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.
This eight-week course focusing on the Civil War era provide participants with information not only on the Civil War and its’ effects in the area, but also with training on conducting historic/genealogical research and safe handling of vintage items.
Speakers included Jeff Patrick, from Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, as well as WRVHS members John Purtell and Brad Melton. The Forsyth High School donated the use of its computer lab for several sessions, with the remainder of the classes being held in the Society’s research library. Click here to see additional photos (Link will open in a new window.)
The workshop began with a morning session on methods to help determine the era of a picture, as well as a discussion on the different types of photographic prints, such as tintypes and cabinet cards. Following a break for lunch, participants were taught safe handling and storage methods for archival care of vintage pictures. The remainder of the day was devoted to the hands-on project of creating two heritage album pages. Click here to see additional photos (Link will open in a new window.)