Friday, February 26, 2010

William Lewis DeSpain FOUND!

I can't believe it, I finally found my William Lewis DeSpain!

On Monday my posting for Madness Monday was going to be a cry for help to locate my "lost" William Lewis DeSpain. But now that has changed, let me explain.

Starting with a little back history. Back when I began doing genealogy my aunt, the historian on this side of the family, told me about her great-grandfather, William Lewis DeSpain. The story she had heard her whole life was that my great-great-grandmother, Eliza Ann Scott DeSpain, was pregnant for the 8th time when her husband "ran off" with her sister! When it was "her time" she delivered twins, my great-grandfather, Benjamin Lewis and his sister, Ida Leann on 1 September 1872. My aunt went on to tell me about how the babies never knew their father and all the children that were old enough to know him never saw him again. There was always a question of where had he gone, when did he died, had he ever remarried and if so was there other children by that marriage.

In my posting I was going to tell about how William Lewis DeSpain was in the Civil War with a rank of Lt. in Company A of the 13th Regiment of Kentucky Volunteer Infantry. And how he had deserted, hmmm! I was also going to tell of the many ways that I have looked for him over the years in the 1880 and 1900 censuses. And lastly how frustrating it has been to not know where he went and what happened to him. Well as you can guess this has all changed!

I wish to say here how much I love google. I use it ALL the time in looking for records on mine, my husband's and every other family line on which I do research. All I did was google "William L DeSpain." That simple search came back with 823 hits, of that number most were generated by me back in the early days of my research. So as I scrolled through the many hits that I had generated over the years, I noticed one that was not generated by me or my queries. This one piqued my curiosity because it had a death date for a William that is a son of Silas. It took a couple of seconds for me to register that this was MY William.

HOLY COW!

The hit that interested me was generated by someone posting about a database that is on Ancestry.com. The database is titled - Headstones Provided for Deceased Union Civil War Veterans 1879-1903.  This card was generated from an application for the tombstone.

So now of course one question is answered but many more are asked.

Who knew to apply for the tombstone? Why did they (the government) give a tombstone to a deserter? How do I get a copy of the application? Who did he know in this town that caused him to go here? Did he live with anyone?

So for now more research is needed, but I just couldn't wait to tell my new online family about this amazing discovery that the internet has allowed me to find.

Hope you enjoyed, glad you stopped by and please come back again ;)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - The Tharp Memorial

When I started researching years ago my father became interested in helping. Since he had more time to go and talk to his cousins he took it upon himself to go and get information from them.

On one of these trips he took the following pictures of a memorial picture that has come down in the family. From the information on it I am assuming that my great-great grandmother had it created. Of course not being a master photographer or having today's digital cameras they are not the best pictures. But thanks to my dad taking two pictures all of the information was able to seen. However, I do wish he could have taken a picture of the whole thing.



The information that is stated here is as follows:

In Loving remembrance of
Dear Husband and Children.
William B. Tharp, Died Apr 17, 1896; Aged 55 Y., 9 M., 7 D.
Andrew Tharp, Died Aug. 10, 1871; Aged 3 M., 25 D.
Arabell Tharp, Died Jul 16, 1876; Aged 1 Y., 13 D.
Liberty R. Tharp, Died Jan. 9, 1880; Aged 7 Y., 4 M., 8 D.
Martha A. Tharp, Died Apr. 24, 1882; Aged 11 M., 9 D.
Emma Jane Tharp, Died Jan 9, 1883; Aged 9 M., 23 D.
Ollie Tharp, Died June 15, 1890; Aged 1 Y., 18 D.

We miss the faces, we miss the hands,       And yet we know their tender hearts,
Whose lightest touch seemed born of love, Yearn to assuage the tears we weep,
Only in dreams can we recall,                    We know that in the darkest night,
The saintly forms that dwell above.             Those faithful angels guard our sleep.

Of course when I look at this, I think of how sad it is that they lost so many children. But I consider this a treasure because if it wasn't for this memorial 6 children would have been lost to time. There is not a bible record that tells of their birth and they were born and died between census years.

