Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Still Here

I am still here - busy as can be. Donna Cooper

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Where I Work

Please check out my Drake Cooper coffee cup that my son sent me.  
And yes, I follow their blog.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Genealogy, Technology and Internet Research

Family tree climbers have been around for ages so what can be new about finding something old? The ability to search quickly and to add collectively to a family group certainly comes from new technology advantages such as the Internet and new services so adding something new to something old makes sense. Software made to sort files quickly saves a lot of time and helps prevent mistakes, because often names and dates are edited electronically as they are added to these programs. New ways of doing research is based on learning to use the Internet and new software programs.

Problems do come from using the Internet so it isn't as easy as it might seem to the beginner. Certainly genealogical research is a complex process and should be based on historical records and sometimes genetic analysis to demonstrate kinship, which isn’t always understood as researchers copy and paste in names and files from the Internet.

When seeking reliable conclusions based on research, ideally original records are best. Un-sourced files don’t add creditability to family trees. Primary or firsthand information and evidence that can be drawn, directly or indirectly, from that information is the glue that holds the tree together and that type of information might not always be found on the net.

If in many instances where genealogists assemble indirect or circumstantial evidence to build a case for identity and kinship the documentation doesn’t hold up or met standards.  All evidence and conclusions, together with the documentation that supports them should be assembled to create a cohesive history that will stand on its own and without question.

In the days before Internet research became so handy to use historical, social, and family context was essential to build the final product. It takes effective achieving, correct identification of individuals and relationships to do this - and maybe some experience.  Source citations are certainly most important when drawing the final conclusion. That information is not found in already assembled trees that are not sourced.

In the days before Internet genealogy, researchers often began their studies by collecting family documents and stories, but did not base the final product on hearsay that came with the file as in "a hand me down type of file" - like a GedCom. It is widely known and accepted as fact that a GedCom file produced by another person is not accepted as research that can always stand on its own.

Stories and family documents create the foundation from which to build on and help to conclude the facts that make the final product. A documentary research study takes time and is not done overnight. A compressive study involves examining and evaluating historical records for evidence of ancestors and other relatives, their kinship ties, and the events that occurred in their lives. Understanding all of these things gives one the advantage in the building of a documented tree.

As a rule, genealogists begin with the present and work backward in time, but an experienced genealogist might work from both ends and using early found clues to tie the work together with documents that have been collected

In the old days facts from material collected, family group sheets and pedigree charts were all done by hand. Now they are used but with software that charts and stores data. Formerly all work was handwritten; but now is generated by genealogical software made easy to use by almost every type of researcher. These advantages are helpful and certainly add accuracy to family trees.

The downfall of having so many ways of storing and researching is the use of the un-sourced GedCom. This type of research spread like wild fire once the beginner learned how to do it. It should be used cautiously by experienced genealogist and probably not at all by beginners.

Researchers mixing and matching similar names with similar dates can be seen on almost every website that has assembled trees. Often a common name is much more difficult to research and so without a very careful study mistakes are often made in the final product.

Internet genealogy is wonderful and so these are the best days to do family research. But the question still lingers. How do we prevent the hazard of inaccuracy from creeping into our own work?  It is simple - first ask for sources – second never paste in someone else’s work without first checking out all the sources.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Gone, But Not Forgotten

The photographing of cemetery stones is an ongoing project in Barry County, MO, and is something that we began four and a half years ago on the Barry County, MO, GenWeb site. It has taken a lot of hands on keyboards and on camera buttons to move this project where it is today. 

On the web site we have 165 cemeteries listed in Barry County and a total of 173 on the site. Some of the 175 include cemeteries near the border. We have now completed most of the county cemeteries and hope to finish the project later this year. That is something no other Missouri county has done.  

As we stand in the cemetery reading these old weather-beaten stones we often see stones that are almost gone - and other problems. “Gone but Not Forgotten” is a line we often read.  Sometimes we see a stone that is on the ground and off its base. Maybe this statement was true for one generation - and this person was not forgotten. 

Whose responsibility is it to remember now? Is it not everyone’s responsibility to help preserve our cemeteries? Aren't we each suppose to help preserve old stones and cemeteries?  

As we tread through these worn down and beaten up old burial grounds we also see stones that are crumbling and literately falling apart in front of our eyes. This is not just a problem in Barry County but is happening all over the United States. Present day families have lost contact with relatives that were buried in the home base areas of their ancestors.  Also, it is possible that the younger generation of people, in most communities, probably are not aware that they have relatives who are buried locality with stones that are now off the base setting and broken in two or three pieces - and if they are aware they may not have the means or the initiative to do anything about it.  

