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

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press & Thorndale Champion
9 December

Historic County Records On-Line

Charles Bacarisse, Harris County District Clerk, is setting a new standard in access to historic county records by placing actual scanned images free on-line at: http://www.hcdistrictclerk.com/HistorialDocuments/HistoricalVolumes.asp.

Currently available to the public are: (1) District Court Minutes (11th District), 1837-1908; (2) District Court Minutes (61st District), 1903-1907; (3) District Court Criminal Minutes, 1872-1910; (4) District Court Criminal Minutes Guilty Judgments, 1886-1900; (5) District Court Criminal Minutes Misdemeanor and Not Guilty Judgments, 1894-1912; and, (6) District Court Criminal Minutes Naturalization Proceedings Only, 1855-1906.

The Harris County District Clerks Office has begun the process of preserving its historical documents. These documents date back to as early as the 1830s and can provide insight into the history of Texas. As a public service these documents are being made available at no charge. Please note while the quality of some of the documents is exceptional the quality of others is poor. This is directly related to the quality of the original document as well as the penmanship of the scribe in some instances.

For more information on Harris County's Historic Preservation efforts, go to: http://www.hcdistrictclerk.com/ and click on Help Save Texas History.

Absorbing Your Research

How do you learn and remember? Well, sometimes I wonder about myself too! We learn by seeing it, hearing it or doing it. And we all use those learning tools when doing genealogy or we should.

Although we all learn differently, we generally learn or member information by processing the information several times in different ways. You search a census index for names of your family members. You then search the actual census for the names and families. You write down the information from the census or print it off. You enter the census information into your family tree database or family group sheet. And hopefully, you file it into your organized file folders for the appropriate families or individuals.

That wasn't hard was it? Well maybe, the last step of filing. I just never seem to get to that one before the next research idea pops into my head and Im off learning and absorbing about another family member!

Lastly, you also learn by talking about it. Yes, I know, I too have seen family members eyes roll back in their heads as I go on about the great find I made last week or when I try to use them as sounding boards for research projects. But still talk about it to your genealogy buddies, family members, the stranger waiting in-line with you at the bank!

Let me hear from you about how you learn and absorb your family tree information. Okay, I'll admit it, I cheat! Now I use my laptop computer and RootsMagic http://www.rootsmagic.com/ family tree program to help me keep up with all of my facts!

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 15 Mar 2005 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