The chance meeting:  Oklahoma men with Pennsylvania ties

What are the odds that two men with the same surname, ancestors from the same state, and the same oral family tradition about original immigrants to America would meet in a rural Oklahoma town in the 1980s?   I believe that the odds would be against them.  And, yet, it happened to Daniel Richard Posten, my Dad, and a man named George Avery Posten.  From this chance meeting, I became intrigued with a question about George’s grandfather, Benjamin Avery Posten. This post begins my tale which will be continued in later posts.

Our family surname of Posten, with an ‘e’, is not as common as Poston, with an ‘o’.   So, when Dad saw the name of George Posten in the local phone book, he quickly called. The two met and exchanged stories, beating the odds against such a chance meeting.

In 1980, after Dad’s retirement, my parents moved to Mannford, Creek county, Oklahoma.  Dad’s love of gardening resulted in the purchase of three acres and a small house near the rural community on the banks of Lake Keystone. The lake is about 20 miles west of Tulsa. 

I vaguely remember the phone conversation, although I don’t remember the exact date (or even year!)  I wasn’t into genealogy at that time although I did enjoy hearing them talk about their childhoods and relatives.  The conversation probably went something like this:

Me:   “Hi!  How are you doing?”

Mom:   “We’re pretty good.  Dad’s got his most of the garden planted.”

Me:   “Oh, well, that’s why you moved out there!  I always like the fresh vegetables!”

Mom:  “Your dad is really excited!  We met a man named George Posten and he lives here in Mannford!  We saw the name in the phone book and called.  You know that not too many people spell their name like we do.”

Me:   “Yes,  I know that.”

Mom:  “Anyway, we went to visit him and his wife, Lottie.  They are really nice people!  George was born in Missouri but his grandfather was born in Pennsylvania.  And, he remembers hearing the story that two brothers came to America and one stayed in Pennsylvania and one moved south.   He thinks that he is related to the one who moved south.  He and Dad just talked up a storm!”

Me:  “Oh, that’s interesting!  Isn’t it odd that the two would meet in Mannford, of all places?”

Mom:  “Yes, it is strange!  And, you know that your Dad had a brother, George?”

Me:  “Yes,  Aunt Libby’s husband. I don’t think that I ever met him. ”

Mom:  “You didn’t.  He was killed in a car accident when you were just a baby.  When are you coming to see us?”   The conversation ended a few minutes later as we caught up on other news.

Mom and Dad visited George and Lottie on a regular basis until Mom and Dad moved again in 1990.   Both frequently talked about the stories shared with George and how similar the stories about family origins were.  All of us believed that George and Dad are related.  I still believe it, although I can’t prove it.

Briefly, here’s the family lines.  Thomas Postens, born 1782 at Monmouth county, New Jersey, is our branches progenitor.[1]  Thomas probably moved to Pennsylvania in the 1820s. [2]  Thomas and his wife, Esther Brown,  lived in either Northampton or Pike county in 1829, where my great-great grandfather, James D. Posten, was born. [3]  (Geographic note:  current Monroe County formed in 1836 from Northampton and Pike counties). James D. Posten’ s descendants are Daniel S. Posten (my great-grandfather), John R. Posten (my grandfather) and Daniel Richard Posten (my dad), all born in northeastern Pennsylvania.  Many of Thomas’ descendants still live there.

George Avery Posten’s family easily traces to Benjamin Avery Posten, born 1839, presumably at Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania. [4] From Pennsylvania, Benjamin moved his family to Pulaski county, Missouri, where George’s father, Charley P. Posten, was born.  Charley moved to Creek county, Oklahoma, in the 1920s with the family appearing there in the 1930 census. [5]   Four of George’s nine siblings moved to California between 1930 and 1940, probably as a result of the infamous Dust Bowl.  George died in 1998 and is buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery at Mannford.   

The link may lie in Huntingdon county, which is in western Pennsylvania.   Several Posten families lived there as early as 1800 including William [Posty][6] and Peter [Posty]. [7] Another person of interest is Cornelius Poste (1830 census, Huntington county, Pennsylvania). I believe that William and Peter  migrated west from northeastern Pennsylvania.

 So, what are the odds for this meeting occurring?  I don’t know.  It sure has made my genealogical research interesting! Simply, the BIG question is: Who are the parents of Benjamin Avery Posten? The identity of Benjamin’s mother is based on a single 1850 census record. To be continued. . . .

Disclaimer. I am not the only person who seeks an answer to the question of Benjamin Avery Posten’s parents.

REFLECTION

This post is longer than I hoped. I keep trying for less than 1200 words. Writing helps to clarify my thinking. Before I share my conclusions with you, I felt that I needed to give you the back story. This has been one of my BSO items for several years.

What I learned  (again):  Meticulous record keeping is a must. This includes notes about what information seems to fit and what doesn’t.

What helped? Previous work done on Posten families in Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania. Online access to records.

What didn’t help? Debate within myself about when and how to share this information.

To do:  Begin writing the next installment.

© Susan Posten Ellerbee and Posting Family Roots blog , 2021.


SOURCES:

[1] . “Posten Family Reunion,” The Wilkes-Barre Record, 11 September 1908; online images, Newspapers.com (http://www.newspapers.com : accessed & printed 18 August 2017).

[2] Thomas Pokins. 1820 U.S. Census, Northampton county, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Hamilton, p. 245, image 256, line no. 22, Thomas Pokins; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : accessed, printed, downloaded 18 May 2020); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication M33_104.

[3] Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Health, death certificate 118955 (1914), James D. Posten; Bureau of Vital Records, Harrisburg.

[4] George Avery Posten family tree, privately owned by Susan Posten Ellerbee.  Similar trees also posted on Ancestry website.

[5]   1930 U.S. Census, Creek county, Oklahoma, population schedule, Olive, enumeration district (ED) 0035, pp. 1A & 1B, dwelling 10, family 10, Charles Posten age 62; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 17 October 2021); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. Microfilm publication T626.

[6] 1800 U.S. Census, Huntington county, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Union Township, p. 147, line 35, William Posty; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : accessed, printed, downloaded 18 May 2020); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication M32, roll 40.

[7] 1800 U.S. Census, Huntington county, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Union Township, p. 147, line 36, Peter Posty; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : accessed, printed, downloaded 18 May 2020); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication M32, roll 40.

What indexes and transcripts don’t tell you 

                        

Indexes and transcripts of documents provide clues about our ancestors’ lives.  However, they typically do not show all  information found on the original document.  Sometimes, I am so excited to find any information about an ancestor that I forget about a basic principle–  indexes and transcripts are just the beginning.  The original document tells more of the story. In this post, I tell about a marriage record, a death record, and implications for my future research.

