Kinsearching February 19, 2006




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     Although it was originally published in 1987, the recent reprint GENEALOGICAL RECORDS IN TEXAS by Imogene Kinard Kennedy and J. Leon Kennedy still offers beneficial information. Ancestor hunters must know the history of a state in order to discover what records were created, whether they still exist, what details they contain, and where they are located. The Kennedys have compacted into one volume material that will help genealogists conduct a successful search in the major genealogical records of the Lone Star State.

     Through the text and maps, the book furnishes information on the historical and legal background of Texas, beginning with facts about the original colonies and districts, Mexican laws pertaining to colonization, and Spanish terms used in land grants and early deeds. Taking the counties alphabetically, the authors then describe the origin of each county, the location of records for each portion of the county before it was organized into its present boundaries, and specific materials available in every county courthouse. In addition, the compilers provide the pronunciation of the name of each county and its county seat and give the zip code for every county clerk's office.

     Pertaining to the state level, the work supplies data on the specific records available in the Texas State Library, the Texas State Archives, and the General Land Office. The authors explain the regional historical resource depositories and tells which ones affect the various counties. A list of Texas libraries with resources for genealogical research furnishes details like type of collection (genealogical, oral history, or local history), address, and phone number.

     The book would be more valuable, however, if it had been updated to reflect the changes--especially the spread of the World Wide Web--that have occurred since its original publication. Supplying addresses for websites and e-mails for courthouses and libraries and giving websites for other internet resources, for example, would save much time and money. Computer usage makes the book's reproduction of the request form for a Texas veteran search outdated both in style and cost. More libraries and museums (those in Center, Floydada, Jacksonville, Plainview, and Timpson, for instance) have established good-sized genealogical collections over the years and they need to be added to the list of resource institutions. Despite these drawbacks, GENEALOGICAL RECORDS IN TEXAS consolidates a wide range of information into one volume which, in many ways, will still be useful to family researchers.

     Arranging material in an easy to use manner, the 248-page paperback contains many maps and a bibliography. To the book's price of $37.50, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. (For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $4 for one book and $2.00 for each additional copy; for UPS, the cost is $6 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book). The volume (item order #3149) may be purchased by check, MasterCard, or Visa from Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211 (for phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

     Ramona Shipp of Utah and Idaho (e-mail would appreciate information about Emma Louise KILBURN, b. 23 Sept 1833/1834 in Derby, VT. Were her parents William KILBURN/KILBORN and Catherine POWELL of Chili, Monroe Co., NY? Emma Louise was teaching in the Lafayette, Tippecanoe Co., IN, schools in 1854. She married James Madison SHIPP on 14 Sept 1856 in West Lafayette, Tippecanoe Co., IN. Their son Orrin Theo SHIPP was b. 2 July 1872 in Boswell, Benton Co., IN. Both Emma Louise and James Madison SHIPP died in Yates Center, KS. Their grandson Albert John SHIPP, son of Orrin, was b. 16 Feb 1908 in Rest, Wilson Co., KS.