Have you ever seen a youngster selling newspapers on the corner? How about on stage, or television or in the movies? Newspaper headlines are designed to grab our attention.

Newspapers can provide valuable information. For anyone researching family trees that information is rarely on the front page. Inside the front page (and most likely deeper into the newspaper) gold nuggets of family information can be found.

Perhaps your relative/ancestor was known by a nickname instead of their birth name. (Mary Jane was “Minnie” or William was “Bubba.”) You might discover a previously unknown marriage or family member or an entire branch!

Not every town in the U.S. has a newspaper, but normally there was at least one in a county. You may find that your location HAD a newspaper at one time. That newspaper would contain articles about local events, people and any major news of the day. It often would include articles on what local residents and/or their relatives were doing or involved in.

The family group sheets based on your pedigree chart become essential as you search through the articles. You never know when you might find a “lost” uncle who, while moving, stopped in at a relative’s on the way to his new location. (And you thought he just fell off the earth!) The articles might provide your aunt’s married named or her previously unknown service in the F.B.I. The society column or “around town” section could give you ages (she just turned sixteen, he was drafted four days after his 18th birthday), relationships or other family information and perhaps even previously unknown destinations.

Your 2nd cousin may have lived in Scotland County, Missouri and visited relatives in Montgomery County, Maryland. Perhaps a grandson and his new bride stopped in to visit with the grandparents in North Carolina prior to being sent overseas in the military. Your grandfather had a brother who was born and died days later. Discover whole related families that you were previously unaware.

Genealogybank.com, Newspapers.com, Familysearch.org and other sites such as Fold3.com and Myheritage.com are adding newspapers or obituaries all of the time. These are all good sites, but not if they don’t have YOUR area of interest.

Come down to the Genealogy Center. We have bound volumes of newspapers and newspaper abstracts from locations throughout the United States. And don’t forget the historical society quarterlies and journals. Each month we list all of the new volumes that have arrived. They are a great source for old newspaper articles. Browse our collection. Take your time.

In August Cheryl Smith will present a class, here in the Genealogy Center  – Obituaries, Society Columns, & News – How to locate & use newspapers to find your family.

You may find that one newspaper article that knocks down the brick wall and opens up a whole new ancestral line.

Good Hunting!

Maps! Maps! Maps!

The Genealogy Center recently bought every map/item from the Texas General Land Office that mentioned Collin County.  So far, we have added 42 items with about 20 more to come.  We have nine maps that pertain to Collin County as a whole map from 1851, 1862, 1879, 1916, and 1975.  Two of the maps are highway maps from 1936 and 1959.

We received a map of Fannin County for 1845.  You have to search a little but you can figure out where Collin County was carved from Fannin County.  There’s a Bird’s eye view of McKinney, County seat from 1876.  We also received a large map of the Trinity River with several maps of the branches of the River.  There’s a map of the Houston & Texas Central RR from Dallas, Dallas County, to McKinney, Collin County.

The fun bits of information we have are the “Working Sketch of Surveys of Collin County”.  There are quite a few.  We also received “Collin County Boundary Files”.  All of these are partly maps or surveys and the letters or descriptions about the surveys of land in Collin County.  We decided to put them in the map cases because the TGLO printed them on large card stock paper.

Come in to see what we have.  The map case has moved. It is across from the Microfilm machines.

I was searching for my Uncle Jefferson Davis Fugate’s death certificate or similar document. I knew he was born in Schuyler county, Missouri and died in Nebraska. So I started searching the Nebraska records.

I was bouncing back and forth between Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, and Google.com looking for any leads. I find a list of newspaper articles. One caught my attention.


I click on the link and:

Fugate, Cpl. Robert T. - The_Lincoln_Star_Thu__Mar_25__1943_

I now shifted gears and sought any information I could find on Robert Fugate. I found several newspaper articles on Robert both during the war and after.

Cpl. Robert T. Fugate was a marine stationed with the “Old Fourth” in Shanghai and then stationed on Corregidor. He was one of those captured in May 1942 when Corregidor fell to the Japanese. He was held captive on Corregidor until November 1942 when he was transferred to Osaka, Japan. He was a prisoner-of-war for 39 months.
Cpl. Fugate Released - Lincoln_Evening_Journal_Mon__Oct_15__1945_
Upon release, his commanding officer told him only 302 of the original 1700 Marines of the “Old Fourth” survived “and number of those are in critical condition.”

