Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 1388, Canton, TX 75103
Vol. VII, No. 2...... E Newsletter ............Editor: Sibyl Creasey
"DNA Testing for Genealogical Purposes" will be the program for the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society meeting scheduled for Saturday, February 22, at 2 p.m. in the Buchanan Room of the main county library located on FM Road 859 in Canton.
The program will be presented by Michael V. Bassett of Plano who has been actively involved with the use of DNA for genealogical purposes since 2002 and is a speaker for the International Society of Genetic Genealogy.
He is a past president and currently vice president of program for the Collin County Genealogical Society. He is also a past city of Plano Heritage Commission, a monthly genealogy volunteer for the Plano Public Library since 2007, a BSA Genealogy Merit Badge counselor and a RIP Guardian volunteer helping to maintain and enhance a historic Texas cemetery.
Bassett's program will address how DNA testing can be used to help family researchers overcome genealogical "brick Walls," make ancestral connections and provide other information on biological and geographical heritage.
Genealogical Society meetings are held the fourth Saturday of every month except December at the county library. Visitors are warmly welcomed to attend every meeting.
Registrations for the annual Van Zandt County Genealogy Research Workshop, scheduled for Saturday, March 29 at the main county library, are now being taken, announced coordinator Beth Gordon of Canton.
The all-day event will be hosted by the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society and will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. This workshop is for both beginning and experienced family history researchers.
Several society members will speak on various topics including census, cemetery, and Internet research, documentation, how to prove family history and how to "think outside the box."
An information packet will be given each attendee.
To register for the workshop, visit the Library of Genealogy and Local History, located in the courthouse annex in Canton, or send a check or money order for $10 to the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1388, Canton, TX 75754. The fee will cover a catered lunch and supplies.
For further information on the workshop, call the Library of Genealogy and Local History at (903) 567-5012, or coordinator Beth Gordon at (903) 292-6769.
Society member Laurie McDonald has taken over as editor of the quarterly and the February issue is almost ready for mailing. If you would like to submit material, please email to Laurie at: email@example.com
New 2014 Society Board Members
The new board members of the society for 2014 are: Shirley Fuller of Grand Saline, president; Ellen Wheeler of Canton, first vice president and program chairman; Nancy Robertson of Canton, second vice president and membership chairman; Scott Fitzgerald of Tyler, treasurer; Sandra Jones of Canton, recording secretary; Jan Crow of Mabank, corresponding secretary; Sibyl Creasey of Ben Wheeler, publicity chairman; Benja Mize and Sherrie Archer, both of Canton, at large members; and Beth Gordon of Canton, parliamentarian.
Please give them all your support and ideas for the betterment of the society.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Society Dues Are Due!
Annual membership dues for the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society remain at $10 for an individual and $12 for a family. With prices of everything going up and up, this is still a bargain.
Dues are Due in January!
Remember, if you wait until after March 15 to pay your dues, we ask that you add an additional $5 because of mailing quarterlies individually. The extra $5 does not apply if you are able to pick up issues at the Library of Genealogy and Local History.
Reminders have been mailed out to current and past members. If you have paid your 2014 dues and receive a reminder, please disregard.
Members receive issues in February, May, August and November. You never know what tidbit you might find that will open all doors to your heritage. Don't miss out!
Also, don't forget the quarterly still runs queries. If you have one you would like to post, please email to: email@example.com
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.
Also include a mailing address and/or email address.
New Book Project Last year society member Ellen Wheeler began the project of researching all the Woodmen of the World who are buried in Van Zandt County. Now Benja Mize has stepped up to assist in this project. If anyone has info on this subject, please let us know.
Books in the Works!
Since the establishment of the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society, the members have tried their best to publish at least one genealogical resource book every year. Many hands are involved in this goal and compiling a book of county material is very time consuming but exceptionally rewarding.
The local society is not in the book publishing business but in the business of helping researchers. That is the main goal. The books that are published are mostly soft cover, spiral bound. This is the most economical way to get the material to the researcher with the lowest cost.
Almost every book published by the society has been submitted to the Texas State Genealogical Society's annual writing competition. And almost every book has won a top award for excellence.
Currently, there are several books in the works: The Central Texas Music Conventions Minutes, Ministers of Van Zandt County, Early Wills of Van Zandt County, Hillcrest Cemetery. And perhaps another early obituaries book, a school census book, Woodmen of The World in Van Zandt County, a First Families Biography book and others that have not even been thought about yet!
We are repeating the "Do's and Don'ts" for researchers requesting information. We are still having a problem with researchers sending multiple emails to multiple people in Van Zandt County. This is a no-no, unless all the recipients are notified that the researcher is requesting information from several people.
DO: Be very brief and specific with what you need or what you are looking for. But give as much information as you know and tell us what you don't know. It is also a waste of our time to look for information that you already have!
DON'T send the same request for assistance to more than one person! This is a major waste of time.
DON'T send a request from one email address and expect a reply to another address. This is too cumbersome and the material becomes scattered.
DO send a mailing address with your request. We may decide that what you need is too general and a query in the quarterly might be more beneficial. On the other hand, we might find great information in abundance and it wastes time asking for your mailing address.
DON'T send a request from an email address that blocks replies! That is not very productive.
THANK YOU for your cooperation! We are always very happy to help with your research!
Van Zandt County and the society has suffered a great loss in the death of Brooks Gremmels. Although most known for the restoration of the town of Ben Wheeler, he also came to the rescue of the society with the donation of much needed funds in 2007. He was a life member.
Brooks died on January 26, 2014 from complications of pancreatic cancer. He was born on December 15, 1943 in Sherman, Texas. After graduating from North Texas State University in Denton, he became a very successful business man in a variety of enterprises. Almost 20 years ago Brooks and Rese Bullock were married. He and Rese built a home near Ben Wheeler and they established the foundation that has been instrumental in reviving the historic town.
Brooks also became involved in the county, becoming a member of the Historical Commission and assisting with establishing historical markers in and around Ben Wheeler and along the old Dallas-Shreveport Road.
Brooks will indeed be missed.
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This page last updated February 18, 2014
Van Zandt County Genealogical Society Website maintained by Sibyl Creasey