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Category: Civil War

Fantasy Genealogy

Fantasy Genealogy

A woman wrote that she was descended from “almost all of the Magna Carta Sureties.” I advised that several of them either had no known issue or their line was extinct within four or five generations. She became very upset, said I was just jealous. I didn’t hear from her again.

I don’t know of any Magna Carta Sureties in my lines. My sister has some. She’s a Calvert descendant. It doesn’t seem to make her life better or worse. She may not even be aware of it because she’s not terribly into genealogy.

Frankly, if I were going to pick a noted ancestor I’d want it to be one of the Yorkists, the later Plantagenets. I just find them more interesting. Alas, I think that is highly unlikely.

I have seen one of my lines traced back to Adam online. A genealogist of some regard thinks one of my lines goes back to Charlemagne. I don’t believe either one.

I have ancestors who were Revolutionary War veterans, War of 1812 veterans and Civil War veterans. Isn’t that enough? There are plenty of people who would happy for those. I have Huguenots. I have Dutch settlers and those who were in Jamestown and early New England. No Pilgrims though. No Kings either. There is a thief who was transported, barely escaping death at Old Bailey*.

What is with us that we need to have fantasy pedigrees to someone famous? Isn’t a thief we can prove better than an fantasy online pedigree hooking us to Cleopatra?

*Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 6.0, 27 November 2011), April 1740, trial of William Isgrigg (t17400416-2)

Give Me An Hour

Give Me An Hour

Earlier this week when I found myself with a free hour I decided to work a question in my genealogy. It couldn’t take more than an hour or so and had to be doable free online.

I chose my paternal grandmother’s family which I have not ignored but have not done much work on. I knew her parents’ names and had information on her mother’s line. I turned to her father’s line, a painfully common name and a puzzle. To complicate matters, in my maternal line and in the same geographic area I have the same common name. I had tracked the line far enough to know the paternal Wood line is not related to the maternal Wood line which I have back nearly 300 years.

Wilma Wood married Robert Rothwell on January 1, 1923. She was the daughter of William Tobias Wood and Eva Nora Bozarth of Illiopolis, Sangamon County, Illinois. I had William Tobias’ death certificate and the marriage record indicating they had married February 17, 1889, in Illiopolis. I knew the state database had a typo on the date. I had tracked back into the Bozarth line a couple generations a few years ago.

Wood was a puzzle. I knew he was born August 23, 1863, in Shelby County, Illinois. I knew that his parents were William Wood Sr. and Emily Rice. I knew that did not mean William Sr. was named Tobias but it might. I knew from the 1860 Shelby County census that Emily’s father was Nathan Rice. I knew William Wood did not appear on the 1870 census although Emily did with William Tobias. Emily appears in the household of Joseph Beason in 1880 with William Tobias listed as his stepson.

I knew a William Wood had served in the Civil War, age 22 in 1863, Pvt., Company F, 5th Illinois US Calvary, who mustered in at Effingham County and mustered out at Springfield in 1865. Emily also had a daughter Hattie Wood who was 13 on the 1880 census – although she does not appear on the 1870 census. This would suggest William Wood returned from the Civil War, fathered a daughter and died between 1866 and 1870. A Civil War pension search is on the to do list.

Using the online Illinois State Archives marriage database I found the marriage of Emily [listed as Rice, not Wood] and Joseph Beason. Using the death database I found Emily’s death on April 27, 1927. Joseph Beason must have died before 1916 when death certificates were required and had to be recorded with the state.

Using the Sangamon County ILGenWeb site I found that Emily was buried at Riverside Cemetery. The Pritchett Funeral Records transcription by Mary Ann Kaylor on the same site indicate Emily’s age at death as 83 years, 2 months and 13 days. Using an online birth date calculator I got a birth date of February 14, 1844.

The same records list Emily’s parents as Nathan Rice and [unknown first name] Little. Back to the Illinois State Archives databases where I found Nathan Rice married Emily Little on March 13, 1828, in Shelby County, Illinois. Presumably there were children born between the marriage in 1828 and Emily’s birth in 1844 who are just waiting to be found. While I was there I found a Hattie Wood married a Charles H. McCorkle in Sangamon County on March 28, 1886. On another day I’ll tell why I’m sure that is my great grandaunt.

Lots more to go but in a little over an hour I was able to find plenty of new leads to check out free online.

Military Markers for ALL Veteran Graves

Military Markers for ALL Veteran Graves

Logan County has six known Revolutionary War veteran burials, more than two dozen War of 1812 veteran burials and a massive number of Civil War Veteran burials. There are even some Spanish American War veteran burials. Those are just the ones we are aware of. There could be more.

According to new laws of the Veterans Administration, ANY SOLDIER with proven military service can have a free military stone or marker EVEN IF THEY NOW HAVE A PRIVATE MARKER. In 2009 they anticipate having a marker that attaches to the private marker as an option. I couldn’t locate a picture and don’t know if that is on schedule.

This means Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, Spanish American War, etc. vets can have markers if the proper procedure is followed. There are special markers for some pre World War I wars like the Civil War. Confederate graves may also obtain markers.

Detailed information is available at http://www.cem.va.gov/cem/hm_hm.asp

The form for the marker request is available online. It is not a snap but not terribly difficult either. Proof of service is required. “Service prior to World War I requires detailed documentation, e.g., muster rolls, extracts from State files, military or State organization where served, pension or land warrant, etc.”

They want copies of the actual documents which prove service. Often these documents will come from the National Archives.

It appears you do not have to actually be a descendant to request the marker.
This might be a project for the local genealogical and historical societies and/or the Eagle Scouts, to mark all the graves. In a rural county it is not likely to be expensive if you already have copies of the records — they may already be in local society files or available from a descendant.

Actual copies of Revolutionary War pension records are available at Footnote.com, a subscription service. They also have the Pennsylvania Archives free. Pennsylvania is a state which produced a lot of Revolutionary War vets. Some records are available through Ancestry.com which may be free at your local library. There are other sources.

Many Revolutionary War veterans did not receive a pension but they may have used their benefits to buy land. I have not noticed a lot of that in Logan County but it is something to check. Those who bought land using their military benefit are noted in the record book in Springfield.

Both the State of Illinois and the National Archives have Civil War military records and initial land purchase records. The information the state has is online but it appears you will still need a copy of the federal record.

The person who is going to receive the marker, someone local to the area of the cemetery such as the genealogical or historical society, must sign the application. The cemetery must also sign off that they will allow the marker. Someone must pay to install the marker. Neither requirement is a big deal in rural areas like Logan County but could be major in metro areas.

I know in 2009 we are looking for Lincoln but I know where he is and his grave is already quite well marked. Pick a cemetery and mark the early veteran graves.