As a group of caring individuals it is impossible to go out to our local cemeteries and repair and replace thousands of stones so the present solution seems to take a picture of what is left so that we can save the history that was reported there in writing. There will be a day that some of our photos will be the only record of some of the deaths that we have listed.

In Barry County one problem is that there are a few cemeteries that there is so much brush and grass growing in then that a person can't even walk through them must less take a photo of the stones there. Many of these are on private owned land where cows walk over the stones and in some cases people care very little about who is buried there. So, the truth is that, in many of cases - in these rural burial places very little attention is paid to the upkeep and care of these burial grounds and stones. 

It appears that in the public cemeteries the problem is similar as it is on private owned land. In some of the older ones very little attention is being paid to the upkeep – and in some cases mowing is not done very often. Since this problem circles around money what is the solution here? If it should become a county problem then cemetery care could be listed as a tax item. Would people really object to paying a few cents more a year for cemetery upkeep? 

Perhaps our communities should start looking at cemetery upkeep in a different way than they presently are and find a solution to this problem. It may take some aggressive people who are really interested in this subject before any changes are made.

It is pretty clear that the mowing of the yard is not all the upkeep that we should be looking at and that the maintaining of the cemetery should be a bigger concern than it is. It is now time to open our eyes to these problems.

Cemetery chairmen probably could set up a maintainable fund - one for repair and replacement. In many cases if a fund were available like that then people would probably make donations to it.

It is likely that if a letter went out to people in the community asking for small donations it might surprise everyone what would happen and just how many people would jump in and help because I don’t think any of us really want to see our historical stones disappear.

There are a lot of "someones" out there who have the power to change this situation. Are you one of them?

Link to the Barry County, MO, web site -


Donna Cooper, Coordinator, Barry County, MO

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Barry Co., MO Genealogy

Old newspapers clippings add a lot to genealogy.

AVAILABLE BARRY COUNTY PAPERS: Most of the early Barry County papers were lost in the Cassville fire of 1893 so that is why we don't have many for the time period prior to that. Usually if the Cassville Democrat, Cassville Republican and the Monett Times were all available on film, then only one paper was chosen to transcribe.

The Valley Press was published at Corsicana from 1872 until the summer of 1876, when it was moved to Cassville where the name was changed to the Cassville Republican. As far as I know none of those papers exist or are on microfilm.
COPYRIGHT: These Barry County newspapers are under copyright by the State Historical Society of MO, Columbia, MO, and were transcribed and published with their permission. The presented transcription is also under copyright by the Haddock Family web page and by MoBarry USGenWeb Site.

Old papers are fun to read and you can view 30 years of Barry County, MO newspaper extracts at this link 


Here is a sample of one very interesting one.

Cassville Republican, Barry Co., MO, Thursday, Jan 11, 1894
 An Aged Couple

Mr. Cull Antle of Exeter has handed us the following memorandum of his parents, probably the oldest couple in the county. Jacob Antle was born in Adair Co., KY, March 5, 1813. In 1853 he married Mrs. Antle who was born in Russell Co., KY, April 12, 1816. Mr. Antle came to Barry from Buchanan Co., MO, in 1854. Of their twelve children, all are living but one; grand children, fifty living and eleven dead; great grandchildren, ten living and two dead.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Barry County, MO Web Site - August 5, 2010

A lot of work is being done on the Barry County web site right now. Many pages are being updated to a newer form of code and some are being given a new look. There are over 12,000 web pages on the site. That is a lot of genealogy because each web page is equal to around 20 hard copy pages.

There is so much there for genealogist so the search engine on the front page should be used to ensure that nothing is missed.

Sometimes people will write and ask if anything on their families is on the site. What a funny way to do genealogy - certainly not my cup of tea, because I like to do research.


Donna Cooper, Coordinator's Message

Sunday, June 13, 2010

In 1952 Nellie Alice Mills published "Historical Spots in Old Barry County", hardback, 154 pages published by the Free Will Baptist Gem, Monett, MO, and it was to tell us about the old spots of Barry that are to be remembered. Unfortunately, the book covered a lot of the same things that “Goodspeed's History” had already covered in 1889, except Nellie had some photos and of course Goodspeed didn't.

Not to take anything away from Nellie's work, because it is a good little book, but it really didn't offer much about Barry County as a whole - and mostly covered the Monett area even dipping into Lawrence County some.

