Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Should I use software to track my genealogy research?

Or am I fine with the papers in files?  Join us Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 10:30am for a presentation by John Wylie on the pros and cons of using genealogy software to track your family history research. Learn how to pick the software program that’s right for you. A professional genealogist since 1990, John Wyle serves the Texas State Genealogical Society as 1st VP, the Association of Professional Genealogists as national secretary (2006-2009) and the Grand Prairie Genealogical Society as past president and current library liaison. He is the founder of Gentech.

No pre-registration required.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Guide to County Records in the North Carolina State Archives/Holiday closings

If you have ancestors who lived in North Carolina you might want to take a look at our new source Guide to County Records in the North Carolina State Archives (12th revised ed.) It is a county-by-county information source for what records are available there including such items as tax and fiscal records, land records, court records, corporations and partnerships, and estate records in addition to the usual vital records we all look for. This source will be on our new items shelf this month and next month and then you can find it at R Gen 929.3756 NOR.

Holiday Hours: We are open today and tomorrow 10am-6pm. Then we are closed December 23-26 and will reopen Dec 27 for normal hours. Then we'll be closed again December 31 and January 1 and resume normal hours January 2, 2011.

Be sure you have your calendar marked for our program January 22 at 10:30am.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Early American Handwriting

You do not have to research too far into your family history before you are bound to run into handwritten documents. Reading the handwriting can be a real research headache. It's amazing how much the letters have changed through the years. Once you've figured out the letters and words then you have to know what they meant in the context of the time. One of the books we have in our collection to help you with this task is a book by Kip Sperry entitled Reading Early American Handwriting (copyright 1998. Published by Genealogical Publishing Co, Inc.). In this book Sperry notes "many of the colonial American handwriting styles passed through several phases, deriving principally from secretary hand and court hand used in Great Britain during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Other influences were from the Italic hand and Latin script. Although some consistency may be seen on colonial American documents, handwriting styles varied in different parts of the country and for different time periods." Chapter titles include "guidelines for reading old documents, abbreviations and contractions, terms, numbers and Roman numerals, dates and calendar change", and a whole chapter on alphabets and handwriting styles. When you find a document you can't decipher, come check out this book and see if it will help you. It can be found at Gen 427.973 SPE

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Naturalizations of Foreign Protestants in the American and West Indian Colonies

In the early 1700s King George II of England issued an Act that allowed for those who had lived in the American or West Indian Colonies for at least 7 years, with some exceptions, to become naturalized citizens of England. The list was begun in the Colonies in 1740. Many of these individuals, of course, produced descendants who later became Americans. This book (title above) was first published in 1921. It "contains all the returns sent from the Colonies to the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations in pursuance of  Act 13 George II." The lists continued until roughly 1765. The  individuals were naturalized in Jamaica, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia. The book has small type so bring your magnifying glass, but there's a nice 30 page index of names, as wells as state divisions within the book. You can find this new source on our new books shelf for the next couple of months and then at R Gen 929.373 NAT.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Our newest collection items

Here's a list of the titles added to our shelves in November.

Baptists of Shelby Co, AL; Point Lookout Prison Camp for Confederates; Marriage returns of Shelby Co, IN 1895-1898; Beaufort Co, NC will books 1720-1874; Beaufort Co, NC deeds Oct 1700-July 1709; Beaufort Co, NC tax list for 1779, 1784, 1786, 1789; Anson Co, NC wills 1790-1900; Genealogy Online 9th ed.; NC Slaves and Free Persons of Color: Burke, Lincoln and Rowan Counties; Abstracts of the Testamentary Proceedings of the Prerogative Court of Maryland 1712-1721; Abstracts of Carteret Co, NC deeds 1713-1759; History of the Twenty-Ninth Division “Blue and Gray” 1917-1919; American Treasure: the enduring spirit of the DAR; Marriages of Loudoun Co, VA; Plano and the Interurban Railway; American Genealogical Research at the DAR Washington, D.C.; History of Georgia Methodism; Copy of the Original Index Book showing the Revolutionary Claims field in South Carolina between August 20, 1783 and August 31, 1786.

You'll find these on our new items shelf until the first week of January. Hope some are helpful in your research.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


If April showers bring May flowers, what do Mayflowers bring?
Pilgrims. :-) 
Do you think your ancestors were among the first to share a meal with the American Indians in the new world? Well, it was a small boat, but as you know we humans tend to reproduce exponentially. If you want to check out the possibility of your ancestor having sailed the seas with those first adventurers try the book Mayflower Source Records from The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (copyright 1986 Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.). From the introduction this book "contains vital, church, ministerial, cemetery or other records for all but three of the Plymouth colony towns that composed early Plymouth, Bristol, and Barnstable counties and were not later annexed by Rhode Island." You can find this source at R Gen 929.3 May.

Happy Thanksgiving 2011 everyone.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Genealogy Online

More than anything most people seem to want to find most, if not all, of their family information online. This isn't possible of course. However, online tools are more and more helpful in your search. A book that can help you in this endeavor is the ninth edition of Genealogy Online by Elizabeth Powell Crowe. (copyright 2011 McGraw-Hill Companies). There are 4 parts: The Basics, General Genealogy, The Nitty Gritty, The Appendixes. There's a chapter comparing various software programs for tracking your family research, chapters on using social networking to your advantage, sites to find names, dates, and places, and a host of other helpful information. This new book is part of our circulating collection and can be found on our new materials shelf the next couple of months. Gen 025.069291 CRO.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan

This was a favorite statement of one of my former co-workers. The most recent issue of Family Chronicle magazine reminds me of this in my genealogy research. Michael Hait has an article starting on page 21 entitled Crafting An Effective Research Plan. I recommend you come in and read the whole article to figure out how it best applies to you, but here are a few of the highlights. 1. Define your problem - which line of your ancestors will you follow first? Which ancestor are you missing vital event data for? Which ancestor do  you have conflicting information for? 2. Investigate the Location - this means researching the place and time period and may include researching the laws or conditions in practice at a given time and place. 3. Identify records of interest - apply the Genealogical Proof Standard to your research. (for more about this Standard checkout our book at Gen 929.1 Ros). According to Mr. Hait "completing these three steps before you step foot in a library or archive will help you to make the most of your research time and help you produce professional-quality research all the time."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Church Records and Our Next Program

