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Organization helps East Texans trace heritage to Republic of Texas

East Texas News at 6.
Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 4:59 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 3, 2022 at 5:11 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Many Texans take pride in being born in Texas – but what if you had a heritage tracing back to the Republic of Texas?

There is an organization helping East Texans trace their lineage and determine if their ancestors settled Texas before it joined the union in 1846.

“As a professional historian, this is the grassroots of my profession - this is the people that keep the memory alive, that usually have the documents, that have a passion for the subject,” SRT Piney Woods Chapter president James Newsom said.

The Sons of the Republic of Texas is a heritage organization that consists of members who are direct lineal descendants of those that settled the Republic of Texas prior to February 19, 1846, when Texas merged with the United States as the 28th state.

The national organization is made up of 60 chapters across the State of Texas, including the Piney Woods Chapter in Tyler, where Dr. James Newsom is president.

“This gives us an opportunity to keep the past alive for generations to come,” Newsom said.

As the Sons of the Republic of Texas celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, the Piney Woods Chapter celebrates its 25th anniversary since being chartered.

“It is a great place - a great way to keep Texas history alive,” former SRT President General David Hanover said. “All of our members have ancestors who lived here during the Republic, so it gives us an opportunity to learn more about our ancestors, what they did for a living, and how they interacted with each other.”

The Piney Woods Chapter currently has about 100 members, and meets every other month in Tyler.

“You can track down your ancestry and if you see that you are eligible for membership in either the Sons of the Republic of Texas or if you’re female, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, come join our groups and see the comradery and celebrate some of these historic dates in Texas history,” Hanover said.

For those interested in possibly becoming a member of the Sons of the Republic of Texas, Hanover says the chapter has a genealogist that is able to help people trace their lineage to determine if they have roots in the Republic of Texas.

The next Piney Woods Chapter meeting will be held jointly with the Sons of the American Revolution on July 26th in Tyler.

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