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More Time with Cindy Wallace
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It’s natural to wonder about your family history and where your ancestors came from. For Cindy Wallace, a reference librarian at the Amarillo Public Library who specializes in genealogy, that curiosity started when she was very young. 

“As a kid I was, I guess, nosy. I’ve been doing serious research since I was 13 years old, but it started by listening to my mama talk,” said Wallace. “My mother was a beautiful appliquer and quilter, and she and her older sister would sit and I would be 3, 4 or 5 years old listening to them talk about the family, most of whom I never met.”

Wallace’s journey into her own genealogy started like most do, by asking questions of the family members she had access to. Her grandparents had all passed away, so she talked to her mother.

“I wanted to know what my grandmother was like, did I look like her, what did she cook, everything a kid might ask about a grandparent they didn’t have. Those were my first questions,” said Wallace.

For those looking to get started investigating their own family trees, Wallace suggests starting with what you have. For example, a family Bible where records were kept, photos, names and dates. It’s important to make sure the research you do is thorough and accurate because if one fact is off, it can derail generations of progress after.

“If at all possible, get more than one piece of substantiating proof for that fact you think you’ve got,” said Wallace. 

The Downtown Amarillo Public Library has a plethora of resources available for those who want to begin their own genealogical research. Any day of the week, researchers can access services such as, Heritage Quest, Find-a-Grave, and, a collection of family biographies, archived Amarillo newspapers, county histories and more. There are trained staff at the Downtown Library available to assist with any research questions, and Wallace herself teaches several courses about genealogical research. For more information about these services, visit

For Wallace, one of the major reasons genealogical research is so rewarding is that all the facts come together to tell the stories of people who are no longer with us.

“I would tell you that for all of us that do this, it’s about the story. Most of us can come up with a name, a date or two, and a place to get us started,” said Wallace. “Putting the story together based on those dates, those details, and making that person who’s not there come alive for you as best as you can.”

May Featured Underwriter


Amarillo College Foundation