Tag Archives: Clayton Library

Black History Month 2016 at the Clayton Library for Genealogical Research

It’s Black History Month 2016 and the Clayton Library for Genealogical Research will host some excellent programs that I plan to attend this month. So check out the information below, and if you live in H-town, or you plan to travel this way soon, be sure to add the Clayton Library on your list of “places to visit” this month!

Guest Speaker Sharon Gillins

Sharon GillinsSaturday, February 6, 2016 | 10:30 AM – 12:45 PM
Clayton Library is proud to offer a series of classes presented by professional genealogist Sharon Gillins in honor of African American History Month. Light refreshments will be served. Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

Sessions include:

  • Harvesting Ancestors – Lessons from the Garden
    10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
    Practices learned from the garden are compared to genealogical practices and illustrated with examples from genealogical research. The content is suitable and accessible to beginners who are building good research habits and will be equally entertaining and informative to more advanced researchers.
  • Louisiana Conveyance Records – A Rich Resource for Researching Enslaved Ancestry
    11:45 AM – 12:45 PM
    This presentation uses Louisiana conveyance records to illustrate the record types and methods for analysis that researchers can use to locate details about their once-enslaved family members before 1870. Although the case studies are based on Louisiana records, the methodology is transferable to any state.

From Post to Pre-Civil War: The African American Experience in Records

Saturday, February 20, 2016 | 10:30 AM – 12:45 PM
In celebration of African American History Month Clayton Library is proud to offer a series of classes presented by Clayton Library staff members Rodney Sam and Franklin Smith. Light refreshments will be served. Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

Sessions include:

  • First Louisiana Guard: The Life of a Free Man of Color in a Southern Union Regiment
    10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
    This program will show how the life of Casimir Sam, a Louisiana Creole and a free man of color who served in the Civil War, can be reconstructed through the use of military records. This session will be presented by Clayton Library staff member Rodney Sam.
  • Researching Pre-Civil War Slave Ancestors – Identifying the Slaveholder
    11:45 AM – 12:45 PM
    Learn tips and strategies for identifying the slaveholder using post-Civil War records and information. Use the surname and location approach with the 1870 community to narrow down the potential slaveholder candidates. This session will be presented by Clayton Library staff member Franklin Smith.

Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research
5300 Caroline Street
Houston, Texas 77004
Phone: 832-393-2600

Library Hours are:
M Closed | T 10-6 | W 10-8 | Th 10-6 | F 10-5 | Sa 10-5 | Su Closed

To search the Houston Public Library catalog for Clayton’s materials, choose the “Advanced Search” option here: https://halan.sdp.sirsi.net/client/hou, then limit your search by libraries to Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research.

For more information, visit the Clayton Library web page at http://www.houstonlibrary.org/clayton.

Women’s History Month 2014 at the Clayton Library for Genealogical Research

Houston Public LibraryMarch is Women’s History Month and a perfect time for us to pay tribute to our female ancestors! But as you know, many of the historical documents we use to find our ancestors were created for men and it is the male’s surname carried on — generation after generation. Therefore finding and following our female ancestors, at times, is not easy. That’s why if you’re in the Houston, Texas area on Saturday, March 15th you should think about celebrating Women’s History Day at the Clayton Library for Genealogical Research where strategies and techniques for “rooting out” those female ancestors is the focus of the day! So check out the classes below. RSVP is required for all classes. So please call 832-393-2600 to register and for more information!

Women’s History Day at Clayton Library
March 15, 2014
1:00PM – 3:30PM

As part of National Women’s History Month, Clayton Library will hold a day of classes focused on researching female ancestors by not only demonstrating important research techniques, but also applying those techniques through a case study featuring a mysterious widow. Adults/Teens.

Second Wives Club!
Saturday, March 15, 2014
1:00PM – 2:00PM

This talk is all about proving second marriages for female ancestors. Here we will explore the resources that will confirm a second marriage, even if you know for a “fact” your ancestor only married once. Or so you thought!