For the past several months, I have been writing a manuscript about my mother’s German ancestors who immigrated to America. I already have copies of some original documents. As I wrote, I identified and requested copies of other documents. New York City Archives staff usually respond to my requests within a few weeks. Documents from New York state continue to trickle in. One marriage record, the subject of this post, especially confounds me.

A short family history. Valentine Maurer, my mother’s great grandfather, immigrated to the United States about 1855. His death certificate[1], received in 2015, listed his parents as Leonhard Maurer and Marie Maurer, both born in Baden, Germany. Additional research revealed that her maiden name was Metzger (details for another post). So far, so good. I searched for more information about Leonhard and Marie, eventually finding them in New York City in 1865. [2]

Next item found, by chance, was a Manhattan, New York marriage index entry for 70-year-old Leonhard Maurer and Crescentia Ley/ Leu. [3] Leonhard’s age corresponded to other records. In August 2021, I found a similar marriage record index entry on a different online database.[4]  This one had a certificate number so I requested a copy of the marriage record and received it on 29 August 2021. [5] 

Family Search index  (Accessed Feb 2021)Ancestry index (accessed August 2021)
Name: Leonhard Maurer
Event Type: Marriage
Event Date: 15 Aug 1870
Event Place: Manhattan, New York, New York, United States
Event Place (Original): Manhattan, New York
Sex: Male
Age: 70
Marital Status: Unknown
Race: White
Birth Year (Estimated): 1800
Birthplace: Baden, Germany
Father’s Name: J… Maurer
Mother’s Name: Theresa Metzgas
Spouse’s Name: Crescendia Leu
Spouse’s Sex: Female
Spouse’s Age: 51
Spouse’s Marital Status: Single
Spouse’s Race: White
Spouse’s Birth Year (Estimated): 1819
Spouse’s Birthplace: Baden, Germany
Spouse’s Father’s Name: Peder Leu
Spouse’s Mother’s Name: Sabina Heusler
Name: Crescentia Ley
Gender: Female
Marriage Date: 15 Aug 1870
Marriage Place: Manhattan, New York, USA
Spouse: Leonhard Maurer
Certificate Number: 4936

The Family Search entry seems fairly complete. What more could be on the original document? Well, there were several items of interest. Specifically, the certificate included Leonhard’s occupation (saloon keeper), “number of husband’s marriage: No. 3” and “no. of wife’s marriage: no. 1.” Leonhard had been married two other times! I know of only one- Maria Metzger, Valentine’s mother.

Based on the 1865 census and 1870 marriage, Maria probably died between 1865 and 1870. At about the same time as finding the 2nd marriage index entry, I found a death index entry for Maria Anna Mearer, age 63, who died in 1867.[6]  Close enough to spend $15.00 for original certificate!  I received a copy of that certificate on 2 September 2021.[7] Names of her parents are not recorded. How do I know that she is MY Maria Maurer? Her age of 63 is somewhat consistent with Maria Maurer, age 62 per June 1865 census. Address of Schols street, 16th ward is roughly consistent with the family’s location in 1865. “Resident of this city: 10 years” is consistent with 1857 immigration record for Leonhard, Maria, and three of their daughters.[8] In addition, a November 1823 marriage record for Leonhard Maurer & Maria Anna Metzger indicates that Maria was born in 1804.[9] I can now say that she is probably the same Maria Maurer living with Leonhard in 1865.

Per June 1865 census, Maria reported 14 children.[10] I found records for 13 children born 1825 to 1852.  My first list included two children, born January 1821 and October 1822.  I initially dismissed them as being born outside of marriage.  Now, I must consider that these two may have been born to Leonhard and his 1st wife, possibly also named Maria.  And, there is one more child to be found for Leonhard and his presumed 2nd wife, Maria Metzger.

In summary, based on currently available information, assertions are:

  • Leonhard Maurer & 1st wife:  2 children, born 1821 & 1822;
  • Leonhard Maurer & 2nd wife, Maria Anna Metzger (1804-1867),  married 1823; 14 children born 1825 to 1852; 13 children identified so far; and
  • Leonhard Maurer & 3rd wife, Crescentia Leu, married 1870, no children.

REFELECTION

Don’t underestimate the importance of research logs. Include even questionable information and why you question it. Track everything, even indexes/ transcriptions. Record the date you order and receive certificates. Original certificates will likely have information that is not on index. Transcriptions also may not include all information that is on the original document.  

What I learned (again!):  New information, beyond what is indexed or transcribed, is usually on an original document. A complete research log takes some time now but will save time later. Search more than one database. If information is not found, check back in a few months. Be sensitive to alternate spelling of names.

What helped:  Fairly complete citations from previous work.       

What didn’t help: I didn’t have digital/ paper copies of all indexes/ transcriptions.

To-do:  Review German records again. Ask my German friend if he is willing to translate. Continue systematic ordering of original BMD certificates.


SOURCES:

[1] Valentine Maurer, death certificate no. 16339 (1898), New York City Archives, New York City, New York City, New York; PDF copy received via email 2015.

[2] 1865 New York State Census, Kings county, New York, population schedule, Brooklyn, , p. 34, dwelling 86, family 282, Leonard Maurer age 64; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : accessed & downloaded 26 May 2018); citing New York State Archives, Albany, New York..

[3]  “New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, Family Search (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24MN-H9H   : viewed & printed 5 February 2021), entry for Leonhard Maurer, age 70; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York.

[4] “New York, New York, U.S., Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 23 August 2021), entry for Crescentia Ley and Leonhard Maurer; citing New York City Department of Records/Municipal Archives.; certificate no. 4936.

[5]  New York, marriage certificate no. no. 4936 (15 August 1870), Leonhard Maurer & Crescentia Leu; Bureau of Vital Statistics, New York City Board of Health, New York City.

[6]  “New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949”, , FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2W7C-WKR   : viewed & printed 24 August 2021), entry for Maria Anna Mearer, died 1867, age 63, certificate no. 4931.

[7] Kings county, New York, certificate of death no. 4931 (1 August 1867), Maria Anna Maurer; New York City Municipal Archives, New York City, New York; PDF copy received via email 2 September 2021.

[8]  “New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957,” digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed & downloaded 29 January 2021), entry for Leonhard Moerer [Maurer]; citing Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36. National Archives at Washington, D.C., microfilm publication M237.

