18 April 2011

Amanuensis Monday: Obituary for Louisa L. (Dutton) Walker Easterling (1833-1913)

This is my latest big score.  It is impossible for me to express how badly I wanted this obituary!  Louisa was my g-g-grandmother along my pure paternal line (me <-- living Walker <-- Keith G. Walker <-- Henry M. Walker, Jr. <-- Louisa (Dutton) Walker).  The obituary did not answer all my questions about my g-g-grandmother Louisa, but it answered some of them.  Most of all it confirmed where she died -- Farina, Illinois.  Without further adieu, first the death announcement published Thursday, 13 March 1913, in the Farina (IL) News -- 
Grandma Easterling was found dead in bed at her house in the west part of town Thursday morning.  Justice of the Peace Rauckman held an inquest over the body.  the verdict was heart failure.  Funeral was held Saturday afternoon at the residence conducted by Rev. J. W. Hornbeck, her former pastor.
 Now the obituary, published one week later, Thursday, 20 March 1913, in the Farina (IL) News --
Louisa Lorana Dutton was born April 20th, 1883 and was united in marriage with Henry M. Walker Nov. 6th 1855.  He enlisted as private in Company A 33 regiment of Ill., Infantry, and was killed March 2, 1865.  To this union were born three children -- Letta A. Clarke of Farina, L.C. Walker of Cooksville, and Henry M. Walker of Lauder, Wyoming; all of who still survive her.  Besides these are eleven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren also two brothers and one sister, Samuel Dutton, living in Idaho; Capt. H.J. Dutton in Florida, and Mrs. Julia Owens of Colorado Springs, Colorado.  During her residence in Kansas she was married to Jas. Easterling a veteran in the Civil war, he preceding her in death January 25th 1897.  to this union no children were born.  In 1897 she moved to Farina where she has lived until her death at her home, March 6th 1913.  Her age being 79 years, 10 months, 19 days.
In early life she gave herself to God ever since living a conscientious Christian life.  She first united with the Congregational church from which she joined with the Christian Faith, and after moving to Farina in the absence of this Christian church she joined with the Presbyterian Oct. 31, 1897 in which church she has ever since worked with earnest Christian zeal.  She was also a member of the W.C.T.U.
Our dear mother and sister; now we will miss her but the angel of death has come and carried her home to the realms of bliss where no sorrow, no pain can come.  Just inside the Eastern Gate waiting to welcome the heart-broken children and relatives home.  She has set the beautiful gates ajar and she can not come again to us but we can go to her, who will be watching and waiting for us.
We extend our sympathy to the relatives and friends.
Rev. J. W Hornbeck
Factual errors: Birthdate does not match what I have, off by four days; Son listed as "L.C. Walker" in fact should read "S.C. Walker."

Observations: Referred to in the local paper as "grandma" could express popular familiarity.  I did not have as residences S.C. Walker in Cooksville, Samuel Dutton in Idaho, or especially Harvey Dutton in Florida.  We suspected the Henry Walker in Wyoming in the 1910 census was our Henry, now we know it was him.  We did not know her sister Julia was still alive in 1913!  The obit makes no mention of her very first husband Smith or her brief marriage to her third husband Mantle.  Of course she was a member of the W.C.T.U., Mantle was a drunk who beat her up!  My biggest disappointment is no mention of where she is buried.

Follow the trail:  Confirm above previously unknown residences for said relatives; Seek inquest documentation; Seek help from Fayette county research experts on possible cemeteries; Research Henry in Wyoming; Research Julia (Dutton) Owens.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

15 April 2011

Capt. Harvey J. Dutton (1836-1928) -- University Graduate

This man's life keeps impressing me!  From THE ILLINOIS STATE NORMAL UNIVERSITY ALUMNI REGISTRY 1860-1882, as reported in  A History of the Illinois State Normal University by John W. Cook and James V. McHugh (Illinois: Normal, 1882) --
18. Harvey J. Dutton entered the Thirty-Third Regiment immediately after graduation, and remained four years, becoming captain before the close of the war. On his return to Illinois he commenced farming, and removed to Missouri in 1860, where he had purchased a farm. He has taught from four to six mouths each winter for nine successive winters. In August, 1866, he was married to Louise V. Brinsden. They have four children—three girls and one boy. His address is Virgil City, Missouri.
Harvey was my g-g-grandmother Louisa (Dutton) Walker's brother. [Me <-- Living Walker <-- Keith G. Walker <-- Henry Martin Walker, Jr. <-- Louisa (Dutton) Walker]

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

11 April 2011

Amanuensis Monday: Muster Card from Civil War CSR of Charles H. Chesley (1828-1905)

C   --   8 CAV.   --   Ill.
Charles H. Chesley
Appears with rank of Pvt on
Muster and Descriptive Roll of a Detach-
ment of U.S. Vols. forwarded
for the 8 Reg't Illinois Cavalry Roll dated
Dixon, Ill., Oct 10, 1864
Where born Oneida New York
Age 35 y'rs; occupation farmer
When enlisted Oct 5, 1864
Where enlisted Dixon, Ill.
For what period enlisted 1 years.
Eyes blue; hair Auburn
Complexion fair; height 5 ft. 11 in.
When mustered in to date from enlistment Oct 10, 1864.
Where mustered in Dixon, Ill
Bounty paid $33 33/100; due $ (blank)  /100
Where credited Union Grove
Whiteside Co.
Company to which assigned C
Remarks: Res. Union
Grove Whiteside Co.
3 Dist Ill
Book mark: (blank)

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

10 April 2011

Civil War Draft Registration of Charles Chesley (1828-1905)

Third Congressional District, village of Union Grove, Whiteside County, Illinois, enumerated June 1863, one Chesley, Charles, age 35, white, farmer, born in New York (Remember you can click on the image to enlarge it) --

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

07 April 2011

Notable Descendants of Capt. Samuel Walker (1615-1684)

My DNA testing has confirmed that I am a member of the Walker surname group that are descendants of Captain Samuel Walker (1615-1684), resident of Exeter, N. H. (1637); Reading, Mass. (1645); Woburn, Mass. (1654).  The group's website is HERE.  I thought it was worth pointing out something interesting and neat from the first page --

This Walker family tree includes the following notable descendants:
Rev. James7 Walker, (1794-1874); Minister and Rel. Philosopher; President of Harvard 
Sears Cook7 Walker, (1805-1853); Mathematician and Astronomer
George8 Walker, (1824-1888); U. S. Consul-General in Paris, France, from 1880 to 1887
Gen. Francis Amasa8 Walker, (1840-1897); Civil War General; President of MIT
Col. Everett Worthington8 Foster, (1835-1933); Third Minnesota Regiment; Walker Family Researcher
(John) Calvin9 Coolidge, Jr., (1872-1933); 30th President of the United States
Nicholas9 Longworth, Jr., (1870-1931); Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives
George W.12 Bush, (1946- ); 43rd President of the United States; (related through his mother)

This Walker family tree includes the following notable people who married descendants:
Sir Benjamin Thompson, also known as Count Rumford, (1753-1814); Physicist and Inventor; m. (1) Sarah5 (Walker) Rolfe
Samuel F. B. Morse, (1791-1872); Inventor of the Telegraph and Morse Code; m. (1) Lucretia Pickering7 Walker
Alice Roosevelt, (1884-1980); Daughter of Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States; m. Nicholas9 Longworth, Jr.
George H. W. Bush, (1924- ); 41st President of the United States; m. Barbara11 Pierce

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

06 April 2011

Biography of Capt. Harvey J. Dutton (1836-1928)

From The History Of Hickory, Polk, Cedar, Dade And Barton Counties, Missouri published by Goodspeed, 1889; Pgs. 732, 733 Cedar County Section --

Capt. Harvey J. Dutton, general merchant of El Dorado Spring, with  a stock of goods valued at about $3,000 is a native of Woodford  County, Ill., born in 1836, and is the eldest of six sons and two daughters, born to Norman and Nancy E. (Smith) Dutton.  Mr. Dutton was born in Rutland County, VT., in 1810, and Mrs. Dutton in Canada, in 1808.  they moved to Illinois, were married there, and there Mrs. Dutton died in 1866.  One year later, Mr. Dutton married Miss Maria Sleeper, from New Hampshire.  He died March 18, 1889, was a member of the Congregational Church for forty years, was a deacon in the same, and was a successful tiller of the soil.  Capt. Harvey J. Dutton was reared to farm life, received a fair education in the common schools, and later attended the State normal at Bloomington, Ill, from which institution he graduated July 3, 1861.  He then joined Company A, Thirty-third Illinois Infantry, known as the Normal Regiment, and was made sergeant at once.  Afterward, he was made lieutenant, etc., until August, 1863, when he was commissioned captain, and commanded his company with credit until December, 1865, when he was mustered out at Springfield, Ill.  He operated in Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, Louisiana and Alabama, and was slightly wounded three times.  August 21, 1867, he married Miss Louisa V., daughter of John and Louisa Brinsden, who were natives of London, England, where they were married.  Mr. and Mrs. Brinsden emigrated to Canada before Mrs. Dutton was born, and there they both died, Mr. Brinsden in 1861, and Mrs. Brinsden in 1850.  Mrs. Dutton came to Illinois with an uncle, and was there married to Mr. Dutton, by whom she had six children, one son and four daughters now living:  Florence E., Clarence A., Norma E., Bertha I., and Gertrude L.  The fourth child, Colena A., is deceased.  In 1869 Mr. Dutton moved to Cedar County, Mo., settling five miles south of El Dorado Springs, where he followed farming until 1889, when he moved to town, and engaged in his present business.  He is a Republican in politics, voting for Lincoln in 1860; is a member of Colonel Leonard Post at El Dorado Springs, and has held nearly all the offices in the same.  He and Mrs. Dutton are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
-- As the article states, Capt. Harvey J. Dutton was the offspring of Norman Dutton and Nancy (Smith) Dutton.  Nancy was the widow of Norman's older brother Samuel.  Nancy and Samuel's eldest daughter was my g-grandmother Louisa (Dutton) Walker.  So Harvey was my half 2xgreat-grand uncle, and a blood relative.  What makes this article so nice is that it has so much to say about Harvey's parents who are my ancestors!

