Hartman Portal to Texas History Endowment. In addition to raising funds for a valuable resource for genealogists and family historians, it is hoped that this effort will allow participating societies to increase their marketing and social media skills. Future projects will benefit from this!

The event, co-chaired by Kathleen Murray and Tony Hanson, was the second Society Summit sponsored by the Dallas Genealogical Society. There was no cost to participants other than a requested donation to offset the catering costs. A third summit is planned for September 28, 2018.

More information about the Summit, including links to audio recordings of all sessions, can be found on our website.

 2017 Awards Banquet Planned

December 9, 2017

11:30 AM - 2:00 PM

7th Floor – O’Hara Hall

J. Erik Jonsson Central Library

1515 Young Street, Dallas, TX 75201

No Charge for DGS Members | $15.00 for Guests

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It's Time to Submit Award Nominations!

The Dallas Genealogy Society annually recognizes individuals and organizations for their contributions in support of the goals of the Society.  

The award categories are listed below:
  • Award of Merit
  • Heritage Preservation
  • Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck Distinguished Service Award
  • Volunteer of the Year
The DGS Awards will be presented at the Annual Awards Banquet on December 9, 2017. 

Please take a few minutes to read about the awards. Then, nominate the people 
you think deserve an award this year!

An Outstanding Fall Seminar

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More than 160 people attended our Fall Seminar with D. Joshua Taylor, making it the best attended seminar in recent history! Attendees enjoyed presentations on unusual record types and research strategiesThese included:  using compiled genealogies, researching at genealogical and historical societies, discovering the treasures in political and voting records, and locating your ancestor's religious records.Thanks to our speaker, volunteers and Board for helping make this day a success!

Looking ahead, save these dates for 2018!

New Feature: Spotlight on DGS Board Members

TDeDecker_Toddhis month's spotlight is on new DGS Board President Todd DeDecker.


I’m Todd DeDecker and honored to be President of the Dallas Genealogical Society. This role comes at an interesting point in my life. With an empty nest, I have more time for genealogy.

I never thought much about my family history until one of my uncles showed me a stack of printed papers in the early 2000’s showing our lineage. It traced our family to Belgium with entries dating back to the 1600’s. Wow, this was so cool! I was interested, but didn’t jump in right there. Over the next few years I did some research and stumbled on a local genealogical society. 

I work for Microsoft in Irving leading a team of support engineers helping our customers with their Big Data & Data Science solutions. The Irving Genealogy Society met just down the road from work and was my ticket in! While there, I learned about the Dallas Genealogical Society and I started attending in 2006.

Over the next few years, I attended meetings when I could and did research the same way. When I could. An early find was discovering the ship that my brought the DeDecker’s to America. I was so excited! 

Flash to the present and I find that I may be able to get back to researching! I’ll be starting with the following lines:
  • DeDecker (Belgium)
  • Oatman (Sweden)
  • Zdun (Poland)
  • Weirl (?)
I’ve had the pleasure of getting plugged into the DGS over the last few years, working on the website and engaging on the Board. This is such an impressive organization and I am looking forward to continuing the mission of the DGS (Educate, Collect & Preserve) with a truly outstanding team. 



P.O. Box 12446
Dallas, Texas 75225-0446
866-968-2347  |

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Dallas Genealogical Society
PO Box 12446
Dallas, Texas 75225

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