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Save Your Family History Part II: Publishing Your Family History @ Highland Park Baptist Church
Mar 27 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Save Your Family History Part II:  Publishing Your Family History @ Highland Park Baptist Church | Austin | Texas | United States

Publishing your family history is important in two ways: (1) Your family’s legacy can be shared with your immediate family as well aunts, uncles, and cousins, and (2) In contributing your published history to genealogical libraries, your work will be available to researchers for generations to come, not lost to the mists of time.  In her presentation, Debbe Tipping will survey the tools and resources available for publishing your family history; including simple photocopying and binding at a local copy store, printing e-books, printing photo books, on-demand printing, posting on web sites, and paid book publishers.

Speaker:  Debbe Tipping.  Debbe is the current Vice President of the Austin Genealogical Society.  She has previously taught classes for AGS and others on the “why’s and how-to’s” of genealogical publishing.  Digital publishing is fast changing. Debbe will bring her insights on the costs and impact of latest approaches to publishing your family’s history.

Finding Treasure Buried in Twentieth Century Census Records @ Highland Park Baptist Church
Apr 24 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Finding Treasure Buried in Twentieth Century Census Records @ Highland Park Baptist Church | Austin | Texas | United States

Today with online databases offering easy access to U.S. census records, opportunities for discovery have never been easier. So, take advantage of our April presentation to hone your skills in researching the data-laden census records of the Twentieth Century.

Teresa’s presentation will focus ways to mine the trove of genealogical information embedded in Twentieth Century census records. She will cover much more than just names, ages, and residences. The records are chock full of other information for the genealogist. With the right approach, these censuses, both alone and collectively, can provide a wonderfully detailed snapshot of family life across the decades. Plus, if you know where and how to look, the records can point to additional data hidden in municipal, state, and church records. This will be a fact-filled presentation designed for all genealogists, no matter their skill level. Don’t miss it.

Speaker: Teresa Devine.  Teresa began dabbling in family history research more than ten years ago, but didn’t get serious about genealogy until 2011 when her oldest living paternal relative passed away taking her memories of the family. with her. Teresa realized that family stories can easily disappear unless someone purposely works to save them. She specializes in southern U.S. research, serves on the Lineage Research committee for the Andrew Carruthers DAR chapter, and her daughters were recently accepted into the Mayflower Society based on Teresa’s research. She is a board member of our Austin Genealogical Society and a member of the Williamson County Genealogical Society.


The U.S. Census Part I: The Impact of the 2020 Census on Genealogy @ Highland Park Baptist Church
May 22 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
The U.S. Census Part I: The Impact of the 2020 Census on Genealogy @ Highland Park Baptist Church | Austin | Texas | United States

The Austin Genealogical Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Stephen Murdock, the Director of the United States Bureau of the Census from 2007 to 2009, will be our speaker at our May monthly meeting. This will be one of our highlight presentations of the year. Dr. Murdock will provide an up-to-date report on the pending 2020 Census including funding issues and the potential impact on the full population count, data collection and data quality, and how these issues may impact our lives both in the present and for genealogical research in the future. This is one presentation that you should not miss. And as always, we welcome visitors to our monthly meetings. So, bring a friend

Speaker: Dr. Steve Murdock – Past Director of the U.S. Bureau of the Census, Professor – Rice University

Dr. Murdock is currently the Allyn R. and Gladys M. Cline Professor of Sociology at Rice University. Prior to his appointment at Rice, Dr. Murdock was the Lutcher Brown Distinguished Chair in Demography and Organization Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and the Director of the Institute for Demographic and Socioeconomic Research.

Earlier, Dr. Murdock was a Regents Professor and Head of the Department of Rural Sociology at Texas A&M University. He was also the official State Demographer of Texas, the first person to occupy that position. And as noted above, he was Director of the Bureau of the Census from 2007 to 2009.

Dr. Murdock is the author or editor of 15 books and more than 150 articles and technical reports on the implications of current and future demographic and socioeconomic change

Saving Your Family History: Creating a Family Web Site @ Highland Park Baptist Church
Jun 26 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Saving Your Family History:  Creating a Family Web Site @ Highland Park Baptist Church | Austin | Texas | United States

Building a Family Web Site — Examine the tools available to help you share your research, photos, and more online. Learn how to create a site that preserves your research for the entire family while allowing members to contribute their stories and pictures. In the process, you may even discover a long-lost relative or two. Family research is an ongoing journey; use a family web site to help you on your way.