What makes Harvey so important to my family history is it is probably a safe assumption that he talked Louisa's husband Henry to enter the Civil War.  It was January 1865, the war was winding down, the South was fighting without regular supplies and victory appeared inevitable.  Henry mustered into Company A, of the 33rd Regiment Illinois, the very same company that Harvey was in command of as Second Lieutenant.  Two months later Henry was killed while in service in a railroad accident.

According to the government's military pension records, Capt. H.J. Dutton died January 18, 1928, age 92.  Quite a full life and an ancestor to be proud of.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

04 April 2011

Amanuensis Monday: NEW FOUND Penitentiary Letter from Henry M. Walker 1/17/1897

Written on letter-sized lined paper with no letterhead, addressed to "Mr. H.H. Andrews, Callaway, Custer Co., Neb." and dated "Jan, 17th, 1897," herein transcribed with all mistakes of spelling, grammar, etc., included --
Dear Sir:

I would like to see you cl much if my enimyes are not trying to rong you too but I will say if you make settle acpet a settlement of my busness with you from my enimyes and let them keep me locked you must not expect any more from me for I did think they might have given me a chance to cure my self and most my debts or at least not sent their influence quite so far from home but they say I might have been cured there in the bow if I had taken the Drs. Medicine but perhaps they don't know that Mr. Seasure gained my confidence and I took the medicine as he advised me to but I did not expect him to tell what was not so if they he did say at one time I should not go home if he could help it then, he may be a good Sherrif for all I know but I do not think he done right by me but if they try to make out I am lazy I can say I have never put my propity out of my name to keep my credeters from geting it or expected more of a sick person than a well person I don't supose I look as though I was sick but I dont beleave any of my folks that has not seen me for a year would recognize me but I may be as well as I can be as long as I am confined for the Dr here has only given me promices untill the last time I went to him and if they the Dr is my mind is to be docktered I and I the Dr why dont they let me but if I have no friends still there please send this to G.S. Miller Garden City Kan. I know I can he is still my friend and I believe my Wife and her father is to as well as Mother.

I can be found when not at Chapple on sunday in cell 39.  or I suppose me a letter would find me directed
H. Walker. 3033
Lancaster or
H. Walker
Lancaster Co.
No. 3033 |
I dont know why M M. was omited I will close for this time direct I have not received any mail yet

-- I monkeyed with the contrast and brightness of the scans to make the letter more legible.  I have a lot of thoughts about this letter, some of it, sadly is nothing more than speculation.  This is the second letter my new found friends in Kansas have found from Henry to their ancestor, the first being posted and transcribed here. Henry wrote this letter just thirty-three days after being put in prison, and the former letter just three months before release, and I see a world of difference. 1) I find this letter much more disjointed, defensive, and the number of words struck-out seems to indicate his thoughts were unsorted.  However the former letter was more lucid, accepting of his situation, and with absolutely no words struck-out.  2) He is clearly mentally ill.  The newspaper accounts pointed to paranoia, and I sense great angst in this letter.  He seems to point to mental illness himself, talking of meds and his head being "docktered(sic)" by the doctor at the penitentiary. 3) Can he really believe his wife and his in-laws are still friendly toward him?  It seems absurd, but then again, if he had a mental illness maybe they were sympathetic....at least until the shooting happened. 4) Was "Mr. Seasure" a real person or code for "seizures" associate with his mental illness?  5)  Mr. Andrews appears to be a creditor at this point, and Henry seems to say he treated "the well" and "the ill" the same, hinting Andrews should do the same for him.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

03 April 2011

Who Are You?

Here are two of my saddest family treasures -- at least for the time being they are sad.  Two tintypes of two of my ancestors circa the Civil War.  Why so sad?  I don't know who they are.  After my years of family history research I have a good idea who they could be, and a very great hope one of them is my g-g-grandfather Henry Martin Walker, Sr., who died while serving in the Union Army.

So in the next week or so, I will be packaging them up and sending them to an expert to get cleaned and restored.  Then I will take a super-high resolution scan to a photo identification expert to see what clues he or she might be able to pick out to aid my investigation.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

02 April 2011

My Duttons in D.A.R. Lineage Book

From the Daughters of the American Revolution Lineage Book (1900) --
Born in Perry, Ohio.
Wife of Henry A. Tuttle.
Descendant of Thomas Thompson, Major Richard Sinclair, Samuel Dutton and Joseph Call.
Daughter of Thomas Thompson and Carlista Adelle Call, his wife.Granddaughter of Moses Thompson and Rachel T. Dutton, his wife; Amherst Call (1804-69) and Olive Sinclair, his wife.
Gr.-granddaughter of Thomas Thompson and Ruhama Barrows, his wife; Daniel B. Dutton (1767-1813) and Lorana Smith, his wife;
Rufus Call (1769-1869) and Lydia Ellis Dutton, his wife; Joseph Sinclair (b. 1766) and Olive Coolbath, his wife.
Gr.-gr.-granddaughter of Samuel Dutton and Joanna Root, his first wife; Joseph Call and Mary Sanderson, his wife; Richard Sinclair and Mary Cilley, his wife.
Thomas Thompson, (1762-1828), was placed on the pension roll of Vermont, 1818, for service as private in the Massachusetts Continental line. He was born in Halifax, Mass. ; died in Stowe, Vt.
Samuel Dutton, (1737-1813), served as a private in Capt. Jesse Safford's Co., of Vermont militia. He died in Hartford.
Joseph Call, (1741-1821), served in the Vermont militia on guard duty 1777. He died in Perry, Ohio.
Richard Sinclair, (1731-1813), commanded a company in Col. Thomas Bartlett's regiment and was promoted major.  He died in Barnstead, N. H.
Also Nos. 509, 2134, 5669, 5551, 10757, 15335. 18497.
Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

30 March 2011

"Spider-web" Genealogy

From The History of Hartford, Vermont July 4, 1761 - April 4, 1889 by William Howard Tucker (Burlington, VT: Free Press Association, 1889) --
No longer than sixty years ago there was in one school district in Hartford six families whose total membership, parents and children, was ninety-nine persons, viz :—
David Newton and wife, and 16 children ;
Sylvanus Smith and wife, and 20 children ;
Samuel Dutton and wife, and 16 children ;
Philip Sprague and wife, and 12 children ;
Harvey Gibbs and wife, and 10 children ;
Daniel Benedict Dutton and wife, and 13 children :
number of children, 87. The number of other children in the same district at that time swelled the aggregate to nearly 120.
-- And then they all grew up and got married.  And then their children got married to what are effectively their cousins.  And then again to their second cousins.  And of course you must name some of the kids after yourselves, and their grandparents, and their aunts and uncles!  And if you tragically had a Rachel die while a toddler, well, no problem, you just named the next girl "Rachel."  Your husband die?  Well of course you married his brother, who was named after his father.  And if your wife dies, why of course you married her niece who was named after your sister in law, and whom you named two of your daughters after!

Then some day, over a hundred years later, a descendant like me comes along and must try to sort it all out.  I am sure it all made perfect sense to them back them, but for a researcher it is terribly confusing.  I haven't actually started the hard slosh, because I have done a cursory look ahead, and I dread it.  Mind you this is just a cursory look, but I note I am descended from three of the above families, and Sylvanus Smith at least twice.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

29 March 2011

My Dutton Family of Connecticut and Vermont

From The History of Hartford, Vermont July 4, 1761 - April 4, 1889 by William Howard Tucker (Burlington, VT: Free Press Association, 1889) --

The Duttons in America are of Saxon nativity. The ancient family of Duttons assumed their surname from the place of their residence--Duntune—now contracted to Dutton, a township lying about five miles east of Frodsham, on the river Wever, in Cheshire. The Duttons in Vermont are descendants of the Duttons who emigrated to New England about 1630, many of whose descendants settled in Connecticut. The Duttons in Hartford are lineal descendants of Thos. Dutton of Wallingford, Ct.

