History of Grapevine Public Library, 1991-2001

Grapevine’s population grew to 31,836 in 1991. Library material holdings grew to 92,797 and annual circulation to 357,855. In February, Mrs. Marie Canning started part-time in Circulation. She eventually became full-time Acquisitions Assistant. In April, Grapevine Public Library’s automation system was upgraded from OCR labels and wands to bar code labels and laser guns. The re-labeling of over sixty thousand library materials and preparation of 30,000 borrower cards was accomplished in sixteen weeks with the help of eighty valued volunteers without closing the library. The Friends of the Library donated a Xerox plain-paper fax/copier, a Magazine Article Summaries (MAS) CD-ROM index to replace InfoTrac, and a plain-paper Minolta RP 605Z microfilm reader/printer from the proceeds of the annual Christmas ornament sale. Skaggs Alpha Beta cash register receipts worth two-hundred seventy-three thousand dollars collected by the public enabled the purchase of a MacIntosh computer and software. Due to community support and...

Over There: World War I Genealogical Research

In Flanders Fields John McCrae – 1872-1918 In Flanders fields the poppies blowBetween the crosses, row on row,    That mark our place; and in the sky    The larks, still bravely singing, flyScarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days agoWe lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,    Loved and were loved, and now we lie        In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw    The torch; be yours to hold it high.     If ye break faith with us who dieWe shall not sleep, though poppies grow        In Flanders fields. History of US Involvement At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, a cessation of hostilities began with the signing of an armistice between Allied forces and Germany after a devastating war lasting over...

Historical County Atlases and Plat Books

Historical county atlases and plat books are bound volumes that include detailed maps of each township within a particular county. They contain maps of villages, cities, and county townships; a patron directory (those who contributed to the creation of the book); a reference business directory, illustrations, biographies, and a history of the county. They show property boundaries and land ownership for every parcel of land within a county. Besides physical features like rivers, roads, and hills, these maps showed schools, cemeteries, churches, railways, roads, and administrative boundaries. Each region had unique features; for example, some Wisconsin county atlases show locations of cheese factories. Physical features might offer reasons why residents chose to settle in a certain place. Since these books display property lines and owners as well as biographical information on some citizens, they can be extremely valuable to genealogists. County atlases and plat books contain cadastral maps. Cadastral maps...

Psychic Roots

If you’re a genealogist, October seems to be a good month to blog about psychic roots! Have you experienced coincidence or serendipity in your life? That chance combination of events over which you don’t have control but which nonetheless is beneficial to you in some unexpected way? This happens in genealogy, too! A researcher feels drawn to a particular place, or looks in a particular book or set of records for one thing, but instead discovers something very important to their research that he or she was not looking for, or even thinking about, at the time. Henry Z “Hank” Jones, Jr. has written two intriguing books on this very subject. The first is Psychic Roots: Serendipity & Intuition in Genealogy (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1993, repr. 2008), and the second is More Psychic Roots: Further Adventures in Serendipity & Intuition in Genealogy (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1997, repr. 2003)....

Resources for Hispanic Genealogy

In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Genealogy and Local History blog welcomes guest blogger Judy Everett Ramos, who will offer some great resources for beginning researching Hispanic genealogy. Judy started genealogy research in the sixth grade. She is a member of eleven lineage organizations, including National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, National Society Sons and Daughters of Antebellum Planters 1607-1861, and Descendants of Texas Rangers. She received the Mamie Wynne Cox Historical Research Award from the Daughters of the Republic of Texas for her article on early Texas history, as well as the national Spirit of 1812 award for her series of genealogy articles about the War of 1812. Judy is a Corpus Christi, Texas native, but she has traced her roots around the globe through several family lines. Her professional background includes newspaper, television, and radio reporting, and she currently works in public relations. When she is not...

