My earliest experience with
anything concerning the family tree was when I was a small child. I remember
my mother telling me that my father was part German, British and French. I thought
about this for a few minutes and then replied, "Well, why doesn't he talk with some
kind of an accent then?"
I remember my father speaking of how he was raised by his
grandparents who had come to St. Louis from Germany. After I got older I asked him
where in Germany did they come from but he did not know. We always wondered about
this and it would later be the motivating factor that got me started in
You might say that my interest in genealogy progressed when I was
approaching my early teens with my unusual interest in tombstones and cemeteries although
I didn't really know what was wrong with me at the time. Our front yard and home when
I was growing up was directly behind the Antioch Cemetery in Chesterfield, Missouri.
Our driveway came right through the woods at the end of the cemetery. I could see
tombstones out of my bedroom window and I would cut through the cemetery when I would go
to visit my friend, Barbara, who lived on the other side of the church. There was a
tall tombstone in the middle of the cemetery where an entire family was buried in the
1800's. People in the neighborhood said they had died of yellow fever. I used
to visit this tombstone occasionally and see the dates of the family members as each one
died a few days apart until the whole family was gone. I used to think how sad it
was that no one survived.
Then when my cousin, Billy Jean, was living with us we would pack a
picnic lunch in the saddle bags and ride our horses around behind Babler State Park.
There was a trail there that we would take to the riding stables in the park. It was
about an hours ride to get to the stable and after we arrived we would leave the horses to
rest at the stable while we took our lunches across the street into the edge of the woods
to the old Coleman Family Cemetery. We would sit on the tombstones and eat our
lunch. Although some people visiting the stable thought this was a rather peculiar
place to have lunch we never thought anything of it. The manager of the stable told
us that the cemetery was haunted and at night when working late in the office he would see
strange lights moving around over at the cemetery. But my cousin and I never
experienced any supernatural occurances while we were there and I suspected he was just
pulling our leg in an effort to jokingly scare a couple of kids.
Thus were the preliminary symptoms of the "genealogy bug"
which really did not hit me full force until about 1971. By this time I was married
and had a home of my own. My father was retired and one day in one of his retirement
magazines there was an article on how to trace one's German ancestry. My father,
remembering how I always wondered where in Germany his grandparents came from, brought the
magazine to me and suggested I write to some of the addresses provided in the
article. So I did. It did not immediately answer my question but it did turn
up just enough information to make me want more. So I wrote to a few other places
and so on and so forth and as they say, "The rest is history."
I would not find out where in Germany my great grandparents came from
until many years later. But in the meantime I also became interested in my mother's
family tree and began research on that too - I am busy as a bee still doing
genealogy to this day!
SEMO GENEALOGIST NOW REGISTERED
WITH STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Published in the Independent Journal
December 27, 1984
Esther M. Ziock Carroll of Potosi, Mo.
is now a registered genealogist with the State Historical Society of Missouri, Columbia,
Mo. having received approval from the director Dr. Richard S. Brownlee in March 1984.
Mrs. Carroll began research on her own family tree in 1971 and upon
relocating to Washington County, Mo., where her heritage goes back nearly 200 years, in
1981 entered into professional research for the southeast Missouri area.
She is a 1962 graduate of Crestview Jr. High School, Glencoe, Mo. and a
1966 graduate of Lafayette High School, Ellisville, Mo. and in 1978 received a certificate
of training in "The Principles of Persuasion" through the Sears Extension
Institute, Chicago, Ill. She is a member of the Mine Au Breton Historical Society,
Potosi, Mo., the Washington County Democrat Club, Potosi, and the National Wildlife
Federation, Washington, D.C.
Although born in St. Louis, Mrs. Carroll's maternal family history goes
back to circa 1800 in Washington and surrounding counties. She is a descendant of
the following surnames: Martin, Henderson, Dicus, Briley, Huitt, Hawkins, Lawson, Green,
Skaggs, Sloan, Dickey, Cooksey, Jackson, Webb, Ziock, Horrocks, Schrobeck, Michaud,
She provides genealogical research for the following twenty seven
southeast Missouri counties: Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Crawford, Dent,
Dunklin, Franklin, Gasconade, Iron, Jefferson, Madison, Mississippi, New Madrid, Oregon,
Pemiscot, Perry, Reynolds, Ripley, Scott, Shannon, St Francois, Ste. Genevieve, St. Louis,
Stoddard, Washington, and Wayne.