Robert T. Fugate stayed in the Marines and was married in 1947:

Fugate - Bailey Marriage photo - The_Lincoln_Star_Mon__Feb_10__1947_

Sgt. Robert Fugate died in 1993.

On http://www.findagrave.com I found out he is buried in Arlington National Cemetery – Plot: Columbarium 3 Section EE Stack 17 Niche 2


The Plano Public Library System has several databases that can assist you in finding relatives on your Family Tree.

Ancestry.com Library Edition, Fold3.com, HeritageQuest.com are all available in the Genealogy Center and at any of the five libraries in the Plano library system. Fold3.com (with a Plano Library card) and HeritageQuest.com (with a TEXSHARE card) are available both in the library and at home. FamilySearch.org and Findagrave.com are very helpful online sites and our staff can assist you in finding other sites that fit your particular area of research.

Come in to the Genealogy Center, use our resources – books, computers, and staff. Perhaps you can find the death certificate, obituary or stumble upon a “Hero” in your family tree.

Good Hunting!

Summer Classes

Genealogy Center is hosting a class — Using DAR Records: How to use DAR records for DAR membership & genealogical research on Thursday, Jul 9 – 9:30-11am with guest speaker, Julie Avedikian.

On August 5, 9:30-11am we will provide a class — Obituaries, Society Columns, & News: How to locate & use newspapers to find your family.

Join the Legacy Users Group for information sharing, research tips, webinars, and one-on-one help — Tuesdays – Jun 23, Jul 28, Aug 25 1:30-5pm

SAVE THE DATE — OCTOBER 16!  Be sure to mark your calendars for our annual Genealogy Lock-In on the third Friday of October.  It will be from 12pm – 11pm. We will have ongoing webinars, classes, and one-on-one assistance.

Today is Flag Day. The anniversary of Congress adopting the Stars and Stripes and the National Flag.

I encourage you to celebrate this day by flying the flag and remembering those who served and sacrificed for this nation.

Old Glory with 50 Stars: Vietnam, Desert Storm I & II and more recent.

Memorial Day Flags

Old Glory with 48 stars: World War I, World War II and Korea

48 Star Flag

Civil War 33 Star Flag (President Lincoln did not allow the removal of stars for seceded states.)

33 Star Flag

The 15 Star 15 Stripe Flag: The War of 1812 (This flew over Fort McHenry as The Star Spangled Banner was being written.)


The 13 Star Flag (adopted on 14 June 1777 and flew at the British surrender of Yorktown to General Washington in 1783.)


The Betsy Ross Flag – (May 1776) (This flag flew over the Continental Army Camp at Valley Forge the winter of 1776-1777.)

Betsy Ross Flag

The Grand Union Flag – 1775 (Flown by Lieutenant John Paul Jones.)

Grand Union

Here at the Genealogy Center we have several books that will assist you seeking out your ancestors who may have served under these various flags. Come in and learn about your ancestors who served and kept the flag flying.

Good Hunting!

Genealogy Center has moved the new books to the front door.  You cannot miss them when you enter.

