Archive for November, 2017

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. My holiday week was fantastic. I spent Saturday, 18 November at the Frisco (TX) 1st Annual Genealogy Expo. I had a wonderful experience. I encourage you to make plans to attend next year’s event.

Prior to my presentation, a gentleman approached me and asked, “Do you remember my wife and I visited you in the basement?” (The Genealogy Center of the Plano Public Library is located in the basement of the W.O. Haggard, Jr. Library.) “She is a FUGATE and may be a cousin.”

With this bit of clarification, I DID remember they visited about two years ago. I told him I had my Fugate Family history book in the car and would be able to retrieve it during our lunch break. After lunch we searched the volume and sure enough, we both share our 4th Great-Grandfather – Colbert Fugate (1759-1819). I gave him my card and encouraged him to contact me so we could share family research.

After my presentation, another gentleman approached and stated, “I also have HUGGANS relatives from West Virginia.” I am grinning from ear to ear. Another possible cousin. I gave him one of my business cards as well and encouraged him to also contact me.

Not a bad start to the holiday week.

On Monday I traveled to New Braunfels, Texas to attend a Thanksgiving family reunion. On Tuesday, I had the pleasure to take my daughter and grandson to visit the Fannin Memorial in Goliad, Texas.

I showed them on the memorial where one of their cousins – William J. Cowan

– was one of the slain Texas Heroes. My grandson was excited to run around and climb the on the cannon.

On Wednesday, I saw my nephew and did not recognize him. (The last time I saw him he was five. He is now in his early 30s.) He asked for a copy of the family history.  I was prepared for such a request.  I told him I would be able to present him a copy tomorrow (Thursday), which I did.  Wednesday evening I was able to share our family history with a few of my nieces.

Did you visit family?  Take pictures? Share memories?

I hope you were able to share family history experiences.  If not, please record your activities for the day or week so your descendants will one day be able to share your story with their family.

The Holiday Season is upon us. Family gatherings are a perfect time to establish and/or share family stories. Please keep a record of your events.  Your descendants will one day be as excited to see / read / view these memories as we are to find those of our ancestors.

Good Hunting!

Read Full Post »

Recently I saw a notice on http://www.familysearch.org “Searching and viewing historical records will soon require you to be logged in with a free Family Search account.” This is one of my five favorite family history research sites.

I have had a free account with them for several years. I encourage everyone who uses the site to sign-up for one. Originally, I did this so that the individual could see the actual document/record. Now there are additional reasons to create an account.

Now when I sign-in, I have several different sections to assist me in my family history research. Recommended Tasks, Recent People, Hints, To-Do List, and pictures or photos that I have recently added are all right there to select. Of course, I may go straight to the Family Tree, Search, or Memories section depending on my initial reason.

I have been able to use these sections to identify ancestors that Family Search suggests MAY be part of my tree. Using their hints/suggestions I am able to identify if they belong to my ancestral tree or not.  I can also see where I left off from my last visit.

Often I use my Family Search site to assist others. Since the Recent People list may contain names of some other family, I appreciate that I can expand the list to see what names on MY family tree I had been viewing.

If you are using http://www.familysearch.org even occasionally, and have not created a free account, I encourage you to create one today.

This site is run by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Some folks have declined creating an account for fear they will be proselyted by representatives of the church.

I have NEVER received any email, telephone or in-person solicitation due to my having a free account. (I did receive one email inviting me to assist in Indexing the 1940 Federal Census.)

The value of actually viewing the records/documents is  well-worth creating a free account.

I invite you to visit the Genealogy Center where we can assist you in creating your free account or in researching your family history.

Good Hunting!


Read Full Post »

Saturday, November 11th, 2017 is Veteran’s Day. For the first time in my life I plan on visiting the National Cemetery ON Veteran’s Day.

During my early years of family history, I requested my 4th Great-Grandfather’s Revolutionary War record. I have since, found a picture of his grave on http://www.findagrave.com.

