Sunday, September 25, 2011

Serendipity Sunday- Geneabloggers Leads Me to New "Cousin"

Serendipity Sunday is one of my new inventions toward a more effective blog.. This idea came out of the realignment of my goals for this blog a few months ago (Changes, they are a coming). and I decided that if I gave it a name and a day of the week I will be more inclined to continue writing the entries I want to share with others.

Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers has a weekly salute to new blogs every Saturday. He lists them, their location, and some information about the blog. I look forward to this each week and read them without fail. I often add them to my reading list in support. After all, not too long ago I had the honor of being placed on that list and the support from others was (and still is) amazing.

Last week one of the blogs listed was My Family Orchard,  an individual family blog designed to "keep you updated on latest findings, brick walls, and mistakes among other topics. I always make it a point to read a bloggers Profile and any other special headers they have that describe their ancestral locations, purpose of the blog, and surnames important to them, as well as the type of writings and entries they choose to publish.

Lo and behold, I found what Ken calls a "shirt-tail cousin" in his wife. I don't know about you, but I'll take a cousin of any level when it comes to a common ancestor that was born in 1772. I was delighted when reading his blog and discovered that he had listed the surnames WILSON and LEE from Ohio County, Kentucky. I sat up straight, read this again, and before I a chance to say "Shazaaam!" out loud I was already finishing my first email post to the author of this blog (Ken).

Since that first contact, Ken and I have sent several emails back and forth about the family line and are already discussing plans to meet one another in the future.

I don't believe these events happen by accident. You see Samuel WILSON and his wife Winnie LEE are at the top of my research lists and are 1/2 of the reason I am planning another trip back to the Ohio County, Kentucky courthouse within the next two weeks. Having someone else within our blogging community to share information, ideas, etc., with is wonderful.

Next Sunday I'll share another event that is related to the last time I went to Ohio County.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday- 20 September 2011

Gilbert McDonald and wife Edna Fitzgerald, my Great Grand Aunt & Uncle
Gilbert born 16 Nov 1881 and passed away 4 Nov 1965
Edna born 8 April 1893 and she passed away 8 Feb 1983

They are buried in White County, Illinois

Monday, September 19, 2011

More Information on Lemuel for Military Monday

Now that I have regained use of the computer and scanner I can return to the goals for this blog, one of those being to use the records I am acquiring on Lemuel Tucker to discuss, share, and analyze as I work to see if I can't break through this long lasting brick wall on his ancestry.

Today I am going to show a timeline I assembled from his Muster Rolls while serving. I find putting them into list  form helps me visualize the information more clearly.

Lemuel's Muster In Date was 21 Dec 1863 in Carmi, Illinois as a Private in Company E 13 Regiment Illinois Calvary. Bounty paid was $60.
Muster Rolls for 13 Cav. Ill. state the folllowing:
21 Dec 1863 to Feb 29 1864- Present
Mar & April 1864- Present
May & June 1864- Present
July & Aug 1864- Present
Sept. & Oct. 1864- Absent month in Gen'l Hospl
Nov & Dec 1864- Absent month in Gen Hospt,  Bounty due, $2 premium
Jan & Feb 1865- Absent North Gen Hospt, Bounty due $2 premium
Mch & Apl 1865- Absent North in Gen. Hospl, bounty due
May & June 1865- Discharged May 3/65 for disability injuries rec'd in line of duty; *M. Roll of Mound City Hosp. for Nov & Dec 64 reports him "absent without leave." list of casualities for Nov. 1864 (same Hosp) reports "Furlough expired Nov. 24/64 reported deserted Nov. 30/64. Casualities for Dec 1864 report him "Readmitted from desertion Dec. 18/64".

The Hospital Muster Rolls from Mound City, Illinois and Jefferson Barracks, Missouri do not further describe either the cause of Lemuel's long standing illness that led to such a long stay or the circumstances surrounding his "absence without leave." However, that information is included in his discharge papers.

