Tag Archives: Research

Calling FGS 2014 attendees: Ancestry needs you in San Antonio!

Ancestry calls FGS 2014 attendees to share thei impressions in San Antonio!

Ancestry calls FGS 2014 attendees to share their impressions in San Antonio! Sign up today.

Join us for a range of opportunities being planned at FGS in San Antonio for family history enthusiasts to share their impressions of some new and existing Ancestry features.

In other words, while you have to be present in San Antonio, you do NOT have to be an existing Ancestry customer to be of great help!   To be considered, please fill out the following online questionnaire and scheduling preferences (at the end). Incentives will include the latest version of FTM for Mac or PC, an AncestryDNA kit, OR a 6 month World Explorer subscription (for brand new members or an extension for new customers).

All testing will take place in the Convention Center Room 203B at the following times, which you will be able to select later.

  • Thursday 8/28:  1-4 PM and 7-9 PM
  • Friday 8/29:        9-12 and 2-5 PM
  • Saturday 8/30:   10 – 1 PM

If you are interested in participating, please take a second to fill out this online form:  http://ancestry.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_cY16OcO5LBzfS8l

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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: 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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Speaker: Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS

Dr. Thomas W. Jones, author of "Mastering Genealogical Proof," speaks at FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio, August 27-30..

Dr. Thomas W. Jones, author of “Mastering Genealogical Proof,” speaks at FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio, August 27-30..

Dr. Thomas W. Jones, the author of Mastering Genealogical Proof, is also an award-winning genealogical editor, educator, and reseacher. He has co-edited the National Genealogical Society Quarterly since 2002. Certified by the Board for Certification of Genealogists since 1994, Dr. Jones serves the board as a trustee and is a past president. He is the 2011 recipient of the Association of Professional Genealogists’ Professional Achievement Award, 2004 recipient of its Grahame T. Smallwood Jr. Award of Merit, and 1997 and 2002 winner of the National Genealogical Society Award for Excellence for scholarly articles in the NGS Quarterly.

Dr. Jones teaches in Boston University’s Genealogical Research Certificate program, online and in the classroom. He coordinates week-long courses at the British Institute, the Genealogical Research Institue of Pittsburgh, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, and Samford University’s Institute on Genealogical and Historical Research.

At the FGS 2014 Conference, his topics include sessions on methodology, research strategies and writing and publishing.

T-236 – Thursday, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Inferential Genealogy – This sessions shows how family historicans an accurately deduce ancestors’ identities and many aspects of their lives by digging below surface information and combining multiple sources’ information items.

F-301 – Friday, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Can a Complex Problem Be Solved Solely Online? – Step-by-step, attendees will suggest online sources and strategies for tracing a disappearing ancestor. The case study will show how to solve such cases online and the limitations.

S-431 – Saturday, 1:15-2:15 p.m.
Elements Essential for a Polished Family History – Attendees will learn about clear and structured writing, genealogical organization and format, and other aspects giving family histories meaning, respectability, and lasting value.

S-442 – Saturday, 4:15-5:15 p.m.
Genealogical Documentation: The What, Why, Where, and How
Learn how to document a family history, five characteristics of complete and accurate citations, and a simplified format for citing most sources, both physical and digital.

In addition, Dr. Jones is the featured speaker at the Board for Certification of Genealogists Luncheon on Thursday, August 27, and the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society Luncheon on Friday, August 28. His BCG topic is Genealogy Standards: Fine Wine in a New Bottle, while he addresses How Genealogy Hasn’t Changed in Fifty Year on Friday at the NYG&B luncheon. Tickets can be ordered in advance for each of these luncheons. If you’ve already registered and want to add either or these, just login and add them. It’s not too late.

Register online now

FGS 2014 Conference Speakers



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Research in Texas and Neighboring States

Track your ancestors through Texas & Neighboring States at FGS 2014.

Track your ancestors toTexas & Neighboring States at FGS 2014.

The Texas & Neighboring States track in the FGS 2014 conference program offers a range of sessions and speakers focused on helping fill in the gaps in your research. Choose one or all of these sessions to discover ways you can locate your ancestors in Texas.

F-303 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Trails In, Trails Out: To Texas, From Texas
by David McDonald, CG
Migration paths to and through the Lone Star State in the 19th century, and the groups that used them.

F-314 10:15-11:15 a.m.
Finding Your Ancestors in the Republic of Texas
by Teri E. Flack, MA, MBA
Researching your Republic of Texas ancestors takes creative thinking and ingenuity. Discover all of the ways you can locate your pre-1846 Texas ancestors.

F-329 1:15-2:15 p.m.
That Soundrel George: Tracking a Black Sheep Texas Ancestor
by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL
A romp through records of the Republic and State of Texas on the trail of a scoundrel from his marriage and bigamy charge in Colorado County to his death in Iowa Park.

F-338 3:00-4:00 p.m.
Texas Resource Gems
by Debbie Parker Wayne, CG
Learn to use “hidden gem” resources for Texas research that provide color and historical context on the lives of our ancestors.

