Thursday, March 10, 2011


When I was in college, I had the opportunity to compete in DECA on a national level.  May 1992 Ricks College took a group of students down to Anaheim, California for a fun-filled week.  I remember meeting other college students from all over the United States and telling them I was from Idaho.  It was quite comical and predictable.  They would say, “Where, Iowa?” and then I would say, “No, Idaho!”  Seriously, do people know where Idaho is?  Why are there two states that sound so much like each other, Idaho and Iowa
Well, I never knew then that someday I would be fascinated by a place in Iowa, but for the last two years, I have been.  It is a place called McPaul, Iowa.  McPaul is located in Fremont county near the Missouri River and the state of Nebraska.  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. 
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 Council Bluffs, Iowa.  It also states that she was buried in McPaul, 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. 
Well, just this week, I discovered a website that listed marriages that took place in Fremont county and there was listed a J H Myers marrying a Nancy McQuinn on 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 Iowa!
She got back to me and told me that she knew where Nancy 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 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 Iowa after his children get married in Idaho 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.
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 Iowa 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 Idaho anymore!  In fact, it will probably warm my hear thinking of that special place near the Missouri River.


  1. Hi Ann
    I have chosen your blog to receive the "One Lovely Blog" award. You may stop by my blog to see the rules that go along with accepting this award. Thanks! Lisa

  2. It's amaZing how helpful and kind people are when they are passionate about what they love and what they do- that's exactly what I find at the farmer's market amongst the farmers and vendors. This looks wonderful what you've done- how interesting!!

  3. Hi its me again,

    This is the information I have found on the Moyer, Moyers, Myres, Myers, and Meyers.

    Amelia is the sister to Rebecca Meyers (Moyers, Moyer, or Meyer)who married ALBERT CALKINS. On world connect/one world tree someone had it listed she was a witness to Rebecca and Franks marriage, that they had the copy.

    By the 1880 Census Amelia was living in Benton, Fremont, Iowa as well as Frank and Rebecca. By the 1885 Nebraska State Census they lived in Center, Cass, Nebraska. Frank and Rebecca lived in Plattsmouth, Cass., Nebraska (where my grandparents lived almost their whole life). By the 1900 census she lived in Mount Idaho, Idaho, Idaho. I am not sure when she died.

    On the 1850 state census George and Sarah had 3 kids and were living in District 130, White, Indiana. They had Elizabeth b. 1846 in Indiana, John b. 1842 in Illinois, Eliza Ann b. 1850 in Indiana. On the 1860 census they lived in Hickory Grove, Grant, Wisconsin. They had 6 children: John b. 1842 Illinois, Elizabeth b. 1846 in Indiana, Emma C b. 1850 in Indiana (maybe Eliza Ann by the 1850 census?), Rebecca b. 1854 in Indiana, Amelia b. 1856 in Wisconsin, and Charles A b. 1859 in Wisconsin.

    I cant find anyone in the 1870's census.

    I noticed Rebecca and Amelia both lived in Benton, Fremont, Iowa in the 1880's so I looked to see if there were any siblings living there also from the mentioned above census of George and Sarah. Low and Behold living next door to Amelia is an Elizabeth Estes b. 1845 in Indiana and parents were born in Virginia and Ohio. Elizabeth was married to Gilvester and this couple stayed in Fremont until 1900 when I couldnt find either of them after. So I did a search to see what Estes were buried in Fremont, Iowa. Gilvester with such an original name popped up as being buried in Thurman Cemetery. I then looked to see if I could find out if Elizabeth is buried there and sure enough she is, she was born 03-18-1846 and died 12-09-1918. Informaton found here:

    Here is a picture of the headstone but her side was never finished:

    By the 1900 census Elizabeth and Gilvester married sometime around 1868, I have not found out where.

    My interest is peaked here and am wondering who this could be or if it is the same person as George E Meyers.

    By the 1885 Nebraska census in Plattsmouth, Cass County living next door to Frank and Rebecca is a Bert Williamson married to a Celia born in 1858 in Iowa. Living with Bert and Celia Williamson they had a George Myeres listed as a brother law who was born in 1862 in Iowa. At first I thought it was Rebecca's brother and possible sister Emma C? as the birth and time frame fit for George but then I found him living with George and Sarah in Center, Cass, Nebraska. I am wondering if he could be the same George who appeared in the census twice or relatives to both Williamson and Moyers?

    Interesting even more Elizabeth Cunningham married William Short Aug 1885 and has a G E Myers? from Cass County as a wittness to the marriage. By the 1885 census Elizabeth lived with Frank and Rebecca and this George Meyers lived next door, same George as a witness?

    I did a little research on this Bert and Celia Williamson and ran across a marriage record of Celia Dougherty and Bert Williamson with no list of parents or marital status. They were married in Taylor Iowa which is 2 counties from Fremont.