National Hispanic Cultural Center – Texas Records

April 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Durango (Colorado) Herald is running a story that Sue Major Holmes, a writer for the Associated Press, wrote about Pat Vigil’s genealogy research. Vigil is from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and wrote a book about his family’s history and genealogy. The book is a part of the genealogy library at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (website).

The article mentions something that might be of interest to Hispanics in Texans doing genealogy research:

The library, housed in a historic elementary school building Vigil once attended, offers resources ranging from New Mexico land grant documents and 200 years of records of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe to censuses and church and government records from El Paso, Texas, and Chihuahua and Durango in Mexico.

The El Paso and Mexico documents are important because “nearly everybody who came this far north went through those areas, so if people work back far enough, they’re going to need to look at that information,” said senior librarian Greta Pullen.

The article mentions the center has thousands of volumes covering the history and culture of the Southwest (including Texas) and other areas that were covered by Spain.

Further Reading:
The Durango Herald (Durango, Colorado)

Texas State Genealogical Society – Annual 2010 Meeting

April 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Lufkin Daily News has a reminder out that the Texas State Genealogical Society will be holding its annual meeting in Waco, from November 4 through November 6. That’s Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

It’s being called “Bridging Generations” and it will also mark the 50th Anniversary of the Texas State Genealogical Society. It’s being hosted by the Central Texas Genealogical Society and in addition to celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the TSGS, it’s kind of a celebration of the new West Waco Library and Genealogy Center. The genealogy collection will have twice as much space as it currently has in the main library, among other resources.

The article mentions it as an opportunity for genealogists from outside of Waco to visit the new (and hopefully open) West Waco Library and Genealogy Center, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame, and the Texas Collection at Baylor University, along with other area attractions. The Texas Collection at Baylor University features quite a few things of interest to genealogists in the state, including collections involving Central Texas history, African American and Hispanic history and culture in Texas, and Texans in the military.

November 4-6, 2010
Waco Hilton (website)
113 South University Parks Drive
Waco, Texas, 76701

Feature Speakers and Topics:
– Teri Flack of Austin – “Finding Your Ancestors in the Republic of Texas” and “Keeping the Homes Fires Burning: The Texas Homefront During the Civil War”
– (Nov 6) Barbara Vines Little of Orange, Virginia
– Various round tables, sessions, vendors, and door prizes

Follow up:
Central Texas Genealogy Society
Texas State Genealogical Society Website

Source: Lufkin Daily News

All 254 Counties Surveyed for Their Records

April 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Yesterday, the Houston Chronicle ran a very welcome story about documenting some of our most irreplaceable documents in the state of Texas. Soon, county clerks from all 254 counties in Texas will be receiving a survey asking them to document the records they have in their possession, along with the condition of the documents and any preservation plans they have for the documents.

This is due in part to an order last November by the Texas Supreme Court to create the Court Records Preservation Task Force, which is a volunteer group dedicated to documenting and preserving court documents. Some of these may not have even been seen before now, at least by the public:

Old court documents contain valuable information, much of it never seen by historians, said Kroger. Topics include slavery, the Texas Republic, immigration, genealogy and many others.
Many such records, some dating from 1836, have been stolen, lost, destroyed or left to decay. The task force plans to identify where the most valuable records are located and develop procedures for preserving them.

Part of those plans include digitizing/scanning every document and making them accessible to the public, and looking into the possibility of creating a permanent group dedicated to guiding the preservation and documentation efforts.

While it covers court-related documents, from what I’ve been reading and people I’ve been talking to, the plan is to hopefully extend it further to other county documents (and city) of interest to the public and the state.

Very welcome news!

Source: Houston Chronicle

New Book Out About History of Parker County, Texas

April 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Earlier this week, Jon Vandagriff, an author and local historian from the Weatherford/Parker County area, spoke about his new book at the Weatherford Public Library. Crystal Brown has an article up on the Weatherford Democrat about it as well.

The book is called The Story of Parker County, Texas: 1852-1956 and covers the efforts of Mr. Vandagriff to collect information about Parker County over the past 50 years (yes 50 years). The information comes from newspapers (Vandagriff worked at the Weatherford Democrat), local family histories, related books, and genealogy resources.

The book is structured such that it starts shortly before the founding of the county and covers the history on a year by year basis up through 1956. It contains stories and events related to local folks and includes photographs, both old and new.

There will be a copy available in the genealogy department of the Weatherford Public Library (website), or you can buy one for yourself through the Doss Heritage and Culture Center (website or call 817-599-6168).

Further Reading:
Weatherford Democrat

New Exhibits at Meadows Museum, DeGolyer Library (SMU)

March 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

There is a new exhibit opening up at SMU’s Meadows Museum, focusing on King Charles IV of Spain and his twenty year reign from 1788 to 1808, which included parts of Texas (when it was called New Spain). The exhibit runs for three months and consists of furniture, paintings, and other artwork from the era.

Of particular interest to genealogy and history buffs, there is another exhibit at SMU running alongside this one, hosted by the DeGolyer Library at SMU. It’s the Mexico: Colony to Empire, 1519-1867 and it’s running from February 11 – May 20, 2010. Part of the exhibition covers the large hacienda land grants that helped shape this part of North America.

Among the items being exhibited at the DeGolyer Library of interest to genealogists:
– Manuscript collections concerning viceroyalty documents
– Land grants
– Nobility applications referencing purity of blood/lineage
– Catholic Church documents
– Assorted materials from the Mexican War and Texas Revolution
– Early Maps

Further Reading:
Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University
DeGolyer Library at SMU
Dallas Morning News

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