If you missed our program on Saturday you missed some good information from Tresa on researching church records. She has researched them stateside and in various other countries so she had some good advice and examples. I have a few copies of her handout with some web sites that might helpful to you. I'll put the copies in the brochures rack of the genealogy department. She also recommended a couple of books on that handout. We own one and I'll try to buy the other. Meanwhile, here are a few tidbits I remember.
1. When you pick up a source, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with how the information was recorded. Each pastor, diocese, or other entity added their own "flavor" in recording church member information.
2. When working with foreign language records make yourself a sheet with the proper translation of your family members' names and keep it nearby when looking at the records so you can spot the names easier.
3. Check for an index, but be prepared to go page by page if you don't find an index, or anything in the index.

Next program - I've just confirmed our next speaker today. John Wylie will be here January 22, 2011 for a morning program. He'll talk about the benefits of using software to keep up with your family research and offer some advice on how to choose the program that will work best for you. 10:30 am is start time. John is a founding member of GENTECH and an active member of Computers in Genealogy subgroup of the Dallas Genealogical Society.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Saturday and Aloha

Remember our program this upcoming Saturday with Tresa Tatyrek. The topic is researching church records. Library doors open at 10:00. Program begins at 10:30 and lasts about and hour. We'll be in the Dulaney Meeting room of the Roy and Helen Hall Library as usual.

Aloha. I have just returned from a vacation in Hawaii. This trip is a "must do before you die"!. I stopped in at the Hawaii State Library which is the headquarters of the Hawaii State Public Library System. All the public libraries on each island are a part of this system. The one in Honolulu on the island of Oahu is where the records are kept you might want for genealogy research. The original Hawaiian people are the Menehune and they didn't have a written language so forget tracing your ancestry to them. In fact, there was no written language at all until the Europeans came along in the 1700s. Starting with records in the 1800s you can find lots of British and Scottish. To trace your ancestry to Hawaiian is the equivalent of tracing to American Indian in the mainland states. There are certain rights and priviledges afforded to those people, including owning some land that can only be sold to them. The islanders now are a mix of all the polynesian islands - Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Hawaii, and what is now New Zealand. Hawaii has a USGenWeb page so go on line and start searching.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dallas County History from the Ground Up

That's the title of a new two-volume set of books in our collection. It is written by Frances James who has been leading bus tours for the Dallas Historical Society for years. While giving these tours and telling stories about the cemeteries and monuments she was often asked if there was a book with these stories in them. Since there wasn't one Frances wrote one - or two. Actually there's a third volume in the works too. These are terrific historical narratives about a piece of our nearby county, accompanied by some beautiful photographs taken at each cemetery. Come learn about these pioneer Texas cemeteries and some of the interesting people buried there. This source can be found on our new items shelf for the next couple of months. After that it's at R Gen 929.3764281 JAM

A reminder that I will be out of the office October 14-25.

A second reminder of our genealogy program with Tresa Tatyrek on October 30 at 10:30am in The Dulaney Room. No pre-registration required.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A few important items

Our new fiscal year has begun so watch for new books to begin arriving again soon.

October 11 the libraries will be closed for staff training day.

October 14-24 I will be on vacation. While my co-workers would like to be able to help you, they just aren't genealogy librarians. Come use the collection, but hold your advice questions for my return please.

October 30 is our next public program. Tresa Tatyrek will be our guest speaker again. Her topic is Researching Church Records. The doors of the Dulaney Room will open at 10:00. The program will start at 10:30 and will last until 11:30 or 11:45. No pre-registration is required.

Our collection is on the move. Due to several recent changes at the Roy and Helen Hall Memorial Library we now have twice as much space for the genealogy collection as before. I am slowly shifting to spread out the collection. The scope of our collection will not change, but now we can keep growing.

If you ever have any questions from anything I post on this blog please do not send it to me by replying to this message. Send me your email at tluscombe@mckinneytexas.org.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

National Intelligencer

The National Intelligencer & Washington Advertiser was the first newspaper printed in Washington, DC. The Library of Congress owns the microfilm of the newspaper from it's first issue of October 3, 1800. Our library owns 7 volumes of the abstracts created by Joan M. Dixon beginning with 1800 and running through 1846. Should you check it even if you don't have evidence of your ancestors having lived in DC? Probably. DC was our nation's capital so there are names of  individuals from any number of places. As I look through the one for 1800-1805 I see mention of Vermont, Massachusetts, various US ships' crews, Virginia, a dead Revolutionary War general, Maryland, Charleston, SC, Detroit, MI, and Georgia. "The abstracts are advertisements, appointments by the President, House of Representatives petitions, passed acts, legal notices, marriages, deaths, social events, tax lists, military promotions, court cases, prisoners and maritime information." An explanation of the abbreviations used in the newspaper at that time are included in the front of the books. You can find these resources at R Gen 929.3753 DIX.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Persons of Quality

A book with the title The Original Lists of Persons of Quality 1600-1700 just makes you hope you have an ancestor in there. I mean “persons of quality” certainly sounds good. This book, edited by John Camden Hotten (originally published London 1874. reprinted Clearfield Co, Inc. 2003) is subtitled emigrants; religious exiles, political rebels, serving men sold for a term of years; apprentices; children stolen; maidens pressed; and others who went from Great Britain to the American Plantations. Now you have a better idea of what’s in the book and you still might be glad to find one of your ancestors in this book. The introduction tells us that of the groups of early emigrants “by far the greater number was composed of comparatively obscure men – men of little means, but possessed of hearts and consciences of too honest a nature to permit them quietly to submit to the intolerance which was forced upon them at home.” If your ancestors can from across the pond during this noted century you should come take a look at this, and a follow up book edited by James C. Brandow entitled Omitted Chapters from Hotten’s original lists of person of quality…and others who went from Great Britain to the American Plantations, 1600-1700 (copyright 1982 Genealogical Publishing Co.). They can be found shelved together at R Gen 929.3 HOT.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Do you have a favorite librarian?

