Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving


A Thanksgiving menu from my father's Army days in Germany. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Matrilineal Monday - Lucinda McGonnigal

Lucinda McGonnigil is my third-great grandmother on my mother's side. She has the dubious distinction of having a last name that can be spelled a thousand ways, which has made research of her line a joy. She was born March 5, 1851 in Camden, Ray County, Missouri to Colonel Henderson McGonnigil and Mary Ellen Akers. She was the first of six children.
Colonel McGonigil is listed as a day laborer and a shop keeper. During the Civil War he was a bugler for the 6th Regiment Calvary Missouri State Militia. The family lived in Ray County, with a brief stint in Independence, Missouri in the 1860s. I have not been able to find any records for Colonel or Mary McGonnigil past 1870. I have not found them on the 1880 census, but their younger children were living with siblings so it can be assumed they had already passed.
Lucinda married James Madison Thomas on October 23, 1870. (Her sister Mary married her brother-in-law, Eli, in 1875). The couple had eight children, but I have only found seven.
James was a coal miner and Lucinda was a housewife. Lucinda and James had to deal with quite a lot of pain in their lifetime. They lost one child at a young age, another son Roller died at age 14 due to an accident, and their son Russell died at 29 from tuberculosis. But I know little else of Lucinda.

She lived in Camden, Missouri, other than that short stint in Independence, her whole life and died there of liver failure on January 26, 1912. She is buried in Camden Cemetery, Camden, Missouri.

Due outs for Lucinda:
1. Look for an obituary
2. Request a photo of her headstone through
3. Try to determine what church the family attended and look for records there.

Other McGonnigil posts:
Surname Saturday - Megonnigil

Friday, November 22, 2013

Follow Friday - Favorites for November 22, 2013

Favorites is my weekly list of favorite genealogy, history and random finds from across the Net.
Check out MIT's amazing 3D gizmo
Taking a toddler to the museum: Why bother?
Native American code talkers receive Congressional Gold Medals
The last widow of the great war
Goodbye to the splendid 1930s world of Poirot
Penny reunites family members
Spanish-American war Soldiers' memorial at ABT UNK
Much ado about Benita and art nouveau at Many Branches, One Tree
Evernote tips at Angler's Rest
Four free websites to find old maps
Tracking down the owners of items left in a thrift store dresser
The technology that carried news of President Kennedy's assassination
San Francisco, before and after the 1906 fire

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Race car drivers

Little race car drivers: my mom, uncle and aunt.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Matrilineal Monday - Elizabeth Riffe

Elizabeth Riffe is my third-great grandmother on my maternal side. She was born in Ray County, Missouri on May 20, 1875 to Isaac and Martha (Good) Riffe. Her grandparents, Jacob Riffe and Ruth Martin, were the first couple married in Ray County and her great-grandfather, Isaac Martin, was a pioneer settler in the County. Isaac Riffe was a carpenter and wagon maker. The couple had five children.
Isaac served in the Civil War, assigned to the 4th Missouri Volunteer Infantry (Confederate). Martha Riffe died in 1880 leaving Isaac with five children under 12. This is also about the time that Isaac disappears from record. I can find no trace of his death. It can be presumed that he died early which could be one reason why his daughter, Elizabeth, married at age 15.
On March 20, 1890 Elizabeth married George Tate Dudgeon in Ray County. The couple were farmers near Millville, Missouri for the rest of their lives.

Sadly, I do not know much about Lizzie. But I am blessed to have a couple of photos of her.
A four-generation photo, probably taken around 1938. Lizzie is on the right.
Lizzie, right, with her daughter Minnie Lee.
Lizzie died on January 20, 1944 and was buried next to her husband in the New Hope Cemetery, near Millville, Missouri.

- Find Civil War record for Isaac Riffe
- Find obituary for Elizabeth Riffe

Missouri Historical Company. History of Ray County, Missouri. St. Louis: 1881. Accessed at Ray County, Missouri GenWeb page.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Surname Saturday - Thomas Jefferson Burnett

Thomas Jefferson Burnett is my third-great grandfather on my father's maternal side. He was September 20, 1835 in Henry County, Missouri to Isham and Anna (Hall) Burnett. He was the tenth of thirteen children.
Isham and Anna Burnett were originally from Virginia and migrated to Missouri prior to would have still been a territory when they arrived. The Burnetts were farmers and Isham owned his own land in Henry County, which is just north of I-70 close to Columbia. He then owned land  in Henry County, which is closer to the western side of the state.

