Monday, September 28, 2009

Karl Kline...the mystery continues

I blogged earlier this month about my 3rd great grandfather on my mom's side, Karl Gottlieb Kline. Specifically, I am on a hunt to track down his military record.

If readers recall, Karl had a G.A.R. emblem next to his headstone. This would indicate Karl's membership in the "Grand Army of the Republic," a fraternal organization of union veterans of the Civil War.

I learned of a book that could help me in my quest: "Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska Civil War Veterans: Compilation of the Death Rolls of the Departments of Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska, Grand Army of the Republic, 1883-1948" by Dennis Northcott. I looked for it in vain to be available in full text online. With a 2007 publication date, I shouldn't have been suprised not to find it. I also checked the library catalog of the Carlsbad library, but they did not have the book. According to World Cat, the closest library that held the book was in Los Angeles.

That led me to my first attempt at an interlibrary loan. I've never done this before, but the reference librarian at my local San Diego County branch library was very helpful. I went through the steps to make the request, but it came back in the negative. Apparently, the book is in the reference collection and not loaned out. Was I going to have to drive up to Los Angeles??

My genealogy angel friend, (I'll call her my geneangel from now on, because she is!), googled it for me and found that the Southern Orange County Genealogical Society had the book in their collection, held at the Mission Viejo library. Last Sunday, I convinced my hubby to hang out with the kids for the afternoon and I was off! This was my first trip to a library for family history research. Up until now, I've been able to do it all online. I'm not against library research, quite the contrary. It's just hard for me to get to a library with a 14 month old who thinks he is the center of the universe.

I found the book and copied the "Kline" page. Here is what I found.

Drumroll please.....

When I saw the name "Carl Kline" my heart leapt. This Carl was with a Wisconsin regiment, but his death date was listed as 1891. That couldn't be MY Carl, because we believe he died in 1907. Plus, I have a photo of the Kline family and the youngest daughter, Daisy, appears to be at least five. Daisy was born in 1887. When In looked in the death date column, there was a Kline who died on July 9, 1907. The headstone photo I have says my Karl died on July 7, 1907. That's pretty close. But the name of this Kline is PETER KLINE. He served with Company E, 40th Iowa. Peter Kline's death was reported in the Journal of the 34th Encampment of the Department of Iowa, published in 1908.

Could this be my Kline?

First the name issue. I've seen records with him listed as Gottlob, Gottolob, and Karl. But Peter is a new one. I'm not an expert in German, but I don't think "Peter" translates into Karl/Carl or Gottlieb. Any German experts out there, please feel free to educate me on this point.

Secondly is location. Iowa is not a state I would associate my Karl with. If it had said Pennsylvania, Ohio or Kansas, I would feel better about it. But I have no records, evidence or even family lore that would put Karl in Iowa. But who knows? I definitely have had trouble tracking down any records for this family. I do know Karl lived at least since 1880 in Kansas, and is buried in Marion County. Family lore says the family lived in Wellsville, Ohio prior to that. So Iowa is out of the blue.

I'll keep this nugget in my Kline file. But I don't think this Kline is my ancestor. So, for now, the search goes on.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Monday Memory - Spending the night at the Osgoods

As I've described in previous posts. on our family vacations we would usually stay at Grandma & Grandpa Graham's. As I got older, once in awhile I got the opportunity to go by myself and spend the night with Grandma & Grandpa Osgood. The picture to the right is of Grandma Osgood on Christmas Day in 1976. She's in the living room of their home in Fruitland. The walls were turquoise. How neat was that?

If it was just me alone with Grandma & Grandpa, we would have the evening meal on a little table in the kitchen. The table had fold out sides that would make it big enough for us. I was fascinated with a bug zapper Grandma & Grandpa had that was right outside the window. Mosquitoes were an issue with me...I always seemed to get eaten alive on vacation. That juicy California skin, I guess. In the evening, Grandpa would watch the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. It seemed like we were staying up really late, because at home in California, Johnny Carson came on at 11:30 p.m. In Idaho's mountain time zone, it was 10:30 p.m. Grandpa would sit in his easy chair and have a cigarette while he watched. The room always had a faint smell of cigarette smoke. It's strange now--that smell is such a turn off, but as a kid, I barely noticed. It was there, sure. But it wasn't as off-putting as it is now.

