Grand Prairie Genealogical Society
We are glad you discovered the page of the Grand Prairie Genealogical Society.  Please look through our website and see what we do.  Thank you for stopping by.


Join us for the October meeting of the Grand Prairie Genealogical Society on Thursday, October 1st as we welcome our own Barbara Brixey Wylie who will help us interpret those Curlicues & Chicken Scratch: Reading Yesteryear’s Handwriting.  Penmanship styles, shortcuts and dialect sometimes make old documents look like chicken-scratch—but these tips will help you read that handwriting.

Barbara Brixey Wylie has served on the Association of Professional Genealogists' Board of Directors and as Secretary of its Lone Star Chapter. She also served a term on the Texas State Genealogical Society’s Board of Directors. Barb belongs to several Dallas-Fort Worth genealogical/historical organizations but considers the Grand Prairie Genealogical Society as her “home base.” As a genealogical speaker/teacher for twenty-plus years, her speaking experience includes more than two hundred genealogical audiences across the nation. She especially enjoys gathering the family stories that make each ancestor more than just a name and date.
The Grand Prairie Genealogical Society meets at the Grand Prairie Main Library, 901 Conover Drive, Grand Prairie, TX  75051.  Fellowship begins at 6:30 pm, the program starts at 7:00 pm and the business meeting follows.  Visitors are welcome!

MEETINGS 1st Thursday @ 7:00 pm

We always want to welcome visitors!.  Check the Events page for more information about all our activities.  And we love to hear from our visitors.  Please send us your comments, quesitons and queries to 

Kroger and Tom Thumb Rewards

We want to remind everyone that if you shop at Kroger we'd love to have you designate GPGS on your card.  Every little bit helps.  If you already have us designated, August 1st is renewal time!  Visit the Kroger website at and add the GPGS's Kroger Community Rewards number, 84534 to your card.
Link your Tom Thumb Reward card to GPGS at using our ID# 12309.


