Every family has a story. Whether or not these can be documented, there are stories that mean so much to researchers as well as family members or someone who admired those families. Find these stories. You can start with yourself and write your memories of growing up. Then call or visit your…

Their names were seldom or never mentioned because families feared the stigma that might follow. They were hidden in attics and buried without names on their tombstones. Or, they were sent off to a sanitarium where they were dropped off without a name or contact information. The insane, ofte…

Sometimes genealogists find letters or diaries that disclose secrets from the past. Or, maybe it is just a document that answers questions not previously documented. Genealogists love it when, or if, this happens. But not many of us find letters or other documents that impart personal data f…

I keep singing the praises of the Ancestry research sites. This time I have to tell you about the startling number of people who are now on or will be on their DNA site as soon as the lab work is completed. Ancestry just announced that their DNA database would contain 6,000,000 people as soo…

Whether you call it genealogy or family history research, we must only initially approach it as a historian before changing to searching for and studying original documents and accounts. In school, while studying an historical event, our teacher assigned us to read a chapter or book on the s…

Dallas/Fort Worth residents define success not by monetary wealth or professional achievements, but by being able to provide for their families. This is one of the primary findings outlined in a report recently released by Merrill Edge that focuses on perceptions Americans have of what it me…

Thanksgiving is over and it is almost time for Christmas. We have lovely Christmases. Growing up, Christmas was always welcome, but never before we celebrated Thanksgiving. I loved the suspense of what Santa would bring me under the tree and the thrill of presents coming from my loving family.

Flu season can be unpredictable. To prevent it, education is key. Fortunately, for North Texans who haven’t received their vaccination, it’s not too late. Since the vaccination can take up to two weeks to build up full immunity, now is an ideal time to protect yourself ahead of the holidays.

November is National Caregivers Month, and according to a recent Merrill Lynch age wave study, eight in 10 Americans say caregiving is the “new normal” for American families.

What better time than National Family History Month for Legacy Family Tree to announce free webinars to also celebrate their seventh anniversary of their webinar series taught by 149 professional speakers. Fifteen of the most requested of the 583 members-only classes are free until October 1…

As you search through records for ancestors, remember the names may not always be spelled the way the descendants currently spell it. Regardless, whatever name you find in a record is the way you spell it when transcribing the record. Therefore, I recorded the spelling of Stibbens in a curre…

Clean drinking water is critical to public health and safety. We can’t live without this essential resource that is delivered to north Texas homes and businesses for about a penny per gallon.

Local courts generate and administer the laws of the county. People gather at the courthouse. In past times, the quarterly court sessions became a social occasion complete with partying. Even today, on Monday morning many people are brought together to the courthouse for jury duty. There are…

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Texas plans on rebuilding and improving The Alamo. It is our most iconic shrine present at the time of the 1836 battles that won our freedom from Mexico. Texans are worried about the new twist of the proposed plan passed and approved four years ago. Its original purpose would give the visito…

There used to be an Annex building on the Hwy. 5 loop in McKinney where we could pick up our ancestor’s original marriage licenses not previously picked up by the couple. That has now changed. It appears the Collin County Clerk’s Office scanned the marriage licenses and made them available t…

Most of us do not want our personal information available on the Internet for anyone to access. I know I don’t. You can check to see if FamilyTreeNow.com has your information on their website at the Opt Out of Records link at https://www.familytreenow.com/optout. The Family Tree Now site has…

We may all mourn the loss of the ability to rent the microfilm, but it will be available online. That will even be more convenient. Most of my readers are aware of this because I previously covered the June 25 announcement to discontinue microfilm distribution as of September 1, 2017. Theref…

The individual identities of women who lived prior to the twentieth century are often very tangled in those of their husbands, both by law and by custom. In many places, women were not allowed to own real estate in their name, to sign legal documents, or to participate in government. Men wro…

Most genealogists rely on Google as their search engine of choice. Google seems to coddle the user by helping find whatever the searcher wants. I prefer Google for anything I am looking for on the Internet. It gives me the answer I am looking for quickly. I use it to search for anything from…

Is it time for a change? Please take time for getting outside and taking a valuable research trip. When the sun is out and there is a nip in the air is my preferred time for taking research trips, especially those involving cemeteries. The tight economy, increasing airfare and gasoline price…

When you marry, you agree to share a financial future, too. Although successfully managing finances in marriage is essential to your happiness together, talking about it may not come naturally. Here are six tips on how keeping an open dialogue could help you save, invest and plan together, a…

American Ancestors, sponsored by the New England Historic Genealogical Society, announced they have made many improvements to their site. The group says they are America’s founding genealogical organization and the most respected name in family history. Find the new improvements at www.Ameri…

Charles C. Stibbens is the only soldier of the Battle of San Jacinto, April 21, 1836, or the Battle for Texas Independence of 1835-1836 to be buried in Collin County. On September 22, 1990, his grave was marked with medallions by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and second great grandd…

Twenty years ago, a small group of devoted genealogists began Genealogy Friends, shortened often to GenFriends. What began as a small membership grew into what it is today. The goal was to donate acquisitions to the genealogy library and educate its members. Each year, the donations total ab…

Two girls lost their lives recently at age 16. I know a thing or three about girls because I raised three of them who are now 32, 28 and 25 years old. 

This is the hardest thing I have had to write in my almost 10-year tenure at Star Local Media. This will be my final week with the company. I have chosen to pursue another career path, which will allow me to fulfill one of my life goals – helping people in need.

Writing is the painting of a picture in another person’s mind using only words. The magnificent scenery of Texas has inspired many artists and writers through the years, and the backdrop of overwhelming beauty and sometimes larger-than-life characters has often been the spark needed for a gr…

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My name is Terry Groves. I am a lieutenant with the Plano Police Department.

If you told me a year ago I would be writing for the Plano Star Courier, I would have laughed. 

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Remember when doctors made house calls? Probably not, but if you back up far enough to long before the automobile, it was quite a challenge for those in the medical profession to get to their patients, much less save them.