Skip to content

A New Holiday Tradition

                           A New Holiday Tradition

Here we can see a lot of different resources that the Sever Library has to offer to help with one’s family history.


By Denise Shannon

Being together for the holidays is always a memorable time of year.  Being together with the young ones in your family, priceless.

Remembering family members that have passed on around this time can be painful, yet, also refreshing, with vivid, colorful memories of fun times that were spent together.

As the family reminisces during the holidays, someone younger within the family may be interested in knowing where their family came from and would enjoy looking at pictures and hearing about fun stories of fun times of their family’s history or past.

Could you explain to them where your family came from?   Where could you go to figure this out?  Let’s take a look at genealogy and see how a family can be studied, and where a person can go to research their own family’s history here in Kahoka.

Genealogy is the study of one’s ancestors by looking for specific information that can help to figure out one’s family history.   Birth, marriage, and death dates of parents, grandparents, and great grandparents are used to search for family history.   This could be interesting to discover for a person of any age.

If someone wanted to share their family history at a holiday get together, they would first need to get all of their families’ names together, with birth dates or any other information available, and take this information with them to these different places in Kahoka to search for their family history.

The first place to go is to the Sever Library.  The librarians at Sever Library are eager to help you with finding your family history if you should want to.  There are many different types of resources that they can assist you with your research.

“If they come in and they let us know who their parents were or possibly where their grandparents lived, we can actually look in obituary files, or look in cemetery or marriage records that we have here”, said Librarian Brenda Brown.

Brown said some of the resources available at the library are, cemetery records, marriage records, old newspapers that are on microfilm that are going back into the 1800’s, 1889 Census that is on paper file, that is called Surviving Widows and Veterans of the Civil War, resources from other counties that are regional, there is an index to look things up and Census records.

We also have, “microfilms, old plat books showing where people lived, wills and probate records on microfilm, family history books that have been given to them that goes by the last name, church records, yearbooks”, she said.

Brown finished saying that library patrons can use the library computers, to look for sources such as Find a Grave and another place to go is Missouri State Historical Society for looking up death records.

Another place that one could go to is to the Paul Rowe Museum.

According to some of the ladies at the museum, these are some of the resources available for the public to use, “There is a very nice Obituary Card File.  It is large, not all of the obits are there but, when they come across something new, they add it to their files.  This is all based around Clark County.  There are old files that have been given to the museum from the courthouse, and they include, old probate records and they go back as far as 1883 and go into the 1900s which can be used for gaining a lot of different information such as looking for heirs, looking into what people owned, about different sales that took place, and names of wives and children given as well that can help in a search. There are a lot of cemetery records for different towns around Clark County and they tell who is buried within them. There are a lot of books with information in them on individual towns around Clark County.  There are also yearbooks, church records, family files that have been searched, family bibles that have been brought in, family records that have been given to the museum, old plat maps, old pictures and lastly, there is the help of the ladies within the museum, one lady has access to an online site that she can look up searches for people as well.”

“We are more than happy to look for obituaries for you.  Say that you are busy or you don’t have time to look or you do and we are closed, all you have to do is give us the name of the person that you are wanting to find and we will do our very best to find whatever information that we can, that we have here in the obituaries and if we find a lot of information, we will get ahold of you and see if it is the right person, and if it is you can copy a page of things for .25 cents a copy or you can use your cell phone and take pictures of what you have found”, stated the ladies from the museum.

One last place that you can go for a search is the courthouse.

Court records can also be a source of information.

Melissa Bevans, Recorder, has sources available, such as old real estate records and marriage records, from 1836 to the present.  There are also old divorce records, adoption records, and criminal records.

“Records go back as far as the 1700s where other records, pertaining to divorce, adoption, and criminal records stim back to the mid-nineteenth century.  Another way to get access to these old records is to go on-line to Missouri State Archives and send an e-mail to request for records.  There is a fee when you do this, but you can do this with the following e-mail”, stated Mandy Ross, the Probate and Circuit Criminal Clerk.

After going to all of these places, and collecting information, this could be a wonderful project that could be put together to share during the holidays with all of your loved ones, making a new holiday tradition a hit!

Here’s to new traditions!

In front- Museum Obit Files and in the back right- Different Families History Books that are within the Paul Rowe Museum.



A lot of different records here at the Paul Rowe Museum. These are just some of the records that the Museum holds.