We’re having an “Eating Meeting” in May

The program for the May meeting of the Wood County Genealogical Society (when we elect officers for the next year) will be a pot-luck dinner and business meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Library next Monday, May 17. Note the starting time is 30 minutes earlier than usual. We will skip the usual 5:30 p.m. get-together at Peralta’s this month only.

We are urging all members within driving distance to get some vittles and come on over and share the evening with the rest of us. We’ll visit, probably tell some tall-tales, and just have a good old time. Hope you will be there.

Bridges Cemetery Meeting

Any members having family buried in the Bridges Cemetery near Chapman in Rusk County, Texas are advised of the Annual Meeting and Dinner of the Bridges Cemetery Association this Saturday (May 15, 2010) on the grounds near the cemetery. Bridges Cemetery is near Henderson. For details, you should contact Sharon Gallatin Phillips, who emailed us with this reminder, at phillipsgato@aol.com.

Follow-up to FREE Genealogy Guide

If you missed the comment to the last posting, here’s the link for the free copy of the William Dollarhide book: http://www.worldvitalrecords.com/download-ebook.aspx.

FREE Genealogy Guide

Thanks to member Scott Fitzgerald in a posting to tx-etgs@rootsweb.com for this tip: a free downloadable .pdf copy of William Dollarhide’s “Getting Started in Genealogy Online.”

It’s a 60-plus page book with the basics of starting (and re-starting and getting back on track) your genealogical search with a large number of online clickable web links. You can go buy the hardbound book or get this one for free by downloading it.

There are a few ads on the first pages (three) one for a book by Scott Drew, one for the Genealogical.com website where you can — if you wish — sign up for a free genealogy newsletter by email, and one for WorldVitalRecords.com which is offering the Dollarhide book download for NOTHING. As a courtesy I looked at the ads and as a way of thanking them, I browsed those three ad pages, but it’s not required.

For me, this download was a must have. After looking at it, I saved a copy (perfectly legal by their terms of use) to my computer. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
This is the download link: http://www.worldvitalrecords.com/download-ebook.aspx

Scott Fitzgerald is the editor of “East Texas Family Records, a quarterly publication of the East Texas Genealogical Society which covers the counties of Anderson, Gregg, Henderson, Panola, Rusk and Smith.” and the “Treasurer (2008-2011) of the Texas State Genealogical Society” among other things in the genealogical world of Texas. He has also presented programs at our Wood County society meetings.

Who Do You Think You Are Reruns

Kathi over at Ancestor Search Blog points out that reruns of the Who Do You Think You Are series are begiinig on Friday nights on MSNBC at 9 p.m. CDT. You can get all her post at Ancestor Search Blog: Who Do You Think You Are? Reruns on MSNBC

Query: Gunter, Maybry

A researcher named Paul is looking for information on Gunter burials in Wood County. His main interest is in the years 1850 to 1875. You can read his entire query on the Rootsweb message board at this link: http://boards.rootsweb.com/localities.northam.usa.states.texas.counties.wood/598/mb.ashx.

Welcome to New Members

Two new members joined the society in April. We extend to them a warm welcome.

Barbara Coleman joined at the April meeting. She lives here in Wood County with a Quitman address. Surnames she is searching include Collier and Coleman of Tarrant County, Texas and Barr.

Tammy Fletcher (Tamela Arnwine Fletcher) joined by mail and was added to the membership roll in April. She lives in Anchorage, Alaska. Quoting from her letter, her Wood County, Texas lines are ” Arnwine, Bryant, Hyde, King, Rudd, Mann, Mize, and Terry.
John Bryant (1858-1925) m. Sarah Elizabeth Terry Bryant (1866-1948)
Henry Elgie Bryant (1897-1970) m. Zora Ada Mize Bryant (1907-1993)
Reuben Terry (1831-1875) m. Ann Elizabeth Mann Terry Ross (1838-1896)
John T. Mize (1854-1912) m. Eldorado Marganes Hyde Mize (1855-1916)
Lewis Benjamin Mize (1881-1934) m. Lela Eugene King Mize (1881-1950)
Francis A.A. King (1861-1940) m. Mary Jane K. Rudd King (1859-1890)

“My mother, Juanda Nell Bryant Miller Arnwine was born in Alba, Texas.
My grandfather was Clinton Arnwine who lived in Mineola and died in 1985, and my step grandmother Eunice Pearl Taylor Bryant Arnwine will celebrate her 100th birthday in Mineola on 19 Dec 2010.”

The contact information for these new members is available on the Member Contact List 2009-10 on the member-only page. Current members who have computer access and who have forgotten the password can contact Deason Hunt at netexas@gmail.com or at 402 Evening Shadows Trail, Holly Lake Ranch, Texas 75765.

A Real “Rootin’, Tootin” Pioneer Hero

It’s a wonder that no one has made a novel, movie, or television series about the life of Wood County’s Martin Varner. It’s all there in black and white in Don Raney‘s recent history of Varner, “Martin Varner: Texas Pioneer, His Life Story and His Descendants.” And, there’s a whole lot of Wood County history there through tracing the many family connections of the Varner family.

Don was born here himself in the Hoard community and not very far from the area that Varner and his family (the first White settlers in the Wood County area) lived just south of present-day Hainesville. Connections to other historic pioneer families of Wood County are also in the book.

Don made all this come alive in his presentation to the April meeting of the society at the library in Quitman. If you want a story about a man who traveled across the United States to Texas with conflicts along the way with Indians, the United States government, and, oh, yes, the Mexican government and ultimately Santa Anna’s army, Don Raney is a man you should see (or at least read his book). Varner’s ultimate death at the hands of a neighbor over what seems to us a trivial matter (tools of the neighbor’s trade) qualifies as a true heroic tragedy.

I am so happy I didn’t miss the April meeting and, thus, miss hearing Don tell the story. I knew he was a good teacher from a previous visit he made to the society and from workshops I attended which he taught at a genealogical conference in Lufkin several years ago.

If you missed the meeting and have not seen his book, society Vice-president Dororthy Harbin has some copies of the book for sale at a very reasonable price (and a part of the purchase price will go as a donation to the society). You can contact her at 903-571-4965 or at P.O. Box 794, Quitman, TX 75783 or by email at Reddot77@aol.com.

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