If you are researching a person who died in Missouri between 1910 and 1962, you are in luck, because you can view a digital copy of their death certificate online at Missouri Digital Heritage. Go to: http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/deathcertificates/, and click on “Search Death Certificate Database.” You will be prompted to fill in boxes with last name, first name, county, and year for the basic search.
I decided to take a break from the never ending searching of records to learn more about specific geographic areas where my ancestors had lived. One town in particular, Stoughton, Massachusetts, had a lot of connections to my father’s side of my tree. I had heard through family stories about my ancestors who lived there, but I didn’t know much about the town. I decided to see what MGC might have on that town or surrounding area. I searched the catalog for Stoughton and received a result for a book titled Images of America: Stoughton.
Very early on the morning of Friday, Sept. 23, 1910, Rock Island Train # 27 left Norton, KS westbound with a final destination of Denver. The train consisted of four Pullmans, two chair coaches, a smoker, a baggage car, and a mail car. One of the passengers in the smoking car was Harvey McIntire, a resident of Rexford, KS who was returning from Concordia, where his wife was recovering from surgery. Harvey was a father to thirteen children, the youngest aged two. Around 2 a.m., the train barreled into a torrential rain going at full speed, not suspecting the trouble that lay ahead.
Trains not only played an important part in United States history, they also played an important part in keeping my family connected. My Great-Aunt Margaret Wiley attended nursing school in Independence, Missouri, graduating in 1919. The only problem, she was born and raised in St. Louis. The train brought her to Independence on her initial voyage, but trains also brought visiting family. Margaret traveled back to St. Louis to visit frequently and soon, life on the “Western Frontier” lured both of Margaret’s younger sisters to Independence.
“I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” is still popular American folk song, and it was sung to me all through my childhood. But Eldon Lyons, my husband’s great-uncle who was a Union-Pacific engineer, lived it almost all his adult life. Born April 12, 1921 in Glasgow, Missouri, Eldon started his career with the Missouri-Pacific Railroad in 1946.
Social media can be a confusing beast. Anyone new to social media will often wonder what they’re missing and how to filter out the noise. Welcome to the big world of hashtags. What is a hashtag? It is a topic label that, when clicked, will show you all the other conversations going on that share the same label on your social platform of choice. For example, the SyFy channel aired a new movie a couple weeks ago, and it was all the rage on Twitter with the hashtag #sharknado.
Every summer, we headed to Arkansas to see Grandma, Grandpa, and the extended family. There were so many fascinating things to occupy a child’s mind: Strip-pits for swimming, long walks down dusty roads, and lightening bug jewelry. Now, the grandkids get together and ask, "Do you remember?" Some of the bits and pieces that come back: Grandpa carrying a revolver to the Coal Miner’s Union meetings; dishes that came on the ship from Germany with his grandmother; the mule that tore the front porch off the house. That’s all, just bits and pieces.
It seems like every week I discover a new research database that helps me with conducting better and more thorough genealogy searches. One of my favorites is the National Park Service’s Soldiers and Sailors Database. Compiled using thousands of Civil War records, the Park Service indexed the names of participants who served during the American Civil War. A successful search will list the ancestor’s name and their service record, along with a detail of the action seen by their units.
During our Ancestry Day event this spring, we had a member of the Lincoln-Lancaster Genealogical Society visit here. She noted that we had issues of their society newsletter on our current shelf, but they weren’t the most current. So she asked me about it, and we discovered that the society had gone to digital copies for members and were no longer sending the hard copy issues.