My Trip to Old Mines, Missouri

I took a fabulous heritage trip last weekend to Fertile, Missouri, and Old Mines, Missouri. Goodness, did I learn a lot about my ancestors on my initial adventure to soak in the history and bring them to life in my mind.  This is just a hobby for me, but one I certainly do enjoy.

This is an original wax cylinder used to record stories of the people of Old Mines.  I have spent some time this week writing about my trip to preserve it for my own memory and I hope you enjoy it too. You can read more about this wax cylinder on the website page I created.  This was used in the 1930's to record stories that my ancestors had passed down through the ages sitting around in the evenings as entertainment.  There is a book available that one of the speakers wrote and I received my copy last night and spent the whole evening reading.

The stories were passed down in localized French dialect and it took much time and effort to transcribe them into English.  A group of people sat around with the author and everyone suggested a meaning for a word and they decided on the best meaning.  I believe I read that about 70% of the French they spoke was universal, but the rest was only spoken in the area of the community of Old Mines.  With the law for required schooling in 1905, and the forcing of learning English, the people who shared and helped to transcribe the stories had grown up as this French dialect as their native language, but also had learned English.  If this work had not been done, this history would have died with them.  I am so thankful for the work that has been done from researchers before me so that I can enjoy it.

There are two villages which I visited with these old original homes that are being donated and reconstructed . I took a lot of photos and they are also on the page. (Click here) I cannot wait to go back to experience it again.

I purchased many books and although the cost was an "ouch" for me, when I got home and began to read I was thankful I had decided to spend the money.  I've spent much time this week reading and working on the website page that I've gotten not much else done in my small bit of spare time each day.

I anxious to share with my family what I am learning about our ancestors.  This is a snapshot of the first page of these blue books which show the details provided.  The books cover a lot of people, all who were probably distantly related to us, but it will take some time to go through the books to find my direct line before I can share more.  Of course, I want to be careful about copyright and to give credit, so I am thinking I will only be able to share some information.

I will share briefly a highlight of what I have learned. For instance, the page above talks about Marie Marthe Accica who is my Indian ancestor. Actually, my notes are that a Marthe Therese Accica is my 7th Great-Grandmother, so you see that I have a lot of reading to do yet.  She was a member of the Kaskaskia tribe. For starters, just as I am doing, you can read more about them on the Kaskaskia Indian Wiki page.

Our ancestors originally settled in Kaskaskia and were there when the Mississippi river in 1881 changed its course about four miles. In addition, the town was nearly wiped out in the Great Flood of 1844. I found this page a great place to start reading about the City of Kaskaskia. I remember visiting here previously, but now I may need to visit again. There is also the Kaskasakia Wiki page.

I've only read quickly, so will need to get the details and dates down, but I believe due to the flooding, the family moved to St. Genevieve. They were the original settlers of Ste. Genevieve and were the first of three families to move from the old Ste. Genevieve to the current Ste. Genevieve because of flooding.

Thereafter, the family moved to Old Mines. I have to read why again. However, the families of Old Mines continued to travel back to Ste Genevieve because this is where they sold their .tiff and participated in other commerce.

I also purchased some other books with church and cemetery records and information regarding our direct line, but it will take me a while to finish going through the books and processing information to share.  Of course, I will let you know when I have more information available for you to read.


Tammy said…
What cool historic things!! Thanks for sharing the photos. :)

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