Here is part of his Certificate of Disability for Discharge from service that explains  the reason for his disability discharge.

Portion of Lemuel's Disability Discharge signed by Surgeon

Next time we will delve into the pensioner records that contain much more information about Lemuel and his family. Maybe some clues will begin to surface.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Stories From The Road- Childhood Home & House Plans

As stated in an earlier post of mine (Changes they a coming), one of my new regular features is going to be "Stories From the Road." This is going to cover ancestral homes and businesses, as well as places that played a role in the social history fabric of my family. Stories From The Road is also meant to cover some of our adventures while traveling in the pursuit of further exploration of the family.

Today this road leads to the front door of my childhood home. I couldn't really imagine starting any other place, since due to that home and all the memories that came with it, so began my earliest forays into the exploration of our family history. Ironically, at the time I had not dug enough into all the crooks and crannies of this home to  find the treasure of a 1911 history of part of the family written by my great-grandfather nor the earliest example of a scrapbook that my grandmother had done as a gift for her daughter to show the family history in photos. Those great finds came a few years later.

My childhood had had the distinction of being the family home on my maternal side of the family for three generations of the family for over 40 years! My maternal grandparents purchased the home newly built on a double lot in what was a growing part of Evansville at the time and actually now is only a few miles from the Ohio River in  many would consider to be part of the near Downtown area of Evansville. My mother grew up in this home, and with the exception of a few months in the beginning of their marriage, this was the home that my parents raised their children in, surrounded by our grandmother, and for my siblings for several years, an elder pair of great aunts of my grandmother.

Our home was 3 stories when you consider that we had a full basement that contained a fruit cellar, a converted laundry room that once was full of the coal that heated our home, and a large area for parties with a bar that I once converted into a paying haunted house for the neighborhood, but was used much more by my older siblings for their parties (which I enjoyed sneaking down and watching from the steps).

The upstairs held 3 bedrooms, a bathroom and 2 attics. My brother's room was in the middle in the hallway and I always thought the upstairs was spooky. Tthere was more than once that I took off in a dead run down that hallway to get to my parents, convinced a monster would grab me from my brother's doorway as I ran back. During the war years when there was so much building of war materials in Evansville (another story), my grandmother rented out the upstairs to boarders and also part of the main floor, which I've been told has been rearranged more times than my living room ever will.Getting to the main floor could only be done for me by sliding down the stairs as though they were my own playground.

Once I arrived downstairs my first focus was usually to the kitchen that ran across the back of the house, and to this day the memories and smells from my grandmothers special Christmas cookies and other recipes come flooding right back. From there I could either walk back towards the stairs and go into what was my playroom as a child and down the hall towards the front of the home, passing a sewing room and a small office/kitchen on the way to what ended up being my grandmother's bedroom once all the boarders and others had moved on. The other doorway took me into the family living room where we watched tv, and I can vividly remember where every one was sitting when we watched the first moon landing as well as the resignation of Nixon a few years later. The front room was the "formal living room" (you know, the one with the furniture we children weren't allowed to sit on except for Christmas Day, and even then I actually wound up on the floor.

We moved from this home as I was getting close to entering high school, and at the time I was full of anger and feelings too strong to be able to handle in all the right ways because it meant a new school and all the changes that came with it. My father knew what I didn't understand- that the neighborhood was changing and we needed to move while we could get the best prices for our home, but we sure made it hard for him.

I have recently reconnected with many of those friends and am grateful for that. A few months after we left I decided to draw a very detailed house plan for myself of the home because I was afraid I would forget all the little parts as time went on- wise beyond my years for that one. I am actually in the process of having my parents help me draw some house plans (not like an architect) of a few homes that have played such important roles in their lives. This includes the home in Maunie my father spent every summer at, the place by railroad he lived in as a child, and the first home his father ever bought for the family.

Why not do the same for yourself? Use some graph paper, place some photos on the table with you if you have any, and start with a very rough block the first time. Scale is not what is important. Turn on a recorder if you are doing this with others (or even on your on) because memories may come up that you don't want to miss, and these may also assist with further development of the plans as time goes on.

