Sunday, July 5, 2009

Durham-Orange Genealogical Society Meeting

Last night I attended my first Durham-Orange Genealogical Society Meeting (DOGS). Their meetings are held the first Wednesday of the month at the Duke Homestead Visitor's Center in Durham off of Duke Homestead Road. The building was easy to find. There were about 20 people in attendance, about 5 of whom were visiting guests like myself. Meeting attendees started showing up about 6:45 for the 7 pm meeting. The meeting ran for 2 hours - about 1.5 hours for the speaker and about 30 minutes for "business."

I'm really glad I attended this meeting because the speaker was Mr. Jim Jones, a gentleman I had bumped into a few weeks ago at the NC State Archives. He had assisted me in finding a miscellaneous Granville Grant. I had no idea that he had a huge personal collection of all of the North Carolina State Land Grants that were issued in present day Wake County (includes all counties Wake was formed from) - about 2200 land grants in all.

Mr. Jones gave a presentation on his research project which entailed mapping all of the Wake County, North Carolina State Land Grants, as well as the Granville Grants, into a proprietary software program called "DeedMapper(tm)." Mr. Jones' presentation was clear and concise, easy to read and easy to follow. It was created and presented in pdf format. He also demonstrated the functionality of the DeedMapper(tm) software by directly opening it from his laptop. I have posted more information on his presentation of DeedMapper(tm) here.

After Mr. Jones' presentation, the meeting moderator directed the conversation to "Business matters." The first order of business was the National Genealogical Conference which was held in Raleigh, NC May 11-16, 2009. The Durham-Orange Genealogical Society had a booth in the exhibit hall and many of its members attended the four day conference presentations, about 19 in all. Standing room only was noticed in front of the booth in the exhibit hall. A query sheet was created for visitors to submit a request for information about a particular family or surname, as well as a sign up sheet for new members. Queries received will be published to the DOGS newsletter that is distributed to its members by both snail mail and email.

The DOGS board is currently operating without a President or a Vice President. The society plans to hold a special elections as soon as possible to fill these two vacant positions. Obtaining a position on a local genealogical society board is one of my long term goals. I wonder what would be required of the candidates to run for one of these two vacant positions?

I signed up to become a member in the DOGS society. I downloaded an application form, filled it out, and put it and my $20 check in the mail. Membership includes access to the periodic journal, Trading Path, that encompasses genealogical and historical information on the old Orange County (NC) and queries of members and non-members, member information, and information on general genealogy happenings. A monthly newsletter with local events, including a calendar, and short articles of general genealogy interest is also made available via the internet.

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