  • Decorations   United States Army 1862-1926
  • African-American Loyalists in the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution
  • African-American Patriots in the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution
  • Erin’s Blood Royal – The Gaelic Noble Dynasties of Ireland
  • Arizona Territorial Marriages   Graham County 1881-1912 and Greenlee County 1911
  • Alumni Directory – University of Miami (FL)
  • The Georgia Genealogical Magazine Vol. 43-66, 1972-1977, Vol. 71-94, 1979-1984, Vol. 27-37, 39 1987-1998
  • Hardin County, IL Marriage Register 1, May 1884-Dec 1891 Vol. 1
  • Massac County, IL Early Marriage Records 1890-1900 Vol. 3-4
  • Pope County, IL Obits & Tidbits Vol. 2
  • Pope County, IL Chancery Index approximately 1860-1960
  • Pope County, IL County Court Record Book A 1816-1831
  • Cedar Grove Cemetery Inscriptions South Bend, St. Joseph County, IN
  • History of Iberville Parish Louisiana Vol. 1
  • Vital Records of Freedom, Maine Prior to 1892
  • Vital Records of Thorndike, Maine Prior to 1892
  • People of Color – Black Genealogical Records and Abstracts from Missouri Sources Vol. 2
  • Orphan Train Riders Vol. 1-2
  • South Carolina in the Mexican War
  • Slave Records of Edgefield County, SC
  • Greenwood County, SC Cemetery Records Vol. 1-3
  • Spartanburg County, SC Cemetery Survey Vol. 2 – 3
  • Coffee County (TN) Then and Now 1983
  • Holt and the Cowboys (TX)
  • Texas Telephone Co. 1951 Telephone Directory: Plano, Texas
  • Reflections: Sharing Sherman and Grayson County’s (TX) Past Vol. 1-2
  • Lamar County, TX in the Civil War
  • Footprints (Tarrant County, TX) 1990-1991, 1993, 1998 Vol. 33-34, 36, 41
  • Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence Volume 2, New York State 2nd edition
  • The Ultimate Search Book
  • House Histories – A Guide to Tracing the Genealogy of Your Home
  • Central Colonies Chronicle: The Freemen, The Servants, and the Government, 1722-1732
  • National Genealogical Society Quarterly Vol. 101, 2013
  • The New England Historical and Genealogical Register Vol. 157, 2003
  • The Southern Genealogist’s Exchange Quarterly Vol. IX, 1968
  • Finding Your African American Ancestors – A Beginner’s Guide
  • African American Genealogy – A Bibliography and Guide to Sources
  • The German-American Experience
  • Encyclopedia of Historic Forts – The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States
  • Army Service Records of the First World War (GBR)
  • The Black Watch (GBR) – A Record of the Historic Regiment
  • Genealogical Guide to Tracing Ancestors in Germany
  • Researching in Germany – A Handbook for Your Visit to the Homeland of Your Ancestors
  • Palatine (GER) Mennonite Census Lists, 1644-1793
  • The Amish-Mennonites of Waldeck and Wittgenstein (GER)
  • Directory of Irish Archives
  • Tracing Your Irish Ancestors
  • Researching Armagh Ancestors – A Practical Guide for the Family and Local Historian
  • Defenders of the Plantation of Ulster 1641-1691
  • Sketch Pedigrees of some of the Early Settlers in Jamaica
  • Los Archivos Municipales de Aguascalientes
  • Barbour County, AL Marriage Licenses 1838-1930
  • Greene County (AR) Historical and Genealogical Society Vol. 27, 2014
  • The Saline (AR) Vol. 29, 2014
  • Images of America – Tracy (CA)
  • Connecticut’s Black Soldiers 1775-1783
  • The Connecticut Nutmegger Vol. 46, 2013-2014
  • The Moravians in Georgia 1735-1740
  • Cities, Towns, and Communities of Georgia, 1847-1962
  • Georgia Genealogical Magazine Vol. 25-26, 1985-1986
  • Georgia Genealogical Society Quarterly Vol. 50, 2014
  • Hawaiian Genealogies Vol. 2
  • Central Illinois Genealogical Quarterly Vol. 39, 2003 & Vol. 41, 2005
  • Moultrie County (IL) Heritage Vol. 11-13, 1983-1985
  • Early Indiana Trails and Surveys
  • Hardin County, KY Marriage Records 1813-1850
  • Hardin County, KY Will Books A – E, 1793 – 1866
  • Diocese of Baton Rouge Catholic Church Records Vol. 19, 1892-1894
  • New Orleans (LA) Genesis Vol. 52, 2014
  • Vital Records of Madrid and Eustis, Maine
  • Vital Records of Franklin, Maine
  • Vital Records of Sedgwick, Maine
  • Vital Records of Lee, Maine
  • Anne’s Annapolis (MD) History and Times
  • Baltimore County, MD Marriage Licenses May 1, 1798 – April 28, 1832
  • Baltimore County, MD Trader and Ordinary Licenses 1830 – 1832
  • New England Chronicle (MA) – News of New England from January 1722 – December 1731
  • A Fine Place For a City – Titus Bronson and the founding of Kalamazoo (MI)
  • Missouri Historical Review Vol. 97, 2002-2003
  • Ohio Photographers 1839-1900
  • Abstracts of Post Returns for Fort Sill, Indian Territory (originally Camp Wichita) March 1869 – March 1875
  • Whites in Skullyville County, Choctaw Nation: Permit Register 1889 – February 19, 1905; Choctaw Vol. 222
  • A Guide to South Carolina Genealogical Research and Records
  • Ansearchin’ News – The Tennessee Genealogical Magazine Vol. 61, 2014
  • Giles County (TN) Lineage Book
  • The Texas Longhorn – Relic of the Past, Asset for the Future
  • New England to TEXAS Some Family Histories
  • “Curly Bill” Horse Thief, Cattle Dealer, Murderer, Lawman: 1858-1909
  • Famous Texas Feuds
  • Hogar de Dallas Tenth Anniversary Hispanos Journal Vol.10, 2007
  • Historical Accounts of Industry, Texas 1831-1936
  • The Explorer – Texana/Genealogy Dept. San Antonio (TX) Public Library Vol. 18-19, 2012-2013
  • Images of America – Cherokee County (TX)
  • Tree Talk (TX) Vol. 39, 2013
  • Gone To Texas – Quilts from a Pioneer Woman’s Journal
  • Lizzie’s Legacy: More Quilts from a Pioneer Woman’s Journal
  • Scrapbook of Traditions, Annals, and History: Collin County (TX) from 1846-1880 – The George Pearis Brown Papers
  • Collin (TX) Chronicles Vol. 34, 2013-2014
  • Family Footsteps – Comal (TX) Genealogy Society Vol. 28-29, 2011-2012
  • Images of America – Ennis (TX)
  • Galveston (TX) – A History
  • Cemetery Records of Henderson County, TX Vol. 2
  • Hopkins County (TX) Heritage Vol. 31, 2014
  • Kaufman County, Texas Death Notices 1851-1908 Vol. 1-3
  • Waco, Texas – A Postcard Journey
  • The Book of Nacogdoches County – July 1, 1927
  • Trails West (TX) Vol. 5-11, 1974-81 & Vol. 29-31, 1998-2001
  • Images of America – Tyler (TX)
  • Fort Worth and Tarrant County – An Historical Guide
  • Images of America – Huntsville (TX)
  • Images of America – Wood County (TX)
  • Will and Estate Records in the Virginia State Library: A Researcher’s Guide
  • White Servitude in the Colony of Virginia
  • Magazine of Virginia Genealogy Vol. 51-52, 2013-2014
  • Essex County, VA Marriage References and Family Relationships 1626 – 1800
  • Marriage Bonds of Franklin County, VA 1786 – 1858
  • King George County, VA Marriage References and Family Relationships 1721 – 1800
  • Richmond County, VA Order Book Abstracts 1734-1736,
  • Men of Mark – Officials of Stafford County, Virginia 1664-1991
  • Westmoreland County, VA Marriage References and Family Relationships 1653 – 1800
  • History of Stowe (VT) to 1869
  • Book of Albrittons 1609-1979
  • Johnson Gleanings Vol. 1, 1976
  • MX World Vol. 28, 2013-2014

