Family History Research

Tuesday’s Tip – Visit the Webster County Historical Society

A week and a half ago I drove to Springfield, Missouri, to help my sister with her kids while my parents traveled. I stopped in Marshfield, Missouri, on my way down and spent most of a day at the Webster County Library and Webster County Historical Society and Research Center.

I started at the library and began going through the genealogy room which is small but contained a lot of area county books. Many cemetery transcriptions, obituaries and family histories.

After lunch I stopped at the historical society which is the former Marshfield public library. I practically grew up there because my mom worked there for years. I could not believe how “small” it felt. Funny how you grow up and everything seems smaller, more compact than when you were a kid. They even have an old band uniform that we wore when I was in school. Blast from the past!

A wonderful historical society volunteer, Jo Slingerland, who also happens to be a Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness volunteer, took me next door to the research center to work. I spent a couple of hours there looking through books and files and sharing stories with two other volunteers.

My work there was not done and I returned last week to look into more files after a phone call with a man I am helping with his research. This time I went downstairs in the historical society/old library to look at old Marshfield High School class rosters and photos. I found what I was looking for but barely touched what was there. Unfortunately I won’t have time to go back before I head home but maybe the next trip down.

For those with southwest Missouri roots, if you are in the area you should stop and take a look at both repositories.

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Tuesday’s Tip – Search all Libraries

Last week I drove from Chicago to Springfield, Missouri, stopping in Rolla and Marshfield to do research. I ended up back in Marshfield again Thursday morning to finish up. I found a lot of great information on the Shannon family I have been working on and some on the McCoy and Hayes families for a friend.

I spent the night at my best friend’s house on Tuesday as I drove down and took some time to visit the Rolla Public Library. The Rolla library has a very small genealogy area but has some surrounding county information. I found a few county history books that gave me some great information on the McCoy and Hayes families. The Missouri S&T library didn’t yield anything but it was worth a stop to look.

Wednesday I spent the day in Marshfield first at the Webster County Library and then historical society. The library was full of great resources. So many county histories from the area, microfilm of the Marshfield Mail newspaper and self-published genealogies. I found a book called The Shannon-Martin Marriage that was all about the Shannon family I was researching. A lot of what is in the book, written in the 1980s, I already knew about. It did contain a few pieces of information I did not know which will take my search further.

The Webster County Historical Society Research Center was run by three volunteers that day. One was Jo Slingerland, a RAOGK volunteer. She was extremely helpful in locating information before I arrived and is still looking for information since I uncovered new data last week.

I finished up at the Webster County Library on Thursday and took a walk through the Marshfield Cemetery. Found the graves I was looking for quickly and easily. The cemetery is small and thankfully the Shannon family marked their graves with large stones that said “SHANNON” on them.

Great visit and I highly recommend as you travel, to search the library catalogs for areas near the places in which your ancestors lived. You never know what you will find in a small town library.

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Military Monday – James E. Shannon Soldier’s Application Declaration for Invalid Pension

The following is a transcription of James E. Shannon’s Declaration for Invalid Pension. You can view Page 1 here and Page 2 here.

State of Missouri, County of Webster, ss.

On this 23 day of Dec, one thousand eight hundred and ninety personally appeared before me, clerk, of the circuit court, a Court of Record within and for the count and State aforesaid……….. James E. Shannon aged 55 years, a resident of the ……….. of…………… county of Webster, State of Missouri who, being duly sworn according to law, declares that he is the identical person of the above name who was enrolled on the 16 day of May 1863, in Company C, Regiment 2 Ark Cavr, Vols [unreadable two words] 1861 in the War of the Rebellion, and served at least ninety days, and was honorably discharged at [unreadable] Tenn or Memphis, on the 20 day of Aug, 1865. That he is 3/4 unable to earn a support by reason of Right by cripled in hip joint out of place two inches shorter than the other leg [11 words unreadable] afflication of kidneys Both eyes weak and por[?] blind

That said disabilities are not due to his viscous habits, and are to the best of his knowledge and belief permanent. That he has not applied for pension under application No …………. That he is a pensioner under certificate No…………………

That he makes this declaration for the purpose of being placed on the pension roll of the United States under the provision of the act of June 27, 1890.

He hereby appoints THOMAS K. PAUL, of Marshfield, Mo., his true and lawful attorney to prosecute his claim, and for and inconsideration of service done and to be done in the premises, he hereby agrees to allow said attorney a fee of ten dollars, which shall include all amounts to be paid for any services in the furtherance of said claim under the Act of June 27, 1890, and said fee shall not be demanded by or payable to said attorney, in whole or in part, except in case of the granting of a pension by the Commissioner of Pensions under the Act of June 27, 1890; and that the same shall be paid to him in accordance with tehe provisions of Section 4 of said Act and other laws pertaining thereto.

That his post-office address is Marshfield, County of Webster State of Missouri.

John H. Warren (Witness signature)

AJ Dennis (Witness signature)

[Signed by] James E. Shannon

John H. Warren (Witness signature)

AJ Dennis (Witness signature)

Sworn and subscribed before me, this 23rd day of December, A.D. 1890 and I hereby certify that the contents of the above declaration, etc., were fully made known and explained to the applicant and witnesses before swearing, including the words ……………………… erased, and the words ………………………… added; and that I have no interest, direct or indirect in the prosecution of this claim.

[signature] D D Hamilton Clerk of Circuit Court

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Tombstone Tuesday – Elizabeth Galbraith Shannon

This is the grave of Elizabeth Galbraith Shannon. She is the wife of James E. Shannon. Her grave is the same stone as James’s. Her information is on the opposite side of his. James and Elizabeth are buried in High Prairie Cemetery, Marshfield, Webster, Missouri. Thanks to my friend Chris Young for snapping the picture for me.

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