by Rocky Macy
Every ten years the United States government canvasses the population and and records much information that is invaluable to family researchers. These canvasses, or censuses as they are commonly known, are released for public scrutiny seventy-five years after they have been completed. To date, the census records for 1790-1910 have been opened to the public. Copies of the censuses for the various counties are available at or through your local library.
One regular census is not available. Most of the 1890 census was destroyed by a fire. In lieu of that important record, many genealogists us the 1890 Special Federal Census of Union Veterans and Widows of the Veterans of the Civil War. That document also mentions some Confederate soldiers. In reviewing my copy, I thought that it might be of interest to readers of this newspaper to list some of the surnames (family names) that are recorded. The following are the last names of individuals who are listed as living in Prairie Township (Southwest City, MO, and vicinity) in 1890:
McLOVE, McCURRY, SMITH, GRAFTON, ROSEBERG, SEBASTIAN, JOHNEY, BOAN, HEMBREE, CLAY, NICHOLS, BLEDSOE, SEABORN, DRY, THOMAS, EDWARDS, RICHARDSON, TABLER, OLDER, MORTON, BREECH, CASTLE, HOWE, HUNT, HOLLIWAY, NELSON, DODD, FARRIN, TURNER, MOUNT, JENKS, LAMAR, BRYAND, SHELL, STROUD, GRATTIS, TURNER, OBRYANT, DAY, AMOS, FRANCIS, RHODES, MOROW, FOLEY, McGEHEE, PRYOR, CLARK, STEPHENS, and SIKES.
The following surnames were recorded for Saratoga Township, with several having addresses in Southwest City and Noel, MO:
MOSS, COOKERLY, THOMAS, NEWMAN, LORE, STEEL, GIST, CATES, LEGG, WILLHELMS, MEDLIN, YOUNG, PALMER, BOLIN, EDISON, SUTTER, SUTER, BRYSON, RAY, KENNEY, CARPENTER, SMITH, COOK, MOORE, TATMAN, BROWN, WORDEN, WAYT, PEACOCK, WALDREN, ROOKSTOOL, WILLSON, WILLSHELMS, DENNIS, SHOCKLEY, KIRK, NEWKIRK, WEBSTER, and HAZELBAKE.
If you would like to know the complete information on any of these names, please drop me a card at this newspaper.
ROOTBOUND SHORTCUT: A smart way to begin family tree research is to interview older family members. These people are often a wealth of information. Prepare a list of good questions before the interview, and, if possible, use a tape recorder so small details won't become lost. You'll be glad later that you took the time to ask questions and listen - and so will your descendants.