By 1850, Isham Burnett has died and Anna Burnett has moved the family to Warrensburg, Missouri. Her family owns land and her oldest sons appear to run it. On March 24, 1858 Thomas Burnett married Harriett Potts. The couple had 8 children. Harriett died in infancy and Mattie died at age three.
Thomas served in the Civil War, and eventually received a pension from his time assigned to Company B, 27th Missouri Mounted Infantry. This amount of service was only for 5 months, however Thomas' obituary states that he "gave some of the best years of his life" to the Civil War. I'm not sure if that indicates service in more than one unit or just a writer's embellishment. It is possible that he may have served in several units.

The family lived in Henry County and Cass County before settling in Johnson County. Thomas was a farmer by trade and also served as Justice of the Peace for several years. He died March 13, 1905 in Kingsville, Missouri and was buried in Kingsville Cemetery, Kingsville, Missouri.
Printed in the Warrensburg Journal-Democrat, March 31, 1905, pg. 4
Like most of my third-great grandparents, I do not know much about Thomas Burnett the man. I can assume that he was forced to become a man early in life due to the early death of this father. He was certainly a well-known man in his community.

Due outs:
1. Research his military service to clarify dates.
2. Order Civil War pension

This post is part of my on-going goal of 2013 to research each of my 32 3rd great-grandparents more in-depth. Thomas is #9 on my list.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Follow Friday - Favorites for November 15, 2013

Favorites is my weekly list of favorite genealogy, history and random finds from across the Net.
WWII infantry Soldier's treasures here and here at Pages from the Ancestry Binders
WWII Soldier slang
The real Jewish treasures of WWII
One veteran's tale at the Legal Genealogist
The bugle that sounded the end of the First World War
Finding genealogical clues in military mementos
Boy of 12 was Britain's youngest Great War soldier
Artist Jennifer Greenburg puts herself in the past
Colorized vintage photos make the past look like today
Vintage travel scenes from around the world
100-year-old wedding night advice
11 famous Mayflower descendants
A father's and daughter's hopes and dreams at Many Branches, One Tree

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day

Following the close of World War I General John J. Pershing, commander-in-chief of the American Expeditionary Forces sent a letter of thanks to each AEF Soldier. The following is a transcription of that letter, which is a fitting tribute to any generation of military veteran. 

American Expeditionary Forces
General Orders, No. 38-A
France, February 28, 1919

My Fellow Soldiers:

Now that your service with the American Expeditionary Forces is about to terminate, I can not let you go without a personal word. At the call to arms, the patriotic young manhood of America eagerly responded and became the formidable army whose decisive victories testify to its efficiency and its valor. With the support of the nation firmly united to defend the course of liberty, our army has executed the will of the people with resolute purpose. Our democracy has been tested, and the forces of autocracy have been defeated. To the glory of the citizen-solider, our troops have faithfully fulfilled their trust, and in a succession of brilliant offensives have overcome the menace to our civilization.

As an individual, your part in the world war has been an important one in the sum total of our achievements. Whether keeping lonely vigil in the trenches, or gallantly storming the enemy's stronghold; whether enduring monotonous drudgery at the rear, or sustaining the fighting line at the front, each has bravely and efficiently played his part. By willing sacrifice of personal rights; by cheerful endurance of hardship and privation; by vigor, strength and indomitable will, made effective by thorough organization and cordial co-operation, you inspired the war-worn Allies with new life and turned the tide of threatened defeat into overwhelming victory.

With a consecrated devotion to duty and a will to conquer, you have loyally served your country. By your exemplary conduct a standard has been established and maintained never  before attained by an army. With mind and body as clean and strong as the decisive blows you delivered against the foe, you are soon to return to the pursuits of peace. In leaving the scenes of your victories, may I ask that you carry home your high ideals and continue to live as you have served--an honor to the principles for which you have fought and to the fallen comrades you leave behind.

It is with pride in our success that I extend to you my sincere thanks for your splendid service to the army and to the nation.


John J. Pershing
Commander in Chief

Official: Robert C. Davis, Adjutant General
Copy furnished to Sanford Darnell
Dean S. Barnard
Capt. 359th Infantry, Commanding

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Surname Saturday - George Tate Dudgeon

George Tate Dudgeon (pronounced duh-gin) was my third-great grandfather on my mother's maternal side. He was born in Louisville, Kentucky September 17, 1868 to George Weatherford and Martha Lou (Phillips) Dudgeon. He was the third of five boys to this couple.
The Dudgeons were farmers in Taylor County, Kentucky. Things appeared to be fine for the Dudgeon family until 1875. Their home was ravaged by a bout with diphtheria killing Shelby, Emma and Martha all within two weeks. George Senior would have been left with three children under the age of ten. Two years later he married a woman named Linda Lyle and the couple had three more children.
Sometime between 1883 and 1886 the Dudgeon family left Kentucky and moved to Ray County, Missouri. I determined this based off of the birth places of two of George's half siblings: Ernest, born in Kentucky in 1883,  and Fannie, born in Missouri in 1886. George Tate Dudgeon married Elizabeth Riffe on March 20, 1890. If documentation is correct, Elizabeth or Lizzie was only 15 at the time. The couple were farmers and lived in Grape Grove township of Ray County. The couple had six children and the 1900 census states one of them had died by that time. I have been unable to locate the name or burial place of that child. I only assume they fall between Ottie and Alberta based on the large gap between birth dates there.
The Dudgeons lived in Grape Grove for the rest of their lives. George remained a farmer and he rented his land. I do not know much about the Dudgeons. Like many rural residents, they are not mentioned in any local histories. I have not done an extensive search for them in the local paper, but I'm fairly sure I wouldn't find much.
George lived to be 72 and died as the result of a stroke on February 14, 1941. He is buried next to his wife in the New Hope Cemetery, near Millville, Missouri.
George's Obituary (Sadly, I do not have the paper source, but have still chosen to post)
Millville, Missouri 1941
Funeral services for George Tate Dudgeon, 72 years old, were held at the Millville Methodist church Sunday afternoon, conducted by the Rev. H.T. McGrew. Mr. Dudgeon died Friday afternoon at his home in Millville.
He was born September 17, 1868, the son of George and Mattie Lou (Phillips) Dudgeon, and had spent 50 years of his life in Ray County.
On March 20, 1890 he was married to Elizabeth Riffe, who survives. Other survivors are: two sons Elmer Dudgeon, Millville; and Cecil Dudgeon of St. Joseph; three daughters, Mrs. Minnie Lee White, Mrs. Ottie may Carter, and Mrs. Bertie Layman all of Orrick; two brothers, Thurman Dudgeon of Orrick and James Dudgeon of Cameron; a half-brother and two half-sisters and fifteen grandchildren.
R.R. Boggess Funeral home of Hardin was in charge of arrangements. Burial was at the New Hope Cemetery.
Due outs for George Dudgeon:
- Find out more about why the family left Kentucky
- Search local papers for information on Dudgeon family
- Locate source for obituary

Friday, November 8, 2013

Follow Friday - Favorites for November 8, 2013

Favorites is my weekly list of favorite genealogy, history and random finds from across the Net.
A virtual tour of 17th century London before the great fire
The mystery of Red Dress Manor
A great comparison of first homes then and now at Jollett Etc.
And that's the way it was: Walter Cronkite and Kansas City
Genealogy resources to be thankful for
Victorian slang terms we must make popular again
National WWI Museum's digital collection
How should we remember a war?
Beautiful wedding photo at Filiopietism Prism
Vintage aerial photographs for your viewing pleasure
Cemetery etiquette: do's and don'ts
Experience the Civil War in 4D
The Ignorance Test
A clever family history scam 75 years after Kristallnacht

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - At the table

Miss Bruna McGuire and Mrs. Katzer at the table. Circa early 50s.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tuesday's Tip - Personal Digital Archiving from the Library of Congress

Thanks to James Tanner of Genealogy's Star I stumbled across the Library of Congress' Personal Digital Archiving website. The site is a part of the Library's National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP), a national strategy for preserving the nation's digital collections.

The Personal Digital Archiving website has a multitude of tips for archiving your own personal collection, including downloadable guides on how to scan your collection and tips for the best digital media for storing your collection.

