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More Descendants to Be Found

Last year I connected with even more of the descendants of some of the people pictured in family. Each time I do, I get chills and goosebumps and I cry tears of joy. It is what I have always hope for when I finished the book my mother and I had started together

What makes it extra special is sharing not only images with the family but facts about their ancestors they may not have known. It is however, a two-way street as they share much of what I did not know.

I had always assumed they would only be surprised to see a picture of their ancestors but because I was coming at researching their family histories from a different angle and I had all those years of training by the best researcher I knew, i.e. my mother, I may have looked in, known about places they did not know about.

My trips to Frankford, Missouri were amazing as I talk about in detail in the book. Running neck and neck as the most amazing experiences while on those trips were:

  • Finding the Smiths, Delores and Richard
  • Finding the headstone of Elvira Peak in the driving rain and learning she had died 130 years before to the day I found her—a story I cannot get through without tears
  • Finding the headstone of Grant and Josie Peak on my 3rd trip to Frankford Cemetery with the Smiths driving me there

Here are some of the things I learned in 2023 and early 2024, all of which I plan to blog more about Though, it may be time for another book.

  • That Fannie was in fact, Thomas Williams brother, according to the obit of Mary T. Williams, his wife.
  • The will of George Peak, which I think I found in the vault my last trip there. Charles Williams was the administrator.
  • What happened to William Keene’s daughters after he died and Fannie had gone to Frankford
  • A little about Henry Keene
  • The will of William Keene where I learned the names of his daughters and Fannie’s relationship with them
  • The location of William Keene and William Kimbrough’s barbershops in Lewistown, IL
  • That Charles Williams was well-know in many circles outside of Missouri. I fact he belonged to an organization
  • That Charles Williams was a board member of … and I may be able to find a picture of him to help validate my theory of who I think he is in Fannie’s album
  • Josie, Grant, Basil and Beatrice Peak’s obituaries. One of the first descendants I met was the son of Basil Peak, or rather his wife, which was about 6 years ago, I believe
  • On the McDonald’s front, I found the final resting place of Samuel Ernest and his family. I still search for Louis Napoleon’s final resting place.

The research on this project will continue, I believe, as long as I am alive. These people became family back in 1986 when my mother opened up Fannie’s album for the first time.