1. THOMAS DUTTON, of Wallingford, Ct., was b. March 1, 1707; was m. May 6. 1799 [transcriber's note: this must be a typo, as children were born to this couple from 1730 to 1753], to Abigail Merriam, b. 1708, died April 6, 1799, in Wallingford; he d. in Royalton, Vt., in 1802. Their children were:
John, b. Feb. 6, 1730, d. 1842;
Abigail, b. July 8, 1732;
Thomas, b. Jan. 31, 1735, m. Mar. 1756, Anna Rice, d. Jan. 20, 1806;
Samuel, b. Feb. 3, 1737;
Lois, b. Nov. 8, 1738, m. Dec. 17, 1759, a Mostly, and settled in Poultney, Vt.;
Matthew, b. Nov. 11, 1740, d. young;
John, b. April 14, 1743;
Amasa, b. July 31, 1745;
Nathaniel, b. June 5, 1747;
Phebe, b. Oct. 11, 1749, d. 1825;
Asahel, b. Feb. 2, 1753;

2. SAMUEL, son of Thomas (1), b. in Washington, Ct. ; m. Dec. 6, 1754, Joanna Root, b. Jan. 1, 1737, d. in Woodstock, Vt., 1772; he m. 2d, Oct. 7, 1772, Rachel Benedict, b. April 14, 1751, d. in Hartford, July 21, 1828; he d. in Hartford, Feb. 22, 1813. Mr. Dutton moved from Woodbury, Ct., to Woodstock, Vt., in 1778, and there bought the home farm of Abraham Powers, which he occupied until 1796, when he removed to Royalton, Vt., where his brother Amasa had already settled. Mr. Dutton was a carpenter and house-joiner by trade. While in Woodstock he carried on farming, and was quite prominent in town affairs. March 28, 1782, he was chosen to be a deacon of the First Congregational church, then called "Mr. Hutchinson's Church." On the 6th of April, 1802, Mr. Dutton bought a 100-acre lot of land in Hartford, of Elias Lawrence, and moved into this town prior to April, 1803. A portion of the land he then bought is now occupied by David D. Hazen. Mr. Dutton died in Hartford, July 21, 1828.
His children by his first wife (all born in Connecticut) were :
Olive, b. Aug. 17, 1761, m. about 1780, Seth Fuller of Hartford, d. Aug. 17, 1828;
Abigail, b. Aug. 30, 1763, m. June 7, 1779, Thomas Hazen 4, (See Hazen family);
Lois, b. Aug. 18, 1765, d. Jan. 7, 1772;
David, b. Aug. 17, 1767, d. Feb. 26, 1813.
Joanna, b. 1769, (further history not recorded);
Samuel, b. June 1, 1771.
The children by his second wife were:
Daniel Benedict, b. Aug. 22, 1773;
Thaddeus, b. Nov. 3, 1775, d. Feb. 18, 1813;
Hannah his wife, d. Feb. 24, 1813, aged 37;
Matthew, b. April 5, 1778;
Esther, b. July 24, 1770, m. Oct. 9, 1814, Joseph Savage, b. Oct. 15, 1780, (son of Lt. Seth and Rhoda (Bacon) Savage), d. March 14, 1857;
Rachel, b. Oct. 17, 1782, d. Sept. 30, 1783;
Rachel, b. June 30, 1784, d. June 3, 1795;
Reuben, b. July 24, 1786, d. Sept. 28, 1815;
Asa, b. Dec. 22, 1789, d. Oct. 29, 1790;
Chloe, b. Sept. 29, 1793, d. same day.

4. DANIEL BENEDICT, son of Samuel (2), b. 1773, m. Dec. 5, 1796, Lorana Smith, b. Feb. 15, 1779, (dau. of Sylvanus and Dina (Fisk) Smith); he d. Sept. 1, 1849, in Norwich, Vt. ; she d. in Norwich, Sept. 15, 1857.
Their children were :
Matthew, b. July 16, 1798, d. Nov. 17, 1820;
Marvin, b. Nov. 30, 1799, m. 1st, April 5, 1826, Ruliana Barrows, 2nd, June 10, 1830, Eunice Hazen, b. Jan. 10, 1799, (dau. of Philemon and Eunice (Marsh) Hazen of Hartford), he d.. April 11, 1872;
Rachel, b. Oct. 7, 1801, m. Dec. 5, 1822, Moses Thompson, died July 21, 1861;
Louisa, b. May 12, 1802, d. Sept. 6, 1820;
Aaron, b. Aug. 4, 1804, m. Phebe Tracy;
Samuel, b. Sept. 6, 1806, m. Nancy Smith;
Olive, b. April 8, 1808, m. Dec. 31, 1838, a King, d. Jan., 1877;
Norman, b. Feb. 14, 1810, m. widow of his brother Samuel;
Esther, b. Jan. 15, 1812, m. Jan. 31, 1837 Morgan. L. Crosby, d. March 27, 1878;
Thaddeus, b. Nov. 23, 1814, m. March 31, 1840, Emily Sprague, b. Dec. 13, 1813, (dau. of Philo and Laura (Hazen) Sprague), he d. Dec. 19, 1874, she d. Aug. 2, 1878, children three;
Daniel B. Jr., b. Aug. 30, 1816, m: Cornelia Howland;
John, known as Dea. John, b. Aug. 23, 1818, m. Harriet Lord;
Louisa A., b. Feb. 8, 1820, d. Oct. 31, 1851.
Samuel and Nancy (Smith) Dutton were my g-g-g-grandparents.  They had two children together, one being  my g-g-grandmother Louisa Dutton, who of course married my g-g-grandfather Henry Martin Walker, Sr., who died in the tragic railroad accident while serving in the Civil War.  Samuel died prematurely, and  Nancy remarried to Samuel's younger brother Norman (see above) to whom she also gave two children.  Nancy died, and Norman remarried.

When Henry Sr. died during the Civil War, his family was completely broken up with each member going to live with a different relative.  Louisa remarried twice, and spent much of her elderly years living with her daughter Letta and son-in-law.  Henry Jr., my g-grandfather and who was to become known as a pariah, grew up with his step-grandfather Norman as his legal guardian.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

28 March 2011

Amanuensis Monday: 8/15/1900 Penitentiary Letter from Henry M. Walker

Having a genealogy blog pays off once again!  A nice couple from Kansas were going through the estate papers of one of their g-grandfathers and found a letter written to their ancestor on Nebraska State Penitentiary letterhead.  Out of curiosity they Googled the name of the author of the letter and found him, my g-grandfather Henry Martin Walker, and his story on my blog!  Then out of the goodness of their hearts they emailed me to make contact and then sent the original letter to me.  Two strangers richly blessed me -- I pray God blesses them!

The letter is dated three months before Henry's early release on good behavior from a four-year sentence for "shooting to wound" his wife.  According to my new friends, their ancestor the recipient was an attorney and a banker.

Handwritten on Nebraska State Penitentiary letterhead, dated August 15, 1900, from Henry M. Walker, prisoner #3033, to Mr. H.H. Andrews of Callaway, Nebraska.  Transcribed with all spelling and grammar errors as original --
Dear Sir,
It has been along time since I heard from you or anyone there I have heard at last what the news papers said was the cause of my trouble and it has explaned a good deal to me but it is strange that Mr Holladay or any one else neather told me or shode me a copy of it especly when they beleived it as much as it appears every one did but of corse the facts were brought out at my trial, Well that is all past and my turm nearly expired and I hope that I will not find any one that will care any more about taking care of me than I care to have them I expect to see Mr B. in Lincoln and find out how we stand financly.  Will you please write to me soon and tell me whether Milldale P.O. is discontinued or is the same P.O. Mistress of it now that was four years ago?  or have you heard how my boys are geting a long and the rest of the family?  How are the crops?  and oblige,
Please excuse mistakes and poor writing.
I remain as ever your friend Henry M. Walker No. 3033
--  1) It is a strange feeling to read that and know one of his "boys" he is inquiring about is my grandfather. 2) Milldale was a small but thriving community in Custer County, Nebraska.  At least it was until the railroad decided to bypass it, now it is nothing more than a bunch of crumbling foundations hidden under the wild prairie grasses. 3) The newspapers account of when Henry shot Lucy was quite dramatic, and it seemed ludicrous to us who read it that he was only charged with "shooting to wound," when the newspapers made it clearly out to be attempted murder.  So here Henry is claiming the true account is not in the newspapers but in the trial transcripts.  I have a cousin in Custer County who hopes to get a copy of the trial transcripts at the courthouse this coming week, if they still exist.  The courthouse burned to the ground on January 13, 1910.

UPDATE: ANOTHER LETTER FOUND!  My new friends in Kansas found another letter from Henry to their ancestor H.H. Andrews, and are putting it in the mail to me.  I will post that one here too.  It is dated shortly after he started his prison sentence and they tell me that it seems to indicate that the two of them were in business together.  All records point to Henry being a farmer.  Perhaps Mr. Andrews was part owner of the land and crops?  I have asked my new friends to also keep an eye out on Mr. Andrews business papers, perhaps they will find details.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

24 March 2011

Capt. David Cochran and the War of 1812

From The History of Clinton and Franklin Counties, New York (Philadelphia: J.W. Lewis & Co., 1880) --
Nearly every one who could shoulder a musket took part in the war. Some of those who responded to the requisition made upon the militia by the officer in command at Plattsburgh were David Cochran, captain; Elisha Button, lieutenant; Lucius Elderkin, orderly sergeant; Peter Haff, Abraham Haff, Elvey Ketchum, Isaac Ketchum, Ezra Stewart, Solomon Stewart, Allen Everest, Zelotis Bemas, Brinton Anson, Amos Anson, Jeremiah Hays, Asa Cochran, Nathaniel Cochran, Gardner Button, and others.
Capt. Cochran, with his men, was among the first to report to Gen. Macomb at Plattsburgh for duty, in September, 1814, when that place was threatened by a superior force of well-trained soldiery. On Tuesday, September 6th, his company, with others, was ordered out on the Beckmantown road to tear up the bridges and render the approach to Plattsburgh in that direction as difficult as possible. At a stream about four miles from Plattsburgh, while busy tearing up a bridge, nearly all of his men having their arms stacked, they were suddenly fired upon by a large body of troops, under the command of Gen. Willington, who came through the woods and around a bend in the road just beyond them. With great presence of mind, Capt. Cochran ordered his men to form into line of battle and return the fire of the enemy. It was at this point that the fight began for the defense of Plattsburgh, and the troops from Peru have the honor of having first met the foe. Not one of them was killed or wounded, and after having given battle an orderly retreat was commenced towards Plattsburgh, the men loading and firing on the march as Willington followed with his detachment of Sir John Prevost's army, numbering 6000 men. The company continued to perform patriotic and useful service during the war, and were not formally discharged until 1815.
Captain David Cochran (1765-1836) was my g-g-g-g-grandfather.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

