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Genealogy (and less important stuff) in NW Missouri

My grandmother was born in Chillicothe, MO.  And many of you know that I’m really interested in my family genealogy.  So I took the opportunity today to visit Chillicothe, MO and St. Joseph, MO to do some genealogical research.

We started at the genealogy room of the Chillicothe Public Library, meeting with a genealogist there.  Then drove to St. Joseph, MO and did research at the NW Missouri Genealogical Society library that uncovered some great new information and family connections.

Then we met with Robert Rosenthal, an official at Temple Adath Joseph who gave us a tour of the cemetery in St. Joe, and took us back to his home to go over some notes he had.  He also was able to connect me with a distant cousin, who I will follow up with.

After that, we spent some time in the St. Joseph Public library, where I found the death certificate for my Great-Great Grandfather, who died in St. Louis.  That led me to information to find that he, my G-G Grandmother, and much of the family is buried in St. Louis.  Can you guess what one of the things we’re going to do in St. Louis is?

Well all this new genealogical information was thrilling to me, but not to the kids.  But they indulged me, and they understand sometimes daddy needs a day of fun too.  We did manage to sneak in a visit to the Pony Express Museum.  There we learned about the Westward expansion of America and delved into more of an understanding of those times — times that our ancestors were living through right there in St. Joseph!  For such a grand endeavor, and one that lives so large in the American ethos, the Pony Express was only in business for 18 months.  The gist is that it used to take weeks for a letter to get to California from the East (and vice versa).  Some men devised a way, through a relay of horses, that it would take only 5 days (longer in winter).  They charged a lot for each letter, and by the look of the saddle bags, didn’t carry much mail at all.  After 18 months the business wasn’t making enough money to keep going, and just at that time, also, the cross-continent telegraph was completed: so the Pony Express ceased to operate.  It still took weeks for a paper letter to get across the country, and many people lamented the loss of the pony express, but the telegraph allowed for fast communications instead.  The kids and I had great discussions about the implications of different speeds of communication, including the topical reason it takes so long for us to switch presidents.

Barbosas Castillo

Barbosa's Castillo

We ate fantastically poor Mexican food (what was I thinking getting Mexican food in the middle of the country?) at a restaurant in an awesome old mansion in St. Joe.  I love the architecture of the old houses in this part of the country.  I’d love to live in a house like this!

After dinner we zoomed down South of Kansas City to a CouchSurf with James, an MKP brother.  He and I have lots in common; it was like staying with an old friend.

What a long and packed day!

1 Comment on “Genealogy (and less important stuff) in NW Missouri”

  1. #1 Sheryl
    on Dec 4th, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    Hi! Looks like fun so far. Certainly fun to proacrastinate at work reading about the adventures. But you’ve got me wondering… why DOES it take so long to change Presidents?!…my friends in Oz keep asking me. Down here, the day after any election, even the Prime Minster’s, the new leader is sworn in.

    Thanks, drive safe

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