(I no longer do professional genealogy as of approximately 1988)
TRACING ROOTS SET FOR SOCIETY
(Published in the Independent Journal 2 Jan. 1986)
First hand help and information on tracing
your family tree will be offered by the Mine Au Breton Historical Society of Potosi in a
special program highlighting their regular monthly meeting at 7:30 next Tuesday evening,
"Genealogy" will be the topic for the program at the meeting,
in the Society's Museum in the Old Presbyterian Church on Breton Street in Potosi.
Esther Carroll, a certified genealogist with the
Society, and Society members will present the informal program, sharing information for
beginners or advanced "root-tracers" on genealogical research. The program
will emphasize resources available particularly in Potosi and Washington County, where the
materials available at the Washington County Courthouse, Washington County Library, and
the Historical Society Archives have made the local resources outstanding in Southeast
The Society will also conduct its regular brief business meeting,
refreshemnts will be served, and all interested persons are being invited to attend.
(This was the first lecture that I ever gave in my life!)
CARROLL PROPERTY CERTIFIED
BACKYARD WILDLIFE HABITAT
Published in the Independent Journal 2 Jan. 1986
Hungry birds and
animals may soon be passing the word along the wildlife grapevine that the welcome mat is
always out at the Potosi home of Esther and Gene Carroll. The Carroll
property has just been registeresd as a certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat by the
National Wildlife Federation as a link in its nationwide network of mini-refuges for
wildlife in residential neighborhoods.
Steps taken by the Carrolls to attract wildlife include providing food
and water and areas for shelter and nesting.
Other concerned residents who would like to encourage wildlife to nest
and feed in their yards should send for a free Backyard Wildlife Habitat informational
package. Address your request to:National Wildlife Federation, Backyard Wildlife
Habitat, 1412 16yh Sst. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036
GEORGIAN GARDENS HONORED VOLUNTEERS
Published in the Independent Journal 9 Feb. 1989
Thursday, February 2nd an appreciation
luncheon was given for the volunteers and ministers of the community who give of their
time freely to the residents of Georgian Gardens Skilled Nursing Facility.
Volunteers received Certificates of Appreciation for coming for
singing, ceramics, Pet Day, Bingo, Bible Study, communion and Alzheimer's Support Group.
Also, I would like to recognize "The Independent Journal", for newspaper
support with the weekly article. The volunteers are: Esther Carroll,
Country Gospel Singers, Estella Johnston, Lesa Henson, Rosemary Rugh, Marie Mason, Erma
Carr, Della Guffy, John J. Smith, Mary Smith, Tracy Barr, Ethel Boyer, Ann Pashia,
Margaret Bone, Adelle Coleman, Ruby Anderson, Rose Ann Koch, Sue Bayless, Emile Smith,
JoAnn Marler, Vicky Cain, and Neil Richards.
SLOAN - DICUS DESCENDANT RECEIVES
CERTIFICATE OF TENNESSEE ANCESTRY
Published in the Independent Journal
March 23, 1989
Local resident, Esther M. Ziock Carroll
of Potosi, recently received a Certificate of Tennessee Ancestry from the Tennessee
Genealogical Society in Memphis.
Mrs. Carroll's great, great, great, grandmother, Celila Sloan, was born
in the state of Tennessee in the year 1816. Circa 1833 Celila married John Dicus, a
native of North Carolina. After 1843 the Dicus family left Tennessee and came to
Missouri where Mrs. Carroll's great, great grandfather, Bradford S. Dicus, was born in
Dade County, March 4th, 1845. In 1850 the family was residing in Crawford County and
by 1860 they had moved to Washington County, Missouri.