22 March 2011

States My Direct Ancestors Lived In (Map)

States My Direct Ancestors Lived In
Make yours @ BigHugeLabs.com
Make yours @ BigHugeLabs.com

Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

17 March 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day for Real

I am over fifty years old, and thanks to genealogy this is the first St. Patrick's Day that I know uncategorically I have some Irish ancestry.  The same is true for my wife.  For her, the link to the green is through her Baggotts.  For me it is through both my Porters and Cochrans.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

16 March 2011

Genealogy Quote

"[Her spouse's] ancestry may not be my ancestry, but it is my kid's ancestry, and that matters a lot to me."                                                                                                 -- Lisa Louise Cook

I feel the same exact way.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

15 March 2011

Norman Dutton (1810-1889) and the Underground Railroad

From the Early History of Washington, Illinois and Vicinity (Tazewell County Reporter: Washington, IL  1922) --
The early settlers of this county, although mainly from
the southern or slave states, entertained a deep-seated prejudice
against the Negro, for which it is hard for us to account
at the present day.
The depot masters and conductors on the "under ground
railroad" from Elm Grove to Crow Creek were Josiah
Matthews, Lawyer Briggs, Absalom Dillon, Johnson Sommers,
William Woodrow, Anthony Field, Deacon and Willard
Gray, Uriah H. Crosby, Daniel Roberts and sons John M.,
Ambrose, Darius and Walter, Seth, Billings and Elijah Lewis,
George, Channey and Charles Crandle; Orin M. Bartlett,
James Patterson and J. Randolph Scott, Parker, Mark and
Levi Morse; George Kern and sons John, George and Andrew;
Norman Dutton, the Work brothers and Wilham Lewis.
Nathaniel Smith and Moses Pettingill of Peoria proved their
faith by their works.
-- This is just one of several citations I have ran into so far documenting Norman Dutton's activity in the "Underground Railroad."  More to come, especially about this astounding man.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

10 March 2011

A Brief Rant on Ancestry.Com Family Trees

While researching "Cyrus D. Ward" on Ancestry.com last night, I discovered something completely disturbing.  EVERY record said he was born in New Jersey.  Every census, every military record, every record.  BUT, nine out of ten family trees said he was born in Pennsylvania!  My gawd!!!

I am a huge fan of "the more people researching their family tree the better!"  More people is a good thing.  The more people, the more money, the more time invested in the hobby, the more responsive companies and bureaucracies are going to be to our wants and needs.

However there are responsibilities inherent to our research endeavors.  Responsibilities to our ancestors, to our descendants, and to ourselves, to get it right.  Just because someone says something is true does not mean it is.  Treat it as a clue or a hint, not as a fact.  Prove it to be true or false BEFORE you pass it along to others.  That is how you serve your ancestors, your descendants, and your own integrity.

Here is a simple little dictum to begin with "Someone else's unsourced family tree is not a source!" 

And to my beloved Ancestry.Com, you could help the cause by stopping telling your subscribers that they are.  I love them shaking leaves, and you properly describe them as "hints."  But then when the subscriber saves the "hint" to his/her family tree you then qualify it as a "source" when it is not.  The act of saving a hint does not in any way change it qualitatively or quantitatively, it is still a "hint."  Keep hints as hints, and sources for facts.

End of rant.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

Cyrus D. Ward (1788-1873) War of 1812 Record

"Record of Cyrus Ward" from  U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914 --
No.: 550
Name: Ward Cyrus
Rank: Pvt 
Regiment: 17 USI ["U.S. Infantry"]
Company Commander: Capt. Bradford
Height: 5'8"
Eyes: Blue black
Hair: dark brown
Age: 24/25
Complexion: dark
Occupation: farmer
Where Born: Chatham, Morris, New Jersey
Enlistment When: March 24, 1813
Enlistment Where: [blank]
Enlistment By Whom: [illegible]
Enlistment Period: 5 years
Remarks: [Identical to Below]
From Records of Officers and Men of New Jersey in Wars, 1791-1815 --
Ward, Cyrus -- Private, Capt. Benjamin Watson's Company; enlisted, March 24, '13, for five years; promoted Sergt., Feb. 28, '15; transferred with Capt. Benjamin Watson's Company to 6th Infantry, Aug. 31, '15; reduced to private, March 9, '17; promoted Sergt., Dec. 11, '17; discharged at Plattsburgh, N.Y., March 24, '18, expiration of service.
Cyrus D. Ward was my g-g-g-grandfather by way of my g-grandmother Lucy (Chesley) Walker and her mother Phoebe (Ward) Chesley.

I was finding it brutal to get info on Cyrus Ward and his family.  But the above disclosed his birthplace which should help tremendously.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

09 March 2011

Rev. Samuel Porter (1760-1825)

From the Stewart Family History, a personal family history written by William Flennikan Stewart, circa 1900 --
Samuel Porter b. 1760 Ireland. He came to the U.S. Samuel was a minister of the Gospel and did a good deal of pioneer work in Washington Co. Pa. His studies were under the direction of Mr. Smith & Dr. McMillen, the latter making no charge for board or tuition, while a friend provided for his family in the meantime. He was licenced Nov 12, 1789. In the following year he became pastor of the congregation of Poke Run & congruity. Of the former he was pastor until 1789, of the latter until his death Sept 23, 1825 in the 66th year of his age. He was a very able man. The above churches were in Washington Co. Pa.
 From History of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania by John Boucher (Lewis Publishing Co., New York :1906).
Rev. Samuel Porter was an Irishman, born in 1760. He studied Greek and Latin and theology under Rev. McAlillen, and boarded with his family while doing so, all free of charge. He was licensed to preach in 1789, and the year following began preaching at Polk Run and Congruity. He died September 23, 1825, while pastor in charge of the latter congregation. . . .
The first pastor, Rev. Samuel Porter, was born in Ireland, June 11, 1760, and was of Covenanter parentage. He came to America in 1783, and spent some time in Mercersburg. In 1784 he went to Washington county, where he taught school. There he came under the notice of some of the renowned men of the Presbyterian Church, and he was induced to enter upon a course of study preparatory to entering the ministry. He studied under James Hughes, John Brice and Joseph Patterson and others. After three years he was licensed by the Red Stone Presbytery on November 12, 1789, and in April of the following year began his work at Congruity and Poke Run. The region embraced by his congregation was little less than a backwoods or frontier settlement at that time. Many of the people were as wild and uncultivated as the country in which they lived, and they were greatly in need of the refining influences of the gospel. It is said that on one occasion when Rev. Porter was preaching in the weeds, two young men withdrew from the congregation and ran a foot race in full view of the preacher and his hearers. Under his faithful work the congregation increased very rapidly, and in eight years they felt themselves able to support a pastor alone, so Poke Run was taken from Congruity in 1798. This was due in part to the fact that Mr. Porter did not regard himself as physically able to attend to the wants of both people. Congruity congregation promised him a salary of "one hundred and twenty pounds per year, to be paid one-half in merchantable wheat at five shillings per bushel, and the remainder in cash." To this Mr. Porter agreed, and continued his pastoral relations in that church until his death, September 10, 1825, in all a period of thirty-five years.

While Mr. Porter was pastor there, a new stone tavern was built on the pike, scarcely a mile from the church, and was opened by the owner, a very clever and ingenious landlord, who invited the young folks to have a housewarming and dance in his new tavern. Tickets were distributed and guests invited, many of whom were members of Congruity Church. On the Sunday previous to the intended ball, Mr. Porter, after preaching one of his customary eloquent sermons, before dismissing the congregation, said that the Presbytery would meet the following Tuesday in Greensburg, and also said that on Thursday evening at early candle-light a ball would be held about three-fourths of a mile from that place. He said it was to be hoped that all polite young ladies and gentlemen would attend, for it was a place where politeness and manners could be learned and cultivated, and that many other things could be said in favor of such places which it was not necessary for him to mention at the time. For his own part, if he did not attend, the young' folks, he hoped, would excuse him, as it was likely he might be detained by the Presbytery, but if he should return in time and nothing else prevented him, he would be present and would open the exercises of the night by reading a text of scripture, singing a psalm, etc. Then, with full and solemn voice and in his most impressive manner, he read the 9th verse of the 11th chapter of Ecclesiastes; next he announced and read the 73rd Psalm, and then offered prayer. He prayed for the thoughtless and gay, and asked the Great Spirit to guard them from the vices which might lead the youthful minds astray, after which, with a most solemn benediction, he dismissed his congregation. The evening set for the ball arrived and passed away, but no ball was held, the whole community having been awakened by the venerable pastor's words. During his last years he was enfeebled and unable to stand, and therefore preached while sitting in a split-bottom chair which stood in the pulpit.
From Banners in the Wilderness: Early Years of Washington and Jefferson College by Helen Turnbull Waite Coleman (University of Pittsburgh, 1956) --
Samuel Porter (1760-1825) had come from Ireland in his twenties with a wife, and with his trade as a weaver. McMillan gave him free board and instruction; a neighbor (possibly John McDowell) provided for his family. He spent his subsequent life in the expanding border country; as did also John Brice (1754-1811), William Swan (1764-1827), Thomas Marquis (1757-1827), and John McPherrin (1757-1822), whose ministerial studies were directed by John Clark.
Every one of them, except McGready, participated in the local schools which grew into W. and J. Swan succeeded James Rossas assistant to McMillan in his log cabin school; Patterson and Marquis served as trustees of Canonsburg Academy and Jefferson College; Hughes, Swan, Porter, and McPherrin as trustees of Jefferson College; Patterson and Brice as trustees of Washington College.
There were other contemporary ministers and teachers who came a little later and therefore are not named by McMillan among this second set.
Reverend Samuel Porter was my g-g-g-g-granduncle, through my great-grandmother Camilla (Porter) Needham.   

