State Archives Offering Research Workshops on Second Saturdays

Beginning in January, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) will offer resource orientation workshops at 10 a.m. each Second Saturday of 2019. The workshops highlight key tools researchers may use at the State Archives or through the website, with each 20-minute session focusing on one essential resource. Reference staff will present on Texas city directories, county records, newspaper collections, vital statistics, U.S. Census records and (Texas Collection).  The sequence repeats after the first cycle ends in June.

Researchers using Reference Library computers.

The free workshops should appeal to a wide range of patrons interested in library research. Those still familiarizing themselves with the assortment of access points one must navigate to discover source materials may find all of the topics germane, while the more practiced patrons may have specific collections in mind. Guests are invited to stay on and use TSLAC’s public service areas for their research activities until the library closes at 4 p.m. (Learn more about visiting the library here.) Here is the 2019 Second Saturday Workshop Series schedule:

Searching the Census Online                                              Jan. 12   |  July 13

Introduction to Newspaper Collections                                 March 9  |  Sept. 14          

Introduction to Texas County Records                                  April 13   |  Oct. 12 Texas Collections                                           May 11   |  Nov. 9

Introduction to City Directories                                              June  8  |  Dec. 14

Registration is preferred but not required. Walk-ins are always welcome! For more information and to register visit

Heavens to Murgatroyd!

By Taylor Fox, Reference Librarian

Texas has a long history of unique names. One of the most prominent examples is Ima Hogg, philanthropist and daughter of Texas Governor James Stephen Hogg born in 1882. However, despite the popularly-held belief, she did not actually have a sister named Ura Hogg.

Our staff here at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission regularly come across unique names in our searches of the Texas Vital Statistics Indexes.

Photo of an entry in the Vital Statistics Index with the name Murgatroyd highlighted with a red box.

Another one of our Reference Staff thought the name sounded familiar. It turns out, “Heavens to Murgatroyd” was an expression used by the character Snagglepuss on the Yogi Bear Show.

But where does the name Murgatroyd come from?

According to, “[i]t seems that Murgatroyd has a long history as a family name in the English aristocracy. In his genealogy The Murgatroyds of Murgatroyd, Bill Murgatroyd states that, in 1371, a constable was appointed for the district of Warley in Yorkshire. He adopted the name of Johanus de Morgateroyde – literally John of Moor Gate Royde or ‘the district leading to the moor’.”

Know of any other unique names in your family or Texas history? Share them with us below!