Thursday, September 2, 2010

Grandpa did WHAT!

I get excited when I find something valuable, even if it's only valuable to me. Bill and I spent a few hours at the Misssouri History Museum at 225 So. Skinker. The Historical Society has archives and records and pictures, an unbelivable collection. It's across from Forest Park. I had intended to go there way before now and way before I return to school, but alas, summer is drawing to a close and school is about to start. So, today I fit this visit into my schedule. If Bill hadn't been with me, I'd have stayed all day.

Oh my goodness, what gems we found. I searched for my great uncle who was a big shot in the St. Louis Police Department in the '30s and '40s. I hit dead ends searching for his name, but hit upon Bill's grandfather who also a higher up, a generation earlier than my great uncle. His grandfather was in uniform, had a handlebar mustache, wore a star on his dress uniform jacket and wore a high rounded top hat. Bill's brother looks just like their grandfather. The likeness is incredible.

I discovered that my mom wasn't kidding when she said her grandfather was in real estate; the city directory listed that as his occupation back in the 1920's. I learned where my maternal great-grandparents lived and what my grandfather's occupation was: a lamplighter and he also worked at Mallinckrodt.

My greatest discovery: my paternal great-great-great grandfather (or uncle, I'll have to research the genealogy more closely) gave an eyewitness official report to an Indian battle in New Madrid, MO back in the early 1800's. Apparently, a neighbor had been entertaining three Native Americans and offered them liquor which was against the law. They got drunk, demanded the rest of the booze, did some whooping and yelling, and ended up killing the neighbor and another man and burning down the house. Wow! Those skeletons were rattling in my closet.

I had so much fun, I am sure I will go back for more. You have to leave your purse in a locker and use pencil only, but if you find an article or picture you want copied, they will photocopy for 25 cents, OR you can bring your camera and pay them $10 for an entire day of taking your own photos. This would be ideal if you are doing research for a book. You can also access information on line at and click on Archives or Guides and search their genealogy database. Have fun! You can't imagine what you'll find.

My high cheek bones should be proof enough that I am part Native American, but I can't document it yet although Dad and his folks always said we were.

A dumb man tells his wife to be quiet; a wise man tells her how pretty her lips look when her mouth is closed. ~Native American Proverb


Bookie said...

This sounds like fun for you. I like finding ancestors but pretty hard for me as I have some orphans on both sides and records stop. Forgot you would have to go back to school! How much more free time do you have? Enjoy the Labor Day...c

Linda O'Connell said...

We have a family reunion out of town this weekend, then back to a new school year Tuesday. I'm actually looking forward to it.

Pat Wahler said...

Everything I've heard about the museum sounds amazing. I simply HAVE to get there soon!


BECKY said...

Oh, Linda! Yes, ever since I heard the presentation about the History Museum, I've wanted to go there, too! And I, like you, could spend an entire day! What fun!

Julia Gordon-Bramer said...

Ah, that's the trouble with having immigrant parents and grandparents! No easily traceable history! Sounds like fun.