Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Few Hours With a Friend

Yesterday afternoon, my last day at the Family History Library, my stomach started growling and I realized I hadn't brought lunch as I usually do. I took the stairs from the 3rd floor, where I had been looking at some books, down to the 1st floor where the snack room was located.

As I was opening the door, I was pleasantly surprised to see Stephen Danko standing there. I think it took him a few seconds to realize it was me but I was soon engulfed by a hearty hug! We talked for a few minutes and made plans for supper after the library closed.

We met up as planned, had a delicious meal, then decided to walk through Temple Square. The Christmas Lights had been turned on Friday at dusk. The Square was crowded with lots of people enjoying the lights in the cool (actually cold) evening air.

The few pictures that I took don't do the scene justice and don't show the lights very well. Nearly every tree in the Square was wrapped in various covered lights.

There were several nativity scenes. This one simply shows Joseph and Mary with the baby Jesus, floating in one of the water features.

This was the one area in the Square that was not covered with lights. It told the story of the birth of Christ, with each scene being lit as the story progressed. It was nearly impossible to hear the narrator but I think most everyone there was familiar with the story!

The time passed quickly – too quickly – but it was so nice to see Steve again and spend even a few short hours together. Thanks, Steve!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Update from Salt Lake City :: Nearing the End

Two more days... then the Research Marathon will be over. It has been an incredible seven weeks (and a few days) and I feel so fortunate to have been able to spend so much time here. Now all I have to do is find (or take) the time to go through all of the stuff that I've gathered.

The majority of my time was spent on the second floor using the microfilms – nearly 500 rolls have been pulled and reviewed. Of course, some of them were used only for a few minutes but others yielded numerous documents. Everything was scanned – microfilm to jpg files and books to pdfs, which resulted in nearly 2,000 new files. Several estate packets yielded 40 to 90+ documents and confirmed relationships previously found in undocumented publications!

Midst all the wonderful documents collected there was some degree of frustration now and then. Microfilm images were not always of the greatest quality. Some were downright awful - faded or extremely dark or handwriting that was totally illegible. And then there were the record groups you wanted to view but were not available at the library. Yes, believe it or not The Library does not have everything! LOL.

This is one of the better quality images – clear and sharp. But the handwriting leaves a little to be desired. The sixth entry from the top is my guy – Christian Schuder/Shuder in the 1842 tax list for Jefferson Township, Montgomery County, Ohio. The only way I knew for sure it was him is the first name is legible as is the description of the land '5 3 25 26' (R5 T3 S25 & S26) that he owned.

But just being here and having the opportunity to access so many records in one location was absolutely marvelous. All in all, I've tremendously enjoyed my stay here in Salt Lake City and have gotten a lot accomplished - almost everything that I had hoped to get and so much more. Of course, there is always more research that could be done but I think I need to spend some time to review and absorb all that was gotten – and get the information entered into my Legacy database!

I'll be leaving Monday morning – heading south, hopefully toward warmer weather in southern Arizona or perhaps southern California. I haven't decided on a specific destination yet but do know that I'll be returning to Salt Lake City in February - for the RootsTech conference! I'm excited about that. I was really disappointed to miss it last year. It couldn't be helped and hopefully nothing will come up that will keep me away this year! I'm looking forward to the conference, attending the sessions, and seeing some of my genea-blogging friends again!

Speaking of genea-blogging friends, I'd like to thank A. C. Ivory for stopping by to say “Hello” whenever he was at the library (did you hear about his sky-diving escapades?). Also, thanks to Ruby Coleman for spending time with me when she was here in October working on her new book. It was great to see you both again!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Next Best Thing?

Some of the other genealogy bloggers have been posting their Mayflower Lineages for Thanksgiving. As far as I know, I don't have any ancestors that arrived on the Mayflower. However, there are two that came a little later... Francis Sprague and William Bassett.

The Sprague Project, developed by Richard E. (Dick) Weber and maintained by Albert Arnold Sprague IV, has an incredible amount of information on the various Sprague families in America. In fact, it's almost overwhelming.

The family page on Francis Sprague tells us that he "came in the good ship, Anne, which sailed from London, England, and arrived at Plymouth in July 1623. He was one of those "passengers" who, as Morton writes, "seeing the low and poor conditions of those that were before them, were much daunted and dismayed, and according to their divers humors, were diversely affected. Some wished themselves in England again; others fell to weeping, fancying their own misery in what they saw in others; other some pitying the distress they saw their friends had long been in, and still were under."

