The Official Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, Texas
Research Center: How to Research a Texas Ranger Ancestor & Other Research

Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum LogoTOBIN AND ANNE ARMSTRONG
TEXAS RANGER RESEARCH CENTER

State Designated Official Repository of the Texas Rangers


In 1976 the the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame opened to the public as a State memorial to the 150th anniversary of the Texas Rangers. Part of the addition was a small 15' x 18' library and reading room which was furnished by a grant from the Moody Foundation of Galveston.Over the years the collection grew to include service records of Rangers, criminal case files, photographs, correspondence, books and documents going back to the 1830s.

As the collections expanded, and thousands of research inquiries were received, a small professional staff was added by the City of Waco. In 1997, the Texas Legislature recognized this service and designated the facility as official repository for archives and memorabilia related to the Texas Rangers service. It functions as a specialized auxilliary to the Texas State Records Center and Archives in Austin, collaborating and augmenting its collections.

Each year the Center staff assists thousands of students, teachers, genealogists, authors, and film producers on a myriad of projects. The professional staff has assisted law enforcement agencies in providing historical context for cases researching decades-old "cold cases."

After more than 30 years of service, the small Research Center was in need of renovation and additional space. In just two years, from 2003 to 2005, more than 105,000 items were added to the archives.

Responding to this need, the family of the late rancher and businessman Tobin Armstrong and wife US Ambassador Anne Armstrong, sponsored a fund drive to improve and remodel the Research Center. In appreciation the Center was renamed for Mr. and Ambassador Armstrong and their ancestor, famed Texas Ranger John B. Armstrong.

RESEARCHING A TEXAS RANGER ANCESTOR

The Armstrong Texas Ranger Research Center receives 3,000 to 4,000 research inquiries per year. The following procedures have been established to better serve our on-site guests and distant researchers.

Scheduling an On-Site Visit

We are glad to work with researchers on-site in Waco. Please call for an appointment so that we may discuss your needs and schedule time.

While we attempt to accommodate drop-in researchers, priority is given to those who make an appointment and reserve time with staff.

The Research Center is open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday.  These hours are subject to change without notice.

To Make an Appointment

Please call 254-750-8631 between 9 am and 3 PM Monday - Friday CST. Or e-mail us at info@texasranger.org.

Personal Use and Non-profit Fees
Nominal Charges apply for photocopies and photo duplication.

Commercial Use Fees
Commercial (for profit) use is subject to fees in support of the Armstrong Center. Contact us for further information about fees and allowable commercial use.

The Center is closed Saturdays, Sundays and most major Federal holidays. 

If you are unable to visit during normal operating hours, please contact us at least two weeks in advance. This will allow us to determine whether we are able to schedule staff to meet with you outside of normal hours.

Services by Mail

A low-cost research service by mail is availabe for those unable to come to Waco. This is intended for non-commercial, personal use and is limited to basic service history or reference questions.

MAKING A RESEARCH REQUEST
We urge researchers to make Initial contact by telephone or by email at 254-750-8631 (10am to 3pm M-F), or by email at info@texasranger.org

The formal request must be made using a Research Request Form (please see link below) or by written letter for those whose unable to print out the form. Requests are accepted by mail only and must be accompanied by the reseach fee described below.

RESEARCH FEE
A non-refundable fee of $25.00 per name for research requests concerning individual Rangers. The Center receives no State or Federal funding. Donations in excess of the fee qualify as tax-exempt donations and are appreciated. This supports the preservation and research efforts of the Armstrong Center.

DETAILED RESEARCH
We will be glad to discuss more detailed research projects for books, feature articles, film projects, and academic papers. These usually involve onsite visits for in-depth examination of resources at the Armstrong Center. Please call at 254-750-8631, or email at info@texasranger.org. to disccuss your project and schedule a research appointment.

PLEASE NOTE:
While we make every effort to respond as promptly as possible, in some cases it may require up to 12 weeks for reply due to previous commitments and backlogs of requests. Please call and the staff can let you know the likely time frame.

A search of available sources may require several hours -- we conduct in-depth research in company rosters, enlistment warrants, photos, published sources, indexes, etc. We recognize the personal significance of Texas Ranger service to many families, so we thoroughly examine every available resource and will inform researchers of all that exists.

Please keep in mind that the service records of Texas Rangers are not complete. There is no list of every person who has ever been a Texas Ranger.

Why? Over the centuries, fires, floods, and disposal of records by some government agencies have destroyed documentation. The Armstrong Center was created to collect and preserve what remains for future generations.

RESEARCH REQUEST FORM

Click Below
Research Request Form (MS-Word)

Please fill out the form and mail it, with the $25.00 per name research fee enclosed, to:

Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum
ATTN: Armstrong Texas Ranger Research Center
P.O. Box 2570
Waco, TX 76702-2570

   

Further Information

How Many Rangers were there? The Staff adds a biographical file for every Texas Ranger as they are identified or join the service. We estimate that there have been 8,000 to 10,000 Texas Rangers since 1823. Due to gaps in the records, a negative result may not rule out service as a Texas Ranger. Many service records were lost over the past 180 years due to floods, fires and state administrative decisions not to keep certain records. "New" Rangers are found every year and added to our files.

When will an index of all Texas Rangers be available? There is no State or public funding for such a project, so work proceeds as time is available. Tax deductible donations may be made in support of our work to build biographical files on all known Rangers. Click here to contact the Staff about supporting the work of the Texas Ranger Research Center. Thank you.

Firearm and Badge Research: For reasons of liability the staff is not permitted to appraise or authenticate items. For firearms appraisals we suggest reviewing Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms and Their Values as a general guide. Seek the services of a qualified antique firearms appraiser (check references!) for current market values.

The majority of what appears on the market with alleged Texas Ranger connections depend on hearsay or third-hand information. Unfortunately, most items on the market cannot be authenticated beyond a reasonable doubt. False or poorly substantiated letters of authenticity abound. A written return guarantee should be obtained before purchase. Please click here for our page about fraudulent badges.


Contact Information:

Texas Ranger Research Center
texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum
P.O. Box 2570
Waco, TX 76702-2570

Phone: (254)750-8631
E-Mail: info@texasranger.org

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The Official Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, Texas