WSIU InFocus Segment Archives

Detail Information for WSIU InFocus Video Segment - The Legend of The Lively Family Massacre
The Legend of The Lively Family Massacre
Watch Now Button
Length: 26:49


In 1813, a group of American Indians killed John Lively, his wife, Mary Jane, and most of their children in an area now known as Washington County, Illinois. Reported survivors included an eight-year-old daughter who was staying with another family during the time of the attack and possibly a son who may have been away on a hunting trip or out herding cattle.

In this pilot episode of the new PBS series Legend Seekers, Pam Frazer of Randolph County, Illinois makes some fascinating discoveries as she traces her ancestral roots to the Lively family – one of the first white families to settle in Southern Illinois. Host Madonna Davis helps Frazer unearth details about her direct connection to the Livelys, including a handwritten letter addressed to William Clark (of Lewis and Clark fame) mentioning her ancestors. Also featured are Randolph County residents Bob Reid, Velda Moore, and Harry Zang, as well as Shawnee National Forest archaeologist Mary McCorvie and SIUC researcher Mark Wagner of the Center for Archaeological Investigations. Portions of the program were filmed at Reid's Harvest House in Chester and New Palestine Cemetery in Randolph County.

Produced by Ken J. Marks, an SIU graduate, Legend Seekers tells the stories of ordinary people who have legendary family stories, and captures the process to authenticate, discover, and reenact these legends.

Topic keywords:
Link To video segment: Episode: 414