[9]  “Niederhausen, Rheinhausen EM: Katholischr Gemeinde:, Heiratsbuch, 1810-1839 (Catholic congregation: marriage book 1810-1869,” church marriage records; digital images, , Landesarchiv Baden-Würtemberg, Staatsarchive Freiburg (http://www.landesarchiv-bw.de  : viewed & downloaded 23 August 2021), L10, bd 2322, fig. 35, entry no. 4.

[10] 1865 New York State Census, Kings county, New York, population schedule, Brooklyn, p. 34, dwelling 86, family 282, Leonard Maurer age 64; Maria Maurer, 62.

©Susan Posten Ellerbee and Posting Family Roots blog, 2021

Genealogy priorities & short life expectancy

How would your genealogy goals change if you only had two years to live? What kind of genealogy legacy will you leave? This is what now confronts me as I have been diagnosed with a progressive neurologic disorder and a life expectancy of 2 to 5 years.

 Thirty years ago, my goal was to find all original immigrants. On my dad’s side, one immigrant, Anthony Desire LaCoe/LeCoq (1778, France – 1883, Pennsylvania) was identified by others. Mom’s oral history suggested, and since been confirmed, one immigrant, Valentine Maurer (1800, Germany – 1898, New York). Immigrant origins for my husband’s family remain speculative as British with Scandinavian roots have been  identified through DNA. My research identified one more on dad’s side (surname Ostrander from Holland) and one on mom’s side (surname Traver from Germany).  Another researcher discovered a French ancestor, surname Fayard, for my father-in-law. For my mother-in-law, a German ancestor with last name Krueger/ Creager seems likely. So, six immigrants out of at least 32 family lines.

 Now, given time constraints, I have to focus on more realistic goals.  My legacy plan now includes leaving more copies of each scrapbook, especially the paper scrapbooks.  Two copies of Ellerbee-Simmons books exist, i.e. the original and copies given to Papaw’s sister in July 2019.  Two copies of Johnson-Reed scrapbook exist, i.e. original and copy given to sister-in-law last year.

I have two print copies of the Posten narrative history written in 2012, with all of its flaws. But, the framework is there.  Five relatives received copies of this document. Digital copies of all reside on my computer and are saved to the Cloud.

 I focus again on the paper scrapbooks with these new goals for the rest of this year: 

  1. Make two copies of the Ellerbee- Simmons scrapbooks. One copy for sister- in- law and one copy for youngest son. Original scrapbook stays with  my oldest son.
  2. Make one copy of the Johnson -Reed scrapbook for youngest son. Original scrapbook stays with my oldest son.

In previous post, I outlined the specific steps needed before re-submitting article about mom’s family. Similarly,  goals for the paper scrapbooks require specific steps:

  1. Buy five 12×12-inch scrapbooks from local hobby/craft store. Wait for a sale! Prefer scrapbooks that come with 25-50 plastic sleeves.
  2. Buy additional archival quality plastic sleeves as needed.
  3. Buy 1 ream acid-free white paper from office supply store.
  4. Choose dominant color or decorative theme for each scrapbook.
  5. List sections for each scrapbook. Choose one design for the section dividers.
  6. Use personal scrapbook supplies (paper, labels, stickers, decorations, etc.) before buying more. FYI: I have 8 boxes and numerous pads of paper, lots of themed decorations.
  7. Enlist husband’s help as needed with cutting out designs.

My next goal –  create scrapbook/ memory book of Tucker-Maurer family including photos and documents. As of today, my plan is to use  a book format,  then print professionally. I created a short (20 page) version for my brother two years ago. This version includes more information.

Specific steps include:

  1. Outline specific information, such as family group sheets, to be included.
  2. Review blog posts; revise posts as needed and use in this memory book.
  3. Write family/ individual stories as needed.

I discussed all of this with my husband. He asked, “How important is it, really, to get published in a genealogic journal?” I submitted one article and received appropriate feedback from the editor. I will continue to collect birth, death and marriage certificates for that family line.  Those acquisitions strengthen my legacy. However, I also accept that I may not have time to fully address genealogic standards as required by the journal. I can continue to publish via my blog.

The last few months have been an emotional roller coaster. Rethinking my genealogic priorities is only one thing that we have to do. I cannot say enough how much I appreciate my husband and sons. FYI- yes, I have begun the process of getting my genealogical files and items in order. More about that later.

As I work on preservation rather than expansion, the character of my blog posts may change. There are many family stories to tell within the boundaries of my current work.

© Susan Posten Ellerbee and  Posting Family Roots blog, 2021

Genealogy standards and repositories (Priority Reset, Part 2)

The article that I submitted for consideration to a genealogic journal was not accepted. The editor gave lots of feedback with clear directions on how to proceed. In my last post, I reported how and why my genealogy goals for this year have changed. In this post, I outline specific ways in which I plan to revise this article. 

Here’s my new goal: Using the editor’s suggestions as base, revise article about Maurer family. If I follow her suggestions, I will better meet Genealogical Standards[1]. To review, genealogical standards include five criteria:

  1. Reasonably exhaustive research-“emphasizing original records. . . . “[2]
  2. Complete, accurate citation of sources
  3. Tests of evidence by analyzing and correlating data
  4. Resolution of conflicts among evidence
  5. Written conclusion that is reasonable and coherent

Specifically, I did not completely meet the first criteria about original records. I possess, and cited, many  original certificates and/or copies of the originals.  I purchased certificates directly from state, county and local offices. Relatives sent me photo or digital copies. Some records were available online. However, I frequently cited online indexes as sources.

Indexes are not original records!  As the editor pointed out, indexes should primarily be used as a finding aid for the original document. Indexes are transcriptions of original material and, therefore, subject to error. How many times have you found an ancestor’s name misspelled on an index?   Contact the agency or group that holds the original record, i.e. the repository.  Often, you pay a fee for a copy of the record from an agency or group.  Citation of only an index does not meet the genealogical standard.

The original record may be available online. One example is a link to a newspaper article. The article has been indexed on a database; clicking on the link sends you to a digital image of the newspaper. In the example below, the newspaper (Tyler Morning Telegraph, published in Tyler, Texas) is the repository. The obituary was accessed through two database indexes-  Ancestry and Newspapers.com.  Citation of either index without actually finding the article is not enough.  

Is an index ever appropriate as a primary source? I’m not sure and will leave that debate to the genealogy professionals. When you find an index entry for your ancestor, you are definitely one step closer to that missing puzzle piece. Keep good notes and cite the index appropriately in your research log.

For more information: Genealogy 101: Indexes, an Important Part of Genealogy Research

You may not be able to obtain a copy of more recent records. Agencies set criteria for what records are public domain and what records have restricted access. I have seen 75-100- year limits on birth certificates becoming public domain and 25, 50 or even 75- year limits for death certificates. In one jurisdiction, only parents and the actual person can obtain a copy of an original birth certificate, unless the person has been dead for at least 50 years. You may still be able to get a transcript of the certificate. Proof of direct descent sometimes eases restrictions. This can be frustrating for genealogists. However, I respect these agencies for making an effort to limit identity theft.

Remember that online databases such as Ancestry, Find My Past, My Heritage and Family Search are NOT the repositories of most records. These online services are the intermediary between repositories and the public. Example – the repository for most U.S. census records is the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington, D.C. State health departments are often the repositories for birth and death certificates issued since about 1910.

Back to my original goal of revising my article.  Related to the first genealogical standard, my specific objectives are:

  1. Identify all citations with the word “index.”
  2. Detect indexes that may have a digital copy of the original records. When found, go to the original source. Cite the original source including URL.
  3. If original record is not available online, contact agency that holds the original record. Submit request forms and fees as needed. Wait for responses.
  4. Recognize that this process may take months and be costly.

Ultimately, I will produce a better, more complete, family history. What if none of these efforts work? That’s a question I will pose to the editor after I have exhausted all other resources.

The editor also suggested that I consult a broader range of sources such as land records and court proceedings. That will be a topic for another post! 

My article is a work in progress. I have to consider possible copyright issues and, therefore, cannot reveal more to you at this time. I have multiple stories about how I discovered information. I hope to share some of those research notes with you later.   

© Susan Posten Ellerbee and Posting Family Roots blog, 2021


SOURCES:

[1] Board for Certification of Genealogists, Genealogy Standards, 2ND edition (Washington, D.C.: Turner Publishing Co., 2019).

[2] Board for Certification of Genealogists, Genealogy Standards, page 1.

One goal met; reset other goals

I did it! I finally submitted an article for consideration to a genealogic journal. My article was not accepted, but I am OK with that. The editor gave lots of great feedback with clear directions on how to proceed. I plan to work on revisions for that article. Over the last few months, priorities have changed for my genealogy work. In this post, I describe reasons for these changes.

In March 2021, I was diagnosed with a chronic, progressive disease and a life expectancy of two to five years. The disease eventually will disrupt my ability to write or use the computer. I already have limited use of my right arm and hand. This totally changes my genealogy goals. Article submission has been a goal for the last several years. Please note that I didn’t say “published,” although that would be nice! Now that the article has been submitted and reviewed, I can seriously reconsider my other goals. What is most important to finish? What is OK to leave for others?

My broad goals, i.e., to completely redo four different family lines, now seem unachievable. Some things will be left for future generations to do! Writing this blog has helped with cleaning up parts of every family line. I will do my best to continue my blog on a regular basis.

One specific project comes to mind. I haven’t specifically addressed this in my annual goals because I thought I had lots of time. But, with my current diagnosis, this project (actually a series of projects) becomes more urgent. The project involves scrapbooking.

Beginning in 2013, I created six genealogical scrapbooks– four in a traditional paper format and two in a digital format. Two paper scrapbooks were for father-in-law (Ellerbee and Simmons families). After Papa died, I made copies for Papa’s sister.  One paper scrapbook was for mother-in-law (Johnson-Reed families combined).  Last Christmas, Nana and I collaborated on a copy of that book for my sister-in-law. Fourth paper book was for my brother-in-law. One digital book was for my dad’s youngest sister about the Posten family. The second digital book was for my brother about our maternal grandmother’s family (Maurer).

As part of my legacy, I want to leave more than one copy of these scrapbooks, especially the paper scrapbooks. I already have two copies of the Posten narrative history that I wrote in 2014, with all of its flaws. But, the framework is there.  So, I change focus and reset my goals for the rest of this year.

New goals for the rest of this year: 

  1. Make two copies of the Ellerbee- Simmons scrapbooks. One copy for sister- in- law and one copy for son. Original scrapbook goes to my other son.
  2. Make one copy of the Johnson -Reed scrapbook for son. Original scrapbook goes to my other son. My sister-in-law received a copy of that scrapbook last Christmas.
  3. Create scrapbook/ memory book of Tucker-Maurer family including photos and documents.   Four to six copies – one for each son, one for my brother, one for nephew;  possibly copies for two cousins. Use blog posts as base.
  4. Contact lawyer and write will, including a specific genealogy will. My oldest son agrees to be caretaker of my genealogy work.
  5. Using editor’s suggestions as base, revise article about Maurer family. I will address specifics in another post.
  6. Resume work on other goals as time and energy permit.
  7. Tentative: Send copy of Posten-Richards book to Internet Archive for digital archiving. Note: I have two print copies of the Posten-Richards book that I wrote in 2014. I began a much-needed revision but seem to get easily distracted. I have new information to add. The citations, especially, need re-doing. I may have to leave the clean-up to someone else!

When those projects are done, I will look at my overall goals again and set priorities. No matter how much or how little I get done, genealogy paper and digital files are certainly in better shape than they were four years ago when I started the Genealogy Do- Over!

© Susan Posten Ellerbee and Posting Family Roots  blog, 2021

A namesake for Nana – Part 2

I am not the first to report that Barbary Reed’s maiden name could be Friddle. My last post described how Barbary (Friddle) Reed’ s marital identity emerged.  She was the wife of John A. Reed and mother of William Wylie Reed, Nana’s great grandfather. In this post, I report how I built on the work of others to confirm Barbary’s maiden name.

Back to my mother-in-law’s family tree. Nana’s first name was Barbara although she was known by her middle name.  Not unusual.  When Nana looked at a revised family scrapbook last year, she commented about the possible origin of her first name.  Did Nana’s mother hear from her father, Virgil, that his grandmother’s name was Barbara?

Review of census records from last blog post:

1880 census, Overton, Rusk county, Texas: Household of Jno [John] A Reid, 62, born in Tennessee with William Reid, 32, son, born in Tennessee; Josie Reid, 24, daughter, born in Texas and grandson, Willie E. Reid, age 3, born in Texas. [1] John is presumed to be a widower since there is not an older woman in the household.  Josie is presumed to be William’s wife, based on 1876 marriage record for Josephine Reed and W.W. Reed.[2]

1870 census, Rusk County, Texas. [3]  John, age 52; Barbary, age 48; William, age 21; Mary, age 18, born Texas; Sarah, age 12, born Texas. John, Barbary and William were born in Tennessee. Suggests move from Tennessee to Texas between 1849 and 1858. Barbary alive in 1870 and presumed dead before 1880. Both Mary and Sarah possibly married between 1870 and 1880.

