Day 2 of my Who Do You Think You Are trip

The start of Day Two started differently than the first day. One of the things I vowed to do on this trip was to have some fun. It’s not every day I am in Missouri so I wanted to play tourist and do touristy things, see the sights and have delicious food. In researching some of the tourist spots, I found that I wanted to see the Gateway Arch. I not only wanted to see it but I wanted to go up to the top and see St. Louis from that vantage point. In researching visiting the Arch, I found that due to the construction and the sprucing up of the Gateway Arch for their 50th Anniversary, each person who goes to the top must have a timed ticket. I also found through reviews from others who have visited already, that going in the morning was better than later in a possibly hot day. So, I purchased my ticket for 9:10am on Tuesday, May 12th. When I drove, I didn’t realize that traffic would be so bad, it made me late to my assigned time, but they let me up. It was so AWESOME!

Here are the pictures I took from my visit to the Gateway Arch:

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I also visited the Old Courthouse. I love old buildings and this one didn’t disappoint. I love the paintings and decorations on the domed ceiling. Here are the pictures:


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By this time, I had bags of souviners for my family back home and was getting hungry. I headed to a sushi place called the Drunken Fish. Their sushi was really good and the service was top notch. My waiter, David, was the best too! The Drunken Fish was in the entertainment center that was next door to the Busch Stadium, home of the Cardinals baseball team. Now, I am a born and bred Dodger fan, but their stadium was a really nice one. I loved the look of the black wrought iron and red brick. I really tied in with the teams colors and was just pretty to look at! Here are the pictures I took of Busch Stadium.

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After all of this walking, I decided to head to my very last cemetery that I had planned to visit.  Then it happened.  On the way to the parking structure where I had my rental car parked, I tripped on some uneven sidewalk and sprained my ankle.  In the process I also broke the handle off a coffee mug that I purchased, but we were able to repair it.  Now, I have sprained both of my ankles several times in my lifetime but this time was the worse I have ever sprained it and it was the most painful.


At Urgent Care, waiting for the Dr. to come in and see me and my ankle.



In the hotel after I was done at Urgent Care.


Now, do you think that this stopped me from going to the last cemetery of this trip? Heck No, I am a hard-core genealogist to the bone! I did go to the last cemetery on my list, Valhalla Cemetery.  Here I found my husband’s paternal grandfather and his paternal great Aunt who past away at 13. When I went to the office, the kind lady behind the desk was very helpful in helping me locate the burial plots. She did tell me that the records show that both the grandfather and great Aunt had no markers, but she told me the last name of the person they were buried next to. She was so detailed in her instructions that I found them in no time. I did search the other tombstones surrounding my husband’s grandfather and great Aunt and I found a few more family members. I came to Missouri to find a list of family member’s burial plots, couldn’t find one, but found three new ones! It was a great trip. Here are the pictures from Vahalla Cemetery:


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All in all, it was a fun trip. I found most of what I was looking for and although I sprained my ankle; I had a great time in Missouri!

Up next, an recap on the NGS Convention!


Day One/Part Two of my Who Do You Think You Are Trip.

It took me a while to find my husband’s 2nd great grandfather and his 3rd great aunt.  In the front, I can see a few of the newer upright markers so I decided to start all the way in the back and work my way forward.  It turns out to be fruitful on the third row.  I first found his 2nd great aunt, Frances N. (Stanard) Raymo then I see it, I see his 2nd great grandfather’s tombstone, but it looks awfully short.  I took a closer look and realized that it was buried.  All I could see was a pair of hands.  I pulled the ground away a little to verify that it was 2nd great grandfather and I see that the name was H.T. Stanard, yup, I found him!!!  Here are some pictures from that cemetery find.


The entrance to Pollock Cemetery – visited on May 11, 2015.


Frances N. (Stanard) Raymo and Henry T. Stanard.



After this cemetery, I headed on down to Brookfield, MO to visit Rose Hill Cemetery.  At this cemetery my husband has several family members.  He has his Great-grandfather and Great-grandmother, James Hutton and Louisa Jane (Salsberry) Stanard.



James H. Stanard


Louisa Jane (Salsberry) Stanard


The Stanard plot.


The Stanard plot is marked.

My husband’s first cousin once removed, James Francis and Virgina Mae (Decker) Stanard.

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My husband’s Grand Uncle Elbert Mortimer and his 2nd wife Floy Ann (Stone) Stanard.




There was another Grand Uncle by the name of Logan Dewitt Stanard, and although the Sexton of the cemetery told me where his plot was located, I couldn’t find it.  I’m wondering if there was no marker for his plot?  Hmmmm, maybe.  This road trip took longer than I expected, a whole 11 hours, but it was so well worth it!!

Stay tuned for Day two of my adventures in genealogy coming up.


Day One/Part One of my Who Do You Think You Are Trip.

Well the first day was a long day but an enjoyable one.  Before I left home, my step-mom said for me to enjoy my adventure and boy did I!  

What I had planned was ambition for me, not because I thought I couldn’t do it but because I actually  did it alone.  I so don’t like to do new adventures alone.  It’s more fun when you have someone there who understands the joy you feel in a new discovery.  But alas, I was alone.  I drove for over 11 hours round trip for this adventure. When I first started my road trip, I rationalized that it was equivalent to San Diego and back, in my home state of California.  Well it was closer to driving round trip to San Francisco!  