Celila and John had eleven children: William E., John R., Julia A.,
Larkin M., Samuel Calvin, T.B., Bradford S., Hugh L., Riley Mack, Mary E. and Marvin P.
Many of their descendants still reside in Washington and other southeast Missouri
counties yet today. Anyone interested in obtaining a Certificate of Tennessee
Ancestry may write to: The Tennessee Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 111249, Memphis,
DICUS DESCENDANT RECEIVES MEMBERSHIP
IN CIVIL WAR ORGANIZATIONS
Published in the Independent Journal
21 September 1989
Washington County resident, Esther M. Ziock
Carroll, of Potosi, recently received membership in the Civil War organizations of
The Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, The Ladies of the Grand Army of the
Republic and Auxiliary to Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Also, after initiation
ceremonies for The Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic, Mrs. Carroll was elected Vice
To be eligible for membership a person must prove lineal or collateral
descendancy from a Civil War ancestor who served with the Union army. Mrs. Carroll
met these requirements through direct descent from Bradford S. Dycus, her gr. gr.
grandfather. (For complete history see Dicus)
CIVIL WAR GROUP ELECTS OFFICERS
Published in the County Star-Journal & South County
Journal (St. Louis County) January 10 & 17, 1990
The Daughters of the Union Veterans of the Civil War, Julia Dent
Grant Tent #16 recently installed new officers.
The officers are: Lois Hesse, president; Joyce Puricelli, senior vice
president; Sue Ladage, junior vice president; Rosemary Woodworth, chaplain; Nina Ninas,
treasure; Ruth Funck, patriotic instructor; Leigh McGee, Mary Sloughter, and Phillis
Carlson, council members; Anna Funck, secretary; Sue Ladage, press correspondent; Bessie
Smith guide; and Esther Carroll, historian.
The Daughter of the Union Veterans of the Civil War meet the first
Saturday of each month at the Kirkwood Recreational Center on Geyer Road. Their
projects are designed to perpetuate the memories and aspirations of Civil War ancestors --
genealogical, historical, patriotic, and service and community projects.
Anyone who is a direct descendant of a Union Veteran in the Civil War
is eligible to join the orgnization. Interestesed persons can call Sue Ladage.
TRACE FAMILY TREE
Published in the Daily Journal 26 Sept. 1991
Have you wanted to know how to trace
your family tree? Well, here's a great way to get started! Mineral Area
College will offer a four session class on "Genealogy." Tracing your
family history is fascinating when you know the basics. Learn to collect
information, organize your materials, and find records useful to your research. In
addition, learn how to use libraries, courthouses, cemeteries, etc.
"Genealogy" will be held on Thursday, Oct. 3 - 24, at 7 p.m.
until 9 p.m. The instructor is Esther Carroll, registered genealogist and
researcher. The cost of this class is only $24.
To sign up for this class, send your name, address, telephone number
and social security number along with a check payable to Mineral Area College for $24 to
"Genealogy", Mineral Area College, Department of Continuing Education, P.O. Box
1000, Flat River, Mo. 63601
(I taught genealogy classes from 1991 - 1996 & 1999 - 2001 )
CARROLLS RECEIVED MISSOURI CAMPER AWARD
Published in the Independent Journal 23 December 1993
The Carroll Clan - Esther and Gene and their
"kids" Sandy, Candy and Brandy, are the recipients of a Missouri Camper
award presented by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks,
Recreation and Historic Preservation.
To qualify for a award an individual, family or group must camp at five
different Missouri state parks within a calendar year. During 1993 the Carroll clan
camped at Bable, Meramec, Onondaga Cave, Johnson's shut-Ins and Washington.
During some of the camp-outs they had a few adventures. At
Meramec and Washington parks they had a couple of close encounters with deer and at
Onondaga on the Meramec River there was a flash flood and they had to hurriedly evacuate
WASHINGTON COUNTY LIBRARY
ANNUAL PET PARADE
Published in the Independent Journal 28 July 1994
There were many cute, funny and unusual
pets attending the Pet Parade at Washington County Library on Friday morning, July 22.