1860 census: Rusk County, Texas. [4] John Read, age 41, born in Tennessee. Married to B.A., age 37, with 3 children: Wm. W, age 14, born Tennessee; Mary A, age 10, born Tennessee and Sarah, age 1, born Texas. Family includes William Faddle, 30, a farm laborer, born in Tennessee.  Family lived next to Andrew Read whose family includes 3-year-old Josephine Read, believed to be first wife of William W. Reed (and the same Josie Reid reported in 1880 census). ‘William Faddle’ could be Barbary’’s brother.

1850 census: McCracken county, Kentucky. [5] John A Reed, age 31, carpenter, born Tennessee; Barbara A. Reed, age 27, born Tennessee; Wm w reed, age 2. born Tennessee. Ages, place of birth consistent with later census records. (NOTE: In Bedford county, Tennessee-[6]-John Read, 32, Narcissa Read, 35, Lavitha Read, 18, Mary Read, 4; possibly a different John Reed).

Online family trees show Barbara/ Barbary as daughter of Martin Turley Friddle. Unfortunately, none provided specific documentation to support their assertion.  However, those same online trees showed indexes suggesting that a will existed for Martin Friddle who died 1895 in Shelbyville, Bedford county, Tennessee.[7], [8]  I followed those hints to an actual copy of the will, dated 23 February 1895. [9] One bequest, among others, is to “heirs of . . . Barbary Reid [sic].”

On to Barbary’s mother, Dianna.  Her maiden name of Hudlow is from the death certificate for Emaline.  [Friddle] Russell, another of Martin and Dianna’s daughters.  [10] The mounting evidence now makes the assertions more probable.

ASSERTIONS:

Barbary Friddle, born about 1822 in or near Bedford county, Tennessee to Martin Turley Friddle (1797 – 1895) and Dianna Hudlow (abt 1799, Virginia – 1880).  One of 12 children.

Married John Reid/ Reed, also born Tennessee, about 1845. Family moved to McCracken county, Kentucky by 1850, then to Rusk county, Texas before 1858. Barbary died between 1870 and 1880. John died after 1880.

REFLECTION:

This post is shorter than others but more focused.   Last week, I submitted an article about mom’s family for publication. Will let you know when I hear from the journal.  I added specific information about Barbary, her parents and siblings, to personal and online trees. Online trees can still provide clues even if no source is cited or if source is only an index. Writing this post helped to update Nana’s family tree including citations.

What I learned:  Look beyond indexes and lists of documents. A copy of the original document may be available online! Remember to not discount online trees with minimal or no sources attached.

What helped: Many links and clues already attached to online tree. Updated Nana’s family scrapbook in December 2020. So glad that was done before she died!!

What didn’t help: incomplete citations and notes on my RootsMagic Tree.

To-Do:  BSO item – Barbary (Friddle) Reed’s siblings. John Reed’s parents and siblings. Continue search for John and Barbary’s death information. Write thank-you notes to online tree owners.

© Susan Posten Ellerbee and Posting Family Roots blog, 2021


SOURCES:

[1] 1880 U.S. Census, Rusk Co., Texas, population schedule, Overton, enumeration district (ED) 074, p. 58A, dwelling 140, family 142, William Reid age 32; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 1 July 2021); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C., T9, roll 1325.

[2] “Texas, County Marriage Index, 1837-1977,” database, Family Search (http://www.familysearch.org  : viewed 1 July 2021), entry for Josephine Reed & W.W. Reed; citingTexas county records.

[3] 1870 U.S. Census, Rusk county, Texas, population schedule, Precinct No. 1, p. 345 (ink pen); p. 301 (stamp), dwelling 128, family 131, John A. Reid [Reed] 52; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed & downloaded 11 November 2020); citing Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, microfilm publication M593_1603.

[4] 1860 U.S. Census, Rusk county, Texas, population schedule, Beat 11, Bellevue Post Office, p. 108 (ink pen), dwelling 691, family 709, John Read age 41; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed & downloaded 11 November 2020); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication M653.

[5] 1850 U.S. Census, McCracken Co., Kentucky, population schedule,  p. 190B, dwelling 399, family 400, John A Reed 31; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 2 July 2021); citing National Archives, Washington, D.C., M432, roll 211.

[6] 1850 U.S. Census, Bedford Co., Tennessee, population schedule,  p. 241, dwelling 27, family 27, John  Reed 32; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 2 July 2021); citing National Archives, Washington, D.C., M432, roll 869.

[7] Lisa Davidson, ‘Reed Family Tree,”, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/14272512/person/92321948/facts   ;  accessed 1 August 2021); “Martin Friddle,” cited Martin Friddle on list of Wills, Bedford county, Tennessee, Wills, Vols. 1-2, 1861-1922, F, page 766; no information recorded about content of the will.

[8] Tygorsnan, “Weems Family Tree,” Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/18173545/person/112034568478/facts  :  accessed 1 August 2021); “Martin Turley Friddle,” citing Bedford county, Tennessee, Administrator and Executor Bonds, Letters and Settlements, Vol 3, 1894-1917, pg. 88, appointment of A.J. Womack as administrator; no information provided about content of will.

[9] Martin Friddle will, Bedford county, Tennessee, Wills and Inventories; “Tennessee, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, 1779-2008,” digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed & downloaded 1 August 2021); citing Bedford County Court Clerk and Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee.

[10] Logan county, Arkansas, Death certificates, certificate no. 554, Emaline Russell, 19 June 1920; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry,com  : viewed & downloaded 5 August 2021); citing Arkansas State Board of Health.

A namesake for Nana

Families hand down names through generations. In Nana’s case, the family tradition may have been all but forgotten but still lies deep within memory. This post describes how Barbara (Friddle) Reed’ s marital identity emerged. In my next post, I will report how I determined Barbara’s maiden name of Friddle.

Back to my mother-in-law’s family tree. Nana’s first name was Barbara although she was known by her middle name.  Not unusual.  When Nana looked at a revised family scrapbook last year, she commented about the possible origin of her first name.  Had Nana’s mother heard from her father, Virgil, that his grandmother’s name was Barbara?

