Category Archives: Family Story
In case you haven’t caught my blog posts these past couple days I’m transcribing a local GAR Roster from 1908. Today’s page is a list of Standing Committees. Let’s see what kind of committees there are in this organization in 1908.
Baxter Trevor John W. Crum
Reuben White W. H. Marshall
R. White Fred Louthan
James Sullivan J. S. Sparling
Recently I’ve seen a couple posts about autograph books. Very cool books indeed and I remembered have my maternal grandmother’s autograph book. My mom gave it to me years and years ago. It’s been safely put away for sometime now. My recent blog readings made me hunt it up.
It took only a few moments to pull out my grandmother’s autograph book. I knew exactly where it was. The cover and pages are in really nice shape, it’s just that the binding is broken. So gently and ever so carefully I turn every page.
My grandmother, Gladys B. Marshall Lowery was born in 1892 in Allen County, Ohio. The earliest message in her book is January 5, 1903. Maybe this album was a Christmas gift. She’d have been 10 years old then and I imagine this was a prized possession.
As I look through the pages some notes are signed “your cousin” with vaguely familiar names.
Nov 29. 1909.
Love your playmates
Love your toys;
But never never love
Later my grandmother wrote Battles after Ida’s last name. Thanks grandma for her married name!!
So I need to check these collateral family members out.
George was born in 1868 in Allen County, Ohio. He married my great-grandmother Mary Ellen Williams in 1891. They had three children, my grandmother Gladys was the oldest and they lived on a farm that’s only about 20 minutes from me today.
By all accounts life seemed good for the family. They had three children, were farmers and prospered. I have a couple of pictures of George and Mary Ellen in front of their house and on the farm. It was a happy life until 1908 when my great-grandmother died. Consumption was the cause listed on Mary Ellen’s death certificate. It may as well read “Tragic Ending” because George suddenly became a single father of two teenage girls and a small son.
We’re going to use some of our previous Civil War research and do something different. We’re going on a road trip!One of the many helpful sources in searching your Civil War ancestor is the unit’s regimental history. There you will learn where the regiment was formed and its years of service, its officer’s names and battles fought. A regimental history is a road map of where your ancestor journeyed during this time in our country’s history.
Let’s take for example the 81st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Which also happens to be the regiment my ancestor fought with. Now I know my ancestor joined 19 July 1864 and joined the 81st in November of 1864 after two months training. He mustered out of the infantry on 25 June 1865. So let’s take a look at movements of the 81st Pennsylvania during those eleven months.
My ancestor, George W. Lowery would have joined up with his regiment, the 81st at Petersburg, VA. In November 1864 Petersburg was under siege. The Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of the Potomac were entrenched around the city. Months of fighting had resulted in a multitude of deaths and eventually Grant’s army successfully cut off the Confederate’s supply lines resulting in the fall of Richmond. Without the very basics like food, Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia moved west across the state in early April 1865, pursued by Grant and Union forces, which included my g-g-grandfather.
Following this trail, outlined in the regimental history, I can now “march” along with my Civil War ancestor. I’ve made this trek twice. Once with my husband and another time with my genealogy-minded sister.
I picked up the trail traveling west out of Petersburg to the little known Battle of White Oak Road. I’ve walked the paths there through trees and underbrush imagining troops bursting through the foliage. Making my way back to the small graveled parking lot I slipped a pine cone in my pocket. It was a physical connection for me. I was standing where my Civil War ancestor had been.
Easter this year was a quiet day. With my older kids in far away lands like California and Florida there were just four of us at the dinner table with me, my husband, daughter and dear family friend. I fixed a very traditional Easter meal with ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, pineapple up-side-down cake, you know the drill. So after our delicious meal my daughter took off for parts unknown, her bedroom to be exact and the three adults reminisced about Easters past.
Coloring eggs, eggs hunts in the yard, new clothes were all talked about and then we hit on everyone’s all-time favorite – the canned ham!! Yes we all had memories of our moms at the kitchen counter with that oval shaped tin. Watching her delicately but deliberately rock that metal key back and forth to get it off the side. Then the task of hooking that key on the metal tab of the can. As kids we’d inch closer to see this sight but Mom would tell us to stand back!! Who knew what would happen if this canned ham went berserk!!