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Sunday, August 9, 2015

There Are Holes

I have been researching my husband's mother's line ever since I learned they settled in Cole County, Missouri. No one knew and I accidentally discovered this fact one day while researching on line. Her family lived in Anderson County, Kansas for over 100 years and she wasn't aware they first settled in Missouri. Her family came over on the Ship Rebecca coming into port at New Orleans in 1846. I have visited the community in which they settled along with many other families from the same area in Germany.  Taos is a small community that has a wonderful museum dedicated to Father Helias. The museum has photos of the ship and all the families who came over together including the Rackers, Rockers, Schnieders, Moellers, Walken, Talken, etc. The cemetery is full of these surnames. There is the original cemetery with its stones stacked under a tree. St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church museum committee is still researching the burials here. My mother-in-law was a Rockers and we visited with a member of the Rackers family. Interesting that there well may be a connection.
My original research online led me to discover the Emslanders website. Wow, this was quite a find. One day my husband and I visited the Anderson County Courthouse whose records are microfilmed and available in the lobby to peruse on a computer.  When you find the record of interest you are able to print it, for a fee. We found the guardianship of his great grandfather which mentioned he inherited from John G Moller. This is where the gaping hole is found.
A subsequent visit to the Missouri State Archives in Jefferson City, led me to the estate settlement.  John didn't leave a will, a man was appointed to administer the estate.  The heirs are listed but gives no indication as to their relationship to John G. Moller.  The marriage record of Herman Henry Rockers to Anna Margaret Mueller found at the aforementioned Catholic church lists the witnesses as Gerard Mueller and Maria Sandt/Landt. It could be Gerard and John G. are the same person. I have never found him in any census record.  His estate was completely settled by 1869.
My plan to fill in the holes is reading the microfilmed newspapers of Cole County for this time period. I am going to start with the Missouri River Regional Library in Jefferson City in hopes that they have older newspapers in-house.  Otherwise, I will need to travel to the library on the campus of the University of Missouri which hosts the Historical Society of Missouri's collections.  Since class is about to begin on campus, I am not reluctant to visit at this time.  Parking is limited and I am unfamiliar with the campus and the city of Columbia.
I know I will find my answer in the microfilms either in the newspaper or in more documents at the archives. On my last visit they were rearranging the microfilm room so I wasn't able to pull them to do my research. They do have quite a few published works so I spent my time looking through them and jotting notes to follow up on. Other peoples' works are appreciated but I like to find the original documents when ever possible. Missouri does quite a wonderful job in granting access to some digital records on line as well as a catalog of microfilm to make research planning much easier. I have visited the Midwest Genealogy Library in Independence but without much success do to poor pre-planning.  I have a trip coming up and will be more prepared and hopefully find more answers. They charge for a library card so I cannot look up anything prior to my arrival. I will need to use my research log to assist me when I arrive to know which type of records I want to access. Unfamiliarity is a big hindrance in a successful outcome. Nothing to me is worse than being unprepared. I have a lot to do before my research trips!

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