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.

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: 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 and Sundays except by appointment as possible.

Genealogy Search Service
by Mail

Please read below, then

Click Here to Download a
Research Request Form
in MS-Word

While we attempt to respond promptly,
please allow up to 12 weeks
depending upon backlog of requests and
in-house Projects

The 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.

The 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.

We realize the personal significance of Texas Ranger service to many families, so we diligently use every available resource.


Further Information

How 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.

When 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.

Firearm 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.

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