Tuesday, January 26, 2010

September Outing in Springfield

Lord willing, I am headed to Missouri this weekend.  My sister and I are combining needs and taking a work/fun trip with my mom.  I need to take an exam on Friday in a town some distance from me, and it just happens to be on the way to the place my sister has an Irish dance competition the next day.  We plan on combining as much fun into our travels as possible. Since fun for me means genealogy, I plan on doing as much family history research as our time restraints will allow.

I took a similar trip with my mother in September.  It was an exciting and very full trip, but I never posted about it.  I took my Technical Writing Dantes on that trip, and my mom and I drove on to Springfield, Missouri, to attend the Osage Genealogical Society's annual genealogy conference.  My family has some history in Springfield -- back in the mid 1800's -- so I was able to fit in some of my own research.

Remember the three Gray boys I discovered during my July trip?  I was able to visit the cemetery where they were buried -- with their parents, aunts, and uncles -- and found a slew of relatives I didn't expect -- including my great, great, great, great grandparents John and Elizabeth McCluer.  Pictures below. 

Gray Uncles: Thaddius, Loneas, and Willie

The gravestone of my ancestors Dr. William Gale Gray and his wife Caroline McCluer -- the boys' parents.  Also father and mother to Claude (my great, great grandfather), Zeke, and Ethel.

Field research in the shadow of John and Elizabeth McCluer's tombstone (Caroline's parents)

Close-ups of their inscriptions

WARNING: Do not use sidewalk chalk on tombstones.  Use white, soft chalk, and do not do anything that is irreversible or will damage the stones.  Always wash off any chalk you apply before leaving the cemetery.

These are just a few of the tombstone pictures my mom and I took.  There were many more McCluer and Gray aunts, uncles, and cousins buried in the Hazelwood Cemetery of Springfield, Missouri.

We attended the genealogy conference that evening and most of the next day -- so informative.  I feel like I learned so much about my hobby and job of genealogy.  There were a few surprises there too.  I expected to be the only person from my town at the conference -- after all, I was in a different state -- but I was wrong.  Two members of my genealogy society were seated in the row directly in front of me during the opening session.  Imagine my surprise on discovering two familiar faces in a roomful of strangers! It was very welcome to have some buddies during the many sessions, as my mother did not attend the conference itself.

My mom and I stopped by the Springfield/Greene County Library before heading home on Saturday.  Among other things, I found William and Caroline Gray's marriage record on microfilm.

I was exhausted by the time we pulled out of Springfield and started back on the road home.  I put everything I had into two days of nonstop action: an exam, a cemetery visit, two days of intense genealogy teaching, two library visits -- including eye straining microfilm viewing.  Home had never looked so good by the time Mom and I settled into the car for the drive back.

And now -- if the weather stays okay and the roads are clear -- I plan to take another trip.  We shall see.  It is in the Lord's hands.


Zachary Pruett said...

I hope the weathermen are wrong and we don't get a bad enough snow to prevent you from going. I know how much you were looking forward to this! :)

I'll miss you, but have a good trip and good luck on the test.

Goodnight sweetheart,

Faithful lofgren said...

have a great time! I love the picture of you doing field research. :D

Under Southern Skies said...

I hope you have a wonderful trip, Elizabeth! :)

Elizabeth Ellen Moore said...

Thank you for the well-wishing everyone! I had a different weekend than expected, but it was a good one!

A Heart of Praise said...

Glad to hear you had a good time:).