The Thelma Ray Collection consists of items related to the history of Birdville and the publication of Ray’s book, genealogical research related to both her family and that of Tarrant County and historic photographs. It consists of seven series: Birdville, Tarrant County and Texas History, Thelma Ray, Genealogy, Books, Oversized and Media.

View the Thelma Ray image gallery.
Series I: Birdville, 1911-2004

This consists of three subseries. The first subseries, Abstracts, Deeds, Maps and Wills, contains reproductions or official copies of documents related to the George Akers Survey, letters, Bird’s Fort and the Birdville area. The History subseries contain documents related to Birdville schools, sports, cemeteries and churches. This section also includes notes by Thelma Ray used in the writing of her book on Birdville. The Photographs subseries consists of originals and duplicate images from Birdville schools, many also used in her book, particularly class pictures of students ranging from the late-19th century to the 1960s. It also contains photographs from the dedication of the Historical Marker for the Birdville Cemetery and Quanah Parker.

Series II: Tarrant County and Texas History, 1902-1983

This series consists of four subseries, including Tarrant County, Texas History, Miscellaneous and Publications and Reference.  The Tarrant County subseries contains maps, historical reminiscences and research for particular communities, church histories and newspaper clippings. The Texas History subseries contains a broad set of photocopies of documents related to other areas of Texas history outside of Tarrant County. This includes Houston, Galveston, Granbury and Frankston. The Miscellaneous and Publications and Reference subseries contains information related to conducting research as well as various programs and booklets. This contents of this subseries vary from school programs, matted photographs, publication about Texas history, member directories, research tools and maps of areas of the United States that are outside of Texas.

Series III: Thelma Ray, 1942-1985

This series contains personal documents, newspaper clippings and photographs related to her life and teaching. It also contains a few newsletters from historical and genealogical groups. Other items related to Thelma Ray appear in the Birdville series and Genealogy series.

Series IV: Genealogy, 1870-1983

This series contains Thelma Ray’s notes, reproduction historical documents and family histories related both to her family and Tarrant County history. This series also contains letters sent to and from Thelma Ray’s mother, Grace Evans, related to genealogical research, as well as reproductions of census data, wills, land deeds and warrants, and marriage and death records.

Series V: Books, 1828-1981

This series contains several books related to education, history, reference and poetry. This series also contains yearbooks and bibles.

Series VI: Oversized, 1906-1985

This series consists of larger items, including Thelma Ray’s high school diploma, artifacts from the printing of Ray’s Birdville book and other various items. There are some partial newspapers within the Oversized series.

Series VII: Media, 1917-1986

This series contains both newspapers and magazines, including copies of Confederate Veteran Magazine. Additional partial newspapers are in the Oversized series.