Where would I sleep? I remember a few times sleeping in the upstairs bedroom that used to be my Aunt's. (My mom's too when she was younger). I remember once when I was a little older, maybe 12 or so, when my cousin came that night too. She was just a year older than me and we always had a great time together. We slept in sleeping bags on Grandma's dining room floor and talked about all kinds of things pre-teen girls talk about. It was great. When I was older, I remember sleeping on the sofa hide a bed. By then, Grandma had a thing about protecting pillows and mattresses. So they all would be covered with plastic. Every time you rolled over, the crinkly sound would wake you up. Plus, it would get kind of hot in the summer. But it was worth it.

The mornings bring special memories of a very special breakfast. Grandma always had Froot Loops on hand just for me. I don't know when I told her I liked them--I was too young to remember. But Grandma always remembered. There was never a time when I was there that she did not have this yummy breakfast treat for me. It was extra special because mom never bought the sugary cereals. It was all business, healthy stuff. Mom stuff. But Grandmas are different. They remember what you like, and don't mind indulging your sweet tooth.

Grandpa died in September 1996. Grandma followed him in January 2004. Since then, the house has been vacant. It looks like my aunts and uncles are going to finally sell the place and finalize the estate issues. A part of me hopes that the place does not sell until late next summer. I expect to be in Boise in June, and would love to be able to go back inside the house one last time. Here is how it looks on Google maps street view:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Robert B. Graham and the 7th Cavalry, Missouri State Militia

I have a few "saved" searches set up on Ebay that alert me when an item of interest may be available. This morning, one of my saved searches pinged me. The search was "7th Cavalry, Missouri State Militia." The item is a really neat collection here. (I don't know how long that link will work) For me, the best part of the offering is this photograph:

This picture is a 1/2 plate partially hand colored ambrotype image of six soldiers from the 7th Cavalry, Missouri State Militia during the Civil War. In their hands are playing cards and they have cigars in their mouths.

My great-great grandfather, Robert Barnett Graham, served with Company A of the 7th Cavalry in Missouri during the Civil War. Prior to that, he had served in the
Enrolled Missouri Militia under Captain Cunningham.

Could one of these six men be Robert?

I have a muster and descriptive roll card for Robert Barnett Graham. He mustered in on November 7, 1863 to the 7th Cavalry. He is described as 6 feet tall, light complexion with dark hair. His horse was valued at $120 and his horse equipment valued at $25. Admittedly, it is a pretty vague description and not enough to verify or identify him as one of the men in the photo.

Even if Robert is not among them, (and chances are he is not), it gives me a glimpse into how he may have looked, the uniform he wore, and the guys he served with.

I've started reading about the Civil War in Missouri with a book called "Inside War: The Guerrilla Conflict in Missouri." One of my research goals is to someday dig into the unit history for Company A and try to retrace some of Robert Barnett's actions during the war. His obituary says that he did indeed see a lot of action, and had some narrow escapes.

In the meantime, I can gaze at this photograph and imagine what it must have been like for these men. Fighting a war where you didn't know exactly who or where your enemy was. Chasing guerrillas into Kansas and defending the homesteads. Fascinating!

Anyone wanna give me $2,500 to buy it on Ebay??

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Cousin, America's First Postmaster

September 22, 1789

On this day, the first postmaster general of the United States was appointed. His name was Samuel Osgood. I know this may sound strained, but he is my 3rd cousin 6 times removed. We're kin!

Samuel and I descend from the same grandfather, John Osgood. Of course, to Samuel, John was his second great-grandfather. To me, John is my eighth great grandfather.

Here's the line:
John Osgood, the immigrant (1595-1651). His son was also John Osgood (1631-1693).
This is where the family line splits. John Jr. had six children. Samuel descends from his son, Timothy (1659-1748). I descend from Timothy's older brother, John. I would have never figured out the relationship, but my genealogy software, Family Tree Maker, did for me.

In honor of this anniversary, I would like to share some information I've found about my cousin Samuel.

Samuel was born in February 1748 in the town our mutual grandfather helped to found, Andover, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard in 1770, intending to pursue a career in theology. Like so many young men of his day, he was caught up in the tumult of the American Revolution.

In 1774, Samuel represented Andover in congress. Keep in mind--at the time, this was treason to the crown. He participated in the battle at Lexington on April 19, 1775. In that fight, he was a commander of a company of minute men and joined in chasing the British back to Cambridge. He rose through the ranks of the Army for the next year but refused the command of a regiment of men in 1776. He turned to politics. He took a seat in the provincial congress of Massachusetts and was appointed a member of the board of war. He was also on the committee that framed the first state constitution. He was elected the first senator from Essex County in 1780. He was repeatedly re-elected to congress throughout this time of revolution and framing our nation's political system. He was one of the commissioners to manage the Treasury of the United States until 1789 when the Treasury department was organized and put under the stewardship of Alexander Hamilton.

