Wednesday, September 5, 2012


A little girl asked her father, “How did the human race start? “The father answered, “God made Adam and Eve and they had children, and so all mankind was made. “Two days later the girl asked her mother the same question. The mother answered, “Many years ago there were monkeys from which the human race evolved." The confused girl returned to her father and said, "Dad, how is it possible that you told me the human race was created by God, and Mom said they developed from monkeys? "The father answered,"Well, dear, it is very simple.I told you about my side of the family and your mother told you about hers." From: Evolution Creation Adam and Eve Family Tree

                                                                                                      From A Global Net

My husband and I just returned from a great weekend visit with his cousin and her husband in Arkansas. I always enjoy these visits as they are not only relatives but great friends as well.  

In the evenings they love to reminisce about their childhood and their favorite and sometimes not so favorite relatives of the past. I never knew these people (being an in-law) but I’ve gotten to know "of" them through their many stories.
Being the addict that I am and needing my fix I gravitated to the computer to see if I could take them back one more generation, connect with an unknown cousin or two or locate a forgotten name.  We hit "gold" this trip when we discovered a missing great great grandfather from one of the censuses. It seems he had "gold fever" and headed out to California where he did show up in the census.

I then explained to my  family that the excitement of the "find" and the trip getting there seem to be  my fate -to be the recorder and story teller or our family's heritage.

At this point our cousin – a biblical history expert - took that thought to the next level.  Since the beginning of time it was important to record the antecedents of Christ through Biblical Genealogy found in Old Testament and with this I knew what my next post would be about.

So my guest blogger this week is Carmen Yarnell Thomas, who was gracious enough to include her thoughts on Biblical Genealogy.

Guest Blog Post by Carmen Yarnell Thomas:

Family visits always bring the subject of ancestry when it’s  my cousin and his wife.  Love the times in front of the computer, discovering new information about family from the past.Sure enough, the topic arose this past weekend when we were in my hometown.  Several of our family is buried in the cemetery there and the question was raised as to the name of an ancestor.  “I don’t know” was the reply...need I tell you that upon our return to my home, we began a search for the name.  All four of us are interested, but Pat and Deb have a passion for the “search”.

To be honest, I don’t think we were able to find the name we were searching for, but we discovered a very interesting, and unknown fact about my great, great grandfather's family and the California gold rush.  Amazing story unfolded, and of course, more questions.

                                              Solomon (Sol) Richardson

Fun and exciting as this is, just on the surface, another aspect of the ancestry arose for me.  After several hours, we needed to end our searching and get some sleep.  On the way to bed, the idea came to me regarding the genealogies of the Bible.  Realizing this was no accident...and not of my own mind...I knew that I needed to record our findings in my journal and in an organized way, not just on the paper I had grabbed and scratched out the information.

The idea of the importance of the genealogy records did not leave my mind.  There had to be spiritual implications to our “desire” to keep records and discover our roots.  Throughout the Bible, we find detailed records of families.  In I Chronicles, the family record is indicative of Kings, inheritance and census, etc.  In much the same way, we discovered birth/death, property ownership, places of residence, marriage and order of family.  All these records help us discover who we are and where we come from.  For example, King David’s right to the throne, in human terms, and his heirs’ privilege and rights are established in the genealogy recorded in the Biblical records.

 The genealogy and census done in the book of Nehemiah was necessary in establishing who would live inside the city of Jerusalem after the city was rebuilt.  In the Matthew’s gospel, we find the genealogy of Jesus whose earthly heritage is traced to David, giving Him the right to kingship which would have been invalid in terms of the world without the direct descent being established...notwithstanding the spiritual kingdom.

This prompts many thoughts, questions, and desires to search out my ancestors for reasons far beyond that of whose name precedes mine on the family tree.  Since it is important to have the explicit details of lineage in the Word, then more research is needed, by me at least, to determine other reasons to KNOW about past members of my family.

Family names for Carmen Yarnell Thomas are:
Waggoner, Dye, Meacham, Plant, Richardson, Newby, Newsome, Rhew, Yarnell, De Boise, and Noble

Happy Discoveries!