Do you love a librarian? Here's a way you can thank that librarian for helping you.
Nominations for the national Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award run through September 20. Nominations are accepted at www.ilovelibraries.org/ilovemylibrarian.
The award invites library users nationwide to nominate librarians in public libraries, as well those in school and academic libraries. It is an opportunity for library users to tell how librarians make a difference in their community. Thanks to the generous support of Carnegie Corporation of New York, 10 librarians will win $5,000 and be honored at an awards ceremony in New York in December, hosted by The New York Times.
 In 2008 and 2009, nine librarians in public libraries were honored with the award. You can learn about them, as well as other winners, at www.ilovelibraries.org/ilovemylibrarian. Click on the links that say “2009 winners” or “2008 winners.”
Winners of the 2010 award will be announced to the public in December. If you have any questions, please e-mail Megan Humphrey at the American Library Association: mhumphrey@ala.org.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Fighting Men (and Women) of Texas

The 36th Infantry Division of the National Guard was established at Camp Bowie, TX in 1917. It was composed of units from both Texas and Oklahoma. They fought in France, with great success, against the Germans in The Great War in 1918. After that war the Oklahoma folks splintered off to an Oklahoma National Guard division. On Nov. 25, 1940 the 36th Texas National Guard Division was inducted in Federal service, ultimately becoming a party of the U.S. Army ground forces. They headed for North Africa in April 1943.
A five-volume set of books entitled The Fighting Men of Texas (copyright 1948 by Historical Publishing Company, Dallas, TX) is now complete in our collection. Until recently we only held a couple of the volumes. In this set you will find biographies of each of the men and women who served in World War II from Texas. Though the first book gives the history of the 36th division, it appears that the set includes many Texans who served in other divisions as well. Photographs, in uniform, are included of each service man or woman. The biographies typically include birth date and place, education, date and place of service entry, campaigns in which they served, and discharge or death date. Some include other information.  Even if you don't have an ancestor in this book, it's a great set to flip through and remember those who served for our freedom.  The set can be found at R Gen 929.3764 HIS

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Passports of Southeastern Pioneers

There was a time when you needed a passport to travel without ever going overseas. Prior to 1824 parts of North America were considered foreign lands because ownership was with foreign powers or the land was part of Indian Territory. Thus to travel into this land you needed a passport. Mostley these were issued by the Secretary of War until 1824, at which point the Bureau of Indian Affairs was established. Sometimes Governors or other officials issued passports on their own authority. Of course, there were always illegal passports available for sale too. The source in our collection, Passports of Southeastern Pioneers 1770-1823: Indian, Spanish and other land passports for Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Mississippi, Virginia, North and South Carolina by Dorothy Williams Potter (Gateway Press, Inc. 1992) includes lists of passport information or mentions of passage of individuals into the territories outside the United States jurisdiction. "Official records and correspondence, both published and in manuscript form, were researched extensively." The book includes some interesting bits of information. Often the person who swore an affidavit of good character for the traveler are also included in this book. The book is divided by logical chapter headings and includes an extensive list of sources and a 46-page every-name index. It can be found in our library at R GEN 929.375 POT.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

American Claims Commission

Last week's topic was the Southern Claims Commission which was set up for those who lived in the south, opposed the confederacy, and lost property for official use by the Union Army as they marched into the south. Likewise, a similar commission was established following the American Revolution for those who could prove loyalty to the crown and who lost property as a result. As you can imagine, since they had been colonists, but ended up on the losing side of the war, they weren't exactly welcomed back home by their patriot neighbors. The British Government didn't treat them very well right away either. Most fled to Florida or Nova Scotia but didn't have any real means of establishing a homestead. In 1783 the British Government set up the American Claims Commission. Loyalty to the crown had to be established beyond a reasonable doubt, ownership of real and personal proerty had to be proved down to the last half acre and last shilling. In many cases the claimant had to swear under oath to abide by a list of conditions sometimes arbitrarily imposed on the him by the Commission. As with the Southern Claims Commission, little relief was ultimately provided. Either way, you as the descendant can benefit from the book American Loyalist Claims by Peter Wilson Coldham, F.A.S.G. For each claimant listed in the book a "highly summarized version of the papers submitted in support of his claim" is presented, "with particular attention to relationship and property holdings." You can find this source at R Gen 929.3733 COL.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A few items

Make a note that the library will be open Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend. We'll only be closed on the Monday holiday itself. (PS: I'm off all weekend)
October 30 is our next program with guest speaker Tresa Tatyrek returning for a program on church records research. 10:30-11:30am on that Saturday. As always, it's a free program.
You may remember The Magna Carta from your studies in high school? It was signed in 1215 by King John and his Barons requiring John to cede a certain amount of rule to the barons in exchange for their loyalty. It is considered the basis for all English rule from that time forward since it was the earliest agreement between sovereign and subject on the rights of both parties. So, ever wonder if you are descended from some of the first people involved in the great English document? The source in our collection to find out is entitled The Magna Charta Sureties, 1215 by Frederick Lewis Weis, Th.D fourth edition with additions and corrections by Walter Lee Sheppard, Jr., M.S. with David Faris (1991). The sureties were the barons who signed on behalf of the remaining barons. There were twenty-five. Only 17 have identified descendants. The book lists the names of all 25, the clerics who signed as advisors to the kings, and the nobles represented. The American colonists whose ancestry is discussed are listed up front and the states in which they resided. (Hmm, there's a Robertt Throckmorton) and a full index in the back of the book. You can find this source at R Gen 929.72 WEI.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Southern Claims Commission

