During both the California Gold Rush and the Alaska Gold Rush, miners were continually searching for the gold nugget or big strike.

Genealogists and family historians are not unlike those gold miners of old. We seek after nuggets of clues seeking for the gold mine of family information that adds to our tree. In some cases this information breaks down previous brick walls.

I was continuing my search for the marriage document of my 3rd Great-grandparents – William Robbins and Agnes Sloan – from Pennsylvania. I entered a parent search at http://www.familysearch.org. I found the marriage document of their son Morrison.

The document shows M. Robbins from Pennsylvania with parents Wm Robbins and Agnes Sloan married in June 1876 to Mrs. E. Ranger from London England with parents George Goodman and Frances Chambers.

To verify that I had the correct Morrison Robbins I did a search in http://www.ancestry.com of the 1880 Federal Census.

Sure enough, Morrison Robbins and wife Elizabeth were together as a family.  Morrison was from Pennsylvania and Elizabeth from London.

From a hint at http://www.ancestry.com I found a link to http://www.findagrave.com. A picture of the monument to both Morrison and Elizabeth Robbins follows.

There is verification of Morrison Robbins birth and death dates along with the note carved in stone “A Native of Westmoreland Co., PA.”

On the side of the stone with Elizabeth’s information I found my own “gold strike!”

The information on her stone states Elizabeth Ranger Robbins – born London, England on Dec.24, 1832. She married Richard Ranger Sept. 19, 1850. She married Morrison Robbins June 30, 1876. She died in New Orleans, LA. Feb. 13, 1912.

During my search I found verification of Morrison’s birth date & place and parents (to include mother’s maiden name) and death date. THE GOLD STRIKE was Elizabeth’s birth date & place and parents ( to include HER mother’s maiden name); both of her marriages including full names of husbands and dates of marriage and her death date and place.

I have been researching my family tree for over 30 years. Seldom have I found so much information, including photos of source documents, in such a short period of time. With the resources available today, both in libraries and online, family history gold nuggets and gold strikes are obtained easier and in a shorter period of time than ever before.

If you are searching for the missing clue to break down your brick wall, do not despair. Keep searching. The marriage record that started this search had been added online 8 March 2017. (Only 20 days ago!)

While the photos of the headstones had been added 26 Dec 2012, I was not aware that New Orleans cemeteries was where I should be looking. The 1880 Census has been available either on microfilm or digitally for several years, again I would not have had a reason to look at Jefferson Parish, Louisiana for any Robbins ancestors.

If  the information you seek does not appear in library material or online, check back from time to time. Genealogy and family history materials are being published – in print or online – at an amazing rate. Your information may be available today or in the near future.

Having trouble? Seek out assistance here at the Genealogy Center. We are always glad to assist you in your search.

Good Hunting!


Louise Ernestine Rammers Schimelpfenig was born in Kentucky in 1857. She arrived with her husband Fred Schimelpfenig in Plano in 1878. Louise was involved in many facets of Plano and Collin County. She was president of the Collin County Women’s Christian Temperance Union and secretary of the state organization. She was influential in ridding the town and county of liquor during her life. Collin County voted the largest majority for prohibition of a county in Texas. She was a leader in the Methodist church and was the first organist. She worked to improve the cultural life of Plano. She had the first lending library in her home in Plano. She helped acquire the civic auditorium for Plano. Fred and L. E. R. (how she signed her name) had 8 children. The Schimelpfenig Library is named after her for all her contributions to Plano.
Gladys Bishop Harrington was born in 1901 in Texas. Her mother, Nannie Bishop, was daughter of early pioneer of Plano, Clint Haggard. She moved with her Mother and family to Plano when she was 16. She was a member of the First Christian Church and graduated from Plano High School in 1919. She married Fred Harrington instead of going off to TCU. She had 2 sons. When her husband died in 1948 she moved into town and began to be involved in Plano. She worked with Federation of Church Women to collect donated books and open a library for the community. Donations and volunteers helped keep the library open. In 1965 the library had a permanent place on 18th Street named after Gladys Harrington. After the library was established she traveled. She became involved in politics and supported her son, Connor with the Collin County Republican Party. She could play the mandolin and piano. Her love of music helped her to be involved with the Plano Symphony Orchestra and the Young Artist Competition. She was involved in many clubs and organizations in Plano and Collin County. She lived to be 103.
To read more about these ladies see “Plano, Texas the Early Years.”


