Monday, February 25, 2008

Rootbound in the Hills #3:
6 Oct 1987

by Rocky Macy

What a kick! Somebody out there is listening!

Mr. and Mrs. Russell CLAY of Kansas City, Missouri, stopped by the office of this newspaper last Friday to make an inquiry about the surname CLAY which was listed in the 1890 Veterans Census that I mentioned in last week's column. Russell's grandfather was Nicholas CLAY. They knew that he was a Union soldier who had served in Ohio. Russell and his wife related that Nicholas had moved to Kansas after the Civil War, and that while in Kansas he had lost his wife and two young children to smallpox. Nicholas had then apparently remarried and lived in southwest Missouri for a time. He died in 1898 and is thought to be buried in Cherryvale, Kansas. Their question was, of course, could the CLAY mentioned in the 1890 Veterans Census be their CLAY.

Well, Gang, score one for Rootbound. The CLAY listed as a veteran in Prairie Township (Southwest City area) is indeed a Nicholas Clay. Unfortunately, the information given is scant. The entry states only "36 OH". That is a reference to his military unit. Russell CLAY can now send for military records, and they can begin searching land records in McDonald County with some certainty that their ancestor was in the Southwest City vicinity circa 1890. If anyone has more information on Nicholas CLAY, please send it to me at this newspaper and I will relay it on to Russell and his wife.

ROOTBOUND SHORTCUT:Many clues to family history can be found in cemeteries. Tombstones often contain dates of birth and death, the name of the spouse, and occasionally even the military unit with which the deceased served. Tombstone information provides the clues necessary for locating vital records. More on that later.

A "Family Tree Climbing Can Be Fun" genealogy workshop conducted by EVERTON Publishers will be held at the Billingsly Student Center at Missouri Southern State College on Tuesday, October 27, 1987. The workshop, one of a series done nationally by Evertons each year, will last from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. the cost prior to October 15 is $22, or $23 at the door. The admission includes lunch, a discount on materials, access to the Everton computer files, and a one-year subscription to "The Genealogical Helper" - the finest (I think) publication of its kind in existence. Reservations may be made by sending a check to the Joplin Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 152, Joplin, MO 64802. (Tell them that you read about it in Rootbound!) See you there.

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