Family History Research

Wisdom Wednesday – Visit Ozarks Genealogical Society Library

Last week I spent some time at the Ozarks Genealogical Society Library.  While the building does not look large, it is packed with information. I was only there about an hour and a half but barely touched the collection.

The library has many county history books for not only Missouri but other states. There are many cemetery and obituary transcription books and rows of filing cabinets that I did not have a chance to look through.

I hope to get back there tomorrow or Thursday but we’ll see how this stormy southwest Missouri weather shakes out. Not sure I want to be caught out in a tornado around here especially after what happened in Joplin yesterday.

To find out how you can help the tornado struck city or find out about loved ones, visit the KY3 news website to learn more.

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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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