As with all wars there are those who are not in support of the war. Thus was true of the American Civil War. As I grew up in the south saw the war as the north (everyone) attacking the south and everyone in the rushing to sign up and defend their land and way of life. Not so. There were many in the north and south who had to be drafted into the war. As the battles began to take place largely in the south there was no time to determine whether the landowner was pro-union or pro-confederate. Property was officially and unofficially confiscated for use by troups and much was simply destroyed. Many times receipts were given by the union troops for animals or supplies commandeered from civilians. Six years after the fighting ended Congress created The Southern Claims Commission. Southerners could apply for reimbursement of some losses. Those who could file claims had to hold American citizenship, reside in a state that seceded, be able to document loyalty to the federal government throughout the conflict, and have suffered official confiscation of goods. 22,298 cases were filed by various entities with a total amount of alleged damages of $60,258,150. Ultimately only 1/3 of the claims passed inspection and virtually all claims were settled at a drastically reduced amount. $4,636,929 was actually paid out.
The records from these proceedings are stored at the NARA by case file. While not all case files still exist, you might find that your ancestor's file is there. One of the sources you can consider in our collection before contacting the NARA about a file is the book Southern Loyalists in the Civil War: the Southern Claims Commission by Gray B. Mills (copyright 1994 Clearfield Press). The claimants are listed alphabetically for ease of research. The additional columns show County and State, commission number, office number, report number, year, and claim status. You can find this source at R Gen929.373 MIL

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"No land...only slaves"

As we all know there was a time when African Americans were bought and sold just like other possessions. Therefore there were legal documents connected with this transfer of ownership. These documents can be useful for looking into family history of any race as your ancestor could have been the buyer, seller, person bought or sold, witness to the event, or goverment employee who recorded the information.  A series of books entitled "No Land...Only Slaves" began being researched and published in the last 10 years by Edith Smith and Vivian Lehman in Balch Springs, TX. They began to asbtract the slave conveyances from the county deed records. Their abstracts include deed book number, page number, record number, event date, filing date, name of conveyor, name of conveyee, type of record, name of slave, gender, age, any descriptions given, value, type of payment where given, special notes, witnesses, notaries, recorders, clerks and other persons mentioned. Here's the text of one entry from the Bossier Parish, LA book.
1 Oct 1857/6 Nov 1861 Landrum, John M and Cooper, James N. of Caddo Parish to Landrum, John N. Bill of Sale. George, male, 18 black, 1/2 interest, $700. Witnesses: Leonard, F.A. and Attaway, E. Deputy Recorder: Leonard, F.A. Parish Recorder: Miller, Austin
We have these books for 5 Louisiana parishes, 13 Texas counties, and 1 Arkansas county. We will add more to the collection soon.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Texas General Land Office

First, please forgive the one day delay in this week's post. I was out of work ill yesterday. Back on my feet today.
The Texas General Land Office was created 22 Dec. 1836. According to James Harkins (Archives and Records, GLO) "the land system initially adopted by the Republic of Texas was essentially a continuation form the Spanish and Mexical rule, with notable changes in the manner of administering the land granting process." The current GLO can be a great resource is you have ancestors who were in this territory, even if it was before it was a Republic or a state. There are 6987 land titles granted in Texas by the Crown of Spain or Republic of Mexico, representing 26.28 million acres of land. In this collection you might find out when your ancestor came to pre-revolutionary Texas, where your ancestor came from, and read interesting correspondence about the settlement of land between various government officials. From the English language records you might find out when your ancestor arrived in Texas and where they settled, if they were married, if they served in the Texas revolution, and how much land they received. One of the best parts about the Texas General Land Office records is they are almost all online. http://www.glo.state.tx.us/archives.html
It is an easy web site to use too. If you're not sure you're doing the search right, just contact them for help. You can even have them do the search for you for only a small fee.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Society of the Cincinnati

The Society of the Cincinnati was founded at the end of the American Revolutionary War by the Continental Officers and the French officers who participated. It was named for the Roman citizen-soldier Cincinnatus who twice left his farm and led a Roman legion to victory, then returned to his farm rather than acquiecse to the push for him to take political office. Ironically, George Washington was the General Society's first president. One of the older books in our collection, published in 1934, is the Sesquicentennial history and roster of the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Virginia 1783-1933. The book includes the by-laws, signatures of the Parchment Roll signed in 1783, roll of 1783, extracts from the minutes of various meetings, officers of the General Society and the Virginia Society 1783-1933, Sesquicentennial roster of the Virginia Society for that time period, winners of the Virginia Society medals at the Virginia Military Institute, the College of William and Mary, the University of Virginia, and Washington and Lee University, and a list of officers elligible to be represented in the Society in Virginia. If you think you have an American Revolutionary officer in your past come take a look at this source to find out if he was a member of this exclusive society. The book can be found at R Gen 929.3755 HUM.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Some Georgia counties

Milledgeville, GA is the seat of Baldwin County and was Georgia's capital city from 1806 to 1868. This county was created in 1803 and 1806 from the Creek Cessions of 1802 and 1805. It was named for Abraham Baldwin who signed the U.S. Constitution for Georgia and who is considered the Father of the University of Georgia. Between it's founding and 1856 land in this county was given to Jasper, Jones, Morgan and Putnam counties, and land was taken from Hancock, Jones, Washington and Wilkinson counties. If you have any ancestors in the central Georgia region during the period 1820 - 1972 you should take a look at the new 12-volume set Milledgeville, Georgia newspaper clippings by Tad Evans.  They include such interesting extracts as the naming of the new postmaster at Savannah, lists of those seated on a grand jury, persons whose property was in a Sheriff's sale, and the usual announcements of births, deaths, and marriages. We have many of Mr. Evan's works and they are all high quality publications. This particular one can be found at R Gen 929.3758573 EVA.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

How to Use Heritage Quest

For those of you who enjoyed our program with Tresa Tatyrek in January here's your chance to learn from her again. She will be presenting a program on How to Use Heritage Quest on July 17 at the W.O. Haggard Jr. Library in Plano. 10:30am - 12:30pm. This is a program sponsored by the Genealogy Friends of Plano Libraries, Inc. The Haggard Library is on the West side of Coit between Park Blvd and Parker Road.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Closed July 4 & 5

The McKinney Public Library System will be closed Sunday, July 4 and Monday, July 5, 2010 in recognition of Independence Day.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Have you thought of school annuals as a source for genealogy research? They are great because they include both posed photos and random shots of people participating in life. They give information on what sports or clubs your ancestors participated in during that time in their lives. We buy the yearbooks for the McKinney High Schools, both past and present, as often as possible. In addtion our collection includes some annuals from various Texas colleges. Another great source for these is UNTs digitized Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ They have scanned many college yearbooks from across Texas, including all of the years of the various incarnations of the higher learning institution now known as The University of North Texas. This "portal" is a wealth of information if you have Texas ancestors, or are just interested in Texas history. Take a look soon.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


