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

Vol. VII, No. 3...... E Newsletter ............Editor: Sibyl Creasey

March 2014

March Program

"The Lost City of New Birmingham" in Cherokee County will be Kevin Stingley's program for the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society's meeting on March 22, 2 p.m. at the main county library located on First Monday Lane in Canton.
The once famous boom city carved out of the forests two miles east of Rusk in the late 1880's was heralded as the "Iron queen of the Southwest" but only survived for a few short years.
Stingley, who has been a teacher for 34 years, has a bachelor's degree in history from Baylor University and a master's degree in education from Stephen F. Austin State University. He has spent the past 23 years as a history teacher in Rusk.
He has been a member of the Cherokee County Historical Commission for the past 11 years and the Heritage Center of Cherokee County museum for the past 11 years also, including 6 years as Director of the museum. He has spent the past 15 years researching New Birmingham and its people.
The genealogical society meets the fourth Saturday in every month except December in the Buchanan Room of the main county library. Visitors are always warmly welcomed.
For further information on society membership or activities, contact the Library of Genealogy and Local History at (903) 567-5012, or visit the library located in the courthouse annex in Canton. Library hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, with extended hours on Thursday until 6 p.m., and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.

Research Workshop

Registrations are still available for the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society's annual genealogy research workshop scheduled for Saturday, March 29, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the main county library located at 317 First Monday Lane in Canton.
This workshop is for both beginning and experienced family history researchers.
Sessions will include society members speaking on many topics and resources. The use of the Internet for genealogical research will be discussed throughout the all day workshop.
Beth Gordon of Canton will speak on the importance of using charts in family history research. She is also serving as coordinator for the event. Lawrence Greer of Canton will address cemetery research, a valuable resource for genealogists.
Ellen Wheeler of Canton will serve as master of ceremony. She will also speak on researching on the Internet and "thinking outside the box."
Other special speakers will include Scott Fitzgerald of Tyler who will speak on research using the Internet; Tom Tyler of Canton will speak on "Find A Grave," an Internet site; and Jan Crow of Mabank will cover courthouse research and the use of the census for research.
Sylvia Peace of Canton will speak on "Proving History" and Shirley Fuller of Grand Saline will hold a session on the use of the Soundex in researching family history.
The fee for the all day event will be $10 which will include a luncheon and supplies. To register or for further information visit the Library of Genealogy and Local History, located in the courthouse annex in Canton, call (903) 567-5012 or Beth Gordon at (903) 292-6769.
Those who would like to attend may also register by mail by sending a check or money order for $10 to the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1388, Canton, TX 75103.

"Our Heritage"

To those who are members and who received the February quarterly, how do you like the great new look? Newly elected Editor Laurie McDonald has done one fantastic job with her very first issue of "Our Heritage." She wants more and more submissions of family stories since the board voted to return to a 40-page quarterly. And we are now able to include family photos and/or county photos. So, if your would like to submit material, please email Laurie

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

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.
Remember, if you have waited 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 were mailed out to current and past members. If you have paid your 2014 dues and received 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:
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.

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!

Attention Researchers!

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!

We really do enjoy helping researchers so if you need any assistance whatsoever, please contact us.

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