Witness to History ~ Pioneers ~ 52 Ancestors Week #50

This prompt was another one that got my mind jumping all around. I had a hard time trying to focus on just one topic to write about. I was first thinking about how I have had at least one ancestor who has fought in every “war” since 1607. Each one witnessed history in the making even if they weren’t aware of it. I also have a couple who came over on the Mayflower not realizing how their actions helped to mold a new nation. The list could go on and on, so what should I choose? It finally came to me last night.

I am very proud to have been born in Missouri. Although I was 11 months old when we moved away, I have always considered it “home”. I have the majority of my relatives that still live there and I love visiting with them and taking in the beauty of the State. What excited me was the fact that all eight of Great Grandparents and even three of my 2x Great Grandparents arrived in Missouri before it became a State in 1821. Both sides, my paternal and my maternal, were represented!

This means that my roots in Missouri goes all the way back to 1816, that is over 200 years of growth. I can only imagine what it may have been like to migrate from the coastal States into the interior of the country. This area had been part of the Louisiana Purchase which the United States acquired in 1803. It was a wild, untamed wilderness at that time. My 2x Great Grandfather, John Ogan and his family, including my Great Grandfather Benjamin Ogan and his wife Jane arrived there in 1816!

The rest of those who migrated came between 1818 and 1840. They witnessed towns being established, farms springing up all over the State, and those who arrived before 1821 they saw the birth of a new State. Many of them who lived near Independence watched the beginning of the Oregon Trail be established and saw the thousands of people who loaded their wagons and headed west.

It was all an exciting time and these brave pioneers experienced many firsts. However, they most important thing they saw was the growth of what would become a very large family!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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