Barbara and her husband, John Reed, were not immediately apparent when I began researching Nana’s family tree. Their identity emerged when I asked: who are the parents of William Wylie Reed, Nana’s great-grandfather on her mother’s side? A summary of the evidence follows. Conflicting evidence about William’s birthdate muddied the waters.

According to his obituary, William W. Reed died on Sunday, 29 April 1928 at the age of 71 in Cold Springs, Texas. [1]  Although the family lived in both Cherokee and Rusk counties, Cold Springs is located in San Jacinto county. The front page obituary stated: “Mr. Reed was born in Tennessee, near Nashville in October of the year 1857, but immigrated to East Texas with his parents when he was about 3 years old.”  Neither his parents nor siblings were named in William’s obituary.  Next step: request William’s death certificate. 

What information is on William’s death certificate?  I haven’t found the certificate. Search of Texas Death Index for 1928 produced no results. I looked under surname variations (Reed, Read and Reid) and given name variations (W.W., William, William W., William Wiley, William Wylie and Wiley). Similarly, letters to Texas Department of Health and Cherokee County produced negative results. Go to census records, beginning with 1920 and move back in time.

1920 Census, William W. Reed, 64, b. Tennessee, with wife, Sammie, age 51, (maiden name Williamson) and six of their children living close by. [2]  Estimated birth year 1856, consistent with obituary. If true, parents moved to east Texas about 1869-1870. The ‘m2’ designation for William suggests that this was his 2nd marriage.

1910 Census, William W. Reed, head, 62, m2, years married: 27, birthplace: Tennessee, father born: Tennessee, mother born Tennessee. [3]  Wife, Sammie, age 42, with seven of their 8 children. William’s estimated birth year 1848 is inconsistent with obituary and 1920 census. Why the change? Because of the age difference between William and Sammie?

1900 census:  Wm W Reed, age 52, birthdate October 1847, birthplace Tennessee, married 17 years. [4]  Wife, Sammie, age 32, born June 1867 in Texas; mother of 6 children. Ages consistent with 1910 census; birthplaces consistent with 1910 and 1920 census records. William and Sammie married 4 April 1883 in Rusk county, Texas.[5]

1880 census: Name: William Reid, age 32, son, born about 1848 in Tennessee, living with Jno [John] A Reid, head, age 62, born about 1818 in Tennessee; Josie Reid, 24, daughter, born about 1856 in Texas and grandson, Willie E. Reid, age 3, born in Texas. [6] William’s age consistent with 1900 & 1910 census. Was Josie his first wife? Is John father of William or Josie? John is presumed to be a widower since there is not an older woman in the household.  

Marriage record for W.W. Reed and Josephine Reid:  married 2 December 1876 in Rusk county, Texas.[7] Josie is a derivative of Josephine. Conclusion: Josie in 1880 census is William’s wife.  Josie probably died after 9 June 1880 (census date) and before 4 April 1883 (William and Sammie’s marriage date).

1870 census: Rusk County, Texas. [8]  John, age 52; Barbary, age 48; William, age 21, born Tennessee; Mary, age 18, born Texas; Sarah, age 12, born Texas. John, Barbary, William born Tennessee. Suggests move from Tennessee to Texas between 1849 and 1852. William’s age consistent with 1880 (age 32), 1900 (age 52) and 1910 (age 62) census records. Barbary alive in 1870 and presumed dead before 1880.

1860 census: Rusk County, Texas. [9] John Read, age 41, born in Tennessee. Married to B.A., age 37, with 3 children: Wm. W, age 14, born Tennessee; Mary A, age 10, born Tennessee and Sarah, age 1, born Texas. Family includes William Faddle, 30, a farm laborer, born in Tennessee.  Family lived next to Andrew Read whose family includes 3-year-old Josephine Read. Analysis: suggests William’s birth year circa 1845-1847, within 2 years of birth as suggested by other census records. Suggests move to Texas between 1850 and 1859. Combined with 1870 census data, move to Texas by 1852. Suggests that Andrew Read was Josephine’s father. Similar surnames imply a relationship between John and Andrew.  

1850 census: McCracken, Kentucky. [10]  John A Reed, age 31; Barbara A. Reed, age 27 and Wm W Reed, age 2, all born in Tennessee. Ages consistent with census records for 1860 through 1910.  

CONCLUSION:   John and Barbara Reed are the parents of William W Reed (census records-1850, 1860, 1870, 1880). William was born in Tennessee (all census records, 1850 to 1920, obituary).  William was born in October 1847 (1900 census; suggested by 1850 to 1880, 1910 census records). Why was his age reported differently on the 1920 census? The later birth year of 1857 was obviously believed by family members as reflected in William’s obituary and on his gravestone.  Other information, i.e. “immigrated to East Texas with his parents when he was about 3 years old”, appears probable.

REFLECTION

I reported these findings in chronological order. However, I probably didn’t find the records in that order. I am still searching 1870 census for Andrew Reed family. Writing this post, and the next one, are one way of remembering my mother- in- law. Her comments about the scrapbook led me to delve deeper into this specific family. Post is longer than I intended.

What I learned: repeat database searches. new information and documents are constantly being added. Review sources for previously overlooked information.

What helped: previous work done on Nana’s family tree.

What didn’t help: incomplete records and citations.

To-Do: write letter to funeral home requesting copy of William W. Reed’s death certificate. Continue search for Andrew Reed family in 1870 starting with Rusk county Texas.


SOURCES:

[1] ‘William W. Reed died Sunday’, Alto Herald, Alto, Cherokee County, TX, 3 May 1928, p. 1, column 4. Portal to Texas History (https://texashistory.unt.edu/  : accessed & printed 9 October 2020.

[2] 1920 U.S. Census, Cherokee County, Texas, pop. sch., Justice Precinct 2, enumeration district (ED) 20, p. 12A, Family #260, William W. Reed; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com  : accessed, printed, downloaded 30 March 2017); National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. Microfilm publication T625_1786..

[3] 1910 U.S. Census, Cherokee County, Texas, population schedule, Alto, enumeration district (ED) 0014, p. 17A, dwelling 319, family 3232, William W Reed 62; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 1 July 2021); citing National Archives & Record Administration, Washington, D.C., Roll: T624_1538.

[4] 1900 U.S. Census, Rusk county, Texas, population schedule, , enumeration district (ED) 0082, p. 9, dwelling 166, family 168, Wm W Reed age 52; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 1 July 2021); citing Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623.

[5] “Texas, County Marriage Index, 1837-1977,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org  : viewed 7 July 2021), Sammie Williamson & W.W.Reed; citing Rusk, Texas, United States, county courthouses, Texas; FHL microfilm 1,020,948.

