We’re going to use some of our previous Civil War research and do something different. We’re going on a road trip!

Civil War, 81st Pennsylvania Infantry, Sailor's Creek Battlefield

Photo Credit: Cindy Freed

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.

Civil War, 81st Pennsylvania, Sailor's Creek Battlefield

Photo Credit: Cindy Freed

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. Continue reading

I’ve had a couple misses but this past week it happened!

Pvt G W Lowery Co. A 81st Penn Inf

Pvt G W Lowery Co. A 81st Penn Inf

We research our family history. We blog about it. We continue to research. We keep blogging. Weeks go by then months.

I’ve had a couple misses but this past week it happened! It was a bulls eye! It was right on the mark! I checked my email Wednesday morning and this is what I found:

Guess what…George Washington Lowery was also my Great Great Grandfather…. born in Franklin County PA. Moving to Ohio after the Civil War to the outskirts of Sandusky….
He is the father of my grandfather Calvin Tyler…
I have found records back to his parents in Virginia around 1803 as Susan was the mother of George. George’s wife was named Barbara I do believe.
I would love to discuss and share any information that you have as I am only an hour away from the Adams County Courthouse, loaded with records, located in Franklin County here in PA. Please reply and thanks in advance!

Eureka!! Pay dirt!! A distant cousin who stumbled on my blog! I can’t reply fast enough to this email. After several email conversations back and forth which compare names and descendants I am positive we are distant cousins! We agree to share information. We trade addresses.

Then another email comes: Continue reading