Most AGS activities and events are open to visitors.
We hope you’ll come join us!
Click on any activity or event to view more information about it.
I’ve Got My DNA Results. But How Do I Use Them?
DNA is a powerful genealogical tool – keyword being tool! Just like any other genealogy resource, we have to learn how to best use it. DNA has to be used in conjunction with our paper genealogical research. After taking a DNA test, the next moves can be overwhelming. This talk will break down the steps.
Speaker: Sara Gredler
Sara Gredler, MS, is a genealogist, architectural historian, and historian with nearly 20 years of genealogical research experience. She is currently the President of the Williamson County (Texas) Genealogical Society and chair of its DNA Special Interest Group. She currently works at an architecture/engineering firm as an architectural historian, historic bridge surveyor, Microsoft Access database guru, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analyst. She holds a MS in Historic Preservation, and BAs in History and Classical Studies, as well as a Certificate in Irish Studies. She has attended GRIP for two years, has spoken at the Texas State Genealogical Society Conference numerous times, at the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree, and in 2017 will be speaking at the National Genealogical Society Conference in Raleigh, NC. Her research focuses are in western New York, New England, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
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. In order to determine the amount of food to order, please R.S.V.P. with the number of people in your party (members may bring 1 guest) on the form below.
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.
The Archives Wars
Austin has always been a little weird. Austin’s early history has defined Austin as the capital city of Texas. This presentation is a good example of how the saying, “Actions have consequences.” In Austin, the Archives War has been romanticized in Austin folk-lore as an early example of strong, local pride, and archivists have latched on to this event to show the power of archives. However, the incident had far-reaching consequences. Positive consequences for the citizens of Austin, and negative consequences for the rest of the Republic of Texas.
Speaker: James Harkins
James Harkins is the Manager of Public Services for the Texas General Land Office Archives and Records Program. James graduated from Texas State University – San Marcos with a bachelor’s degree in Communications in 2005, with a double minor in history and business. In 2010, he received a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, also from Texas State, and is the 2010-2011 James W. McGrew Research Award winner for his graduate thesis from the American Society for Professional Administrators (ASPA). He has worked for the Texas General Land Office since May of 2005, and manages the Save Texas History program of the Texas General Land Office. He is a Certified Archivist through the Academy of Certified Archivists (ACA).
Do you want to know the migration routes taken by your ancestors as they moved across the continent? Our January speaker, Steven Mabie, can help you. He will show you the key migration routes used by our pioneer ancestors in their moves east and west and north and south. Steve will provide a timeline for these great routes; the major river routes, the Erie Canal, the National Road, the great wagon trails and many others. Where did the people who took each of these routes originate and where did they end up? Steve will tell you.
Speaker: Steve Mabie. Steve is a frequent speaker, and the current treasurer of the San Antonio Genealogical and Historical Society. In addition to being an experienced speaker, Steven teaches a 2-hour class on 19th century migration at SAGHS.
It’s a given that genealogists want to preserve their family’s history for future generations. One key component of that is saving and preserving your keepsakes, those old letters, photographs, and documents that you’ve collected over the years.. We all know that once lost these pieces of history are gone forever. And that is what Emily’s presentation will address; how to save those keepsakes. How to preserve them from further damage. Emily will show us how to avoid their loss by adopting the easily adapted practices of professional archivists like Emily. In addition to preservation and storage, Emily will also address restoration; telling us how we might give those old, faded photographs and documents new life.
Speaker: Emily Higgs
Emily Higgs is experienced in caring for and digitizing a wide variety of materials, including books, letters, photographs, and legal documents. She currently works with rare books and archival materials in Special Collections at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, and has previously worked with local history collections at the Houston Metropolitan Research Center. She will complete her MSIS at the University of Texas School of Information in May 2018 with a specialization in historical collections.
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.]