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20 February 2019

Our Library Collections: Missouri

A beautiful book title
A weekly series highlighting some of our holdings at the Library in Oakland. For a fuller listing of our books, journals, and more, consult the CGS Library catalog. Our catalog is also included in WorldCat.

Our Missouri section of the library occupies eleven shelves and includes several sets of journals including Missouri State Genealogical Association Journal, 1988 to the present; Missouri Historical Research ,1960 to 2005; NW Missouri Genealogical Society Journal, 1982–2005; Missouri Pioneers, 1971– 976; and Missouri Researcher, 1962 – 1972.

We have the usual source books for cemetery records, bible records, tax records, etc. I found one type of book that I have not previously encountered while writing this blog series. They are Virginia Settlers in Missouri by A. Maxim Coppage III and Dorothy Ford Wulfeck, and Stuart Seely Sprague's Kentuckians in Missouri Including Many Who Migrated by Way of Ohio, Indiana or Illinois. These are the first books I’ve encountered that focus on state residents who have migrated from other states. Of course this happens all the time but it is not always recorded in this manner.

This was written by two CGS members
I picked up Missouri Cemetery Inscription Sources (Print & Microform) and was admiring it as an impressive labor of love. These dedicated researchers collected and organized the cemetery records for 114 counties in Missouri. It includes more than 15,000 citations for inscriptions extracted from books, films, fiche, manuscripts, and periodicals. Imagine my surprise when I noted that the authors were our own CGS luminaires Elizabeth Kot and Shirley Thomson and that the book was published right here in Vallejo, California.

One of our more esoteric small books
This collection includes many county histories and biographical books. Among this section, I found a small booklet titled Guide to the Mormon War Papers, 1838-1841. This is a topic I know nothing about so I read a portion of the introduction to find out. I learned that the Mormons were driven out of Missouri in the mid-1830s – victims of “mistrust by their fellow citizens” – a common excuse for prejudice. This source summarizes a list of all of the known documentation of an investigation that was conducted about the “Difficulties with the Mormons.” This is a good example of an esoteric source of value mostly to specialists, and it occurs to me that maybe we should do more to promote our library to serious scholars. 

This 4-volume set has many well-written biographies
Finally, I noticed a set of four books titled Opening the Ozarks: First Families in Southwest Missouri 1835–1839 by Marsha Hoffman Rising, published in 2005. This is the sort of book every researcher hopes to find. Each volume includes lengthy narrative biographies for individual families. For example, the information on Daniel Austin and family spans six pages. In addition to the basic birth, marriage, and death facts, the well-written biography covers Daniel’s property and migration route. It then describes his children and grandchildren. The format is very similar to how I record my family history on my family blog. Anyone who finds their ancestors in this book should be thrilled to find their work already done for them.

Copyright © 2019 by California Genealogical Society

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