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Monthly Meetings

Meeting Schedule


Meetings are the second Monday of the month at
7:00 PM, September - May.

7:00 pm ~ Featured Speaker
8:00 pm ~ Society Business Meeting

Guests are invited to attend a meeting to learn more about our group before joining our society.

        Currently, we are having Zoom meetings.

If you would like to attend as a guest, email us at:

12 September 2022


Strategies For Solving Genealogy Problems

Strategies for solving Genealogy problems discusses a general problem-solving strategy that can be applied to virtually any genealogy problem. The presentation also includes a variety of ways of organizing information and the research process to increase the chance of solving that genealogy “brick wall” problem.


Michael John Neil

Michael has a master’s degree in mathematics and was on the math faculty of Carl
Sandburg College in Galesburg, Illinois, for thirty years. His research interests include methodology, land records, the immigrant experience, chain migration, and researching female ancestors. Michael is an Illinois native and has been researching his family since the 1980s. His maternal ancestors are all from Ostfriesland, Germany. On his paternal side, he is 1/8 Irish, 1/8 German, with the remaining portion being colonial immigrants who settled in various locations from Virginia to Massachusetts, including a few who were on the Mayflower.


Michael has lectured nationally on a wide variety of genealogical topics, given day-long seminars, and regularly leads research trips to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and the Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. He maintains a web presence at:

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Michael John Neil

10 October 2022

For Better or Worse, Marriage, Separation and Divorce

Marriage, separation and divorce have shaped the lives of all our ancestors and their descendants. What started out as a dream of love and happiness may have turned into a nightmare of arguments, separation, divorce or desertion. Record keeping changed over the centuries and finding records of those events, both happy and sad, are the challenge of the genealogist.

Carol Cooke Darrow

Carol Cooke Darrow has been a professional genealogist for more than 20 years. Carol has a dual degree in history and English from the University of Texas and is the co-author of The Genealogist’s Guide to Researching Tax Records, published in October 2007.  She teaches Beginning Genealogy classes on the second Saturday of each month on Zoom. She also facilitates a family history writing group called WriteNOW – also on Zoom. She can be reached at:

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Carol Cooke Darrow

14 November 2022

Genealogy Online: Ancestry Library Edition (Revised)

Join us for an introduction and overview of the database Ancestry Library Edition, available for use at all Houston Public Library locations.  Learn to navigate the home page, use the search filters, and find the records you need out of Ancestry’s 16 billion digitized records and indexes.  This presentation will also include some information on the differences between Ancestry Library Edition and a personal subscription.

Irene Walters

Irene Walters is in her 25th year as a genealogy librarian at the Houston Public Library's Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research. She came from New York state after receiving her librarian degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Irene gives talks on various aspects of genealogical research including the internet, newspaper research, passenger list and naturalization record searching, as well as Irish, and French research. Irene started her own genealogy research as a teenager and has taken her lines back through New York State into France, Ireland and recently Germany. Though, like all genealogists, some ancestors are being more difficult.

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Irene Walters

12  December 2022


Holiday Party

19 January 2023


Genealogical Timelines

Valuable Research Tools

Bernard N. Meisner

Bernard is a genealogist and lecturer based in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. He began researching his family over 30 years ago and enjoys sharing lessons learned from that experience, including his mistakes. Although he knew only one grandparent (his maternal grandfather) he has successfully identified all of his great-great-grandparents, many triple- and quadruple-great grandparents, and his Meisner 8th great grandparents.  He is a past president of the Mid-Cities Genealogical Society, a co-leader of the Dallas Genealogical Society’s German SIG, and is a member of the Texas State Genealogical Society and the National Genealogical Society.

Bernard retired from the National Weather Service Southern Region Headquarters where he was the Chief of the Science & Training Branch. He is certified as a consulting meteorologist by the American Meteorological  Society. He has taught at the Universities of Texas, Oklahoma and St. Thomas (Houston).   He earned a B.S. in physics/German from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and an M.S. and Ph.D.  in meteorology from the University of Hawaii. He has completed coursework of the National Institute for  Genealogical Studies, the Texas Institute for Genealogical Research, and has attended the Genealogical Research  Institute of Pittsburgh each of the last six years, completing courses in Irish, German and Pennsylvania Research, Digital Research Skills, and Practical Genetic Genealogy. 

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Bernard N. Meisner

13 February  2023


Google Earth Pro

Google Earth is a 360-degree three-dimensional way to view your ancestor’s world!  In this presentation, you will learn how to show the findings of your research – from photographs to locations of homesteads.   Google Earth has the power to geographically document the story of your ancestors. All this is tied together by creating a "tour" of the elements you've created to show family and friends.

Gale French

Gale French has been interested in genealogy for over 30 years. He's lived in Texas all his life and worked for IBM in the Space program at NASA's JSC for 26 years. He published two family history books with DNA tests. He received several IBM, NASA and genealogy awards.  He's made presentations at local genealogy societies, several Family Search conferences, Txsgs and Southern California Genealogical Jamboree Conference.  He presented at the 2014, 2015, 2019 and 2020 Roots Tech conferences in Salt Lake City, UT.


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Gale French

13 March 2023


Options for leaving our research for future generations! 

Jenny will share the pros and cons of numerous options for making records of our research available for future generations. A part of her search for options included a survey of her fellow Society members here at the Bear Creek Genealogical Society for how they plan to leave their research.

Jenny Apple Sharrer

Jenny Sharrer is a relatively new arrival to the world of genealogy research. Six years
ago she offered to research the birth and death dates of her gg-grandmother for the
purpose of erecting a monument for her Granny Sarah Apple.


Well, here it is six years later and she may never know the exact birth and death dates. However, she now has over 29,000 ancestors on her website and like many of you, she wants the results of all those hours and dollars spent to remain long after she stops researching her roots.

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Jenny Apple Sharrer

10 April 2023


Colonization of Texas 

Larry Steves

Larry Stevens is a Genealogist and Family Historian researching since 1982. He's found 11 ancestors in Texas before Texas became part of the USA, the earliest was 1817.


Since 2006, Larry has presented "Colonial Living Programs" for the years 1750-1800 to elementary schools, middle schools, and adults. He has bee an active member of the Sons of the American Revolution, Sons of the Republic of Texas, and the Order of the Founds of North America ad many other organization's related to our American history. Larry is also a past president of THAGS in 1986.

8 May 2023


Periodical Source Index, (PERSI)

The Periodical Source Index (PERSI) is the largest subject index to genealogical, historical, and ethnic periodical publications published largely in North America and the British Isles, more than 3.02 million subject entries (and growing) comprise the PERSI database.

Curt B. Witcher

Curt Witcher is the Director of Special Collections, managing the widely acclaimed Genealogy Center as well as the Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection of Abraham Lincoln related research materials. He has worked at the Allen County Public Library for more than forty years.

Curt is a former president of both the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and the National Genealogical Society (NGS), and the founding president of the Indiana Genealogical Society.  He is a former member of the Genealogy Committee of the American Library Association (ALA) and a past chair of the association’s History Section. He was the 2002 ALA-RUSA History Section Genealogical Publishing Company Award winner.

He has penned many hundreds of articles on topics of interest to family historians, librarians and archivists, and has presented lectures to historical and genealogical groups across the country and beyond. Curt serves on the Indiana State Historical Records Advisory Board, the board of the Friends of the Indiana State Archives, and the National Records Preservation and Access Committee.

Curt’s interests are in United States local history, migration history and settlement patterns, African American research, First Nations/Native American research, and preserving living memory.

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Curt B. Witcher

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