52 Weeks to a Better Genealogy – Week 15 – Letter to Emporia, Kansas Library

by Sherry Stocking Kline
19 April 2010

I recently learned from my Aunt Mary that her grandfather Thomas J. McGinnis died in Emporia, Kansas!  That was very beneficial info, as he is buried in the same small cemetery, Osborn Cemetery, Mayfield, Sumner County, Kansas as two of his children, many of his grandchildren, and a few of his great-grandchildren.

And since I’ve learned one of the fastest ways to ask a question is by telephone, I picked up the phone, found out the Emporia Library’s phone number, and found out who to e-mail with my information request.  My request letter below:

Hello Ms Sundberg,

I was given your name on Saturday, and so am writing to ask if you can help me locate some information about my great-grandfather.

His name is Thomas J (I believe this is Jefferson) McGinnis, and he and his wife, Margaret Corson McGinnis lived in the Emporia area for a time, and that is where he is supposed to have passed away.

What I am hoping to find is his obituary, especially if it tells who his parents are, but I will be very happy to learn all that I can about he and his wife Maggie.

If they lived in the town of Emporia, then perhaps they will show up in a city directory with their address, etc.,

And if you have any way of learning if he had a will or probate record in the court there, that would be helpful also.

Here is some of the info I have for him. I also have the 1880 and 1900 Federal Census and the 1905 Kansas Census.  I do not have the 1850, 60, or 70 census, yet.

Thomas Jefferson McGinnis
birth: Aug 17, 1842 – Ohio (or Illinois according to one census)
death:. May 12, 1911 – Emporia, KS

Married: 1872 – according to Ancestry.com

Margaret Corson

Thomas & Maggie are both buried in the Osborne Cemetery, Sumner County, Mayfield, Kansas

1910 U. S. Federal Census

Thomas J McGinnis
Age: 67
Est birth year: abt 1843
Birthplace: Ohio
Spouse’s Name: Maggie E
Home in 1910: Emporia Ward 1, Lyon, Kansas
Marital Status: Married
Race: White
Gender: Male

Household Members:

Thomas J McGinnis   67
Maggie E McGinnis   61
Mertie E. McGinnis   18
Joseph L Davis         26
George Hetzel            31
Lee J Taylor              23
Daniel Pederson      22
John O’ Brien           24

I understand that there is a $10 charge per hour, so please let me know what I owe you and how best to pay.

Thank you very much,
Sherry Kline

Ah, the speed of e-mail!  At 6:48 a.m. this morning, I typed my request to the librarian’s genealogist, and by mid-afternoon, I had my answer!

Other Related McGinnis Posts

My Maggie Corson/McGinnis Happy Dance!

Three Hundred Years With the Corson Families in America

Carnival of Genealogy – My Poem to My Ancestors

Christmas Advent Calendar Grab Bag – My Gift from my Grandma Maud McGinnis Stocking

Wordless Wednesday – Margaret Corson McGinnis’ 100th Birthday

8 Responses to “52 Weeks to a Better Genealogy – Week 15 – Letter to Emporia, Kansas Library”

  • I am waiting with bated breath, for the post WITH the answer!

    • I promise that I will post her answers this week! I’m still hoping she finds the info that I started out wanting, who are Thomas’ parents! Too bad they didn’t put in the “preceded him in death” as they do so many times now. Such great info, and it may have shown they lost a child or two as well. So many in that era did. Thank you for stopping by! I also promise to post (here or elsewhere) the Gold Rush letters I’m transcribing!

  • I’m going to have to get some of my stuff together and get your advice. Glad I found your blog.

    • I’m glad you found my blog and left yours as well! Loved your blog comment on how you got the name Sherry and I’ll be posting my own blog post about my Sherry name, too. It’s pretty funny, too, when you think about it!

  • Sherry, you left a message on my blog about John Arnspiger and letters to his wife. Yes, he is part of the Arnspiger family I have researched. This is my husband’s line and I have basically done a One-Name Study. John Arnspiger is a first cousin 4times removed to my husband Gene. Many years ago I corresponded with a woman who was a direct descendent but I believe she has since passed away. I look forward to the transcription of those letters. John was the son of Henry and Catherine (unk) Arnspiger of Jessamine county, Kentucky. Henry is believed to be the son of Paul Arnspiger/Ernspiger the pioneer settler in Jessamine county, Ky. Paul brought his family to Kentucky in 1792-93 from Somerset/Bedford county, PA. He travelled with his in-laws the Bruner clan who also came from Somerset/Bedford county. I have a website with family information at http://arnspiger.org. Are you doing this transcription for the Sumner county, Kansas blog site? Who has the letters? I would be very interested in any additional information you can provide. Thanks for posting the information. I always love new Arnspiger data. Regards, Jo Arnspiger

    • Wow! I am excited to ‘hook up’ with someone in the family. I believe there are still living descendants here in the county, but I’ve not taken ANY steps yet to be sure. I wanted to finish the letters first, and this week I’ve got press releases to write, and tons of other stuff to do.

      Here is how it got started. I volunteered to bring the Pioneer Settler files home and index them. Something which has turned out to be a much BIGGER job, and a more interesting one than I first expected. And that is where the copies of the Gold Rush letters were, in the Pioneer Settler files for Arnspiger. Keep in touch, (because my memory fails me at times, though it shouldn’t!) and I will send you copies of the letters AND the transcriptions. And copies of the genealogy as well. I’ve done some census work, too, and Henry (John and Mary’s son, probably named after his ancestor) came and settled here in the southeast part of the county. I know there is more info in that area that I’ve not found or even looked for, but will see what I can learn when I take the files back. Here is the website for the Sumner County History and Genealogy Center: http://www.ksschgs.com. The Arnspiger file isn’t at the center right now, it is here for me to finish.

      I’m going to try to learn who has the original letters, but I don’t know right now, and if I remember right, this is one of those files that isn’t real clear about where this info originated from. Thank you for Answering! I’m excited that I’ve found a living family member!

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