Category Archives: Van Meter
I’ll bet you have, haven’t you? It’s happened to me! As I read their account of this wonderful genealogical treasure arriving out of the blue there’s this tiny little voice at the back of my mind that whispers, “Oh man! How come I don’t get my great grandmother’s diary or a family photo album filled with ten generations of photos all identified!”
Now I know we all cheer when a genealogist is contacted by a previously unknown cousin through their blog. Especially when that distant cousin has info about the blogger’s direct ancestors. Lucky dogs! We smile and give them a Hooray! when they receive a package in the mail. One that contains oodles of handwritten family letters loaded with valuable family information or the afore mentioned Bible. We marvel at their luck! We thank the genealogy gods on their behalf and quickly check our inbox for a similar message. I also turn a couple shades of green. I know, I know. Not cool but I wonder, “When is it going to be me?”
Then another small voice (who seems to show up at these times of envy!) reminds me of all the valuable family heirlooms I already have. Like
Seib lived in Auglaize County, Ohio and enlisted October 15, 1861 for a three year term. As part of Company F, Jacob drilled and marched with many other young soldiers from the west-central part of the state.
Jacob’s duty was personally uneventful until February 1862. Seib along with most of the 4th rode a hard 40 miles in a pouring rain from Bowling Green, Kentucky to Edgefield, Tennessee just north of Nashville. The regiment’s mission was to secure the town of Edgefield and while in town only two days, the mayor of Nashville surrendered his city to the 4th OVC. Mayor Cheatham wanted to prevent Union forces from shelling the city, so by surrendering he hoped to protect Nashville.
At this same time John Hunt Morgan and his men were in the area. Many skirmishes between the 4th and Morgan’s men occurred over several days. In fact on March 8th, Morgan captured
On this Civil War Saturday I’m transcribing the second letter from James R Van Meter to his mother Rachel Millikin. James is a collateral ancestor of mine. He served in Co. F of the 4th Ohio Cavalry. There were two letters written in his own handwriting in his pension file. He died in 1864 and his mother tried to receive a pension on his military service citing the fact that he supported her. His first letter is here. Here’s his second letter:
Louisville Kentucky Oct the 2ond, 1862
I take my pen in hand to inform that my health is ?? getting better and I hope those few lines may find you all well. I have left the hospital and I am with my old(?) Regiment there is only a part of it There yet the rest of it is gone back to Bowling Green to guard the train to Louisville but we are expecting them here every day. I left the hospital last Sunday and my health has improved very fast since I am going to try the service again.
And if I can’t stand it I will come home. I was in the 14 Ohio Last Monday and saw all of the boys but John he was left back at Nashville sick The rest of the boys was well and Hardy and look as fat as Tet pigs. I received my money the 22nd of last month and I sent $10 home. I expressed to uncle Jim and I told him to let you have all of it you wanted of it.
I am a going to see if Lieut Boss won’t let me have a furlow home.
Well I guess I will bring my letter to a close.
So no more at present but remains your son. You must excuse me for not writing to you sooner. I have wrote eight letters and haint had an answer.
Direct your letter to Louisville Ky To the 4 OVC to company F in care of Leiw(?) Boss Commander
R. H. Millikin
Today I transcribe “genealogy gold”! When I received the Civil War pension file on James R Van Meter, my first cousin 4 times removed, I was shocked and excited to find two letters written in his own hand included in the file. He died in 1864 and his mother tried to receive a pension on his military service citing the fact that he supported her. More on his story here.
The paper James wrote this letter on was narrow, so many lines only had a couple words on them. Each new line he used a capital letter whether it was a new sentence or not. He never used punctuation and these words are the way he spelled them.
May the 5th 1862
It is with pleasure
I take my pen in
Hand to inform
you that I am
still on the mend
Lately in between Civil War veterans, I’ve been researching the Van Meter surname in my family line. I’ve been so enamored with this family I’ve neglected my other surnames for quite a while.
My current quest is to document the exact relationship between the Confederate Van Meter’s of West Virginia with the Union Van Meter’s of Ohio. I know both lines trace their ancestry back to the same man. Now I’m in the midst of figuring out how many generations separate these cousins.
Of course my direct Van Meter’s are the ones who left West Virginia and came to Ohio. Documents I have yet to verify but received from a distant cousin has Isaac Van Meter, his wife Susannah and son James moving to Stark County Ohio in 1807. In fact there’s a neat little story about how James as a small boy, fell off a fence and broke his leg. Since they truly were a little house on the prairie there wasn’t a doctor for miles. My story has a Native American setting young James’ leg, preparing medicines for him and he heals completely.
Imagine my surprise when I run across this on a website:
“James Downing Van Meter, the eldest son of Isaac Van Meter and Susanna Downing,