Tag Archives: Library

Society Showcase: Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants

Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants to exhibit at FGS 2014

Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants to exhibit at FGS 2014

Society Showcase, Booth A


“You have a family tradition that you descend from a passenger on the Mayflower but have never known how to prove it.”  Visit the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants booth at FGS 2014 and learn how you can trace your ancestors to find out if they were part of this adventurous group of settlers.

Following renewed interest in American History during the 1876 centennial celebration of the United States, hereditary and patriotic organizations became popular. As interest in preserving the memory of their ancestors grew, so did these groups. Since 1896, the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants has focused on gathering together “to honor and perpetuate the memory of our Mayflower Ancestors and the ideals of American freedoms and democracy …”

The goal of the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants is to “join together people who share this heritage and to carry on the memory of our Pilgrim ancestors.” The Society’s website contains information on history, bibliographies, museum, and membership opportunities.

Stop by the Society Showcase Booth A in the FGS 2014 Conference Exhibit Hall in San Antonio.

Directory of FGS 2014 Society Showcase participants


Share Button

Society Showcase: Clayton Library Friends

Visit Clayton Library Friends in the Society Showcase at FGS 2014.

Visit Clayton Library Friends in the Society Showcase at FGS 2014.

Visit with Clayton Library Friends in the Society Showcase at the FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio 27-30 August 2014.

The Exhibit Hall at this year’s event features a section highlighting FGS member societies and other organizations. Watch this blog in the coming days for a preview of some of these groups; then learn more by visiting their booth in San Antonio.

About Clayton Library Friends
The Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research is a unit of the Houston Public Library. It houses an international research collection consisting of materials for all 50 states and many foreign countries. The collection contains approximately 100,000 books; 3000 periodicals titles; 70,000 reels of microfilm; a microfiche and microcard collection as well as numerous electronic databases. The mission of the Clayton Library friends is to enrich the resources and facilities of Clayton Library. Their activities include organizing and directing fundraising projects to support the acquisition of research materials for the library, to upgrade library facilities, and to enhance library services. In addition, Clayton Library Friends provides programs that encourage family history research and volunteer specialized services to educate the public in the use of Clayton Library and its collection.

See list of Society Showcase Exhibitors.


Share Button

Following our Ancestors on the Texas Trail – part 2

Part 1 took you to Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston. Here are just a few resources in Austin and San Antonio. There are 254 counties in Texas, all with resources and stories to tell. Watch this site in the coming months for even more hints on researching in Texas and join us in San Antonio to learn more!

AustinTexas State Archives – The Texas State Archives is part of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC).  It is charged with maintaining the official history of Texas government and contains records dating back to the 18th century. The State Archives also provides advice for preservation of book and paper-based collection held by smaller institutions.  Its genealogy collection includes everything from city directories and newspapers to a variety of Texas government records. To review some of the items in its collection, visit the Online Public Access Catalog.

AustinTexas General Land Office – The Texas General Land Office had its beginnings as early as 1838 when John O. Borden began collecting land records from various sources scattered throughout the state. Today the GLO maintains approximately 35 million records dating back to 1720, including 80,000 maps, sketches and plat maps.  Some highlights of the collection include the original Spanish and Mexican land grants, the first draft of the Texas Constitution, rare copies of 1836 muster rolls and military records of Texas heroes, confederate documents including scrip certificates, letters and diaries, and original signatures of Texas patriots such as Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin and others. The GLO also provides online access to one of the largest collections of land records in the country.

San Antonio Genealogical & Historical Society Library – The SAGHS Library is considered one of the best private repositories of historical and genealogical material in southwest Texas.  The collection includes 16,000+ volumes, periodicals, maps, etc. which are housed in an historic 1926 two-story Mediterranean style ranch house.

San Antonio Public Library, Texana/Genealogy DepartmentTexana/Genealogy Department is located on the sixth floor of the Central San Antonio Public Library. The collection includes 65,000 microfilms, 77,000 books, 150 drawers of archival files, 75 map cabinet drawers and approximately 300 cubic feet of archival collections.

Share Button

Following our Ancestors on the Texas Trail – part 1

“Gone to Texas” – that’s what many families claimed in the early 1800s to depict their migration to find new opportunities.   In 1824, Mexico passed the General Colonization Law, formally opening Texas to colonization.  Empresario grants were offered to individuals to encourage settlement and economic growth in what was then the remote Mexican land of Texas. The result was an influx of people seeking to find a better life for their family. In many cases they left signs posted on doors or carved in fences that said simply “G.T.T.” – “Gone to Texas.” Even today, those letters appear in penciled notations in records from that period in many other states.

FGS invites you to join us in San Antonio, Texas on August 27-30, 2014, for the 2014 Conference that draws genealogists from around the world. This year, we can all say we’ve “Gone to Texas.”

San Antonio offers a number of research opportunities during the conference. However, why not take this opportunity to take a research trip to other repositories throughout the state. Start now to plan your trip. We are fortunate that early Texans valued historic records; thus we have a number of repositories throughout the state. Texas is home to two of the top genealogical libraries in the country as well as a the NARA’s Southwest Regional Archives.  Watch for information about other research sites in the coming weeks.

Dallas Public Library Genealogy and Special Collections – The J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in downtown Dallas is home to one of the largest and most comprehensive collections for family history research in the Southwest. Named one of the Top 10 genealogy collections in the U.S. by Family Tree Magazine, the collection includes books, microfilm, microfiche, maps and charts related to all states and counties of the U.S. as well as resources for many foreign countries. Plus, the library maintains special collections on the 7th floor that include historical photographs and maps and other materials related specifically to Dallas and the surrounding area.

National Archives at Fort Worth – The Federal Records Centers for the National Archives have been preserving the nation’s records for more than 50 years.  There are two facilities in Fort Worth: one for archival records and one for microfilm research and public access computers. Records housed at the John Burgess facility date from the early 1800s to the late 1900s and include materials from over 100 Federal agencies and courts in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. Appointments may be scheduled to view the records at this facility. The Montgomery Plaza facility located in downtown Fort Worth is open to the public Monday-Friday and the third Saturday of each month. Here you’ll have access to federal population censuses, military and pension records, Dawes rolls and other records for the Five Civilized Tribes. Access to records is free. Visit their web site for hours and additional information.

HoustonClayton Library Center for Genealogical Research – The Clayton Library is a branch of the Houston Public Library. Named one of the top genealogy research libraries in the country by Family Tree Magazine, It is located in Houston’s Museum District in one of four building that include the original Clayton House, the Carriage and Guest House.  Its collection contains approximately 100,000 books, 3000 periodical titles; 70,000 reels of microfilm, and a microfiche and microcard collection.

There are 254 counties in Texas, all with resources and stories to tell. This is just the beginning. Over the next few months, you will learn more about Texas resources. Start now to make your plans for San Antonio in 2014.



Share Button