F-347 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Paper Trails in Texas in Search of the Orphan Trains
by Alison Moore and Philip Lancaster
In-depth follow-up to the keynote “Riders on the Orphan Train.” Presenters will give examples of Texans who braved red tape and closed doors to complete family trees.

Register now


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Society Showcase: Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants

Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants to exhibit at FGS 2014

Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants to exhibit at FGS 2014

Society Showcase, Booth A


“You have a family tradition that you descend from a passenger on the Mayflower but have never known how to prove it.”  Visit the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants booth at FGS 2014 and learn how you can trace your ancestors to find out if they were part of this adventurous group of settlers.

Following renewed interest in American History during the 1876 centennial celebration of the United States, hereditary and patriotic organizations became popular. As interest in preserving the memory of their ancestors grew, so did these groups. Since 1896, the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants has focused on gathering together “to honor and perpetuate the memory of our Mayflower Ancestors and the ideals of American freedoms and democracy …”

The goal of the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants is to “join together people who share this heritage and to carry on the memory of our Pilgrim ancestors.” The Society’s website contains information on history, bibliographies, museum, and membership opportunities.

Stop by the Society Showcase Booth A in the FGS 2014 Conference Exhibit Hall in San Antonio.

Directory of FGS 2014 Society Showcase participants


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Exhibitor Profile: Newspapers.com

Booth # 208

Check newspaper archives to find your ancestors. Learn more in the FGS 2014 Exhibit Hall.

Check newspaper archives to find your ancestors. Learn more in the FGS 2014 Exhibit Hall.

Have you read a newspaper lately?  Newspapers are a wonderful source of news about your ancestors.

Newspapers.com is the online home of 70+ million pages of historical newspapers from 3100 newspapers from around the United States and beyond. Millions of additional pages are added every month. Newspapers provide a unique view of the past and can help us understand and connect with the people, events and attitudes of an earlier time.

FGS 2014 Exhibitor Directory


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Society Showcase: Clayton Library Friends

Visit Clayton Library Friends in the Society Showcase at FGS 2014.

Visit Clayton Library Friends in the Society Showcase at FGS 2014.

Visit with Clayton Library Friends in the Society Showcase at the FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio 27-30 August 2014.

The Exhibit Hall at this year’s event features a section highlighting FGS member societies and other organizations. Watch this blog in the coming days for a preview of some of these groups; then learn more by visiting their booth in San Antonio.

About Clayton Library Friends
The Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research is a unit of the Houston Public Library. It houses an international research collection consisting of materials for all 50 states and many foreign countries. The collection contains approximately 100,000 books; 3000 periodicals titles; 70,000 reels of microfilm; a microfiche and microcard collection as well as numerous electronic databases. The mission of the Clayton Library friends is to enrich the resources and facilities of Clayton Library. Their activities include organizing and directing fundraising projects to support the acquisition of research materials for the library, to upgrade library facilities, and to enhance library services. In addition, Clayton Library Friends provides programs that encourage family history research and volunteer specialized services to educate the public in the use of Clayton Library and its collection.

See list of Society Showcase Exhibitors.


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Librarians’ Day


Sponsor of FGS 2014 Librarians’ Day, Tuesday, August 26 – San Antonio


The Federation of Genealogical Societies and ProQuest invite librarians, archivists, and other information professionals to attend Librarians’ Day, Tuesday, August 26, 2014.

This event will be held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, 200 East Market Street, San Antonio. The hours are 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Topics and speakers include:

Preserve the Pensions – The Community Makes a Difference
David Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA

In celebration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812, the genealogical community is digitizing the pension records of 180,000 pensioners of the “Second Revolution.” This session shows the breadth and depth of the rich genealogical content of the images that are already available online for FREE!!!

Builiding a Core Genealogical Collection for Your Library
Craig Roberts Scott, MA, CG

A written well thought out Genealogical Acquisitions Plan is the safety net of any library collection. Resources in time, space and money are always in short supply. A well-constructed Genealogical Acquisitions Plan can reduce decision making, eliminate non-essential overcrowding and reduce costs.

San Antonio Public Library Texana and Genealogy Collection
Frank Faulkner

The Texana and Genealogy collection acquires, preserves and offers access to research materials relating to San Antonio, Bexar County and Texas history, and North American and Hispanic genealogy. Home to historical books, periodicals, maps, newspaper clippings, city directories, census records and military records, these collections are some of the Library’s most valuable resources.

Genealogy Research Sources Available at the Texas General Land Office
James Harkins, MPA, CA

The General Land Office is home to 35.5 million documents and maps dating back to the year 1720. Within these records are the tales of tens-of-thousands of Texans who wished to own a piece of Texas land. James Harkins will explain the land grant process, and some of the interesting documents found at the GLO, and use his ten years of experience at the GLO to illustrate how genealogists can access these records to complete their own genealogical research.

Registration for Librarians’ Day is $10. To register, visit www.fgsconference.org. Click on Librarians’ Day and then select Register for Librarians’ Day. E-mail any questions concerning this event to librariansday@fgs.org.



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