Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, November 19, 2011

Randy Seaver posed interesting "Saturday Night Genealogy Fun" questions in his November 19, 2011 installment of this weekly series.

He suggested: Think about the answers to these questions:

  • a. Which ancestor are you most thankful for, and why?
  • b. Which author (book, periodical, website, etc.) are you most thankful for, and why?
  • c. Which historical record set (paper or website) are you most thankful for, and why?

I have two most-thankful-for ancestors: one who provided answers, and one who provided questions.

The answers were provided by my maternal grandmother, who, in an interview with one of her daughters detailed identification of her siblings, her maternal and paternal aunts and uncles, her grandparents and great-grandparents, with dates and places and often cause of death. Everything proved out! She knew these people, and since she moved to a distant place after her marriage, she had good reason to remember what she did. She was just a little hazy about all the husbands of her paternal grandmother, who was on her fourth husband when my grandmother knew her.

The questions were provided by my 5th-great-grandfather, Nicholas Kelts, who was an invisible and anonymous background character for a long time. His children were all baptized in surviving church records, yet researching his background was an arduous task. Through him I learned familiarity with Revolutionary War records, was required to obtain his Prisoner-of-War records held by the British Library, and was impelled to begin climbing the mountain of German-language practices in the Mohawk Valley, New York. Nicholas' disappearance was solved by going to where the records were, and also required exercising patience when obtaining a record from the New York State Library took two and a half years, even though I knew the identification of the microfilm roll where they lay.

Most grateful-to authors are also twofold.

First, to David Kendall Martin, FASG, whose series on Mohawk Valley, NY families are a treat. His model for integrating explanation of reasoning concerning evidence found is splendid, his care in documenting evidence, and ability to study and explain 18th-century German records in America are a boon. His personal finds of a few of the aforesaid Nicholas Kelts' records were and are an enduringly invaluable breakthrough for me.

Second, but not secondarily, the late Miss Jean Rumsey, FASG, conducted decades' work on two of my maternal lines. Her insistence on documentary evidence, on obtaining all possible local data, on reason and the application of logic, integrating surrounding facts, are also models for the would-be-accurate genealogical researcher. Not to mention the amazing "head start" she gave on these two maternal lineages. Many of her papers now reside in the Newberry Library in Chicago, which is deserving of contributions for its likewise invaluable services.

The record group I am most grateful for at present is the group of Sir Frederick Haldimand's papers presented to the British Library by a great-nephew in the late 19th century, about 100 years after Sir Frederick carried them off from Canada. This amazing compendium of records from the Revolutionary War era provides a look at the British perspective and logistics that no other single collection can furnish. Not to mention that my ancestor Nicholas Kelts' capture, captivity and interrogation are detailed therein. The collection opened my eyes to types of records that are possible to find, and perusing them reinforced the value of personal ingenuity in understanding what sorts of records may be created and in acquiring copies to view.

My thanks to all for questions, for answers, and for the education that each in their own way provided and required of me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sarah's Surprise, Part 2

Daniel Moore, of Washington County, MD, in his will dated January 1, 1792, bequeathed conditionally (in part) to “ my Daughter Nancy now the wife of John Griffith my said Land containing One Hundred & thirty-Eight Acres as aforesaid & with all its Appurtenances to be entered upon by my said Daughter Nancy after my said Wifes Decease . . . .” [Washington County, Maryland Register of Wills, Will Book A, pp. 279-280].

I wanted to learn of Nancy’s life-path, about where exactly the land lay, and the land’s ownership history.

Just one Daniel Moore was enumerated for 1790 in Washington County, MD. As a land owner, my ancestor probably was the one enumerated here as head of household. The 1783 tax assessment roll for Washington Co., MD also lists just one Daniel Moore. An index to this assessment provided by the Maryland Archives also lists only one Daniel Moore (as “More”). the index states he was assessed on 128 acres in Lower Antietam and Sharpsburg Hundred, on a tract called “More’s Delight.” A Richard More was assessed on 50 acres of a tract, “Hunting the Hare” [Assessment of 1783, Index, MSA S-1437]

A Washington Co., MD deed entry shows Daniel Moore and Mary, his wife, of Washington County, selling 50 acres, part of a tract called “Hunting the Hare,” on April 10, 1790, acknowledged by Daniel and dower released by Mary on the same day [Washington County, Maryland Deeds G-7, pp. 44-46]. This deed is the second, chronologically, giving “Mary” as the wife of this Daniel Moore. No marriage record has yet been found for this Daniel Moore, and no known record states who the mother(s) of Daniel’s children was or were. But at least with these land records we have a first name for Daniel’s wife. Since the name matches the wife’s name in the 1792 will “my loving & faithfull Wife Mary”, the data in this deed is some evidence that it was the same Daniel who died testate within a few months of writing his will. While a wife’s death and Daniel’s remarriage between April 1790 and Jan. 1792 are not impossible, spousal information in Deeds is very useful.