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

01 March 2011

Signature of Henry M. Walker, Sr. (1829-1865)

As I already documented here my g-g-grandfather died in a tragic railroad accident while serving in the Civil War.  One of my seemingly endless quests is to try and find his grave.  This week I acquired from the National Archives a copy of his Civil War record including his "Final Statement."  Unfortunately it did not offer the information I sought but it did provide a lot of other neat material for future posts, so keep this blog bookmarked.

In the meantime here is an image of his signature taken from his enlistment papers.  I find it very well done, especially considering he gave his occupation as "farmer" --

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

24 February 2011

My Take on Scanners for Genealogical Research

Lately there has been a lot written and said about the new selection of wand-type scanners for use in genealogical research.  My problem with my use of the wand scanners that I have tried is my inability to get a nice equal scan.  This is probably due to my lack of patience or shaky hands.

When I first got involved in genealogy, before the current popularity of wand-type scanners, a research assistant at NARA told me that the only scanners they would allow is flatbed.  My research led me to the wonderful portable-sized Canon LiDE200 Color Image Scanner
It is about the same size as a 17-inch laptop computer but much lighter.  It fits perfectly into my backpack right next to my laptop.  It scans at 4800x4800 resolution, scans in only fourteen seconds, and intelligently identifies the type of document being scanned and adjusts its settings accordingly.  But here is the kicker -- it powers off of my Laptop via USB!!  No bulky, heavy adaptor;  No extra wires!  I connect it to my laptop and go, that is all it takes.  I also got it for about half the price of what wand-type scanners sell for.  So for me the decision was clear.  Older models than the 200 are available with a little research, and there is a newer 500 model, all priced accordingly.

 I have to admit the size of the wand scanner makes it so-o-o-o tempting!  It takes up so little space!  But for me the Canon LiDE200 is easier to use and priced better.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

23 February 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Joseph and Edith Baggott Wedding (1/10/1888)

Joseph Cashel Baggott and Edith Hense Wedding, January 10, 1888.
My wife's maternal great-grandparents.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

22 February 2011

Maria Gertrude (Homberg) Hense (1836-1880)

From The Baggott Family: A Family History (self-published, 2002) by Bert and Joan Donlon --
Frank Hense, born in Prussia in 1820, married Maria Gertrude Homberg, born in 1836, on April 15, 1852 in Adams County, Illinois.  Frank was 32 and Gertrude was 16.  They lived in Hersman, Brown County, Illinois where Frank owned the Lillian Flour Mill.  Hersman is located about three miles southeast of Mt. Sterling on State Highway 99.  Frank and Gertrude had 17 children, five of whom died as infants or in early childhood.  Records from a family Bible indicate that Gertrude died 12 days after the birth of her 17th child.  Gertrude was 44 years old.  Our family has Gertrude's prayer book as our only remembrance.
Gertrude is my wife's great-great-grandmother along her purely maternal line (Gertrude Homberg Hense --> Edith Hense Baggott --> Helen Marie Baggott Frank --> Living Casattas --> Sherri Casattas Walker).  If we were to test Sherri's Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) it would establish a direct link to Gertrude.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

21 February 2011

Amanuensis Monday: Eugene Chesley Still in Nebraska in 1903

From the February 19, 1903 issue of the Custer County Republican (Broken Bow, NE) --
Mr. Eugene Chesley, one of our
former students came over from
Mildale, Monday to visit friends.
He returned Tuesday. He expects
to start to Buckley, Washington
where his parents already
reside, about April 1st.
Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

09 February 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Keith G. Walker Family (Circa 1971)

Pictured (left to right) Arthur "Bud" Walker (1916-1985), Sister Violet Walker (1920-present), Beulah "Lee" Walker Wistrom (1907-1980), Keith G. Walker (1894-1980), Paul Walker (1929-present), Betty Jo Walker Strasheim (1924-2002)  [not pictured: Dorothy Grace Walker Nitzsche 1912-1948; Frances "Jennifer" Walker 1909-1993; Ralph Walker 1918-1969, Wayne Walker 1931-present].
Remember you can always click on the picture to enlarge it.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

07 February 2011

Amanuensis Monday: Capt. Edward Everett (1739 - 1815)

From Descendants of Richard Everett of Dedham, Mass. (Boston, Mass. : T.R. Marvin & Son Printers, 1902) by Edward Franklin Everett --
Capt. Edward5 Everett (Edward4, John3, John2, Richard1), born Dec. 9, 1739, at Dedham,  Mass.; died about 1815, at Peru, N. Y.; married , 1762, at Milton, Mass., Ruth Field, of Milton, died at Peru, N. Y., between 1807 and 1815.

They were both received into the Secoud Church of Dedham, Dec. 25, 1763, and after their removal to New York, are reported as being Quakers. He was a land surveyor, and about 1769 removed from Stoughton to Rumney, N. H. He was one of a committee, in 1779, to settle the town lines of Rumney, and in 1785 was a town assessor. In 1781-2, he removed to New Holderness, and represented that town in the Legislature of 1782. In 1786, he crossed Vermont and Lake Champlain to that part of Plattsburg, N. Y., which was set off, in 1793, as Peru, when he was elected the first supervisor of the town, and re-elected three times. His name appears, May 3, 1757, as private on the muster roll of Stephen Miller's company, in Col. Miller's regiment, of Stoughton. He was captain, from Rumney, N. H., in Col. Bedel's regiment of New Hampshire Rangers, in 1776, in the expedition to Canada; was taken a prisoner, at the Cedars, May 19, 1776, and later released.

134. i. George, b. Oct. 26, 1763.
ii. Persis, b. Jan. 20, 1767.
iii. Hannah, b. July 2, 1769; d.___ at Peru, N. Y.; m. 1st, Robert Whitcomb, of Peru, d. about 1805; m. 2d, Eleazer Nichols.
135. iv. Edward, b.___
136. v. Robert, b.___
vi. Susan, b.___ ;d.___ at Peru, N. Y.; m. Capt. David Cochran, of Peru.
vii. Ruth, b.___ ;m. Elisha Green, of Peru.
viii. Polly, b.___ ;d.___ at Peru; m. John Stafford.
137. ix. David Allen, b. May 23, 1786.
-- Susan Everett and David Cochran were my g-g-g-g-grandparents.  That makes Captain Edward Everett and his wife Ruth Field my g-g-g-g-g-grandparents.  This is the maternal line behind my g-g-grandmother Phoebe Cochran (Ward) Chesley.

The interesting thing here is that the Everetts were said to be of Quaker persuasion.  Their daughter Susan married Capt. David Cochran, which one source said was mistaken for being a Quaker by the way he dressed.  Capt. Cochran was famously the leader of the local militia that fought the British in the Battle of Plattsburgh during the War of 1812.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

06 February 2011

Obituary for Cyrus D. Ward, Jr.

I found this obituary on the Ward-Surname Forum on Ancestry.Com.  No other citation is offered.  Cyrus D. Ward, Sr. was my g-g-g-grandfather.  Cyrus Jr. is the older brother of my g-g-grandmother Phoebe (Ward) Chesley.
Cyrus D. Ward was born July 1st, 1832 at Plattsburg, Clinton County, New York. 
He came west in 1868, settled in Mankato and in the early seventies came to Chippewa County [Minnesota] where he settled on a homestead and lived there until his death, Nov. 20, 1922. 
Mr. Ward was one of the early pioneers of this part of the country. At the time he settled on his homestead was before the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul R. R. came to Montevideo. There was a little village near where Montevideo now stands known as Chippewa City. [2007 update: this village was restored into a museum.] 
Mr. Ward was a man without an enemy in the world, he was respected and loved by all who knew him. 
He answered Lincoln's call for Volunteers when the Civil Was broke out, served two and a half years in the 16th N. Y. Volunteers. Among the battles he was in were Bull Run, Fredricksburg and Vicksburg. 
In 1859 he was married to Marion Danforth of Port Henry, N. Y. Twelve children were born, seven still survive; George of Port Henry, N. Y., Ed of Donnybrook, N. D., Linnie Cromwell of Red Stone, Mont., Alice Matthews of Minneapolis, may McGoech of Devils Lake, N. D., Mabel Post of Black River Falls and D. M. Ward of Havelock, with whom he has lived for the past 25 years, his wife having died about 30 years ago. 
The funeral was held today at 10 o'clock at the house. Interment at the Montevideo cemetery. [2007 update: Now known as Sunset Memorial] 
Rev. Seifert officiated. The deceased has been a member of the Methodist church the past 30 years. 
Such men as Mr. Ward were the real empire builders of the northwest.
Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

03 February 2011

My Ward-family has ties to Massachusetts?

