Tuesday, August 10, 2021

5 Great Tips for Western Missouri Research - aka Kansas City Metro

 Why Western Missouri?
Because that's where Kansas City is!

As we celebrate the bicentennial of Missouri, let's take a look at a few great researching tips.  See below for where to look for 1. local history; 2. journals, diaries and manuscript;
3. Civil War records in Missouri; 4. Native American Removal Records; and 5. African American Resources. 

1.  Newspapers: Learn the history.  Why not start with a hundred years from today?  Of course there are local history books and an abundance of articles on your ancestors' counties and communities

100 Years Ago: 1921- 2021. 


2.   Journals, Diaries and Original Manuscripts 

Your ancestors may have kept a record as they crossed the overland trails to the west, or their stop in Westport, MO, or Independence MO for a wagon train.  Be sure to visit the Merrill J. Mattes Research Library.  

3. Civil War Provost Marshal Records. 

Your Missouri (and Kansas, No. & So Dakota, and Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota) Civil War veterans' register, descriptions, arrests for desertion, and medical records are held at the National Archives (NARA)- Kansas City.  This is a perfect reason to visit Kansas City. Yes, it's closed to the public for now due to the Covid19 Delta Variant spread, but keep an eye on the website for reopening: National Archives (NARA)- Kansas City

4.  Native American Removal Records
On my first Native American research job, I hit the jackpot. I needed to verify the Native American names of Enrollee's.  This allowed me to trace the correct ancestors.  Voila! The books were waiting for me in the Kansas City National Archives Records Administration (NARA).    

5. African American Resources
"Where to begin with African American Research?" is a common question we get in the Midwest. Why not start at the nation's largest stand-alone public genealogy research library in America - the Midwest Genealogy Center (MGC).  MGC also has a very impressive online presence not just for African American Research. Be sure to check out the  Genealogy Quick Look, too.

Celebrate Missouri!

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Bible, Letters, Photos - What's Your Favorite Family Memorabilia?

From Kansas to California
Sometimes it's just fun to find old letters that piece together the family photos, the family bible, death certificates, and obituaries.  We know that Wiley J, 1807 and Louisa (Griffin) Morris, born 1817 had five children. As with most of our ancestors, this family separated,  moved, resettled, and descendants failed to know they existed until the genealogy was conducted. 

Three of the offsprings of Wiley and Louisa (Griffin) Morris -  Wiley (Tobe), sister Sarah Adelade (married Willis Cox), and youngest brother David Morris, 1850 settled in Kansas, and later moved to Oklahoma. Daughter Martha's family settled in New York; now most of her descendants live in Pittsburgh. And, son William and any descendant of his has not yet been discovered. 

One son of Tobe's and many children of brother David include daughters Addie, Hoolie, April and Lou  [Louise] went to California. But this family travelled between Kansas and California for family visits. They also wrote, confirming their close-knit family and relations. 

The following two letters are between all 3 cousin "groups" of Kansas: with the following mentions:
Family Bible

         Pearl (Morris) Simpson, daughter of Tobe, nicknamed "Duck"
         Jessie (Jess), Granddaughter of Wiley (Tobe) Morris
David's Descendants
         Addie Belle Tucker, daughter of David, nicknamed "Sister"
         Hoolie (looks like Ollie), daughter of David
         Louise, daughter of David, seamstress in CA. (Often called "Big Sister")
         Cleave, son of David, lived in Kansas but visited California
Sarah Adelade (Morris) Cox Descendants
         Myrtle and Pauline, granddaughter of Sarah Adelade (Morris) Cox
         Mattie Cox, daughter of Sarah Adelade Morris Cox (mother of Myrtle and Pauline)

Letter 1 from Addie Tucker, CA to cousin Pearl Simpson, KS 28 Sept 1954

Hello, well I don’t know what to say_______this is I am so glad to rite you.  This is your cussin Addie , your uncle Dave Addie they called me Sister.  Duck [ aka Pearl]  I wish I could see you. Can you come to see me. I would come to see you but I am sick all the time with hi-blood pressure [pressure] & haven’t seen you in a long time. I got  a chance to see Jessie last night but I were [was] so glad she gave me your address. I have thought about you so much thinking I would never here [hear] from you. But thank God for this blessing.  Send me your picture so I can see you.  Well all of us is about dead so I sure do want to see you cousin. Mat [Mattie Cox] girls live out here. Mirtle [ Myrtle] and Pauline. I have Pinks picture taken with me when I was 17 years old and have 2 sisters out here April and Lue [Louise]. Brother Cleave did [moved] last month. Excuse Bad spelling. All so [?} and don’t see to good. But I am ok and I do thank God for my youth. Well answer at once. I sure do want to see you all [and] hear from you and family. So goodbye. Hope to hear from you. Your cousin Addie Tucker 631 E 52nd St, Ph ad4-1056, Los Angeles, CA. 

 Letter 2 to Pearl (Morris) Simpson, Great Bend Kansas from Jessie and Myrtle

Dear Aunt Pearl

Here I am at Myrtle’s and we both have said how we wished you were here. I told her yesterday I could all most see you laughing at us fussing. Myrtle is just as fast as ever. Last night she had a beautiful party for me. Alright in the morning before the party she went out to her club. I went sight seeing. She got home about 4:30. She fixed a wonderful dinner. Had her party food already and was yelling at John and I to come to dinner at about 6. And she did have lovely party food.  Some gal. Her house is beautiful I will tell you about it when I see you in Omaha.  But I have found nothing more beautiful in L. A. I surely have gone to many one [ size] with ever convenience. She sill has somebody coming and going all day. [  ] He has a nice job with the telephone company. I had a visit with [Hoolie]. She is fine. Today Myrtle and I going out to day to a place they call Farmers Market and to Lane Bryants store. Then on & on into the nite. Well also today I am going to see Sister Addie. I can’t tell her last name. But will later. She keeps saying how she would love to see "Duck” when , well Aunt Pearl there was 25 all together 1-2-3- cousins [first, second and third] that goes from 1 to 72 that was a party. Mattie Earl’s family and Uncle Dave’s kids. Oh I will tell you later. But fun O yes Ollie [Hoolie] had a nice dinner down town for me. Will see you later. Love Jessie. 

Hi Simpson sorry I didn’t get to see you again. We went on [stopped] every place and finally got to NY and we sure did our number there. Great to have Jess. [?] meddled with her business to my own[?]. Smile. Love Myrtle. 

The family bible also confirms kinships as do many newspaper articles and other family records. 

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers