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

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press - 18 Jan 2001

"164 Years of Houston, Texas History"

While researching for information related to various topics in Houston’s history, I found a unique website, HoustonHistory.com located at http://www.houstonhistory.com.

The website celebrates the rich history of Houston, Texas that covers 164 years of fascinating and colorful people, stories, and events. For example, most people do not know that Houston was an invention! One of the great ones of the 19th century. It was a classic leap of faith that became simply spectacular. Houston was the vision of two New York land speculators who decided to build a town in the middle of nowhere---and they did it. If that sounds improbable to you, then welcome to Houston!

On August 30, 1836, the Allen brothers announced the opening of their townsite, offering land for sale at $1 dollar per acre. Extolling Houston as the future "great interior commercial emporium of Texas," they advertised its merits, both real and anticipated, in the newspapers of Louisville, New Orleans, Washington, and New York. Among the "exaggerated" descriptions was that of Houston as a thriving port city, propitiously located on Buffalo Bayou and "by nature" destined to be the republic's "future seat of government."

The website, created in the Fall of 1998 by Stephen Griffin, a native Houstonian, out of a genuine interest and passion in the preserving Houston's historical past. HoustonHistory.com is the one-stop place for finding out about Houston's history. No other website covering Houston's history goes into such breadth and depth. In addition, few if any other cities have such content rich equals, if they have a city history site at all.

Steve currently works with his twin brother Larry to maintain the site and provide a unique experience for the websites’ users by improving on the site's usability and by building a community that offers such features as: a gift store; chat; message boards; instant messenger; polls; quizzes; and, a gallery of historic photos.

Over time, the brothers plan to improve the website with customization and personalization so that users will have an even better experience. Currently, the site is privately funded, but there is interest in having local corporate sponsorship, to build and contribute their own company history archives.

Anyone interested in Houston’s history could easily spend several hours or days reading all of the material on this website. There are sections on every decade from 1836 to the present, with sidebars of interest on specific years and months within each decade. This is certainly a “must have” personal bookmark and/or link for any school, library, genealogy or historical society website.

"San Jacinto Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas to Sponsor 6-Week Genealogy Class"

The San Jacinto Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas will sponsor a six-week Genealogy Class on Saturdays beginning January 13, 2001 through February 17, 2001 from 9:00 a.m. until noon at the Pioneer Memorial Log House Museum (log house) located at 1510 N. MacGregor across from Hermann Park Zoo) and in-front of BenTaub Hospital in the Texas Medical Center near Fannin and Main in Houston, Texas.

Class Schedule: Jan. 13th - Emily Croom; Jan. 20th - Clayton Genealogy Library Staff; Jan. 27th - Computers; Feb. 3rd - Elaine Lockhart on County Courthouse Records; Feb. 10th - Lynna Kay Shuffield on 20th Century Military Records; and, Feb. 17th - Elaine Baxter on Cemeteries and Judy Barnett on Old World Records.

For more information, contact Mary Nell Ball by e-mail at: emenbee@pdq.net or telephone 281/494-1121.

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 25 Jan 2001 and was last revised on 25 Jan 2001

Copyright © 1999, 2001 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604