This is news to me, but apparently true.  More fleshing out is needed.  From Genealogical and personal memoirs relating to the families of the state of Massachusetts (New York, Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1910) by William Richard Cutter and William Frederick Adams --
Cyrus Ward lived near Plattsburg, New York. His ancestors settled originally in New Jersey, and his father moved to Ohio after the revolution and during the early settlement of that state.
(II) Luman F., son of Cyrus Ward, was born at Keesville, New York. He was educated in the public schools, and learned the trade of cabinet making, which he followed for many years. From 1855 to the time of his death lie was engaged in farming at Keeseville. He enlisted in the civil war in the Ninety-eighth Regiment of New York Volunteers and served two years, and when he was mustered out he was sergeant of his company. He was a faithful member of the Presbyterian church, an upright, honored and useful citizen. He married Lydia D. Chesley. Children: I. Myron A., born April 14, 1844, mentioned below. 2. Oscar, resides at Easthampton, Massachusetts. 3. Albert Lewis, killed on the railroad at Emery. 4. Elizabeth. 5. Lydia, lives on the homestead at Keesville. 6. Carrie.
(III) Myron A., son of Luman F. Ward, was born in Keeseville, New York, April 14, 1844. He was educated there in the public schools, and worked on his father's farm until 1861, when he enlisted in Company D, Sixtieth New York Regiment, and served four years in the civil war. He was wounded in the battle of Lookout Mountain. He was with General Sherman in his "March to the Sea"' and was one of the men detailed to forage for his regiment. He was discharged and mustered out July 17, 1865. During the next three years he followed farming on the homestead in his native town. In 1868 he came to Easthampton, Massachusetts, to learn the trade of steam-fitter, and in 1870 came to Turner's Falls, where he worked as a journeyman two years. In 1879 he embarked in business as partner in a firm of plumbers and steamfitters and met with gratifying success. He bought out the interests of his partner in 1897 and since then has been in business alone. He has a store on Third street, Chicopee. Besides his tinsmith, plumbing and steam heating business, he deals in stoves, ranges, furnaces and tinware and is one of the leaders in his line of trade in Turner's Falls. Mr. Ward was one of the water commissioners of the town when plans were made and adopted and a system of municipal water supply introduced. He is a member of Post No. 162, Grand Army of the Republic, of which for several years he was commander. He is also a charter member of Elliottstone Lodge, No. 132, Knights of Pythias, of which he was one of the first delegates to the state convention.
He married, November, 1867, Alice I. Keach, daughter of Oran H. Keach, of Rhode Island. Children: William Wallace and .Myron A. Jr.
The Cyrus Ward mentioned in the first paragraph is my g-g-g-grandfather, he lived from 1788-1873, and is buried in Treadwells Mills Cemetery, Plattsburgh, NY, along with his wife Rachel (Cochran) Ward (1797-1859).

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

27 January 2011

Obituary for Dr. Aaron Walker (1815-1899)

From The Obituary Record of Graduates of Amherst College Academic Year ending June 28, 1899 (Published by the College, Amherst, Mass, 1899) --
AARON WALKER, the son of Aaron and Submit (Clark) Walker, was born in Belchertown, Mass., Aug. 20, 1815, and was fitted for college at Burr Seminary, Manchester, Vt., and at Monson Academy.

For more than twenty years he was a teacher of a private school in Ware, Mass, for one year, of the Eighth Grammar school, Lowell, 1842-1845, of the Winthrop school, Boston, 1845-1847, and of the Colburn Grammar school, Lowell, 1849-1864. He was in the service of the Christian Commission at New Orleans. La., in 1864. and from that year until 1866 was general agent for establishing and superintending government colored schools in that state.

Having previously studied medicine one year, he continued it at the Medical school of Harvard University, 1866-1867, and at the Homoeopathic Medical college of New York City, 1867-1868, receiving the degree of M. D. in 1868. He practiced his profession in Manchester, N. H., two years, and at Denver, Col., from 1870 to 1885. He then removed to Edgewood, a suburb of Providence, R. I., and spent the rest of his life in retirement there.  

He died of heart failure consequent upon an attack of the grip, in Providence, R. I., Jan. 22, 1899.

   Dr. Walker was married, (1) July 3, 1844, to Harriet, daughter of Samuel C. Oliver of Lowell, Mass., who died April 17, 1878; (2) Dec. 27, 1881, to Mrs. Lucina M. Smith, daughter of Welcome Sayles of Burrillville, R. I., who survives him. One child, not living.
-- Aaron Walker, Sr. was my g-g-g-grandfather.  Dr. Aaron Walker was the older brother to my g-g-grandfather Henry M. Walker, Sr. (1929-1865).

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

25 January 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Regina Baggott (1895-1905)

My wife's great-aunt who died prematurely from diabetes --

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

24 January 2011

Amanuensis Monday: "Stories Told by Dolores Waterman"

Genealogy can be a strange hobby sometimes.  Like I have written previously, I have a tendency to be myopic about it being "my" family history.  Sometimes I have to remind myself that not all my relatives share all my family history, as a matter of fact, only my brother shares exactly my ancestry.  I even have to remind myself that my ancestry is only half of what belongs to my two sons.  And that is the introduction for this post.

My wife's grandmother was Helen Marie (Baggott) Frank (5/29/1901 - 8/15/1973).  Her younger sister was Dolores Josephine (Baggott) Waterman (9/10/1905 - 10/01/1996).  Below are the "Stories of Dolores Waterman" as told by Joan Donlon and published The Baggott Family: A Family History (self-published, 2002) by Bert and Joan Donlon.
Mom shared a few stories about her family history and her childhood.  When I asked why not more she said that my Nana didn't like to talk about the "old" days because they were so "hard."  In fact my Nana found herself in a pasture one day with a bull ready to charge.  Nana took off at a fast clip, hoisted her long skirts, and cleared a six-foot fence with a foot to spare!  She said in later years as things got tough she sometimes wished she'd let the bull win the race.  Joseph and Edith Baggott, Dolores' parents, came to San Jose in 1900 after living in Kansas, Illinois, and Colorado.  They were farmers and Nana had vivid memories of trying to keep her sanity with five little boys cooped up in a tiny house during the Midwestern blizzards.  She carried a switch in her apron pocket as an aid to keeping order!  Their home in San Jose was at 820 Spring Street.  Grandpa had a dairy business for a while.  The boys sold the milk after school going around by horses and wagon.  He sold his dairy business to work as a contracting carpenter.  The most difficult part of any job was hanging doors.  He also found his asthma to be worse when sawing the wood for the projects.  He was also active in civic affairs.  Grandpa was just about blind by the time of his death in October 23, 1936 at the age of 81.  His funeral service was held at St. Joseph's Church and he is buried at Santa Clara Catholic Cemetery.
Nana and Grandpa had eight children, seven lived to have families of their own.  Regina died at the age of eight from diabetes.  Grandpa had heard that the water from the springs in Alum Rock Park was healthy so, on the weekends, he would hitch up the horse and travel the day to collect water.  Insulin had not yet been developed.
One of their most colorful children was Charles.  He had a love of adventure and horses.  One day he was brought home injured from riding bulls in the rodeo.  His injuries were serious enough to have the doctor come to the house.  He advised bed rest to allow Charles' knees time to heal.  While Nana walked the doctor to the door Charles climbed out the bedroom window and went back to the rodeo!
Mom remembered being at her brother George and Dell's wedding.  Mom was only six years old and this was an exciting event.  During the dinner Aunt Dell's dad was dishing up raviolis and mom had never seen any before.  Being a "suspicious" eater she wanted just a taste.   When Aunt Dell's dad didn't hear her timid request to stop, mom pulled away her plate and the raviolis ended up being served on the lace tablecloth.
Nana worked hard raising her children and running the household.  They raised cows, had a cherry orchard, and a vegetable garden.  She baked five pies, a cake or two, and batches of cookies every week on her wood stove.  She spent days canning produce.  Nana understood that a carpenter might not be able to earn money during the rainy season so she planned ahead toward the lean times.  Mom remembered not-so-prudent women asking for food to "tide their families over."  Knowing the generosity of my Nana I am sure they got a jar or two.
Mom went to St. Joseph's Grammar School and had her heart set on going to Notre Dame High School.  She needed to earn her tuition money so at age 11 1/2 she started working at the cannery.
As an adult, Mom realized her family didn't have much money but it had never been an issue.  It was a busy household with everyone pitching in.  Her parents managed to take a trip to Texas and Mexico and mom and Nana took trips together.  The first trip was back to Kansas in 1926 where Nana was reunited with her brothers and sisters after a thirty year separation.  The second trip was in 1928 when they went to Hawaii to visit Charles "King" Baggott and his family.  Those were happy memories!
Nana liked excitement and, as her son Louis said, she would have loved to ride on a fire engine.  She was active in civic affairs including the Woman's Civic League of San Jose.  In 1915 she was chairman of the league's charter committee.  She was also a member of the Women's Get-Together Club of the First Ward.  Nana enjoyed politics and worked on many projects for St. Joseph's School and parish.  She was also a very capable organizer of Whist parties for the benefit of the parish.
My brother Harold (Hal) and I were fortunate to have known her.  I remember: being rocked in the big chair, apple pies, feeding the chickens, a comfy nap to nestle in, a gentle hand, doll clothes made with love.  Her favorite word to get our attention was "Hark!"  We knew to be quiet and to listen-up.  I remember being sneaked a piece of candy to take the taste of soap out of my mouth!  Oh yes, mom was a disciplinarian and I must have had a sassy mouth!  A treasured memory: Nana took the airplane home from Los Angeles in time for my 3rd birthday.  I felt so loved!
Nana died on September 20, 1946 in San Jose, California.  Her funeral service was held at St. Joseph's Church and she is buried in Santa Clara Catholic Cemetery.
Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

22 January 2011

Obituary: LeRoy Strasheim 1922-2011

From the January 20, 2011 issue of the Wyoming Tribune Eagle --
LeRoy Strasheim


LeRoy Strasheim, 88, of Cheyenne passed away Jan. 19 at the Veterans Administration Medical Center after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease.

