Texas on a Wing and a Prayer

Sometimes things don’t go according to plan.  Normally, I prepare for a genealogy research trip for months in advance.  I know all the libraries and ancestral places I will visit.  I have my research logs printed with the books/documents I will be looking for.  I have a schedule almost down to the hour and maps with instructions for how I will get from one place to the other. I even have print outs of selected restaurants that have 4-5 star reviews and a good wine menu.  Well, I didn’t have anything like that before my trip to Texas.  There were all sorts of valid reasons why I wasn’t prepared, but basically I had other priorities that took precedence.  Even the fact that I was going to Texas was fluke…my friend Valerie and her sister Gail were going to visit distant relatives and they invited me along.

My plan consisted of 1) Friday – I would go to the Dallas Public Library which has a very good genealogy collection and 2) Saturday – I would try to visit something out in the countryside where my Hollingsworth and Turner families had lived.

The trip to the library was moderately productive. I found a birth certificate for a great uncle and some derivative sources for a few marriages.  Mostly, I realized that I would have to return to Texas and go to county courthouses and the State Library in Austin.  Darn my lack of planning!

Courthouse -  Meridian, Bosque County, TX

Courthouse – Meridian, Bosque County, TX

Saturday, I headed out to Bosque and Coryell counties in Central Texas where my families had lived. I don’t have land records yet and I really only had references to towns near where they were born and the cemetery where the Hollingsworth’s were buried.  Bosque and Coryell are about 2 1/2 hours south of Dallas (next to Crawford, Texas if that helps you have a reference point)  Luckily, Valerie was with me on the adventure or I never would have found anything! We had 2 i-pads that would come and go with internet reception and we drove in circles for awhile looking for a country road, but 3 1/2 hours and 2 dirt roads later we finally found Prairie View Cemetery in Coryell.

Prairie View Cemetery, Coryell County, TX

Prairie View Cemetery, Coryell County, TX

It is a lovely cemetery that is in use today with Hollingsworth’s still being buried there.

Clarissa "Cassie" McCullen Hollingsworth 1829-1917

Clarissa “Cassie” McCullen Hollingsworth 1829-1917

We found the graves for Addison Hollingsworth (1824-1892), Clarissa “Cassie” McCullen Hollingsworth (1829-1917), Alford McCullen Hollingsworth (1856-1925) and Julia McCrary Hollingsworth (1864-1895).   The trip was totally worth it!  I started to feel connected to these ancestors by traveling through the countryside they lived in and walking in the cemetery where they are buried among so many of their descendants. I am excited to continue the research into their past.  However, it was an expensive lesson reminding me that doing my homework ahead of time would have increased my results tremendously.  I won’t let this happen again.  Let that be a lesson to you too…always be prepared!

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3 Responses to Texas on a Wing and a Prayer

  1. Val says:

    I was happy to be your wing woman.

  2. Val says:

    Reblogged this on Sotto Voce and commented:
    I too, had a genealogy purpose for my visit. Connecting with my cousins was a wonderful treat and I got to see photographs of my parents I had never seen before. My FlipPal was a tremendous advantage as I was able to scan photos while we talked. I’m going back to Texas … hopefully with Rachelle and my Sister in tow.

  3. Pingback: Follow Friday: Ascending the Stairs

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