A new source in our collection is this book fully titled: Wanted! U.S. Criminal Records Sources and Research Methodology by Ron Arons (2009 2nd ed). This book "lists thousands of sets of records concerning incarcerations, criminal court activities, paroles, pardons, executions and police and other organizations' investigations, state by state, across the nation." The author learned his research methodology by the researching his own criminal ancestor and then helping others research their own ancestors with a checkered past. Each state has a separate chapter. Within each state is a list of sources to consult. Each record type is described in the front of the book along with a list of "considerations" such as "criminals frequently commit multiple crimes". He also offers advice on "what to look for first?" Be sure to review these areas along with the section "How to Use this Book" before proceeding to the record information. You can find this source at R Gen 929.1072 ARO

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

He's not in the index

If you pick up a book and look for your ancestor's name in the index and don't find it you naturally assume there's no information in that book which can help you with your genealogy research. But as we say in Texas "hold on thar pardner". Keep in mind these tips provided by James Hansen, a reference librarian of the State Hisorical Society of Wisconsin.
1. An index is only an index. It is not a substitute for the record being indexed.
2. The larger the sizes of the index, the more easily pertinent listings are overlooked.
3. In a given record, any vowel may at any point be substituted for any other vowel.
4. Virtually every pre-WWII record, in whatever form we see it today, originated as an attempt by an individual to put on paper what he or she thought was heard.
5. There is no perfect indexing system.
6. It doesn't matter how you spell your name; it only matters how the indexer spelled it.
7. Just because an index is described as complete or comprehensive, doesn't mean it is complete or comprehensive.
8. It you haven't found it in an index, you can only conclude that you haven't found it in an index. You cannot conclude that it's not in the record.
9. The index isn't always at the back of the book.
10. Sometimes it is best to ignore the index all together.

Happy researching.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Your surname and an update on Genealogy 101 classes

If you're not sure where your ancestors may have originated try looking at the origin of the surname. While there are a number of books in our collection that are specific to surnames such as A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: with special American instances (by Charles Wareing Endell Bardsley, 1901, Genealogical Publishing Co), the most complete source we own is Dictionary of American Family Names, Patrick Hanks, Editor (Oxford University Press 2003). This 3-volume set "attempt(s) to explain the history and origin of the 70,000 most frequent family names in the United States, together with some rarer names that are of historical or etymological importance." They state that "over 85% of Americans will find an entry for their surname" in this source. Each entry provides the frequency of the surname, the source language and origin of the surname, language of origin, original spelling, region if the name is strongly associated with a particular region of the mother country, a classification of the surname's orgin, and the linguistic history of the surname. Here's an example: Buckman (2179) English: (1) occupational name for a goatherd, Middle English bukkeman (from Old English bucca 'hegoat' + mann 'man'). (2) occupational name for a scholar or scribe. Middle English bocman (from Old English boc 'book' + mann 'man') (3) possibly also a habitational name, a reduced form of Buckingham or metathesized form of Bucknam. You can find this source at R Gen 929.40973

Update on Genealogy 101: I still have room in the June 19 class, but June 26 is full. I have a wait list for June 26. If you're still interested and aren't registered contact me right away. If you're registered and find you won't be able to make it please contact me so someone on the wait list can take your place.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What was an arab?

Today if you call someone an Arab you generally mean someone of that ethnicity. However, there was a time when calling someone an arab (lower case first letter) you were referring to "an orphan or outcast". A cod placer was a "pottery worker". A gallows maker was a "manufacturer of braces or suspenders for holding up a man's trousers." These, and many other helpful definitions, come from the source A Dictionary of old trades, titles and occupations by Colin Waters (Countryside Books, Newbury, Berkshire, 2002). As today, in days of old, people were often identified socially by their occupation. "What do you do?" is an acceptable phrase in polite conversation when you first meet someone. The words used for occupations often varied from one area of the country to another, and certainly from one nationality to another, so the book's definition should be used with caution in defining the work of your ancestors. Further research may need to be done on the time period and location where you find the title used. However, in reverse, the title can also be used to help you determine where your ancestor may have lived if they stated in a census that a particular occupation was their trade. Often the trade to which they had been apprenticed is the answer to the question of occupation even if that is not the trade the person is currently practicing to earn a living. You can find this book to help with your research at R Gen 331.03 WAT.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Who do you think you are?

The new television show Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC primetime) has stirred up interest in this fun hobby of tracing a family tree. So I'm bringing back my Genealogy 101 class. This year I'm going to make it a two-part class. Part 1 will be on June 19 from 10:15am - 11:45am in the Dulaney Room of the Roy & Helen Hall Library (101 E. Hunt Street, McKinney, 75069). We will talk about the four corners of the puzzle of an individual, the correct way to record your data for other researchers to understand and to save you research time in the future, where to look for the records you need, and distribute helpful forms for recording your data. Part 2 will be on June 26 from 10:15am - 11:45am in the Genealogy Department of this same library. Often a new researcher learns the basics of research, then sits down to a computer and gets frustrated trying to find the records. The fact is only about 90% of what you need has been digitized to computer access; this means you need to get into the books. But how do you walk into a library and know which books might help you and which might be a total waste of your time? Part 2 is where we'll cover this valuable information by meeting in the department and looking at the books. Since we do have a "hands-on" part to this workshop attendance is limited to the first 15 people to register. You can register by sending me an email at tluscombe@mckinneytexas.org. If you have any questions about the class you can call me at 972-547-7323.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Genealogical Resources of the Civil War Era

