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.

Remembering World War I

Look for the current issue of Our Heritage in your mailbox. This issue commemorates the 100th anniversary of the entry by the U.S. into World War I. With over 100 pages of family stories and historical reviews from 19 authors, it is full of interesting tales of heroism, dedication and sacrifice by our ancestors.  WWI Our Heritage issue

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

Research Volunteers Needed

SAGHS often receives research requests from people who live out of town and can’t get to San Antonio to do their own research. We charge a nominal fee for the research completed as an additional way to raise money for our library. In the past, we have relied on one volunteer Registrar to handle the research requests. Lately, we have received more research requests than one person can promptly handle, so requests are taking a long time to complete, and the requesters are not satisfied with our level of service and neither are we.


Although SAGHS has offered research service for many years, the Board recently discussed discontinuing this service in the future. Before making a final decision to stop offering genealogical research as a fund raiser, they decided to ask our members for help.


If you love to do genealogical research and have a little extra time to raise money for our library by doing research for others, please volunteer to help SAGHS promptly process research requests. Please call us at (210) 342-5242 and leave your name and phone number or email if you can help. Thank you!

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.

SAGHS Wins Big!

At the recent Texas State Genealogical Society Conference, SAGHS was presented with the following six Recognition Awards:
Category III: Manuscripts (Non-Professional)
1st Place ($100)
“Bettie McCrocklin Carnal Loved Texas So Much...” by Larry W. Luckett
Category III: Manuscripts (Professional)
1st Place ($100)
“Separated Long Enough to be Divorced from Each Another: Correlating Direct and Indirect Evidence to Reveal the Life of Thomas Benton Bronaugh” by Cynthia Kennedy, PhD
2nd Place ($50)
“Robert Weakley Brahan: Nineteenth-Century San Antonio Citizen” by Nancy Wright Brennan
Category VI: Official Periodicals of Partner Societies/Journals
3rd Place ($30)
Our Heritage, Larry W. Luckett, editor.
Category VII: Books Published by Partner Societies
3rd Place ($50)
Bexar County, Texas, Divorces 1901–1903: Abstracted from Court Records and Newspapers, compiled by Nancy Wright Brennan
Website Awards
Category I: Website for a Partner Society
1st Place ($100)
SAGHS website, Leslie W. Tomlinson, webmaster 
Congratulations, all!

My Legend of Sleepy Hollow

On a recent visit to my sister in New Jersey, I twisted her arm to take me to the cemetery where my research showed that our 2x great grandfather (on our fathers’ side) and his family are buried. This information was found from a book in the wonderful stacks of the SAGHS library, complete with a map of the plots, although the book only listed the graves of the three young sons.[1] The cemetery is the Old Dutch Burying Ground of Sleepy Hollow in North Tarrytown, New York. If that sounds familiar, yes, it is the location fictionalized by Washington Irving in the Tales of Sleepy Hollow.  We found our ancestors tombstones (John Knowles, his wife, Charity Knowles, and their sons George C., Charles W., and Sydney P. (children who died in their youth) and Joseph Knowles, a Civil War veteran. The Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow, associated with the cemetery, was founded in 1685 and was an added treat to visit. But we couldn’t help but wander around the cemetery and soon came across the tombstone of Catriena Van Tassell, who was probably Mr. Irving’s inspiration for one of the main characters (Katrina Van Tassell) in his tale.
The serendipity of this find is that as a pre-teen, my immediate family and I drove past this cemetery once a month for the four years my older brother was at the seminary in Garrison, New York (23 miles north of Sleepy Hollow). None of us were aware that our ancestors were so close. My Dad’s father died when my Dad was a teen, and he knew very little (and shared less) about the family. So my next adventure is to delve even more into the life of these and subsequent ancestors, with or without the aid of Ichabod Crane.
from member Barbara Holmes
[1] William Graves Perry, Old Dutch Burying Ground of Sleepy Hollow in North Tarrytown, New York (Boston, Mass.: The Rand Press, 1953).

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!

New SAGHS Cemetery Book!

Buy war savings stamps poster
SAGHS is pleased to announce its latest publication, San Antonio's City Cemetery 3, Cemeteries of Bexar County, Texas, Volume 9, compiled by Julia B. George, PhD and Anthony Barbieri. City Cemetery 3, in the cemetery district on the East side of San Antonio, has burials beginning in the late 1800s. The names from all legible grave markers are listed by section, row, and plot. Additional information when available from death certificates or from the sexton’s list of burials is included. The sexton’s list contains many names not found on legible grave markers and are included in the appendix. The book features a full name index with women listed by both married and maiden names, where identified. Soft cover: 177 pages. Pre-publication price: $24, after 30 September 2016 $27.

28 March
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
DNA Cousultation Hour
Instructor: Kurt Kneeland. This one-on-one hour consultation offers assistance with resolving your DNA questions and interpreting your results. It is limited to 3 attendees per day.  Pre-registration is required. There will be no walk-ins allowed due to the time needed for each person. This offering will be available the ...

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.

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 ...