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Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

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!

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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!

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https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/vnd03

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!

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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?”

1896.

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!

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The 3rd Sunday in October, the Smiley Family Reunion – Wheeling, Missouri.

On Friday I left home in Texas, drove through Oklahoma and up to northern Missouri. The drive took a little over 11 hours, but the weather and picturesque views made the trip very enjoyable.

My plan was to visit cemeteries on Saturday prior to the reunion on Sunday afternoon. The forecast for Saturday was not what I had hoped – overcast, clouds and rain.

I stayed in Livingston County and planned on visiting the cemeteries in Putnam County, Missouri. (What’s another hour drive if you traveled 11 the day before.) I sought out the Putnam County Library in Unionville to verify the locations of the cemeteries I would visit. Since the library is open from 9-12 on Saturday that would give me the afternoon to walk the cemeteries.

Best Laid Plans.

By the time I reached Unionville the rain had started. However, inside the library it was dry and I found a gold mine of family information. The library has three (3) volumes on cemeteries in Putnam County. (I was able to purchase one volume.) I was elated to find all three volumes contain photographs of the headstones in each cemetery.

As I departed the library the rain was just a mist, light enough to still walk the cemeteries. I headed out. By the time I reached the first cemetery, having turned off the paved highway and traveled two (2) different dirt roads, the rain had increased to thunderstorms with lightening. I opted to forego the cemeteries and return to my motel room. The remainder of Saturday saw increased rain, thunderstorms and lightening throughout northern Missouri.

Sunday was beautiful! Light clouds and lots of sunshine.

The reunion was a gathering of 18 descendants from 3 of John A. and Nancy C. Smiley’s 13 children.

The BEST part of the gathering was the stories shared. My favorite story was about Amber Vanbuskirk. Amber was a granddaughter of John and Nancy Smiley.  She raised turkeys. In the area covered with corn, wheat, and soy beans, Amber was known for her turkeys.

My weekend was a success. I returned home with a volume of cemetery photographs and records. I have anecdotes of family members who were previously only names on a page. I also have new and renewed associations with cousins.

I encourage you to make the time, and attend a family reunion when the opportunity arrives. The associations, information and stories are priceless.

Good Hunting!

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The Chillicothe Constitution Tribune (Chillicothe,Missouri) reported  – 14 Sep 1932 – on the SIXTH annual Smiley Family Reunion. The story reported 89 in attendance. On that date the reunion was in held at Lemon, Missouri.

On 15 Oct 2017 The Smiley Reunion will be held in Wheeling, Missouri, just east of Chillicothe. (It has been held in Wheeling for over 50 years now.)

This reunion is a gathering of descendants of John Andrew Smiley ( 1819-1895) and Nancy Ann Cornelius (1820-1905).

With modern technology, I have been able to connect to at least 14 relatives via DNA testing with Ancestry.com / ftdna.com / 23andme.com & myheritage.com.

However, the largest group by far, are my “Facebook Friends.”

I look forward to seeing relations I have known for some time, and meeting relatives I may only know through social media. The biggest treat will be the additional family stories I hope to hear and record.

It is the family stories, passed down from generation to generation, that draw us closer to our ancestors and each other.

John and Nancy had a family of 14 children. 12 children lived long enough to marry and have children of their own.

It will be interesting to see how many of the 12 children will be represented by their descendants.

October is Family History month.  Reach out to your relations, share stories of your ancestors and then pass these on to your family.

Have a great time

With modern technology, I have been able to connect to at least 14 relatives via DNA testing with Ancestry.com / ftdna.com / 23andme.com & myheritage.com.

However, the largest group by far, are my “Facebook Friends.”

I look forward to seeing relations I have known for some time, and meeting relatives I may only know through social media. The biggest treat will be the additional family stories I hope to hear and record.

It is the family stories, passed down from generation to generation, that draw us closer to our ancestors and each other.

John and Nancy had a family of 14 children. 12 children lived long enough to marry and have children of their own.

It will be interesting to see how many of the 12 children will be represented by their descendants.

October is Family History month.  Reach out to your relations, share stories of your ancestors and then pass these on to your family.

Good Hunting!

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DNA Interest Group

REMINDER – The FIRST WEDNESDAY of each month through December, we hold the DNA Interest Group at the Genealogy Center.  The group meets from 6:30 pm –  7:30 pm in the Genealogy Conference Room. (Located in the basement.)

The Genealogy Center is in the W.O. Haggard, Jr. Library

2501 Coit Road

Plano, Texas   75075

The event is open to everyone interested in DNA Genealogy.

Hope to see you there.

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