Speaker: Sandra Crowley

Sandra Crowley is a genealogist, author, and lecturer who grew up attending family reunions and developed a natural curiosity about her family that left her wanting to know more. With a business degree from the University of Memphis, she served as a product manager and then Vice President of Marketing for several technology companies while researching her family whenever she could. Later, this experience helped her combine her passion for family history with her interest in technology.

Sandra has spoken at national and regional conferences, including RootsTech and the Federation of Genealogical Societies annual event. She is a member of several genealogical society and non-profit boards where she has been an active volunteer. Currently she serves as Director of Development for the Texas State Genealogical Society, Immediate Past President of the Dallas Genealogical Society, and Seminar Coordinator for the Mid-Cities Genealogical Society. She is Managing Editor of Dallas’ Pegasus journal and is co-editor of the TxSGS journal, Stirpes. She has been the video editor for the North Carolina Genealogical Society Webinar series since 2012.

1890 Census Substitutes: Bridging the Gap @ Highland Park Baptist Church
Jul 24 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
1890 Census Substitutes: Bridging the Gap @ Highland Park Baptist Church | Austin | Texas | United States

The story behind the 1890 Census starts out like so many of those burned courthouse tales of gloom and doom. Yes, there was a fire and yes it is true that the 1890 Census was destroyed. Its destruction left a 20-year gap in the decennial chain of census records for researchers.

So how are we to cross this abyss back through time from 1900 to 1880 and connect to our ancestors with any degree of certainty? One strategy is to look for census substitutes or alternative sources of data lost in the 1890 Census. Remember the goal should be to identify an ancestor in a geographic place and time and define family relationships.

In Bill’s presentation a variety of substitutes from reconstructed 1890 Census to other types of enumerations will be discussed. Additionally, clues that can be found in a score of familiar records that can help researchers gain knowledge about their ancestors and bridge the gap will be highlighted.

Bill’s presentation is one that everyone interested in becoming a more effective genealogist should hear. We hope to see you at the meeting.

Speaker: William D. Buckner

Bill Buckner has been the Genealogy Supervisor of the Genealogy Center of the Waco-McLennan County Library for the past nineteen years. In addition to teaching a quarterly “Genealogy Beginners Class”, Bill has had numerous speaking engagements with various organizations. Some of his recent presentations include: Retro Genealogy Resources Still Viable in Today’s Online World; The Digital Public Library of America: Another Tool for Family Historians; and Extra! Extra! Extra! From the Headlines to the Classifieds, Newspapers Deliver Genealogical Gems

Bill initiated and co-hosts, with the Central Texas Genealogical Society, the very popular annual Genealogy Lock-in. This event has helped bring together the organizations and individuals that use, support, and have an interest in the Genealogy Center collection. Twenty-eight Texas libraries participated in the 17h annual Lock-in October 2017.

Bill is District “H” Representative for the Texas State Genealogical Society (TxSGS), and serves as the TxSGS Chair of the Book Awards and serves as the overall TxSGS Awards Chair. In 2011, Bill received the President’s Award from TxSGS for his contributions

Bill is a fourth-generation Texan and lives in Temple, Texas with his family.

Genealogy Tech: The Power of FamilySearch and Recent Changes to it @ Highland Park Baptist Church
Aug 28 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Genealogy Tech: The Power of FamilySearch and Recent Changes to it @ Highland Park Baptist Church | Austin | Texas | United States

FamilySearch is the largest genealogical organization in the world and its database, available free on-line, has been a vital resource for genealogists for almost 125 years.

In this presentation Alan Rabe will provide an overview of the records, resources and services that FamilySearch offers genealogists, as well as how to access them.

But he will also address another issue that has been a hot topic of discussion throughout the genealogy community. Family Search has converted trees in its database from individual, or stand-alone trees, into trees embedded in a collaborative data base, or Wiki.

In this environment any registered user can make changes to a tree that you have submitted. However, source changes to your tree can tracked and reversed by you. FamilySearch’s intent is to provide for an independent consensus review of your tree by a panel of your relatives as well as a collaborative means of correcting obsolete or incorrect data in family trees.