Veteran genealogy guide author William Dollarhide has a new book in print and we've added it to our collection. The full title is Genealogical Resources of the Civil War Era: online and published military or civilian name lists, 1861-1869, and post-war veteran lists. The title alone tells you it is more than just a list of soldiers and their regiments. The war affected all of our ancestor families during and after the war.  As with all of Dollarhide's work it is very thorough. Sections include Nationwide Resource Groups, Statewide Resource Groups, Online and Published Resources by State or Territory (there are 4 pages for Texas), and Best Civil War Resource Centers for Local and County Research. He makes this caveat in his introduction. "This book was not written as a guide to Civil War narratives as such, but a guide to the various records in which one will find the lists of names of both soldiers and civilians." You'll find this valuable source at R Gen 929.37 DOL.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Planning a trip to the TSLAC

For those of you who have been unable to get to some of the records you need for the past 2 years due to the closing of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission for renovations, get ready to make that trip. They are scheduled to reopen in June with renovations completed.
Keep in mind some of the guidelines we discussed in planning a research trip. Go to the web site and review their research guidelines. http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/arc/guidelines.html .This is one of those repositories that doesn't let you take your computer and your briefcase full of your research papers into the research room with you. This same web site will let you make a list of exactly which sources you want to review before you get there so you don't waste valuable time. Also take a look at the "missing archives" page http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/arc/missingintro.html so you know not to search for something that won't be found. While you're in Austin you also might plan a visit to the Texas General Land Office. It has land grant records and maps dating to the 18th century. Here's their web site. http://www.glo.state.tx.us/archives/archives.html Remember that visiting our library is a great way to plan ahead for your research trip to Austin using the books discussed in my blog of March 30.

Library closed Sunday, May 16, 2010

Due to a city planned outage of all computer systems (for system upgrades) the library will be closed Sunday, May 16, 2010. Please plan your research dates accordingly. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Civil War P.O.W.s

The American Civil War was such a dark time in the nation's history. As with all wars there are at least two sides, and each one tends to take prisoners from the opposing side(s). The prisoner of war camps during this war were particularly dreadful. The soldiers themselves did not have enough provisions for their own needs so the prisoners were even worse off. One book you can consult to possibly find information on your ancestor is Confederate P.O.W.'s: soldiers & sailors who died in Federal Prisons & Military Hospitals in the North. It was compiled by the Office of the Commissioner for Marking Graves of Confederate Dead, War Department 1912. (1994 reprint edition Ericson Books). The names are listed alphabetically within each city and state where the prison or military hospital was located. Included is the individual's name, rank, company, regiment, date of death, and locality of the grave. There is an extensive index of 100 pages so worry not if you don't know where your ancestor may have been housed. One note of interest "the North" included a couple of states we might think of as "the South" - Maryland and Kentucky. You can find this book at R Gen 929.3 Con
Here are a few other titles related to the American Civil War prisons in our collection: Civil War Prisoners Sent to Missouri State Prison (R Gen 929.3778 EAK), Johnson's Island Prison: Civil War Prison for Confederate Officers, Lake Erie, OH (R Gen 929.3772 DOU), Prisoners of War 1861-65: a record of personal experiences, and a study of the condition and treatment of prisoners on both sides during the War of Rebellion (R Gen 929.3772 STU), To Die in Chicago: Confederate Prisoners at Camp Douglas 1862-65 (Gen 973.772 LEV), Andersonville Prison: Union soldiers buried there (R Gen 929.3758 AND).

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Which county was that?

A patron came in this week looking for marriage information from 1786 for Washington County, TN. She had researched enough to know Washington County, TN came out of Washington County, NC. The challenge was we needed to go back even farther in the history of this region to really find where she needed to look. Turns out Washington County, NC wasn't formed until 1799 which is after her ancestor's marriage. It came out of Tyrrell County which was formed in 1729. I found this information in the Red Book, which was discussed in a previous blog. After determing the right county name for the time frame we had to find where the records of marriages might be available for research. The Red Book gives me that information as well. The book ultimately directs her to the Index to Marriage Bonds Filed in the North Carolina State Archives, a microfiche which is available through the local Family History Center. Hopefully she'll find the marriage in the index and then can contact the North Carolina State Archives for a copy of the record itself. We could have wasted a lot of time looking in the wrong records and awaiting an interlibrary loan if we had not first researched the history of the county. In genealogy it's important to know you're looking in the right place before jumping in.
One other note, she had a copy of two pages from a book and did not know the source. It included a titled list. We were able to Google the title list and come up with the source which was an 1850 National Genealogical Register Quarterly which has been added to the Google Books collection. That too saved us a wait for an interlibrary loan. Digited Google Books can be a great help in research.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Native American Genealogy

Twice this week, and many times over the years I have been the genealogy librarian here, I've had people ask me "how do I trace my American Indian heritage?" The short answer is "the same way you trace your other heritage." That in itself is not a short or easy process. A longer answer involves several questions. Why do you think you have American Indian heritage? Why do you want to know? Have you started tracing any of your family tree? If you feel certain you had Amerian Indian ancestors do you know which tribe(s)? The answers tell you where to go to begin or continue your research. There are several sources in our collection that can guide you. A Research Guide to the Five Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma by Vickie L. Herron-Luster (Windmill Publications, 1997). A Student's Guide to Native American Genealogy by Barrie E. Kavasch (Oryx Press, 1996). How to Research American Indian Bloodlines by Cecelia Svinth-Carpenter (Heritage Quest 2001). Tracing Ancestors Among the Five Civilized Tribes by Rachel Mills Lennon (Genealogical Publishing Co. 2002). Black Indian Genealogy Research by Angela Y Walton-Raji (Heritage Books 1993). Each tribe has its own requirements for admittance and most have a web site that will tell you what you must do. Whatever your reason for wanting to know, get started in your family tree research and even if you don't find American Indian heritage you'll probably find some interesting people all the same.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Library will be closed April 18

Due to a city planned outage of all computer systems (for system upgrades) the library will be closed Sunday, April 18. Please plan your research dates accordingly. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rebels with a cause?

