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

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press - 5 September 2002

1850 vs. 2002 – Keeping Current

One of the small pit-falls I seem to make is ignoring folks right under my nose! My grandfather served in World War I but we never spoke of it. The father of one of my dearest friends died recently and he served in the Marine Corps in World War II and survived Guadalcanal but never spoke of it. There seem to be a thousand and one questions I never seemed to ask my mother before her death!

The pit-fall I’m talking about it ignoring 20th Century Research in your genealogy quest. A researcher I greatly admire recently wrote to me in response to a question I’d posed to her, “I've never really bothered with anyone born after 1900. I've been living before 1850 in my brain so long--just never bothered.”

Stop! Each of us needs to STOP and immediately reconsider just how thorough our research will be if we overlook the obvious, our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etcetera.

I am just as guilty as the next person because my quest was to get as far back as possible or to prove my 23 American Revolutionary ancestors for DAR applications! Thinking, “Oh, I can do the later research anytime.” Well, anytime just jumped up and bit me in the behind!

What am I missing? The future can only be built on a solid foundation of the past. If your 20th Century research is rocky, splotchy, incomplete, overlooked, what is the impact on your research in the 1800s?

So, my goal this weekend is to look for obituaries from the 20th Century. Fill-in missing information for the family members I know. I will no longer think, “I’ll get to it one of these days” because it’s easy to do because of so much now being available on recent births, marriages and deaths.

My wake-up call is to do it now, built on a better foundation of documentation of my later family members before continuing the quest to go further backwards in time.

My new goal: A firm, solid and documented foundation for my ancestors to rest. So, get busy and start filling in the blanks for your most recent family members!

Houston Jewish Genealogy Fair

On Sunday, October 20, 2002, the Greater Houston Jewish Genealogical Society will hold its 1st Annual Jewish Genealogy Fair from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center located at 5601 S. Braeswood. There is no admission charge to attend.

Topics will include: Documentation of Early Houston Jewish Families, the “Jewish Herald Voice” Project; Galveston Immigration lists; Aids to Polish research; Introduction to Holocaust Research; Using Computer Websites; Photo & Document Restoration; Introduction to your Local LDS Family History Center & Clayton Library Resources; and, Problem Solving with the Experts.

Everyone will have an opportunity to learn more about the Greater Houston Jewish Genealogical Society. Forms, worksheets and other useful materials will be available. Individuals joining the society on the day of the event will receive a copy of the manual "Getting Started in Jewish Genealogy."

For more information, contact: Ann Oppman, telephone 713/728-9538 or e-mail AOppman@houston.rr.com.

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 26 Dec 2002 and was last revised on __________

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