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

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press & Thorndale Champion
15 January 2004

Bryan City Cemetery On-Line

Wonders never cease to amaze me. City Government at its best! As I live and breath, I thought I'd never see anything like this! Are you excited? Well you should be as the City of Bryan, Brazos County, Texas has placed the entire Bryan City Cemetery on-line at http://gis.bryantx.gov/gis/website/cemetery/viewer.htm.

This is a very significant webpage because it not only gives an aerial view of the cemetery, by sections, but by clicking on the "binoculars" on the left-hand toolbar, you can bring up a search engine for the entire database of burials.

The search engine will not only look for surnames but also given names. So, if you only know Mary's first name but not her married name, you can search and review all of the individuals with the first name Mary in the database to analyze if one of those might be your family member.

There is also a feature when looking at the aerial view that will allow you to change to a map view. Just remove the green check mark in the aerial box in the legend to the right. Then click on the + symbol in the toolbar on the left-hand side and continue to click in the map area. Once you have it enlarged enough to see the individual burial plots, you will notice the surnames are shown. Then click on the "i in a black circle" (identify) on the left-hand toolbar and then click on the burial plots and the information on each individual will pop-up. This will allow you to search the plots adjoining your family member to see if anyone else might also be buried nearby.

This GIS system sets a very high standard for other cities when establishing similar systems in their communities. Take a printout to your local public officials and ask "Why don't we have something like this? If they can do it in Bryan, we can sure do it here!" The technology it there, getting your local community to make use of it is your project!

More Organizing Your Research

Marie Hubert, a longtime family history researcher and officer of the Milam County Genealogical Society gave her unique solution to the stacks of loose papers to be filed on her dining room table. For her birthday last weekend, her daughter gave her a couple days "help" and they sat down together and went through all the filing, documents, photos, etc.

Marie said they shared some tears and family stories but most importantly the dining room tablecloth was washed and everything got put back into placed or filed!

What a great opportunity to get organized and share family history! This might be a great "wish for" when the kids say, "We never know what to get you." or "You have everything." Just tell them to come spend the weekend and help you organize your family history materials. You never know what spark of interest you will inspire!

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 5 March 2004 and was last revised on __________

Copyright 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604