One of the early settlers in Collin County, Texas is John Madison Salmons. He was born in Illinois in 1824, sold land in Illinois in 1846 and moved to Texas.

Collin County, Texas was created from Fannin County in 1846. J.M. Salmons paid taxes for owning land in Collin County, Texas in 1846 and 1847.

He married Sarah Ann Beck, daughter of Sanford Beck another of the early settlers of Collin County. John and Sarah had 13 children. Two died as infants and one daughter died as a teen. From his 10 children John lived to see nine grandchildren born and one die.

John M. Salmons was elected a Collin County Commissioner in 1850 and appointed a County Commissioner again in 1877.

During the Civil War John M. Salmons served in Company D, Stones Regiment, 2nd Texas Partisan Rangers. In July of 1863 he resigned his commission as a 3rd Lieutenant due to medical conditions. The final approval of his medical discharge was signed by Lieutenant General E. Kirby Smith, C.S.A.

John Madison Salmons died on 4 February 1879. He is buried with his wife and several children and their families in the Murphy Cemetery, Collin County, Texas.

Salmons, J.M. headstone

During John M. Salmons life here in Texas, he lived to see and help Collin County grow. He witnessed how the county suffered through the Civil War. He was part of the post-war recovery. He saw the establishment of the towns of Sache, Parker, Decatur (later named Murphy), and Plano.

Let us show you Plano, Texas The Early Years, A History of Collin County, Texas, and Collin County, Texas Families here at the Genealogy Center. These books along with other Texas and Collin County records and materials tell the story of John Madison Salmons and his family, as well as other Collin County pioneer families.

Perhaps your ancestors were pioneers here in North Texas or in other parts of the country.

Come in and search for your ancestors.

Good Hunting!


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