[6] 1880 U.S. Census, Rusk Co., Texas, population schedule, Overton, enumeration district (ED) 074, p. 58A, dwelling 140, family 142, William Reid age 32; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 1 July 2021); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C., T9, roll 1325.

[7] “Texas, U.S., Select County Marriage Index, 1837-1965,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : accessed ); citing Family Search and Texas county records.

[8] 1870 U.S. Census, Rusk county, Texas, population schedule, Precinct No. 1, p. 345 (ink pen); p. 301 (stamp), dwelling 128, family 131, John A. Reid [Reed] 52; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed & downloaded 11 November 2020); citing Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, microfilm publication M593_1603.

[9] 1860 U.S. Census, Rusk county, Texas, population schedule, Beat 11, Bellevue Post Office, p. 108 (ink pen), dwelling 691, family 709, John Read age 41; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed & downloaded 11 November 2020); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication M653.

[10] 1850 U.S. Census, McCracken Co., Kentucky, population schedule, , p. 190B, dwelling 399, family 400, John A Reed 31; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 2 July 2021); citing National Archives, Washington, D.C., M432, roll 211.

Reflection on Independence Day: 2021 and an Update

Disclaimer: Parts of this post originally published 5 July 2019

This year (2021), the country feels more divided than united. All of us need to step back and reflect on the sacrifice made by those who fought for our Independence from England. Those persons were labelled rebels. Because of those rebels, we can argue about the meaning of words in the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. Because of those rebels, we can disagree about the date of our country’s founding.  Remember, too, that we would not enjoy these freedoms if not for those rebels. Like them or not, those rebels deserve to be remembered and celebrated by Americans on this Fourth of July.  

In this post, I update a list of persons from our (my husband’s and mine) family trees who are known or believed to be Revolutionary War patriots. Many of our personal ancestral families lived in the United States in late 1700s and early 1800s.  At least one family may have been Tories (a.k.a. supported the British). 

The roots of my family and my husband’s family run deep in America.  Neither of us have any nationally famous persons in our family trees.  Family stories told of Native American ancestry, but our DNA shows no genetic links there.  Both of us hail primarily from British Isles, Scandinavia, and western Europe. We are descended from immigrants to the United States.  Some of our ancestors influenced events locally or within their home state. Some of my husband’s ancestors owned slaves.  

Should a holiday recognize when the first African slaves were brought to America? Enslaved peoples, primarily of African descent, are definitely part of our American history.  We cannot change American history. Our interpretation of that history changes as we apply current values and beliefs to the values and beliefs held by those who lived in another time. I believe that we can teach differing views of events without belittling either side.

Acknowledge the societal norms of the times and locations that influenced our ancestors’ choices.  We cannot change our family’s history. I diligently record our family’s history and share that information with others.  I try to not pass judgment. Without all of our ancestors and those who believed in America, we would not be here!!  

Revolutionary War Patriots (known, presumed and speculative)

From my family tree:

Samuel Jones (ca 1759 – 1827); recognized by Daughters of the American Revolution

Thomas Ostrander (1745 – 1816); recognized by Daughters of the American Revolution

Richard Posten (1750 – after 1825); signed Articles of Association in Monmouth county, New Jersey.

Nathaniel Richards I (1759 -1831); ? New Jersey militia, family tradition.

Joseph Traver (abt 1732 – after 1790); recognized by Daughters of the American Revolution

Cornelius Van Sickle (abt 1741 – 1820); served New Jersey militia; Revolutionary War pension file W6374.

From my husband’s family tree:

George Valentine Creager (1734 – 1808); recognized by Daughters of the American Revolution

Thomas Ellerbee (abt 1743 – 1802); “Captain Ellerbee” mentioned in several South Carolina Revolutionary War pension files; possible distant cousin.

George Hans Friddle (1731-1805); service from family tradition.

Jonathan Roach (abt 1737 – after 1802); recognized by Daughters of the American Revolution.

© Susan Posten Ellerbee and Posting Family Roots blog, 2019-2021. The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author.  

Obituaries and death notices

Another death in our family this past week. I was given the privilege of writing my mother-in-law’s obituary. This task of love let me to reflect on obituaries and death notices as sources of information. In this post, I share my reflection with you.

Genealogists cull information about individuals and their families from these notices, usually published in local newspapers. What’s the difference between a death notice and an obituary? The answer is simple. A death notice usually gives only basic information about the person and their death. An obituary typically provides more information about the person and their family.

Death notices can still provide clues for follow up. Here is one example from my dad’s family. [1]

Other documents and her gravestone[2] show her name as Esther, maiden name Brown. The notice was published on Friday, February 14, 1840; her date of death- ‘Tuesday last’- means Tuesday, February 11, 1840.  The family should be found in or near Stroudsburg on 1840 census. Burial at Friends Graveyard means that Esther and Thomas were Quakers. My question is:  if she died and was buried in Monroe County, why was her death notice in a Pike County newspaper? Pike County and Monroe County are geographically close to each other. This led me to explore how county lines changed and to search for more information about a Brown family in Pike County. Age at death is sometimes listed. This example shows how even limited information can be used to discover information about a person and their family.

Obituaries give us a glimpse into the person’s life and family.  Often, you will read about the person’s occupation, hobbies, military service, religious affiliation, professional and social organizations, honors and awards as well as birth and death information. Names of parents, siblings and children are usually included. You may learn how long the person was married and whether the named relatives are dead or alive. Cause of death is sometimes included. “A sudden death” may suggest an accident or acute illness. “A long (or lingering) death” suggests one or more chronic illnesses. Photos are a more recent inclusion.  Today, funeral homes post obituaries online.

Siblings’ names can be used to uncover a woman’s maiden name.  One woman’s brothers had two different surnames, suggesting that one was her step-brother. The married name of a sister led to more records about the sister and, eventually, the names of their parents.

Also of interest is what information is not included. I found a marriage record for a person[3] on my mom’s family tree. His obituary[4] did not mention his wife. My best guess is that the marriage did not last long and that there were no children.

For more information about death notices and obituaries: https://newspaperlinks.com/obituaries/death-notices/

Writing obituaries: https://www.powershow.com/view/405446-OTJiN/Writing_Obituaries_powerpoint_ppt_presentation

To summarize, published death notices and obituaries are important sources of information for the genealogist. Glean what you can and offer thanks to those who provided the information.