The silver lining is,  I saw my husbands 3rd great grandfathers gravesite and his marker.  I also saw his daughters marker right next to him.  Yes, I was emotional and cried.  I also introduced myself to the both of them.  I know some people might think that is weird, but it is what I do.   It was a beautifully kept cemetery.  I am not sure who owns it yet, but I want to find out and thank them for the work.  When I visited the graves, it was windy and quite serene.  I felt very close to God at that moment, which got me crying even more.  Yes, I am an emotional person!  I felt so at peace there.  Getting there was a 4 hour trip through some of the most beautiful countryside I have ever seen.  Lush, full, emerald green trees swaying side to side in the wind.  It was as if they were putting on a show for me!  I drove through the countryside a very happy person.  When I could, I tried to take a snapshot of two, the downfall of driving by yourself is you can’t take much pictures while driving.  There was farmland of some very hard-working families too.   I was grateful that they were doing their job for the rest of the world.  I for one, was very grateful.  

I arrived in the town of Pollock, Missouri around 2pm.  I knew, when I did my research on where the cemetery was located, that it was a small town.  I also read that it has shrunken over the years but with the school being closed down and the students being sent to the nearest schools to finish their education, it was a shock to say the least, of what I saw as I arrived in town.  The homes were in decent shape, some had more wear and tear than others and they looked like they were being kept up, but the store, coffeeshop and Post Office were closed, boarded up or abandond.  It sadden my heart .

Tune in to see part two of this story!!!

I’m so ready for #NGS2015GEN – Part 2

I am so ReadyPic

Welcome to My Genealogy Obsession blog.  This is part 2 of a 2-part series.  If you want to read part 1, you can find it here.

I also included the addresses that I was able to obtain from some of the census records, but I ended up handwriting that list.  Here is my list of residential addresses.

MOResidentialAddressesOn the left, I have the source of the address and on the right of the addresses are the names of the couple that lived at that address.  After making this list, I then Google mapped the addresses.  The Highlighted ones are the addresses that are still homes.  The  ones not highlighted are homes that have been demolished and replaced with parking lots, medical buildings or freeway overpasses.  I was a bit dissapointed when I found out that two of my addresses were demolished for a freeway overpass.  These two addresses were for my husband’s grandmother.  One house was the house she lived in when she was 1 year old and the second house was the last house I could find her living in before she showed up in California.  I was hoping to be able to visit these houses, take pictures, talk to the owners/occupants and possibly take pictures of the inside in hopes of bringing all of these photos home to my husband.  However, since I am not able to do that, my other idea was to speak to the St. Louis Genealogical societies that will be in attendance at the conference and see if there is any history on the area or the houses.  I will be crossing my fingers.

Now all I need for this adventure is a travel companion.  I have read several articles about planning genealogy research trips and they mostly say that I shouldn’t be alone.  That should be the last thing I need to do with this adventure.


I’m so ready for #NGS2015GEN – Part 1

I am so ReadyPicI am so ready for the National Genealogical Society’s (NGS) annual conference (#NGS2015GEN).  It is held this year in St. Charles, Missouri and starts in 3 1/2 weeks.  I wish I could attend this conference every year, but that is just not financially feasible for our family.  So, I decided that unless this conference was close to me (within 1 state away, i.e. Las Vegas, NV 2013), then I won’t go unless its in a state where either my husband or I have ancestors in.  This conference, I will be concentrating on my husband’s family who are from Missouri.

I plan on getting there three days before the conference starts.  Well I will have Sunday the 10th for the flight.  This is a non-stop flight but I won’t get in until after 4pm so my Sunday will be spent just getting use to the hotel and nearby food places as I scope out my dinner options.  Monday, however, will be an exciting adventure.  I am renting a car for Monday and Tuesday (Wednesday is the start of the conference) and on Monday I will visit two cemeteries.  These two cemeteries are at the furthest 3 1/2 hours away so it will be mostly an all day adventure.

To get ready for my NGS conference trip, I went through my database and searched for anyone who was born, lived in, or died/buried in Missouri.  Then I whittled the list down to those that I have or could find documents that would show the addresses that they were living at the time.  I first started with the death certificates that I had and found after some research.  The death certificates listed the place of residence at the time of the death and most of them also listed the place of burial.  I made a list of these addresses on this form.


On the left is the list of cemeteries where some of my husband’s ancestors were buried.  There are three cemeteries, Rose Hill Cemetery in Brookfield, MO, Pollock Cemetery in Pollock, MO, and Valhalla Cemetary in St. Louis, MO.  Pollock Cemetery is the farthest at 3 1/2 hours away.  It will be the first one I go to but it has no physical address.  The only location information I could find is the GPS coordinates and that it is .5 miles south of Pollock, MO.  This is in a rural area and the cemetery doesn’t have an office.  I am thinking as I drive into town, stop at a gas station and get directions.  Hopefully I will meet someone with some interesting information about the family or cemetery.  After Pollock Cemetary, I plan on visiting Rose Hill Cemetery in Brookfield, MO which is only about 1 hour away from St. Charles, MO.  This cemetery will be much easier to find and navigate.  It’s in town and has an office at the City Hall building.  Depending on how I am feeling after visiting these two cemeteries, I might save the last cemetery for Tuesday morning.  Either way, the last cemetery I will visit will be Valhalla Cemetery.  This is also in a major town, St. Louis, so it would be very easy to find and navigate.  I am planning after my visit to Valhalla Cemetery, to visit some of the touristy places in St. Louis, MO.  I am really excited to be able to visit the Arch!

Do you have any ideas for spots to eat or things to see on the way?  If so, please comment and let me know.  Now if you want to read part 2, you can read it here.