Genealogypalooza at the Texas General Land Office on May 30th in Austin
The Texas General Land Office Archives and Records Division will host its second annual Genealogypalooza on Saturday, May 30 in Austin. Genealogypalooza is an innovative workshop for Texas genealogists interested in learning about some of the resources available at the GLO, as well as strategies for undertaking genealogical research across the state. This year, there are seven presentations from six speakers, as well as seven opportunities to tour the Archives of the Texas General Land Office, all for an affordable price.
John Sellers, one of the most captivating genealogical speakers in Texas, will offer two excellent presentations. First, he’ll explain that You Do Need To Know History in Your Genealogical Pursuits. This presentation takes a comprehensive look at history and its role in genealogical research. John will emphasize social history — the history of everyday people and their lives — and he will explain how the history of places, events, and groups can unlock genealogical puzzles. John will also explain how to optimize the time you have for your research when visiting county courthouses and conducting local land research in a presentation called Your Ancestor’s Corner of the Earth: Courthouse Land Research.
James Harkins will present Online Resources of the Texas General Land Office, which will cover how land records can be used for genealogy, and how more than 3 million documents and 45,000 maps can be found online at the General Land Office’s website, as well as how to use GIS technology to locate your ancestors’ land.
Tonia Wood, of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, will present Collections for Family Historians at the Texas State Library and Archives. Tonia will examine original records documenting the interactions of individuals with the Texas government from pre-Republic days through the 21st century, as well as federal documents, manuscript collections, photographs, maps, and numerous publications, all of which are among the valuable genealogical resources at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Tonia will also take a look at the agency’s holdings and point out less obvious sources for researching family history, from Spanish colonial and Mexican records in the Nacogdoches Archives to court records and more.
Kevin Klaus will offer a case study on German immigrant Adolph Fox, in a presentation called Go Forth From Thy Country and Kindred: German Texas Research. This presentation will introduce attendees to Adolph Fox, a preacher, musician, and poet, and examine how his story is the classic example of why so many Germans made the choice to come to Texas. Adolph Fox left a trail that is easy to follow, if you know where to look, and Kevin will explain how and why he found so much information on this early German Texan.
Dr. José Barragán will provide the audience with the first steps necessary for reading and understanding challenging ancient documents. In his presentation called Paleography: More than Old Words, Dr. Barragán will be presenting some practical methods for transcribing documents (digital or otherwise). He will also provide guidance on how to understand the evolution of scripts in ancient documents. The session will cover documents in both Spanish and English, and is great for advanced researchers, as well as beginners.
Charles Gardes will take a fascinating look at an actual probate case of heir verification that requires researching back to the Reconstruction era. This complex case includes multiple wives and numerous children (some legitimate, and some not), all with a common surname. This presentation, entitled IT’S A GUSHER!!!, is sure to open attendees’ eyes to how messy genealogy can be.
Attendees will also have an opportunity to tour the Texas General Land Office Archives and Records. There, some truly historic Texas treasures will be on display, including maps drawn by Stephen F. Austin and other famous Texas cartographers, documents issued to veterans of the Texas Revolution or their heirs and what is believed to be the first draft of the Constitution of the Republic of Texas.
Genealogypalooza is sponsored by the Texas State Genealogical Society (TSGS). To learn more about TSGS, or to become a member, please follow this link: http://www.txsgs.org/about/membership/.