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

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press - 17 October 2002


Alfred Nobel and Central Texas

Did you known there was a connection between Alfred Nobel, whose estate founded the Nobel Prizes, has a connection to Milam County and the Central Texas area? Neither did I until William “Bill” Estevens, Jr., sent me an e-mail and related the following query:

In reading about the Nobel Prize, I came across a very strange bequest in the will of Alfred Nobel, dated 27 November 1895. Nobel was a Swedish industrialist and the will contains the following clause:

"Mr. Alfred Hammond, Waterford, Texas, U.S.A. will receive Ten Thousand Dollars;"

This will is the same document in which he sets up the Nobel Prizes. I was able to find that in 1889, Waterford, Texas became Burlington, Texas and was located in Milam County. I suppose it was quite possible that Nobel, who lived in Paris, (France, not Texas) was unaware of the change.

Do you know who Alfred Hammond was, and what was his connection to Alfred Nobel? This is most intriguing.

To read the full text of Nobel’s will, go to the Nobel Museum website at : http://www.nobel.se/

According to the Handbook of Texas Online, the Waterford area was originally named the “Irish Settlement.” In 1889, the name of the town was changed to Waterford when a post office was opened at the home of Timothy Gleason. In 1889 Gleason renamed the town after Burlington, Vermont.

The big question is who was Hammond? Why was he living in the Central Texas area? How was he connected to Nobel? If you are interested in this historical puzzle, contact Bill at: 4321 Blue Ribbon Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70814 or e-mail him at billmailnews@earthlink.net.

Civil War Newspapers On-Line

Vicki Betts, Cataloging Librarian at the Robert R. Muntz Library, University of Texas-Tyler has developed a webpage for her passion, Civil War Newspapers (1860-1865) at http://www.uttyl.edu/vbetts/.

Ms. Betts believes, “Newspapers remain one of the most underutilized resources available to the historian, and with good cause. Relatively few full runs of Southern newspapers survived the Civil War and the years of storms, fires, and business failures that preceded the advent of microfilm.”

The newspaper abstracts on her website are from over 50 Civil War era newspapers that are predominantly from the South, and focus on the home front, including women, Confederate industry, and material culture. The scattered military articles usually relate either to camp life or to Texas units or events.”

Unfortunately, while the abstracts contain a wealth of social and historical data, they do not contain information related to births, deaths and marriages that would be of critical important to genealogists. However, the abstracts are important in that they give you an idea of how women lived during the turbulent era of our history.

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