From the History of the Thursday Study Club, 1914-1984, we can learn what this club did for Plano. “In 1914, a group of young women, realizing the need for intellectual growth and aesthetic development, met in the home of Miss Vivian Gulledge and organized the first literary club in Plano. They named it The Thursday Study Club. They were all educated young ladies, and they wanted to keep informed.” They also organized a Junior Thursday Study Club for their daughters and friends in high school. They continuously functioned except for a short time during WWII – October 1944 to April 1945. They disbanded for that time to help the Red Cross and serve as Aides in the hospital. During 1942 they helped to make 529 garments, 400-500 knitted sweaters and other articles of clothing, gathered 114 lbs of rayon and nylon hose, 40 tons of scrap medal, and make surgical dressings for the Red Cross.
Some of the Club’s major projects have been to help clean and replant at Old Plano Cemetery; Contribute $100 to the Haggard Park; Contribute $100 to TFWC Club House; Gave $100 to Plano Youth Center; Gave $100 to the Public Library; Gave books to the Plano High School and Public Libraries; and so much more. The Club had their final meeting on May 9, 2002. They contributed their minutes, yearbooks, and other materials to the Genealogy Center of the Plano Public Library System. The items are available to view at the Collin County Images online.
Many women’s groups have been established in Plano throughout its history. Many groups were centered around the churches. There were social groups such as the ’05 Club which met for a study hour and an hour of recreation; the Mothers’ Club which led to Parent Teacher Association; Book clubs; Priscilla Club for fancy needlework and social activities; a Girls Knitting Club; the Bethany Canning Club; the Bridge Club; Order of the Eastern Star; Rejebian Book Club; Plano Garden Club; and the list goes on.


  • Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Indiana
  • Atlas of Rush County, IN to which are added various general maps, History, Statistics and Illustrations
  • Recording Oral History – A Guide for the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Transatlantic Voyages 1600-1699
  • Great Ranches of the United States
  • Directory of Scottish Settlers in North America 1625-1825 Vol. II – VII
  • The Original Scots Colonists of Early America – Supplement 1607-1707
  • The Original Scots Colonists of Early America – Caribbean Supplement 1611-1707
  • More Scottish Settlers 1667-1827
  • Scots in New England 1623-1873
  • Scots in the Chesapeake 1621-1776
  • Scots in the American West 1783-1883
  • Understanding Revolutionary War and invalid Pension Ledgers 1818-1872 and the Pension Payment Vouchers They Represent
  • Barbados and Scotland Links 1627-1877
  • Cuban Census Records of the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries – Censos, Padrones y Matriculas de la Poblacion de Cuba Siglos 16, 17 y 18
  • Images of Our Past – Historic Baddeck (Nova Scotia)
  • Trace Your German Roots Online – A Complete Guide to German Genealogy Websites
  • American Vital Records from the Gentleman’s Magazine (GBR-ENG) 1731-1868
  • American Data from the Aberdeen Journal, 1748-1783
  • Directory of Scots Banished to the American Plantations 1650-1775
  • Scots Episcopalians at Home and Abroad 1689-1800
  • Scots-Scandanavian Links in Europe and America, 1550-1850
  • Scottish-American Heirs 1683-1883
  • Scottish-American Wills 1650-1900
  • Scottish Transatlantic Merchants, 1611-1785
  • Scottish Maritime Records, 1600-1850 – A Guide for Family Historians
  • Scottish Highlanders On The Eve of the Great Migration 1725-1775
  • The Jacobites of Angus 1689-1746
  • The People of the Scottish Borders, 1650-1800
  • Scottish Highlanders on the Eve of the Great Migration 1725-1775 The People of the Northern Isles
  • Scottish Highlanders on the Eve of the Great Migration 1725-1775 The People of the Northern Highlands
  • Scottish Highlanders on the Eve of the Great Migration 1725-1775 The People of Argyll Vol. 1 & 2
  • Scottish Highlanders on the Eve of the Great Migration 1725-1775 The People of Inverness-Shire Vol. 1 & 2
  • Scotland During the Plantation of Ulster – The People of Renfrewshire 1600-1699
  • Scotland During the Plantation of Ulster – The Peope of Lanarkshire 1600-1699
  • Scotland During the Plantation of Ulster – The People of Ayrshire 1600-1699
  • The People of the Scottish Burghs – A Genealogical Source Book – The People of Dumfries 1600-1699
  • Scotland During the Plantation of Ulster – The People of Dumfries and Galloway 1600-1699
  • Scots in the West Indies 1707-1857 Vol. I & II
  • The Place Names of County Derry (IRL)
  • The People of Derry City (IRL) 1921 – Extracted from the Derry Almanac and Directory
  • The People of Dublin (IRL) 1600-1799
  • Arizona Name Lists 1684-2003 with a selection of National Name Lists 1600s – Present
  • Arkansas Name Lists 1686-2005 with a selection of National Name Lists 1600s – Present
  • California Name Lists 1700-2011 with a selection of National Name Lists 1600s – Present
  • Connecticut Name Lists 1600s-2001 with a selection of National Name Lists 1600s – Present
  • History of Ancient Woodbury, Connecticut, from The First Indian Deed in 1659 to 1854, including the Present Towns of Washington, Southbury, Bethem, Roxbury, and a part of Oxford and Middleburg.
  • Delaware Name Lists 1609-1992 with a selection of National Name Lists 1600s – Present
  • District of Columbia Name Lists 1600-1997 with a selection of National Name Lists 1600s – Present
  • Florida Name Lists 1759-2009 with a selection of National Name Lists 1600s – Present
  • Confederate Records from the Elbert County, GA Court of Ordinary 1890-1932
  • It’s a Wonderfully Lovely Place: Jekyll Island (GA) as Seen through Kate Brown’s Fresh Eyes – The Letters of Kate Brown February – March, 1917
  • Idaho Name Lists 1860s-2011 with a selection of National Name Lists 1600s – Present
  • Illinois Name Lists 1678-2009 with a selection of National Name Lists 1600s – Present
  • Yates Phalanx – The History of the Thirty-Ninth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Veteran Infantry in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865
  • Indiana Name Lists Published and Online Censuses & Substitutes 1783-2007 with a selection of National Name Lists 1600s – Present
  • Deaths – Kosciusko County, IN 1912-1926
  • Kosciusko County, IN – Applications for Marriage – An Index of Applicants giving Parent’s Names and Date of Marriage Nov. 1881 – 1903
  • Applications for Marriage and Divorces Granted 1903-1912 Kosciusko County, IN
  • Delayed Birth Records Kosciusko County, IN records recorded during the period from June 14, 1941 to December 5, 1980
  • Index of Marriage Applications kept by County Health Officer Kosciusko County, IN 1923-1948
  • Iowa Name Lists Published and Online Censuses & Substitutes 1733 – 2004 with a selection of National Name Lists 1600s – Present
  • Kansas Name Lists Published and Online Censuses & Substitutes 1854 – 2012 with a selection of National Name Lists 1600s – Present
  • Doniphan County, KS Births May 1898 – Dec. 1910
  • Reno County, KS Early Marriage Records 1872-1913
  • Kentucky Name Lists Published and Online Censuses & Substitutes 1773-2000 with a selection of National Name Lists 1600s – Present
  • Louisiana Name Lists Published and Online Censuses & Substitutes 1679-2001 with a selection of National Name Lists 1600s – Present
  • Maine Name Lists Published and Online Censuses & Substitutes 1623-2012 with a selection of National Name Lists 1600s – Present
  • Maryland Censuses & Substitute Name Lists 1633-2013 with a selection of National Name Lists 1600s – Present
  • Index of Anne Arundel County, MD Death Certificates 1840-1920
  • Abstracts of the Debt Books of the Provincial Land Office of Maryland Dorchester County Vol. I – II
  • Abstracts of the Debt Books of the Provincial Land Office of Maryland Worcester County Vol. I – III
  • Massachusetts Censuses & Substitute Name Lists 1620-2009 with a selection of National Name Lists 1600s – Present
  • The Genealogies and Estates of Charlestown in the County of Middlesex and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1629-1818
  • Michigan Censuses & Substitute Name Lists 1700-2015 with a selection of National Name Lists 1600s – Present
  • “My Cup of Memories” (MS)
  • Leflore County, MS Centennial 1871-1971
  • Cemetery Inscriptions Andrew County (MO) Vol. 1
  • The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record Vols. 114-118, 1983 – 1987
  • New York City Municipal Archives An Authorized Guide for Family Historians
  • Pioneers of Steuben County, NY – Migrations from New England, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, 1722-1790
  • The Heritage of Stokes County, North Carolina
  • Ashtabula County (OH) History Then and Now – A History of the People of the County, By the People of the County.
  • Veteran Burials in the State of Oklahoma Vol. 1 Part 1 & 2
  • A History of Florence City and County and of Portions of the Pee Dee Valley South Carolina
  • Marshall County, TN Will Book Volume A, 1835-1855
  • The Providential History of the State of Texas
  • Scatterlings – Blair, Williams & Turner to Texas – 1858 to 1873
  • The Campaigns of Walker’s Texas Division
  • Cooke County, TX Marriages Vol. 1-3, Dec. 1849 – Apr. 1882
  • Dallas (TX) Stories
  • Strolling Through the Park 100 Years of the Dallas (TX) Park and Recreation Board
  • The Providential History of Carrollton/Farmers Branch (TX)
  • Mason County (TX) World War II Veterans “To Make The World Safe For Democracy”
  • Mason County (TX) Veterans Volume II – Texas War of Independence to World War I, 1835-1920
  • Morris County, TX Cemeteries Vol. 1 & 2
  • Cemeteries of Wood County, Texas Vol. 4
  • Giles County, Virginia Register of Births 1855-1880
  • Soldiers of the French-Indian Wars on Western Waters – Montgomery County, VA Soldiers and Land Grants With Rosters of Various Units
  • The Berry’s of Maryland – An Old Prince George’s County Family
  • Bland County, VA Marriages 1861-1929
  • Marriages in Bland County (VA) 1930-1957
  • Bland County, VA Marriage Book No. 3 Part 1, 1958-1968
  • Bland County, VA Marriage Book No. 3, 1971-1981
  • Bland County, VA Marriage Book No. 4 Part 1 & 2, Jan. 6, 1981 – Jul. 8, 1995
  • Bland County, VA Marriages Book #5, June 17, 1995 – Feb. 3, 2001 In Computer Feb. 3, 2001 – Jan. 6, 2007
  • Stone Bear Witness (Bland County, VA) Vol. 1 & 2
  • Lee County, VA Deed Book No. 1, 1793-1804
  • The Blair Surname – Its Ancient Scottish Origins and the Genealogies of Three Blair Families
  • Blair Family Bible Records
  • Ancestors of the Members of the Present Blair Society for Genealogical Research Vol. 1
  • Pickens Families of the South
  • The Preston Genealogy – Tracing the History of the Family from about 1040, A.D., in Great Britain, in the New England States, and in Virginia, to the Present Time.
  • Ancestral Lines – 232 Families in England, Wales, The Netherlands, Germany, New England, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania
  • Ancestral Lines from New York to Texas – 80 Families in England, France, The Netherlands, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri and the South
  • Ancestral Lines from Maine to North Carolina – 180 Families including Campbell, Plummer, Kyle, Lowell, and McNeill with Medieval and Royal Descents
  • Founders and Patriots of America Index

