Van Zandt County Genealogical Society


Donald Raney is a sixth generation Texan who has been an active genealogist for over 35 years. He has been a frequent speaker at many genealogical society meetings in East Texas, Houston and the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

On the national level, Mr. Raney has presented sessions at GENTECH, Federation of Genealogical Societies, Angelina College Genealogy Conference and The Genealogical Institute of Texas.

He is a life member of the San Jacinto Descendants and past director of GENTECH and the Dallas Genealogical Society's Computer Interest Group.

A registered professional engineer, Mr. Raney graduated from SMU with a BS in Civil Engineering and completed a long professional career with Lone Star Gas Company before retiring in 1997 as Chief Engineer.

He is currently teaching Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Genealogy courses in at Richland College.

He published a book "Martin Varner, Texas Pioneer; 1785-1844," in September 2009. This book describes the life and adventures of his GGG Grandfather, Martin Varner in Colonial Texas.

Some of his past topics have included:

• Early American Migration Routes
• Research in the Texas Land Records
• Writing Your Family History With Historical Context
• Finding Your Ancestor in the Federal Land Records
• Finding Your Ancestor in the State Land Records
• How to Find Your Ancestor’s Maiden Name
• Using Y-DNA Testing to Identify Your Ancestor
• British Migrations to the American Colonies
• Wills and the Probate Process
• The Miller Family of Claiborne Parish, LA – How to Research a Common
• Finding Your Revolutionary War Ancestor
• Martin Varner, Texas Pioneer: 1785-1844






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This page last updated 26 June 2016

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