I am researching Jacob Staude[n]mayer and progeny. Jacob and wife Dorothea Metzler arrived in Philadelphia on the Countess of Sussex in 1765. They spent about 15 years in Germantown, Pa., then moved to Shenandoah Co., Va., and on down the valley to Augusta, Rockingham, and Roanoke counties. Current surnames are: Stoutemyer, Stoutamyer, Stoutamyre, Stautamoyer, Stoutamoyer, Stoutamire, Stoutamore, Stoutimore. My branch of the family consisted of five siblings, four of which moved to northwest Missouri between 1840-1850.
Most obituaries that I post are from "Chronicling America Newspapers", a valuable free resource which doesn't get as much use as it should.
Many states have their own free source for digital newspapers and they are often hard to find among the many pay sites. Google something like "STATE historical newspapers" and ignore the commercial sites.
Under 1% of old newspapers are available online. Many states have libraries of old newspapers on microfilm. Google "Missouri Historical Society newspapers on microfilm" for a list of their vast holdings.* Their library is on the M.U. campus in Columbia, Missouri, and the University Avenue Bed and Breakfast is a short walk away. I've stayed in several B&B's, and can attest that this one is superb. I spent a week there reading old Missouri newspapers on microfilm. It was an ancestry geek's dream vacation. Don't expect to book a room at this B&B on an M.U. home-event weekend. *(Borrow their newspaper reels on inter-library loan through your local library for $15).
I format obits with the GIMP digital editing program. It's free and comparable to PhotoShop. If an obituary is too long in the newspaper column to fit on standard paper, or it's on multiple columns or multiple pages, you can digitally save pieces, and paste them together. Save the banner separately. Piece the text together, then size the banner to fit the column(s) you've created. An example is the obituary of my great-great grandfather, Josiah Stoutimore. It was originally an entire column, but I digitally pieced it together as three columns, then sized the banner to match.
Google "Missouri Digital Heritage death certificates" for free death certificates from 1910-1967. (They're public after 50 years). Its search feature is extremely versatile. You can search by first name only. (This helps if you know a woman's first name and death-year, but not her married name). You can search for everyone in a particular county who died in a specific year. Bear in mind that if the death occurred at a hospital, the death would have been recorded in the hospital's county. Missouri has some pre-1910 birth and death records, but reporting was then performed by counties and was more or less voluntary.
Google "Missouri Digital Heritage Plat Maps" for old county plat maps. They are a big help in locating lost farm cemeteries. These county atlases have more than maps. Many have wonderful artwork of people, buildings and farms. Use GIMP, PhotoShop, or the like to edit the images.
Lost Cemeteries. Use old plat maps or land grant papers to find the Section-Township-Range where the cemetery was situated. Many county assessors allow online property searches where you can locate the current owner by searching on Section-Township-Range. Then use Google Maps in satellite view to search for likely places for the cemetery. If you're lucky, you may even see gravestones.
Many have ancestors who were in Virginia. Google "Virginia Chancery Index" for Virginia Chancery Court records. The records include many suits listing heirs. Due to spelling variances, use "Last Name Starts With" searches. First search Plaintiffs. On my surname, for example, I might search Plaintiff--Last Name Starts With: Stout. This would omit Stoudamire and Staudemyre so it could be better to search "Stou" then "Stau"; Obviously, when you broaden the search, you'll get more false hits. Then repeat this procedure for Defendants.
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