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There are two ponds on the farm – the North Pond and the South Pond. For many of the years that we vacationed here, there were cattle in the vicinity of the North Pond so the family didn’t fish out of that one. The pond and pasture is separated from our backyard by a barbed wire fence.

The photo above is of the South Pond. This is where our nieces and nephews fished as kids as well as our own kids. After some neglect – which was apparent when we moved to the farm two years ago – all that my grandson caught were weeds. My husband spent most of that first summer here cleaning it up and just recently the dam was fixed because of so many muskrat holes that had caused it to leak on the backside.

I took the photo a year ago. It looked serene, and I can picture all the kids there being very quiet as they fished. The farm isn’t my favorite spot on earth without reason! And the pond is just one of those reasons.

(Photo above taken by Wendy Littrell.)

Last fall on a day trip to the Chariton County Historical Society and Museum, I filled out a membership form and told the hostess on duty that day that I would start volunteering when the season began in April. Even though my husband’s family has deep roots in Missouri – especially Chariton county – I had found that some of my collateral relatives also had lived and died here. What better way for me to learn about the area I now call home than to spend time at the Historical Society.

My first “volunteer” opportunity came on April 1st during the 150th Anniversary for the city of Salisbury. The museum was open and even provided sheets of clues for a scavenger hunt. It was advised that I participate as well in order to familiarize myself to the location of items and genealogy files. I had spent two hours there a few weeks before learning the new microfilm scanner and printer so I knew the location of many items.

I volunteered to be there one Wednesday in April. We didn’t have any visitors that day so I spent time inserting obituaries from 1954 into binders – in alphabetical order – or creating a new page if it wouldn’t fit. On my next day there – in early May – I scanned several photos from a large 1967 news magazine. Then I downloaded them from the hand held scanner (I want one of those!) onto the computer and used photo editing software to crop and save them. That day there were several visitors. It was enlightening to hear about a military hero that had grown up in Chariton county from a man who had spent time doing research. Soon, his information will be on display in the military section of the museum.

Some of the other high profile people from this area include: Cal Hubbard, Vernon Kennedy, Gen. Maxwell Taylor, and Sterling Price (Governor of Missouri and also a Confederate General).

I urge to find your local genealogy or historical society and join. Not only will you have access to the holdings, but you will also learn more about the history of your area. And if you are in Chariton county or close by, I invite you to stop in and visit the Chariton County Museum & Historical Society.

(Photo: Depiction of a school room located in the “Main Street” section of the Museum; photographer: Wendy Littrell)

Philip Wesley Blazer was born on April 25, 1862 in Indiana to Melissa Goul and Franklin Blazer. Wesley (as he was known his entire life) was the third child and second son out of five children and an older half-brother. His younger two sisters were born in Madison county as was his older sister, so Wesley probably started life there as well. At the age of seven, his father was struck by lightning and died. At the age of nineteen, he spent about a year in his mother’s native Champaign county, Ohio working on a farm. He went back to Madison county for another couple of years before returning to Ohio. There he married Binnie McAdams on September 12, 1885. She was born on April 13, 1864 in Union to Samuel McAdams and Nancy Jane Doak.

During the next ten years, the couple lived in Harper county, Kansas; Indiana; Goshen township in Champaign county, Ohio; and finally purchased land in Union, Ohio, where he resided for the rest of his life.

Wesley and Binnie had four children – the first three born in Kansas and the youngest born in Ohio. Charles Frederick Blazer was born on November 18, 1886 in Kiowa, Kansas and died on December 25, 1886. The infant is buried in Fair View Cemetery in Champaign county, Ohio. John Franklin Blazer was born on August 24, 1888 in Kiowa, Kansas and died in 1920 at the age of 31 as a result of pneumonia and influenza leaving a widow and two children (another child had died in infancy). Ada Dell Blazer was born on July 2, 1890 in Kansas. She was married, widowed, and married again. At the time of her death on February 22, 1977 at the age of 86, she was a widow again. She was survived by a daughter and grandchildren. Glen Orem Blazer was born in Champaign county, Ohio on October 6, 1898 and lived to the age of 79. He left a widow and one son and grandchildren.

Binnie McAdams Blazer died on January 30, 1938 in Union at the age of 78. Wesley died three years later on January 3, 1941. They are both buried at Fair View Cemetery.

Putnam County lies along the Missouri/Iowa border in North Central Missouri. Now that I am a resident of Missouri, I want to familiarize myself to the geography – especially in areas where some of my collateral relatives lived and are buried. And I do – have people buried in Unionville – the county seat of Putnam county.

As we drove toward Purdin last week for a high school baseball game, I saw a sign that said Milan was 30 some miles and Unionville was 53 miles. My husband’s grandparents once lived in Milan. To get to the cemetery where they are buried, we would need to go through there. Unionville was still closer than Columbia – the nearest “big” city.

