“I’m a thousand miles from nowhere Time don’t matter to me”*

by chuckofish

Our family has been in this country for nearly 400 years and the genealogy of some branches is quite well documented. We have some holes, however–especially those ancestors who pioneered west of the Alleghenies–and my dual personality and I are continually working on filling in those blanks.

The other day I was messing around on the internet and I found the location of my great-great-great-grandmother’s grave in Westport, MO. I found this by purposefully mis-spelling her husband’s name. Bingo.


SUSAN VOGEL BORN OCT. 1, 1819 DIED FEB. 24, 1853

susan vogel

Find a Grave photo

I also found this “marriage certificate”

marriage cert

which has three (!) spelling errors: Susan Prowers, Louis Vogel and the minister’s name, which is spelled Johnston Lykins. Louis Vogel was Susan’s second husband. She married him after her first husband, John Prowers, died in 1839. She already had two children under the age of two, John Wesley Prowers and Mary A. Prowers (my great-great-grandmother). She subsequently had three more children with Louis Vogel. Frequently all five children are listed on census lists and such under the name Vogel, but both Prowers children kept their father’s name and were proud of it.

Anyway, looking further, a whole new window opened. I found out that Susan’s maiden name was Matney and that her father William hailed from Washington County, Virginia. His father was born in Scotland.

William Matney married Sarah Yoachum from Jefferson County, Tennessee in 1809. (I always knew I had a claim to eastern Tennessee!) She was the daughter of Solomon Yoakum (Note spelling!) and Susannah Adams. Yoachum, by the way, can be spelled Yoakum, Yokum, Yocum, Yoakam, Joachim…zut alors!

They moved on to Arkansas, ultimately settling in Jackson County, MO where they had many children. This really puts a new spin on things. I had always thought that Susan and John Prowers moved together from Virginia to Westport, MO. Thus, when he died suddenly, he left her alone with two very small children. However, this does not seem to be the case. It would appear that she had parents and a large extended family.

Anyway, such break-throughs are very exciting to family historians. I plan to go and check out the Union Cemetery in KC soon.

*Dwight Yoakam–distant cousin