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

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press - 19 April 2001

“How does genealogy impact you community?”

Answering this question is easy because genealogy and history both have an important economic impact to your community.

According to the “Historic Preservation at Work for the Texas Economy,” individuals who visit your community for genealogy or historic purposes, spend an additional $29 per day, over and above what they would normally spend just visiting for personal or business reasons, and, in addition, they stay longer than non-heritage travelers.

Fran Shane the Executive Director of the National Genealogical Society, recently pointed out that genealogy is the second most popular hobby in the United States and worldwide, genealogy is ranked as the third most popular hobby.

According to the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., over 113 million people in the United States are actively engaged in genealogy and family history research. Millions of dollars are spent, thousands of miles of travel are undertaken and endless conversations are engaged in, all revolving around genealogy.

Is your community taking advantage of these phenomena? Does your Mayor, City Council, Chamber of Commerce, County Judge or Library Staff recognize the economic impact of genealogy and history? Do they support your local genealogy society and historical commission?

One technique to boost the economic impact of genealogy and history in your community is to develop a three-fold brochure publicizing these resources to attract researchers. The brochure should be available at the offices of the County Clerk, District Clerk, County Judge, Mayor, libraries and can be sent to genealogy societies, libraries and other public offices in surrounding counties. Do not forget to send the brochures to larger genealogy libraries throughout the state.

You should look to your local government and chamber of commerce to sponsor the printing of the brochure. It is a small investment to increase the economic impact of genealogy and history in your community.

Another method is to sponsor a genealogy or historical seminars/workshops in your community. Seminars have an impact on the economic development and give a positive image of your community while showcasing its genealogy and historical resources.

“Internet – Texas Baptist Historical Collection”

You will be excited to learn the Texas Baptist Historical Collection http://www.bgct.org/tbhc/ has microfilmed over 300 Church Minutes & Records. A list of those church records, in city order, is available at: http://www.bgct.org/tbhc/minutes.htm. For a nominal fee, 25-cents per fiche, you can purchase a copy of the records. I purchased a set of the microfiche for Little River Baptist Church in Milam County for $12. These records began in the early 1849 to 1995.

Additionally, any Baptist Church congregation may have their records and minutes microfilmed for preservation by the Collection at no cost to the church. There are approximately sixty 8˝"x 11" pages of information on one fiche.

Churches can also deposit their records and minutes in the Collection for safekeeping may do so at no cost. The church retains the rights to the minutes and may remove them at any time.

The Collection staff is available to conduct workshops on compiling a church history and preserving church records. The staff is also ready to serve as consultants for churches that are creating an archives, to serve as advisors to history/heritage committees in churches, and to conduct "Heritage Weekends" for churches highlighting the history of Texas Baptists.

To contact the Texas Baptist Historical Collection, e-mail: tbhc@bgct.org or write: 333 N. Washington, Dallas, Texas 75246-1798 or telephone: 214/887-5422.

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/lks_friday/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 15 Apr 2001 and was last revised on 17 Apr 2001

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