During my research I have been successful in finding several relatives who have served in conflicts throughout the settlement, establishment and life of this nation.

I had the privilege and honor to be able to interview my Uncle Bill Coleman

who fought in Europe in World War II.

I was just as honored to receive a letter from Uncle Stan Rush

who served in Italy during World War II.

Perhaps you also have ancestors who served. Seek out your living veterans and allow them to relate their experiences.

Come in and visit the Genealogy Center and we will assist you in seeking out your deceased veteran ancestors.

Good Hunting!

Read Full Post »

Working in the Genealogy Center is fantastic on regular days. But, every once in a while, someone comes in and makes the day truly exceptional.

This morning a patron came in to do some work in a quiet location. As she entered she noticed the genealogy display. From her questions and her accent I could tell she was originally from Europe. As I assisted her, it became clear she was born in Uzbekistan. Her father was killed in the Second World War. Her mother was 36 years old when she was born. Within two years, her mother had a second child.

Throughout the conversation, she described her desire to trace her ancestry for her grandchildren. They are not interested in her history at this time. From time to time I would encourage her to make a record of what she was telling me, so they would have it in the future.

She described life under the U.S.S.R. She was very excited to tell me about the significance of today’s date. 7 Nov 1918, the fall of the Tsar.

Russian history taught by an American high school teacher 40 years ago, came to life, as she described events her mother experienced. She also described life during World War II and after under Soviet control.

Each of us have a personal history. We are all unique in our upbringing, our ancestry, our experiences.

Take the time to record your experiences, feelings, and memories. They are the true treasures we pass on.

It is the stories, as well as the vital statistical information, we seek when we search out our ancestry.

Come in and visit the Genealogy Center. We can assist you in seeking out your ancestry or assist you in recording your life history.

Good Hunting!

Read Full Post »


Today is the anniversary of the founding of the organization that would come to be known as The Daughters of the Republic of Texas.

Here in the Genealogy Center we have several books about members of the organization and their relatives.

Have you discovered ancestors who were residents during the time before, during or after Texas Independence?

Here in the Genealogy Center I discovered a relative killed at Goliad.  I had no idea that my family tree extended to the Texas Revolution.

Come in and allow us to assist you in your family history research. You may also discover a Texas relative.

Good Hunting!

Read Full Post »

It is now November. The beginning of end of year holidays.

November and December are loaded with various holidays that encourage family gatherings.

Perhaps you will be a part of a historic family moment.

In 1974 I had the privilege to attend my great-grandfather’s 100th birthday celebration. Will R. Coleman was born in November of 1874.

U.S. Grant was President of the United States.

I was able to ask Grandpa, “Who was the first President you voted for?” His response, “Teddy Roosevelt.”

I was amazed. When I thought about it, I realized I had asked the wrong question.

“In which Presidential Election did you first vote?”


He voted for William Jennings Bryan. Bryan did not win the election.

Grandpa had answered my first question correctly. The first PRESIDENT he voted for was Theodore Roosevelt.  His first vote was cast for a gentleman who lost the election.

Grandpa’s father Reuben Coleman was born in 1843 when John Tyler was President of the United States.

Texas was still an independent republic.

Grandpa Will’s birthday celebration included stories and memories that spanned 131 years.

Later this month our family is planning a get-together.  I hope (and our plan) is to have four generations present – my father with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His memories include his grandfather, Robert M. Fugate, (1863-1950).

So our reunion, with memories, could possibly span 154 years.

Photos will be taken. Family stories will be shared. Memories will be made.

As you gather with your families this year, take photographs, record the stories (video or audio or at least write them down) for your posterity.

Come visit the Genealogy Center where we can assist you with planning a family reunion, identifying questions to ask relatives/ancestors or recording oral histories.

Who knows, you may find clues to long sought-after ancestors.

Good Hunting!

Read Full Post »