Alan is well suited to address the topic as he is the Director of the Family History Center for Georgetown, a branch of FamilySearch and the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Understanding all that FamilySearch has to offer as well as its philosophy for managing its huge database, including Family Tree, is important for all our members to know. So, don’t miss this opportunity to hear Alan’s presentation on FamilySearch.

Speaker: Alan Rabe

Alan has been an active genealogist for the past 50 years. He is currently the Director of the Family History Center in Georgetown, Texas. In that role he was responsible for volunteer indexing efforts of records from Round Rock, Pflugerville, Taylor and Georgetown which resulted in almost a million names being indexed for FamilySearch. Similarly, he was also responsible for indexing efforts in northern Ohio and western Pennsylvania where 10 million names were indexed over a three-year period. Alan is also trained in graveyard restoration.

Alan is a graduate of Brigham Young University with a Masters of Mechanical Engineering. He worked at nuclear power plants and was responsible for document control and procedure processes at the 4th largest utility in US. [Ask Alan about why you should save files as PDF/A instead of just PDF or Word.]

PERSI: Genealogy’s Hidden Treasure @ Highland Park Baptist Church
Sep 25 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
PERSI: Genealogy’s Hidden Treasure @ Highland Park Baptist Church | Austin | Texas | United States

If you have never heard of PERSI or know little about it, this is a presentation you need to attend. PERSI is truly a treasure for all genealogists, from beginner to expert. And with Cari’s guidance, you soon be using PERSI like a Pro.

What is PERSI? PERSI, or the Periodical Source Index, was created to be a primary research tool for genealogists. It is the most extensive genealogical and local history subject index available. The PERSI database includes twenty-two subject headings, and 2.7 million surnames and locations. So, if you have a particular family line that has been a stubborn brick wall, or are looking for more information on the life of an ancestor, then the PERSI database is for you!

Speaker: Cari Taplin

Our September Speaker, Cari A. Taplin, is a Certified Genealogist® and has served in a wide variety of volunteer and leadership positions for state, local, and national societies. She currently serves on the boards of the Association for Professional Genealogists and the Federation of Genealogical Societies.

She has spoken and given classes at the National Genealogical Society Annual Conference, the Federation of Genealogical Society’s Annual Conference, at the Texas State Genealogical Society, and at many regional genealogical societies, AGS included.

Cari, a native of Wood County, Ohio, now lives in Pflugerville. As the owner of GenealogyPANTS, she provides speaking, research, and consultation services. When she’s not working on her genealogy, she is a wife and mother of two/too cute kids.

The Ultimate Brick Wall: Tracing Your Lost Female Surnames @ Highland Park Baptist Church
Oct 23 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
The Ultimate Brick Wall: Tracing Your Lost Female Surnames @ Highland Park Baptist Church | Austin | Texas | United States

If you are like me, nothing is more frustrating than having an unresolved gap in your family tree. More often than not, that gap is caused by a lost female surname. And in not knowing who these women were and where they came from, we lose part of our heritage. We lose their history. We lose their stories. And we lose a chain of other surnames and stories tied to the wife’s family.

Solving surname puzzles isn’t easy. It takes focus, organization, and all the resources one can muster. In our October presentation Rob Richardson will show you how to organize your research and where to locate resources that can lead to a successful surname discovery. Rob will provide you with a “Find-That-Surname” checklist that will carry you through a series of steps to (1) logically organize your search, (2) develop theories concerning the surname based upon available evidence, and then (3) provide steps to take to prove the surname is correct, including use of DNA test results.

So, retrieve that bit of Sherlock Holmes buried within you and follow the clues that lead to your third great grandmother’s missing name. With diligence and organization, you can find that name and fill that gap. Rob will show you how.

Speaker: Rob Richardson

Rob Richardson is now completing his second year on the AGS Board where he is currently the Chair for AGS Monthly Presentations. He became interested in genealogy in 1987 after receiving a hand- drawn family tree from a relative – later determined to be full or errors. It turned out that sadly, Rob was not related to a signer of the Declaration of Independence. But it was the work Rob did validating that tree that triggered his love of genealogy. Rob is a graduate of the University of Texas with a degree in chemistry and Texas A&M with a graduate degree in environmental chemistry. Rob worked as a consultant at an Austin-based environmental services company during his 40-year career, working principally with the EPA, DOD, and semiconductor industry.

