January Hispanic research workshop
Dec. 8, 2009 at 6:08 a.m.
Updated Dec. 9, 2009 at 6:09 a.m.
National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 each year by participants who learn the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
The observance started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under the late President Lyndon Johnson. It was expanded by the late President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting Sept. 15 and ending Oct. 15. It was enacted into law on Aug. 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402. For more information, visit http://www.hispanicheritage month.gov/.
To encourage Hispanic research, the Victoria County Genealogical Society on Saturday, Jan. 23, will host a free Hispanic research seminar at the First Christian Church, 2105 N. Ben Jordan St., from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Daughters of the American Revolution Spanish Task Force Speakers, Sylvia Carvajal-Sutton and Corinne Staacke, will focus talks on where you are with your research and suggestions for continuing your Hispanic lineage quests. Participants are encouraged to bring their pedigree charts and family group sheets for the speakers' evaluation toward becoming a member of the DAR, SAR, Daughters or Sons of the Republic of Texas or other lineage organizations.
A Mexican-style lunch will be served for $5. Participants can bring their own food, too. Seating is limited, and interested participants should contact Billye Jackson at 361-573-9415.
Create A Timeline
One of the most beneficial genealogy research tools is a timeline for each of your ancestors. Placing them into geographical and historical contexts is one of the best means toward understanding the when, where, why and how they lived. Although they may not have received news as quickly as we can today, they were aware of local, national and international news. It may not have arrived via TV, radio, or newspaper, but there were other means: talking with friends, listening to travelers, reading letters from distant family members, or via word of mouth spread by the ships that arrived in the American colonies. News of new taxes quickly spread through the colonies, along with news of political and religious unrest, foreign armies, economic downturns, drought, famine and disease. Disturbing news could have influenced your ancestors' decisions to relocate by migrating elsewhere or emigrating to another country.
By listing the years and events in an ancestor's life from birth till death, then researching the areas where they lived, you can better understand the "why" in their lives. In addition, a good timeline can incorporate details of geographic, historic, sociological, economic, and other pertinent information to form a chronological, biographical outline. As a final encouragement, a good timeline can be used to produce an outline for writing a family history.
Send genealogy queries to firstname.lastname@example.org. VCGS members will research queries requiring extensive study.