Genealogy Networking Near and Far

While some people are reluctant to join Facebook because they think (erroneously it turns out) it’s just for teeny boppers, for dating, or makes them vulnerable to loss of privacy (again in actuality, these are not true), there is a social networking site where we can talk with and explore the ideas, etc. of other genealogists.

It is Genealogywise, a free site, which some of our own society members have frequented from time to time.

On top of that, there is a page there set up for members of the Wood County Genealogical society called the Wood County (TX) Genealogy Coffee Klatch. While it has been quiet all this past spring and summer, discussion topics, etc. which are not really appropriate for the society newsletter (that is ideas in the formation stage or those just being floated to test the waters of member opinion) will be posted there starting in October and into the future.

You are urged to go there and post your own ideas, suggestions, etc. and comment on the ones others post there.

Genealogywise, of course, is much broader than just our society and includes a variety of topics about genealogy. This month’s Genwise Newsletter, in fact, features a group started by a member of the Wood County Genealogical Society called Save Our (Local Genealogy) Societies. It was started by your newsletter editor, Deason Hunt. (Yes, it seems very strange to talk about myself in the third person.) If interested, you can check it out by clicking the link above.

SOS(Local Genealogy)sites

The Genwise September 29, 2010 Newsletter has this to say about the SOS group: Genealogy societies are important partners in our genealogy research. Local genealogy societies can be a place to learn and network and those societies in our ancestor’s locality can be a place to ask for research help. This group started by Deason Hunt is for “Discussion, Tips, and Innovations to strengthen and help local genealogical societies with growth and ideas for activities.”

Genealogywise is a website worth checking out. Most likely we all have something to add to the discussions there as well as enjoying getting to network with other genealogists online.

Joseph Dean LaRue 1938-2010

We note with sadness the passing of long-time WCGS member Joseph LARUE of Laneville, Texas. Joe has been a researcher of families in Wood County and has relatives in Wood County and in the WCGS. We extend our deepest sympathy to his family.

Joseph Dean LaRue
December 14, 1938 – September 16, 2010

Funeral services for Joseph Dean LaRue, 71, of Laneville, were held
2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010, at Crawford-A. Crim Funeral Home Joseph Laruewith Rev. Joe Brooks officiating. Interment followed at Laneville Cemetery under the direction of Crawford-A. Crim Funeral Home in Henderson.

Mr. LaRue died Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010, at Autumn Leaves Nursing Home. He was born Dec. 14, 1938, in Paris, Texas and had been living in Laneville since 1987. He worked as a mechanical engineer and was owner of Heritage Construction.

He was preceded in death by: his parents; granddaughter, >Devin Newman; and brother, James LaRue.

Survivors include: wife of 34 years, Patsye Moore LaRue; son, Stacy Little of Laneville; three daughters, Kecia LaRue Helms and husband Paul, Carrie LaRue Cox and husband Michael and Deneen LaRue Whitaker and husband David, all of Paris; nine grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Pallbearers were Stacy Little, Cody Walters, Twaine Walters, Zack Philpot, Blake Crews and Hayden McGee.

Condolences may be made at

Obituary information Provided By:
Crawford – A. Crim Funeral Home
1414 South Main Street
Henderson, TX 75652

Message from Drawing Winner

Joe Wayne REYNOLDS who won the Martin VARNER book in the drawing at The Old Settler’s Reunion 2010, sent the following comment. I decided to move it here for those who don’t follow comments to postings.

2010/09/15 at 9:24 pm
Just wanted to say I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the Martin Varner biography that I received from the drawings held at the Old Settler’s Reunion in August. Thank you and I hope to someday become more informed of my own family’s heritage in the East TX area, through the resources provided by the Wood Co Geneaological Society.

Covered Dish Dinner for Sept. Meeting

Next Monday (Sept. 20) at 6:30 p.m., the Wood County Genealogical Society will kick-off its 2010-2011 year with a covered dish dinner in the Shamburger Room at the Quitman Public Library. We will eat, visit, and probably talk about some things that we might like to do this year. We hope that you will be able to join us.

It would be helpful if you would contact Dorothy Harbin ( 903-967-2458 – home, 903-571-4965 – cell, this week and let her know if you are coming and perhaps if you plan to bring meat, veggies, salad, dessert, breads, etc. Deason Hunt is bringing fried chicken and a dessert and eating utensils and plates. Dorothy is bringing iced tea and ice. Shirley Bates and Lahoma Clanton are providing a ham, Sally Allcorn a casserole and salad, Willie Kay Paredez unsweet tea and glasses, Vickie Petersen burritos. Those are all we’ve heard from Tuesday night. Remember, potluck means bring whatever you feel comfortable bringing. Also, if you would like to bring guests feel free to do so.

We won’t meet at Peralta’s at 5:30 p.m. this month only.

Also, MEMBERSHIP FEES for the 2010-2011 year ARE DUE IN SEPTEMBER. You may mail them to Treasurer, Wood County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 832, Quitman, Texas 75783
you can bring them to the meeting next Monday night.

We look forward to seeing you next Monday where we’ll do social networking the old fashioned way: side by side and face to face.