History of the Grapevine Scholastic (School) Census, 1901-1970

Genealogists are well-versed in the use of federal census records to identify and document their ancestors, but did you know that school districts also made headcounts of their students? This blog is about the history of scholastic census taking in Grapevine. HISTORY OF THE SCHOLASTIC CENSUS IN TEXAS Scholastic census records document the counting of school age children by counties and districts so the state could apportion funds for their education. The first census of Texas school-age children was mandated by an act passed by the Fifth Texas Legislature, Regular Session, on 31 January 1854. From 1854-1905, annual censuses of school children were conducted in each county by its county tax assessor’s office. The law required that a list of the free white population between the age of six and eighteen years be made each year in every county. The age was lowered to six and sixteen in 1870. In...

Featured Database: HeritageQuest Online

In today’s blog, we’ll explore the HeritageQuest Online database. Thanks to the efforts of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, HeritageQuest Online is available from Texas libraries through the TexShare database program. It’s also accessible away from the library to residents with a Texas library card. If you want to access it from home, you’ll need to request TexShare login information from whichever library you obtained your library card. HeritageQuest Online is a comprehensive treasury of American genealogical sources, rich in unique primary sources, local and family histories, convenient research guides, interactive census maps, and more. It provides genealogical and historical sources for more than sixty countries, with coverage dating back as early as the 1700s. All titles are fully indexed and searchable. Search using First and Last Name, Event Year (e.g., birth year), Event Location, and Keyword (e.g., publication title, occupation, or religious affiliation). Hit terms are highlighted...

History of Grapevine Public Library, 2002-2022

In 2002, Grapevine’s population reached 42,827. Since the grand opening of the expanded library in November 2001, more Grapevine citizens applied for library cards and visited the library to take advantage of the many new services a larger library was able to provide. The Children’s Department created My First Storytime, a one-on-one lap-sit program for babies from birth to eighteen months and their caregivers, began that year. By 2003 the number of residents increased to 43,049. In March the library celebrated its eightieth anniversary with an open house. Final withdrawal of materials purchased by Colleyville for Colleyville and housed at Grapevine were made, since Colleyville would open its own library in November. In January 2004, the library received a sixteen-thousand-dollar grant from Verizon to expand its English as a Second Language (ESL) program. In May the library installed a new color copier. In August, Dick Clark, long-time host of the...

The “72-Year Rule”, or, Why You Have to Wait Seventy-Two Years to See Census Records

After seventy-two years, the 1950 census has legally been released for public viewing. That’s a big YAY for genealogists, most of whom probably know the “72-Year-Rule” regarding public access to federal census records. Many researchers used to think, erroneously, that this “rule” stemmed from the average lifespan of Americans at the time – seventy-two years. First, the “rule” did not originate from the average lifespan, and second, the average lifespan wasn’t even seventy-two years. In 1952, the U.S. surgeon general informed the public that average life expectancy was 68 years. During a congressional hearing on April 2, 1973, Archivist James B. Rhoads told lawmakers that the National Archives did not “find any evidence in the files specifically as to why 72 years was picked” for the 1952 agreement. You can see specifically the highlighted portion of Dr. Rhodes’s briefing before Congress here on page 5. This blog will focus on...

Link Old Maps and Land Records to Your Genealogy with HistoryGeo

Do you have ancestors who purchased land straight from the federal government? If so, our HistoryGeo database is a must-use! Brought to you by Arphax Publishing Co., HistoryGeo.com is a family history software service for linking old maps and land records to your genealogy research. It contains three collections – First Landowners Project, Antique Maps Collection, and Place-Finder + Topographical Maps. In this blog, we’ll examine the First Landowners Project, but first, to get the most out of HistoryGeo, a brief explanation of federal/public land history is in order. After the Revolutionary War, the new national government had no money but lots of land. To encourage orderly westward settlement and to raise revenue, Congress developed the Public Land Survey System (PLSS), or Rectangular Survey System (RSS), to precisely divide lands beyond the original thirteen colonies (as well as Tennessee, Kentucky, and Texas), and offer them for sale through federal land...