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GenCircleLogo12For some reason the “Subscribe to my site via email” link was disabled here on Genealogy Circle. I’m not sure how that happened BUT  it’s fixed now!

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I’d put my “I voted today” sticker on her headstone if I lived nearby

So last week I’m scrolling through Facebook minding my own business, watching videos

Susan B. Anthony Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Susan B. Anthony Photo Credit: Wikipedia

of babies and puppies and liking pics from old high school classmates when I come to a complete stop. Posted among the silly and senseless on Facebook was a photo of Susan B. Anthony’s headstone with several “I voted today” stickers on it and a small bouquet of flowers laying at the base.

It was incredibly moving. Tears came to my eyes. It’s very rare that anything on Facebook resonates with me to that extent but this – several women paying their respects on election day to this courageous woman who fought for women’s right to vote was extraordinary.

So I did a little research. I’m ashamed to say I only had a general idea when the suffrage movement occurred and was hazy on which amendment gave women the right to vote and when it passed. The 19th Amendment ratified on August 18, 1920 gave all women who were U.S. citizens the right to vote. In fact the movement started in the mid-1800s and most women who marched, wrote and lobbied for this cause didn’t live to see the passage of this amendment.

Next I took a look at my own family tree. How did the 19th amendment affect my female ancestors? On my maternal side I had a great grandmother, Sudie L. Barron Lowery, (my maternal grandfather’s mother) who was 46 years old in 1920 and my maternal grandmother, Gladys Marshall Lowery, who was 28 years old in 1920. Her mother had already passed by 1920 and my mom was born in 1919.

On my father’s side my paternal female ancestors found a great grandmother, Josephine Geullbert Frueh, (my paternal grandfather’s mother) who was 71 years old in 1920 and the other, Irene Waller Nantz, (my paternal grandmother’s mother) was 48 years old. My paternal grandmother, Flora A. Nantz Frueh was 32 years old in 1920. (I didn’t realize until this moment that my great grandmother was 16 years old when she gave birth to my grandmother. I will double check those dates.)

So what does that mean? My great grandmothers that were alive in 1920 were well into middle age even elderly by the time they got the right to vote. I wonder if it mattered to them? I wonder how they felt about finally being able to express their opinions through voting? Was it a wonderful reality or insignificant? In their view was voting best left to men anyway?

Both my grandmothers were young vital, women at 28 and 32 years old. Were they excited? Almost giddy at the prospect of finally being counted when it came time to elect officials, determine taxes and add laws to our state constitution? Women’s right to vote was a hotly contested topic their entire lifetime. How I wish I knew how they felt when they finally received the right to vote!

Susan B Anthony headstone Photo Credit:  Sarah Jane McPike

Susan B Anthony headstone Photo Credit: Sarah Jane McPike

My final thought here is that there is only one female generation that precedes me who has always been able to vote. Only my mother grew up knowing she could vote when she came of age. Just ONE generation before me!

I am astounded and deeply grateful for the women who came before and worked and lobbied and suffered untold disgrace and hardship to gain for me the right to vote. Thank you Susan B. Anthony and all the suffragettes. I would most certainly put my “I voted today” sticker on your headstone if I lived nearby but better yet maybe I should investigate who the women in my area were that championed women’s right to vote. Then by the time the next election rolls around I’ll be able to thank those who lived near me for such a valuable privilege. Maybe you’ll do the same.

Civil War Quick Tip – Why do some Civil War battles have two names?

FBGenCircleLogo1Did you know that Union Civil War soldiers referred to previous battles fought by the river, creek or water close to the site? Antietam (Creek) or Pittsburg Landing are a couple examples you may recognize. It was thought that since many Union soldiers came from urban areas and were so taken by the beauty of the south’s geography they talked about battles mentioning the local natural landmarks.

On the other hand, more Confederate soldiers were from rural areas and were captivated by the cities they marched through and the various structures they contained. So southern soldiers referred to previous battles fought by the closest town, city or building. Such as Sharpsburg (MD) or Shiloh (TN).

Perhaps you refer to a Civil War battle place in the same manner, according to which side your ancestor fought. Either way now you know why Manassas is also known as Bull Run or Murfreesboro is aka Stones River.

Good Luck as you continue researching your Civil War ancestor.




Great gift idea! Are you or a family member researching your Civil War ancestor? Check out Ancestors In A Nation Divided – available in Kindle and also in paperback. Great research help as you seek your veteran’s place in our country’s history.

