Vertical Files are Digitized and Searchable

An ongoing project at the SAGHS library is digitizing the vertical files of donated family research papers. So far, our volunteers have scanned 1,514 surname files and have loaded them onto our computers.
To see if your surname has been included, search the online library catalog, select “Vertical Files" as the "Media Type," then change the search term to "Surnames," and type in a name. Next, click on the magnifying glass icon for the search results.
If the name is found, the results show the files residing on the library computers. There you will find printed instructions for searching and accessing your surname files. The scanned files of typed pages are searchable, but image files of handwritten pages are not. However, the handwritten pages may be accessed when adjacent pages are identified by the search function.
Try this new research tool at your library! 

Nominating Committee Seeking Candidates

On 21 January at the first business meeting of the year, the following members were elected to the SAGHS nominating committee: James Garrett, Nancy Brennan, David Ringer, Bill Myers, and Rob Lewis. The nominating committee will identify candidates for six officer positions: President, Treasurer, Secretary, 1st Vice President (Programs), 2nd Vice President (Membership), and 3rd Vice President (Finance).
Elections will be held during the membership meeting on 15 April. New officers will assume duties on 1 July. Additional nominations may be submitted from the floor at the membership meeting on 18 February. If you would like to serve the society in one of these leadership positions, please contact a member of the nominating committee or email your intent to

Solve Your Brick Wall

Need new ideas to solve that pesky "Brick Wall?" Our Brick Wall Panel scheduled for 10 September 2017 needs your help by submitting your brick wall dilemma for our discussion.
For your American 18th, 19th, or 20th century ancestor please provide as much information as possible. Include the person's full name, parents and/or spouse(s), place(s) lived, where you have already searched, and any other tidbit that you feel would help the panel to suggest solutions. Your brick wall problem may be combined with other similar ones and used to formulate questions benefiting attendees with comparable research obstacles. While an answer to your specific dilemma cannot be guaranteed, others who may have a similar difficulty may be able to offer a solution. Send your question to or write the Education Committee, c/o SAGHS, 911 Melissa Drive, San Antonio, TX 78213. Submit by 1 May 2017.

Black's Law Dictionary is Here!

SAGHS is pleased to announce the availability of digital versions of the 1891 and 1910 editions of A Dictionary of Law (otherwise known as Black's Law Dictionary) by Henry Campbell Black. The 1891 and 1910 editions of Black's Law Dictionary are essential tools for genealogists, as they contain many legal terms that are not present in current law dictionaries. Researchers analyzing historic legal documents such as land and probate records frequently encounter terms that require the use of this dictionary. 
The 1891 and 1910 editions of Black's Law Dictionary are accessible from the SAGHS Library computers. Please ask a librarian for assistance.

New DNA Books at the SAGHS Library

SAGHS is excited to announce the arrival of two new guides to using DNA in genealogical research. Both books are authored by authorities in the field, and they reflect up-to-date theory and practice.
  • Genetic Genealogy in Practice by Blaine Bettinger and Debbie Parker Wayne
  • The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy by Blaine Bettinger
Be sure to stop by and consult these new resources!

4 April
10:00 am
Date changed due to Easter Holiday.

8 April
10:00 am
General Meeting
Speaker: Cindy Kennedy   Topic: Online Resources at SAGHS: Explore Many Underutilized Resources Available from SAGHS computers. Today is also the election of our 2017-2019 SAGHS Board Officers, Secretary and Treasurer.

9 April
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Using Family
Instructor: Kathy Totten. Explore the expanding digital sources available thru the "SEARCH" and "WIKI" functions of Although the primary focus will be on U.S. records, the same processes apply to foreign records. If you have a family name or location you would like used as an 'example,' please provide the information ...

12 April
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Family Tree Maker Workshop
Moderator: Scott Atkinson. This monthly workshop assists in answering questions or solving problems in the use of Family Tree Maker's computer software. Laptops are encourage but not required to attend. Contact Scott Atkinson for questions at Please Pre-register by calling SAGHS at (210) 342-5242 or emailing   ...