The Grand Prairie Genealogical Society held a very successful Lock-In at the Grand Prairie Main Library on Friday, March 20, 2015.  Following is the report  by President Bonnie Steever Cockrum.
I would like to thank Lee Ann Stone and Irene Garner for agreeing to be the co-chairs the  7th Annual GPGS Lock-in.  After meeting with both of these ladies, we began planning immediately.  Lee Ann and Irene put together a great committee of GPGS members who worked very hard to make this a successful lock-in.  Again, our members volunteered when asked.  These volunteers made phone calls for donations and drove to various Grand Prairie businesses for “freebies” for the goodie bags or door prize drawings.  Some solicited food donations or discounts on food purchases and then picked them up before the lock-in.  Each lock-in participant went home with a goodie bag AND a door prize. They helped make the lock-in happen.  Please be sure to thank them, even if you were unable to attend this year.
          Bob and Penny Blue, Karel and Larry Wheat, John and Barb Wylie, Bonnie and John Cockrum, Don Stone, Rex Buck, Tenie Savage, Karen Brown, Anne Matthews, Becky Garlan, Mary Ann Hartsell, Kathy Ritterhouse, Brenda Olsen, and Howard McCalla                   
Our volunteers also helped with setting up food, table set up, assisting with check-in, replenishing food, delivering door prizes and cleaning up.
Our attendance was 34 GPGS members and 14 guests
John and Barb Wylie used their expertise as retired genealogists by spending the evening in the genealogy room introducing many of our guests to the available reference and circulating books.  They also shared tips and information on research areas on the Internet. 
Kathy Ritterhouse, GPGS member and retired GP Library System Director at the main library, helped with computer issues and searches.
Lee Ann Stone typed the “Welcome” brochure and several things needed for the evening.  She organized the food contacts with our volunteers and helped pick up food.  She stored all of the items donated for our goodie bags until time for Irene and I to assist in assembling.
Irene Garner worked on contacting companies for our raffle items as well as the websites for passwords for free research for the evening.  She contacted local businesses for door prizes.  We received some very nice items to have seven raffles. 
Raffle ticket sales totaled $220.00.
Raffle #1 - value $99.00         Winner - Sharon Valentine              Family Tree DNA Testing Kit
Raffle #2 - value $40.00         Winner - Lee Ann Stone                  Hand-carved Wooden Angel Necklace
Raffle #3 - value $135.00       Winner - Kay Almquist                     $35 gift certificate toward a Family Tree DNA Testing Kit, Family Tree CD “Trace Your Roots Online”, $20 book “Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Charleston 1820-1829” {from Genealogical Publishing), $25 gift certificate to Reino’s Cleaners, $25 gift certificate to Landry’s Restaurants         
Raffle #4 - value $131.00        Winner - Lois Morris                        $35 gift certificate toward a Family Tree DNA Testing Kit, $27 CD of      2014  Family Tree Magazines, $19 book “American Surnames” book from Genealogical Publishing, $50 gift certificate to Sam’s Club, $10.00 gift certificate to AMC Theaters    
Raffle #5 - value $299.95        Winner - Russ Smith                        Ancestry World Deluxe Annual Subscription                                  
Raffle #6 - value $99.00          Winner - Karel Wheat                      DNA Testing Kit from Ancestry DNA
Raffle #7 - value $299.95        Winner - Alton Jenkins                    Ancestry World Deluxe Annual Subscription 
Please do business with or thank the following companies and people who donated items for the lock-in:
Ace Hardware, ADventures, Albertson’s, Alzheimer’s Association,  Ancestry, Ancestry DNA, Arphax Publishing Co., Ben Hartsell, Brass Bean, Bickston Family Dentistry, Chick-fil-A, CVS, City of Grand Prairie, Don Pablo’s, Family Tree DNA, Family Tree Magazine, Find My Past, Fold3,, Genealogical Studies,, Golden Chick, Grand Prairie State Bank, Grand Prairie Feed & Grain, Grand Prairie Premium Outlets, Grapevine Nash Farm, Green Oaks Physical Therapy,, Mocavo, Merle Norman Studio in GP, Monterrey’s Little Mexico, Pamela Flynt Knight, Anne Matthews (Main Street Hair Design),,  National Institute for Genealogical Studies, O’Reilly’s Auto,   Pat’s Plants, Pizza Patron, Reino’s Cleaners, Roma’s Italian Restaurant, Roots Magic, Inc., Sam’s Club, Starbuck’s, Subway, Taco Cabana, Super Shine Car Wash, State Farm Insurance-Charles England, The Olive Branch Express, Theo’s Bar & Grill, The Uptown Theater, Sherry Sherry (Tommie’s Cut ‘n Curl), Tuscany’s Italian restaurant,  Walgreen’s, Whataburger, Bonnie Cockrum, Becky Garland, Irene Garner, John Tull,  Lee Ann Stone, Karel Wheat                                      
And finally, a BIG THANK YOU to the Grand Prairie Memorial Library! Working with Amy Sprinkles and Jennifer Walker helped us get off to a good beginning with setting the date, allowing GPGS to use the facility for the after-hours research and making copies for our handouts.  The library’s assistance and free printing for our participants was greatly appreciated.  Division Manager Lenore St. John, Program Supervisor Caitlin Milligan and Library Services Representative Van Huynh were our expert assistants for the evening.  Please let them know how much you appreciated them being there.  _____________________________________________________ Bonnie Steever Cockrum, President 2014-2015


Brief History 
     The Grand Prairie Genealogical Society was formed in the fall of 1967 by several patrons of the Grand Prairie Memorial Library.    The first years formed a solid foundation for this organization now celebrating more than 45 years.  
     The “DAR Patriot Index” was the first book our organization gave to the library, who placed them in a barrister bookcase, for security.  By 1970 the collection of research materials had grown significantly and a proposal was made to the library that a separate section be established.  By 1971 GPGS had purchased a reader and 40 rolls of microfilm and various books for the library.  Over the years, the Genealogical Society and it’s members have compiled and published a number of books.  Donating research materials to the genealogical section continues to be a major focus for the Society.  Over the years, the Society and the library have worked together to expand local research facilities and materials.

     In addition to the materials provided to the library, the Grand Prairie Genealogical Society has sponsored a number of workshops.  The first workshop was “How to get started in Genealogy” held on Saturday, February 3, 1968.  A few in other years have included “Family Tree Climbing Can Be fun!” in 1977, A Civil War Workshop in 1988, “Organizing & Managing a Genealogical Project” in 1990, “Texas Our Texas” in 1997 and “A Day with Lloyd Bockstuck” in 2005.  We have also enjoyed countless informative programs by Librarians, Professional Genealogists, Authors and a wide variety of other speakers at our monthly meetings.  

     We manage to sneak fun in as well.  Besides all the talented speakers GPGS has benefited from our own members who have shared their time, treasures, personal research materials and stories.  The annual “Antless” Picnic held every July and the Christmas Potluck Celebration are always fun and a hit with the members.   "What I did on my summer vacation" or "What I accomplished in my genealogy research" are always interesting antidotes.

     As technology provides greater resources for research  the Grand Prairie Genealogical Society faces new challenges for resources and equipment and training. 

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