Texas Genealogy & History
"...the people of Texas do now constitute a free, Sovereign, and independent republic..."
- from the Texas Declaration of Independence, 2 March 1836
dedicated to 'free' online information **
Thinking of becoming an TXGenWeb Volunteer? There are many opportunities for you to help this project become more successful and grow, based on your time, availability and knowledge level. The TXGenWeb is part of the USGenWeb Project, a volunteer not-for-profit organization. Our goal is to make genealogical reference information available through the internet, including simple queries, free lookups, biographical sketches, local history, census data, etc. Our hope is to help make genealogical research through the internet available to everyone at no cost.
The TXGenWeb Project consists of a wide variety of volunteers who coordinate or assist in providing genealogical information for each County in the State of Texas. Where do these volunteers come from and what motivates them? The answer is simple. Volunteers are people just like you, individuals who have an interest in genealogy and a desire to help.
You might become a TXGenWeb County Coordinator creating your
own County web site. Alternatively, you might work with the
current coordinator as an assistant or you and a friend
might become co-coordinators of a county. You
might assist in the research and transcription of
information to be placed on County pages. If so
desired, it may also be placed in the USGenWeb
Texas Archives. You might
become a Lookup Volunteer.
On the other hand, you might simply share your own family
information by joining a county mailing list. We are always
happy to have new volunteers.
Every County Coordinator searches for volunteers to help researchers with simple lookup requests. If you have access to Census records, Cemetery records, County and Town Histories, Marriage information, or any other genealogically useful data, then contact your nearest County Coordinator via the County Index.
JOIN OUR TEAM!
To adopt a county in Texas,
check the list of Counties and/or Orphans page to see if the
county is available for adoption. If it is available, send a
message to Shirley
Cullum with the Subject: ADOPT
and the name of the county. If the county you are interested
in is not available for adoption at this time, you may email
the current county coordinator to volunteer what time or
data you have available.
If you are having problems, please ask for help. There are many people on the mailing list to help you as you create your very own web content and format.
Once approved as a County Coordinator you may receive free web space several places. TXGenWeb has server space and can issue you an account. Space is also available with Rootsweb, or you may use your own server, web space at your own Internet Service Provider, or there are other sites that provide free web space. If something happens, and you are no longer interested or able to be a County Coordinator, notify the State Coordinator. A County Coordinator cannot relinquish their county to another person without first notifying the State Coordinator. The State Coordinator (& Assistants) must approve all new coordinators
The main focus of your web site is to provide a place to post Genealogical Records, as well as Queries and Lookups, which have genealogical connections with your County. You can create your own Query submission forms which allow you to receive posted queries via e-mail, and in the format you prefer or use the RootsWeb message boards for your county/counties.
Project Name and Logos
The proper name of the project and the way
it should be written is "The TXGenWeb Project" and "The
USGenWeb Project". The term "genweb" belongs to another
group and should not be used to describe our project. The
TXGenWeb Project & The USGenWeb Project logos are
expected to be displayed on your main page. A variety of
logos and other graphics may be obtained from the TXGenWeb
logo page and the USGenWeb
logo page. In the use of logos and wording, please
make it clear to our visitors that you are affiliated with
the TXGenWeb Project.
State Mail List
The state coordinator will subscribe you to the TXGenWeb mailing list for county coordinators and volunteers. This mailing list, TXGW-NEWS, is an announce only mailing list, is required and is very low volume. The TXGEN-L mail list is where volunteers of the TXGenWeb Project share thoughts, and ask questions, etc. and it is not required. To subscribe to TXGEN, send a message to TXGEN-Lfirstname.lastname@example.org with the one word, subscribe, in the body of the message.
Every county must provide a query page. This can be handled with an email link to you and posted manually, or if you have the resources, you can create an automatic mailmerge form page for receiving information. You may also use the RootsWeb message boards for your county/counties.
County Resource Page and Lookups
You are responsible for soliciting volunteers who will perform lookups of genealogical and historical materials for your county, and who understand the USGenWeb's policy on Copyright.
Every county website should provide some basic research help for their county. For instance, many of the county coordinators have provided a list of names, addresses and phone numbers for the county court clerk, library, and genealogical and/or historical societies. Many have also provided a bibliography page showing the reference books available for their county. Lookups should be offered if you or your volunteers have received permission to do so from the book's author or publisher or the reference books you have available meet the copyright policies of The USGenWeb Project.
Updated Web Sites
Every county site must be updated* at least once every six (6) months. This lets the visitor know that the site is being maintained, is not abandoned, and is in good working order. If it hasn't been updated* at least once every six (6) months, then we will have to consider getting a new county coordinator. It is a must to keep a working email address and to notify the State Coordinator of any email changes that pertain to the county sites. Newly submitted data is to be posted in a timely manner and broken links researched and repaired at least every 6 months. *Updated applies to many things, including but not limited to: changing a date, adding new info, changing the background, changing the format, etc.
Every county must have a link on the main page to TXGenWeb Project. It must also have a link to one of the two county selection pages, either http://www.txgenweb.org/allcc.htm or http://www.txgenweb.org/cindex.htm.
