Harlingen Happenings

By Mary Torres, Special to MyRGV.com

The Rio Grande Valley Hispanic Genealogical Society’s conference is finally here! The event is scheduled for Oct. 14-16, 2021 at the Hilton Garden Inn, South Padre Island. The theme for the hybrid conference, The 41st Annual State Hispanic Genealogical & Historical Conference is “1821-2021 200 Years of Discoveries, From Revolution to New Frontiers.”

There will be presentations by 27 speakers who are authors, distinguished professors, noted historians, and genealogy researchers from the U.S., Mexico, Israel and the U.S. Sponsors include AARP-Texas, Ancestry.com, City of Brownsville, MyHeritage.com, SPI Convention & Visitors Bureau, Ann Talbot Roberts, Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr., Hispanic Genealogy Society of Houston, SpaceX, The Texas General Land Office, and FamilyTree DNA.

There will be an exhibit hall with 25 vendors including book sellers from Mexico. There will also be tours; a family tree exhibit, fun events, and a banquet on Oct. 16, with Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. as the keynote speaker. You can still register at the regular registration price of $150, if you’re an educator with school I.D., you can register at the special rate of $100.

Visit the society’s website, www.rgvhgs.org, and Facebook page to register or for more information. Don’t miss the opportunity to attend this International Conference!

Some news from the world of genealogy and more:

If any of you are researching the Bracero Program, The Bracero History Archive (http://braceroarchive.org.) collects and makes available the oral histories and artifacts pertaining to the Bracero Program, a guest worker initiative that spanned the years 1942-1964. Millions of Mexican agricultural workers crossed the border under the program to work in more than half of the states in America.

This archive is a project of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, George Mason University, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Brown University, and |The Institute of Oral History at the University of Texas at El Paso. Funding provided by the National Endowment of the humanities.

FamilySearch International announced recently that it has completed the digitization of its massive microfilm collection! This effort makes billions of historical genealogy records freely available online at FamilySearch.org.

This is a milestone 83 years in the making. Over 200 countries and principalities and more than 100 languages are represented in the digitized documents. Completion of the project makes it much easier for individuals to make more personal and family discoveries.

FamilySearch and its predecessors have been collecting, preserving, and providing access to genealogically significant historical records for more than 100 years. Those records include birth, death, marriage, census, military service, immigration, and other types of documents. FamilySearch began microfilming in 1938 as the Genealogical Society of Utah.

It was one of the first major organizations to embrace the use of microfilm imaging. That microfilm collection eventually grew to more than 2.4 million rolls. FamilySearch continues to capture images of original records at an ever-increasing rate, however in digital form, bypassing the need to transfer the information from film.

NOTE: All of the microfilms are digitized and published on FamilySearch. However, they are not all “available” for viewing. While the majority are broadly accessible, some will have varying degrees of access limitations governed by contractual agreements or other restraints.

Where access limitations exist, most will be available through the FamilySearch Family History Library, a local FamilySearch center, or a third party website. There are also some digital collections that are not currently available. Many records have not yet been indexed and FamilySearch is looking volunteers to help with the Indexing Project.

The Harlingen Arts & Heritage Museum is still accepting registrations for its annual Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) exhibit. If you or your organization would like to create an altar for this exhibit you can register via the Facebook link on the museum’s Facebook page; at the front desk at the museum located at 2425 Boxwood St. or by phone at (956) 216-4901.

The exhibit runs from Oct. 19 and ends Nov. 14. The opening reception will be on Oct. 28 from 6 to 9 p.m.

The Harlingen Public Library is having a “Pumpkin Decorating Contest!” The entry must be a painting or drawing, no carving!! Pumpkins must resemble a book character and a picture of you and your pumpkin can be uploaded to [email protected] Physical pumpkins can be turned in to the Circulation Desk.

All entries must be submitted no later than Oct. 28. Winners will be determined by library staff and announced October 29. For questions call (956) 216-5810.