During the times of the Civil War, and for some years afterward the official end of the war, Missouri was not a safe place to be. So divided in its loyalties, and with so much undeveloped land, it was a great place to be a bushwhacker. A bushwhacker could be someone for the north or the south who would hide in the bushes and attack (whack) unsuspecting persons. They fought the war but not within the regular army. In 1875, Dr. J.M. Allen of Liberty, MO attempted to create a list of people in MO who had fought for the Confederacy in the First Missouri Brigade. He came up with a list of over 500 and said they were “branded as rebels”. Other lists have been compiled through the years of bushwhackers, southern sympathizers who were ordinary citizens, Confederates, Partisan Rangers, and members of Governor Jackson’s volunteers who were known as the Missouri State Guards, or others not allowed to vote after the war. All of these lists, along with additional sources such as diaries, letters, and military reports, have been used to create a source titled Branded as Rebels by Joanne Chiles Eakin and Donald R. Hale (copyright 1993). The people are listed alphabetically and some photographs are included. The famous (Tucker Hill) and the obscure (Pvt. John William Kite) are included. Come see what you can find out about your ancestor who spent time in MO. The book can be found at R Gen 929.3 EAK.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Texas Resource

We just received the 3 volume set of the Guide and Index to Texas Confederate Pension Application and Payment Records 1899-1979 by Anthony Black, Robert de Berardinis and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission Staff (copyright 2009 Heritage Books, Inc.). Their preface notes that they are “in addition to rather than in place of the online index to Confederate pension applications and TARO finding aids of the TSLAC.” The indexes are divided by type: pensioners, widows receiving pensions, totally disabled pensioners, Confederate Home pensioners, and rejected applications. There is also a miscellaneous category that includes such items as applications for mortuary warrants, or physician’s statements regarding disability. There is a primer on Texas Confederate Research. An important thing to remember in researching a Civil War pension is the application was submitted to and, if approved, paid by the state in which the veteran or veteran’s widow was living at the time of application, not the state where they mustered in to serve. This will be a good source to consult before you contact TSLAC and spend time and money researching their records. It can be found at R Gen 929.3764 BLA in our library.

Monday, March 22, 2010

History for Genealogists

This posting is a day early this week because tomorrow morning I leave for the Public Library Association Annual Conference. Hopefully I will bring back some great new ideas and information on genealogy services and materials to better serve you.
Meanwhile, have you prepared time lines for the people in your family tree? This is a great way to see gaps in the information you have for each person and make a research list. Also, you can compare these to actual timelines in history so you can get clues as to where you might search for more information on your ancestor. In the book History for Genealogists: using chronological time lines to find and understand your ancestors by Judy Jacobson (Clearfield Publishing, copyright 2009) you can take a look at time lines for each state, military action, migration, or social shift and see where your people might fit in. For example one time line shows a heavy migration of loyalists from the colonies to Canada in 1784, and from Virginia and the Carolinas to Alabama in 1810-20. Another gives the dates of the inception and key events of each labor union in the colonies and United States. In 1649 the shoemakers and coopers in Boston formed guilds. If you had an ancestor there at that time you could seek out the records for this group and see if he was a member. The state timeline for AL notes that in 1702 the capital of Louisiana was moved by the French near what is now Mobile, AL. In 1810 migrations from TN to Northern AL began. In 1803-11 a federal road was constructed from Milledgeville, Ga to Fort Stoddert, north of Mobile.
Come take a look at this source to see what you might be missing in the lives of your ancestors. You can find it at R Gen 929.1 JAC

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Abbreviations and Acronyms

I belong to a listserv of genealogy librarians. One type of question is posted often. It starts with something like this, "my patron was consulting a (named) source and found the notation "____", and ends like this, "does anyone know what this means?" You might run across the unknown notations in just about any type of record or census. One source that might help with these issues is Abbreviations and Acronyms: a guide for family historians by Kip Sperry. We own the revised 2nd edition. The entries are listed in alphabetical order and included is a brief explanation or description of the abbreviations, acronym, or initials. Here are just a few to give you an idea of the entries. ALOH = American Legion of Honor. capt = captive or captured. HC = (1) Havana, Cuba (2) Harvard College (3) Haut-Canada (4) heads of cattle (5) Holy Cross. KG = (1) Knights of the Order of the Garter (2) Knights of St. George. SGDL = step-granddaughter-in-law. So when you run up on a notation in a source come take a look at this book to be sure you know how to interpret it correctly.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

He died of what?

Have you ever obtained a death record or other medical record of an ancestor, looked at the diagnosis and thought, "what was that"? For example - Bright's disease, white flux, herpes zoster or dumb ague. A small, but valuable source in the library's collection that will help you decipher these is A Medical Miscellany for Genealogists by Dr. Jeanette L. Jerger (Heritage Books, 1995). It tells me that Bright's disease is akin to nephritis, a kidney disease that "ranked high as the cause of death in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries". White flux was cholera. Herpes Zoster was shingles. Dumb ague, which had several other names, was a "form of malaria characterized by irregular attacks of fever without chills." Come take a look at this source for these other interesting terms: eclectic medicine, dropsy, Egyptian chlorosis, English disease, ship's fever.
The book can be found at R Gen 610.14 JER

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

American Migration

Immigration is not a new issue. People migrated from other countries to this land to form a new country. After they got here they migrated from one area of the land to the others. They often traveled in ethnic, religious, or neighborhood groups. As cities became industrialized people migrated to create the suburbs. Tracing these movements can help you find your ancestors, and put more than names and dates to their lives. One source that can help you is The Atlas of American Migration by Stephen A. Flanders (Facts on File, Inc. 1998). Unlike most atlases it is not just maps. There is discussion of the reasons for American migration such as natural disasters, as well as American Slavery. The promise of land and the doctrine of Manifest Destiny, and "white flight" in the 20th century are all addressed. Methods of transportation and the "vanishing farmer" are also discussed. This book can be an especially valuable source for telling you why someone ended up with an event that seems out of place in their lives. Come take a look at the where and how of American Migration.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Compendium of American Genealogy

