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Tracing My Family History

Updated on March 6, 2022
Louisa Katherine Scherer Barnard
Louisa Katherine Scherer Barnard | Source

Louisa Katherine Scherer

I am on a journey to trace family history. What was it like to grow up in the 1880's in Missouri? My grandmother grew up in a rural society on a farm. Louisa Katherine's story begins on July 7, 1884. She was the first daughter to Armand Jacob Scherer and Pauline Schott. She was the eldest of 12 children, so she didn't have much of a childhood. She was the surrogate mother to her younger brothers and sisters. She was only able to go to school and finish the 8th grade. In the late 1890's, it was a different world. Girls didn't need any more schooling. They needed to learn how to cook and clean. And that is exactly what happened to Lula.

Tracing Family History Charles Barnard Family 1923
Tracing Family History Charles Barnard Family 1923 | Source

Tracing My Family History

Lula's Early Years

Lula's teenage years were a blur of washing clothes for the growing family, changing diapers, cooking three meals a day and caring for her brothers and sisters. Her mom was having babies every year and a half or two years, so Lula had to grow up fast.

She would be her mother's right hand until 1907 when a young Charles Ernst Barnard came calling. They were married February 27, 1907. That next year they would be blessed with their first child, Helen Gertrude Barnard on December 28, 1908. It was five years before my Uncle Chester was born on September 7, 1913. October 1, 1915 Emmett Charles Barnard was born and on May 31, 1918, my mother Elizabeth Pauline Barnard was born.

Tracing Family History

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Tracing my Family History

Sudden Death

All was well until my grandmother gave birth to a stillborn baby Louisa. My grandmother became very ill. She wasn't expected to live! Charles Barnard, my grandfather, became very despondent. A depression had hit farmers in Raymore and he was afraid he might lose the farm and with Lula deathly ill, he didn't know how to cope. He hung himself in the barn on the farm in Raymore, Missouri on October 4, 1923.

My mother was four years old at the time. My Uncle Chester told me that after the funeral all the family came home and NO ONE TALKED ABOUT HOW he died again.

Somehow grandma recovered, and traded the farm for a boarding house in Kansas City on ninth street. There were very few ways a woman in the 1920's could support herself and four children.

A Great Place to Start!

Family Tree Legacies: Preserving Memories Throughout Time
Family Tree Legacies: Preserving Memories Throughout Time
I liked this book because it comes with a CD to give you more pages to print--so you don't have to keep buying pages. It also says to start with you and work backwards. That is a good place to start.

Tracing My Family History

Her Musical gift

Grandma Barnard was a can do lady! She was a single mom raising four children alone in a time when women didn't work! By somehow being able to buy the boarding house, she was able to be there for her children. Times were hard, but she was a determined woman. All four children graduated high school and were raised with an unwavering belief in God. Grandma's legacy is that of hard work and strong faith. I treasure that.

Another gift my Grandmother had was the ability to play the piano by ear. She couldn't read music, but she sure could play beautifully! I can play the piano for my enjoyment and I love music, but Grandma had the touch


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