October is family history month and in honor of that the Somervell Historical Library and Research center is hosting a workshop at  10:00 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 19. The event will be located at the GRISD Tech Center Professional Classroom located at 707 Big Bend Trail. The doors will open at 9:00 a.m.

Bring your laptops/iPad and any other supplies you may need. Drinks and snacks are allowed.

What an event this will be for those interested in preservation of family history. Topics to be presented will address a range from Genealogy to DNA, and the “how to’s” of finding records of interest. The event is free to the public. Each topic will be hosted by some of the top-notch libraries in the state. GNT will provide a series of eight live-streamed programs with up-to-date topics. The Webinars include such topics as: “Discovering your Ancestors’ Land Holdings in GLO”; “Organizing and Preserving Photo Collections”; “Locating Ancestors on the Dawes Rolls”; “Using Autosomal DNA to Solve Genealogy Brick Walls”; “Breaking Brick Walls by finding Living Cousins”; “Census Sense: Clues & Conundrums for Intermediate Researchers”; “Don’t Forget the Ladies: A Genealogist’s Guide to Women and the Law”. And of Course, “How to Begin”! There is something for everyone.

Call the Heritage Library at 254-897- 9073. Email somervellheritage@gmail.com, or drop by the library. Alternate phone: 254-396-1445. Let us know if you plan to attend.

Discovering your family’s history is like opening a new book. It may or may not turn out like you expected but the journey will be exciting. You find the characters and the story begins. You find the history not only of the people, but also of the things that were going on around them. Each generation is a story that let you discover who you are and how you got here.

 I would never have known that my 4th great grandfather John West, Sr. served in the Revolutionary Service #32580 North Carolina Continental Line, Private, Commanded by Captain Johnson – of the regiment commanded by Col. Lytle of the N. Carolina line for two years.

Inscribed on the rolls for two years, he entered the service of the colonies in 1779, under the command of Captain Stephen Your, Col Mayberry’s North Carolina regiment, in Gates County NC. He marched to Georgetown, SC, then into Charleston. On expiration of that service, he again enlisted and served in Cap.t Johnson’s Company, Col Archibald Lytle’s North Carolina Regiment. His service was to expire on June 24th, 1780. On May 12, 1780 he was taken prisoner. He was put on board a British Prisoner of War, thirty-two- guns Brig. He was taken to the Isle of Bermuda. He was again put in a large prison ship until 1781. He was then put on a British Flag Ship and landed at Old Hampton in Chesapeake Bay and set at liberty. He states he was a prisoner of war from the early part of 1779 until 1881-82. This record taken from the National Archives, Atlanta GA)

Today many descendants of John West have lived and still live in Somervell County.

This is just one piece of the puzzle of how I have discovered this patriot and how he fits into my lineage. The major proof has been in a DNA project on the West line that ties me together with this ancestor. My donor a West male contributed in 2003. Think of it – this is only one ancestor. Oh, the stories never end.

I have perhaps 16,000 known ancestors. How lucky can you get? Now is the time to work on your Family Story!