He was born July 4, 1922, in Kimball, Neb., to John and Katherine Strasheim. He married Betty Jo Walker on Nov. 19, 1943, and served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. They owned and operated a liquor store in Kimball before moving to Cheyenne in 1948 to work for Civil Service at WAFB and the VA. He retired from the Wyoming Liquor Commission after 28 years of service.

LeRoy's life was dedicated to his family. He was a loving caregiver to his wife, Betty, during her lengthy illness.

He was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church. LeRoy enjoyed sports, antique cars, woodworking, was an avid Wyoming football fan and pool player. He collected Jim Beam decanters, and in earlier years, enjoyed league bowling. He was an all-state athlete in football and track at Kimball High School.

He is survived by a son, Bob (Kim) Strasheim of Cheyenne; two daughters, Patty (Dean Haney) Strasheim of Jackson, and Nancy (Russ) Nagel of Cheyenne; five grandchildren, Kiphany (David) Hof of Kearney, Neb., Jessica (Paul) Wireman of Jackson, Joshua Haney of Manhattan, N.Y., Devin Strasheim and Maddison Strasheim, both of Springfield, Mo.

Mr. Strasheim was preceded in death by his wife, Betty; his parents; and his siblings, Katherine Hofferber, John Strasheim, Emma Switzer and Alex Strasheim.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Trinity Lutheran Church with the Rev. John Christensen officiating. Interment will follow at Cheyenne Memorial Gardens.

Pallbearers will be Russ Nagel, Dean Haney, David Hof, Joshua Haney, Paul Wireman, Jared Melton and Jeremy Payne.

Memorials may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church, or the Laramie County Seniors Activity Center, Attn: Kim, 2101 Thomes Ave., Cheyenne, WY 82001.

Friends may sign the online guestbook for LeRoy at www.wrcfuneral.com
Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

19 January 2011

Obituary: Ann B. Shadel (1920 - 2004)

From the Callaway Courier, 20 Jan 2004
Ann B. Shadel   1920 - 2004 
Kearney -- Ann B. Shadel, 83, of Callaway, died Thursday, Jan. 1, 2004 at Good Samaritan Hospital.

Ann was born July 25, 1920, in Arnold, to Lynn C. and Bessie Ann (Hutchens) Walker.  She attended School at Arnold and graduated from Arnold High School with the class of 1938.  After graduation, she moved to Fort Collins, Colo., for a time and then back to Arnold.

On Aug. 11, 1946, she was united in marriage to Dean Shadel in North Platte.  The couple moved to Grant where she was employed as a telephone operator.  The couple moved to Callaway in 1948 and lived there until 1953 when they moved to Cozad.  They moved back to Callaway for good in 1957.

After returning to Callaway, she was employed by the telephone company until 1965.  An was then employed by the gas company, Dean's Market and the Loup Valley Queen.  She was an advertising setter for the next 27 years before retiring.

Ann was a member of the Callaway United Methodist Church, the American Legion Auxiliary, The Birthday Belles, a Lioness and a member of the church circle.

She liked to attend school activities, enjoyed traveling and was an avid reader.  Most of all, she loved spending time with her grandchildren.

Survivors include her husband of Callaway; a son, Neil Shadel of Pocatello, Idaho; two daughters, Charlynn (Dick) Behrends of Broken Bow and Sue (Randy) Stratton of Callaway; two brothers, Harold of Omaha and Gerald of Lexington; six grandchildren: Scott (Tina) Behrends, Stevi Wilson, Kimaree (Bernie) Woodward, Kara Shadel, R.D. Stratton, and Travis Stratton; four great grandchildren: Bridget Behrends; Rileigh Wilson, Travis Woodward and Brayden Behrends.

Ann was preceded in death by her parents, two sisters, Beulah and Flora Mae; two brothers, Glenn and Norman.

Funeral services were conducted at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2004, at the Callaway United Methodist Church with the Rev. Gerald Schwarz officiating.

Interment is at Rose Hill Cemetery at Callaway.

Memorials are suggested to the Callaway District Hospital and the Callaway Rescue Unit.

Timm - Reynolds - Love Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Ann was my father's cousin.  My Dad came from a large family and because of the disparity in ages found himself in a lot of ways closer to Ann.

She was obviously my first cousin once-removed. I remember clearly visiting "Dean and Ann" when I was growing up.  I learned a lot about farm/ranch life.  I remember going to the county fair and hanging around as an "exhibitor" because they were competing with their farm animals.  I remember the tornado sirens being tested in the evening, and the coyotes calling back to them.  I remember having a huge crush on the girl who lived next door to them (and was about four years older than me).  I hope she is well.

Dean and Ann were instrumental, along with other Nebraska relatives, in getting me to fall in love with the state and get me to long to live there.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

18 January 2011

Genealogy Poem

This poem has been posted all over the web, but I know I have some readers who never go where this might appear, so I thought I would share it with them here.  The author is unknown --
I started out calmly, tracing my tree,
To find if I could find the makings of me.
And all that I had was Great-grandfather's name,
not knowing his wife or from where he came.

I chased him across a long line of states,
And came up with pages and pages of dates.

When all put together, it made me forlorn,
Proved poor Great-grandpa had never been born.

One day I was sure the truth I had found,
Determined to turn this whole thing upside down.

I looked up the record of one Uncle John,
But then I found the old man to be younger than his son.

Then when my hopes were fast growing dim,
I came across records that must have been him.

The facts I collected made me quite sad,
Dear old Great grandfather was never a Dad.

I think someone is pulling my leg,
I am not at all sure I wasn't hatched from an egg.

After hundreds of dollars I've spent on my tree,
I can't help but wonder if I'm really me.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

10 January 2011

Book Review: Annie's Ghosts by Steve Luxenberg

After yesterday's negative book review I felt compelled to present a positive alternative.  Last year I completed Annie's Ghosts: A Journey into a Family Secret by Steve Luxenberg (Hyperion, New York, 2009), an outstanding work in this genre.  Near the end of his mother's life, newspaperman Steve Luxenberg discovers that the long-held family assumption that she was an only child may be untrue.  The work follows Steve in his inquiry which in turn is a typical family history quest.  He interviews relatives, visits sites important to his family, follows leads on various documentation, and queries the government.  This last being perhaps the most interesting as he navigates the hurdles the bureaucracy has created, supposedly in the name of privacy, that prevent even close family members from reaching the truth, as well as where the government has dropped the ball on caring for the records (and remains) of those they seek to help. 

It is written in the first person, but personal politics and opinions are not an issue nor even see the light of day, especially about people and issues unrelated to his search.  Steve stays fully focused on the task at hand, although his personal remorse over the treatment of his ancestor and her records does come to the surface, as well as his personal feelings about his parents, his siblings, and other relatives.  And like any good writer, he makes us feel what he feels.

The book reads as much like a detective story as anything.  His experience as a journalist is evident, as he masters both primary and secondary sources.  But there are historical backgrounds relevant to the story that are in turn educational, in particular how society has in the past treated classes of people perceived to be less persons.

The book has extensive notes, an epilogue and an index, all of which proved valuable.  But as a someone actively involved in genealogy and family history myself, what I really got the most out of the book was encouragement.  The way he overcame the challenges and was able to reach reasonable and informative conclusions gives me hope in my work.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

09 January 2011

I Have Enabled Comments on the Blog

I probably should have done this sooner but really didn't want to have to do the dance with the spammers.

If there were past posts you wished you could have commented on, I hope you will return to them and post now.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

Book Review: Shaking the Family Tree by Buzzy Jackson

I just completed reading Shaking the Family Tree: Blue Bloods, Black Sheep, and Other Obsessions of an Accidental Genealogist by Buzzy Jackson (Touchstone, New York, 2010).  I picked it up on the recommendation of more than one other Geneablogger, and the title alone was enough to grab me.

I must say that I don't find it the least bit ironic that written in an era dominated by online social networking, that I thought the book read like a 200+ page post on Facebook or tweet on Twitter.  It is in fact sort of two books interwoven.  On one hand you have the almost ego-driven story of Buzzy herself as she goes about learning and practicing family research.  She tells us her opinion on practically everything -- guns, gays, cruises, cruise ship participants, the south, southerners, the use of the Confederate Flag, religion, the religious, the D.A.R., elites, and on and on.  And perhaps most of all -- her undying support for Barack Obama.  What does any of this have to do with family history, genealogy, or the search for it?  Nothing.  Yet that makes up at least half the book.