REFLECTION

Another long week for our family, actually a long month as mother-in-law went from hospital to rehab, back to hospital and then to hospice care.   Family members asked me to write my mother-in-law’s obituary. This was a labor of love as well as an awesome responsibility. I had previously written obituaries for both of my parents and my father-in-law. As a genealogist, I am acutely aware of how much can be learned and/or surmised from these sources.

I may have posted something similar earlier but am too emotionally exhausted to look for it.

What I Learned (again):  the difficulty of capturing the essence of a person in just a few words.

What helped: I am a fairly skilled writer with a large vocabulary. Online and print thesaurus to help me choose just the right words. Getting to know my mother-in-law better during last few months that she has lived with us.

What didn’t help:  sleepless nights. Need to get it right quickly in only 1 or 2 drafts.

To-do: Save copies of print and online obituary with appropriate citations.


SOURCES

[1] Hester Postens death notice.  Published in The Jeffersonian Republican, Milford, Pike County, Pennsylvania on 14 February 1840.  Page number not included with photocopy obtained from Monroe County Historical Association, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

[2] Grave marker for Esther Postens, Friends Burial Ground (Stroudsburg, Monroe, Pennsylvania); photo by Jerry L. Ellerbee; information read by Susan Posten Ellerbee, 15 August 2017.

[3] New York, Episcopal Diocese of New York Church Records,” database with images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 August 2018 ), entry for Arthur H. Smetts & Claudia J. Mertens; citing The Episcopal Diocese of New York Church Records, New York, NY; names Arthur’s parents as Jacob Smets, Rose Maurer of New Brunswick,NJ and Claudia’s parents as Charles H. Mertens & Johanna Hack, 1433 Glover Street; marriage date 2 June 1926.

[4] “ARTHUR H. SMETTS,” obituary, Central New Jersey Home News, 19 November 1936, deceased; online images, Newspapers.com (http:///newspapers.com :  accessed 6 January 2021).

© Susan Posten Ellerbee and Posting Family Roots blog, 2021

Memorial Day 2021- Honoring those who fell in battle

Memorial Day- a day to honor those who have fallen in battle. We also place flags on the graves of veterans. Four years ago, I reported on Herman E. Maurer, cousin on mom’s side, who died in World War II. Last year, I posted about William Posten, killed during the Revolutionary War and who might be related to my dad’s family. This year, I turn to my husband’s family and tell you about Lewis Garrett Holcomb who died during the Civil War.

In 1861, Lewis enlisted in the Army of the Confederacy and served in Company I, 10th Texas Cavalry Regiment.  Five of his brothers–George Creager Holcomb (my husband’s ancestor), John Wesley Holcom, Henderson H Holcomb, Thomas Harrison Holcomb and Joel M. Holcomb–also fought in the Confederate Army.

For more information about the 10th Texas Cavalry and the battles in which they engaged:  https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/tenth-texas-cavalry

Lewis died of “phlg [phlegmonous] erysipelas”,  a skin infection with abscesses, in Lee Hospital, Lauderdale County, Mississippi, on 28 May 1864. [5]  He had been in the hospital since March 1864.  Did he have an infected battle wound or was the infection caused by something else?  He is listed on Find A Grave as being buried in the Lauderdale Springs CSA Cemetery, near Meridian, Mississippi.[6]  However, he may or may not be buried there.  According to William Burdette, Jr., who lives about five miles from the cemetery:

Lewis died fighting for a cause that he and his family believed in. Some may say that Confederate soldiers are not worthy of being honored for their sacrifice. I disagree. My sons carry the blood of both Union and Confederate soldiers in their veins. I tell them repeatedly to be proud of all their ancestors.

REFLECTION:

Memorial Day is a good time to reflect on the many lives sacrificed for our country. Many have persons in their family tree who died while serving in the military. We need to remember these whether they died during a time of war or during a time of peace.  As I look deeper into my family trees, I plan to identify those who died while serving in the military for future posts.

Am I glorifying the Confederacy? My answer to that charge is “No.” I am reporting on individuals and families in our (my husband’s and mine) collective family tree. These persons are also members in the family trees of others alive today. Many Americans have ancestors who fought for the British during the American Revolution. Does that make the current generation any less American? No. Should they still embrace those ancestors? Yes. Without direct line ancestors, my sons would not exist. Remember, too, families often divide in their loyalties. Even today, families face political, religious and/or ideological differences.

With every post, I do more digital file clean-up. I review paper and digital files, adding information to fill gaps. My Genealogy Do-over doesn’t seem as tedious when I do it this way.

What I learned: Lauderdale Springs CSA Cemetery in Lauderdale county, Mississippi. More pictures of the cemetery can be found on Find A Grave website (https://www.findagrave.com/cemetery/60360/lauderdale-springs-csa-cemetery )

What helped: extensive family trees with many records already found. Online resources.

What didn’t help: incomplete citations. Not having anyone particular in mind when I considered a topic for this post.

To do: make a list of those who died while serving in the military. Choose one to honor on Memorial Day next year.

© Susan Posten Ellerbee and Posting Family Roots blog, 2021. 


SOURCES:

[1] 1840 U.S. Census, Mountain, Washington, Arkansas, population schedule, Mountain, p. 261, line 27, Joseph Hanleen; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 25 May 2021); citing Washington, D.C.: National Archives & Records Administration, microfilm publication M704, roll 20.

[2] 1850 U.S. Census, Cherokee county, Texas, population schedule, , p. 882, dwelling 527, family 527, J Holcomb 49; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 25 May 2021); citing Washington, D.C.: National Archives & Records Administration, Microfilm Publication M432, roll 909. Son, Harman Henderson, born 1843 in Texas; older children born in Arkansas.

[3] “Texas, U.S., Select County Marriage Index, 1837-1965,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 24 May 2021); citing Texas State Library and Archives Commission and various county clerk offices, Texas.

[4] 1860 U.S. Census, Cherokee county, Texas, population schedule, Beat 7, dwelling 1094, family 1094, LG Holcombe; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 25 May 2021); citing Washington, D.C. : National Archives and Records Administration, microfilm publication M653. Lewis reported his birthplace as Illinois; possible that family lived in Illinois for a short time.

[5] “Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers who Served in Organizations from the State of Texas,” digital images, Fold 3 (http://www.fold3.com  : viewed 25 May 2021), Holcomb, L.G. (18 pages); citing Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 109, roll 0063; Carded Records Showing Military Service of Soldiers Who Fought in Confederate Organizations , compiled 1903 – 1927, documenting the period 1861 – 1865.

[6] “Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers who Served in Organizations from the State of Texas,” digital images, Fold 3, Holcomb, L.G. (18 pages); page 12 of 18.