There were between 50 & 60 boys and girls who presented their favorite pets to
the panel of judges: Lindell Coleman, Washington County Board Member; Graciella de la
Morena, a visitor from Spain and a former exchange student at Potosi High School; Esther
Carroll, local historian and Bill Mayberry, a science teacher at Potosi High School.
After much deliberation the winners were chosen.
The trophy for "Most Unusual" went to Allen Frakes for his
turtle, Penelope's egg she layed while at the Pet Parade.
It was a perfect day for the Pet Parade and everyone seemed to have a
good time. (I was a judge at the next years Pet Parade also)
ESTHER M. CARROLL AUTHOR OF:
THE CIVIL WAR IN WASHINGTON COUNTY, MISSOURI
I am a member of the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War,
Tent #16 - St. Louis. In 1994 this organization published a book entitled Missouri -
Our Civil War Heritage. This 492 page book which was written by DUV members and
other volunteers includes the history of 76 Missouri counties and tells how each was
involved in the Civil War.
I wrote the chapter on Washington County, Missouri. I
worked very hard for almost two years researching and writing this chapter. Gene and
I drove hundreds of miles and spent hundreds of dollars of our own money to do this
research. We visited more than once the St. Louis Public Library, the
Curtis-Laws-Wilson Library at the University of Missouri - Rolla and also did research at
the Fredericktown Public Library and many trips to the Washington County Library, and to
Crawford County and Jefferson County and the DeSoto Library.
Many, many times I put in 16 to 20 hours of work a day. I
did research all day then stayed up all night sorting and organizing the research and
writing and re-writing the text. I did not have a word processor or computer at the
THE BOOK GALLERY - A book signing was held at The Book Gallery, a
book store in Farmington, Missouri on Saturday, April 22, 1995. Other chapter
authors were there and the book signing was very successful as many copies of the book
were sold that day. I wore a beautiful Civil War era burgandy colored ball gown with
a hoop skirt which I am not used to wearing. Gene had taken me to St. Louis County
to try it on and we rented it for the weekend. I could not sit down the whole time
at the book signing because of the hoop skirt! I was very nervous, not just because
of the dress but also because I am definately not accustomed to people wanting my
autograph! I am 3rd from left in the picture.
A DEDICATION CEREMONY for a new Civil War monument was held
Sunday, Sept. 17th, 1995 at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis. It
was hosted by the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Julia Dent Grant Tent
#16. The monument was mostly funded by the sale of 300 volumes of "Missouri -
Our Civil War Heritage" a 492 page book, written by numerous authors, which provided
the Civil War history of 76 Missouri Counties. The chapter on Washington County was
researched and written by Potosi resident and D.U.V. member, Esther M. Carroll. Both
Esther and Gene Carroll attended the dedication ceremony. (For more details &
pictures see The Civil War in Washington County &
for a complete list of my publications see our front page.)
In 1996 I was contacted by KREI radio station in Farmington to do
a live on-air radio interview pertaining to my genealogy classes at MAC (Mineral Area
College). I accepted their invitation & did the interview. This was the
first time I had ever been on the radio!!!!!!!
WASHINGTON COUNTY LIBRARY
I used to practically live at the library &
while there I also did a lot of genealogical volunteer work for the Washington County Library.
I straightened and organized the books and research materials in the
genealogical/historical reference section of the library, answered research questions from
the librarians, helped library patrons who were researching their family trees, etc.
(Many people often mistook me for a paid librarian!) I also donated copies of a large
amount of my genealogy to this library. I still sometimes act as a
genealogical/historical consultant when the librarians call me to ask questions about
MINE AU BRETON HISTORICAL SOCIETY
I became a charter member of the Mine Au
Breton Historical Society when I attended its first reorganizational meeting in 1981.