I especially liked the idea of having a Personal Digital Archiving Day, an event held to help others archive and share archiving tips. What a great idea for a local library, historical society or even a family to help gather collections.

The site also gives specific arching tips for popular materials: digital photographs, audio, video, e-mail and websites.

Perhaps some of these tips will motivate us all to archive our collection.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Surname Saturday - William Henry Reece

William Henry Reece is my third-great grandfather on my father's paternal side. William was born October 20, 1809 in Tennessee. I have yet to determine where in the state William was born. I have also not been able to conclusively determine his parents. Some online trees have listed his parents as Jesse Reece and Elizabeth Tomlinson, though I am not "documentarily" convinced.

By 1836 William was living in Johnson County, Missouri. Again, I have no proof as to when he came to Missouri or why. However, I do believe that he may be connected to two other Reeces in the area: Jesse and Isham. I wrote about William's connection to these men here. William H. Reece married Elizabeth Alexander in Johnson County, Missouri on December 22, 1836.
William and Elizabeth lived in Missouri for the next twenty four years. They had five known children.
Note that William named two children Jesse and Isham...I don't think this is a coincidence. William is listed as a farmer on each census and I have records that he owned his own land.
Sometime between 1860 and 1865 the Reece family moved from Johnson County, Missouri to Johnson County, Kansas. His great-granddaughter, Flossie Irene Whitlock Emmons wrote the following in a family history:
"William H. and Elizabeth Jane (Betty) Reece lived in Missouri just across the Kansas line. He was a Methodist Preacher and served as a circuit rider. Missouri was the 24th state admitted to the United States, August 10, 1821, a slave state. Rev. Reece did not believe in slavery and preached against it. He was in danger from Confederate soldiers so they moved across the border into Kansas, having traded farms with the father of the Dalton Gang. Kansas was admitted as the 34th state January 24, 1861, a free state. Joseph McCaja Creed was born in North Carolina August 11, 1841 but left while young and was a Union soldier in Missouri. At one time while carrying a message for the Army and was about to be caught, the Reece family hid him and his horse for four days until the other side gave up the search and left. He rode a trained Army horse that went right over the fences. He was a scout for Buffalo Bill on a wagon train. The Reeces had four boys, Redmon, Coleman, Lafayett, and Linton and a daughter Mary Elizabeth. She was 16 and fell for the young soldier. It was him who helped guide the preacher's move."

There is no doubt that the family moved from Missouri to Kansas during the Civil War years, but the rest of the above information is yet to be proved.

By 1875 William lists his occupation as preacher and does so until the end his life. There are records of him performing marriages in Johnson County, Kansas.

William died July 6, 1889 at his home in DeSoto, Kansas. He was 79-years-old. He is buried in DeSoto Cemetery, DeSoto, Kansas.
A very short mention of his death is stated in the Lawrence Gazette (Lawrence, Kansas).

Due-outs for William H. Reece:
1. Try to locate probate records for his "possible" father, Jesse Reece of Johnson County.
2. Try to locate obituaries or biographies for either of his "possible" brothers: Isham and Jesse Reece.
3. Search for probate records for William.

Other William Reece posts:
Surname Saturday - Reece
William Henry Reece is a silly beast

- Missouri Marriage Records, 1805-2002 [database on-line]. William Henry Reece and Elizabeth Alexander, December 22, 1836. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2007. Original data: Missouri Marriage Records. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives. Microfilm.
- Reece, William Henry obituary. Lawrence Gazette, July 18, 1889. Found at Google News Archive:

Friday, November 1, 2013

Follow Friday - Favorites for November 1, 2013

Favorites is my weekly list of favorite genealogy, history and random finds from across the Net.
A reminder of 1970s Halloween at Gulf Coast Lagniappe
You don't always have to have a birthday cake at From Here to There
Time travel through historic photos with WhatWasThere
Love stories from the trenches
Oversharing a product of Facebook? Perhaps A. Warde & Co.
Advanced research at citing your sources
Scanning tips for genealogists
Genea-musings looks into the use of social media for genealogy
Heartbreak and Hope: Stories of Ellis Island
Why are “Ghost,” “Ghastly,” and “Ghoul” Spelled with “gh”?
That championship season for the mighty Royals
Some theme ideas for November blog posts at The Searchroots blog
A creepy, bloody Victorian scrapbook