The Mystery of Lillie Mae Ford: Documenting Husbands and More
Saturday, March 15, 2014
2:30PM – 3:30PM

Genealogy involves using multiple sources to analyze and create a family narrative. This presentation is a case study about the discovery of documents and paper trail left by Lillie Mae Ford and her unexpected name changes. Multiple research strategies will be discussed as well as the importance of primary and secondary sources. This class may be useful for both beginners and advanced researchers!

Black History Month 2014 at the Clayton Library for Genealogical Research

Black History Month

Black History Month 2014

It’s Black History Month 2014 and the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research will be offering an excellent weekend of seminars with Tony Burroughs and Franklin Smith. So if you love genealogy or need help with your slave ancestry research, and you live in or near the Houston area, this is a weekend you don’t want to miss!

Follow Your African American Roots with Tony Burroughs/ Buffalo Soldier’s Museum
Date: 2/21/2014
Time: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Sponsored by the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research

This events will begin with a presentation on the research of Buffalo Soldier ancestry by Mr. Burroughs, which will take place on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. at the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, 3816 Caroline, Houston, TX, 77004. While reservations are not required, space is limited.

Visit the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum online!

As part of Black History Month, Clayton Library is proud to offer a weekend of seminars presented by Tony Burroughs and local author Franklin Smith. Mr. Burroughs is an internationally known genealogist, author and lecturer and author of Black Roots: A Beginners Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree. He is often interviewed by local, national and international media for his genealogy expertise. Mr. Smith has published several articles in genealogical periodicals and co-authored the book entitled Discovering Your African-American Ancestors: How to Find and Record Your Unique Heritage.

African American History Month
Age Group(s): all ages
Date: 2/22/2014
Time: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM

On Saturday, Burroughs and Smith will discuss a variety of subjects in the field of African American genealogical research. This event will take place on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. in the Auditorium at the Julia Ideson Building, 550 McKinney, 77002. This event is free and open to the public; however, RSVPs are requested. You may reserve your space by calling the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research at 832-393-2600. Self-Pay Parking will be available beneath the library or on the surrounding streets.

The day’s class schedule is as follows;

Black Roots: Tracing the Family Tree 9:15 AM – 10:15 AM

This is a fun, inspirational talk for beginners and people with no knowledge of genealogy research. It contains humorous stories of research and how an important 100-year-old riddle was solved, mending bad family feelings. It has easy, practical methods and sources that anyone can use the next day to begin researching their family history.

From Census to Slavery 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Most African American researchers try to leap from census records to slave research, bypassing a multitude of records in between. A broad foundation after the Civil War will increase the probabilities of success during the slavery period.

Follow Your African American Roots to Clayton Library 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM

This is a Lunch and Learn presentation by Franklin Smith. Learn about the many resources at Clayton that will help you find the information you need when researching African-American Ancestors.

Methods and Sources of Identifying Slave Owners 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Everyone is not fortunate enough to have had the name of the last slave owner passed down from generation to generation through oral history. Therefore, if this name is unknown, research must be conducted to identify the former slave owner – essential to researching slave genealogy. Many texts and many researchers overlook this crucial question. Identifying the slave owner is based on evidence, not assumption. There are many records that show the name of the former slave owner. Learn how to prove who the last slave owner was. This presentation will also cover some of the unique problems associated with African American surnames, which sometimes lead our research astray.

The Six Phases of African American Genealogy 2:15 PM – 3:15 PM

This is an overview of the methods and sources in the six distinct phases that are the building blocks of African American genealogy. It progresses from beginning to more advanced research, highlighting some of the problems and complexities of African American genealogy along the way. It is designed for beginners, intermediates and advanced researchers

Library: Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research
Registration Ends: 2/20/2014 at 12:00 AM

Other Information:
Visit the Julia Ideson Building online!