She talked about the Plymouth Junction community and in that section she mentioned Walnut Grove, which is the New Site community. It is several miles from where the Plymouth Junction community was located.

There is so much that could have been said about Plymouth Junction that wasn’t but perhaps space was a problem since the book is only 154 pages.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Some Barry County, MO, Books

Butterfield Community, Then and Now, 2000, by Ted Roller et. al. - Barry County Genealogical & Historical Society, PO Box 291, Cassville, MO

The First Century of Seligman, MO - 1881 - 1981, by Fanschon Mitchell, Zelda Relethford, and Gwen Hilburn [Can call Seligman Bank and find out more about this one]

The First 100 years in Exeter, by the Exeter Centennial Committee Members [out of print]

Exeter, Centennial Celebration in Picture - 1980, by the Exeter Centennial Committee Members [out of print]

Our Heritage in Story and Picture, Purdy, MO - 1881 -1981, by the Historical Book Committee [out of print]

Roaring River Realities, pub. 1962, by Wanda Eva Brewer [out of print]

History of Fairview School 75, Barry County, Missouri 1897 to 1963, by Mr. and Mrs. Loren Roden

Goodspeed's History of Southwest Missouri, Pub 1888 - included Newton, Lawrence, McDonald and Barry Counties [out of print]

Goodspeed's Reprint of Barry County, pub. 1995, reprinted by Litho Printers, Cassville, MO - by Barry County Genealogical & Historical Society, PO Box 291, Cassville, MO

Hanged by the Neck Until Dead, pub. 1985, by Emory Melton

Shell Knob Sesqui-Centennial 1985, by Mildred Roden

My Growing Up Days, pub. 1980, by Winford Davis [out of print]

Roaring River Heritage, pub. 1978, by Irene Horner [out of print]

The First 150 Years in Cassville, Missouri, pub. 1995, by Senator Emory Melton

Barry County Pioneers, by Donna Haddock Cooper - [out of print]

Traces of Silver, pub. 1982 by Artie Ayers - Has some information about Stone and some Barry County families [Schell families]

Funeral Home Records, pub. 1994, by T & I Enterprises -1920-1974

Cemetery Records, Volume I - IV , by Joan Kunkel

Historical Spots in Old Barry County, by Nellie Alice Mills, pub. 1952 [out of print]

Roden and Related Families of Fly, Swiger, Pipkin, Sapp, Sooter, Reeves, Johnson, Solomon , by John W. and Melissa J. Roden, pub 1990 by John and Melissa J. Roden

Roden and Related Lines of Fly, Swiger, Pipkin, Sapp, Sooter, Reeves, Johnson, Solomon, by Roden, Loren, Mrs., 1914 - By: Daughters of the American Revolution; Missouri Society. Publication, Pub. 1990

Haddock Heritage, [Edition 1, Edition 2, Edition 3, Edition 6], by Donna Haddock Cooper

Mills Heritage, [Edition 1, Edition 2], by Donna Haddock Cooper

Barry County Pioneers and Beyond, pub. 2002, by Barry County Genealogical & Historical Society, PO Box 291, Cassville, MO

Our Easleys, by Darla (Ball) Easley and Faye (Maloney) Ball, pub. 1972 [out of print]

Legends of the Haddock Family, by Hugh Ransom and Orpha (Vaughan) Haddock, pub 1976

Callaway Funeral Home Records, by Lawrence Co., MO Genealogical Society [Includes a lot of Barry County people]

Descendents of John Champ Carlin, by Frankie Meyer

History of Barry County, Missouri, Volume 1 - Back To Barry - ISBN - 0-88107-131-5 - Copyright - Curtis Media Corporation, 1989

Monett, The Centennial Salute 1887-1987, Litho Printers, Cassville, MO

Wheaton Echoes, Wheaton Centennial, compiled by Ralph and Betty Lamberson, Litho Printers, Cassville, MO

Family Maps, Barry Co., MO, by Gregory A. Boyd, J. D., by Front Page Books, Oak Forest, IL

Lifetime of Memories - Voices of Barry County, Vol. 1 - 12, Barry County Museum, 2007 - 2010 - If interested in these you might check and see if they have more now.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Barry Co., MO Genealogy

Barry County MOGenWeb is currently adding cemetery photos for Mano Cemetery.

These photos are on the Barry County web site along with many others for other cemeteries.



Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Books - Barry Co., MO

Some books to read about Barry County are "Lifetimes of Memories" Voices of Barry County that the Barry County Museum publishes.

Life in the days of this older generation of people tells us a lot about our own ancestors.