Ancestry.com is offering free until Sept. 5 it’s immigration collection records. You can see more about the offer and what you have to do to access these free records by taking a look at this post from Randy’s Seaver‘s Genea-Musings blog.
Winners of the prize drawings for the Old Settlers Reunion and for the reunion week workshop conducted by George Morgan of Aha Seminars, Inc. have been announced.
David Hiett — Free Membership
Regina Gilbreath — 10% Off at HOG Computer
Busker Fannin III — 10% off at HOG Computer
Kay Cameron — the dressed and decorated toy Bear
S. Boswank — the Varner Book
Kellyn Swoape — $65 value Computer Cleaning at HOG Computer
Those who were not present at the drawing are being contacted. Thanks to all who participated, provided prizes, and helped conduct the drawing.
Life in The Piney Woods
By Ona Wood
The Pines Whisper
Peter M. Gunstream loved the Southland of the United States. It was the place to which he had turned his steps when he set foot in America. He loved his home in the pines, and he and his family had worked hard to develop the land.
Although Mr. Gunstream owned some six slaves, he was opposed to the system of slavery and treated the Negroes very humanely. He worked them hard; he did not ask more of them than he could do himself, but Mr. Gunstream was not one to condone idleness.
He always gave the Negroes their Sundays to go anywhere they wished. If a young Negro, man or woman, married in some other section of the county, Mr. Gunstream arranged to buy his or her mate, or if the choice was to go to the mate’s owner, he managed to trade or sell.
He deeply deplored the fact that the south was planning to leave the union and did not believe that secession was right.
Each year since he and his family had lived in East Texas, they had strived to make their home more comfortable. His wife, though a little French lady, had been born in the Southland. Her people had become his people, and they had been helpful through the years; she had been courageous — a characteristic which befitted the life of every pioneer.
By 1862, the Gunstreams had lived on their land in Wood County for 15 years.
Mr. Gunstream had reached the age of 46 years and was still able to turn out much work, but with the South at war, he and his family would need to extend their energies a little further.
Pioneer women could never be idle. They had loved ones on the field of battle who were suffering hunger and disease.
In all the little homes could be heard the hum of the spinning wheel, the clicking of knitting needles, and the noise of the weavers’ shuttles. Cooking, washing and mending had to be done.
Though only 36 years of age, Mrs. Gunstream grew tired. Hard work weakened her body, and she became ill.
Few doctors were available; the difficulty of travel and the distance between settlements in East Texas made it well nigh impossible to have medical care.
Mary Alitia Gunstream died 24 July 1862.
Peter Gunstream had been called upon many times to make coffins for his neighbors, but he was now confronted with the sad duty of constructing a coffin for his lovely little wife.
They buried her on top of the hill about one-half mile from her home on the land she had helped to settle. She was buried near her son, Little Peter, who had died at an early age.
The grave site was in the deep woods where peace reigned supreme, and the fragrance of the beauty of the countryside pervaded the soft breezes as they stirred gently through the dense foliage of the woodland.
Mockingbirds whistled in the giant oaks, and redbirds nested in the green cedars. In the springtime, wild azaleas bloomed profusely; Sweet Williams fringed the hillside, and from their heliotrope blossoms floated a delicate perfume.
Buckeye with plumes of scarlet flowers and dark green foliage grew in the deep woods and added their queenly beauty to the haven; while from under a carpet of deep brown leaves, spread by the hoar frosts of countless ages, purple violets peeped modestly.
High above it all, like a canopy overspread, the tall pines whispered and moaned, but always they told a story of love.
Mrs. Gunstream left six children. Gustavas was just reaching young manhood; Belinda was 16 years old. The younger children were Andrew, Limuel, Christina, and the baby, Jerome, scarcely six months of age.
To Belinda fell the task of attending the younger children. Jerome, flaxen-haired and fair, was her pride and joy. To him, she devoted her untiring attention.
Continued on the Members-only page which can be accessed with the link at the top right of this page. If you have forgotten the member password, send an email to the Bulletin editor.
Two important notices about the 2011-2012 Wood County (TX) Genelogical Society year beginning in September and the September 19 (at 6 p.m.) kick-off meeting and potluck dinner at the library:
1. Dues ($15 for individual members and $20 for family membership) are payable in September. You can bring them to the meeting or mail them starting now and through September to Treasurer, Wood County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 832, Quitman, Texas 75783. It is important to get them in as soon as possible so that we can start funding 2011-2012 society activities.
