When I married in 1979, my wife knew that one of my hobbies was family history.

She provided me names and dates to help fill out her side of our family tree.

We came to a brick wall with her 2Great-grandfather – David Lucas.

Questions arose from the transcriptions of the Rockbridge County (Virginia) Marriage Record.

In all of the typed transcriptions, the record states:

Lucas, David   64   W   Cumberland, PA   Rockbridge   Farmer
Lucas, Danl.   Lucas, Edith   8/3/1869   Schreckhise, J.W.
Reece, Mary M.   28   S   Augusta   Rockbridge
Reece, C.   Reece, M.A.

This record states that David Lucas was a 64 year-old widower, born in Cumberland, Pennsylvania. He now lives in Rockbridge County, Virginia. He is a farmer. His father is Danl Lucas and his mother is Edith Lucas.
David Lucas and Mary M. Reece were married on 3 August 1869 by J.W. Schreckhise
Mary M. Reece is 28 years old, single and born in Augusta County, Virginia. She now lives in Rockbridge County, Virginia. Her parents are C. Reece and M.A. Reece.

Before I began my record search I questioned my in-laws for any information or stories they might have about David. Results were – NONE. Some did recall a grandmother Reece, but I determined these were all about the daughter Georgianna Reese (Mary’s daughter) who married their great-grandfather Daniel Campbell.

David and Mary were married in 1869 and I found them in the 1870 Federal Census in Rockbridge County, Virginia. Both David and Mary state their place of birth is Virginia.

David appears in the 1860 Federal Census in Rockbridge County, Virginia married to Elizabeth (Strine) with nine children ages 23 – 9. Here again David, Elizabeth and all nine children were born in Virginia. I found the marriage record of David Lucas to Elizabeth Strine in Augusta County, on 29 Nov 1832. From the transcribed record there was no indication of place of birth.

I found no record of David and Elizabeth in the 1850 Federal Census – in either Augusta or Rockbridge County, Virginia. I did find David listed in the 1840 Federal Census in Augusta County, Virginia.

The challenge was to find Daniel and Edith Lucas, David’s parents. Were they in Virginia or Pennsylvania?

I was successful in finding a Daniel and Elizabeth Lucas in Augusta County, Virginia. I was also successful in finding a Daniel and Eva Lucas in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. In neither case did I find a marriage record.

A trip to the Rockbridge County Courthouse to VIEW the original marriage document would allow me to determine if David’s birthplace was correctly transcribed. Was he born in PA or VA? I could also verify the mother’s name. Is she correctly recorded as Edith or is the entry an abbreviation of Elizabeth? Thus far I have not found a digitized copy of the marriage record to answer these questions.

Sometimes the answers are not so readily available. Transcribed books may be correct or in error. Images of documents may not be available. Images may be so poor that when viewing either online or in person, the information is not clearly discernible.

So my search continues.

Come visit our center. Peruse our materials. Our staff is always available to assist you in your research.

Perhaps our materials will assist you in answering one or more of your family history questions.

Good Hunting!


Have you searched www.familysearch.org recently?  If not, perhaps today is a good time to check it out.

I checked familysearch.org to see if there were any updates to areas I am researching.

To say I was surprised is an understatement. From Monday 30 April thru Thursday 2 May, I counted 91 updates.

These updates include various databases from 36 different United States, 9 different countries, plus an update to the BillionGraves Index.

During my classes here at the Genealogy Center, I encourage my attendees to check www.familysearch.org as one of their resources.

I often state, “If you don’t find the database you are looking for, check back in a week or two.”

Here at the Genealogy Center our public computers can access Ancestry Library Edition, Fold3.com, and Heritage Quest as well as other links. Some of these sites are partner sites with Familysearch.org.

You may be able to access a few of these 91 databases through the partner sites.

I encourage you to check-out www.familysearch.org from time to time. You may discover information you are seeking.

Good Hunting!

On April 18, 1942 – Lt. Col. Doolittle led his squadron on a raid over Tokyo, Japan.

A memorial in their honor stands at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

The following Raiders were from North Texas:

1Lt. Edgar E. McElroy – Ennis, Texas
Sgt. Douglas V. Radney – Mineola, Texas
Lt. Nolan Anderson Herndon – Greenville, Texas
Lt. Kenneth E. Reddy – Bowie, Texas
Maj. John A. “Jack” Hilger – Sherman, Texas

You are invited to come in, browse our collection, and use our materials here in the Genealogy Center.

You may find information on YOUR military heroes.

Good Hunting!

I received a notice from MyHeritage.com that I had a message.

I was contacted by a 3rd cousin to my father. I had previously uploaded his DNA results from Family Tree DNA (www.ftdna.com) to MyHeritage (www.myheritage.com).

I was informed, and then verified, that my 3G-Grandmother’s probate records were online on Ancestry library edition (www.ancestry.com). The probate file is 33 pages of information. Within these pages are the names of heirs, locations of property, and residence of heirs.

My primary reason for DNA testing – both my father and me – was to find cousins so that I might add or correct my family tree.

I have tested in Ancestry, 23andme and Myheritage. My father has tested in Family Tree DNA. I have uploaded all tests to http://www.GEDmatch.com, Family Tree DNA and My Heritage in the hope that fishing in all available ponds will allow me to catch some cousins.

With today’s message I can report that I have made a second “golden” catch.

In each case I have been able to break down a brick wall or confirm previously suspected lines.

DNA genealogy is not for everyone. For me it has produced (and continues to produce) desired results.

*** Before you purchase a DNA test from any company be sure you are comfortable with their policies and how they use or sell your DNA or personal information. ***

Good Hunting!

  • MAP – Oklahoma and Indian Territory – 1905
  • MAP – Texas – Cameron County 1913
  • MAP – Texas – Collin County 1861-62
  • MAP – Texas – Collin County – June, 1916
  • MAP – Texas – Cooke County – 1899
  • MAP – Texas – Grayson County – 1885
  • Crash Course in Family History 5th Edition – How to Discover Your Family Tree and Stories
  • Family History digging deeper
  • The Sleuth Book for Genealogists
  • Conquest of the Prairies
  • Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates – The Forgotten War that Changed American History
  • War for the Union Vol. 1-4
  • Confederate Soldiers Buried in Arkansas
  • Hempstead County, Arkansas Early Marriages Prior to 1875
  • Yell County, Arkansas Newspaper Abstracts 1880
  • Thousands of Idaho Surnames Vol. 1-5
  • Death Notices 1819-1899 reported in the Fredonia Censor and a few other sources Vol. I & II, A-Z
  • Chautauqua County (NY) Alms House and Asylum Book 1 & 2, 1833-1918
  • Oregon Pioneer Register Vol. I and II in one
  • Benton County (OR) Cemetery Records and Tombstone Inscriptions Vol. 2, 3, 5, & 6
  • Benton County, Oregon Marriage Records Vol. 1 & 2, 1850-1945
  • Early Marriage Records Clackamas County and Wasco County, Oregon
  • Douglas County, Oregon Birth Index 1921-1935, Book 6
  • Douglas County, Oregon Delayed Birth Applications Book 3 – 8, Files 1001-3631; 1800 Series & 1801 Series
  • Douglas County, Oregon Delayed Birth Applications Index
  • Douglas County, Oregon Divorce Suits Vol. 1-5; 1854-1930
  • Douglas County, Oregon Index to Divorce Suits, Books 1-5, 1853-1930
  • Umpqua County, Oregon Marriage Records Book A, 1851-1863 and Douglas County, Oregon Marriage Records Book 1, 1853-1871 Vol. 1
  • Douglas County, Oregon Marriage Records Vol. 2 – 6, 1871-1910
  • Douglas County, Oregon “Out-Of-County” Marriages Book 1-2: 1912-1960
  • Lane County, Oregon Marriage Records 1890-1899, Volume 4
  • Marriage Records from Linn County, Oregon Marriage Book A, 1850-1861 and Early Marriages 1846, 1847, 1848 Vol. 1
  • Marriage Records from Linn County, Oregon Marriage Book B, Sept. 19, 1861 to June 29, 1870 Vol. 2
  • Marriage Records from Linn County, Oregon Marriage Books C – Q, Vol. 3, 4, & 5
  • Marion County, Oregon Marriage Records 1849-1871, Vol. 1
  • Marion County, Oregon Marriage Records 1874-1879, Vol. 3
  • Marriage Records of Multnomah County, Oregon 1855-1873
  • Cemeteries of East Multnomah County (OR)
  • Early Cemeteries of Gresham, Multnomah County, Oregon
  • Deaths and Burials of Tillamook County, Oregon: Taken from the Kilchis Advance (1880-1882) and the Tillamook Headlight (1888-1898)
  • Marriages of Wheeler County (OR) 1899 through 1920
  • Texas Legends
  • Legendary Texas Vol. 1 Unsung Heritage
  • Famous Trees of Texas
  • Our Texas Heritage – Ethnic Traditions and Recipes
  • The Melting Pot – Ethnic Cuisine in Texas
  • A Bowl of Red
  • The Typical Texas – Biography of an American Myth
  • Talk of Texas
  • Translating the Prairie – Plano, Texas in Words and Pictures
  • 1920 Census Shelby County, Texas
  • Evergreen Memorial Gardens Cemetery Vol. 1 & 2, A-Z – Vancouver, WA
  • Park Hill Cemetery Vol. 1-3, A-Z – Vancouver, WA
  • A History of SAAR Pioneer Cemetery and Its Inhabitants (WA)
  • Ferry County, Washington Birth & Death Records 1899-1911
  • Memorial Records of South King County, WA Vol 1, 3, 4, 5 bk2, 7 & 9
  • Skamania County, Washington Marriage Records
  • Skamania County, Washington Cemetery Records
  • Revised Harwood Cemetery (Snohomish County, WA) 1986-1996
  • Whitman County, Washington Marriage Records Vol. 1, Books A, B, and C; 1872-1892
  • Index to 1910 Whitman County (WA) Plat Book
  • Guide to Published Genealogies in the Library of the New England Historic Genealogical Society
  • Frank W. Mayborn – A Man Who Made a Difference
  • The National Guild of St. Margaret of Scotland – Membership Directory 2017-2019