Think your ancestors were one of the First Families of America? Use this source to help find out. This set was begun after The Great War (WWI) with volume 1 being published in 1925. The first three volumes were published under the title The Abridged Compendium of American Genealogy First Families of America: A Genealogical Encyclopedia of the United States. Later “Abridged” was dropped from the title as the entries were expanded to include additional information such as formal education titles, photographs, and organizational memberships. The purpose of the set is to present the basic pedigree, including marriages and children, of each of the documented first families to settle in America. There are a total of 7 volumes (volume 7 was printed in 1942) which use a large variety of sources to back up their lineage information, and name roughly 288,000 individuals. Each volume has its own index, which is great since the names are not in any order that seems logical. Come take a look to see if your family is one of the First Families of America. Submitted by Tracy Luscombe, Genealogy Librarian

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hidden Sources

We all know about searching the various Federal Censuses, vital events records, and may even have thought about state censuses. However, did you ever think about records of the Army Corps of Engineers? Or Almshouse Records? Or even Orphan Asylum Records? How about Apprenticeship Agreements? These are just a few of the sources discussed in the book Hidden Sources: Family History in Unlikely Places by Laura Szucs Pfeiffer (copyright 2000 by MyFamily.com). In this book you’ll find short explanations of each type of record that will help you determine whether a it might contain information you need. Clues are given as to the location of each type of record, and internet URLs are given for many record types so you can find out more information about them.

You’ll find this book at R Gen 929.1 PFE at our library. Take a look and see if you can find a type of source that might help you make more progress in your research.

Tracy Luscombe, Genealogy Librarian

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Land & Property Research in the United States

There are at least 3 reasons why land and property records are important when researching your family history. The first is that “written evidence of people’s entitlement to land and property goes back in time further than virtually any other type of record”. The second is that “in America, land and property records apply to more people than any other type of written record”. And third “there are fewer losses of land and property records than any other type of record”. These are quoted from the Foreward written by William Dollarhide for the book Land & Property Research in the United State by E. Wade Hone. (with Heritage Consulting and Services, copyright 1997)

This book starts with chapters on Pre-U.S. possessions, providing a chapter on each of the countries that staked a claim on land, and information on the repositories of those records today. Once we became the United States, states were either State-Land States (where the distribution of land was handled on the State government level), or Federal Land States (where the distribution of land was handled on the Federal level). There were different survey systems for the two types, so researching and interpreting the records will be handled differently. The book offers strategies for researching each type of record. There is also a chapter on Individual Lands, which refers to land transactions that take place after the initial transfer of ownership from the government, and a chapter on Native American Land Records.

This can be an invaluable source to keep you from making shots in the dark in your land research. You'll find it at R Gen 929.1 HON in our library.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Red Book

The Red Book by Ancestry is a very valuable resource for genealogists. The subtitle is American State, County, and Town Sources. In its 3rd edition this book is divided by state. Within each state's "chapter" you'll find information about where to research vital records, what various types of censuses were taken, information about maps, land records, probate records, court records, tax records, cemetery records, and military records. A list of suggested periodicals, newspapers, and manuscripts, to consult is offered. The book can be a great resource for planning a research trip as it includes detailed information on archives, libraries, and societies in the state. A map of each state shows the county locations and county seat for each. To me the best part of the book is the chart at the end of the chapter. It shows an alphabetical listing for each county with the address for the county seat government center, the date the county was established and which county it was formed from, the earliest date of birth, marriage, and death records and the earliest date for land, probate and court records. Before you spend time and money requesting a record from a particular county, check to be sure that county actually existed in the specified time period of your ancestor. You may need to contact the parent county. The person could have been born in one county and died in another without ever having moved from one home to another.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

50+ Learn how to plan a success research trip

If you missed the genealogy program at the Roy and Helen Hall Library last Saturday, you might want to take a look at these tips for planning a genealogy research trip. Tresa Tatyrek, veteran of research genealogy since 1997, taught more than 50 library guests how to make sure you do not waste valuable research time or miss clues to your family history while on a research trip. Here are a few of the things to remember.

• Map your trip so you travel to different sites in a logical, non-time-wasting path.

• Research and write down the operational hours and rules of the various repositories you will visit before you leave town.

• If the repository has an online catalog, make a chart of the titles you want to review and their library call numbers, as well as the name of each person you hope to find in that source before you leave town.

• Remember that some repositories will only allow you to carry a notebook and pencil in their facility so create a mini-research kit with condense family notes, a pad of paper, pencils, and a research chart.

• Digital cameras can eliminate the cost of copies and are essential for cemetery research.

These are just a few of the items needed for a success research trip. Additional copies of the handouts from the program are available in the Helen Gibbard Hall genealogy area of the library.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Planning a research trip

You can waste a lot of time on a research trip, and leave without having mined all the resources available to you in the area, if you do not conduct the right advance planning. Tresa Tatyrek, a veteran genealogist, can help. She will present a program at our library this Saturday from 10:30am to noon on How to Plan a Genealogy Research Trip. Come join us.
The new year is bringing new sources into our collection. One that has recently arrived if the 5 volume set of the Texas 1860 Agricultural Census. If you had ancestors in this area you'll want to take a look at volume 2, even though we are referred to as Collins County instead of Collin. Sometimes people appear in this census that were somehow missed in the population census. Some of the information included with the head of household name are how many horses, how many bushels of wheat, rye, or corn, how many pounds of butter or cheese, how many tons of dew rotten hemp, and the value of animals slaughtered. Come take a look and see what you can find out about your ancestor.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Helen Gibbard Hall Genealogy and Local History Collection

Since people who walk into my library are often surprised to find that we collect more than just Texas materials for researching family history, I thought I'd take this opportunity to give some idea as to the scope of the collection. We are limited in space and knew we could not be all things to all people so we made the decision to focus on the states that are on the migration trails to Texas. Therefore we collect materials from the following states: Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and New Mexico since half of what is now that state used to be part of Texas. There are a smattering of other regions or states represented due to donations, as well as a small collection of family histories.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

First post - 2010

I am Tracy Luscombe, the genealogy and local history librarian of the McKinney Public Library System. Though this blog shows a contact of jcox that is only because the library's main blog site has the same contact for every blog. However, my real contact information is tluscombe@mckinneytexas.org. I plan to post to this blog weekly as 2010 progresses. This is a new skill for me so there will be a learning curve. Stay tuned - the idea is to bring more information about our genealogy and local history collection to you each week.