Email me:

cindy at genealogycircle dot com if you’d like to order a signed copy. Thanks!

Also I’d love for you to sign up for my monthly tipsCivil War Research Tips here. I’ll share pointers and info to help in researching your Civil War ancestor. Please take a moment to sign up and thanks so much!

Why We Should Care that First Lt. Alonzo Cushing Received the Medal of Honor 151 years after dying at Gettysburg

First Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing

First Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

After years of dogged persistence by a Wisconsin woman and being put on hold the last couple months due to a search for relatives, First Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing received the Medal of Honor on November 6, 2014 for his actions at Gettysburg July 3, 1863.

Cushing, and his men, were part of the artillery barrage that preceded and continued through the Confederate attack on the center of the Union line, the third and final day of the battle at Gettysburg. Positioned on Cemetery Ridge, Cushing commanded artillery fire against the assault we now know as Pickett’s Charge.

The battle was bloody and brutal. So many soldiers fell injured and dying. As Cushing commanded his battery he too was hit. First in the shoulder and then a second shot tore open his mid-section. With his own hands he pushed his protruding bowels back in his body and continued with his command. Told to remove to the rear Cushing refused and had his first sergeant yell out his orders. Determined to hold his part of the Union line, Cushing was killed by a third bullet that hit him in the head. He died there on the Gettysburg battlefield. He was only 22 years old.

Certainly Cushing was one of the many dead President Lincoln spoke of a few months later when he gave his now famous address at the dedication of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg.

“ . . . that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Abraham Lincoln – Gettysburg Address – November 19, 1863

And finally this past week, 151 years later, First Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing received the Medal of Honor from President Barak Obama. I watched the White House ceremony on YouTube.

My first visit trip to Gettysburg was six years ago. I distinctly remember seeing the monument to Cushing on Cemetery Ridge. I had no idea who he was. It wasn’t until I did some research after that trip that I got the full impact of his actions. The grit and determination of a young man to persevere despite injury and pain. He stood among the smoke, the fear, the sounds of battle, holding his stomach so it wouldn’t spill onto the field and continued to lead. Cushing would not and did not let his commanding officers down, nor his men or his country.

Alonzo Cushing’s story struck a cord with me. I never forgot it. I was well aware of who he was and what he did when his name cropped up in the news this past summer. I’m thrilled his actions are being remembered, that people are learning who he was and what he did. That’s my quest here with Genealogy Circle. To promote the need for all of us to document our Civil War ancestor’s stories so they’re not lost to time.

Let’s do that. Tell and retell the journey of our ancestors, through blog posts, family histories, scrapbooks, and photo albums. Don’t let their stories slip through our fingers.

To Alonzo H. Cushing and all soldiers whose unknown acts of heroism and courage have gone unnoticed or slipped into the pages of history – Thank You. May you somehow know of my/our gratitude and that in some way all of you share in receiving this Medal of Honor. I’m certain First Lt. Cushing wouldn’t mind at all.

Civil War Quick Tip – Union Draft Registration Records

FBGenCircleLogo1Did you know the first military draft enacted in this country was during the Civil War? As the months turned into years it was clear the war would not be ending anytime soon. Add to that the drop off in Union enlistments presented President Lincoln with a big problem.

By mid-1863 the president instituted the very first draft. All men from 20 to 45 years old were eligible to be drafted. There were two classes of men:

Class I included men 20 to 35 years old and all unmarried men 36 to 45 years old.
Class II were married men 36 to 45 years old.

Men who fit the above categories had to go to their local Provost Marshal’s office to sign up.

Today known as the Civil War Draft Registration Records they can be researched at Ancestry. A thorough explanation of the records can be found at FamilySearch.

Consider these records as an “off year” census to use in documenting where your northern male ancestors were living during the Civil War. Not only will you get their place of residence, also their age, marital status, occupation and if he had already served there may be a notation about that.

Good Luck as you continue researching your Civil War ancestor.




If you’re interested in researching your Civil War ancestor’s story check out Ancestors In A Nation Divided – available in Kindle and also in paperback. Great research help as you seek your veteran’s place in our country’s history.

Also I’d love for you to sign up for my monthly tipsCivil War Research Tips here. I’ll share pointers and info to help in researching your Civil War ancestor. Please take a moment to sign up and thanks so much!