I continued a very active membership for 16 years, attended many meetings and volunteered
for & participated in nearly every Society project in some form or
another. Sometime during the early 1990's I was elected to the Board of
Trustee's. During my 16 years of volunteer service to the Society I handled
correspondence occasionally, did research for the society, gave countless
tours to school groups, senior citizen groups as well as the general public through
the Museum, Long-Banta House, & Austin Store. I am
pictured here in my tour guide costume. Also helped with cleaning, fund raisers
etc., etc., etc. I also made monetary donations to the society & donated
research material as well. My husband, Gene, also helped with numerous society
projects involving the Banta House, Museum, and the Austin Store and especially with
building the four-a-pain (clay
bread oven). And for several years he & another member beautifully decorated
the Long-Banta House for Christmas. Gene & I also made a video tape of some of
the society's activities & a copy was donated to the society.
After the untimely death of the Society's president in 1994 the Society began to change so
much so that by 1997, after 16 years of dedicated, devoted service to the Society, I
decided to retire from this organization.
Now I enjoy spending much more time with my family (my husband & my
kitty-cats, wildlife & strays), taking care of our home, researching & writing,
doing some occasional traveling &, of course,
surfing the internet, answering our e-mail & updating our website!
THE DAILY JOURNAL
A Pulitzer Community Newspaper
St. Francois Co., Mo.
August 18, 1998
(A Daily Journal reporter contacted me about
doing an interview and the following article appeared on the FRONT PAGE
of the paper. I've never been on the front page of ANY newspaper before!)
powerful and just a very, very mean man.""Most people think of him as a
landowner and prominent citizen," she said.
Smith was described, perhaps a bit tongue-in-cheek, by one contemporary as a "mild a
mannered man as ever put a bullet into the human body."
Mild he may have been, but the quick-tempered weaponsmaker was known
throughout the territory that would one day become Missouri as one of the most dangerous
men alive. He was reputed to have killed at least 15 men, three of which Carroll has
Despite his many questionable escapades and murders, he was never
punished, not even when he defied an officer of the governor of the Louisiana Territory.
The officer had a warrant for his arrest for treason, because of the part Smith T.
had played in Aaron Burr's planned invasion of Mexico.
Drawing his gun, Smith T. dared the officer to arrest him. The
officer, knowing Smith T.'s reputation, wisely declined to make his day. The only
punishment Smith T. received for his defiance was removal from his public offices, which
included being a justice of the Ste. Genevieve district, Lt. Col. of the militia and
Commisioner of Weights and Levies.
Smith T. was also the first man in Washington County indicted for
murder. In the 1821 circuit court of the county, Smith T. admitted that he had shot
Richard Rose at Samuel Thompson's stillhouse, four miles north of Potosi - but avoided
punishment by claiming that Rose had tried to persuade some of his slaves to leave him.
Carroll says the accounts will be part of a book she is working on
about the criminals of Washington County, which she intends to self-publish.
She continues to work out the interesting genealogy puzzles of her
family at the same time she is working on this [the book], adding to the volumes of notes
that line her bookshelves a little bit at a time.
One of her recent finds was in England, where a pastor had copied for
her the birth records of his church, as well as the inscriptions off a tall, spired tomb
marking the grave of one ancestor.
"The pastor said the county clerk had passed my letter around to
all the pastors of the area and that my letter had finally landed with him. He even
took pictures of the tomb for me," she said.
Will she go to England to find what new clues lie around the next
"Hopefully, but only if I can get there without flying. I
refuse to fly for anything - even this."
LECTURE AT POTOSI HIGH SCHOOL
10 DECEMBER 1998 - Lindell Coleman, a teacher
at Potosi High School, contacted me & asked if I could give a lecture on genealogy to
his history class. I had the honor of giving this lecture on December 10,
1998. It was a very nice class - the students seemed to especially enjoy my
cemetery kit presentation & cemetery adventure stories. Mr. Coleman stated that
he visits Carroll's Corner often and uses it as a reference for teaching his class in
WASHINGTON COUNTY GENEALOGIST TEACHES AT
Esther M. Ziock Carroll began researching her family tree 30
years ago in 1971. In 1981 she moved to Washington County where her family history
goes back 200 years. In 1991 she began teaching Continuing Education classes in
Genealogy at Mineral Area College and in February 2001 she still continues to pass on the
benefit of her many years of research experience.
To read more about me click