of the Month
Mission and Values
One of the great differentiating strengths of Minerd.com is its
relentless commitment to conduct original, on-site, proprietary research on a national scale.
In August-September 2009, for the 18th year, cousin-researchers Eugene Podraza and
Minerd.com founder Mark Miner
traveled to a new region to conduct research -- this time to Kansas City and
Northwest Missouri, and Eastern Kansas. Here, Eugene pauses to pay
respect at the neglected, rural grave of George
"William" and Helen (White) Clark at the Joab Holloway Cemetery
near Laredo, Grundy County.
As always, they gathered firsthand
documentation about many branches of cousins who were pioneers of this region in
the mid 1800s. The 2009 trip included five days in 13 counties, as shown on the
map at right. It produced
more than 175 pages of copied material -- now added to the family archive of some
pages -- and photographs of many old family grave markers and farms. The research involved time-tested procedures of visiting courthouses and
libraries to obtain public records (wills, deeds and newspaper obituaries) and
exploring cemeteries to find and photograph ancient and fading grave markers. All
of these artifacts document the lives distant cousins who left the Pennsylvania,
Ohio and West Virginia in the early to mid 1800s, never to return, and long
forgotten by kin back East.
The 2009 trip also included work on the following
Bates County pioneers John
S. and Eliza (Minor) Swearingen -- who migrated there from Pickaway
County, OH in the late 1860s. One major discovery was that their grandson, Edward
H. McReynolds, served as well-known Special Assistant to the President
and Director of Public Relations/Advertising for the Missouri Pacific Railroad in the
1920s and '30s until his downfall from alleged income tax fraud.
"William" and Helen (White) Clark -- she moved as a
19-year-old from Morrow County, OH to Haseville, Linn County, MO in 1869,
and upon marriage in 1874 settled on a farm near Laredo, Grundy County, MO.
Their daughter published several landmark histories of this branch which
have been vital to our understanding.
"Forbes" and Mary Rebecca (Litzenberg) Minard -- born in
Knox County, OH, he migrated apparently with several older brothers to Iowa
and Missouri in the 1860s or '70s, and following marriage lived near
Parnell, Nodaway County. His fate is unknown.
Wesley and Christina "Tena" (Younkin) Nedrow -- who left
Somerset County, PA with their two young children in 1881 and migrated to
Nebraska, moving on to Kansas by 1888, then back to Nebraska by 1891, and
finally settling in Maitland, Holt County, MO by 1896. They are named in the
notable Holt County history book Gone Home.
Civil War veteran Ignatius
G. Martin -- who migrated by 1870 from Preston County, WV to Clay
County, MO, and thence to Cameron, Clinton County, where he married Martha
Lionhart and settled on a farm at the precise intersection of Clinton,
DeKalb and Caldwell Counties.
Minard Jr. and Civil War veteran Nathan
W. Minard who both were pioneers of Caldwell County, MO, having
relocated from Knox County, OH. Solomon moved as a 16-year-old in about
1858, from Ohio to Illinois, and thence came in about 1868 to Mirabile,
Caldwell County. Nathan, on the other hand, came to Iowa in 1866 and
remained there until about 1871, when he and his wife Sarah Jane
(Woodruff) Minard pushed further into Caldwell County.
Photographing the 1876 graves of double Medal
of Honor winner Thomas Ward
Custer and his brother in law James Calhoun at the National
Military Cemetery at Fort
Leavenworth, KS. The two were among five Custer family members killed at
the Battle of Little Big Horn, of whom the most famous of course was Thomas'
brother General George
Ann (Minard) Walker -- who moved from Ohio to Iowa in about 1869 and
into Missouri by 1898, and has disappeared into the misty haze of history.
Earlier years' research
trips have been made to 58-plus
counties in Illinois, Indiana,
Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia. These
trips assure that data come from the best possible original sources, rather than purely
relying on the work of others. Facts excavated from these paper archaeology
"digs" are analyzed and written in People Magazine-like stories and
then uploaded to the Minerd.com
Copyright © 2009-2010 Mark A. Miner