Orphan Train Mystery and the Search for Joseph Aner's Lost Past

The Orphan Train Movement sent an estimated quarter million children from New York City to the Midwest and the South from 1854 to 1929, with up to 50,000 of them coming to Missouri. One of those children was a five-year-old boy named Joseph Aner, who was placed with the Markway family just outside Jefferson City. As Joseph grew up, he wondered who his mother was, and how she could have left him at an orphanage.

More than a century later, Joseph’s grandchildren had the same questions.

Through DNA testing, genealogy, and historical documents and newspapers, the boy’s grandson, Greg Markway, found the answers and reunited a family. Along the way, Greg discovered how historical events and culture shaped the family’s direction. Markway's presentation was sponsored and hosted by the State Historical Society of Missouri.

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About the Presenter

Greg Markway, PhD, is a clinical phycologist from Jefferson City. He became interested in genetic genealogy while searching the roots of his grandfather, who came to Missouri from New York on an orphan train in 1896. Markway has presented this topic extensively and currently writes a blog about orphan train history and offers tips on research.

You can visit his website: www.orphantraindna.com