Who are you really? That’s the question that has the popularity of hobby genealogy spreading across generational lines.
The United Daughters of the Confederacy offers genealogy workshops to help trace the history of those who served in the Confederacy. Women across Bell County gathered at the home of Judy Goodman Wardlow in Copperas Cove on Tuesday to learn how to discover their roots.
“All of our members are fairly expert researchers as it pertains to the Confederacy,” said Wardlow, who is also a member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and Daughters of the American Revolution. “All of us have trooped to the courthouse to go through will documents, land transactions and land surveys where ownership is specified. ...We help people learn to read these legal documents and discover who they are and where the come from.”
As a result of technology, younger people are becoming interested in genealogy. The UDC offers three levels of workshops starting with the beginner stage learning how to trace documents, the intermediate stage of reading those documents and connecting them back to family heritage, and the final stage of using the Internet.
Workshops are held two or three times a year. Members of the UDC will work with an individual one-on-one if there is a lot of interest. “It’s like panning for gold. You dig and dig and dig. You find a nugget, and it’s exciting. You want to just keep digging,” said Welba Dorsey who moved to Copperas Cove in 1960. “Genealogy makes history come alive and it’s fun.”
Wardlow learned her grandfather, Samuel Henry Goodman, fought for the Confederacy in the Red River Campaign and was instrumental in helping Texans save their land. Dorsey has traced her ancestry back to Colonial times prior to 1700.
UDC helps identify historical graves of Confederate soldiers, and locate and arrange historical markers. Members also regularly volunteer in their communities.
UDC membership is open to women who are descendants of service members who served honorably in the Army, Navy or Civil Service of the Confederate States of America or provided material aid to the cause. Go to www.hqudc.org/.