Another tidbit provides a small window into his personality: "It appears that grave and sober though he was, he did not wholly escape the displeasure of the scrupulous magistrates of those days. The Court records disclose the fact that he was several times brought before them for what they considered departures from the strict line of duty. A fair interpretation, however, of the evidence, drawn from the Old Colony Records, warrants the conclusion that Francis (Sprague) was a person of ardent temperament and of great independence of mind; in short, that his sympathies with the principles of the Puritan Fathers did not go to the length of Passive acquiescence in all the enactments of their civil code. We know that he was the head of a most honorable and respected family of descendants."

The other early ancestor is William Bassett, father of Ruth who married John Sprague Sr. William Bassett arrived in Plymouth in 1621 on the Fortune.

Now, for the disclaimer. I personally have done little research on the Sprague line to confirm the relationships. Other folks have done considerable research for me and I prefer to spend my time working on lines for which there is little information readily available.

I do think the connection of Lucy Sprague to Thomas and Hannah is a little weak but it is plausible. The Marysville (Ohio) Tribune published a lengthy article on July 17, 1888 regarding a reunion of the children of William Washington Alexander. In that article it stated that William W. Alexander was “married in 1803 to Miss Lucy Sprague who belonged to one of the first families of Rhode Island and who was a sister of Col. Pierce Sprague, a soldier of 1812.”

Lucy reportedly died about 1813-1814 sometime after the birth of her last child, Pierce Alexander. William Alexander, son of William W. and Lucy Sprague Alexander was reportedly born in 1805 in Erie County, Pennsylvania. I have found census records for Lucy's (presumed) parents, Thomas and Hannah (Cobb) Sprague, who were residing in Springfield, Erie County, Pennsylvania in 1800. The Sprague and Alexander families show up together in the Mount Vernon area of Knox County, Ohio about 1810.

A blog post I published in January 2008 tells a little about the discovery of the “Sprague Homestead” of Andover, Connecticut. It was exciting to discover the website mentioned and to learn about how people, specifically Ephraim Sprague and his family, lived in the early 1700s.

Monday, November 21, 2011

It was Just a Matter of Time...

On my meandering drive through Ohio back in September 2009, I stopped at the Strickland Cemetery in Vermillion Township, Ashland County where Jonathan and Elizabeth Hazlett are buried. They may be my 5th great-grandparents. I haven't been able to prove the connection yet but they are really the only candidates that I've found thus far. I'll have more on them in a future post.

A previous visit to the cemetery in October 1999 had resulted in rather poor non-digital photographs of their gravestones, which appeared to be very worn and not very legible. Pouring a little water on the stones brought out the engravings somewhat – enough to verify the transcriptions that had been previously published.

Since I had been to the cemetery before, I knew that their gravestones faced west and timed my visit so that the sun would be in an advantageous position. But I got there a little too soon.

The photo above was taken at 11:39 am. The inscriptions are barely noticeable. The stone on the left is for Elizabeth and the one on the right is for Jonathan. Since time was not an issue, and it was a beautiful day, I walked around the cemetery a bit then fixed a sandwich and had lunch while waiting for the sun to move a little further west.

Taken at 12:15 pm, the inscription on Elizabeth's stone is starting to appear.

I was amazed when, 18 minutes later (at 12:33 pm) the inscriptions were completely visible and could easily be read. All it took was some time and a little patience...

Wife of
March 3, 1848
Aged 86 Years

Sept. 16, 1853
82 Ys. 1 Mo. 1 D.

Photographs were taken September 18, 2009 at Strickland Cemetery in Vermillion Township, Ashland County, Ohio.

Did you notice anything unusual with the inscriptions?

Elizabeth appears to have been about nine years older than Jonathan!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Wilder's Brigade at Hoover's Gap

The poem below (my contribution to Bill West's Third Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge) was included in an undated newspaper article found in the files of my Grandmother. Just 17 ½ years old, her Grandfather (my Great-Great Grandfather) William Brubaker enlisted in Company E, 17th Indiana Regiment on April 21, 1861. He was discharged on June 20, 1864 and eight months later was "veteranized" and enlisted as a sergeant in Company I, 152nd Regiment. He was again honorably discharged on August 30, 1865.