Hope you enjoyed, glad you stopped by and come back again. ;)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - John Joseph Andrew aka Fisher

This is a picture of my husband's great-great grandfather, John Joseph Andrew, or "JJ" as the family has affectionately started referring to him, was born in Germany. I haven't been able to find out when his father, Frederick Andrew, died. When I found his tombstone, my husband was very excited to find out his ancestor had been in the Civil War. However, when I tried finding him on the unit rolls I was unable to find him. Later on I found out why. 


I sent off and received JJ's Civil War pension file. According to the information it contained he was about 2 years old when he came to this country. It also states that his mother had remarried a man by the name of Fisher and JJ did not know he was not a Fisher until grown. Knowing this I went to the 1850 Trimble County, Kentucky Census and found Hyronimous Fisher, JJ's mother Magdelene, JJ & his half-siblings listed. His pension file also solved the story of why I couldn't find JJ on the muster rolls and unit lists. According to the pension file John Joseph Andrew had enlisted under the Fisher name! It also has an affidavit from his wife, Mary C, in which she states that even at the time of the affidavit she is equally know by the names of Mary Fisher and Mary Andrew. HUH!


The above photograph of JJ & Mary's tombstone was taken by Bonnie Snow and posted to the wonderful website findagrave.com and can be found at http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=andrew&GSbyrel=in&GSdyrel=in&GSst=19&GScntry=4&GSob=n&GSsr=41&GRid=15066741&
Thanks for stopping by and visiting. ;)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Madness Monday - The wandering Hatter

When my husband and I got together, as any addicted genealogist would do, I started researching his family. When I started researching his mother, Martha Elizabeth Hatter Andrew, was still alive and she gave me as much information as she was able. Unfortunately, that wasn't much. When she was 8 years old her mother, Pallace/Pallis Martin Hatter, passed away. Her father not feeling like he could take care of 6 children by himself, gave all of the children to either family members or, I am assuming, good friends to allow them to be raised. So the amount of information that she knew was really limited to her parents and brothers. However, she did have one story that I find fascinating. Here goes:
Martha's father was James William Hatter, born Jan 13 1891 in Carroll County, Kentucky and died Aug 8, 1962 in Aurora, Indiana. Shortly after his birth, I believe she said within days, his mother Rhoda Harvey Hatter dies. At the time of the mother's death there were 3 children, James and two older sisters, Mary Francis, who later marries Jessie Riley, and Sarah J, who later marries Pleasant Riley. Sometime after James' birth and his wife's death the father, Samuel Wyatt Hatter, decides to leave to parts unknown. Years later Mary Riley, nee Hatter, has a visitor at her door. When she asked, "Who's there" the visitor claims to be her father. Well, needless to say, Mary doesn't believe him, having long thought him dead. So to convince her that he really is her long-lost father, the man takes off his shoes to show her his webbed toes! 
HA!HA!HA! I almost couldn't stay in my seat from laughing so hard when she told me this story. How funny is that!

So when it came time to do this side of the family, I was sort of at a loss as where to begin. I started looking for James William Hatter on the 1900 census, but could not find him in Carroll County or any of the surrounding counties. One day after trying ever combination of his first, middle and last name, it hit me to try Rhoda's maiden name. Bingo! There they were, Mary, Sarah and James enumerated with Rhoda's father, Isaac Harvey in Carroll County.

So, after much digging, I have been able to piece together a pretty complete picture of Samuel & Rhoda's family. However, I have yet to find Samuel Wyatt Hatter in the 1900, 1910 and 1920 censuses. And to add more confusion to the mix is the information that is listed for him on the 1930 Gallatin County, Kentucky census.

After Samuel's "prodigal father return act" he is listed as White Hatter as a lodger with Jess & Mary Riley. The confusing part is that it also shows that he was in the Spanish and American War.

However, I haven't been able to find him on any military rolls because I have absolutely no idea where he would have enlisted. His death certificate from 1942 doesn't lend any information either.

So I guess I will continue to slowly peck away at the cloud of mystery that surrounds this part of my husband's family. But I thought the story was too good not to share! Thanks for stopping by and visiting. ;)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - My Granny!





