The Southern Claims Commission Topic For Genealogical Society

LIBERTY, May 15, 2013 - The Liberty County Genealogical Society will meet Tuesday, May 21st, 2013 in the DAR meeting room behind the Cleveland-Partlow House on Grand Avenue at 10:00 a.m. with guest speaker, Elizabeth “Liz” Nitschke Hicks.  Liz’s presentation will be on the “Southern Claims Commission.”  The Southern Claims Commission was created by Congress in 1870 as a result of pleas from citizens who had sustained losses during the Civil War.  The commission addressed claims for personal property only from residents of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.  The Southern Claims Commission appointed local commissioners to hear these claims, determine the authenticity of each claim and decide if, indeed, the claimant had been loyal to the Union during the war.  Yes, the claimant had to swear he/she had been loyal to the Union and had not provided aid of any kind in support of the Confederacy.  Before you say, “Not MY southern ancestor!,” you should consider the fact that many people did whatever they had to do to receive compensation.  Many southerners did not consider it “lying” to “lie” to a Yankee, especially a bureaucrat Yankee!  Fiddle-de-Dee!  Ms. Hicks’ presentation will provide information on checking for ancestor’s claims which might have been approved, barred or disallowed; and if not listed, technique to find his/her sworn testimony for relative or neighbor.  This avenue can be a vast resource for genealogical records! 

Elizabeth “Liz” Nitschke (pronounced Nitch-key) Hicks is a fourth generation Texas descending from German pioneer families of Travis and Austin Counties.  Liz had served as a contributing editor of “Tree Talk,” President and membership chair for Clayton Library Friends and is presently serving as the Angel Chair for the Friends.  She is and had been the genealogy editor for the German-Texan Heritage Society.  Liz has authored numerous articles including “Georgia Salt Lists,” “Bodies in Transit,” “The Southern Claims Commission,” and “The Southern Claims Commission Revisited.” 

The Liberty County Genealogical Society meets the third Tuesday of each month and welcomes guests to attend our meetings. 


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