Query: Spearman, Barton

The following email with a query comes from Elaine BOND who writes:

The family name I am interested in is John William (Will) SPEARMAN. He married my grandmother Fredona BARTON and had two sons. I know very little about the Spearman side or the Barton side. I do know Will died 7-25-1922 and is buried in the Masonic cemetery in Mt. Pleasant.

If there are on-line records I would like to know how to access. I have placed an ad with the Tribune in Mt. Pleasant, also. Any info would be appreciated, and will pay for any postage or copies.

Yet Another Online Learning Opportunity

When I posted the previous item on online self-study resources for getting started in genealogy research or getting a refresher, I did a pretty extensive search. However, I have found another thanks to Leah of “The Internet Genealogist” blog at http://shbwgen.blogspot.com/2010/05/follow-friday-familysearch-online.html

She points out in a blog post which you can reach by clicking the link above Self study lesson and videos on FamilySearch.com at this address: http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/education/frameset_education.asp?PAGE=education_research_series_online.asp%3FActiveTab=2

I tried one of the videos and learned something in the first few minutes. Exploring these resources could prove a valuable use of your computer time online. They include videos and/or non-video lessons for techniques, tips, and research specifics about areas in the U. S. and in foreign countries.

“SOUNDING” AT FORD-GREEN CEMETERY This Friday

Thanks to society member and Wood County Historical Commission Chair Person Lou Mallory for sending the following email which we are passing on to all members:

“Next Friday, May 21, a “sounding” will take place at the Ford-Green Cemetery.
“For your information, a “sounding” is a process where by using a metal detector or other means unknown graves may be found.
Ford-Green Cemetery, long abandoned and forgotten, was adopted by the Junior Historians and the Landmark Commission several years ago.
Today, it is a cemetery association with both State and Federal tax exemption, and organized and approved by the District Court in 2009.
The cemetery association now has ownership and has agreed with the Texas Funeral Commission to do the following:
1. Erect a new fence.
2. Locate unknown graves and mark same.
3. Provide needed maintenance and care.
Anyone who would like to observe the “sounding” is welcome to attend as well as anyone who might be interested in learning the procedure.
“The “sounding” will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Ford-Green Cemetery which is located at the intersection of Country Club Drive and Green Road (County Road 2205).

Minutes of April Society Meeting

Here are the minutes of the April Wood County Genealogical Society meeting which will be presented at the May meeting tomorrow, May 17, at 7 p.m. at the Quitman Public Library meeting room.

WOOD COUNTY GENEALOGY SOCIETY
Monthly Meeting
Quitman Public Library
April 19, 2010

The meeting was called to order by President Shirley Patrick at 7:00 pm with 16 members and 10 guests. President Shirley Patrick welcomed everyone and thanked them for coming.

Our guest speaker for the evening was Don Raney. Mr. Raney is a sixth generation Texan who has been an active genealogist for over 30 years. He published a book, “Marin Varner, Texas Pioneer; 1785-1844 in September 2009. This book describes the life and adventures of his Great, Great, Great, Grandfather, Martin Varner, in Colonial Texas. He also had copies of this book for sale.

After the program the business meeting began at 8:35 pm. The minutes stood approved as presented.

Treasurer Sally Allcorn presented the following financial report:
Last Bank Statement Dated: March 1, 2010
Starting Balance Shown (03/01/10): $1,243.19
Deposits:
2 Single Memberships 30.00
Money from copier 5.00
Total Deposits: $ 35.00

Expenses:
Hometown Trophy (award for Shirley Bates) 32.16
Total Expenses: 32.16

Ending Balance Shown (03/31/10): $1,246.03

Outstanding checks: None

Total Deposits not shown: None

Current Balance: $1,246.03

The financial report stood approved as read.

Old Business:
A motion was made by Dorothy Harbin, seconded by Shirley Bates to pay Don Raney $50.00 for speaking to the society. Motion passed.

President Shirley Patrick reported next month will be elections of new officers. She appointed Mary Beth Ramage, Sally Allcorn, and herself to the budget committee. She also told those present to think about volunteering to serve on committees or in an officer position. Anyone who is interested in serving should call Deason Hunt or Shirley Patrick and let them know.

Mark Reid would like for someone to take over doing the name tags for the new members. Willie Kay Paredez suggested getting permanent name tags that the members purchase and keep up with. She showed two different examples of name tags from clubs that she is a member of.

New Business:
John McCall reported he is working on a project that helps to get markers for Confederate Graves that do not have one. Let him know if anyone needs one or finds a grave that might need one.