Query: Hinson

My great grandfather, James Henry HINSON was born in April 1867 at Rocky River Springs, Tyson Township, Stanly County, North Carolina. He married on December 22, 1887 in Stanly County, North Carolina to Lucy Ann FLOYD born April 11, 1869 Stanly Co., NC and she died April 14, 1914 in Stanly County, NC. James Henry Hinson and family moved to supposedly “Woods, Texas”, where he died of the “fever” while building a fence in January 1904. He sold his land in North Carolina in December of 1903. He was supposedly buried underneath a large oak tree, with no stone, at a Baptist Church. One side of the family that lives in Oklahoma stated that he died of a “gunshot wound” before leaving North Carolina and traveled to Teneha, Texas. Can anyone help me find my great grandfather’s resting place? Could it be “Wood County, Texas”?
William A. HINSON

Query: Camp Wood

My name is Betty KERSTIENS. I live in Red Oak, TX. I found a very old button, looks like it was from a shirt. It has the shape of Texas and has Wood Texas on the front. It show what looks like trees dotting the mid to lower left hand side of the Texas shape (southwestern and western Texas. I know that there was a Camp Woods in Wood, Texas. Do you know of any military group or any type of uniform that had this type of buttons on them? I would greatly appreciate it, if you could take the time to share any information that you might have on a button like this. You can contact Betty at We would also be interested if you would share anything you have for Betty by posting a comment below.

Some thoughts about genealogical societies

In July of 2009, I set up a page called Save Our (Local Genealogical) Societies at Genealogywise. If you might be interested in such a topic, you can read some recent comments about that subject at this link:

Have You Really Proved Your Ancestry?

Using RootsWeb
By Mary Harrell-Sesniak
“Genealogy is not just a pastime; it’s a passion.”

Have You Really Proved Your Ancestry?

Researchers often feel they’ve proved ancestry because they located family in one or more online trees.

But tying into a database doesn’t suffice as proof. For that, you need to verify an author’s sources and references – whether they are from original or derivative documents – and whether they can be treated as primary or secondary sources.

Original vs. Derivative Documents
The first term is easy, as original records must be original and not copies. Examples are birth, marriage and death certificates created by attending physicians or officiates, any hand-written or original typed document / letter and first time photographs, which are not scans or reprints.

Derivatives imply that documents came from (e. g., were derived from) other sources. This applies to, but is not limited to, abstracts, articles, scans, copies, transcriptions, family histories, card files and online databases.

Derivatives can establish viable evidence of ancestry, but only

if citations are accessible for examination

if they are not too many steps removed from the original — such as a fact referring to a reference which was not verified (e. g., a copy of a copy of a copy)

Rule of thumb:
Any document, database or citation which is one or more steps removed from the original, must be evaluated as to whether the intermediary author examined the original or a reliable reference referring to the original.

This doesn’t mean we should discount all online data. Just treat it as possible leads (not proof), and find source documents for verification. After all, most of us would not be able to pursue so much of our ancestry, without these valuable clues.

Primary vs. Secondary Sources
Primary sources are those created close to the time of an event, assuming the originator had the proper expertise and authority to create it. Some examples are:

birth, marriage and death certificates
artifacts, such as military badges
commemorative plaques
certain ephemera (e. g., playbills, advertisements)

Secondary sources are all those created after an event, including:

delayed birth registrations
abstracts, summaries, etc.

Some documents have both primary and secondary elements, depending upon the information. For example, a passenger manifest is a primary document in regards to the details of the voyage, but a secondary source for birth dates, addresses, etc. The same issue relates to birth dates on tombstones, which are always secondary. And depending upon when the monument was erected (or replaced), a death date can be secondary.

Diaries, whereby events were recorded on a day by day basis, are considered primary, but an author’s memory of the past is secondary.

And a dilemma exists in regard to Bible records, whereby the author and date of the entry is uncertain. As a result, many lineage societies note whether a title page with publication date is available, and whether the handwriting and ink changes from item to item.

One might think that original documents are always primary sources – and that derivatives are always secondary. But in reality, it is possible for either type to be primary or secondary. For example,

A hand-written letter discussing family births is an original document, but the source is secondary, since it occurred after the original events.

A film created of an original document (such as those made by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) is a derivative treated as a primary source, since the copy is a reliable representation of the original.

Preponderance of the Evidence vs. the Genealogical Proof Standard
The final step in proving ancestry lies in the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS).

Until recently, researchers cited evidence based upon the legal principle of preponderance of the evidence – meaning that if definitive proof documents could not be located, and if all evidence pointed in the right direction, then a lineage or relationship was accepted as true.

But there are numerous examples of why this might not be true. In my own ancestry, there were three William Harrells, recorded on early census records in Wythe Co., Virginia. A logical assumption might be that they were kin, given that they shared names and lived in the same vicinity. But DNA studies imply that they share a more distant relationship, despite the preponderance of the evidence.

Although certification is not a requirement for proving ancestry, you may wish to review the five elements of the GPS, established by the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG). They recommend that a strong genealogical proof should include:

a reasonably exhaustive search;
complete and accurate source citations;
analysis and correlation of the collected information;
resolution of any conflicting evidence; and
a soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion.

As you search through records on RootsWeb, and other sites, keep in mind that you can’t be sure of the information until you have seen the evidence. Happy sleuthing!

Previously published in RootsWeb Review: 8 September 2010, Vol. 13, No. 9 Reprinted with permission

Query: Mitchell (Obituary Lookup)

Hello, I am trying to find an obituary for a great great grandmother of mine. I am hoping it will have her maiden name on it so I can complete my family tree. Her name is Eddie Agnes MITCHELL. She was born Nov. 29, 1892 and she died in June of 1977 in Quitman, Texas. Originally posted as a comment to another post by Raine GEE ( (I moved it here so that it would be more visible. dh)


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