Daniel Moore’s immediate neighbors in the 1790 US Federal Census, as the enumerator’s list runs, were John Hyatt, Richard Moore, Daniel Keedy and Elizabeth Rulett [National Archives, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, Washington County, Maryland; National Archives Micropublication 637, Roll 3, Page 2, Image 375]. As “Daniel Gueting” in German script, this neighbor Daniel Keedy appears to have been a witness to Daniel Moore’s will. Ah, another helpful correlation.

But there is no John Griffith listed here or elsewhere in the County, nor nearby in MD or PA for 1790. Possibly he lived in northern VA (for which no Census survives until 1810) or elsewhere.

The 1800 US Federal Census enumeration is more fruitful. A John Griffith was head of household in Lower Antietam Hundred, Washington Co. Listed just before him was Mary Moore (the eldest female in her household aged 45+ years), and following John Griffith’s listing after three Hoffman households was Daniel Getigh, the possible will witness. [National Archives, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29; National Archives Micropublication M32, Lower Anteatam Hundred, Washington County, Maryland, Roll 12, Page 134 (stamped; written pp. 40 and 630), Image 143]. John’s household included 1 male under 10, 1 male aged 26-44 and one female aged 26-44.

John Griffith is not listed as head of household in the 1810 U. S. Federal Census enumeration for this part of Maryland. However, the Washington County, Maryland Regional Library has posted images and transcripts of the 1803-1804 Tax Assessment roll, and John Griffith is listed in Lower Antietam Hundred. He is not assessed on land in the County, but on 2 horses, 4 cattle and 7 sheep [Washington County Taxes, 1803-1804, Lower Antietam Hundred, p. 18;, accessed September 10, 2010]. On the next page, Mary Moore is listed as assessed on a tract of 138 acres called “Moore’s Delight.” This tax list is arranged alphabetically by surname initial, so closeup information on neighborhood populations can not be recovered.

One John Griffith was listed head of household in the 1810 enumeration for Kanawha County, (West) Virginia. While this could be Nancy Moore’s husband, I want to continue searching in Western Maryland.

On June 16, 1801, Richard Moore, of Allegany County, Maryland, signed a Power of Attorney to his “well beloved son Daniel Moore, of Washington County” to recover Richard’s interest in the estate of “my father Daniel Moore . . . deceased of Washington County.” The deed was acknowledged the same day by Richard in Washington Co., and brought for recording by Daniel Moore July 3, 1801 [Washington County, MD Deeds N-13:547]. This suggests the possibility that John and Nancy Griffith also may have moved to or bought land in Allegany County.

A search of Allegany County land documents turned up a treasure trove, which will be described in the next chapter of this saga.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran Soldiers, In Memoriam

Today's veterans, and their comrades no longer with us, should be considered, appreciated and embraced every day. Since this particular Veterans' Day falls also in the 150th anniversary year of the beginning of another terrible war, I decided to list some of my ancestors and our many kin who gave what they had to give, including their lives, in the American Civil War.