Family History Month 2012

Family History Month 2012

It’s Family History Month 2012 at the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research (another one of my favorite months of the year) . . . woo-hoo! Below is a list of  EXCELLENT events and programs taking place the whole month of October 2012:

Genealogy Basics Boot Camp

Saturday, October 6, 2012 1:30PM-3:00PM

Interested in your family history, but not quite sure where to start? Found some information, but need to know what else is available? Join the boot camp for an exercise in genealogical research resources! This session focuses on starting genealogical research by examining basic tools, such as the pedigree chart, and basic research strategies. Learn about the different genealogical materials available to researchers and how they lead to other sources. Reservations required. Please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

Crossing the Wide Blue Seas: Passenger Lists of Our Ancestors

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 2:00PM-3:30PM

Since the discovery of the New World, ships have been bringing passengers to our shores to start new lives. Some of these voyages were well documented and some not. In this talk we will be discussing how to find evidence of your ancestors on passenger lists. Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

Beginning German Research

Friday, October 12, 2012 10:30AM-12:00PM

Do you have German roots but are unsure about how to get started researching records outside the United States? Are you trying to find the town of origin from which your ancestors came, and what records are available for that town? This session deals with basic-level German research, with a focus on church and civil records and how to find them and use them. Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

1st Louisiana Guard: Free Men of Color in the Civil War

Co-sponsored by the Afro American Historical Genealogical Society – Willie Lee Gay Chapter (Houston)

Saturday, October 13, 2012 10:30AM-12:00PM

This presentation will feature case studies involving the Civil War pension files of two free men of color, Casimir SAM and his cousin Martin WHITE, who served in the 1st Louisiana Guard, later the 73rd Louisiana Colored Troops. Learn how valuable Civil War pension files can be in researching the lives and family history of your ancestors. Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

South Carolina History, Formation of Counties, Sources, Special Research Problems, Hints!

Saturday, October 13, 2012 2:00PM-4:00PM

Learn about several helpful research sources (online resources, South Carolina Archives, and collections in other repositories) and hints on organizing your research. Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

City Directories

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 6:00PM-7:30PM

Have you ever wondered why people use city directories in genealogy? Learn how they can be useful in your research, how to use them effectively and where they may be found today. Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

 1st Annual Genealogy Lock-In – Discover History for Yourself

Friday, October 19, 2012 2:00PM-5:15PM – three pre-event virtual presentations

Friday, October 19, 2012 6:00PM-12:00AM – Lock-in and optional presentations. Two are virtual; the last one is an in-house speaker.

In celebration of Family History Month in October, the Houston Public Library’s Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research will be sponsoring its 1st Annual Genealogy Lock-in at the library. This event is free and open to anyone interested in genealogy.

This event will showcase the library’s genealogy collection. It’s a great opportunity for both the novice and the experienced researcher to learn more about genealogy and to pursue their individual family’s history. The Lock-in will include genealogical advice, instruction, and light snacks.

We are pleased to announce that this year’s Lock-in will be held in conjunction with the same type of event being held at four other libraries across Texas. These libraries include: The Texas State Library and Archives Commission; Special Collection Department of the Denton Public Library; Genealogy, Local History, Texana, and Archives of the Plano Public Library; and the West Waco Library and Genealogy Center.


Registration for the pre-event sessions and for the lock-in MUST be made in advance.

The pre-event programming during the day is open to everyone, even those not planning on attending the extended hours Lock-in. All three sessions will be virtual. You may sign up for any or all of these sessions. Registration is limited to 50.

I.     Resources of the Southwest Regional Archives (NARA)


Aaron Holt, Archives Technician

He will discuss the resources of this great national institution. Learn about Indian records, national records, business and other records of genealogical value.

II.     Using the Treasures in FamilySearch


Lynell Moss of the Plano Family History Center

Learn about all the tools currently available on FamilySearch.org and seven tips for getting better results when searching the more than 1250 collections in Historical Records.

III.     Ancestry Library Edition: What’s New


Edward Loera, ProQuest Database trainer

Listen to Mr. Loera highlight what’s new in content and features and provide us his insight on how to best use this premier resource for genealogical research.

