The microfilm printer-scanner is now ready for use at the genealogy research center at the Quitman Public Library. Microfilm (mainly census and the Wood County Democrat back issues) can be checked out from the library main desk for in-library use. Inter-library loan is possible for microfilm from other sources.
The regular monthly meeting of the Wood County Genealogical Society will be held next Monday, January 18, at 7 p.m. at the Quitman Public Library. The informal gathering at Peralta’s Restaurant open to all members and guests starts at 5:30 p.m. in Quitman.
Program activities for the 7 p.m. meeting are under the direction of Vice-President Dorothy Harbin.
Member Mary Yandell of Grove, Oklahoma writes that she is still seeking information on the James Greer family and the Hugh Bailey Morrison family, both in Wood County before the Civil War. She can be contacted by postal mail. For her address, go to the WCGS Bulletin member only pages where this query is also posted along with her mailing address. Non-members may email the Bulletin editor at firstname.lastname@example.org, mail contact with Mary can be arranged.
Among items in the Wood County Genealogical Research Center archives is a letter from a Confederate soldier prisoner of war in 1864.
Lt. James G. Blackmon of Company B, 2nd Infantry Battalion of Waul’s Texas Legion, C.S.A. was from Hempstead, Texas. He was captured at Yazoo City, Mississippi in July 1863. He was in three different prisons including the last at Fort Delaware where he died of pneumonia on January 1, 1865.
The letter was written from the Officers Barracks at Fort Delaware, December 11, 1864 less than a month before his death. It was addressed to Cousin Beckie.
The following transcription is by society member Sally Allcorn who came across the letter while working in the research center archives.
Fort Delaware December 11th 1864
My dear Cousin Beckie
Your very kind and affectionate letter of the 3rd inst came to hand several days ago and would have been answered ere this but cos have been awaiting a reply from the commanding officer here as we had sent out a petition asking to be allowed to receive a box of eatables for Christmas. Which request I am sorry to say was refused and I suppose we will have to be content with our usual daily allowance which consists of a small piece of buffalo bacon and bread. Coffee, tea and sugar we get for greenbacks at the rate of one dollar per pound for ground coffee and sixty cents per pound for sugar. That is almost equal to the starving confederacy is it not. My dear cousin I did not apply for a permit for the blanket from the fact that an officer of my division made a similar request only a few days ago and was refused. I often ask myself this question, why we are this punished. I shall endeavor to obtain permission to receive some stationary and the cough mixture, my health I am rejoiced to say is much better and I hope to be entirely well soon and if you will only write often I will assure you that your dear letter shall lack nothing in interest on that score. So write often. My kindest regards to Cousin Annie. Ever your Cousin,
James G. Blackmon
A copy of the original is available in the members only area at http://wcgs.posterous.com/my-first-blog-post-22939.
A potentially powerful short series on PBS next month explores “What Made America?” through a look at the family trees of a number of Americans.
Thanks to Diane Haddad on her Family Tree Magazine blog for bringing this to our attention.
The program will be on Wednesdays from Feb. 10 to March 3 at 7.p.m. CST.
An excellent video preview is available at http://www.pbs.org/wnet/facesofamerica/.
This is one of the programs PBS is presenting about the heightened interest in genealogy in this country. It might present opportunities for local tie-in activities by our society.
Don Raney, a descendant of Martin Varner of Wood County and author of the recent biography/family history of Martin Varner and descendants, will be speaking to the East Texas Genealogical Society at 2 p.m. Saturday, January 9 at the Tyler Public Library. The public, which includes any of us in the Wood County Genealogical Society, is invited to attend.
The program is about “Martin Varner, Texas Pioneer, 1785-1844. Don has spoken to and visited with us here at the Wood County society in the past and is a visitor to Wood County from time to time.
Weather forecast is such that it will be warmer Saturday and the roads should be clear of any rain, snow, or ice in case that we have some between now and then.
Three new pages have been posted with indexes of microfilm and cd-rom disks in the library for research. Access the pages by clicking on the Libraries tab at the top of the home page at the WCGS Bulletin (or see above). They include Wood County Democrat back issues on microfilm, U. S. Federal censuses for Wood County and a few other counties, and cd-rom disks of research data. All these resources are for in-library use and require use of either a microfilm reader or computer which are available at the library.