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Notice from WordPress.com

Free Search of Historic American Newspapers

What can you learn at the Library of Congress’ FREE Chronicling America Historic American Newspapers site? (link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/)
As an example I searched on Quitman in Texas newspapers and came up with these two of many hits. You might find your own ancestors’ names there either in Texas or other states.

Prisoner returned to Quitman
From the Palestine Texas Daily Herald, Jan. 05, 1906, Image 5
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86090383/

Winnsboro hosts Educational Conference
From the Jefferson, Texas Jimplecute, Nov. 5, 1904, Image 5
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86089977/

Thanks to Randy Seaver for calling this site to my attention today in his daily tips.

Ancestries in Quitman, Texas

Ancestries in Quitman City, Texas

United States Or American: 23.4%
Other Groups: 20.8%
Irish: 15.0%
English: 13.7%
German: 8.7%
French (except Basque): 3.4%
Scottish: 2.5%
Scotch-irish: 2.3%
Italian: 2.1%
Dutch: 2.0%

Source: http://www.citymelt.com/city/Texas/Quitman+City-TX.html
Submitted by: Delene H. Allen, Director, Quitman Public Library

Workshop Features Basics, Strategies, A Look Ahead

Morgan presents Slide

Over 50 attendees were challenged, informed, and delighted at the genealogy workshop presented by George Morgan of Aha Seminars today at the Quitman, Texas Public Library. George presented basic research strategies for beginners and as a refresher for experienced researchers in such areas as evidence, documentation, use of maps in research, preparing research pictures of ancestors, the use of HeritageQuest, and innovations in genealogy research.

The day-long workshop was sponsored by the Northeast Texas Library System (NETLS) and the Quitman Public Library and co-hosted by the Wood County Genealogical Society and the library.

Historic Burning of Court House

The loss of many records of the early years of Wood County, Texas resulted from the burning twice of the County Courthouse in Quitman. The following act of the Wood County Commissioner’s Court is an official reference to the first of these fires in 1878.

“Whereas in the burning of the Court House on the 11th day of December A. D. 1878, all the books and records of the County Treasurer’s office, and all other books showing the financial condition of the County, having been destroyed; it is therefore, for the purpose of enabling this Court to make out a statement of the financial condition of the County as required by law, ordered by the Court that all claims or warrants issued upon the County Treasurer of Wood County, by competent authority, prior to said 11th day of December 1878, be presented to the clerk of the County Court of Wood County, on or before the 1st day of November next, and that said claims be registered by said clerk as presented to him, in the Minutes of this Court, showing the date of each claim, the amount of the claim, upon what fund drawn to whom issued and the registered number of them Treasurer where such claims have been registered. It is further ordered that notice hereof be given as required by
Sec. 9 of “An Act to organize Commissioners’ Court, and to define their jurisdiction and duties, and provide for vacancies therein”, approved July 22, 1876.”

– Copied from the May 2011 “Window to the Past”
Newsletter of the Organization for the Preservation of Historical and Genealogical Records (OPHGR) of Canton, Van Zandt County, Texas, Patsy Vinson & Betty Miller, editors.

Regarding the Wood County Courthouse Fire December 11, 1878:
From Volume 1, Page 1, of the Civil Minutes of the District Court of Wood County, Texas: January 27, 1879
“This is the first Minute Books used after the fire which occurred in the morning of the 11th of December, A. D. 1878, at about 2 o’clock in the night, and which resulted in Destruction of the Courthouse and all the papers and records contained therein, said house is supposed to have been set on fire by some incendiary, but no one has been able to trace it to the purpertrator (sic) up to this date. Great was the loss in said fire to both private individuals and the officers of this county. District Court was in session at the time.” (This was from a newsletter entry labeled “Miscellaneous Tidbits from the Late Ona Wood’s Notes”, 1994 Volume, July Issue, Newsletter No. 35, page 50.)

Database of Wood County Names

Member Mark Reid shared with us his response to an email from another member, Vi Shirey, asking if her John T. Potter was on the CD of 17,000 Wood County, Texas surnames.

No. John T. Potter does not exist on this database. I see a John L Potter b. 1843 from GA.
The CD has been given to both the Quitman and Mineola libraries. I have up-dated the database somewhat since the creation of those CDs but I have not updated the CDs. You are welcome to the database just by asking. You must use Personal Ancestry File (PAF) to read it. That program is free from the LDS web site.

Mark’s reference to the database of names being free for the asking is a repeat of an offer he made in October 2009 and which is still available.

Mark wrote this in a comment (in part) on the Wood County Genealogical Society Coffee Klatch at Genealogywise:

For several years, I have been compiling a database of Wood County people.
A couple of years (maybe more) ago I put a CD in the Quitman and Mineola libraries containing this database, at that time a bit over 17000 people.
The Society also offered the CD for sale, but with zero response.
I keep putting people in the database and I am now up to a bit over 18,700 people. I want other people to have access to this material although I must
retain the ability to keep plugging away at additions, etc.
One possible thing to do: I would be willing to email a compacted data file to any member/researcher. Just ask at woodco@suddenlink.net.

This is a valuable resource for any researcher of Wood County. If you are interested, please contact Mark at woodco@suddenlink.net.

Handbell Group, Officer Election at May Meeting Next Week

The Golden Bells, an ensemble of handbell players at the First Methodist Church of Quitman, will entertain at the Wood County, Texas Genealogical Society regular May meeting next Monday, May 16 with a program of old folk tunes, some hymns, patriotic tunes.

The society will also elect officers for the 2011-2012 society year at the meeting which begins at 7 p.m. at the Shamburger Room of the Quitman Public Library.

The pre-meeting gathering (optional but open to all members and guests) at Peralta’s Mexican Restaurant will be at 5:30 p.m. rather than the normal earlier time for this month only. Also, the pre-meeting help period for members and public desiring help getting started on their family tree or overcoming brick walls will not be held at the May meeting.

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