In October 1862, the 17th Indiana was part of a brigade headed by General John Thomas Wilder (a Colonel at the time). The regiments spent much of their time pursuing Confederate raiders and cavalry. As a result, the General decided that his troops would be more effective as mounted infantry. The brigade became known as the "Hatchet Brigade" and then as the "Lightning Brigade" since it could move much faster than the regular walking infantry units. Adding to their effectiveness, the mounted brigade was armed with Spencer repeating rifles on May 18th, 1863.

A little over a month later, on June 24, 1863, the Lightning Brigade used the Spencer rifles for the first time in battle - at Hoover's Gap, Tennessee. They successfully repelled five Confederate assaults and inflicted huge casualties. The 17th Indiana lost 48 soldiers killed and wounded in the severe fighting and the Illinois regiments lost over 100 in the fighting that day.

The poem was recited by Miss Maud Pressler during the 4th annual reunion of Company E held at the residence of Mrs. Isaac Shinneman in Columbia City, Indiana. There was no indication in the article as to the author of the poem.

"Wilder's Brigade at Hoover's Gap"

We rode in advance the whole night long, Faster as near the daylight come,
With never a shout, or laugh, or song, Like hunters pursuing game.
And never a clank of a saber smote An ear in the whole brigade,
And never a bugle breathed a note As the swift night ride we made.

Night's silence was only broken by The sound of our horses' feet:
The stars shown bright in the Southern sky, And the air was warm and sweet.
A sudden halt in the gray of dawn, A single, low, keen bugle call,
We formed in line and galloped on - A few low whispers, and that was all.

For well we knew the day would bring The fierce, wild charge and fight,
And that many a rifle ball would sing Its death-song ore the night.
Our blood rose high when right before, Our eyes the first thin lines of gray,
The skirmishers of an army corps, stretched out across our way.

And on beyond, in Hoover's Gap, Before us spread were a thousand tents;
And in them taking a morning nap Slept Bragg and his regiments.
Loud and clear our bugles sang, And "Charge for the Gap!" was the cry.
And a shout went up from our line that rang And echoed against the sky.

And every steed by spur was stung, As we bent in our saddles low,
And quickly our "Spencers" were unslung, As we rushed on the fearless foe.
On, in the face of the storm of lead That full on our column broke
Over the wounded and over the dead, And through the sulphurous smoke.

We rode the skirmishers to the ground, For Hoover's Gap was our goal;
But above the tumult came the sound Of and army's battle-roll!
"Dismount - Lie down!" Strong line of gray At the double-quick with guns atrail,
Bore down on us in fierce array Expecting that we would quail.

But never a man in the whole brigage Turned back on a coward's heel,
But we lay and gazed all undismayed, Along our barrels of steel.
On - on they came, with savage yell, 'Till fifty paces lay between
And then a flame, as if from hell, Burst full upon the scene.

The black and writhing clouds of smoke Leaped up, then settled over all,
Meanwhile ten thousand rifles spoke Their speech of flame and ball.
For one full hour, like waves that beat Upon the shores that will not yield,
They charged - then sounded the retreat, And left us on the field.

Comrades of many a bloody fray, Of victory or dire mishap,
Who would not rather on that day Have died than lost the Gap?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun :: It's GeneaThanksgiving

I can't believe it's been a week since my last post. It's been a busy week at The Family History Library! Anyway, I thought I'd play along with Randy tonight with his Saturday Night Genealogy Fun!

This week it is the Thanksgiving Edition in which he asks:
  • Which ancestor are you most thankful for, and why?
  • Which author (book, periodical, website, etc.) are you most thankful for, and why?
  • Which historical record set (paper or website) are you most thankful for, and why?
You don't have to travel too far back in time to find the ancestor that I'm most thankful for – my grandmother, Hazlette (Brubaker) Phend Dunn Ferguson (1902-1984). Even though grandma didn't document her findings she was an enthusiastic genealogist providing me with a five-generation pedigree chart filled with the names and dates of her ancestors (and mine!). Grandma also left behind many old family photographs in addition to her own handwritten biography.

The author that I'm most thankful for is a very recent find... Ann-Jannette Emerson published an impressive body of work called “James and Mary Veatch Ellis : Their Sons & Other Descendants” in 1985. I heard about the book several years ago but finally had the opportunity to spend some time with it while here in Salt Lake City. It is a huge 700-page book jam-packed with documents, transcriptions and abstracts – all with sources. And, it takes me back two more generations on my Ellis line and makes a probable link to the Veatch family – both early 1700s settlers of Prince George's and Frederick counties in Maryland.

