Family History Research

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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Shannon Research

On my quest to locate more information on the Shannon family I will be doing some research in Missouri. My goal is to locate information about the family in Webster County and possibly Wright and Texas Counties. The family lived in Lawrence County, Arkansas, and there are a few resources in the libraries I can consult. I would absolutely love to visit the newly opened NorthEast Arkansas Regional Archives (NEARA).  The NEARA however is another three plus hours from Marshfield so it isn’t likely I’ll go down there this trip. There will not be enough time. The NEARA holds records for Lawrence County, AR, where the Shannon family lived. I can only imagine the information I could find there. Oh well, another time.

On my first day there I will first stop will at the Marshfield Library. I have a long list of books to look through in their genealogy section. If I finish that before lunch then I may run to the courthouse to look through marriage records if I can locate some dates before my trip.

My second stop will be the Webster County Historical Society in Marshfield, Missouri. Through Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness(RAOGK) I am working with a volunteer there to locate records. She has sent me copies of a few and is going to pull more before I arrive so I can save some time. I will only have three hours at the Historical Society before they close and I have to head out so anything she is able to locate before my visit is so appreciated.

Day two of my visit will be at the Springfield Library Main Branch and also the Ozarks Genealogical Society library. Currently I have small lists of books to look through at those locations but that could grow if I discover a little more information prior to my trip.

If you know of other repositories close to Marshfield and Springfield I could search for information on the Shannon family please let me know. I lived down there for way too many years but never conducted research there.

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