"Our Loose Ends" Genealogy Column
by Lynna Kay Shuffield
Houston, Texas

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Printed Taylor Daily Press - 30 Dec 1999

Millennium Memories

Many family traditions parallel the holidays. This week you will have an opportunity to preserve your "Millennium Memories" for future generations.

Did great-Aunt Sarah serve "Temperance Punch" or "Champaign Punch" at her "Turn of the Century Party" on Jan. 1, 1900? Did her guests nosh on a chilled buffet or a full 20-course meal?

The Millennium New Year will be a time for hope and a time for you to plan for the future. Will you celebrate it with dancing and a party? Or, will you sit quietly at home with family and friends?

This year will be more than just the ending of one year and the beginning of another year! New Year's is a time for resolutions. Make yours that you'll begin writing and researching your family history.

Customs and traditions bind you to your heritage, family and friends. If you were Dutch, you will save up all your broken crockery and on New Year's Day you would hurl it against the doors of your friends!

My own family prepares boiled cabbage to represent money, black-eyed peas for good luck, and we don't spend money on New Year's Day because that means we'll spend, spend, spend, all year long. And of course, we can't forget the traditional firecrackers, which are believed to scare away evil spirits.

This week, take the opportunity to write down your memories, impressions, customs, guests, meal, and hopes for the future. What a wonderful insight for your descendants.

On the Bookshelf

Caldwell Newspapers: Burleson County, Texas, 1897-1929, Birth and Death Notices, by Linda Faust Houck, 601 W. Fawn St., Caldwell, Texas 77836-1528, e-mail: lindalee@txcyber.com, 8.5"x11", index. ($35.00, plus $2.89 tax and $3.50 postage).

Newspapers abstracts are an incredible source that genealogists cannot ignore. Most early Texas newspapers have not been abstracted, however, Linda Faust Houck has made an outstanding effort to abstract the birth and death information from the "Caldwell-News Tribune" newspaper.

Birth announcements are important because Texas did not begin began recording birth certificates until 1903 and therefore, local newspapers are one of the best sources for this early information.

Death notices/Obituaries can yield a wide variety of genealogical information. Some notices will only be one line and give the individual's name and maybe the date of death. While other notices will contain information such as funeral arrangements and cemetery and might give the names of a spouse, children and cause of death.

Houck did not include marriages, legal notices, and letters at the post office or other interesting data covering the community. Also, she does not mention how readers can obtain a copy of a particular article or if the newspapers are available on microfilm. This would be important information because this abstract is considered a secondary source while the actual newspaper article would be the primary source. Many ancestral organizations will only accept a primary source as documentation and proof.


Need information on Marion (Francis?) BENGE born abt. 1820, MS (?), died abt. 1864, MS. It is thought he resided in Davilla, Milam Co., TX abt. 1860 and was married to a "Cilla" (unknown maiden name). He died while in the Confederate Army and was a circuit preacher. Their children: (1) Mattie Marcella BENGE, born abt. 1850, married a unknown SKIDMORE; (2) Mary BENGE born abt. 1864 in Davilla, Milam Co.; and (3) George BENGE b: abt. 1862 in TX.

Symantha Ann BENGE born April 5, 1860 in Davilla, Milam Co., and died Aug. 26, 1946 in Abilene, Taylor Co., TX. She was married to George Martin WALKER born June 2, 1852 in Raleigh, Smith Co., MS and died April 2, 1940. They are both buried in Weise Cemetery, Bell Co., TX. Also buried with them are 2 children: Mary Ellen WALKER born Aug. 8, 1894 and died Nov. 11, 1917 and James "Hersey" WALKER. There are other children: George WALKER born 1858 and Frances Bell WALKER born Jan. 24, 1898 died Sept. 13, 1976 in Abilene, Taylor Co., TX and was married to J. D. HAMILTON b. in Buckholts, Milam Co.

Question: Is Symantha Ann BENGE also a child of Marion and Cilla BENGE? Are there other children for Marion and Cilla BENGE? What happened to the BENGE family after the death of Marion Francis? Where are they buried? Would like to find out what happened to Mary BENGE, George BENGE, George WALKER and contact relatives of J. D. and Frances HAMILTON.

Contact: S. L. Walker, 4705 Shoalwood Ave., Austin, TX 78756 or e-mail: agenut@swbell.net .

In this column, I will be glad to highlight and review any family history, genealogy, county history, or similar book, free of charge, if you donate a copy of the book or item. After it has been highlighted and reviewed, on a space available basis, it will be donated to the genealogy section of a library. You will receive an acknowledgment of the donation from the library. Mail item or book to me at the below address.

Lynna Kay Shuffield has written several books related to Texas genealogy and military history. She has spoken before numerous genealogy and veterans groups. Also, is a County Coordinator for the Texas GenWeb Project. Regretfully, she cannot help with individual genealogical research. Please visit the website for this column at: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Academy/2670/ COLUMN-001.htm or if you have any questions, comments, suggestions for column topics, genealogy or historical society announcements, please contact her at: P. O. Box 16604, Houston, Texas 77222-6604 or e-mail: lksfriday@sbcglobal.net

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This webpage was last created on 26 Dec 1999 and was last revised on 28 Dec 1999, 10 Jan 2000

Copyright 1999, 2000 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604