I decided to explore a resource a found back in September of 2012 called Texas Heritage Online. Back when I found it, heir website stated, “Texas Heritage Online provides unified online access to Texas’ historical documents and images for use by teachers, students, historians, genealogists, and other researchers by partnering with 177 libraries, museums, and other institutions across the state, making 249,075 unique items available for research.” Now, they’re up to 205 repositories and 459,504 items…they practically doubled the amount of items in less than one year! That’s amazing.
Now that the “wow” factor is out of the way, I’ll get back to my exploration. As usual, when I find these types of online collections, I start with photos since I just love looking at old photos. After a little while, I checked out the newspaper section and then moved onto the maps. They have nearly 16,000 maps, and not just related to Texas; a search of Illinois returned 191 maps. What a collection (hey, I love maps too!).
But what really caught my attention was the last collection I explored—legal documents. Sounds boring, right? Trust me, it’s not! There are over 1,500 items in this collection, ranging from deeds to military enlistments, and again, not just Texas.
For example, here’s an original document from New York where Robert B. Way agrees to take the place of James H. Farquarharson in the Civil War.
Want to see what an original deed looks like? They have quite a few. Here’s a mortgage agreement from Kansas executed in 1875.
There’s even a fingerprint chart for wanted man Clyde Champion Barrow, which includes a photo, physical description, criminal background, and relatives. Kinda creepy, but hey, lots of genealogical information!
There’s some pretty cool stuff in this collection.
And even though the website’s focus is Texas, there seems to be items from other states as well, so everyone should head on over and check out Texas Heritage Online. You never know what you’ll find until you look!