Monthly Archives: July 2014

Exhibitor: Texas General Land Office

Learn how to access the Texas GLO record collections at the FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio.

Learn how to access the Texas GLO record collections at the FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio. Visit booth 332 or attend an optional workshop on Saturday, August 30.

Booth 332

The General Land Office was established by the 1836 Constitution for the Republic of Texas. It housed its first land records in Houston, but moved the archives to Austin in 1839. Austin residents, armed with cannon, kept the Texas Rangers from moving the records back to Houston in 1843, during what came to be known as the Archives War.

Today, the main functions of the General Land Office are earning money for the state’s Permanent School Fund, overseeing state veterans benefits, maintaining historic land records and maps and acting as steward of the state’s coast.

The General Land Office conserves and protects more than 35 million historic land documents, maps and notes that are open to the public for research. Many of these records date back to 1720 and include maps, sketches and plat maps. Forming the foundation of all private land ownership in Texas, the maps and documents of the Archives are still used today by researchers, surveyors, genealogists and students of Texas history.

Highlights of the Collection:

  • Maps, sketches and plat maps contained in the GLO Archives are more than just functional – they are hand-drawn works of art. Learn More
  • Original Spanish and Mexican land grants Learn More
  • Documents dating back to 1720 establishing Mission San Jose
  • The first draft of the Texas Constitution
  • Rare copies of 1836 muster rolls and military records of Texas heroes
  • Confederate documents, including scrip certificates, letters and diaries
  • Letters and documents from Alamo and Goliad defenders, including the most well-known Alamo survivor, Susanna Dickinson
  • Original signatures of Texas patriots such as Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston, James Bowie, and William Travis

Visit the Texas GLO at booth 332 in the Exhibit Hall on the FGS Conference or attend their Saturday workhop to learn more about researching Texas land and other records in the collection.

Saturday Workshop – Genealogical Resources at the Texas General Land Office
Speaker: James Harkins, MPA, CA
S-408, Saturday, August 30, 9:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
$15 fee, registration required

This workshop covers the historical and archival resources of the Texas General Land Office. Learn how to access the GLO’s variety of records, focusing on the period immediately before the Texas Revolution, the Republic era, and early Texas statehood, and including land grants, various Special Collections and the GLO’s many online resources.

Sponsored by Texas State Genealogical Society

Register online

Learn more about research at the Texas General Land Office

Directory of FGS 2014 Exhibitors



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Society Showcase: South Plains Genealogical Society

The South Plains Genealogical Society exhibits in the Society Showcase at the FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio.

The South Plains Genealogical Society exhibits in the Society Showcase at the FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio.

Society Showcase: Booth P

The South Plains Genealogical Society (SPGS) began on April 8, 1961 when the Nancy Anderson Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution presented a local workshop in Lubbock, Texas, and realized the tremendous amount of interest in the community in genealogical research. Members and others lent their time, talent and books to help others to begin tracing their family trees.

The first regular meeting of SPGS was held on May 19 at the Lubbock City Library. By November of the same year there were 126 charter members. With the help of donations and dues, SPGS began a collection of data for genealogists and by December of 1961 SPGS was given a bookcase in the Lubbock City Library. In the years that have followed, the collection has grown to include thousands of books and an extensive microfilm and compact disk collection. October 1990, SPGS became a non-profit corporation..

Meetings are held at the Mahon Library in Lubbock, Texas. SPGS offers a wide range of publications for purchase and publishes a monthly newsletter.

Visit the South Plains Genealogical Society in the Society Showcase, Booth P

Society Showcase Exhibitor List

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Speaker: Elizabeth Shown Mills

Elizabeth Shown Mills speaks at FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio, Texas, 27-30 August 2014.

Recognized genealogist, author and lecturer Elizabeth Shown Mills speaks at FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio, Texas, 27-30 August 2014.

Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, is one of the most recognized genealogists and speakers in the field of family history research. She is known for her development of problem-solving methodology and her packed lectures at national conferences. She is past president of both the Board for Certification of Genealogists and the American Society of Genealogists. She was editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly for 16 years.

