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

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press - 10 May 2001

“Regenerating Enthusiasm”

Remember when you first started researching your family history? You were excited and enthusiastic, and couldn't wait to tell everyone you met about what you were doing and what you were finding!

Do you feel that you're repeating your research? Are you a little bored by some of the more monotonous tasks like searching census and deed records? In the words of a Lyle Lovett song, "What do you do when it quits being new?"

Here is a tip to keep things fresh: Remember that you are always looking for new ancestors and descendants. Even if you feel like you've repeated your story a thousand times, the new family members you located probably haven't heard about all of your research or what you have learned about your family. Just about everything you are sharing with them will be new!

Try a fresh angle to your research. Is there a family line you haven't focused on before? Don't abandon your primary research, but add a new theme, e.g., military records, tax digests, naturalization records, etc.

The bad news is that you are never done researching. The good news is that there is always something new and interesting to do in your family research. What will you do to keep things new for you?

“Internet Hint – U.S. & Texas Biographies Project ”

In May 1997, Jeff Murphy, using the established Kentucky Biographies Project as a model, organized the U.S. Biographies Project http://members.tripod.com/~debmurray/usbios/usbiog.html. This website provides a single entry point for biography projects for each of the 50 states. The following states need coordinators to adopt them: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Cindy Radway is the Project Coordinator for the Texas Biographies Project http://members.tripod.com/cindyradway/texas.html and that website has links for every county in the state.

It is very easy to submit a biography to the Texas Biographies Project. The project has a set of “Submission Guidelines” that you should review before beginning the biography. Submit your biography by sending it as e-mail or an e-mail attachment to the County Coordinator. The e-mail address of each County Coordinator is listed on the Texas County Selection List. If you county does not have a County Coordinator, send the biography to Cindy Radway.

“1870 Census by Surname! ”

Heritage Quest http://www.heritagequest.com/ has announced a new series “Your Family Name in 1870 America” that allows genealogists to purchase custom-made CD-ROMs containing every household of a given surname from the entire U.S. 1870 Census. The abstract is based on the Soundex system so various spellings of the surname are included. The information includes every head-of-household, all males over the age of 50 years, and every female over the age of 70 years. You can search the CD-ROMs by name, age, sex, race, birthplace, location, county, film number and page number.

This series will allow you to find where families were in 1870 and to sort through every person with any variation of the spelling of a surname. For example, you purchase the surname Johnson; you will be able to identify all Georgia-born Johnson’s no matter where they were living in 1870.

The cost of the custom made CD-ROM is $14.95 for members of Heritage Quest and $19.95 for non-members. To operate the CD-ROM, you will need Windows® 95/98/ME/NT/2000, Pentium 100+, 16 MB RAM, 4x CD-ROM and 88 MB* free hard drive space (*Up to 88 MB may be required for systems without IE 5.0 or greater).

To order your CD-ROM, visit the Heritage Quest website or call Customer Service at: 1-800-760-2455.

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 May 2001 and was last revised on ___________ 2001

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