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Elizabeth Ann Ellsberry, age 97, a resident of Chillicothe, Missouri, passed away on Tuesday, January 5, 2021, at her residence under the care of her daughter-in-law, Marlyn.

Elizabeth was born the daughter of George Walter and Genevieve (Logan) Prather on September 26, 1923, in rural Browning, Missouri. She was a 1938 graduate of Browning High School. She then attended Truman University in Kirksville, Missouri, earning her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education in 1940.

Elizabeth was united in marriage to Paul Mitchell Ellsberry in 1942 in Browning, Missouri. To this union one son, Walter Prather Ellsberry, was born.

She taught grade school in Marceline, Missouri, for 5 years, and then in Hannibal, Missouri, for 2 years. Elizabeth then taught for 27 years, until her retirement in 1983, for the Chillicothe R-II School District. She also taught reading to prisoners, which they were very interested in learning. She also spent 2 summers tutoring at the Women’s Prison in Chillicothe.

Elizabeth wrote her first book on genealogy in 1958, title, “Warren’s and You.” She discovered the need of courthouse records and cemetery records in many libraries across the United States. She purchased the equipment to publish soft board books to sell to county and state libraries. Elizabeth hired 2 people to work full time. One person worked for 18 years and the other for 15 years. She hired several other part time employees throughout her career. In 2000, informer her she had information on families of over 1 million people. She retired the business after selling the rights of her publications to at that time.

Elizabeth’s largest speaking engagement was in 1972, in Fort Worth, Texas, where she lectured on genealogy and sold many books. She also had a television appearance in Dallas, Texas. She received orders as far away as Moscow, Russia. Many people would send her their libraries of genealogy records, so she started a library of these in the basement of her house. In 2018, she donated her entire library of publications to the Livingston County Public Library. Elizabeth felt that all people should be interested in writing about their families, as it is very rewarding to their descendants.

Survivors include her daughter-in-law, Marlyn Ellsberry of Chillicothe, Missouri; two grandchildren, Kevin Ellsberry of Bolinas, California, and Lisa Ellsberry of Seattle, Washington; and four step grandchildren, Martyn Davenport of Line Oaks, Florida, Marcella Knapp of Browning, Missouri, Marlyne Mayberry of Inglis, Florida, and Johnny Whitford of Inglis, Florida.

She was preceded in death by her parents; one son, Walter Prather Ellsberry; and one step granddaughter, Michelle Whitford.

A private family inurnment will be held at a later date at Prather Cemetery, Browning, Missouri.

Memorial contributions may be made to Prather Cemetery and may be left at or mailed to Lindley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 47, Chillicothe, Missouri 64601. Online condolences may be made at

Arrangements are under the direction of Lindley Funeral Home, Chillicothe, Missouri.