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The following article is a guest post from Rebecca Grimes of the HPL Family History Research Center at the Clayton Library Campus. It is published in the July 2023 issue of the Clayton Crier quarterly newsletter. To subscribe to this and other History Research Center newsletters, sign up here.


By chance do you have ancestors who signed the Declaration of Independence?  How do you connect your genealogy line to these signers?  The signers of the Declaration of Independence came from the original 13 colonies of the United States which were:  Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York State, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Virginia.  There were a total of 57 delegates who signed the Declaration of Independence.  In this article we will be looking at two individual volumes and a seven volume set of books found in the Houston Public Library’s Family History Research Center at the Clayton Library Campus about these men.  Hopefully, these books can offer insight in connecting to your historical ancestors who made a huge impact on the founding of our country.


Lives of the signers to the Declaration of Independence by The Rev. Charles A Goodrich. (973.3 G654 USA)  Since this book was written just 53 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, it doesn’t give you any ancestors or descendants of the signers.  It does give you a little information on how these men became to be signers of he Declaration of Independence.  Great information can be obtained from this book about the signers’ background and what they achieved in life.


The Signers of the Declaration of Independence: a biographical and genealogical reference by Della Gray Barthelmas. (923.273 B285 USA) This book lists in alphabetical order the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  A bibliography is given about the life of the signers with genealogy information about them.  It gives information about who they married and can give information on their children also.  The genealogy information is sometimes a little bit confusing since it is not given in the form of a genealogy chart.  In the back of the book in an index, selected biography, and an appendix.


Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence by The Rev. Frederick Wallace Pyne. Volumes 1-7 (973.313 P997 USA)


V. 1:  The New England States (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island) (2nd Edition)
V. 2:  New York State
V. 3:  New Jersey
V. 4: Pennsylvania
V. 5: Delaware and Maryland
V. 6: Virginia
V. 7: Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.


This genealogical register set contains genealogical information about the descendants of the signers only, not information about their ancestors.  In the interest of making this as complete as possible all descendants have been included: those who died young (dy), those who never married (unm), and those who married, but never had issue (children).  To find a descendant you must know the name of someone you believe to be a descendant of a signer.  Look in the every-name index at the back of the volume to find the name of that person.  There is a table of contents to each book that goes by state and tells you what signer or signers were from that state.  This is an excellent set to use because it starts with the first generation and can have information forward for multiple generations.


These books and family histories of some of the signers can be found at the Family History Research Center and hopefully they will be helpful for researchers trying to connect to an ancestor who signed the United States Declaration of Independence.  To search for these materials using the HPL catalog use the keywords “Declaration of Independence” in quotes. Remember after your search, limit your search using the filters to “Family History Research Center” to get the items that are located at our location.

Lisa Carrico

July 15, 2023 – September 27, 2023

Join us for the opening reception on July 15, 3-5 PM! Register here!

The Julia Ideson Gallery
550 McKinney St., 77002 | 832-393-1313


In this powerful new collection of oil paintings and stories, President George W. Bush spotlights the inspiring journeys of America’s immigrants and the contributions they make to the life and prosperity of our nation.


The issue of immigration stirs intense emotions today, as it has throughout much of American history. But what gets lost in the debates about policy are the stories of immigrants themselves, the people who are drawn to America by its promise of economic opportunity and political and religious freedom—and who strengthen our nation in countless ways.


Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants is a collection of portraits by President George W. Bush on loan from the Ambassador and Mrs. George L. Argyros Collection of Presidential Art at the George W. Bush Presidential Center, a non-profit organization. The Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative, part of the broader George W. Bush Institute, has an extensive portfolio of work on immigration.


This exhibit is free and open to the public. Exhibit dates are subject to change.

Field is required.