My Treasure was my Granny! When I first started doing genealogy, my aunt gave me these pages that her mother, my granny, had written about her family. She had actually written two of the pages a couple of different times and on a couple of them she had information that she had not included on the other copies. If I had known then what I know now, I would have only taken then as a guideline. But being young and naive, I took them for the holy grail of genealogy. Luckily for me when I learned that I needed the actual document or wanted to make sure she was correct, she was! She had 99 % of the stuff correct. If only I had a wonderful fountain of information for my other family lines I probably would have been done with researching 15 years ago. May you all have a granny treasure chest in your research.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Robert William Shofner's Obituary

The Obituary of my great-grandfather, Robert William Shofner

According to the articles it appears this is where the accident took place.


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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Robert W. Shofner & Annie Elizabeth Liles


This is a picture of the tombstone of my great-grandparents, Robert William Shofner and Annie Elizabeth Lile. They are buried in Buffalo Cemetery in Larue County, Kentucky

Monday, February 15, 2010

Madness Monday: The search for my Mundays


What family has driven me "mad"....My Mundays. Little did I know when I started my research on this family back in 1989 that this one family would cause me so many hours of research just to prove four generations. Then when I finally made the break through to where they had previously lived in Virginia......I broke right through to a county that had not one but two Civil War battles which went plowing through the precious records that I would need to go any further back.  What a great day that was when I realized how few records are available for the time frame that I need in Prince William County, Virginia.

So, without boring you with how many twist and turns I have had to go through with this family, here is the information that I have to date on this family.

William Munday - b. bef 1765 d. bef 18 Sept 1815 Breckinridge County, Kentucky
unknown wife - d. bef 16 Apr 1814 when husband's will was written

Children
1. James - b. bef 1791 d. bef 19 Jun 1820 Breckinridge County, Kentucky
   m. Bef 20 Jul 1800 probably in Prince William County, Virginia to
   Mildred Foster (daughter of James Foster and Elizabeth) b. 1775 d. Bef 19 Jun 1820
   James and Mildred had at least 9 children
2. Thomas - b. bef 1791 d. bef 21 Mar 1814 Breckinridge County, Kentucky
3. Robert - b. 1776 d. after 1850 living in Meade County, Kentucky
   Robert is living with Catherine who was born in 1796. She is an African American woman who I have put down as his wife. This is because the census taker did not enumerate her as a servant or qualify her being in the household with an occupation. I tend to believe that they would have if she was a housekeeper for him and not his wife.
4. William - b. 5 Jan 1781 d. 5 Nov 1827 buried in Red River Cemetery, Logan County, Kentucky
5. George - b. between 1780-1784 d. bef 1847 Barren County, Kentucky
   George married unknown 1st wife. Then married Malinda C. Holtsclaw Bowles 29 Dec 1839 Barren County, Kentucky
6. Ann - b. between 1784-1794 d. bef 23 Nov 1835 Hancock County, Kentucky
   Ann never married but raised her brother James' children after his death
7. Nathaniel - b. 21 Apr 1788 d. 14 Sept 1833 buried in Red River Cemetery, Logan County, Kentucky
   m. bef 1820 probably in Breckinridge County, Kentucky to
   Mary Ann Brown - b. 26 Oct 1798 Prince William County, Kentucky
8. Rachel - b. 1790 d. 16 Nov 1836 buried in Blincoe/Mason Cemetery, Hancock County, Kentucky
   m. bef 12 Mar 1824 probably in Breckinridge County, Kentucky to
   Thomas Blincoe - b. 18 Feb 1791 d. 17 Jan 1847 buried in Blincoe/Mason Cemetery, Hancock County, Kentucky
9. Betsey - b. abt 1799
   m. bef 27 Feb 1820 probably in Breckinridge County, Kentucky to
   Benjamin Gambill/Gambel/Gambell

Over the years I have wondered if I would find any more records for them, hypothesized and speculated where those records could be found and wished that I could find more information about them. I can thank this family for helping me develop the skills of looking for alternative records when the traditional ones are not available.

Along the ride I have been able to find a couple cool pictures and letters that help make a more complete picture for this family.



This picture is of James William Munday, my great-grandfather, who was born 5 Jul 1852 in Barren County, Kentucky and died 12 May 1921 in Metcalfe County, Kentucky.
















I am told that this is the same man but just older. I do see the resemblance to the younger man. 

My first posting!

Test, Test, Test...is anybody out there?

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