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"
July 6th is the 111th anniversary of the birth of Roma Clara Josephine Rasa, my maternal grandmother. She was born in Florence, Missouri to Fred H. and Lena (Tieman) Rasa. At her birth her family lived on the main street of the Florence community not far from the crossroads were two stores and the town … Continue reading "Roma Clara Josephine and a Lesson for Today"
Was your family affected by the influenza pandemic that occurred a century ago? Chances are good that it was. The pandemic occurred in three waves. The first, from March through July 1918, was the mildest wave with a low number or deaths, but unusual in that it lasted through the early summer. The second wave … Continue reading "In the Grip of La Grippe: Spring 1918, the First Wave"
If you are a genealogist you know that one of the biggest conferences of the year is happening right now in Salt Lake City. While I was unable to … Continue reading "RootsTech News: Ancestry.com App Has Great New Map Feature"
For more than twenty years I worked on national security policy with a decided emphasis on diseases and natural disasters. Even with my shift into genealogy in 2014, I can’t resist following the news of the novel Coronavirus. I am constantly looking for the signposts of pandemic and following information from health officials … Continue reading "Spanish Influenza Provides Lessons for Coronavirus"
I was researching yesterday on newspapers.com when I found an article in the Kansas National Democrat on Jan 27, 1859, 161 years ago to the day. It details the efforts of the Kansas Territorial Legislature from Thursday, January 20th. In a single day the number of major issues considered was astounding; many … Continue reading "161 Year-Old Article Covers All Aspects of Life"
During the previous decade one of the fasted growing industries in the United States has been craft beer. Many of the new brands have purchased rights to old names and recipes from breweries across the United States that were forced out of business when the Volstead Act and the 18th Amendment … Continue reading "A Brewery for Hastings as Prohibition Looms"
2019 was a great year for me. It seemed fast and furious with sixteen preservation projects including cemeteries, downtown districts, schools, apartments, banks and business houses. I get excited when I see the history of a place come alive and it helps me to imagine what life was like on this street, in this building … Continue reading "I dream of family history…"
As World War I was coming to a close a new enemy threatened the country. We will discuss what happened in the Ozarks and throughout the country with the onslaught of the … Continue reading "Was Your Family Affected by the Influenza Pandemic (1918-1920)?"
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”"