It will probably come as no surprise to my few faithful readers that the “record set” that I am most thankful for is Land Records! As tedious and frustrating as they can sometimes be to use they have provided me with “proof” connecting one generation to another in several lines being researched. Case in point, Brinker last June and Huntsicker last month! Obviously, deeds also allow you to locate the land where your ancestors lived and help in finding that land when you visit the area. It is an amazing feeling to walk on the land where they lived!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun :: Eli Yarian

Randy Seaver's challenge for this Saturday night is to pick an ancestor or relative with a military record and a gravestone then write about them.

I've chosen Eli Yarian, my 2nd great-grandfather, primarily because I haven't written about him previously!

Eli and his brother Benjamin enlisted in Battery D, 1st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Light Artillery on January 28, 1862 and were mustered out on July 15, 1865. Their brother David enlisted with Battery A, 1st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Light Artillery on August 11, 1862 and was discharged with the regiment in 1865.

Another brother, Jonathan, served with Company A of the 35th Regiment Indiana Infantry in which he enlisted in September 1864 while living in Noble County, Indiana. He and his wife, Jane Hook, had moved there in the summer of 1860. Jonathan joined General Thomas' command in Tennessee, and was with his regiment during the concluding campaign in the western part of the Mississippi Valley. He fought at Spring Hill, Franklin and Nashville. On December 16, 1864, during the second days battle at Nashville, Jonathan was severely wounded and taken to Cumberland Hospital, where his left leg was amputated. He was honorably discharged on May 26, 1865 and returned home to Noble County, eventually moving to Nappanee, Elkhart County, Indiana.

Some of the battles that Eli and Benjamin participated in were:
Munfordville, Kentucky... September 14-16, 1862
Lavergne, Tennessee... December 26, 1862
Siege of Knoxville... November 17 to December 4, 1863
Kingston, Georgia... May 24, 1864
Siege of Atlanta... July 28 to September 2, 1864
Franklin, Tennessee... November 20, 1864
Nashville, Tennessee... December 15-16, 1864
Eli was wounded at the Battle of Nashville, but not seriously. He was transferred to the Eastern Army at Fort Fisher and then to Cleveland where he was discharged in July 1865. In the spring of 1866, Eli and Benjamin moved to Elkhart County, Indiana and made their homes in Locke Township. In the fall of 1866 they both got married. Eli on the 22nd of September to Lovina Berlin and Ben married Eliza Coppes on the 25th of December. Lovina's family had lived in Portage County, Ohio and moved to Elkhart County in 1864 so it is likely that Eli and Lovina knew each other prior to coming to Elkhart County. Purely conjecture on my part, but it's possible that the reason Eli came to Elkhart County after the war was because Lovina was there! Maybe, maybe not.

I'm very fortunate to have a photograph of Eli, which was sent to me in May 2006 by Kathy Foster who is distantly related to William Walker, the husband of Eli's sister Susanna. I wrote about that “Happy Dance” moment in February 2009.

Eli's life came to a tragic end at about noon on Monday January 28, 1895 as he was assisting a neighbor in cutting down a tree. It fell in the opposite direction than was expected, striking him in the head. Death was instantaneous.

Eli is buried alongside his wife Lovina and two young daughters in South Union Cemetery, Locke Township, Elkhart County, Indiana. Note that his inscription has the year 1894. His obituary was published in the Nappanee News on January 30, 1895 and his estate entered probate on March 1, 1895. This photo was taken on July 12, 2004. I've visited the site several times since then, the last time being in the spring of 2009.

The inscription on the gravemarker reads:
1845 – 1932
1839 – 1894

The inscription on the footstone reads:
CO. D.

Eli and Lovina were the parents of seven children:
  1. Estella E. Yarian (29 Oct 1867 – 07 Feb 1935) married Theodore B. Irvine and had two children: Harry and Frederick.
  2. Willis Oscar Yarian (18 May 1870 – 07 Dec 1948) married Grace Melvin and had two children, Harold and Grace Maxine.
  3. Susie Lula Yarian (05 Jan 1872 – 29 Apr 1956) married Henry Phend and had 10 children. See Phend Family Index to Posts. Susie and Henry are my great-grandparents.
  4. Edith M. Yarian (19 Feb 1875 - 01 Mar 1875)
  5. Lydia Blanche Yarian (17 Sep 1878 – 03 Jul 1889)
  6. Mary Winifred Yarian (26 Dec 1881 – 22 Mar 1945) married Earl Glen Rosbrugh, had three children: Pauline, Mildred and Glenwood.
  7. James Arthur Yarian (31 May 1884 – 12 Feb 1930)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Honoring All Who Served

Armistice Day. 1918. The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. The end of "The Great War" thought then to be the "war to end all wars" but sadly, it was not to be. In 1954, President Eisenhower signed a bill that changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day. It is a day meant for honoring all American Veterans; the living as well as the dead; those who served in wartime and those who served during peaceful times.