Monday, August 27, 2012


                                                        A GENEALOGY MOMENT

For those researching ancestors that settled in Missouri before 1803, check for Spanish or French land grants.  Between the 1680s and 1803, the French and Spanish governments controlled the land that is now Missouri.  To get a land grant the settler had to clear part of the land, build a house, plant crops and swear loyalty to the King of Spain (in the case of Spanish Land Grants) within a year and a day from the time the grant was received. To complete the title the claim had to be surveyed and the claim approved by the Governor General of the province, who was in New Orleans.

You can locate these records on microfilm or printed form. Here is a good source for locating land records.  Missouri Land Records

JOHN T. McNail, my great great grandfather and progenitor of the McNail family of Missouri, obtained a Spanish Land Grant, #23274, in 1799. He came to South East Missouri with Moses Austin to work in the lead mines.  Moses Austin had obtained written permission from the Spanish Minister to the United States to investigate these lead mine prospects in 1797, and the following year brought 30 families to settle in the area of Mine Au Breton near St. Genevieve. 

 John T.  was born about 1763 in Caswell County, North Carolina. He and wife Mary had four children: Mary born 1809, Joseph born July 1810, Allen born 1813 in and Benjamin S. McNail born April 1815 in Washington County, Mo. and were of the first Anglo settlers west of the Mississippi River. He was in Missouri 5 years before the Louisiana Purchase and 23 years before state hood.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


There are these two bats in a cave and one says to the other "I could do with some blood right now." The other one said, "Me too but it's almost sunrise." The first one said, "Wait here." He flies off and comes back with a mouth full of blood. The second bat says, "Hey, where'd ya get that blood from?" The other replies, "Ya see that tree over there?" "Yea" "Well, I didn't!"

If you were to walk across the floor of that bat cave you would leave fluffy foot prints in the guano. You would also hear a crunchy sound from the cockroaches feeding on the guano; spiders and other predators that fed on the cockroaches, beetles that fed on dead bats, and parasites that lived on the insects and the bats.

Right about now you are asking yourself what this very bad bat joke and the reference to extremely disgusting bat guano have to do with Ozark cave lore. Well, it seems that in the 1800's there was a very important use for this guano. During the American Civil War bat doo doo, better know as Salt Peter, was used to make gunpowder for the troops and today it is used in making great fertilizer!

Besides the practical use of Salt Peter, Ozark caves have for centuries been surrounded by a swirl of legends. These legends recall days when desperadoes - such as Jesse James, used Ozark caves to hide from lawmen and from fellow criminals. They have also been used as Indian burial sites, shelter for hunters from storms and yes, by bats. 

Legends, tall tales and historically accurate accounts have it that Ozark caves still contain hidden caches of treasure left by the Spanish Conquistadors and robbers. Most assuredly they intended to return for their "stash" and it is possible that maps do exist for finding hidden treasure in the Ozark hills.

My Grandfather, Jacob Whitaker Copeland, loved to tell his grandchildren of his own treasure finding adventure as a young man. While on a hunting trip deep in the Ozark woods of Dent County he had to take shelter in a cave from a violent storm. He told us of stumbling on a cache of long narrow silver bars - so many and so heavy he could not imagine getting them home. He had killed a dear that day and had his rifle to carry as well so there was no way he could get home with any of the heavy bars. He decided to head on home with his deer and  come back for the silver.

 Through many years of trying, he was never able to find the cave again. He lived in what is now Mark Twain National Forest near Bunker, Missouri. If anyone knows the area they may understand why it would be so difficult to locate the cave again. I will never know if his story is true or if he was repeating local lore to entertain the young grand kids that hung on his every word. I so enjoyed his stories and that was probably his intent all along.

Many years ago one of my older cousins found an article in a St. Louis News Paper entitled "Lost Spanish Treasure in the Ozarks", written by Oren Arnold. The story tells of a man finding long narrow silver bars in a cave "around 100 miles south of St. Louis." The story is not in print today and it is too long to relate it here. In preparing for this post I reread the article and it is intriguing to think Grandpa's story just might be true. However, I'm not getting my metal detector out just yet but will tuck that memory of my grandfather close to my heart where it has lived for many years. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Harry Truman's mother and members of her family were asked, not so politely, to leave the state of Missouri when it became public knowledge that she was a supporter of William Quantrill and his ilk. In her defense, she  considered William Quantrill  a "patriot of the south", which gave some merit to her ideals as a southern sympathizer.   Several people in Dent County were forced to leave as well.