Mary Beth Ramage suggested two fund raising ideas one would be publishing an obit book for the society to sell with some of the information that we have in the genealogy room and the other was a 1st Families certificate which we could sell. The first families would have to fill out a form and the society would have to verify information that is on the form before giving out the certificate. Tyler does this and sells them for $25.00 each.

Mr. Raney left a case of ten books to sell with the society receiving a commission. Anyone who wants to purchase one needs to contact Dorothy Harbin.

The meeting adjourned at 9:00 pm.

Minutes were taken by recording/corresponding secretary Kathy Lutonsky.

Communications Advantage Wasted by So Few Email Subscribers

From the editor:

A savings of time, money, and effort in communicating with members in a timely manner has yet to be achieved by the advantages offered by the Bulletin website.

Whenever a new posted is loaded onto the site, an email with that post is sent to each person on the email subscription list. In essence, one action takes the place of two in communicating to the membership.

However, a recent check of the email subscribers list indicates that only a few members who have email are taking advantage of this option. Of the 30 people who are email subscribers, only 12 are current members of the society. Eighteen people who get our email updates are not society members. We welcome them to our service, but this still leaves us in a bind in communicating with members. In addition, only six members who live in Wood County are receiving email updates.

The recent email sent to almost 60 members was already posted at this bulletin website, but it was necessary to send the message again to all members because so few are signed up for our automatic service.

I know that whether or not you sign up to receive emails (or even read the emails which come to your inbox) is your right, and I wouldn’t presume to tell anyone they should. However, it would be very helpful to society volunteer officers, chair persons, and other volunteering members if we could use this inexpensive communications tool.

If you would like to sign up, just go to the top of the left column on this web page (www.woodtxgene.com) and click on the “Email Subscription” link. It’s quick, easy, and relatively painless — and it would improve our society communication immensely.

Bulletin Website Stats Sept. 2009-April 2010

This website has had 7,279 unique views since it was first available online in testing mode in late August 2009. The break down of views per month from September 2009 when the site was out of beta and presented for regular use are indicated in the chart below.

The most often viewed pages have been the “Home” page and The “Quitman – Local History and Genealogy” page. Others are in this chart:

Users clicking links from the website have most often clicked to the member only page (represented below as the WCGS.posterous.com link). Others are in the third chart.

By far the most referrals to our website from other websites has come from the Wood County page on the Texas Genweb with 171 referrals. The Texas Genweb society listing page was a distant second with 22 referrals and 17 came to us from the Quitman Library site.The other top referrers are the Genealogywise Wood County and Save our Society pages and worldvitalrecords.com.

Topics Users Searched in Genealogy Center

One of the measures of what is being researched in our genealogical collection at the Quitman library is topics of books left (at our request) for re-shelving. A Tally is kept of each book placed back on the shelves. The following information is from member’s tally from November 2008 to early May 2010. We realize that sometimes people do re-shelve books and they do not appear in this report, but this is a good look at where most research is being done.

Chart 1 is a summary of the tally of materials by topic. Charts 2 and 3 are showing relative use by percentage of materials in that topic area.

Chart 1

Chart 2

Chart 3

Genealogy Research Center Usage

A total of 197 users have signed in on the register at the Genealogy Research Center at the Quitman Library during the last 12 months. This is one measure of how much our center is used, but it does not include all those users who do not sign the register. Almost 60 percent of the users are current members of the society. Here’s the breakdown on usage:

We averaged 16 sign-in users a month during the year with 10 of those being members.On average three Wood County resident non-members used the center each month as did two users from Texas outside of Wood County, and one user from out of state.

The lowest number of users came in December and the winter months but including March and April. Numbers were up from May through November with the highest month October.

Query: Couch, Edgar, Gray

A researcher is looking for a record of an 1855 marriage in Wood County (Elisha Randolph Couch and Sarah Jane Edgar (Gray)) by The Rev. James Hargroves or Hargraves.

You can see the request at the Wood County (Texas) Ancestry message board at http://boards.rootsweb.com/localities.northam.usa.states.texas.counties.wood/599/mb.ashx.

Oops! Regular Meeting in May; Not an ‘Eating Meeting’

Cancel your plans to attend the “Eating Meeting” potluck supper at the May meeting. Due to a scheduling conflict, we are postponing that part of the May meeting until later in 2010.

The regular meeting will be held at the Quitman Library scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Officer elections will be held at that meeting.

You are invited to come by Peralta’s Restaurant in Quitman at 5:30 p.m. on meeting day and have a bite to eat and/or visit with those who come early before the regular meeting. As always, visitors and guests are welcome at both events.

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