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

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press - 24 January 2002

“Find Us & Tell Our Stories”

What are you doing? Why are you doing this? What do you hope to accomplish? I am routinely asked these and similar questions in regards to my family history research.

There is a very simple answer: The obligation to find my ancestors and discover their legends. It seems that my ancestors are calling me like the sirens of the sea, “find us and tell our stories.”

It always seems one story leads to another mystery!

Where do you begin your search? Start with writing down everything you know or remember about your family. You can find blank forms and family group sheets in books at your local library or LDS Family History Center.

Once you have written down what you know, you then begin asking your parents and older family members. Write down their members, better yet, be sure and take a small handheld mini-tape recorder with you. Don’t forget extra batteries and lots of blank tapes.

Take a “how to genealogy” class and attend meetings of your local genealogy society. Get started!

“Civil War Records”

“The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies” the Official records of the Union and Confederate armies is on-line at: http://moa.cit.cornell.edu/moa/browse.monographs/waro.html>.

Most importantly, the website includes a search engine that allows you to perform simple as well as advance searches to assist you with your research.

This on-line collection contains the formal reports, both Union and Confederate, of the first seizures of United States property in the Southern States, and of all military operations in the field, with the correspondence, orders, and returns relating specially thereto, and, as proposed is to be accompanied by an Atlas.

The series is arranged according to the campaigns and several theaters of operations (in the chronological order of the events), and the Union reports of any event will, as a rule, be immediately followed by the Confederate accounts. The correspondence, etc., not embraced in the "reports" proper will follow (first Union and next Confederate) in chronological order.

“Quick Hint – Searching Message Boards on RootsWeb.com”

As many genealogists know, you can post queries and data on various surname and location message boards located at RootsWeb.com http://www.rootsweb.com.

On the Milam Co., TX Message Board we are lucky local newspapers have granted permission to post obituaries from their publications. Currently, the Milam Co. Message Board has about 4,900 queries and data posted.

Sometimes, it can be undaunting to have to wade through all of these items. There is a quick solution. Each Message Board has a “VIEW MESSAGE TYPE” box located on its page. The default is “ALL” messages, however you can select the category you are interested in, i.e., “QUERY” and all of the current queries will appear without any obituaries or other data.

Good luck with your search!

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 1 Feb 2002 and was last revised on __________

Copyright © 1999, 2001, 2002 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604