We rarely have the opportunity to meet someone who is related to President William McKinley. It was a privilege to meet Roberta Boomer who is related to the President’s oldest brother David McKinley, and therefore the President himself. Judy Pocock, Morgan Zollars, Joyce Yut, and I had the opportunity to help Roberta connect with her family members, and introduce her to some of the McKinley family that she had not met. Judy Pocock explained to Roberta how the McKinley family came to live in Canton, Ohio, and how all of them moved out of the area either before, or after the President’s death. Judy went on to give her a little background on William McKinley’s siblings, including his oldest brother David. She showed her David McKinley’s family tree, and some letters written by David McKinley.
Roberta Boomer shared stories of her family who is from San Francisco, California. Roberta told us because of its growing population, most of the cemeteries in San Francisco had been removed and placed south of the town. Judy told her she would need to look in this area for David McKinley, and his wife, Nancy Minerva Scott. She went on to tell us of the reference of President McKinley’s favorite niece, and his assassination in the feature film, Citizen Kane, and how she compares original photos of William McKinley and her family, and can see a resplendence in the two. Roberta pointed out a relative’s home on Google Maps that is very close to Golden Gate Park, for which there is a monument to William McKinley in San Francisco. She explained how impressed she was with the entrance, treeline, and monument. Roberta told me how impressed she is with the passion everyone at the museum has for history, the President, and his family.
We both promised to keep in touch. Judy told Roberta she hopes we have started a little fire that will continue her genealogy research. Roberta Boomer completed a mission which her mother started long ago, to learn more about her family, and visit the monument of her relative, the 25th President of the United States. We first gained knowledge of this story in 2005 when Roberta first began to email us.
Thank you to Roberta for this historic visit!
Thank you Judy Pocock & Morgan Zollars!
Thank you to the Volunteers, Staff, Board, and Members of McKinley Presidential Library & Museum for helping us make this type of visit possible.
It is truly up to us to listen to their voices…