Saturday, December 29, 2007

Note to Myself

Click here and buy the publication entitled Atchison County Missouri Deaths From Area Newspapers, 1878-1888.

This week I was contacted by a lady named Kathy, who found me while searching for Ignatius Mitchell, my 4th-great grandfather on Poppy's side. In her email, she included a snippet of his obituary, which came from the above book:

Mitchell, Ignatius S. --died Mar. 3, 1882 at the home of Mrs. Lawson Dragoo. He was her father and she lives in Rockport, Mo.. He had been living with another daughter, Mrs.W.W. BROWNING of Brownville, Nebraska....He was born in Mason County, KY. in Jan. of 1798. He married Nancy D. Twoke(?) in 1819. Burial in Mason Co., KY..(R.S.=Rockport Sun Newspaper)

Kathy is researching Brownings and asked me who the Mr. and Mrs. W.W. Browning were. They are my aunt and uncle, Susan Franklin Mitchell and her husband, Woodville W. Browning. Susan's sister Caroline married Alexander Keithler, and they are my 3rd-great grandparents.

I'm always amazed at the way seeing their obituaries makes my ancestors so much more real to me. They stop being names on a page I've seen since childhood and become human beings with lives, families, jobs, possessions... I start wondering what they looked like, what kind of clothes they wore, how they died, what their personalities were, etc.

I'm so grateful for the Internet. It's miraculous, how quickly information can be gathered and shared, and people can get in touch with each other. When I think of my ancestors (including Gran, who hated computers) trying to do all this research through letters, over the telephone, and by traveling, and the costs involved, all I can think is how blessed I am and how much I appreciate their efforts way back then, which were infinitely harder than mine are.

This work is so interesting, rewarding, and fun, I can't believe everyone doesn't do it.

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