Contrast that to the other half, that which is relevant to her quest.  And I do mean "contrast," for it is engaging and engrossing; Masterfully written.  If you are a true genealogist, I dare you to put down the chapter on her trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City!  But those genuinely golden nuggets are few and far between, and the reader must put up with yet another liberal rant about this or that to find them.

I am politically and socially conservative, Buzzy is clearly from the other end of the political spectrum.  So I found all the political opinion irritating and irrelevant.   I suspect that those who agree with her politically will find it lesser so.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

08 January 2011

Roxa Rich (1785-1868) in D.A.R. Lineage Book

Lineage book, Volume 23 by Daughters of the American Revolution --

Born in Dover, Ohio.

Widow of William H. Quayle.

Descendant of David Foote and of Capt. Divan Berry, Jr., of Connecticut.

Daughter of Lyman Perry Foote and Ruth Berry Smith, his wife.

Granddaughter of Thomas Foote and Dema Perry, his wife; Sylvanus Smith and Roxa Rich, his wife.
Gr.-granddaughter of David Foote and Betsey Hamlin, his wife; David Rich and Ruth Berry, his wife.

Gr.-gr.-granddaughter of Divan Berry, Jr., and Lydia Yale, his wife.

David Foote, (1760-1851-4), served at various alarms in the Berkshire county militia, 1777-80. He was born in Lee, Mass.; died in Dover, Ohio.

Divan Berry, Jr., (1735-83), served as ensign at the Lexington Alarm, as lieutenant in the New York campaign, 1776. He was appointed by the Assembly, 1778, captain of the Sixth Company. He was born in Wallingford; died in Meriden.

Also Nos. 2501, 10348, 16606.
There you go ladies!  If your maiden name is Walker and you are my direct relative, you are very likely eligible for membership in the D.A.R. (Men are eligible for membership in the Sons of the American Revolution.)

Sylvanus Smith and Roxa Rich are my 4th great-grandparents.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

07 January 2011

Death Notice for Ralph E. Phillips (d. 1956)

Paper: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Deceased: Ralph E. Phillips, Sunnycrest, Ill.
Date: November 18, 1956
Ralph E. Phillips, Sunnycrest, Ill., beloved husband of Anna May; loving father of De Etta, Eugene Phillips, and Mrs. Barbara Vaughn; dear son of Maude E. and Joseph Bartosch; fond brother of Mrs. Gladys Butterfield. Service Monday 2 p.m., at funeral home, 18022 Dixie hwy., Homewood. Interment Cedar Park cemetery. Member of South Park lodge, No. 662, A. F. & A. M.
Gleaned: New family unit complete with names; New surname (Vaughn), and a fraternity membership.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

Death Notice for Maude Bartosch (1883-1958)

From the June 25, 1958 issue of the Chicago Tribune.  Maude was my first cousin twice removed, and comes from an Illinois family line I desperately want to do more research on.  Her father Samuel C. Walker (b. 1860) was my great-grandfather Henry M. Walker's (1864-1952) older brother.

BARTOSCH-- Maude W. Bartosch of 624 E. 103d place, suddenly, June 24, beloved wife of Joseph I; fond mother of Gladys Butterfield and the late Ralph E. Phillips; grandmother of three; sister of the late Guy T. Walker.  At chapel, 214 E. 115th street.  Service Friday, June 27, at 1:30 p.m.  Internment Cedar Park.
Gleaned:  She was survived by a married daughter (look for contemporary descendants).  She was preceded in death by a son from a different marriage (so she was married before).  Her brother Guy had already passed before 1958. She is buried relatively locally.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

06 January 2011

A New Genealogy Emotion, At Least New to Me

It seems a common and repeated refrain for genealogists to ask "Why do we do genealogy?"  And I think by now it is pretty much understood there is no one answer.  But I encountered something new, an emotion I really can't easily put my finger on.  And to be totally honest I am using this post in my blog to journal it, to see if I can't help my self understand it.

It seems to me that for years I have perceived that I have been doing genealogy in a virtual vacuum, a bubble if you will.  I saw it as just me, my relatives, and my ancestors doing our research in parallel and alongside a whole lot of others also doing their own research in their own bubbles.  Nothing entirely wrong with that, there is communication back and forth as we share research, give each other tips, etc. That is the way I perceived it.

I have run into a few indirect relatives along the way also researching the same family lines.  But, no offense intended, by and large, with few exceptions, there was an air of abstraction about them to me.  Unfair, I admit, they are real people.  However, it just seemed that unless someone was a part of my direct ancestry they were not inside my self-made bubble with me.  Then my bubble burst.

A lady recently contacted me saying that she had some documents to share on one of my g-g-grandmothers.  She said she was related by a previous marriage.  I had no evidence of any previous marriage!  But she insisted and I thought there was no harm so accepted the papers.  When the papers arrived, I was surprised, there it was in black and white, my g-g-grandmother had been previously married, and while my new found correspondent was not a descendant of my g-g-grandmother, she was descended from her first husband by a different marriage.  No threat to my bubble; Still intact.

However then I went to visit my g-g-grandmother's grave, and it began to hit me, something existentially awakening.  I sensed it when looking at the graves of my other ancestor's too.  These were not "my" ancestors per se.  These were the ancestors of dozens if not more descendants; People I don't know, but am yet related to hereditarily, genealogically, totemically, and every other familial way.  My perceived bubble was absurd.

A new emotion struck me.  I am not exactly sure what it is, but I liken it to "responsibility".  If my unknown relatives are anything like me, and some day down the road, which they may not yet be able to envision today, want to know something about their roots, they were counting on me.  If they were not counting on me, they were at least putting hope in me.  The hope I would do the work; That I would do the work right, and that I would be willing to share it.

Now don't get me wrong, I still do family history and genealogy for me.  And it is and will remain a "choice."  But I love it.  I love doing the research, I love the rewards.  But now the thought of it being practiced in a bubble is just plain absurd.  And I have a stronger sense of wanting to produce something worth sharing.

Copyright © 2010 by Kevin W. Walker

05 January 2011

The Kind of Family Bible that is the Stuff that Genealogical Dreams are Made Of

I was given "the" Family Bible by my grandfather, something for which I am eternally grateful.  But it is really not "old" as it was started by him, and unfortunately research has proven he fudged some of the dates deliberately to hide some family peccadilloes.  So while I am deeply, emotionally touched to be the designated recipient, it has lost a bit of its luster.  Especially when I uncovered this about a different Family Bible belonging to his grandparents:

Testimony given by my g-g-grandmother Phoebe (Ward) Chesley (1830-1928) in the Civil War Widow's Pension File for her husband the late Charles H. Chesley (1829-1905).  --
On this 3 day of July 1905 before me a Notary Public  in and for the county and state afore mentioned personally appeared Phebe C. Chesley who being by me duly sworn swears there is no public record of any kind of fact or date of my marriage to Charles H. Chesley as no such record was by law required to be kept in the state of New York at date of our marriage.  I have a truthful record of my marriage in our family Bible. . . .
The testimony goes on at some length where, among other perfunctory statements like a listing of personal property, she swears there are no remaining witnesses to the marriage nor is she able to contact the minister nor would he have records.

Attached to the sworn affidavit are two more affidavits witnessing to the veracity of the first.  These are from her son-in-law Warren Denslow Copeland (1866-1942) and from a J. O. Mylor who says his age is 44 and his residence as Milldale, NE.

Finally we have an addendum from the attesting notary --
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 3 day of July 1905 by Phebe C.Chesley, claimant for pension and the two persons above subscribing.  I have no interest whatever in the claim for pension by said Phebe C. Chesley widow.  I certify that at the same time said Phebe C. Chesley presented to me a Bible which she said on her oath contained a correct and true record of her family.  I have carefully examined said book.  It appears to have been printed in 1855.  The record is legibly written with no change or alteration from its appearance.  I believe said record is genuine and was probably written near the dates the respective events therein recorded are said to have transpired.  As to the marriage of Charles H. Chesley and Phebe C. Ward the record recites as follows
At top of page under heading of marriages in an old and badly worn and faded Bible appears the following:
Charles H. Chesley (Born Dec 26th AD 1828) x Phebe Ward (Born Feb 6th AD 1830) - August 13th 1848
also a list of others of family with apparent date of marriage set opposite as above.
THAT'S what I am talking about!   The stuff that a Genealogist's dreams are made of.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

02 January 2011

Description of Charles Henry Chesley (1828-1905)

For personal reasons I have been unable to find the time to update my blog for the last three months.  But with the holidays behind us, it is time to fire it up again.

My son was able to make it to Washington D.C., and graciously stopped in at the National Archives to copy off the Civil War pension records for four of our ancestors.  One such record was for my g-g-grandfather Charles H. Chesley, a Private in Company K, 8th Regiment, Illinois.  In the pension records we find the requisite medical report (formally known as "Surgeon's Certificate").  And from the medical report we get the following description --
Upon examination we find the following objective conditions: Pulse rate, 75;  respiration, 18;  temperature, 98 1/2;  height, 5 feet 10 1/2 inches;  weight, 165 pounds; age, 62 years.  Left eye globe collapsed - otherwise in reasonable good condition, the eye totally blind.  Right mucous membrane relaxed areas [     ] of right, eyesight normal.
Rheumatism right shoulder [  ] tender [    ] motion limited because of pain same description of right hip [  ].  No other sign of rheumatism, heart normal.
Supporting documentation appears to indicate he lost his left eye in combat during the Civil War, but I need to transcribe the handwritten documents before I will know for sure.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker