Texas Frequently Asked Questions

I am trying to locate information on a Texas town. Where can I look?
There is a wonderful search available online from the Handbook of Texas. It is an online encyclopedia of more than 23,000 articles on people, places, events, historical themes, institutions and many other topics.
The Handbook of Texas Online

How can I find out about Civil War Veterans?
The Texas State Library has an online search available. They will accept orders for copies online. The copies are not free, but very reasonable.
Texas State Library

How can I find a death certificate for someone who died in the 1890s?
In Texas, death certificates did not begin until 1903. Even as late as the 1930s, death certificates were not filed. Many times if they were filed, the parents names are listed as unknown. An unknown statement may be stated because they really did not know or that the clerk did not ask. There is a statewide death index available on microfilm. Many early death certificates are also located at the county clerk's office or even at the city courthouse. Very few cities or counties took death certificates prior to 1903.

How can I find a date of death for someone who died 5 months after the 1870 census and did not own property?
If the person did not own property, no probate was filed. However one may check county clerk's office for other records pertaining to possible lunacy records. Death certificates are not available for this time period. One may be able to locate a tombstone that has been transcribed or family Bible or other family records that have been submitted. Write to the local library and genealogical society for assistance.

I need to find a marriage record to help me locate the parents names.
In Texas, parents names are not stated on marriage licenses. If a minor is getting married, one may find where the minor has received a parent's permission. To locate a marriage record in Texas, write to the county clerk's office. They could have received their license at any courthouse in Texas, not necessarily the county where they resided. Local libraries and genealogical societies may be able to assist you with your search.

I cannot find the town where my grandfather said he was born. He was born in 1914.
The Handbook of Texas Online (mentioned above), may be of assistance. A birth certificate should also be sought. There is a microfilm available for the state. He may have an actual birth certificate or may have a delayed or probated birth certificate. A microfilm index is available for the state and an exact county is not needed to search. If a delayed or probated birth certificate is needed because there is no known birth certificate, he may have filed it where he was residing, and may not have been born in Texas.

I would like a copy of an obituary, August 3, 1999 in Mabank, TX
Many local libraries have copies of the local paper. Also try writing to the local newspaper. Ask them to check for 1 week after the death. You may also try writing to the local funeral homes for assistance. If they do not charge a fee for the search or the fee is a minimal one, it is appropriate to send them a thank you note and a check in their name.

I am looking for burial information about my ancestor who died January 20, 1948.
Write to the local funeral homes in the area, as many will be able to assist you or direct you to the location of any records that may be available. You may also try looking in the city directories during this time to see what funeral homes and cemeteries are there. Funeral home records can consist of a wealth of information. You may find obituaries, relatives, locations, and much more.

I cannot find my relative on the 1850 census in Anderson County. He was there in 1848.
Handread the actual census. Names are missed or indexed incorrectly. Also check the index for other spellings. Also check tax rolls to see if he is still listed through 1850. Land records can also be checked for information. Is is possible that he moved?

Do you have a Texas Genealogy question you would like to ask that is not listed here?
Please send an email to Ask Texas.


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