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

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press - 1 Feb 2001

“Are you a member?”

I am probably on a “soap box” but I cannot emphases or fail to repeat the need for you to join a local genealogy society or the genealogy society in the communities where you are conducting research. Belonging to a genealogy society is another form of networking and will increase the likelihood you will find your ancestors and their descendants.

Membership in a genealogy society will indicate just how serious you are about your research. Many of these societies publish monthly, bimonthly or quarterly newsletters or journals. Additionally, the society will have meetings and speakers who will share their knowledge and experience in genealogy research. Again, improving your skills. Why reinvent the wheel, learn from others and network to get the word out about the families you are researching. Many of these societies also sponsor workshops and seminars for people to attend and learn new ideas and techniques.

Even if you cannot attend the meetings, workshops, seminars, your membership allows you the opportunity to still be informed about the genealogy events and information of the organization. Many of the newsletters and journals contain a wealth of local genealogical information, stores and resources.

Lastly, you enhance your credibility as a genealogist and allow other members of the organization to get to know the families you are researching.

When you join a genealogy society, get involved even if you do not live in the area, write an article about your family for their newsletter or journal, send in your family group sheets, because your membership will benefit you as well as the organization.

Internet - “Civil War Battles by State”

The “Civil War Sites Advisory Commission” (CWSAC) was established by public law on Nov. 28, 1990, due to national concern over the increasing loss of Civil War sites. The 15-member Commission, appointed by Congress and by the Secretary of the Interior, was asked to: (1) identify the nation’s historically significant Civil War sites; (2) determine their relative importance; (3) determine their condition; assess threats to their integrity; and, (4) recommend alternatives for preserving and interpreting them.

Their website, located at: http://www2.cr.nps.gov/abpp/battles/tvii.htm is a quick reference for “Civil War Battles by State or Campaign” and to the historical context and significance of 384 principal battlefields. Until now, no single source provided such a uniform level of information for such a comprehensive grouping of key Civil War battlefields. It is the CWSAC’s hope that this information will provide teachers, preservationists, historians, planners, and political leaders alike with the historical information they need to understand this critical era of our national heritage.

Each battle summary includes: (1) basic statistical data on the location, dates, commanders, size, number of casualties for each battle, and (2) a historical narrative describing the circumstances, action, and outcome of the battle.

“Census Forms in Spreadsheet Format for Your Computer”

Gary Minder of El Cajon, CA has created spreadsheets to help you to manage the mountain of census data you have on paper. To download FREE copies of the forms on his website "Census Tools" at: http://censustools.com/. - - - [NOTE: Old website that is no longer working - http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~minder/].

Electronic copies of your census data will allow you to manipulation, transport and backup the information. The census spreadsheets are also useful for those of you who take a laptop to the library or LDS Family History Center.

The census spreadsheets have a separate page for each census year from 1790-1920, as well as Soundex pages for 1880-1920. This is a remarkable tool for tracking a single family through the years. The spreadsheets are blank except for the formatting on each page to match the particular census year data fields, no actual census data is included.

The spreadsheets were created using Microsoft Excel 97, however, I use Microsoft Excel 2000 and the forms worked well. The 1790-1870 census forms print on standard 8.5" x 11" paper and the 1880-1920 census forms print on 8.5" x 14" paper.

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 7 Feb 2001 and was last revised on 20 AApr 2001

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