Quarterly Roll Calls
It is mandatory that every county coordinator
answer roll call. These will be
every 3 months, 1st through the end of the month
(JAN, APR, JUL, & OCT). If you don't reply to roll call,
or answer emails, it will be assumed that you are no longer
available and the county will be placed for adoption or
given to a new CC.
In the event a new CC should feel that there are some inappropriate, erroneous, or useless files on the county website, they must contact the State Coordinator for approval before removing the donated material.
Solicitation of Funds (Art IX, Sec 2, USGenWeb Project Bylaws)
Solicitation of funds for personal gain is inappropriate. This is defined as the direct appeal on the home page of any of the websites comprising The USGenWeb Project for funding to do research, to pay for server space, to do look-ups, etc. A website may, however, acknowledge any entities who may host their website (i.e., provide server space at no cost) or may include a link to a coordinator's personal page on which they offer research services for reimbursement. The acknowledgement may include a link to the hosting entity's website. A website may list research materials and/or services which may be for sale/hire, either by the coordinator, a genealogy society, or others. Such a listing shall not be on the main web page for the site, but may be linked from the main web page. It may be appropriate to include a disclaimer that the coordinator and The USGenWeb Project do not guarantee the contents of such research materials and/or the expertise of any professional researchers.
As new county pages are put up on the web, they are checked by someone on the state evaluation committee for the required elements and to be sure your links work. Your evaluator will let you know when they have visited your page. If there are any problems with links or any required elements missing, they will let you know so you may make any changes or corrections.
Welcome to the project
Beyond these few "bare essentials", your page is yours to do with as you please. Should there be any changes made in the basic requirements, you will be notified by your state coordinator and this message will be updated.
TXGenWeb Grievance Procedures
Problem/disputes between TXGenWeb County Coordinators (CC's) will be referred to the TXGenWeb State Coordinator (SC) and the Assistant TXGenWeb State Coordinator(s) (ASC) who will work with the TXGenWeb CC's to resolve the issues.
TXGenWeb CC's dismissed by the TXGenWeb SC have the right to have any objections to dismissal being heard by a group of their TXGenWeb peers but must file the grievance with the TXGenWeb Grievance Coordinator within 10 days of the dismissal.
The dismissed party and the TXGenWeb SC will each nominate 3 TXGenWeb CC's to the TXGenWeb Grievance Coordinator who will select one TXGenWeb CC from each group and one TXGenWeb CC of his/her choosing from the general TXGenWeb membership to make up a TXGenWeb Grievance Board. The TXGenWeb Grievance Board will hear the evidence from both parties in private and will recommend to the full group of TXGenWeb CCs nominated by all parties, known as the TXGenWeb Grievance Team, that they either confirm or overturn the dismissal. The final decision shall be by majority vote. A quorum (5) of the full 7 member TXGenWeb Grievance Team must participate in the voting in order to be valid, with the TXGenWeb Grievance Coordinator being a non-voting member of the TXGenWeb Grievance Team except in the case of a tie. If either party fails to participate in the grievance process, the finding will automatically go to the other party. The decision of the TXGenWeb Grievance Team will be binding on all parties.
Problems/disputes between TXGenWeb CC's and the TXGenWeb SC will be handled in the same manner.
Failure to comply with a ruling within 14 days will result in the removal of the non-compliant TXGenWeb party, TXGenWeb CC or TXGenWeb SC. Removal of the TXGenWeb SC will result in the TXGenWeb ASC taking over and calling for an immediate TXGenWeb SC election.
How much money will this cost?
It costs you nothing.
How much do I get paid?
The USGenWeb Project and The TXGenWeb Project are entirely volunteers. You get paid - huge amounts - wonderful warm fuzzies and personal satisfaction.
What about web space?
Web space can be obtained through the State Coordinator on the TXGenWeb server or from RootsWeb for county sites free of charge. You do not have to pay for server space unless you would like to obtain your own server to use.
How much time is needed to adopt a county?
The amount of time depends on the coordinator. The queries tended to be the job that required the most time, however with the new automated query systems in place, there isn't much time involved. If you volunteer to lookup information, then that will take time. If you want to put data online, then that will take time as well, but once again, the amount of time involved depends on the individual coordinator. Researchers are looking for fresh and frequently updated information on your pages. The time required can range from two to twenty hours, depending on the time you have available and your degree of enthusiasm.
What type of data can I put online?
The answer to this question is, any original research material or material that was copyrighted, but now considered public domain, and information owned & submitted by a private party. For a more in depth answer on this question, please visit the USGenWeb - Copyright Information page. (Example of public domain information: data listed on headstones and public records from state/county entities.)
You may notice a message beside the county listing indicating it is available for adoption. This means that we are looking for someone to take it over on a permanent basis. If you would like to adopt a web page for one of these counties, please contact Shirley Cullum , State Coordinator. The assistant state coordinators are Carla Clifton and Jane Keppler.
Page Design by: Kimm Antell
Graphic Design by: Terri Brown