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Texas Genealogical Sources

September 26, 2008

Many patrons visit the DRT Library seeking genealogical information. Whether you are just beginning to explore your family tree or you are an experienced researcher needing additional information on a particular ancestor, we have many sources about Texas history and families that can assist you in your research. A description of a selection of these materials is included below.

Muster Rolls: Muster rolls are lists of names in a military unit. The library has these lists for the Texas Revolution, the American Revolution, and specific military units. The lists show the date the individual enlisted and his rank. Also, sometimes the lists state how long the individual was enlisted and include remarks such as why someone was discharged or what unit they were transferred to.

U.S. Census: The library has access to an online database of U.S. Census records for the years 1790­ through 1930, although this source does not include data for 1830, 1840, and 1850. The library also has a print version of the U.S. Census taken in Texas in 1850. The information included in the census varies depending on the year it was taken, but most provide the name of the head of household, as well as the name of a wife, if applicable. Some also include children’s names or at least the number of children in a household. Respondents’ places of birth and occupations as well as parents’ places of birth are also sometimes listed.

Land Grants: These documents list men who were given land in return for military service. They include the amount of time served, the amount of land given, and the location of the land. If the man died during service, the records say that his heirs received the land, although the heirs are not listed. The library’s most frequently used book of land grants contains Texas grants from 1835 to 1888.

Tax Rolls: These records contain the names of heads of households by county, the amount of land that they own, and any additional property that they might own (e.g. cattle, carriages, slaves, and other land). The library has Texas tax rolls from 1840 as well as tax rolls for specific counties in other years.

Founders and Patriots of the Republic of Texas: This source lists the names of Daughters of the Republic of Texas as well as their ancestral lineage that they used to gain entry into the organization. Each volume also has an ancestor index. Not all members are listed, as some choose to not be published. This is a great source for finding ancestors if you know that a relative joined the DRT.

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