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"
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. … Continue reading "Three Young Women, Gone Too Soon"
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 postcards sent to me decades ago from far flung places … Continue reading "A Giant Pickle and a Lady “Waiting” for Him"
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, … Continue reading "Celebrating John Peter’s 200th"
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"
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…"