There will be three optional presentations during the Lock-in. These sessions will be virtual, except for “Unusual Resources”. You may sign up for any or all of the sessions . You must be signed up for the Lock-in to attend any of these three classes. Registration is limited to 100.

IV.     Genealogy 101: How to Get Started in Genealogy


Cheryl Smith, Genealogy Librarian (Plano)

She will speak on filling out a pedigree chart, where to find information, software suggestions, Internet sites, and more.

V.     Resources of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission


Sara Hayes, Reference Librarian, Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Learn about genealogy resources available on-site and online from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in Austin.

VI.     Unusual Genealogy Resources


Susan Kaufman, Manager, Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, Houston Public Library

Susan will provide an overview of unusual resources and not often used sources that can give a deep insight into your family history.


Lock-in attendees do not have to stay until midnight. You can come to the lock-in (if you are registered) any time between 6:00PM and 10:30PM.

This event is for adults/teens.

Security will be provided, and reservations will be checked.

For more information, contact Sue Kaufman, Clayton Manager, at 832-393-2602 or susan.kaufman@houstontx.gov. Please use LOCK-IN for the subject line.

Lineage Day

Saturday, October 20, 2012 10:30AM-4:00PM

Visit with representatives from many genealogical and historical lineage societies to discuss their organizations. Get some hints that can help you identify those ancestors for entry into those societies. Representatives include, but are not limited to, the Daughters of the American Revolution, Sons of the Republic of Texas, and Cherokee Nation. No reservations needed. Adult/Teens.

 Unusual Resources

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 6:00PM-7:30PM

Learn about some very unusual record groups for genealogical research, sources not often thought of. Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

 Beginning English Research

Saturday, October 27, 2012 10:30AM-12:00PM

An overview of some of the records you might find most useful when looking for your ancestor from England, such as census and civil registration records, parish registers and much more. Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

 Quick Start your Genealogy! Overview of Genealogical Research Tools

Wednesday, October 31, 1:00PM-3:30PM

1:30PM-2:00PM HPL Catalog

2:10PM-2:50PM Ancestry Library Edition; FamilySearch

3:00PM-3:30PM Ordering microprint from Salt Lake City

Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

Family History Book Sale

October 1-30 2012

The Clayton Library will be holding its Family History Book Sale in October. All Clayton’s duplicate family history books will be available for sale. These are donated books that we already own; the copies offered for sale have never been part of our collection.

Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research
5300 Caroline Street
Houston, Texas 77004
Phone: 832-393-2600

Library Hours are:
M Closed | T 10-6 | W 10-8 | Th 10-6 | F 10-5 | Sa 10-5 | Su Closed


September 2012 Family History Writing Program at the Clayton Library

The September 2012 Family History Writing Program at The Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research will host the following lecture and writing activity this month …

Writing Your Family History – An Interactive Day
Saturday, September 29 10:30AM – 4:00PM

Join Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, for a very exciting day consisting of a morning lecture with an active afternoon of writing exercises.

A Baker’s Dozen

Anyone can write! Learn ways to get your family history in print without a lot of strain! A “Baker’s Dozen” of ways to get started and ideas to get your greater family involved will be shared. You may find that you are already doing some of these but hadn’t realized you were actually getting family history into print! We’ll cover focus points, themes, photos, incorporating general history, and editing. Come prepared to write and take home a new outlook on getting YOUR family history written.

Writing Exercises

The afternoon will consist of writing exercises, individually and in small groups. Attendees are requested to bring a personal laptop if available. There will also be some actual writing, so please bring lined paper and pens and pencils of different colors.

This program is free and open to the public. Seating is limited to 45. You MUST call Clayton Library at 832-393-2600 to sign up. You will register for the whole day. Adult/Teens.

For more information, visit the Clayton Library webpage: http://www.houstonlibrary.org/clayton.

Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research
5300 Caroline Street
Houston, Texas 77004
Phone: 832-393-2600

Library Hours are:
M Closed | T 10-6 | W 10-8 | Th 10-6 | F 10-5 | Sa 10-5 | Su Closed