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

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press & Thorndale Champion
5 August 2004

It’s Not What You Know . . .

It’s who you know! And, it’s who you know knows and who they know, and so on. You might be closer than you think to finding someone who holds the missing key to your family tree research.

The first step is to identify everyone you know.

As many of you know, I use RootsMagic http://www.rootsmagic.com/ for my family tree database. It is a good feature that allows me to enter the address and contact information on each individual in my database.

Second is to make everyone you identified as potentially having information aware of what you are doing. Spread the word by letter or e-mail to this target contact base. Chances are, you will find someone who can help you or knows someone else that might. In the business world, this is known as networking. So, just network your own family!

RootsMagic also allows me to track correspondence I send and receive. This feature really helps me with as a research log on who and when I contacted someone.

Once you research your target, know what you want from them and, be specific. Do not going on a linty of everything you know about the subject. You are not trying to impress the person with your knowledge or research skills.

Your goal is to find missing information and if the person is interested after you get the target information, then blast them with all the details.

So, by identifying, targeting, tracking and organizing your quest for missing information, you may be a few letters or e-mails away from reaching someone who might be able to help you with your research and enable you to research another level of success!

More Library of Virginia

Several weeks ago in this column I profiled the unique on-line documents and information at the Library of Virginia http://www.lva.lib.va.us/ several of our readers (on-line and print) wrote and shared their experience with this website.

George Keeton of Buchanan Dam, Texas, wrote, and was excited about finding actual images of Bible records for one of his family lines at the website. He downloaded the images as well as printed them off.

Liz Freeman, wrote, “I just wanted to tell you how much I am enjoying the Our Loose Ends Column.

I have learned so much from reading the columns, and I always look forward to the next one. I especially liked the one concerning the Online Library of Virginia Website. I am currently working on one of my families from Virginia, and this column could not have come at a better time.”

Images at Texas State Library

The Texas State Library and archives also putting images of actual documents on-line http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/exhibits/. The “Texas Treasures” includes historical documents from the Texas Republic, Early Statehood, Giants of Texas History, Indian Relations, Rangers and Outlaws, Texas Characters, Texas Flags & Maps, Texas Constitution, etc.

Click on the Table of Contents feature and you will get a detailed list of topics and sub-topics.

There are also scanned images of actual documents in the on-line database, Republic Claims at http://www2.tsl.state.tx.us/trail/RepublicSearch.jsp that has a good search engine.

Enter the surname you are researching and just see what pops-up.

I am currently researching Massillon Farley, the First Chief Justice of Milam County appointed by the Texas Congress in December 1836. When I entered the surname Farley, I received 102 hits.

And I hit gold! I found 34 documents. The documents are in Adobe Publisher format and easily load to a viewable format and print very clear. Better than a photocopy of the actual document!


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 29 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