Update May 2015

Just a note to say that I’ve been back a few weeks. The trip didn’t help like I hoped it would. My son and I got sick just before leaving, got better and then got sick again! To top that off, I got costochondritis or a cracked rib from lugging everything around. I’m getting healed up and am about to get back to work!

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Update March 2015

I have caught up the query backlog from when I was ill. Some are on hold and you will have a reply if that’s the case. If you have messaged me and you don’t see a reply please email me and I will look into it.

I am about to be MIA again because I am going back home to see my family and regain some energy (haha) but I hope to dive back into developing the site in May. I really appreciate your patience. I will be able to monitor everything and perhaps do a little work but I won’t have all my hardcopy resources with me which I try to always refer to… they have really, really helped in the past.

If you haven’t been to Family Search lately, I just discovered a nice little surprise… a lot of the original records have been imaged including deeds. I have listed the direct link to the right under “External Swisher County Genealogy Links” for future reference but I have also included it here for your convenience. Another great resource is the Tulia Herald which covers the years 1910 to 1960.

Swisher County Records (Family Search)

Tulia Herald (Portal to Texas History)

Some of you have asked me in the past how you would go about getting a copy of an obituary listed in the index on this site and I didn’t have a working email or phone number. I have heard from Sally Murrell, director of the Swisher County Museum and Archives so we again have a contact to request copies of obituaries that you see listed in the indexes. She said that you can reach the museum by calling 806-995-2819 Tues-Thurs or mail them at PO Box 445, Tulia, TX, 79088. So anyone who has been waiting for that can do so. Please let me know if you need any assistance.

It’s time for me to verify all the resources and links so I will try to make it flow better as well.

I hope you all stay warm during this (hopefully) last round of winter storms and I will see you in the Spring! Sounds like a long time but it’s just around the corner! Woohoo!

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I have a few queries that have not yet been answered. I will get to them as soon as I can. My son and I have been sick literally ALL month with the stomach flu and now the regular flu. Sorry for the delay! *sniff*


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Website Status – April

I have been receiving quite a few queries so I have been busy working on those and there has been some great connections, including a letter and some photos returned to family members. Those are the kinds of things that keep me going.

I have started working on the headstone notations in the gallery again and I am to the “G’s.”

I was looking through the obituaries and a test that I did, adding a link to the headstone in the gallery, a link to Find-a-Grave, and a link to that individual’s death certificate on Familysearch.org. As I feared, the links to the obituaries on family search are now broken. They also don’t seem to allow you to look up every death record for that county right now either so the link on the main page will show an error though it gets you to the database so you can do a lookup. This could be to a Texas privacy law that does not allow you to create a list of the death records online. I’m not sure at this time. But I will figure out a solution soon. I also noticed that in general, some of the tables are too big for the pages. I will fix that as soon as I can.

If you are on Facebook, you are welcome to “like” the page created for this website. Click the banner on the right hand side of this page. We have a lot of new members lately I’m sure due to a referral from a lovely lady who has a Facebook Page called Panhandle Tidbits. She is a great historical writer and she includes histories on Swisher County and posts some wonderful photographs that I’m sure you will enjoy if you have ancestors from the Panhandle.

I am still moving pages from the old sites. If there’s anything that you want to see that isn’t working properly, please let me know and I will see if I can get it fixed for you. If you have any photographs or information about your family that you would like to archive on this page, please don’t hesitate to contact me. My email is listed in the image at the top of this page (to prevent spammers).

Speaking of spammers… I’ve been trying hard to combat it at this site. I have got over 43,000 spam comments since I installed an addon to combat it a few years ago! So glad I don’t have to do that on my own. I also get at least 20 spam user registrations a day. Several months ago, I was alerted that someone had been able to attach coding to my site to add spam links to every legitimate comment made. I’m hoping I was able to get rid of that. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before something else happens. I sure wish I could spend that time working on the website instead. Please let me know if you see anything unusual and my apologies in advance if anything gets missed.

Thank you for your patience!

~*~ Sharon

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Gallery Progress

The “D” headstones are now indexed in the gallery. It’s not much, but it’s progress! :)

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Update March 2013

I just wanted to let you know that I’m still around even though I haven’t posted any news recently. I’m piddling around in the background, answering an increasing amount of queries, and getting ready to dive in again. I’ve been absolutely thrilled at the number of family heirlooms people are coming forward with wanting to get them back to family. I love that and I’m happy to help all that I can.

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Quilt Update

I have just learned that the quilt I posted about earlier this year is in the process of being donated to the Swisher County Museum. It will make a great addition!

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Potential Delay in Responses

I just wanted to let everyone know that I might have a delay in responding to any inquiries. I will kind of be “on maternity leave” for a week or so. I can’t really predict what might happen, how long I’ll be in the hospital, or how long my recovery will be but hopefully not long at all. But by all means, continue to send them and I will answer as soon as I can!

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Flooding in Kress, Texas May 24, 1957

Flooding in Kress, Texas 1957. James W Moore Collection.

Flooding at a business in Kress, Texas, May 24th, 1957. Does anyone have any more information or photos that I can post?

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Robert Leonard Photo Collection Added!

Robert Leonard was an carpenter who designed and built a lot of homes and some businesses in Tulia. His daughter, Cora Leonard Speck was in Tulia’s first graduating class and became a teacher at Tulia Public Schools. Robert’s grandson, Jon Speck, just submitted a wonderful collection of his photos to the site! Click the photo to view a slideshow! If you are from the area, you may recognize some of the homes and businesses in some of the photos.

 Tulia Mademoiselles

Robert with a young tung tree

Robert McDonald LEONARD

“My great-grandfather, Robert McDonald Leonard was born in Ellis County, Texas, in January, 1858. On December 14, 1883, he married Adella Patterson (1864–1957) in Johnson Co. The couple had six children, Ethel (b. 1887), Cora Roberta (August 1890–1968), J. Lamar (d. December 9, 1934), Andrew Berry, (b. June 1897), Raymond (b. July 1898), and Alberta (b. July 1903).

Robert’s parents, John W. Leonard and Martha Elizabeth Berry Leonard (married in Shiloh Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Ovilla, in 1856), moved from Ellis County to Johnson County between 1870 and 1880, and then by 1900 moved again to Randall County.

Robert’s family followed his parents to the Panhandle, settling in Tulia sometime in 1907. They joined First Presbyterian Church of Tulia where Robert was ordained Elder and served as Clerk of Session. He was elected delegate to Presbytery in Childress, 1911. In 1908, Adella was named the first president of Tulia Presbyterian’s Home Missionary Society. Robert was a carpenter, designing and building houses and other structures. He also served as Swisher County Tax Assessor. He made a formal appeal to the state Controller and Attorney General in 1909 to uphold his assessments when the Board of Equalization drastically cut the values of properties in Swisher County (Dallas Morning News 8-1-1909) . His daughter, Cora (my grandmother) was a member of the first graduating class of Tulia High School, 1910, along with Carl Hale and Velma French. Cora attended West Texas State Normal School in Canyon, and taught public school in Tulia. The family left Tulia for Tarrant County in 1914. Robert moved to Dowling Park, Florida. He built the first building for Advent Old Folks Home, an institution still in operation as Advent Christian Village. In 1924, he raised tung oil trees developed by the Experiment Station (University of Florida). After his death the trees were considered a noted success (Suwannee Democrat, 1-31-1930). Robert returned to Texas and died in Grand Prairie in 1929.”

Jon Speck, April 16, 2012

Do you have photos and stories you would like to contribute? Message me using the contact form or the email address listed in the image on the main page.


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