AGS Fall Festival – November 2018 @ Highland Park Baptist Church
Nov 27 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
AGS Fall Festival - November 2018 @ Highland Park Baptist Church | Austin | Texas | United States

AGS Annual Fall Festival

Please note the earlier start time for this special event!

This is a tradition that was started a number of years ago and has become a wonderful way to share the bounty and the warmth of the holiday season with many AGS friends. AGS will provide meat from Rudy’s BBQ and members will contribute a side dish or dessert.

6:00 p.m.  Bring your dish along with any necessary serving utensils.
6:15 p.m.   Dinner and social time
7:00 p.m.  Presentation begins. See below for details.

Austin American Statesman columnist, Michael Barnes

We are very pleased to announce that our speaker for the November Fall Festival will be the Austin American Statesman columnist, Michael Barnes. Michael’s columns in the Statesman have long explored the hidden connections between old Austin and today’s Austin. In his columns on Austin history, Michael doesn’t treat the city as a subject for nostalgia but rather brings its very human stories from the past into our present.

“When I read a Michael Barnes article, it’s like listening to a great story told by an old friend. It always leaves you informed, entertained and feeling somewhat closer to the Austin community. He is our collective memory.” — Bob Ward, Chairman, Travis County Historical Commission

In his presentation at our Fall Festival, Michael will select several stories from his book on Austin history, Indelible Austin, to reveal things about Austin that you likely didn’t know, telling you who we were before we were Austin and how this shaped us into who we are today.

Michael Barnes is an award-winning columnist for the Austin American Statesman and as noted above, the author of Indelible Austin. He is a native Texan who earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. Michael has been a resident of Austin for more than 30 years as both a reporter and columnist observing and writing about Austin’s social life, its politics, and its history. So, what did Austin once look like? Who were our stalwart citizens and who were our sinners? And how did their lives influence us today? Find out in November at our Fall Festival. Michael has some great stories to tell.

Speaker:   Michael Barnes

At Our January Meeting Discover Austin’s Genealogical Treasure – The University of Texas’ Briscoe Center for American History @ Highland Park Baptist Church
Jan 22 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
At Our January Meeting Discover Austin’s Genealogical Treasure – The University of Texas' Briscoe Center for American History @ Highland Park Baptist Church | Austin | Texas | United States

Kick off 2019 with a bang and discover that genealogical treasure on the UT campus, the Briscoe Center for American History. Telling you all about what the center offers will be Benjamin Wright, the center’s Assistant Director for Communication.

The Briscoe Center is located on the UT campus right beside the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library. We are extremely fortunate to have it in Austin and open to genealogists. It is a research center with few peers. And being near the LBJ Library makes parking especially convenient for visitors, especially on weekends.

As a genealogist, it should be one of your frequent stops. The center is a very user-friendly resource. Its staff welcomes anyone who wants to access and research their collections, which for the genealogist includes a newspaper archive on microfilm that is second to none, old USGS maps going back to the start of the 20th century (great for tracing old roads and communities in Texas that no longer exist), a huge collection of books and journals covering every aspect of Texas and U.S. history that you might be interested in. And that’s just a short overview. There is much, much more to explore at the Briscoe Center for the genealogist and for the historian. Ben Wright will explain the center’s history, give an overview of its resources and share some of his favorite stories from his own historical research at the center, which has included work in the Hope Family Plantation Records, the Natchez Trace Collection and the University Archives.

Speaker: Ben Wright

Ben Wright, our speaker, is originally from England. He has a BA and MA in History from Kings College in London has been in Texas since 2003, working mostly at the state capitol and the university. (He would have made it to Texas sooner but his ancestors moved from Scotland, Ireland and Wales to the English midlands rather than crossing the Atlantic.) By day Ben’s a curator, researcher, and media relations specialist at the Briscoe Center. He’s also a PhD student at UT’s history department and writes about politics, travel and faith in his spare time. When not writing, he enjoys traveling, arguing about things, being jumped on by his children, and getting injured playing soccer.