The day after that, I checked to see where the Unionville cemetery was located because I will drive up one day and take pictures of headstones for my own files as well as Find a Grave. Oh, and who is buried there? The man who is purportedly the father of my great-grandmother’s half brother – James M Goul. James was also my great-great-grandmother’s first cousin. He was born in Virginia in 1822 and died in Unionville in 1888. He and his wife, Hannah Susan Harbert Goul are both buried in Unionville cemetery.

My Google search also turned up a link to the Putnam County Historical Society. I was excited to see that the Putnam County Library had digitized their collection of newspapers – and it was searchable! I found many wonderful goodies in those newspapers – which will be another blog post! For now – here are some links if you also have ancestors or collateral relatives that lived in Putnam county: Putnam County Historical Society and Putnam county newspapers.

Image: By The original uploader was Catbar at English Wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

I have been so busy the last few months that I completely missed my blogging anniversary (blogiversary)! Nine years ago on April 19, 2008, I wrote the first two posts here on All My Branches Genealogy: New Genealogy Blog and They Died How?

Since that day, I’ve published 580 articles; have 66 followers; and have had 404 likes, 14,789 visitors and 65,457 views.

Thank you to my faithful readers!

 

This Saturday I will be attending my very first genealogy seminar! I’m looking forward to being with other genealogists and experiencing what several of my genea-friends have experienced. There are some in the field who are considered “rock stars” – the ones who speak at conferences all over the country and have a wealth of knowledge to share. One such “rock star” is Judy G. Russell. She is known as the Legal Genealogist. Judy’s blog of the same name (Legal Geanealogist) is full of useful information on copyrights, laws from year’s past, and other helpful hints. If you are a family historian, you must read Judy’s blog. I’ve also been Facebook friends with Judy for several years. Finally, on Saturday I will get to hear her presentations and meet her in person at the Midwest Genealogy Center Spring Seminar.

wilt-cousins-in-indiana

Today’s #GenealogyPhotoaDay theme is “Cousins.” This is my maternal grandmother’s side of the family. The Wilt cousins met in Indiana on April 29, 1977 (where most of them lived) for this photo.

Left to right standing: the caption says “Eva” but I believe it is Dortha Zirkle McDonnell, Helen Zirkle Lynam, Russell Weiss, Glen R Johnson (my maternal grandfather); seated beginning in center moving clockwise: Edith Pierce Taylor, Eva Zirkle Weiss, Freda Pierce Franklin, Nellie Wilt Lilly (my great-aunt), Vesta C Wilt Johnson (my maternal grandmother), and Hurchell McDonnell.

Eva May Zirkle was a first cousin to my grandmother – Vesta C (Wilt) Johnson. Eva was the daughter of Mary Lou Wilt and Dillman Zirkle. She was born May 10, 1904 in Henry county, Indiana; married Russell Weiss on April 27, 1929 and died December 2, 1999. Helen Zirkle was Eva Zirkle’s younger sister. She was born December 20, 1910 in Middletown, Indiana; married Carl Lynam on January 12, 1935, and died January 22, 2004. Freda Elizabeth Pierce was my grandmother’s 1c1r (1st cousin one time removed). She was the daughter of Bertha Hofherr and Kenneth Pierce and granddaughter of Sarah C Wilt and John Hofherr. Freda was born Oct 23, 1918 in Salem, Indiana; married Harley Franklin on Oct 23, 1937, and died on July 16, 2013. Edith Ethel Pierce was Freda’s older sister. She was born on September 7, 1916 in Salem, Indiana; married Henry Arnold Taylor on September 12, 1936, and died February 6, 1994. My grandmother’s sister, Nellie M (Wilt) Lilly was also in town from Olympia, Washington for this event. The man listed as “Hurschul” – I believe was the husband of Dortha Zirkle (sister of Eva and Helen). (I am not positive but I believe the woman standing at the left was really Dortha and not “Eva” as marked.) Dortha was born on June 12, 1891; married Lawrence Pittsford on April 20, 1912. After he died in 1964, Dortha married Hurchell McDonnell on September 2, 1965. Dortha died on January 24, 1979.

The Wilt cousins had a reunion once a year and for many years it was held in Noblesville, Indiana. In the 1980s, the reunion was once held at my grandparents’ Dayton, Ohio apartment building in the party room and pool and once at my brother’s home outside of Dayton, Ohio. At least one other time during the year, my grandparents would travel from Dayton to Indiana to visit Wilt cousins or some of them even came to Dayton. I am thankful that I remember the reunions – even though I wasn’t old enough or appreciative enough to want to listen to stories then!