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Too much serendipity???

Okay… cue the Twilight Zone music.

The Legal Genealogist is in Columbia, Missouri, for the Annual Conference of the Missouri State Genealogical Association (MoSGA) and wondered, just for the heck of it, if there was some family connection to Missouri that could be highlighted today.

BooneCoMOI try to write something about my family every Saturday and, even though I knew I didn’t have any direct ancestors who came from Missouri, I figured there had to be something in my own family history that would link me to the Show Me State.

And, sure enough, looking at the master place list in The Master Genealogist software that I use, I came across an entry for a distant cousin who was connected to Missouri.

I looked a little closer, and found that he was connected to Boone County, Missouri, shown on the inset map.

And looking a little closer still, he was connected to Columbia, Missouri, which is in Boone County.

Can’t get much closer than that!

So here’s the story.

My fifth great grandparents Thomas and Dorothy (Davenport) Baker had a passel of kids — 13 that we can document. The third son and fourth child was Martin Baker, who married Phoebe Snodgrass in Botetourt County, Virginia, in 1772.1

They had two daughters, Mary and Hannah, before Martin died. His estate was admitted to probate in Botetourt County on 9 August 1781.2

Mary married Samuel Marrs in Montgomery County, Virginia, in 1792.3 Their children included Eli Marrs, born in 1804 in Kentucky, who came with his parents to Boone County, Missouri, in the 1840s and married there in 1845.4

Eli — whose last name is alternately spelled Marrs and Mars — is buried here in Columbia, Missouri, in the city cemetery not far from where I will be speaking today.5

Now Eli and I would be second cousins four times removed. Not exactly the closest of relatives, but hey… considering the odds of getting a family hit not just in the same state but the same county and even the same city, that’s quite a bit of serendipity, isn’t it?

But that’s not all.

You see, Eli and Emily had two sons, Samuel and Barton, who went to Washington State in the early years of the 20th century. Samuel died there in 1923.6 Barton died there in 1918. In Snohomish County, Washington.7

And, you see, next weekend, I’ll be speaking at the Northwest Genealogical Conference.

In Snohomish County, Washington.

Now go ahead and cue that music, okay?


  1. See “Virginia Source Book,” Snodgrass Clan Society of America ( : accessed 7 Aug 2015), citing original records.
  2. Botetourt County, Virginia, Will Book A:146; FHL microfilm 30695.
  3. See Register of Marriages, Montgomery County, Virginia, 1777-1853, Mairs-Baker, 9 Dec 1792; Library of Virginia, Richmond.
  4. See Boone County, Mo., Marriage Book A: 282, Marrs-Pennington (1845); digital image, ( : accessed 7 Aug 2015), citing Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City, Mo.
  5. Columbia Cemetery, Boone County, Missouri, Eli Mars marker; digital image, Find A Grave ( : accessed 7 Aug 2015).
  6. “Washington, Death Certificates, 1907-1960,” database and index, entry for Samuel Claiborne Mars (1923), FamilySearch ( : accessed 7 Aug 2015).
  7. Ibid., entry for Barton Stone Mars (1918).
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