  • Benjamin S. Amos (1844-1901), 2 Apr 1862-9 May 1865, 'G' Co., 10th WV Infantry
  • Enos Amos (1845-1921), 1 Mar 1862-1 Jul 1865, ‘K’ Co, 9th WV Infantry and ‘H’ Co., 1st WV Veterans Infantry
  • James Amos (1841-1864), 15 Aug 1861-12 Apr 1864, died while in service in ‘B’ Co, 6th WV Infantry
  • Perry G. Amos (1828-1864), 1 Sep 1862-16 Sep 1864, died at Andersonville Prison after capture at Cloyd’s Mountain while in ‘H’ Co. 14th WV Infantry
  • Rawley W. Amos (1824-), 4 Apr 1862-6 May 1865, ‘G’ Co., 10th WV Infantry
  • Squire W. C. Amos (1847-1901), 2 Sep 1864-30 Jun 1865, ‘D’ Co., 17th WV Infantry
  • Thornton Amos (1838-1922), 13 Aug 1862-27 Jun 1865, ‘H’ Co., 14th WV Infantry
  • Eugenus Edward Atkinson (1833-1924), 6 May 1861-6 Jan 1865, 'F' Co., 18th OH Infantry and 7th Independent Battery, Ohio Light Artillery
  • James Atkinson (1841-1920), 23 Apr 1861-28 Aug 1861, ‘H’ Co., 18th OH Infantry and 9 Nov 1861-28 Nov 1864, ‘A’ and ‘E’ Co.’s, 2d WV Cavalry
  • Joseph Atkinson (1835-1862), 15 Jul 1861-7 May 1862, died of wound suffered at Shiloh while in ‘B’ Co., 13th OH Infantry
  • Milton Atkinson (1826-1863), 31 Jul 1862-8 Sep 1863, killed while in service in ‘C’ Co., 100th OH Infantry
  • William Atkinson (1838-1920), 17 Sep 1862-10 Jun 1865, ‘B’ Co., 92d OH Infantry
  • Theron D. Bennet (1842-1925), 18 Aug.1862 - 28 May 1865, 12th Regiment, WV Infantry
  • Nimrod Cole (1836-1910), 3 Sep 1862-6 Jun 1865, ‘D’ Co., 3rd WV Cavalry
  • William P. Cole (1822-1903), 1 Apr 1865-27 Jun 1865, ‘I’ Co., 14th WV Infantry
  • Oscar H. Conner (1842-1905), 15 Aug 1861-17 Oct 1864, 'G' Co., 11th Iowa Infantry
  • Francis Marion Cunningham (1844-1864), killed in action 26 Aug. 1864 while in service in ‘H’ Co., 14th WV Infantry
  • Henderson Cunningham (1832-1862), died 24 Feb 1862 while in service in ‘B’ Co., 6th WV Infantry
  • Henry Nelson Cunningham (1838-1862), died 12 Dec 1862 while in service in ‘H’ Co., 14th WV Infantry
  • John Cunningham (1844-1925) 21 Feb 1865-30 Jun 1865, ‘D’ Co., 17th WV Infantry
  • Luther Cunningham (1844-1877) 21 Feb. 1865-30 June 1865, ‘D’ Co., 17th WV Infantry
  • Benjamin Titus Davis (1828-1903), 1861-26 May 1865 ‘A’ Co., Hawpe’s 31st Texas Cavalry
  • Peter Van Buren Davis (1836-1892), 14 Mar 1865-30 Jun 1865 'L' Co., 3rd WV Cavalry
  • John W. Davis (1826-1919), ‘A’ Co., Hawpe’s 31st Texas Cavalry
  • Samuel Benton Davis (1839-1870s), 13 Aug 1862-16 Jun 1865 'G' Co., 12th WV Infantry
  • John Donovan (1840-1903), 13 Aug 1862-19 Aug 1865, 'I' Co., 95th OH Infantry
  • William D. Griffith (1842-1924), 7 Nov 1863-28 Apr 1864, Cpl. 'A' Co., 9th OH Cavalry
  • John R. Harvey (1844-1920s), 18 Jun 1861-30 Jun 1865, ‘G’ Co., 6th WV Infantry
  • Alexander Hamilton Kelts (1839-1862), died while in service, F Co., 57th PA Infantry
  • George W. Kelts (1831-1893), 31 Oct 1862-9 Sep 1865, 'F' Co., 152d PA Heavy Artillery
  • Victor Leroy Kelts (1833-1863), died while in service, 'B' Co., 16th PA Cavalry
  • Draper Lawless (1824-1881), 27 Feb 1864-25 Feb 1865, ‘I’ Co., 14th WV Infantry
  • Job Lawlis (1840-1907), Aug 1864-6 Jun 1865, ‘A and ‘G’ Co.’s, 1st WV Cavalry
  • John Lawlis (1834-1912), 18 Jul 1861-8 Jul 1865, ‘A’ Co., 1st WV Cavalry and ‘B’ Co., 6th WV Cavalry
