Texas Biography

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Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Biographies provide useful genealogical information such as an individual’s birth date and place (including foreign birthplaces where applicable); family members; occupation and education; and social, political, and religious affiliation. They may also contain a physical description of the person, his or her previous residences, and immigration information. Biographies are the product of family knowledge or previous research compiled about early settlers and prominent citizens of the state, county, or town. Many lesser-known individuals may have biographical sketches written about them in local histories.

Biographies in Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • Biographical information is often found in state, county, and town histories.
  • Towards the end of the 19th century, began publishers soliciting short biographical/family histories from local founding families, offering to publish them in an upcoming local history. This then became an incentive for family members to buy a copy of the book.
  • Families represented were not necessarily prominent. Practically everyone living there, especially in the Midwest, counted as an early settler.
  • These biographies often start with the first member of the family to settle in the area, and detail their descendants at the time of publishing. They may tell where the family moved in from. Children's marriages often are given, with maiden names included.

Finding Biographies[edit | edit source]

  • The county Wiki page lists several county histories. It also lists local libraries, and societies which probably have copies of local histories.
  • Many histories are no longer under copyright and can be found in the following online, digitized book collections. Search with keywords "History" and "the name of your locality" (state, county, or town).
  • The FamilySearch library has extensive collections of these local histories. Many are digitized. Search the FamilySearch Catalog under your locality for the topics "Biography" and "History".

See United States Biography for information on nationwide biographical collections. See also the "History" and "Genealogy" sections for additional sources.

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Most of the major archives mentioned in Texas Archives and Libraries have collections of biographical materials.

Biographical Gazetteer of Texas[edit | edit source]

The Handbook of Texas[edit | edit source]

The Handbook of Texas is a encyclopedic collection of history, geography and biographies. It is now available on line through the Texas State Historical Association.

Family History Library Collection[edit | edit source]

  • Texas, Gonzalez de la Garza Genealogy Collection A genealogical cardfile of approximately 270,000 cards compiled by Rudolfo Gonzalez de la Garza representing thousands of families of Southern Texas and Northern Mexico. The cardfile is in the Laredo Public Library.
  • Bailey, Ernest Emory. Texas Historical and Biographical Record With a Genealogical Study of Historical Family Records. Austin, Texas: Texas Historical and Biographical Record, N.d. FHL film 873974 item 2
  • Bailey, Emory E., et al. Who's Who in Texas. Dallas, Texas: Who's Who Publishing, 1931. FHL book 976.4 D3be
  • Biographical Souvenir of the State of Texas, 1889. Reprint, Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978. FHL book 976.4 D3bs 1978 and FHL film 1000596 item 2 Digitized version available through the FamilySearch Catalog entry.
  • To locate biographical material available through the FamilySearch Catalog, use the Place-names Search for:
  • TEXAS - BIOGRAPHY
  • TEXAS, [COUNTY] - BIOGRAPHY
  • TEXAS, [COUNTY], [TOWN] - BIOGRAPHY

Websites[edit | edit source]

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