Sanborn Maps are great tools whether you are new to genealogy or a professional researcher. The maps are essential if you are doing building or property research; however, for genealogists these maps offer valuable contextual clues to how and where our ancestors lived. Even if your kin did not hail from a large city, Sanborn Maps are worth your time.
For many years I have been drawn to the story of my third great uncle, Richard Tolliver Southard (1844-1934). His early life had to have been traumatic, seemingly always in turmoil. The challenges to his family began before his birth and would last through the early years of his marriage when he and his wife lost three of their four young children. His is a story of pioneer life on the Missouri prairie.
Several months ago, a friend from Florence, Missouri, asked if I knew about the deaths of three women in the United Church of Christ Cemetery. All three had been married but died as young wives. She wondered if I knew their stories. I knew one, and immediately went to work on the other two. May their stories never been forgotten.
Ever since I was a kid, I have loved postcards. I think my ancestors instilled in me a desire to travel and in previous centuries getting a postcard in the mail allowed one to get a glimpse of that faraway place. I have a collection of cards sent to other family members as well. When my grandmother Roma died, we found hundreds of postcards in her farmhouse. Recently I have been examining my collection for a new project and I have found several great genealogy nuggets! This one titled, “A Carload of Cucumbers.” For the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, Oct 2-8  is one of my favorites.
All hail and sing happy birthday! Today is the 200th birthday of Johan (Johannes or John) Peter Siegel, my two times great grandfather. Johan was born on June 1, 1821, in Rüscheid, Rhineland-Pfalz, Germany (Prussia), the son of Anna Margaretha (Bur) and Johann Peter Seigel. He was baptized on June 11th of the same year, according to the Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche records in Rüscheid.