The WEST Has Arrived

The Genealogy Center has recently added a large collection of resource books from the Northwest United States.

The majority of the new material is from OREGON and WASHINGTON.  Additional volumes have also been added to our California and Colorado collections.

Birth, burial, death and marriage records (in some cases indexes) are available from various counties of these states.

These volumes will provide excellent source material for your relatives that settled or moved through the Northwest.

Our collection includes, volumes from all fifty states, the District of Columbia, over 35 foreign countries as well as military and immigration records.

Come in and peruse our collection at the Genealogy Center. You just might find that “golden nugget” of information you have been searching for.

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

Good Hunting!

An ARKANSAS Family Success Story

Back in January 2018 I asked if you had ancestors who lived, died, or moved through Arkansas.

Did your spouse have ancestral lines that travel through Arkansas?

I found some answers to a few of my family questions here in our Arkansas genealogical material.

From family history records and the census records found on Ancestry.com, I determined that the Richard G. and Louisa J. Cowan family had travelled from Williamson County, Tennessee to Washington County, Arkansas about 1873.  Their son James King Cowan, born in 1861 in Tennessee, married Ollie G. Pass in Washington County, Arkansas in 1889.

Browsing through the new Arkansas material here at the Genealogy Center I found a collection of Cemeteries in Washington County, Arkansas by Byron Sistler. In volume 6, at the bottom of page 49 I found a record from the Mountain View Cemetery:

COWAN, Nellie   d of J. K.                 Aug 25, 1891   Nov 26, 1896

On http://www.findagrave.com I found a picture of the stone.

Here I had found a daughter to James K. Cowan who had married Olive G. Pass.

The 1900 Federal Census for Washington County, Arkansas shows James K. and Ollie Cowan, married in 1889. Ollie states she is the mother of THREE children with 2 children living. Their oldest child on the 1900 Federal Census is Eldridge born in November of 1894. From this information I was able to determine that Nellie was their first-born child.

Short of actually visiting cemeteries, volumes of  cemetery records are often the only way you can identify children born and died between Federal Census prior to the 1900s.

Here in the Genealogy Center we have volumes of cemetery records from various counties throughout the United States.

Come in and browse our collection.