For our childhood home, my sister commissioned an artist she knew to paint the house twice- once as it looked during her childhood, and then again for my parents as it looked at the time we moved, and gave it to them for Christmas that year. What a treasure!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday

copyright KE for this blog only

Karl Martens
1824- 1888

My 2nd great-grandfather
Buried in Rose Hill Cemetery, Warrick County, Indiana

Monday, September 12, 2011

The 99+ Genealogy Meme- Come Aboard!

Becky at kinexxions developed a list of 99+ genealogy things you might have done, or may do in the future with the assistance of several others in the blogging community. This list was posted originally two years ago, and then Becky decided to revisit the list a couple days ago, which I am glad she did since I never saw the original.

Instructions are listed below. be sure to post a link on Kinexxions when you are finished.

The list is annotated in the following manner:
Things you’ve already done: bold face type
Things you’d like to do: italicize
Things you haven’t done and don’t care to: plain type

  1. Belong to a genealogical society.
  2. Researched records onsite at a court house.
  3. Transcribed records.
  4. Uploaded tombstone pictures to Find-A-Grave.
  5. Documented ancestors for four generations (self, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents)
  6. Joined Facebook.
  7. Cleaned up a run-down cemetery.
  8. Joined the Genea-Bloggers Group.
  9. Attended a genealogy conference.
  10. Lectured at a genealogy conference.
  11. Spoke on a genealogy topic at a local genealogy society.
  12. Been the editor of a genealogy society newsletter.
  13. Contributed to a genealogy society publication.
  14. Served on the board or as an officer of a genealogy society.
  15. Got lost on the way to a cemetery.
  16. Talked to dead ancestors.
  17. Researched outside the state in which I live.
  18. Knocked on the door of an ancestral home and visited with the current occupants.
  19. Cold called a distant relative.
  20. Posted messages on a surname message board.
  21. Uploaded a gedcom file to the internet.
  22. Googled my name.
  23. Performed a random act of genealogical kindness.
  24. Researched a non-related family, just for the fun of it.
  25. Have been paid to do genealogical research.
  26. Earn a living (majority of income) from genealogical research.
  27. Wrote a letter (or email) to a previously unknown relative.
  28. Contributed to one of the genealogy carnivals.
  29. Responded to messages on a message board.
  30. Was injured while on a genealogy excursion.
  31. Participated in a genealogy meme.
  32. Created family history gift items (calendars, cookbooks, etc.).
  33. Performed a record lookup.
  34. Took a genealogy seminar cruise.
  35. Am convinced that a relative must have arrived here from outer space.
  36. Found a disturbing family secret.
  37. Told others about a disturbing family secret.
  38. Combined genealogy with crafts (family picture quilt, scrapbooking).
  39. Think genealogy is a passion not a hobby.
  40. Assisted finding next of kin for a deceased person (Unclaimed Persons).
  41. Taught someone else how to find their roots.
  42. Lost valuable genealogy data due to a computer crash or hard drive failure.
  43. Been overwhelmed by available genealogy technology.
  44. Know a cousin of the 4th degree or higher.
  45. Disproved a family myth through research.
  46. Got a family member to let you copy photos.
  47. Used a digital camera to “copy” photos or records.
  48. Translated a record from a foreign language.
  49. Found an immigrant ancestor’s passenger arrival record.
  50. Looked at census records on microfilm, not on the computer.
  51. Used microfiche.
  52. Visited the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
  53. Visited more than one LDS Family History Center.
  54. Visited a church or place of worship of one of your ancestors.
  55. Taught a class in genealogy.
  56. Traced ancestors back to the 18th Century.
  57. Traced ancestors back to the 17th Century.
  58. Traced ancestors back to the 16th Century.
  59. Can name all of your great-great-grandparents.
  60. Found an ancestor’s Social Security application.
  61. Know how to determine a soundex code without the help of a computer.
  62. Used Steve Morse’s One-Step searches.
  63. Own a copy of Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills.
  64. Helped someone find an ancestor using records you had never used for your own research.
  65. Visited the main National Archives building in Washington, DC.
  66. Visited the Library of Congress.
  67. Have an ancestor who came over on the Mayflower.
  68. Have an ancestor who fought in the Civil War.
  69. Taken a photograph of an ancestor’s tombstone.
  70. Became a member of the Association of Graveyard Rabbits.
  71. Can read a church record in Latin.
  72. Have an ancestor who changed their name.
  73. Joined a Rootsweb mailing list.
  74. Created a family website.
  75. Have more than one "genealogy" blog.
  76. Was overwhelmed by the amount of family information received from someone.
  77. Have broken through at least one brick wall.
  78. Visited the DAR Library in Washington D.C.
  79. Borrowed microfilm from the Family History Library through a local Family History Center.
  80. Have done indexing for Family Search Indexing or another genealogy project.
  81. Visited the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  82. Had an amazing serendipitous find of the "Psychic Roots" variety.
  83. Have an ancestor who was a Patriot in the American Revolutionary War.
  84. Have an ancestor who was a Loyalist in the American Revolutionary War.
  85. Have both Patriot & Loyalist ancestors.
  86. Have used Border Crossing records to locate an ancestor.
  87. Use maps in my genealogy research.
  88. Have a convict ancestor who was transported from the UK.
  89. Found a bigamist amongst the ancestors.
  90. Visited the National Archives in Kew.
  91. Visited St. Catherine's House in London to find family records.
  92. Found a cousin in Australia (or other foreign country).
  93. Consistently cite my sources.
  94. Visited a foreign country (i.e. one I don't live in) in search of ancestors.
  95. Can locate any document in my research files within a few minutes.
  96. Have an ancestor who was married four times (or more).
  97. Made a rubbing of an ancestors gravestone.
  98. Organized a family reunion.
  99. Published a family history book (on one of my families).
  100. Learned of the death of a fairly close relative through research.
  101. Have done the genealogy happy dance.
  102. Sustained an injury doing the genealogy happy dance.
  103. Offended a family member with my research.
  104. Reunited someone with precious family photos or artifacts.

