The Montgomery County Historical Society (MCHS) is a 501(c)(3) corporation. The Society owns two buildings in Montgomery City that house an extensive genealogical library and a museum of artifacts and antiques. All research requests replies, building staffing/maintenance and website management are donated by volunteers.
If you like what you find here, please become a member and/or make a donation to help us continue our mission. We also welcome contributions of your own research, be it family history or documented historical articles that would interest other visitors.
Pioneer Days, a 96-page illustrated history of the County, has been well-received by both those new to our history as well as long-time residents.
JOP Baker & Americus Court Records
A volunteer discovered an old municipal court docket book (1894-1909) in the MCHS files. The book is handwritten and includes civil and criminal court records of Justice of the Peace Benjamin Sharp “B.S.” Baker. He also ran a general store in Americus.
B. S. Baker descended from one of the original settlers in Montgomery County, who was also a JOP. The JOP concept originated in England and filled a need in the United States in areas where there were few lawyers. It allowed minor cases to be addressed quickly. The Americus cases are mostly about debts owed, but disturbing the peace and assault cases are also documented. There was a severe intolerance for gambling - the fine for such was up to $25, where as assault was penalized with a $1-5 fine. The index is found here. Photos of some pages are found here.
Editing Tips for Family History Videos
A Girl Scout shared this website which she found helpful in creating a presentation about her Irish genealogy for the “Family Heritage Fun Patch.” She wrote: It's a nice overview of how to create a videography of your family's history. It includes tips for what questions to ask, how to make your video more personal and even includes additional research tools for tracing your family's lineage!
MCHS added the link to the Online References page. The writer found this page a great “short cut” to wonderful research aids … check it out! The Webmaster is always grateful for input … what can you share to help others with their research?
Old Newspapers - Great Resources!
This list of Montgomery County Delinquent Taxpayers in 1833 is reprinted from a St. Louis Genealogical Society publication, XXVI, 4. The introduction states “This land was offered for sale by the state with the proviso that delinquent owners could reclaim it by paying the taxes and a fee.”
It was sourced from the Jeffersonian Republican dated 22 February 1834. The State Historical Society of Missouri has indexed this newspaper (1831-1844) and several other old Missouri papers. Search for article citations from the Index.
County Naturalization Records
Montgomery County Courthouse Naturalization records from approximately 1904 -1936 were indexed by an MCHS volunteer. The list is divided into Declarations of Intention, Petitions and Oaths, and Petitions for Naturalization. Also included are some Department of Commerce and Labor Certificates. Most researchers are familiar with the courthouse fires in 1864 and 1901. It is suspected that earlier naturalization records burned, but the exact inventory of lost court records is not clear. Researchers of families in Lower Loutre should also check naturalization / court records in Hermann, Gasconade County.
In general, naturalization was a two-step process* that took a minimum of five years. After residing in the United States for two years, an alien could file a "declaration of intention" ("first papers") to become a citizen. After three additional years, the alien could "petition for naturalization" (”second papers”). Here is an explanation of Naturalization Records and a history of the Declaration of Intent.
Prussian Immigrants & Letters Home
Much has been written to answer “Why emigrate from Germany?” The common reply is “avoidance of military conscription,” but that is far too simplistic. Recall that the first arrival of Nordrhein-Westfalen immigrants into Loutre was in 1845. More appropriate responses to “Why?” include these historical facts, further explained in Modern Prussian History:
- Population growth in Prussia (58% between 1816 and 1849); recall there was no “Germany” until 1871 (1850 map)
- Bad weather and crop failures; 1845-47 are called “the hunger years”
- Industrialization and cheap British imports replaced the handicraft home-based production; impoverishing the weavers in Nordrhein-Westfalen
- Conflicts regarding land use; aristocratic and bourgeoisie ownership
- Mass poverty and “pauperism” due to all of the above
- Disenchantment with the promised reforms of Frederick Wilhelm IV, King of Prussia, whose reign began in 1840
If such "personalized history" appeals to you, also consider Our Daily Bread, German Village LIfe by Teva Scheer, to better understand the challenges our ancestors faced and feel what it was like to live (and starve to death) in the German states prior to 1850.
Thanks to a member for sharing this article. If a reader has additional information regarding source or references, please share with the webmaster. If your personal files include such letters home (or similar treasures) please share a copy with MCHS.
MCHS Board Meeting
The MCHS Board meets monthly at the MCHS building.
MCHS Board Meeting
The MCHS Board meets monthly on the fourth Saturday at the MCHS building.
With respect, honor and gratitude ... Thank you for your service.
tis the time to be thankful!
Ellis Island in New York closes
From 1892-1954, millions of immigrants pass thru.