Notes from the past…


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A little volunteer work

I have a busy week ahead. I am a volunteer for Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness, RAOGK, which is an organization whose members volunteer to do genealogical records look-ups, take cemetery photos, anything genealogical basically for people who live too far away or are unable to go to those sites to obtain the information for themselves. My kindness is to do cemetery look-ups and take digital photos of headstones in Tarrant and Hill counties. A couple of days ago, I got a request to try to find the cemeteries where a couple of people are buried, and then the very next day I got a request to go to a known cemetery and take photos of some headstones for a person in California. This is exciting! I have been a volunteer for some time now, but usually only get a request every 3-4 months. Now I have 2 requests in 2 days! So, on Wednesday, I will get up early and head to Hill County. I also met online another volunteer for Hill County in the process of these two requests, so, if time permits, I may stop by and meet her personally! A very busy day, indeed!
I have finished transcribing the Limestone County marriage records. I just want to go over them one more time to make sure they are as correct as I can get them, then get them emailed back to the program coordinator. I may have to mail them snail-mail, as I don’t know if my ISP can handle such a large file. I’ll find out soon enough! I had intended to get that task done on Friday, but I ended up caring for my ailing granddaughter who was home sick from school instead. Gotta do that Grammaw thing, ya know!


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Something from Footnote.com

I have been watching Footnote.com for some time now. This site had oodles of historical documents and genealogy material. And the fee for a 1-yr membership is very reasonable at $59.95. However, I have never found anything about any of my individual ancestors…never, until tonight.
For the past few months, Footnote has been slowly adding Texas Death Certificates, 1890-1976, currently at 4% complete, and Texas Birth Certificates, 1903-1910, 1929-1929, now 20% complete. 2-3 times per month I do a quick little search, to see if any of my people have been added. And anyone who as ever attempted to secure either of these types of documents from the state or county knows that it can take several weeks to months, cost considerably more than $1.95, and there’s certainly no guarantee that you will get the correct certificate! I sent off for my grandfather’s birth certificate from the state health dept in Austin and got the birth certificate for another man in another county!
Well, this evening, I did a bit of scouting around and found the birth certificate of a deceased great-aunt, Hattie Lee Stanley! I immediately ordered a copy for $1.95 using my credit card, and in just a few minutes was rewarded with both a downloaded image and a printed copy.
I am very excited about these two databases, because I have a big bunch of ancestors who were born or died in Texas within these time periods! So, I will continue to monitor this site, and as more documents become available, I will certainly join up for the 1-year membership. I’m hoping that within a year, these databases will be complete. What a feast it will be!


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A great day for research!

I had a very productive genealogy day yesterday. It started out with a trip to the main library downtown. There I photocopied several articles about ancestors from San Saba County and also verified some info about my great-grandparents who are buried in a historic Fort Worth cemetery. None of this was really new, but I did get complete source information on all of these finds, which I didn’t have with the info I had previously collected. Document, document, document! I highly recommend using a digital camera with a “macro” setting for photocopying, if you have one. I had previously asked for permission and received it, as long as I didn’t use the flash. There is plenty of light in most libraries, anyway! A digital camera is a major money-saver, but also a major time-saver, as well. When I found something I wanted to save, I just snapped the photo right then and there, rather than having to drag everything to the nearest copy machine. Plus, some of the older books are too fragile to be placed in a copy machine.
The main library does not have a copy of the 3rd volume of the Tarrant County, Texas Marriage Records, 1880-1900. According to the 1890 Census Reconstruction- Tarrant County, Texas, Volume 3 contains the record of my great-great grandparents’ wedding. So, I’ll have to try to find it elsewhere.
Then, when I got home from the library, the $14.95 Family Tree Maker 16 Collector’s Edition set had arrived in the mail. For a total of about $20 (shipping) I now have a full year’s subscription to the U. S. Records set at Ancestry.com (usually $155), the program cd ($30), the GenSmarts program cd ($35), the official guide book to FTM ($20), a cd containing images of US history, and another containing the complete texts of many Ancestry books including The Source and The Red Book ($??)!!!
By the way, I checked the website where I bought this software, and the price of this whole package has now gone up to $29.95, but that’s still a great deal!
I had ordered this software package to get the Ancestry subscription, as I am already using Family Tree Maker 16 as my genealogy program. But I must admit I was skeptical. That’s a lot of stuff for $14.95, but it was a small risk to take. But when I got the software and got it all set up and registered, well…Guess what, folks? This is the real deal!!! I now have the full year’s subscription to Ancestry, no strings attached! I am thrilled!
They have added a few more Texas databases since I last had a subscription, and last night I found the death records for my 3rd great-grandmother! I know where this lady is buried, and the headstone says 1918, but I haven’t been able to find the exact when & where’s, as the cemetery doesn’t have records that far back. Another brick wall crumbles!
Oh, and then last night, as I was writing this week’s post for my Free Genealogy Site Saturday blog, I found a very good biography of my great-granduncle, an Austin, TX physician in the late 19th-early 20th century. I was just checking out this site a bit more thoroughly for the blog entry, and there was the bio! It listed the maiden names of his 2 wives, which I hadn’t been able to find! Yummy!
What a great day for research!