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 … Continue reading "Richard Tolliver Southard: A Resilient Life"
Last week the call came that I had been expecting for some time; my oldest living relative Bailey had passed away. He would have been 95 on his next birthday. He was my grandmother Grace Valentine Kembel Spencer’s first cousin. Bailey’s Mom Nancy [“Nannie”] was Grace’s father Robert’s sister.Bailey & his older brother Elbert … Continue reading "Cousin Bailey: “I hate to claim it, we are kin!”"
This morning I read an email from a fellow genealogist Thomas MacEntee. He said “Don’t give up on 2020” and explained how even in these uncertain times we should stay positive. I couldn’t agree more! While the world seems so negative around us, we need to find and share hope and positivity that does … Continue reading "Bucket Trucks & America"
I awoke this morning with the thought that genealogy is a gift. The trials and perseverance of our ancestors can inform, entertain, sadden, bring joy, and perhaps engender resilience in us. How? Knowing those that walked before us survived pestilence and war during their lifetimes can open our eyes to the simple fact: humans can … Continue reading "Today’s Gift from Charlotte"
Big news today in the world of historical and genealogical research: The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA, archives.gov) has added Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to its search engine. According to NARA OCR will affect the NARA Catalog’s JPG or PDF format records added since June 2019. NARA is still determining how to retroactively … Continue reading "OCR, Our Friend…Most of the Time"
(back to front, left to right) Ida Marie Siegel (1886-1974), Maria Magdalena (Raiffeisen) Mothersbaugh (1869-1948), Lewis Arthur Mothersbaugh (1875-1941), John Richardson (1867-1951), Lillie Ionia (Mothersbaugh) Richardson (1871-1929), unknown, W. Peter Siegel (1858-1938), Charlotte (Schupp) Raiffeisen (1832-1911), Marie Charlotte (Raiffeisen) Siegel (1861-1924), Amalia Raiffeisen … Continue reading "Four Families, Three Generations and Two “Strangers”"
As we experience the 75th anniversary of the day the Allied Forces invaded Europe it is worth noting why the day was so vital then and now. The sacrifices of the men that day were monumental. According to the U.S. Army, more than 160,000 men crossed the English Channel to five beaches in Normandy, … Continue reading "D-Day: Why It Matters"
The first time I experienced the Gateway Arch I didn’t really “see” it. My mother was pregnant with your truly the first time she and my father took the elevator to the top. The Gateway Arch, finished in 1965 was still a new attraction so when my parents had the opportunity to visit St. Louis in … Continue reading "The Gateway Arch is calling"
Today is a special day for me and for Roma Mary Grace. Thirty-one years ago today Roma Clara Josephine Rasa Siegel left the physical world and became a guardian angel. She was a mother, grandmother, neighbor and friend to many. To me she was an inspiration and since that day I have often felt … Continue reading "A Day of Remembrance"
Part One: The Outbreak
Genealogy is so much more than family trees, records and dates. People’s lives are shaped by the events of their time. One such event is the Spanish Influenza Pandemic. The disease took on many names including “Spanish Influenza,” “Spanish Lady,” “La Grippe” or simply the “Grip.” While it affected virtually every … Continue reading "Grip, Grippe and the Spanish Lady: The 1918-1920 Pandemic"
Grip, Grippe and the Spanish Lady: The 1918 Pandemic and the US Government Response. Lecture at the National World War One Museum and Memorial, Kansas City, Missouri, 12 August 2018.
Blog post Unsung Heroes detailing the actions of nursing students from University of Missouri during the Influenza epidemic.