October 22, 2017

How To Use Genealogy Criteria To Improve Your General Communication Skills


Make Yourself Understood

When I first began doing genealogical research I was participating in online message boards and mailing lists. One of the things that really became apparent to me early on was that I needed to be specific to make myself understood for the best communication results.

For instance, if I was in a chat room it was imperative to say for whom I was looking, where they had lived and what time frame. Subject lines needed to include surname, location, and possible years, etc.: “YATES, Roane, TN 1840-1918” is one example. On message boards and mailing lists, it was much the same, but I could also include more in-depth information such as collateral names, etc.

Who, Why, What, When and Where

I’ve noticed in this era of shortened messages via Twitter or texting, many people don’t make themselves specific enough when speaking verbally to one another. I know they are trying to be expeditious and get their thoughts out while they have them fresh in their minds, but really, you are short changing yourself and your listener to leave out some facts. The “who, why, what, when, where” of old should always apply.

So, if you are speaking to someone, even if it not about genealogy, make sure you include whom you are speaking of, the location you are citing, and give some sort of time frame at the very least. Example: “When I was in Howell County, Missouri in 1972 I didn’t get to see any of my Yates, Pentecost or Smith cousins because we were just passing through West Plains and I was just picking up a postcard for my grandpa Will Yates who was then living in Washington State, but was born in the Brandsville area.”

Many times, my conversations with family and friends just leave me more confused as they jump from one person to another. It might be their style of conversation, but my advice is, Slow Down and think about what the other person might be hearing. If you get to the end of your story and people look puzzled, or need to ask for clarification, you need to spend extra time thinking about how you present your thoughts.

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The 1904 Murder of Thomas E Morgan – Spring Creek, Missouri

 He Killed His Brother

Thomas Morgan, who resided with his parents Morris Henry and Charlotte Morgan on their farm near Blue Mound, was killed on the afternoon of August 4, 1904 after a quarrel with his brother Isom.

Isom had sent his ten year old son [I suspect it was his oldest son Albert] down to inspect a fence on his adjoining farm to make sure the cattle inside were not getting out as the fence was down. As the boy passed his uncle, Thomas called out to him that he better leave the cattle alone or he would kill the boy’s dog and whip the boy.

The boy went home and told his father Isom of the threat and Isom went down to the field to where Thomas was in order to talk to him. In the newspaper article this information comes from (unable to determine was paper it was. All I can read is “Red Apple” in the masthead) Isom sat on the rail fence to talk to his brother, asking him who gave him the authority to tell his son not to do what he had told the boy to do.

Thomas E Morgan   

Thomas’ reply was, “I take that authority upon myself”. Hot words were exchanged between the two men and as there were no witnesses the altercation can only be imagined. Thomas weapon was a hoe, while Isam had a knife. Thomas died of knife wounds that day.

Isom was a long-time resident of the Blue Mound area, and known to normally be a quiet tempered man. After the incident Isom told the same story to his neighbors, family and to the police. Sheriff Kimberlin brought him to the city and turned him over the Prosecuting Attorney Morrow who filed information on Morgan charging him with murder, recommending that he be released on bond which was furnished.

The newspaper article ends by saying that Morrow would investigate the murder further after the present term of court was over and that they expected the case to be dismissed.

After The Murder

I’ve been able to determine that Sitha and Isom’s youngest son James Martin Morgan might have been about nine months of age when the murder took place. James was born January 3, 1904 and the newspaper article was from August of that same year. I have not yet found a divorce record for documentation, but as of 1910 Sitha and her five sons, Albert, Clarence, Mors, Edward and James were living in the household of Sitha’s younger brother Noah Wyatt Wright. She is listed as being divorced.

In the 1920 census of West Plains, Howell, MO District #94 Sitha (Sytha) is residing in her own home as an owner; she is age 47 and is listed as “widowed”. Was this an assumption by the census taker of a woman living as the head of the household with four of her five sons listed too? She was still using the same Morgan so I think she may have been divorced in 1920 also.

I have not yet found Isom in the ensuing years between the time they would have divorced and when he died 29 September 1949 in Spokane, Washington. The obituary for him holds some clues though. I’ll continue this thread if I find more to share.


Newspaper article unknown paper

Circuit Court Document

Obituary – Isom M. Morgan




Opal Lee Breedlove Hudson 1910 – 2012

Opal Lee Breedlove Hudson Obit

Opal Lee Hudson, 101, a long time Pacific County resident died on Saturday, April 7, 2012, at her home at Alder House in South Bend. Mrs. Hudson was born on July 23, 1910, at West Plains , Missouri to John and Sarah (Forrest) Breedlove.

She married her husband, Dale, on April 9, 1927, in Everett, Wash. He died in November of 1989.

Mrs. Hudson as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She enjoyed playing cards, reading and visiting with friends and family including the staff and friends at the Alder House.

She was preceded in death by two sons, Jerry and Jack; a daughter, Anna Krause; 4 sisters; 2 brothers; and 3 grandchildren.

She is survived by two daughters, Rose Young of Tucson, Arizona, and Gloria (Bob) Gerwig; 12 grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren; and 23 great-great-grandchildren.

Funeral services are set for 11:00 a.m. on Friday, April 13, 2012, at Stoller’s Mortuary in Raymond. A private burial will be held at Hawthorn Memorial Park beside her husband in Mt. Vernon.

Memorials may be made to the Pacific County Historical Society at PO Box P, South Bend, Wash. 98586.

Obituary posted at The Aberdeen, Washington Daily World 10 April 2012. See obit here.

Is Your Missouri Ancestor In My Kucker Photo?


(Click photo for full size)

Before my grandmother Minnie Caroline Smith married Will K. Yates she had a teaching certificate for the state of Missouri.  I’m adding this photo today to share with anyone whose ancestor might be in it. Grandma Minnie is the young lady on the far right, second row down.

As you can see, the photographer’s name was Kucker and I believe he might have been in Springfield.  Since Kucker traveled around the area though, I have no proof of where this photo was taken.  This is a scan of the original photo that resides in our family pictures.  Judging by the age of my grandmother, it could have been taken around 1915-1917?

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