My Copeland and  allied families were still in Reynolds and Shannon Counties during the Civil War and didn't come to Dent till after 1880. My Great Grandfather, James Francis Copeland, born in 1837, was of an age to have fought in the war however no Civil War records exist for him that I can find. I remember my Grandfather telling me his father would hide under the hay, in the barn, when the troops would come by the farm.To be found at home, not fighting in the war, was a short trip to a hanging tree! The fact that there are no records of my Great Grandfather having served gives credence to the story my Grandfather related to me. If anyone can add more information about these killings/hangings I would love to hear from you.

What I did not know when researching James Francis was that other family members, in Iron County,  were busy doing their part for the Southern cause.  William Hugh Copeland, my Great Grandfather's brother - as well as other family relatives, were involved in what could only be called a bush whacking incident. I only recently came across an article of an event that transpired in Iron County during the war involving William Hugh, William Wilson, Thomas Falkenberry and James Stout, all related to Copelands through marriage.

On the 26th of August 1861 E.G. Clay, John Quigley, Edmond Faulkenberry, William Wilson, William H. Copeland, Tolbert Hunt, Thomas Falkenberry, James A. McClurgh and James Stout, went to the mill of Jacob Woolford situated in Iron County Mo. with the intent to deliver Union sympathizer Jacob Woolford to the Southern army in Arkansas. Upon arrival at Woolford's mill Mr. Woolford walked in to view and was shot and killed in broad daylight by these men.

During the inquest it was stated that several shots rang out. McClurgh and James Stout were tried for the murder, found guilty and condemned to death. At some point while being escorted to or while at Alton Prison in Illinois both Stout and McClurgh escaped. William Hugh Copeland was found not guilty and according to his statement removed to Searcy, Arkansas to join Capt. Richard Berryman's "Rebel" Company in Colonel White's Regiment. He states he served about three months and deserted for home.
Reynolds County Genealogy
Transcription of a file of the Provost Marshall records in the Missouri Archives

In a separate incident Ninnian Bay and two of his sons were killed by Bush Whackers near their farm in Shannon County. Ninnian's son, Green Berry Wade,  married James Francis Copeland's oldest daughter Elvira. James Francis and wife are buried in the Bay Cemetery on the Bay farm.

 I would like to talk about an article that I read not long ago, about Bush Whackers. However, I can't seem to find it so I can't quote it. It basically explained there were two kinds of Bush Whackers during the Civil War. One group were southern sympathizers operating under the guise of aiding  the southern cause - as in the case of my great uncle. The others were considered evil doers, using the war as an excuse to kill, rape and steal. So this makes having Bush Whackers in my family tree a bit easier to swallow.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Kennedy Library - Cecil Stoughton)

After Harry Truman played “The Missouri Waltz" on the piano at the White House, it was adopted as the official state song in 1949. The lyrics were considered racially sensitive and the song had to be amended before this could happen. As Truman’s ancestors were slave owners and southern sympathizers, they were probably turning over in their graves at the change of tone of the song.

 Truman himself recalled of his parents being “a violently unreconstructed southern family” and “Lincoln haters.” When they migrated to Missouri from Kentucky in the 1840’s, they brought their slaves with them and even received slaves as a wedding present. Talk about a unique wedding gift idea for the couple that has everything!
Truman’s mother was an ardent admirer of William Quantrill, the Confederate guerrilla leader who pillaged Lawrence, Kansas in 1863, killing at least one hundred and fifty of its citizens, including women and children. One historian has called him “the bloodiest man in America”. He wouldn’t have been on MY hero list but he was supposed to be a real ladies man so who knows…. More on this in my next post.
Guerrilla fighters like Quantrill were better known as Bush Whackers during the Civil War, where they were extremely violent in Kansas and throughout Missouri. This was particularly prevalent in rural areas like Dent, Shannon, Reynolds and Iron Counties where there were sharp divisions between those favoring the Union and Confederacy. Most Missourians today can find an ancestor in their past that was effected by these bush whackers where grizzly stories still remain in the family lore.  
I realize this blog is very new and at this point has few readers but I would hope that some would write in, sharing their families’ stories of Bush Whackers during the civil war as will I in my next post.