04 February 2011

First Friday Folder: John Richardson & Isabella Shaw

I've been wondering if this monthly post is worth my time since it is often totally NOT what I'm really working on at the time.  I've even been thinking about dropping the project.  But, recently, Randy Seaver posted about checking his files, and I am now reassured and re-motivated!

This month I picked great-great-grandparents John D. RICHARDSON and  Isabella SHAW because I have to start getting ready for my next big genealogy trip: Hubby and I are going all the way to Morgan County, Missouri to the Richardson Family reunion hosted by Cousin Donald in June!  This is the first First Friday Folder I've done from my Hegwer line.

Third-cousin Donald found me online a few years ago through some comments I'd left at ancestry.com.  We've communicated quite a bit including several long phone calls.  Donald has very graciously offered to show us historic Richardson family sights!  He said there won't be too much genealogy at the reunion itself, but I assured him that I will be very happy to finally meet him in person, see the area, and feel the Missouri earth between my toes!

The Couple
I've written about John D. a bit before and there's even a photo of him here.  The eighth child of Amos Richardson and Elizabeth Hicks/Hix, John D. was born in 1829 in Cooper County, Missouri, just before that area became Morgan County.  Isabella, born in 1828 in Ohio (probably Knox County in an area that later became Morrow County), was the fifth child of Robert Shaw and Sarah Miller.

They married in Morgan County in 1849 and had 7 children before Isabella died in 1877.  John remarried 1880 to Mary Jane Krues.  John D. died in 1908, just shy of 80, and having outlived both wives and two of his children.

The Folder
This folder is about 1/2 inch thick, mostly because of all the census printout for all the kids.  Its organization is in pretty good shape: just 2 pages to reposition.  I did a little census work on son John Franklin Richardson, and then printed a new family group sheet.  I have full, well sourced data on all the kids except for daughter Anna Bell Richardson who married Wallace Mattox/Maddox in 1885.  I don't know what happened to either of them, but she apparently died before 1908 without heirs.

I reviewed my copy (courtesy of Cousin Donald) of John D's 1908 obituary.  While it has many errors in info of his early life, it does give details of his last few years which would have been more likely to be accurate anyway.  I reviewed a photocopy of a 1908 probate document [1], which names youngest son Amos as administrator and names the heirs: the five surviving children and two sons of deceased son James.

Something New to Try
Last weekend, I attended a full day seminar at the local genealogy association.  Lisa Louise Cooke was a wonderful presenter and covered all sorts of tips for Google stuff in genealogy.  I used her directions for using Google Earth with the Bureau of Land Management's General Federal Land Records website and EarthPoint  to get a view of where one of John D.'s original land patents would appear.
The orange line towards the top of this snip is the north side of 43N Township in Morgan County, Missouri.  The purple square is Sec 5.  Both of those came up on Google Earth after following Lisa's directions.  I added the yellow rectangle (again, following her directions) to show John's W1/2NW1/4, about 40 acres, issued in 1853.  I can't wait to try this on other ancestral patents!!

The Plan
I don't think that I need a plan per se for this couple right now.  Info and sources are pretty solid.  I think this review helped with a little tidying up and as a chance to try a new skill with Google Earth.  I think I achieved my main goal of reviewing all info before moving to John D.'s parents next month.

  • It's mandatory to review all the data I have on one generation before I tackle earlier generations.  I want all my Richardson data to be as clear as possible in my head for the trip in June!
  • Local societies have lots to offer and this seminar was especially useful.  And, as soon as Ms. Cooke started the Google Earth portion of her presentation, I knew I could use that info right away for illustrating John D.'s land patents here. 
  • I'm so excited about this trip! I just hope I have time to be fully prepared....
[1] Morgan County, Missouri, Probate Court.  Will Record, Vol. 3, 1892-1919.  FHL # 983,550; p. 96.

Full Disclosure
I am not employed by nor do I receive any special consideration from any of the entities named above.  Lisa Louise Cooke follows this blog, we share middle names, I subscribe to her podcast, and I bought her new book package with the very nice seminar discount available to everyone who was there.


  1. Thanks for linking to my website. Great to see how you put what we covered in class to good use. Your readers can find more Google Earth for Genealogy resources at www.google4genealogy.com Have a wonderful trip!

  2. Did you know that Grandma Lucy's maiden name is Richardson? I wonder if there is any relation. And maybe there isn't at all... Your dedication to geneology work is inspiring. The other day Grandpa John mentioned that now is the time for his children and grandchildren to be interested in family history while he and Grandma are still alive and can share all of the information that they have found. The idea is sort of overwhelming but I think if I dedicate some time each week I could tackle it bit by bit...we'll see. This comment was long enough to be an email! Love you and miss you like CRAZY!