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

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press & Thorndale Champion
25 March 2004

Building Family Interest in Genealogy

The latest TV reality program "The Apprentice" is testing contestants on marketing and salesmanship skills. What are you doing to attract new family members? What are you doing to keep the ones interest involved?

Yep, I'm saying approach your family tree like you would a business plan or military battle action!

One-way to find people is to collect names and addresses at your family reunion. But what do you do to follow-up? Do you send them material after the reunion or just stick the name and address in your database?

Another way to make it convenient for family members to locate you is to handout business cards at reunions or other family events. Ask them to contact you in the next few days. I just had 1,000 business cards made at the local discount office supply store for under $20 and includes my name, mailing address, telephone number, e-mail and website URL. Also, consider including your family surnames on the business card.

Get a family history website. It doesn't have to include your complete family tree database but just enough so that others can locate and contact you.

A great way to keep folks interested in your family history is to send-out post cards on life events such as birthdays or anniversaries. Remind them to send you updated information on their family and always remember to thank them for their input and information.

Book Review

Browne, Mary Stringer, Wilkins-Walling Journal - As Written by Charles Compton Wilkins - paperback, 8 1/2 x 11, 282 pages, index, appendices, $33 - Willow Bend Books, 65 E. Main St., Westminster, MD 21157-5026, 1-800-876-6103 or http://www.willowbendbooks.com/index.asp.

Charles Compton Wilkins and his wife, Mary Ella Walling, collected a wealth of family and genealogical data that is compiled in a narrative history that brings their family members to life. His journals were written so future generations could read and be proud of their pioneering ancestors, who, at great risk, left their comfortable homes and forged west to the land of their dreams - Texas.

Anyone who is interested in American history will enjoy the detailed account that begins with the marriage of Charles' grandparents, John Dougherty Doxey and Besty Conway in 1813. This pioneering family left Maryland and settled first in Missouri. Readers will find a vivid portrait of 19th Century America within the book that characterize the hazards and joys of everyday life; social and economic issues; and interesting details such as the cost of land, crops and livestock as well as events of historical significance.

There are a large number of photographs that enhance the text. Family charts are included for the family surnames: Burrowes, Carman, Compton, Herndon, Ricks/Rix, Ryon, Salmon, Walling, Whitehead, Wilkins, and Wright.

This book is a good guide and example of how to research and write a family history. Should be included in the family history sections of your local genealogy library.


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 24 Sept 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