Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum: 1-35 and University Parks Drive | PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702-2570 | (254) 750-8631
Research Center: How to Research a Texas Ranger Ancestor & Other Research
AND ANNE ARMSTRONG
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.
an On-Site Visit
are glad to work with researchers on-site in Waco. Please
call for an appointmentso that we may discuss your needs and
While we attempt to accommodate drop-in researchers, priority is given to those who make an appointment and reserve time with staff.
Make an Appointment
call 254-750-8631 between
9 am and 3 PM Monday - Friday CST. Or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Personal use and Non-profit Fees:
Nominal Charges apply for photocopies and photo duplication.
Commercial Use: 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.
Center is closed Saturdays and Sundays except by appointment as possible.
While we attempt to respond promptly,
please allow up to 12 weeks
depending upon backlog of requests and
Texas Ranger Research Center offers a low-cost
genealogy research service for those unable to come to Waco. This is intended for non-commercial personal genealogy.
Fee: There is a $25 per name non-refundable
fee to defray expenses.
Center receives no State or Federal funding. Donations
in excess of the fee are gratefully accepted.
A search of available sources may require several hours -- we conduct
in-depth research in company rosters, enlistment warrants, photos,
published sources, indexes, etc.
realize the personal significance of Texas Ranger service to many
families, so we diligently use every available resource.
Many Rangers were there? 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. The
Staff adds a biographical file for every Texas Ranger as they are identified
or join the service.
will an index of all Texas Rangers be available? Public funding is not available 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.
and Badge Research: Many collectors contact us to find out whether a firearm or badge belonged to a specific Texas Ranger. Service records do not contain serial numbers or other identifiers for firearms and badges.
Until comparatively recent times, most Rangers supplied their own firearms and gear. Personal effects such as horse gear, firearms, badges and clothing were not inventoried by the State of Texas. Since the 1950s, Texas DPS has kept some records on State issued firearms. However, until very recently most of these were destroyed or lost when the weapon was decommissioned. Badges were not State issued until 1935 and have rarely had any numbers associated with them.
Many firearms and badges appear on the
market with alleged or unverifiable Texas Ranger provenance. In many cases high prices are supported only by hearsay or unverified affidavits from second-hand parties or 'experts' without credentials. A written return guarantee should be obtained
before any purchase. Please click here for
our page about fraudulent badges.
For reasons of liability our staff will not 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.
Ranger Research Center
texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum P.O.
Waco, TX 76702-2570