Studying Families of Pike County Missouri

I personally love history! Studying history sheds light on how we got here and who we are. Having grown up in Western North Carolina I was exposed very early on to some significant historical sites in the area and from there I suppose is where my interest began. History isn't just dates, people, and events. History is the path from then to now, and understanding the why is just as important as knowing the who what when and where.

Researching your family tree is an interesting way to study history. Having a personal connection to the events, dates etc makes studying them more interesting.

I've never lived in Pike County MO, only visited on many occassions. I'm decended from "old" family who came to Pike County in the 1800's. My 4th Great Grandfather James Caldwell was Speaker of the Missouri General Assembly in 1820. I've interviewed over 100 local residents, searched at least 30 cemetaries, spent 2 weeks in the vault at the County Court House, and walked the grounds of the former Dupont Powder Plant. Along the way I've met some REALLY interesting people and had a LOT of fun.

If you're not fortunate enough to be decended from "old" Pike County Family, then pick a family and follow them as they arrive in Pike County and study how they lived. The resources available on the internet today are far more abundant than even 5 years ago. Don't be affraid to ask family historians or even some of the "old timers" in the area. They are a wonderful resouce and can tell you stories which will make your jaw drop. Through personal interviews, I found out that one of my great uncles used to rob the train as it traveled south from Hannibal, and another uncle made whiskey in a still on an island in the Mississippi River to keep the law from finding it.

I've started a wiki where I'll post pictures and stories. Feel free to join, name is Pike-Co-MO-families.

Jerri Caldwell Johnston