Posted in Texas, Websites

Update on the “Sheriff’s” badge mystery, and more on the Texas Rangers

I posted a blog recently about a photo of my great-grandfather, Jack Gooch, and the mysterious “sheriff’s” badge he was sporting.

Jack Gooch sheriff  3 color adjusted and cropped

One reader suggested it might be a Texas Ranger badge, so I looked up the history of Texas Rangers and found some interesting resources for this unique segment of law enforcement.

The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum exists in Waco, Texas.

TX Ranger museum

It has a number of  online resources plus a research service.  Some of the interesting links on the site are oral histories, links to e-books, and “A Short Course on Fantasy, Replica, and Toy Texas Ranger Badges,” among others.

The Armstrong  Texas Ranger Research Center, a is an excellent starting place if you are trying to identify an ancestor as an early Texas Ranger.  You can schedule an on-site visit for individual help, or download a research request form for long-distance help. I was prepared to do this before I looked at the short course on Ranger Badges. I found an image of one that could possibly match Jack’s, and decided to scan my photo at a much higher resolution to see if I could identify the words on the badge.

Jack Gooch private detective badge cropped and enhancedDo you see what I see?  The image is reversed.  This means the photo I have was developed reversed, because I scanned it as it was originally found, encased in a cardboard frame.  And can you determine what it says? After adjusting the colors and contrast I believe it says, “Private Detective.”

Well, well,  whaddyaknow?  It is not a sheriff’s badge or even a Texas Ranger badge.  It is, in fact, a genealogist’s badge!  >wink<


Posted in Books, Photos, Research tips

Jack Gooch, Sheriff of ?

I came across this old photo of my great-grandfather, Jack Gooch and thought I would share it.

Jack Gooch sheriff  3 color adjusted and cropped

The back reads, “old tintype, Grandpa Gooch” in my grandmother’s handwriting, but I don’t think it is a tintype after reading about the characteristics of a tintype in Maureen A. Taylor’s book Uncovering Your Ancestry through Family Photographs, 2nd Edition (Cincinnati, Ohio : Family Tree Books, 2005).

He is wearing what I presume to be a sheriff’s badge, but I don’t know when or where he was a sheriff.  This is going to take some detective work.  Hmmmm.

This chronology report, printed from my Legacy Family Tree genealogy program will give me a starting place for my search—Llano and Ellis Counties, Texas, Nichols Hills and Pottawatomie Counties, Oklahoma, and Greenlee County, Arizona. If I can date the picture type it might help me narrow down the localities I need to search.

Jack Gooch Chronology report printed from Legacy Family Tree by Dayna Jacobs.
Jack Gooch Chronology report printed from Legacy Family Tree by Dayna Jacobs.

Your genealogy software has a variety of reports that will help you in the research process.  Explore this feature by looking at the “print” or “reports” option and see what your program has to offer.