Tracing one’s genealogy has become a popular pursuit these days—even Reba McEntire has joined the hunt! But tracing one’s ancestry is not always easy and having the right resources can really make a difference.
Who do you think has such resources? The Mason County M. Beven Eckert Memorial Library, of course! Folks drop in all the time searching for information about their family’s history and often leave with facts they didn’t have before. Archived cemetery materials are often a good place to start.
Deanne Gregg has just completed two books on the Gooch Cemetery—the Old Gooch and the New Gooch. These books list who is buried there and where the grave plot is located and the birth and death dates of they were known. The archives also hold Julius DeVoss’s book, which includes all the Mason County cemeteries and graves, and Della Moneyhon’s book on the Crosby Cemetery.
But the holdings are not restricted to Mason County; the archives also include books on San Saba, Llano, McCullough, and Kimble County cemeteries. The library has other resources, too. Anyone can come in and use the Ancestry.com account, for example—just ask for the log-in and password information at the front desk. The Historical Commission has had several books about Mason County’s families and history published, and they are available for purchase.
Needless to say, the best resource to be had is Jane Hoerster. Her knowledge of local history and people is invaluable, and if she’s not available, Fran Hoerster can often lend a hand. So, if you’ve been thinking about your roots and wondering where to start, why wait? Come on by the library and dig in.