2. Officers and chairpersons for the year:
President – Ronnie Vance
Vice-President – Deason Hunt
Secretary – Shirley Patrick
Treasurer – Wayne McCluney
Ways and Means – Ronnie Vance
Editorial – Deason Hunt
Membership – Shirley Patrick
Budget and Finance – Wayne McCluney
Requisition and Acquisition-Shirley Bates (co)
-Dorothy Harbin (co)
Publicity – Kathy Lutonsky
Obituary – Mary Ann Niswanger
Hospitality and Gift – Sally Allcorn
A number of members indicated they would like to work with the various committees. Now is a great time to contact the chairpersons and let them know what you are ready and willing to do in those areas.
You don’t have to write a book to publish your family history research for future generations, and you don’t have to wait until you have eliminated every brick wall to start publishing.
That’s what one of my favorite bloggers, Denise Barrett Olson, has to say in a recent blog post. You can get all the details spelled out much more spiffily than I can do it by reading her contribution to FamilySearch.org’s Techtips at this link: http://goo.gl/KVjbn. A brief quote got me to thinking:
And, who says your family history has to be a book? Why not a documentary? Or a multimedia scrapbook? Or a blog?
While there take a look at some of the other Tech Tips.
Technology tips for genealogists and family historians.
You can take a look at Denise’s Moultrie Creek Gazetter at this link: http://moultriecreek.us/
PROVO, UTAH (August 17, 2011)- Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online family history resource, today announced that both the images and indexes to the 1940 U.S. Federal Census will be made free to search, browse, and explore in the United States when this important collection commences streaming onto the website in mid-April 2012.
When complete, more than 3.8 million original document images containing 130 million plus records will be available to search by more than 45 fields, including name, gender, race, street address, county and state, and parents’ places of birth. It will be Ancestry.com’s most comprehensively indexed set of historical records to date.
Ancestry.com is committing to make the 1940 Census free from release through to the end of 2013, and by doing so hopes to help more people get started exploring their family history. As this census will be the most recent to be made publicly available, it represents the best chance for those new to family history to make that all-important first discovery.
Part of a news release from Ancestry.com
Three books of abstracts of Wood County records have been at to the society’s Genealogy Research Room at the Quitman Public Library.
Wood County Unclaimed Marriages 1890 to 1960s is a listing of marriage certificates at the Wood County Courthouse in Quitman which have never been picked up. The data of names and dates duplicates some in our bound books of county marriages also in the research room, but these are actual certificates housed at the courthouse in the basement (at the time of the research for the book published in 2008). The certificates are “gradually fading away due to age and climate conditions” according to Patsy Vinson, president of the Organization for the Preservation of Historical and Genealogical Records (OPHGR) which published all three of these new books.Proof of relationship to the persons on the certificate is required to pickup a copy at the courthouse.
Mechanic’s Liens of Wood County, Texas Volume A names individuals and businesses involved in buying and selling of items such as building materials for houses and equipment and the terms of loans to secure the transactions. The book is indexed. The information was compiled by Laverne Howard Wyatt and pubished in 2009.
Misdemeanor Guilty Pleas of Wood County, Texas -1892-1946 Volumes 1 to 4 lists names of those who so plead, fines, jail times, and the nature of the criminal offense. Jail times ranged from none to minutes to multiple days. Some of the crimes included assaults, gaming, abusive language, killing quail out of season, and killing fish. The book is also indexed. The author is Patsy Vinson, and the book was published in 2008.
There’s no question that an enormous brick wall faces most African-American researchers because of the lack of readily available information especially in the lack of census records during the era of slavery.
Kimberly Powell of About.com Genealogy has listed her top ten online sites for African-American genealogy research at this link: http://genealogy.about.com/od/african_american/tp/best_sites.htm
We seem to be getting a higher place in search engines for Wood County, Texas genealogy. That means we are seeing more and more queries from people who live too far away to drive or fly to Wood County to research.
This also means those who have subscribed to our website auto email feature are receiving lots of emails. Sorry about that, but it seems to be the price of success.
What we need is more members both living in Wood County and those who live far away who can provide information to queries to start responding to these requests. In the best of all worlds, if we do this for others, we can hope someone will also help us when we are too far away to drive to an area for our own research.
Also, if you contact the person directly when the person provides an email address, please also send a copy (cc or bcc to firstname.lastname@example.org) so that we can share what you have found here for other researchers who might have an interest. A lot of us doing a little share means we can be of more service to more people.