Students of the Forsyth Middle School’s “Ozarks Studies” class were given hands-on training recently by members of the White River Valley Historical Society. The class, with teacher Michelle Waters, learned how to conduct historical research at several websites while searching for information on one Samuel T. Weatherman. Weatherman was a pioneer of the Walnut Shade area in the 1800s, served as the first postmaster of the town, was a county judge (a.k.a. commissioner), and a Union soldier in the Civil War. He also had several nephews indicted for murder as part of the Baldknobber vigilante group, and one nephew in Christian County who was hanged for his part in the Edens-Greens killings.

All the websites the group learned to use were ones that are free to the public, including the Society’s website with 39 years of searchable WRVHS Journals; “Find A Grave”, which contains the WRVHS Cemetery committee records; the MO Secretary of State’s Archives site to access death, military, judicial, and digital heritage records; the National Park Service’s “Civil War Soldiers and Sailors” site; and Rootsweb, which includes many links and details about counties throughout the country, as well as genealogical information.