Mills founded Samford University IGHR’s groundbreaking Advance Research Methodology track, taught for twelve years at the National Archives-based NIGR, and has been featured as a genealogical authority on CNN, NPR, PBS, and ABC-Australia, and BBVC’s 20th and 30th anniversary specials on Alex Haley’s Roots.

Her 500+ publications include Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian; Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians, which she developed and co-authored with 22 other leading genealogists; and most recently, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace. Other publications include Professional Genealogy; Isle of Canes: A Historical Novel; and the popular QuickSheet series of laminated research guides.

At the FGS 2014 Conference, Mills presents four lectures that will help you identify elusive women ancestors, learn the basic rules of citing your sources, solve some of your toughest problems and solve identifies and kinships. Check out these sessions.

T-223, Thursday, 1:15-3:15 p.m.
Poor? Black? Female? Southern Research Strategies (2-hour session) –  Using real characters from two historical novels – Tademy’s Cane River and Mills’s Isle of Canes – Mills teaches us to identify and track elusive women.

F-311, Friday, 10:15-11:15 a.m.
Sources & Citations Simplified: From Memorabilia to Digital Data to DNA –  Why should citing sources cause angst or obsession? Learning a few basic rules lets us apply a common-sense approach that avoids both frustration and overkill.

F-336, Friday, 3:00-4:00 p.m.
Finding Origins & Birth Families: Methods that Work –  Is your research stymied by stalemates and brick walls? Your toughest problems can be solved by working smarter, not harder.

S-401, Saturday, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Okay I ‘Got the Neighbors’ – Now What Do I Do With Them? –  “Get the neighbors!” is a common mantra among today’s genealogists. But how do you use all that data to solve identifies and kinships?

There is something for everyone and for any level of researcher. Attend one or all four. You’ll be glad you did!

FGS 2014 Speakers

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Exhibitor: RootsMagic

Learn more about RootsMagic products for family history researchers in the FGS 2014 Conference Exhibit Hall, booth #112, in San Antonio, 27-30 August.

Booth #112

For over 20 years, RootsMagic, Inc. has been creating computer software with a special purpose – to unite families. One of their earliest products, the popular “Family Origins” software, introduced thousands of people to the joy and excitement of family history.

That tradition continues today with RootsMagic, their award-winning genealogy software which makes researching, organizing, and sharing family history fun and easy. “Personal Historian” helps researchers write and preserve their ancestors’ life stories. “Family Reunion Organizer” takes the headaches out of planning important family get-togethers. RootsMagic’s newest product, “Family Atlas,” makes creating custom family maps fun and easy.

Visit RootsMagic in the FGS 2014 Conference Exhibit Hall, booth #112.

FGS 2014 Conference Exhibit Hall Map

FGS 2014 Conference Directory of Exhibitors

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Directions and Parking in San Antonio

FGS 2014 Conference Center parking locations close to the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

FGS 2014 Conference Center parking locations close to the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

If you are planning to drive to San Antonio for the FGS 2014 Conference, here is some information that might help you plan your trip.

Driving Directions to Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio

The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center (A) does not have a parking garage; however, there are several facilities nearby. The Grand Hyatt and Marina garages are the closest. Following is a list of parking facilities.

Grand Hyatt Parking Gargage (210-451-6464) Bowie & Market Streets (B)
Flat rate: $9.00 for up to 3 hours,
$15 for 3-4 hours,
$20 for 4-5 hours,
$25 for 5+ hours and overnight (per day).
Closest parking to Convention Center and Lila Cockrell Theatre.

Marina Garage (210-207-8266) Bowie & Commerce Streets (C)
Daily flat rate: $9.00
Event flat rate: $10.00
Across street from the main entrance to the Convention Center and Lila Cockrell Theatre.

Riverbend Garage (877-717-0004) Alamo & Market Streets (D)
Daily flat rate: $12.00
Event flat rate: $15.00
Overnight rate: $15.00

Tower of the Americas Parking (210-223-3101) 801 Cesar Chavez Blvd. (E)
Daily flat rate: $8.00
Event flat rate: $11.00

Click here for additional downtown parking locations

You may also run into road construction in your travels, so check out this site for the latest details. Many of these sites can also be accessed for your smartphone. Just remember not to look at them while you’re driving!