What would your list like? I'd love to know.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September the 11th

September the 11th.

When one hears that phrase there is no need to add any explanation, much as June the 6th, or Hitler, or even some of the other words and phrases that exist in our vocabulary now that didn't exist then, such as Facebook or Google.

But this carries so much more to the people of today who only understand the earlier ones in history books or old movies being remade. I write this as I watch the tributes on television this morning and wipe the tears off my face, remembering just as vividly the feelings I felt that beautiful breezy morning ten years ago. I had sent my beautiful daughter off to school and was at home recuperating from a recent accident that was interfering from work duties, and had decided to turn on the television to catch up on the daily news. Like many, the view was of the first tower on fire and all the confusion as the newscasters were trying to determine what had caused this incident, and was staring at the screen when I clearly saw the second plane crash into the other tower. I immediately called my father to make sure he was watching the news and then can't remember the next time I left the television over the coming hours.

My daughter tells me that she learned of the terrorist attacks because her class was walking by the principal's open door of her office as several teachers and the principal were glued to the television in her office and expressing their own fear, which led to her own. As a mother (and a clinical social worker), of course my anger with the school was very high when I learned that they handled that so poorly with the children, but my job was to be a calm, reassuring mother when she came home that evening. I can remember that CNN actually had a professional on in the midst of the crisis of the day who told us parents that one of the worst things we could do was to keep the television flooded with the images of the plane crashes day and night. So, when she got home that night I asked her what she knew, and what she wanted to know. We knelt in our living room floor and prayed for everyone, later watched President Bush speak to the country, and then I made it my mission to make my daughter feel as safe as she could in a world that had just turned upside down.

My father began wearing a flag button on his shirt within a couple days of September the 11th.

He still wears it every day.