The Official Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, Texas
Research Center: How to Research a Texas Ranger Ancestor & Other Research

Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum LogoTOBIN AND ANNE ARMSTRONG
TEXAS RANGER RESEARCH CENTER

State Designated Official Repository of the Texas Rangers


The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame was added to the museum in 1976. In addition to the memorial and a gift shop the building included a small 15' x 18' library and a reading room. The Moody Foundation provided a startup grant thanks to the generosity of Mary Moody Northern. Over the years it grew to include the service records of Rangers, criminal case files, photographs, correspondence, books and documents going back to the 1830s.

In 1997, the Texas Legislature recognized its service and designated the renamed Texas Ranger Research Center as official repository for archives and memorabilia related to the Texas Rangers service. It is a "sister" instiution to the Texas State Records Center and Archives in Austin, collaborating and augmenting its collections.

Each year the Center staff assists thousands of students, teachers, genealogists, authors, and film producers on a myriad of projects. The historical research capabilities of the staff, and collections of case files, have have been employed by law enforcement agencies in researching decades-old "cold cases."

After three decades of service, the small Research Center was in need of renovation and space. Between 2003 and 2005 alone, more than 105,000 items were added to the archives.

Responding to this need, the family of the late Tobin and Anne Armstrong joined with the Texas Ranger Museum to lead a fund drive to improve and remodel the Research Center. In appreciation,the Center was renamed for the late Tobin and US Ambassador Anne Armstrong and their ancestor, Texas Ranger John B. Armstrong.

RESEARCHING A TEXAS RANGER ANCESTOR

The Armstrong Texas Ranger Research Center receives 3,000 to 4,000 research inquiries per year. The following procedures have been established to better serve our on-site guests and distant researchers.

Scheduling an On-Site Visit

We are glad to work with researchers on-site in Waco. Please call for an appointment so that we may discuss your needs and schedule time.

While we attempt to accommodate drop-in researchers, priority is given to those who make an appointment and reserve time with staff.

The Research Center is open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday.  These hours are subject to change without notice.

To Make an Appointment

Please call 254-750-8631 between 9 am and 3 PM Monday - Friday CST. Or e-mail us at info@texasranger.org.

Personal Use and Non-profit Fees
Nominal Charges apply for photocopies and photo duplication.

Commercial Use Fees
Commercial (for profit) use is subject to fees in support of the Armstrong Center. Contact us for further information about fees and allowable commercial use.

The Center is closed Saturdays, Sundays and most major Federal holidays. 

If you are unable to visit during normal operating hours, please contact us at least two weeks in advance. This will allow us to determine whether we are able to schedule staff to meet with you outside of normal hours.

Researching
Individual Texas Rangers

The Texas Ranger Research Center offers a low-cost research service for those unable to come to Waco. This is intended for non-commercial, personal use.

Requests for research about individual Texas Rangers must be submitted by mail, using the Research Request Form below.  Initial contact regarding research, or questions about the procedures, may be made by telephone or by email, but the actual request must be made with the Research Request Form, or by written letter for those whose unable to print out the form.

Research for general Ranger-related topics —other than searches for information about individuals —can be initiated via telephone or email.  More detailed research for books, feature articles, film projects, and academic papers usually involves in-depth examination of resources at the Armstrong Center. Please call at 254-750-8631, or email at info@texasranger.org.  We will be glad to discuss your project and schedule a research appointment.

RESEARCH FEE
To defray expenses, there is a non-refundable fee of $25.00 per name for research requests for information about individual Rangers.

The Center receives no State or Federal funding. Donations in excess of the fee qualify as tax-exempt donations and are appreciated

PLEASE NOTE:
While we make every effort to respond as promptly as possible, our staff is very small; due to occasional backlogs of requests, as well as other staff duties, please allow up to 12 weeks for reply.

A search of available sources may require several hours -- we conduct in-depth research in company rosters, enlistment warrants, photos, published sources, indexes, etc. We recognize the personal significance of Texas Ranger service to many families, so we thoroughly examine every available resource. 

Please keep in mind that the records are not complete.  There has never been a list of every person who has ever been a Texas Ranger, and for many of those whose service can be verified there might not be detailed surviving records.  Over the centuries, fires, floods, and simple disposal of out-of-date papers by some government agencies have destroyed much of the documentation.  Most of our files do not include photographs or other likenesses.  We can make no guarantee that we will be able to find any records for the names that are submitted, but we do promise that we will research the materials available to us as diligently as possible.

RESEARCH REQUEST FORM

Click here to download the
Research Request Form
In MS-Word

Please fill out the form and mail it, with the $25.00 per name research fee enclosed, to:

Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum
ATTN: Armstrong Texas Ranger Research Center
P.O. Box 2570
Waco, TX 76702-2570


Further Information

How Many Rangers were there? The Staff adds a biographical file for every Texas Ranger as they are identified or join the service. We estimate that there have been 8,000 to 10,000 Texas Rangers since 1823. Due to gaps in the records, a negative result may not rule out service as a Texas Ranger. Many service records were lost over the past 180 years due to floods, fires and state administrative decisions not to keep certain records. "New" Rangers are found every year and added to our files.

When will an index of all Texas Rangers be available? There is no State or public funding for such a project, so work proceeds as time is available. Tax deductible donations may be made in support of our work to build biographical files on all known Rangers. Click here to contact the Staff about supporting the work of the Texas Ranger Research Center. Thank you.

Firearm and Badge Research: For reasons of liability the staff is not permitted to appraise or authenticate items. For firearms appraisals we suggest reviewing Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms and Their Values as a general guide. Seek the services of a qualified antique firearms appraiser (check references!) for current market values.

The majority of what appears on the market with alleged Texas Ranger connections depend on hearsay or third-hand information. Unfortunately, most items on the market cannot be authenticated beyond a reasonable doubt. False or poorly substantiated letters of authenticity abound. A written return guarantee should be obtained before purchase. Please click here for our page about fraudulent badges.


Contact Information:

Texas Ranger Research Center
texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum
P.O. Box 2570
Waco, TX 76702-2570

Phone: (254)750-8631
E-Mail: info@texasranger.org

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The Official Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, Texas