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

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press - 14 November 2002


Book Review

Ericson, Joe Ellis, Early East Texas: Indian Settlements to Statehood, Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 2002; map, footnotes, appendix, bibliography, index, 327 pages, paperback [ISBN# 0-7884-2187-5], $18.95 + $5. shipping. Heritage Books, 1540-E Pointer Ridge Place, Bowie, MD 20716, telephone 1-800-398-7709 or visit http://www.heritagebooks.com.

Jo Ellis Erickson has written a remarkable book focusing on the four Mexican Municipalities of Nacogdoches, San Augustine, Sabine and Shelby (Tenaha). This history of the people and places in the early history of East Texas was written for the years leading to statehood.

The book begins with a discussion of the early settlements and lifestyles of the local inhabitants and proceeds through Texas History with the found of permanent European settlements, the Filibustering Years, the Fredonian Rebellion, the tranquil years in which civil governments were established, the Battle of Nacogdoches, the 1832 Texas Revolution, the Cordovan Rebellion, the Cherokee War, the Regulator-Moderator Feud, local affairs, education and religion, law and justice, physicians and medicines, lifestyles, amusements, architecture and daily life.

A series of appendices provide the names and on occasion other information on some of the leading men who stamped their personalities on the region. These include: the East Texas Congress, District and County Judges, the East Texas Bar, Delegates to the Convention of 1836, and physicians.

One of the most interesting areas Mr. Erickson explores in his book is education in early Texas. He describes how the 1824 Mexican Constitution delegated the responsibility for education to the Mexican states but there was no monetary support, nor where the schools ever opened. He also covers early private schools that typically closed after a short time due to the parents being unable to pay for classes. It wasn't until after1838 that the Congress of the Republic of Texas adopted a plan for a school system ranging from the primary to the University level.

If you have family living in early Texas, I strongly encourage you to read this book, as you will gain an interesting understanding of how society and government evolved into statehood. It is important that as genealogists we have a context in which to place the names of our ancestors and Mr. Erickson's book does this for individuals who are lucky enough to have ancestors in Texas prior to statehood in 1845.

Lastly, this is a must have reference book for any school, college or public library in your community. Encourage your librarians to include this book on their acquisitions list for this year.

Victims of the 1900 Galveston Storm On-Line

On September 8, 1900 a hurricane destroyed Galveston and between 8,000 and 10,000 people were killed. It is considered the nation's deadliest natural disaster. Although its death toll will never be complete, the Galveston and Texas History Center at the Rosenberg Library's website now list of the identified victims on-line at http://www.gthc.org/exhibits/storms/1900/.

The website also includes the following collections: Store photographs and artwork; manuscripts, oral histories, and a map of the storm damage. These on-line archival holdings provide graphic evidence of survivors' Storm experiences and the carnage that was left in its wake.

This is an excellent website for genealogists and historians but should be a great resources for teachers and students.

The Rosenberg Library is located at 2310 Sealy Avenue, Galveston TX 77550; telephone: 409/763-8854, ext. 127; hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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