September 2008

The Mother of Seven and Two -- Lillie Missouri Gay Spiker's Personal Diary

Introduction to Gay Spiker's personal diary.

Gay Spiker - Mother of 7 & 2

Written by: Bobbi Spiker-Conley

My mother, siblings and I never doubted that our father loved us. “I Love You” was a term he used freely and often. But I hadn’t realized just how meaningful those words were to him – how very important it was that they be spoken and understood – until he shared the “secret” hidden among the pages of his mother’s diary with me.

As the current caretaker of this precious heirloom, I now happily share this “secret” with you through the transcription of her journal on The Spiker Family Gathering Place.

Join me on a journey of discovery into the life of this self-described “Mother of 7 and 2.”

Click here to begin reading the Diary of Lillie Missouri Gay Spiker.

A Continuing Journey of Discovery

Written by: Bobbi Spiker-Conley

I’ve been in possession of my grandmother’s diary for several years. I have read portions of it many times. I repeatedly scanned the entries during the nine-month-long transcription process. So I am amazed that I can still glean something different with each reading. I keep thinking that I’m missing something (perhaps more hidden secrets?).

As with any good novel, I don’t want the book to end. And in this case, I do not believe the journey of discovery is complete with the final diary page. There is so much more that we can learn. This is where our readers’ participation is requested.

If you recognize a name that appears in the journal, let us know. Was this person a relative, a neighbor, a friend? Where did she live? What did he do for a living? Why was this person important to Gay? Or perhaps you simply want to make a “guess” regarding an entry, such as the one in which Mrs. Spiker lists “girl names” (page 2). Could it be that she was preparing for the birth of Mike Spiker???

Help us connect to the people and places mentioned in the diary by sending your stories (and your “guesses”) to I will add them to the “Transcriber’s Notes” of the journal and will highlight them in future editions of the Spiker Family Gazette. Your contribution may very well permit us to read between the lines of Gay’s diary.


  • Submitted by Paul Miller – The Nolans and Millers returned last evening (Aug 25), following two and half weeks variously in Colorado visiting grandson Ryan and family, then all the family except grandson Chris and family, some 14 of us, off to Jackson Hole, Wyoming for a long vacation mostly given to hiking in the Tetons. The youngest at eight months, Liam (the newest grandson and great grandson) went along in an appropriate hiking knapsack, and, at the back, the great grandparents named Francena and Paul staggering along.
  • Submitted by Bobbi Spiker-Conley – When reading Gay’s diary, you will come across notes that read Send e-mail to Melanie Spiker-Fouse for access to Spiker Family Tree. You will need a personal invitation from Melanie in order to view her tree located at will require you to register with their website. However, you are not required to purchase a membership. You can simply register as a “Guest” member. The personal invitation from Melanie will then permit access to the Spiker Family Tree. (For more information about Ancestry Guest Registration, click here.)

  • Submitted by Bobbi Spiker-Conley – We do not have current contact info for the following people. Please help us spread the word to them about Gay’s diary. Some do not have internet access (but may be able to view the diary through another family member.) Others’ e-mail addresses are no longer valid. Please tell them about the new addition to our site and ask them to contact me by e-mail for a personal link to the Spiker Family Gathering Place.

John Spiker Aunt Ann and her children Aunt Boots and her children

  • Submitted by Bobbi Spiker-Conley – Melanie Fouse has captured the beauty of a poem from Gay’s diary with her creation of a scrapbook page. She said “I used the first poem I found (in the diary) because it immediately brought to mind the picture I took of the little barn at the farm.”

To view her creation, simply open the Spiker Family Gathering Place Photo Album., select HISTORIC photos, then click on the image titled “From Gay’s Diary”. Clicking the image a second time will allow you to view an enlarged image.