For current highway conditions

San Antonio TransGuide provides the latest information about traffic conditions such as accidents, congestion and construction.


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Spend Saturday August 30 at FGS 2014

Take a Day Trip to FGS 2014 in San Antonio on Saturday, August 30.

Take a Day Trip to FGS 2014 in San Antonio on Saturday, August 30.

Live in or near San Antonio and unable to attend the full FGS 2014 conference? Take a “Day Trip” to San Antonio to join the nation’s genealogists for lectures, exhibits and more to help further your family history research. To help make this possible, FGS and co-hosts, the Texas State Genealogical Society and the San Antonio Genealogical and Historical Society, announce a “Saturday Only” registration rate of $49.

To learn more about the Saturday programs, download the conference brochure or visit the website at then register online. Your Saturday registration gives you access to more than 35 lectures plus optional workshops and luncheons. While you’re there, visit the Exhibit Hall to see product demonstrations and presentations on one of the two stages or meet with vendors and exhibitors in their booths. Your on-site guide will have all the details!

Register now to be part of this exciting event.

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Exhibitor: Clooz 3 Software Helps Analyze Document and Image Data

Ancestral Systems to show how Clooz 3 software helps organize and analyze your family history at FGS 2014 Conference, booth 333.

Ancestral Systems to show how Clooz 3 software helps organize and analyze your family history at FGS 2014 Conference, booth 333.

Ancestral Systems LLC, Booth 333

Ancestral Systems LLC is dedicated to providing solutions designed to help family history researchers gather, analyze, and validate clues and evidence about potential or suspected ancestors. The current main product is Clooz 3, a software program providing both data organization and analysis capabilities. Researchers can discover unknown persons of interest who show up in multiple documents; uncover relationships between people; and review documents coming from the same source. Clooz 3 lets users approach their family history using true document-based research strategies.

Clooz was originally developed by Elizabeth Kelly Kerstens, CG, of Ancestor Detective. In January 2012, Ancestral Systems acquired the program and has enhanced its capabilities. New features were added to offer a “Composite View” of people and documents, which lets the researcher explore how different people are associated with other people through the documents in which they were mentioned. Information from documents of various forms can be extracted into Clooz data-entry templates, and then exported to family tree programs such as Legacy Family Tree (RootsMagic, The Master Genealogist, and others are on the way in 2014). People listed in Clooz can be synchronized with those in other programs, and when a document is exported, Clooz transforms the information into events (birth, occupation, naturalization, etc.), allows you to add family relationships, and enters the source citation for each, all in one operation.

Stop by booth 333 or visit for more information.

Directory of FGS 2014 Exhibitors


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Build Your Research Skills at FGS 2014 Conference

Build your research skills at FGS 2014 Conference.

Build your genealogical research skills at FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio, August 27-30.

Methodology – that’s one skill in genealogical research that crosses all boundaries. Regardless of where your research takes you geographically or online, there are steps that will help you achieve your goals more efficiently, document what you’ve found, and share that information with family and friends. One of the benefits of attending a genealogical conference is that you have a chance to learn from the experts. At the FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio, the Methodology Track offers nine chances to improve your methodology skills with help from such speakers as Thomas W. Jones, Elizabeth Shown Mills, Lisa Louise Cooke and others. Whether your ancestors settled in Texas, another state or country, here are a few topics you should find useful in your research.

 Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • Making Sense of It All: Critical Thinking for Genealogists, by Amy Johnson Crow, CG, MLIS, FOGS
  • Utilizing AncestryDNA Matching to Break Through Brick Walls in Your Research, by Anna Swayne
  • Why Genealogists Should Care About Carvers, by Marian Pierre-Louis
  • Inferential Genealogy, by Thomas Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS

Saturday, August 30, 2014

  • Okay I ‘Got the Neighbors’ – Now What Do I Do with Them? by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
  • Timelines: The Swiss Army Knife of Genealogical Tools, by Amy Johnson Crow, CG, MLIS, FOGS
  • No Vital Records? Identifying Birth & Death Substitutes, by Teri E. Flack, MA, MBA
  • Tap Into Your Inner Private Eye: 8 Strategies You Need to Find Living Relatives, by Lisa Louise Cooke
  • Genealogical Documentation: The What, Why, Where, and How, by Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS

Register now

Learn about other tracks

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Speaker: Teri Flack, MA, MBA

T Flack-8-2012-picture

Teri Flack talks about records preservation, genealogical resources, methodology and more at FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio.

Teri E. Flack, MA, MBA, is a genealogy and historical researcher and consultant. She has been researching family history for over 30 years and has traveled throughout Texas, lecturing on a wide range of genealogical research topics. Teri chairs the Texas State Genealogical Society’s Records Preservation and Access Committee and serves as the Texas state liaison to the national RPAC. Teri is a member of the Travis County Historical Commission, chairing the Commission’s Research Committee. She’s a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Teri retired in May 2009 after working for the state of Texas for over 26 years, most recently as Special Advisor to the Commissioner of Higher Education and Deputy Commissioner of Higher Education. Previously, she was Director of Governmental Relations and Public Information for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and Chief Investigator for the Texas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division. Teri holds a Masters in History with a concentration in Public History from Texas State University. She also holds a B. S. in Education with History major, an MBA, and a graduate Paralegal Certificate from Southwest Texas State University.

At FGS 2014, Teri presents a range of topics for any audience.

Society Day: Wednesday, 8/27/2014
W-114, 3:15-4:15 p.m.
Effective Advocacy
Records are the lifeblood of genealogical research; however, their preservation and access continues to be threatened. Advocacy by the genealogical community, particularly genealogical societies, can help mitigate the threats, but only if organizations act effectively. Learn what you and others can do to be an advocate for preserving access to these vital materials for future generations.

One session each day, Thursday-Saturday, will focus on resources or methodology.

Thursday, 8/28/2014
T-228, 3:00-4:00 p.m.
Dead Men Talking: Using Probate & Estates to Solve Problems
Probate and estate records provide a rich source of information that can solve your toughtest problems. Identifying heirs and establishing relationships is just the beginning.

Friday, 8/29/2014
F-314, 10:15-11:15 a.m.
Finding Your Ancestors in the Republic of Texas
Researching your Republic of Texas ancestors takes creative thinking and ingenuity. Discover all of the ways you can locate your pre-1846 Texas ancestors.

Saturday, 8/30/2014
S-427, 1:15-2:15 p.m.
No Vital Records? Identifying Birth & Death Substitutes
Identifying births and deaths are vital to our research, but often no official records exist. Discover a variety of ways you can identify these critical events.

AGS Luncheon, Saturday, 8/30/2014
S-422, 11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Lessons My Grandmothers Taught Me
Looking for a light-hearted lunch speaker? Then sign up for the Austin Genealogical Society’s luncheon on Saturday at 11:45-1:00 p.m. and hear Teri talk about the universal lessons her grandmothers taught her about family history and how those lessons continue to guide her genealogical research today.

Whether you want to learn more about preserving access to records, exploring resources and methodology, or just share in some fun family memories, check out one or more of Teri’s sessions at FGS 2014.

Register now

Already registered? Login to select sessions or add a luncheon.

FGS 2014 Speakers

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Mobility Scooter Rental Service in San Antonio

Scooters, wheelchairs and other mobility devices are available at Tom's Wheelchairs Rental in San Antonio.

Scooters, wheelchairs and other mobility devices are available at Tom’s Wheelchairs Rental in San Antonio.

Tom’s Wheelchair Rentals in San Antonio provides a range of mobility scooters and wheelchairs for those needing these services while attending the FGS 2014 Conference.

Tom’s Wheelchair delivers to hotels, homes and condos in the San Antonio area. With advanced reservations, deliery and pick up to downtown locations are free of charge. They work closely with the hotels and are familiar with how they handle receiving, storing and holding equipment for guest pick up.

Directions, details and available products can be found at


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