Sunday, January 10, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy: Hood County Library

I wasn't able to get to the local public library until yesterday, after Challenge #1 had ended, so I was glad to see Challenge #2 involved the same location.

Challenge #1: Go to your local public library branch. Make a note of the genealogy books in the collection that may help you gain research knowledge. Don’t forget to check the shelves in both the non-fiction section and the reference section. If you do not already have a library card, take the time to get one. If you have a genealogy blog, write about what you find in your library’s genealogy collection.

Challenge #2: Go to your local public library branch again. Examine the local history, archives and/or special collections section. Ask a librarian if you don’t know if your library has special collections or where they are located. Be sure to check the reference section, too, as many of the newer and more valuable books are held in that area. If you have a genealogy blog, write about what you find in your library’s local history and special collections.

The genealogy, local history, and special collections are together in the Hood County Library, located just northwest of the historic courthouse square in Granbury, Texas. Items in this area of the library (the northeast corner of the building) must be used in-house. One bank of shelves has a number of books, the next bank has various genealogy periodicals and other items, such as binders with the records of the local Opera Guild and the local Habitat for Humanity group.

There is a computer dedicated to genealogy research, as well as a microfilm reader. The Hood County News going back to September 3, 1891 is available on microfilm (for the most part), as well as microfilm of other early newspapers, some county records, and even various census records.

There are also four four-drawer vertical file cabinets, with files on a variety of subjects. For example, there is a file for each cemetery in the county, with a listing of burials from the most recent survey, as well as newspaper clippings and other information.

Probably the most interesting things in these drawers are part of the Judge Henry Davis Records Collection. While serving as county judge in the 1950s, Davis began making notes from county records about local families. After his death in 1976, his sister donated his papers to the Library. Local genealogists sorted them by surname and created family file folders. Since then, others have added other data such as family group sheets, pedigrees, and newspaper clippings.

A catalog search of the word "genealogy" turns up 348 items in the genealogy section (approximately 204 of these were donated by individuals and the Hood County Genealogical Society), and 34 in the nonfiction section (which can be checked out and taken outside the library). There are local history books which can be borrowed as well - I checked out one with the library card I've had since moving to Granbury nearly four years ago. Unfortunately, many non-book materials are not cataloged, nor could I find any indexes or listings.

[This post meets Challenges #1 and #2 in 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy hosted by]
© Amanda Pape - 2010


  1. Thanks for playing along with the challenge. I've had so much fun reading about everyone's libraries.

  2. What an interesting idea to have the materials of groups like the Opera Guild and the Habitat for Humanity group. I don't think our library has done this.
    Do you think this was done at the initiative of the librarian or of the groups?
    Evelyn in Montreal