Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

From the Texas State Historical Association:

“On this day in 1917, the United States War Department issued orders mobilizing the Thirty-sixth Infantry Division (known as the “Texas Division” or the “T-Patchers”) at Camp Bowie in Tarrant County.The division, initially composed mostly of Texas National Guard troops, fought in World War I and again in World War II. During the latter conflict, one unit of the division, which became known as the “lost battalion,” was captured at the fall of Java. The men of the battalion spent the war in Japanese prison camps, and many died building the Burma Railroad. When the War Department made national guard units available to the governors of the states in 1946, the Thirty-sixth Division was reactivated. The Thirty-sixth was called to active duty during the Cuban Missile Crisis, but was eliminated by January 1968. In 1946 veterans of the unit founded the Thirty-sixth Division Association.”

On a more LOCAL note – PFC Seymour Todd – Anna, Texas – served in the Texas Division in World War II. He was seriously wounded on 24 January 1944 during the “Battle of the Bloody River” in Italy. He was one of about 20 North Texans killed or wounded during this battle.  Seymour Todd survived the war, returned to Collin County and married Matilie Harper in 1945. Seymour Todd died 8 Dec 1978 in Jacksonville, Texas and is buried in Resthaven Memorial Park of the same city.

Come in and visit the Genealogy Center.  Let us assist you in finding your heroes.

Good Hunting!

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Last Thursday I was privileged to present a class on Military Records Research.

I made two specific points:

1. More and more records are becoming available all of the time. If you don’t see the the records you want online today, wait a week or two and check back.

2. Often, records are being uploaded before they are indexed and so, you may have to “Browse” the collection. Don’t be put off by the 1,000,000 plus images, as they are broken down into searchable segments.

That was Thursday. Saturday was a whole new day.

http://www.Fold3.com announced that they have added nine states to the World War II Draft Registration Cards collection. These nine states – Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming – are no longer in the “Browse” category. They are now indexed and available to be searched without having to “Browse” through a number of images.

Periodically check the “Last Updated” column in http://www.FamilySearch.org, The “Updated” records at http://www.Ancestry.com, and the “New & Updated Collections” at Fold3.com.

This in just in time for the Memorial Day Weekend


Often, from Memorial Day through the 4th of July, various sites offer access to military databases free of charge.

Keep an eye out and take advantage of these offers. You may find military records of previously identified ancestors, or military records of  previously unknown ancestors.

(Remember – with your Plano library card you can access several “pay sites” free of charge YEAR-Round at http://www.planolibrary.org.)

Good Hunting!

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National DNA Day

Today is National DNA Day. This day commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003, and the discovery of DNA’s double helix in 1953.

DNA results help locate distant relatives; break down brick walls, and  expand their family trees.

In some cases family mementos are shared and family ties are strengthen.

Check out the comparison of the different companies at https://isogg.org/wiki/Autosomal_DNA_testing_comparison_chart

Good Hunting!

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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!


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Sometimes reading history books can lead to your finding family history information.

When I was in high school I read a book about the 36th Infantry Division (known as The Texas Division or “T-patchers”) during World War II.


Recently, I was researching a project where I sought out World War II Texas veterans. It turns out the 36th Infantry Division (The Texas Division) which fought in Italy in World War II had several possible relatives.

According to the published roster of the 36th Infantry Division I have located the following soldiers who I am now confirming as distant relatives:

Captain George C. Fugate from Hazelhurst, MS., was Commander of Company C, 1st Battalion, 142nd Infantry. He was killed in action 27 Aug 1944 and is buried in Hazlehurst, MS.

Private First Class George C. Fugate from Waco, TX, served in the Anti-Tank Company, 143d Infantry. He survived the war and died in 1971 and is buried in the Colorado City Cemetery, Colorado City, TX.

Private Robert L. Fugate, served in Company F, 141st Infantry.

Sergeant Russell E. Cowan from Horseheads, NY., served in Company B, 141st Infantry. He was killed in action May 29, 1944 and is buried in the Sicily-Rome-American Cemetery and Memorial.

Private Cecil C. Cowan from Vernon, TX., served in the Medical Detachment, 142nd Infantry survived the war, died in 1967 and is buried in Crestview Memorial Park, Wichita Falls, TX.

Private First Class Arthur Cowan from Cleveland, OH., served in Company F, 142nd Infantry.

Private First Class Burton M. Cowan from Deckerville, MI., served in the Service Battery, 155th Field Artillery Battalion survived the war, died in 1979 and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Sanilac County, MI.

Pvt. Carlton R. Cowan from Wichita Falls, TX., served in Company C, 111th Engineer Combat Battalion survived the war, died in 200 and is buried in Maple Springs Cemetery, Camp County, TX.

Quick searches using my Plano library card to access http://www.fold3.com  and then browsing http://www.findagrave.com, resulted in additional information.

I am now able to expand my search for other possible relatives – Fulton, Faucett, Huggans, Fryrear and others who may have served in the 36th Division.

Sometimes, reading history books, can give you a better understanding of the time, the place, the environment and activities of ancestors.  In my case, I have a better idea of where these men served and when they were in Italy during World War II. I can now research unit reunion websites and other unit information.

In each case, I am expanding my family tree, finding previously unknown relatives and getting connected with present-day living cousins.

Expand your reading and you may also be successful in expanding your family tree.

Good Hunting!

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75 Years Ago – December 7th, 1941, a quiet Sunday morning in Hawaii.


Seaman First Class Raymond Clifford Tennell was born 18 September 1922 in Plano, Texas and had graduated from Plano High School. He enlisted in the US Navy on 13 November 1940.  Seaman Tennell was serving on the USS Arizona which was docked in Pearl Harbor.


7:55  a.m. local time, the United States enters World War II as the Empire of Japan attacks the military bases of Hawaii.  Sea1c Tennell, serving on the USS Arizona, died on 7 December 1941.


As a result of the attack, and in response to President Roosevelt’s call, several young men from Plano and Collin County enlisted, served and several died during the next four years.

The dedication page of the 1945 Plano High School Yearbook – Planonian – mentions graduates who gave their lives.


Take the time to remember YOUR  ancestors – military or not – who lived during World War II.

Write their stories and pass it on to your family.

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Opened in 1892, over 12 million immigrants were welcomed and processed through the doors.

Ellis Island immigration records (1892-1924) are available to research at several sites.

A few are:








Also available are New York Passenger lists (1820-1957):


For additional assistance in researching your immigrant ancestors come visit the Genealogy Center.

Good Hunting!

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