Happy Hauntings from Little Dixie Library

October 21, 2021

By Shannon Green-Kingery

Anyone who has read any of the articles I have written for the library can readily attest to the fact that genealogy is my favorite topic. So when considering what to write about this month, I decided I would explore references to my favorite holiday on Newspapers.com to see what might pop up for a Halloween past. So I went to Little Dixie Library’s genealogy link for Newspapers.com and typed in the words “Halloween” and “Moberly, Missouri”. To my great delight, what should appear but a little piece from Wednesday, October 30, 1935 entitled, ‘Halloween Party for Margaret Jean Tait’. The title immediately caught my eye because I knew that Margaret was my mother’s close childhood friend. As I opened and scanned the article, I spied what I was hoping to see--‘Those present were: Doris Conner, Marjorie Burton, Betty Burton…’. Marjorie and Betty were, respectively, my mother and my aunt and they would have been 13 and 9 years old at the time. Here then was just the sort of Halloween treat I had been hoping to find when I decided on this topic; I had discovered my family reaching out to me from another time. I had unexpectedly managed to make a little spectral connection with loved ones in honor of the season. No candy could have possibly been sweeter!
What I realize every time I delve into old newspapers is how much I miss the lovely little jewels of personal history that used to appear in the medium. Now newspapers have lost that art for the most part and are filled with generic news. I am lucky to have lived in a time where little things still mattered enough to be in the news. I feel happy every time I find another little piece of someone I care about tucked away there. As I get older, I find it really is the little things that mean so much and previously undiscovered stories about the people you have lost make it feel like they are here with you once more, if only for a moment. In my opinion, genealogy is all about making those sorts of connections. It is a way to travel through time. How cool is that?
So hopefully, I have enticed you to do some exploring of your own. If so, please come visit us at any of our four branches--Moberly, Huntsville, Madison or Paris—or you can visit our genealogy department online at https://www.little-dixie.lib.mo.us/?page_id=42. If you scroll down on that page, you will find a link to Newspapers.com. Once you have clicked on that, you only have to type in a topic or name and a place and who knows what will pop up for you…wouldn’t you like to find out?