In addition to being an outstanding genealogy gathering, the Texas State Genealogical Society Family History Conference in October was also the venue for the TxSGS 2016-2017 Board of Officers elections. I am very excited and honored to have been elected President of TxSGS and pleased to share the task of running the organization with a great volunteer team of Directors and District Representatives.
Personal and family history is the unifying passion of our community. It is the core of what drives many of us to join genealogical societies, to educate ourselves and others in the research process, and to discover and protect the resources needed to tell our stories. Those elements and more led to the formation of the Texas State Genealogical Society over 55 years ago, the purposes of which have been codified into its Bylaws:
The purposes of the Society shall be: To promote, develop, and preserve genealogical and historical resources of and for Texas; To improve communications among genealogical societies in Texas; To cooperate with local, regional, national and statewide groups in promoting family heritage; and To advance the education of family historians as they pursue their past.
TxSGS has held true to these purposes through many of its programs and activities. In addition to the annual conference, in recent years TxSGS has:
- Contributed almost $55,000 directly towards records preservation and access projects including the Texas Clerk Returns at the Texas General Land Office and the War of 1812 Pensions,
- Awarded over a dozen archival grants to nine TxSGS Partner Societies across the state in support of their local preservation efforts,
- Testified before the Texas House Public Health Committee regarding House Bill 3252 that sought to close Texas birth records for 125 years and Texas death records for 50 years; the bill did not progress out of committee,
- Recognized the contributions of our local community with over 30 writing and website awards totaling more than $2000 annually, not including student awards and scholarships.
Just as individuals can find grounding by going back to their roots, so can communities and organizations. And that is the core of my vision for TxSGS as its new President, to refocus our efforts on:
- records preservation and access,
- developing partnerships and increasing collaboration among genealogical and historical organizations,
- and expanding TxSGS’ educational offerings.
But to do this, we need your help. I would ask that each of you take a moment and envision what you would like to see TxSGS accomplish over the next year or so then email your ideas to me at president@TxSGS.org. I also ask that you take that next step and volunteer. TxSGS, and our entire community, is only as successful as the energy and efforts of its volunteers.
I look forward to hearing from you and to a great new year.
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