When I was in college, I had the opportunity to compete in DECA on a national level. May 1992
took a group of students down to Ricks College for a fun-filled week. I remember meeting other college students from all over the Anaheim, California and telling them I was from United States . It was quite comical and predictable. They would say, “Where, Idaho ?” and then I would say, “No, Iowa !” Seriously, do people know where Idaho is? Why are there two states that sound so much like each other, Idaho and Idaho ? Iowa
Well, I never knew then that someday I would be fascinated by a place in
, but for the last two years, I have been. It is a place called Iowa . McPaul is located in McPaul, Iowa county near the Fremont Missouri River and the state of . If you try to look it up on the internet, it is nonexistent. The only town that remains is Thurman and from what I’ve been told, McPaul floods quite often. I feel like this was a special place for my Great Great Grandma Estella Moyer. The first time I heard about McPaul was when I read Estella’s obituary. It named McPaul as her birth place. Nebraska
The next time I saw mention of the town was on Estella’s sister’s death certificate. Her name is Rebecca Moyer Donnally and she died
January 31, 1919 in . It also states that she was buried in Council Bluffs, Iowa . I have been on the hunt for the name of Estella’s and Rebecca’s mother for quite some time now. On Rebecca’s death certificate her mother is listed as Mary McGuym as mentioned in my first post. McPaul, Iowa
Well, just this week, I discovered a website that listed marriages that took place in
county and there was listed a J H Myers marrying a Nancy McQuinn on Fremont March 20, 1880. I thought this might be who I was looking for.
The last name McGuym hasn’t checked out since I found Rebecca’s death certificate. There doesn’t seem to be anybody with that last name. I looked at the original and found that it had been typed. That gives me two theories: 1)The person writing the name may not have heard correctly or was a rotten spellar or 2)The person transcribing and typing from the original county document may have thought a Q looked like a G. That’s really not too hard to do. I’m sharing because I deal with this a lot in doing my research especially with this family line!! It happens all the time.
I proceeded cautiously but I felt really good about it. I contacted the person in charge of the website and got a reply in the same day! This is a really good sign because that means that the person is not dead and generally loves genealogy! This woman is amazingly smart, resourceful and I just feel lucky to have her helping me out and living right there in
She got back to me and told me that she knew where
was buried and the death date! This would be essential in knowing if this was the right couple because John Harve is widowed by 1900 and his girls were born in 1883 and 1885. Her death date would have to be after that. This is what the inscription on her tombstone says: Nancy
Nancy A. Myers, wife of J.H. Myers, died
February 25, 1888, age 30 years, 4 months, 17 days. This grave is located in the Thurman cemetery.
Well, that fit into the timeline. It would be under statement to say that I was thrilled. Elated and floating while I made dinner, thinking that the pieces were finally coming together!! Why does genealogy do this to me? I just don’t know but it is such a rush that once you discover a secret that seems hidden, you just want to do it again and again, over and over. I did have a wee thought that it would be really disappointing to find out that it wasn’t the right person but I pushed that doubt aside.
No wonder there are sweet ties to this place. Not only is my Great Great Grandmother born there but her mother and her sister died and are buried there. John Harve returns to
after his children get married in Iowa and one of his daughters, Rebecca and her husband William Moses Donnally also go back to the area. This is when Rebecca dies from influenza after giving birth three months prior to a daughter, Della. Idaho
Well, the breakthrough that confirms that I actually have the right people is when my sweet new friend from Iowa (an angel) sends me a copy of an 1880 Federal census from Scott, Fremont, Iowa that shows John H Myers, carpenter (age 37) married to Nancy Myers (age22) and a son Edward Myers (age 17). Oscar Edward Moyer is John’s first son from his first wife, Mahala Schull. Well, this sealed it up for me. This is definitely the Great Great Great Grandma I’ve been looking for.
I’ve had a little fun looking up the McQuinn family this week. I think I’m going to need to start a new blog just to keep them straight.
I can’t tell you how helpful people in the genealogy realm are. They bend over backwards for you. I didn’t ask her to look up extra information for me, but she did. I had been looking for an 1880 census for years and she finds it in a day. I’m still missing the 1870 Federal census and the 1885
state census for anyone interested in joining the fun! It wouldn’t hurt my feelings at all if I’m not the one to find it. I’m so excited to make friends with people in Iowa and I won’t even be sad if people think I say “ Iowa ” when I really said Iowa anymore! In fact, it will probably warm my hear thinking of that special place near the Idaho Missouri River.