Mary Alice Terry was born in 1908 in Celina. She passed away at the age of 100 in Celina. She graduated from high school in 1925 and graduated from college with a BA and MA in English, Greek, and science. She first taught at Gunter from 1927-1929 and then for 31 years for Plano High School. She married James Harold Skaggs in 1931. She was a lifetime member of the Church of Christ. She sponsored the Junior Study Club at the high school for 50 years. She was a member of many clubs and organizations – Texas State Teachers Association, Delta Kappa Gamma, General Federation of Women’s Club (Life Member), and Plano Retired Teachers just to name a few. Mrs. Skaggs was the first teacher in PISD to hold a masters’ degree. The Mary Alice Skaggs Elementary School is named after her. In the history of the Thursday Study Club it says “It is her voice, mind, heart, and hand that has lead the high school girls to become leaders in their schools and later in life.” The dedication in the 1967 Planonian (yearbook for Plano High School) she was recognized for her outstanding services, both as a teacher and a sponsor of the Planonian. She gave unselfishly of her time to prepare the annuals. Her collection of the Planonian yearbooks was given to the Genealogy Center of the Plano Public Library System. skaggs

The early women were wives, sisters, mothers, daughters, students, brides, athletes, hog killers, farmers, teachers, historians, and much more. These women led the way for those of us today. Ammie Wilson showed the world a woman could raise sheep and compete in fairs and win. Nannie Haggard could raise a family and work along side her husband. The students in high school were athletic and intelligent. Women had to work on the farms and kill the hogs and prepare for the harsh seasons. They were our teachers and leaders. Mrs. Frances Wells was a historian that provided many of the stories, photographs, and documents of early Plano and Collin County. Throughout the month on Thursday Throwback we will spotlight some of these women.women-of-plano

It is February and the Scottish Society of Dallas (www.scotsindallas.org) has provided a spectacular display in the Genealogy Center.


Not only do we have a wonderful display that includes original Scottish military uniforms and weapons…


We also have new books on Scottish military units including personnel rosters and Scottish military burial memorials and gravesites.

Our collection has recently added over 30 volumes of records from Scotland,


and both Scottish and Scots-Irish immigration records.

Here a the Genealogy Center we have records preceding the Great Migration from areas all over Scotland.  Also in our collection are immigration lists from Scotland to various localities in the Americas – New England, Georgia, and all points between. Volumes regarding Scots moving to Barbados, Jamaica and other locations in the West Indies.

There are volumes of Scottish Episcopalians, Scottish Presbyterians, Scottish burghs and specific regions of Scotland.

Come view the display.

While you are here, seek out your Scottish or Scots-Irish ancestors.

Our staff is always available to assist you in your search.

Good Hunting!