Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday's Tip - FamilySearch.org is not all indexed

Ordering Microfilm
I decided I would check to see what microfilm the FHC had since it can now be ordered on-line. I searched for Shackelford County Texas and saw they had "Texas County Tax Rolls, 1846-1910." which included Shackelford Co. for the 1870's . I knew my ancestor Curtis Alexander Galttana lived there in 1870, but I did not know if he owned land, so I wanted to check to see.

I played around to see how to order and then I noticed a little note on the order site that said "...check for a digital copy before ordering." Humm...I had searched the name Galttana and spelling variations but had not seen anything with tax records.

FamilySearch.org records
So I went back to the home page of familysearch and scrolled down to the browse by location. I clicked on US, Canada, and Mexico and then searched Texas and there it was "Texas County Tax Rolls, 1846-1910." Digitized but not indexed.

My Ah Ha Moment
It was then that the light bulb went on and I realized not everything on familysearch is indexed. This is something I should have know but it just didn't sink in. Now, I will be going back and searching locations to see what else they have on my ancestors.

Research Time (I love researching)
So, I then happily spent time going through each year and looking for Galttana and his brother-in-law William Ledbetter.

What I found on Galttana
Curtis and his wife Synthia Galttana (spelled Goltatine on the census) are found in the 1870 census at  Besleys Creek, Shackelford County, Texas as a saltmaker. They lived next to William and Margaret Ledbetter (Synthia's sister) who owned the salt mine.

The tax records started with 1872, it is alphabetical and starts with J. So I found Ledbetter but no G's for Galttana. Then it skips to 1874, but no Galttana.

I first find him in 1875 and then every year till 1878. In 1879  and 1880 the property is listed under Mrs. C.A. Galttana. In 1881 no Galttana's are found.

So, if I ever get to the Shackelford County Courthouse I will look for property records for Curtis Galttana and maybe if I'm lucky they will have probate or orphan records for him and his children. (Or maybe one of my Texas cousins would want to take a trip to Shackelford Co. and check?? :)

Realize not everything is indexed and you should always search the collections to see what is available. Lesson learned!


  1. A great reminder. Plus, they are constantly adding files so it's good to check back often.

    1. Thanks Heather, checking back is always a great idea. Remembering to do so is not always as easy. LOL