The above poster is in the Public Domain and is from the website of The Department of Veterans Affairs aka Veterans Administration.

On May 28, 2007 I posted a list of The Veterans in my Family, which primarily consisted of members of my immediate family as well as ancestors and a few of their siblings who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States from Vietnam to the Revolutionary War.

I am honored and grateful to have had so many relatives and ancestors fight for our Freedom during War or serve to protect that Freedom during the all too short times of peace. I may not always agree with the policies of our government but I will always support our soldiers and our veterans!

A few years ago, I gathered information and photographs of the 21 soldiers from Whitley County, Indiana who were killed, or died as a result of injuries, during World War I. Those stories were then published on my (now neglected) Whitley County Kinexxions blog.

If you scroll down to the bottom of the list of labels on that blog you will see several “WWI” labels that will lead you to newspaper articles that were published in the Columbia City Post 1917-1919 regarding The War and The Soldiers.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Update from Salt Lake City :: One Month

Yep! A month ago today I arrived in Salt Lake City. The time has literally flown by. A lot has been accomplished – over 300 microfilms and 40 books (and 1 microfiche) have been pulled and viewed. Of course some of them only for a few minutes and others for a longer period of time, depending upon what the film contained. It's been exhilarating and exasperating – depending upon what was found or not found.

Various documents (wills, estate records, deed records, tax records, baptism records, etc.) on 25 different surnames – not all types of documents for every surname, more on some than others, but something for each surname. Some things were expected (I “knew” about them) but some new things have been found too. I'm at the point now where the “low hanging fruit” has been obtained and will be entering “new” territory next week, exploring surnames and locations that I've not done much research on previously.

One of the earliest documents found is the 1739 Land Warrant issued to Andreas Brinker. Born on July 9, 1699 in Rümikon-Elsau, Zürich, Switzerland as Andreas Brungger, he was married to Regula Hester in 1721 and they had six children, five of whom were born in Swizerland. On June 28, 1735 Andreas and his family arrived in Philadelphia onboard the ship “Mary” having sailed from Liverpool, England. They settled in Saucon, Bucks County in what would become Lower Saucon Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania. Andreas and Regula are my 7th great grandparents.

Land Warrant of Andreas Brinker, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Family History Library microfilm 021686 scanned November 1, 2011.
By the Proprietaries.
Pennsylvania, SS. Whereas Andreas Brinker of the County of Bucks hath requested that We would allow him to take up Fifty acres of Land Situate between to Hills adjoining George Hertzley at Sacoon in the said County of Bucks for which he agrees to pay to our Use, within the Term of six Months from the Date hereof, at the Rate of Fifteen Pounds Ten Shillings, current Money of this Province, for every Hundred Acres; and also to pay the yearly Quit-rent of one Half-penny Sterling for every Acre thereof, to us, our Heirs and Assigns for ever: These are there to authorize and require you to survey, or cause to be surveyed unto the said Andreas Brinker at the Place aforesaid, according to the Method of Townships appointed, the said Quantity of Fifty Acres, if not already surveyed or appropriated, and make Return thereof into the Secretary's Office, in order for Confirmation; for which this shall be your sufficient Warrant: Which Warrant and Survey, in case the said Andreas Brinker fulfil the above Agreement within six Months from the Date hereof, shall be valid, otherwise void. Given under my Hand, and the Seal of the Land-Office, by Virtue of certain Powers from the said Proprietaries, at Philadelphia, this Fifth Day of March Anno Domini One Thousand Seven Hundred and thirty nine. Signed Thos Penn

To Benj Eastburn, Surveyor General.
[Written on the left side]
To George Palmer DS
Execute this and make Return of Survey into the Surv Gen'l office as Soon as possible.
for John Sukins Esq
Edw Lynch