  • Orlando Bruce Lawlis (1842-1929), 3 Sep 1862-6 Jun 1865, ‘D’ Co., 3rd WV Cavalry
  • Christopher Columbus Liming (1844-1915), 13 Jul 1863-17 May 1866, ‘C’ Co., 7th IA Cavalry
  • Thomas Benton Liming (1842-1862), 14 Aug 1862-7 Dec 1862, killed at Prairie Grove while in ‘H’ Co., 19th IA Infantry
  • Jacob Thomas Mills (1838-1904), 27 Apr 1861-12 Jun 1861 and 13 Jun 1861-23 Jun 1864, 'H' Co., 3rd OH Infantry
  • Caleb Moore (1834-1912), 16 Aug 1862-27 Jun 1865, ‘H’ Co., 14th WV Infantry
  • Daniel H. Moore (1847-1927), 16 Jan 1864-27 Jun 1865, ‘H’ Co., 14th WV Infantry
  • Franklin Moore (1829-1865) 1 Sep 1862-19 Feb 1865, died while in service in ‘H’ Co., 14th WV Infantry
  • Jeptha Marshall Moore (1844-) 27 Jun 1861-15 June 1865, ‘G’ Co., 3rd WV Infantry and ‘B’ Co., 6th WV Cavalry
  • Levi S. Moore (1843-) 1 Sep 1864-10 Jun 1865, ‘G’ Co., 6th WV Infantry and ‘H’ Co., 4th WV Cavalry
  • Hynson C. Poynter (1813-1896), 25 Sep 1861-12 Feb 1863, ‘F’ Co., 6th WV Infantry
  • Obadiah Richmond (1833-1905), 3 Sep 1861-7 Nov 1862, 'H' Co., 50th NY Engineers Battalion; -Aug 1864, 'A' Co., 5th US Cavalry
  • Ithamar Robinson (1830-before 1910), 3 Jul 1861-12 Aug 1864, ‘G’ Co, 3rd WV Infantry
  • Artemus Rumsey (1832-1905), 2 Nov 1862-8 Aug 1863, 'C' Co., 171st PA Infantry; 27 Feb 1864-25 Jun 1865, 'B' Co., 101st PA Infantry
  • Horace Kelts Rumsey (1842-), 16 Aug 1862-26 Feb 1863, 'B' Co., 126th PA Vol. Infantry
  • Sovrine Rumsey (1836-1928), 9 Aug 1862-29 May 1863, 'D' Co., 136th PA Infantry; 20 Feb 1865-11 Aug 1865,  'H' Co, 16th PA Cavalry
  • William H. Rumsey (1841-1877), 20 Aug 1862-20 Aug 1865, 'C' Co., 'H' Co. and 'G' Co., 14th US Infantry
  • Lemuel R. Shaw (1839-1918), 15 Aug 1862 - 16 Jun 1865 in ‘G’ Col, 12th WV Infantry
  • Francis Marion Spencer (1840-1920), 24 Aug 1861-13 Aug 1865, 'F' Co., 11th PA Cavalry
  • Lemuel Sturm (1827-1919), 4 Sep 1862-21 Jun 1865, 'H' Co., 107th IL Infantry
  • Richard M Sturm, (1839-1912) 28 Jul 1862- 12 Jun 1865, ‘D’ Co, 73rd IL Infantry
  • Thornton Franklin Sturm (ca. 1833-3 Jul 1863), mustered in 16 Aug 1861, 'C' Co, 18th Indiana Infantry
  • Alfred Swager (1840-1915), 23 Oct 1862-19 Jul 1865, 5th Independent Co., OH Volunteer Sharpshooters
  • John Swager (1846-1927), 16 Jun 1863-10 Feb 1864, ‘E’ Co., 86th OH Infantry; 14 Nov 1864-21 Jun 1865, ‘I’ Co., 53rd Indiana Infantry
  • Uriah Swager (1842-1865), 22 Feb 1865-6 Mar 1865, died while in service in ‘C’ Co., 152nd Indiana Infantry
  • Daniel G. Thrall (1843-1902), 18 Jul 1861-11 Jul 1865, 'C' Co., 27th OH Infantry
  • John Eberly Thrall (1842-1917), 7 Dec 1861- 5 Nov 1862, 'K' Co., 47th IL Infantry, lost right arm
  • Robert F. Thrall (1837-1907), Apr 1861-18 Jan 1862, 'A' Co., 3rd OH Infantry; 29 Jul 1862-14 Aug 1865, 'C' Co., 95th OH Infatry; POW Andersonville
  • William Bebb Thrall (1845-1925), 20 Sep 1861-20 Jul 1865, 'H' Co., 31st OH Infantry
  • Oliver Perry Wade (1837-1922), 5 Sep 1864-8 Jul 1865, 'A' Co., 1st WV Cavalry
  • Alpheus C. Williams (1838-1864), 1862-Sep 1864, ‘D’ Co., 32nd MO Infantry
  • Hynson Cassius Williams (1846-), 27 Apr 1863-3 Jul 1866, ‘D’ Co., 4th MO S. M. Cavalry and ‘I’ Co., 13th MO Cavalry
  • Leroy K. Williams (1842-1890), Sep 1861-19 Sep 1865, ‘C’ Co., 10th MO Cavalry and ‘E’ Co., 2d MO Cavalry