The Cousin Collector

Cemetery and Genealogy Project

The Pulley Brothers

Deverix Newton Pulley, Robert Edward Pulley and Thomas Jasper Pulley.


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The Cousin Collector

I started researching my own family after my husband's best friend died. I went with his wife when she was making final arrangements and listened in awe as she answered basic questions about his family and realized I didn't know that stuff about my own husband's relatives -- let alone my own.

It wasn't long before I was bitten by the bug and this hobby took on a life of it's own. After many years, I still have a hard time reigning myself in when someone asks me what I do -- we have a horse thief, a couple of questionable killings, and a pillar of the community whose funeral shut down the whole town when he died. Unfortunately, and I'm not alone in this, I have more ideas than time and too many projects in the works to count, or finish, before someone is taking a photo of *my* grave stone.

I started with my step-father's family because he sent me the research that had been done by his aunt's husband and I found it fascinating. It's really amazing what a great job he did 30 years ago without all the online resources we now take for granted. He had a few holes that I was thrilled to be able to fill.

Unfortunately, it is also the case that too often "if it's on the InterWebs it must be true." Not. While I welcome feedback and corrections -- I'm sure there will be some -- if your only reference is an unsourced tree on Ancestry.com, please don't bother. I've probably already seen it. I cringe when I find some of these factual mutilations.

The irony is not lost on me that I've spent most of my time researching a family with which I have no blood relation -- the Pulley family of my step-father. But that's where I started, and they've been my "people" since I was nine months old, so it just makes sense to me.

The Pulley House

The Pulley house was built c. 1835 in near Speed, Cooper County, Missouri. It is unknown whether the home was built by Deverix Pulley or his son, Lorenzo Dow Pulley.


I've tried many ways over the years to publish the work my friend, Kelly, and I have done with the Missouri cemeteries, and the local cemeteries I've worked on. I always run into some snag or another and realized that it would be so much easier to just use my genealogy program to record these. Especially since the catalyst for the project in the first place was trying to find some of my illusive ancestors, especially the ladies who married and disappeared.

It worked. I found all of the women from one family buried in the same cemetery with their parents, including an infant that no one else seemed to know about, thanks to the generosity of the Missouri State Archives and their death certificates database.