Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 1388, Canton, TX 75103

Vol. VII, No. 9...... E Newsletter ............Editor: Sibyl Creasey

September 2014

Annual Seminar!

Registrations are still being taken for the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society's annual all day seminar scheduled for Saturday, September 27 from 8:30 to 3:30 at St. Therese Catholic Church Fellowship Hall located at 14786 FM 859 S., Canton, TX.
John A. Sellers of Hopkins County will be the featured speaker for the event. His four sessions will include "Researching Your Ancestor's Plot of Dirt, the Adventures of Courthouse Land Research"; "With or Without a Will, There is a Way!"; "Researching Newspapers in Cyberspace and Beyond!" and "Learning Where Your Ancestors Played, Prayed, Lived and Died."
Sellers is a fifth generation native of Hopkins County, Texas. He graduated from Texas Tech University, with a degree in advertising/public relations and, received his teaching certificate in history from Texas A & M, Commerce. He has been doing genealogical research since 1985. His favorite area of research is in the courthouse. He has visited courthouses in several southern states and has conducted extensive research in Texas and Louisiana.
An active member of the Hopkins County Genealogical Society, a past president, he has served fourteen years on the executive board. He has been the featured speaker for more than 60 all day seminars located in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. John has given over 200 programs on genealogy and history.
To register for the seminar send a check or money order for $35 to the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1388, Canton, TX 75103. The fee includes a continental breakfast and a luncheon by Annette Hicks Catering. When registering by mail include up to six names being researched.
Registrations are also being taken at the Library of Genealogy and Local History, located at the courthouse annex in Canton. Library hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, with extended hours every Thursday until 6 p.m., and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. For further information, call the genealogy library at (903) 567-5012.

"Our Heritage"

Have you noticed the quarterly's new look?
Quarterly Editor Laurie McDonald has made it her "own." Each editor has his or her own style and each one is worthy. It would appear from all the favorable comments that Laurie really has hit it big. Not only are the overall issues very attractive but the content is very informative as well.
One of the new features is the Quarna Barber Family History Writing Competition with cash awards of $100 for first place, $50 for second place and $25 for third place. Independent judges will judge the family histories.
Since the society voted to return to a 40-page quarterly, more information and photos will be required. To submit material email Laurie at:

Sacred Harp Book Published!

"Sacred Harp: Minutes of the Central Texas Musical Conventions" has been completed and published. This volume includes names of singers from all parts of Texas. The conventions took place in Van Zandt and Henderson counties. The years covered by these minutes were from 1892-1930 but also includes two modern years of 1981-82.
Many obituaries, some never before published, news articles and additional information about singers are also included in this book which is available for purchase by sending a check or money order for $25 plus $4 for shipping and handling to the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1388, Canton, TX 75103. It can also be purchased by visiting the Library of Genealogy and Local History. If purchased at the library the cost of mailing does not apply.
The value of this book can't be underestimated. It puts "flesh on the bones" of our ancestors. It provides a picture of how they spent their spare time and who their associates, friends and relatives were. Families and neighbors took part in monthly "singings" as well as in the annual singing conventions. Singers married singers and their children became singers.
Society member Benja Pittman Mize did a wonderful job of transcribing and typing these old faded and worn minutes. Some of the pages were literally falling apart. Many of her ancestors are included in the book. In fact, they were prominent leaders. And she keeps up the tradition of Sacred Harp by attending the annual conventions of today. Benja's skill as a typist is only surpassed by her skill as a singer!

Remember, Dues Were Due in January!!


Don't forget the quarterly still runs queries. If you have one you would like to post, please email to:
Submit as many as you want, no limit to members and non-members alike. Include dates and names, and don't forget your own mailing address. A connection to this county is preferred but not mandatory.
When submitting queries, please remember to include names, places, dates and some known information about the family.


You can still join the society if you are not already a member. Only $10 per year for an individual or $12 for a family. Please add $5 for joining now because of the cost of mailing back quarterlies.


Holly Springs Cemetery Restoration Project

Society member Rhonda Daniel McClune is on the board of the Holly Springs Cemetery Association. She has announced that the board has launched a restoration campaign specifically targeted for the repair of old and broken tombstones. This cemetery is an historic one located in the Martin's Mill area of the county.
The board is seeking donations to fund part of the restoration effort. For further information and directions for donations, contact Rhonda at:
Please visit our websites when researching Van Zandt County. You might find a bit of information or a clue:

Life Member Passes Away

We have recently learned that a valued society Life Member passed away in May. Jeanne McNutt was an active member of the society years ago and members remember her fondly.
A memorial service for Jeanne was held Thursday, June 5, 2014 at Baird Cemetery. She was born on October 27, 1921 in Dereham, Ontario, Canada to parents Lloyd William and Iva Lorraine (Turnbull) Holland and entered into rest on May 31, 2014 at the age of 92.
Jeanne loved her pets and her flowers. She enjoyed being with her family and cooking. Jeanne loved listening to music and was an avid reader. She graduated from Edcouch – Elsa ISD. Jeanne worked for the City of Dallas and Dallas County Community College for over 40 years. She was a member of the Genealogy Society and The Daylily Society, where she was a flower show judge. Jeanne had a special Daylily named for her, called "Friendship."
Jeanne was preceded in death by her husband Luther E. McNutt, parents, daughter Anne Lorraine McKnight, brothers; Norman M. Holland and Mervin L. Holland.
She is survived by her daughters Kay Rowland and Judy Elizabeth Pasley, son Billy W. McNutt and wife Fern, grandson Kent Wayne McNutt, other loving family members and many more friends.

Editor's Personal Note

My husband was Dale William Christopher Creasey. We have been married for 33 wonderful years. We lost Dale on August 23, 2014. He was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on December 12, 1922 to Alice Margaret Burroughs of Allamakee County, Iowa. He would have celebrated his 92nd birthday in December of this year. Although not a researcher, he was a member of the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society and for 25 years supported the society and its members.

In the early years of the Library of Genealogy and Local History, Dale built book shelves and many other things that went into the library. He helped with several Pancake Breakfasts and then parked cars during First Monday Trade Days to raise funds for the library. More than that he would do the cooking and house chores at our home in order to free me to do society work and to compile books for the society to publish.

Dale had a long and fascinating career with Bechtel International Construction Company. After serving his country in World War II in Europe and the Philippines, he went into business for several years with his stepfather, Joe Creasey, in California.

Before he was employed by Bechtel, he worked for several other construction companies as a drafting technician, a piping engineer and a contract manager. With Bechtel, he became a planning and scheduling engineer for the mining and metals division. A project manager for many projects, he also wrote a book on the Critical Path Method of scheduling and was considered the top CPM scheduler. His work took him to Canada, Ireland, Australia, Korea and many states in the US. He worked in Canada in various places for so many years, he was made a Alanded immigrant@ of Canada.

He is survived by his daughter, Linda Jackson of Hot Springs, AR; his stepchildren, Peggy Dixon of Lewisburg, WV; Robert Savary of Blanchard, OK; Scott Savary of Fort Worth; Crystal O@Leary of Jacksonville, FL; and Michael Jerome of Tyler. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Alice Burroughs Creasey and his son, Danny Laun Creasey.
He will be missed by his family and society members at the genealogy library where he always had a smile and a wave of his hand for all.

...............Sibyl Creasey

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