On a personal side, he married Martha Brandon on January 4, 1775. Martha was described as a, "woman of rare accomplishments and great beauty." Sadly, she died in September 1778 before the couple could have any children. Samuel remarried in May 1786, to widow named Maria Brown (Franklin). Together they had six children. Their youngest, Caroline, was born in 1799 and died within a year. Another daughter, Eliza, died the same year as her little sister at the age of about seven.

Samuel was respected for his "talents and usefulness, for his urbanity and moral and religious worth." He loved literature. He was an original member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences. He had extensive correspondence with his friends, our Founding Fathers. Among them, George Washington, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson. He also enjoyed reading and writing on theological subjects. His principal publications include: "Remarks on Daniel and Revelations," "A Letter of Episcopacy," and a volume on "Theology and Metaphysics."

Samuel Osgood died in New York on August 12, 1813 and was buried in the church where he was a member on the corner of Nassau and Beekman streets in New York City. I wonder if a church still stands there? Here is a street view, courtesy of Google:

There is a movement among Osgoods in this country to have a stamp commemorate Samuel Osgood's contributions to this country. If you would like to participate in this effort, you can read all about it here.

Next time you go to the post office, or lick a stamp, or drop something in the mail, you can thank Samuel Osgood for helping make it happen.

1. Holgate, Jerome Bonaparte. "A History of Some of the Early Settlers of North America and Their Descendants, from Their First Emigration to the Present Time With Their Intermarriages and Collateral Branches. Including Notices of Prominent Families and Distinguished Individuals, with Anecdotes, Reminiscences, Traditions, Sketches of the Founding Of Cities, Villages, Manors, and Progressive Improvements of the Country From Its Wilderness State to the Present Era." 1851

2. Osgood, Ira, Putnam, Eben, Ed. "A Genealogy of the Descendants of John, William, and Christopher Osgood Who Came from England and Settled in New England Early in the Seventeenth Century." 1894

Friday, September 18, 2009

Did Great-Grandma run around with outlaws?

When I first became interested in family history, my mom brought over every bit of old family stuff she and my dad had collected or been given over the years. Among the pile was compiled family history entitled, "Family History of Dwight and Rosella Dutton" written in the 1980's. It looks like it was a project of Arthur Nelson Dutton, who is a distant cousin on my dad's side of the family. (He's my first cousin, 2 times removed).

Arthur collected old family photos, memories, and put it all together in a 140 page coil bound book. It really is a treasure.

Among the photos was one that jumped out at me. The caption identifies the following individuals, from left to right: "Butch Cassidy, ???, Clarence, Lottie, Sundance Kid, Alice.

Alice is Alice Dutton, my great-grandmother. Lottie is her sister. Clarence married Lottie. That accounts for those names. What are they doing in a picture with BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID?? Is this true? I don't know where that photo came from. I think I'll try and track down this distant cousin of mine to see where he got that photo.

Alice was born in 1895 in Lidgerwood, North Dakota. Lottie was born the year before. Their parents, Dwight and Rosella Dutton moved to Idaho in March 1902. According to another Dutton sibling, Clarence Moler and Lottie became an item in about 1905 or 1906. Thus, this photo can't be any earlier than that since Clarence and Lottie did not know each other before then.

Could this really be the infamous "Butch and Sundance?"

On the right is a photo of Butch, aka Robert Leroy Parker, in 1896. I can see a resemblance to the man on the left of the group photo, even through the
thin beard. Was he ever in Idaho in the early 1900's? Sundance Kid, aka Harry Longbough is a little harder to identify through the moustache. What do you think?

According to some quick internet research, Butch and Sundance connected in 1900 when Sundance moved to Utah to join Butch's "Wild Bunch." They held up trains, stages, and banks all around the West. In 1900 they robbed the Winnemucca National Bank in Nevada and then headed to South America, along with Sundance's girlfriend, Etta Place. (Could she be the unidentified woman in the photo??)

If you've seen the Redford/Newman movie "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" you'll remember the climactic end scene with the massive shootout with the Bolivian police that ended their lives in 1908 (or 1911 by some accounts). However, some believe they came back to the United States under assumed names and identities. I found this on a website Legends of America:

"Evidence exists, however, that Butch Cassidy reloacted to Spokane, Washington, where he lived under the alias William T. Phillips until he died of cancer in the county poorhouse on July 20, 1937. Persistent reports also claimed that the Sundance Kid returned to the United States where he allegedly lived under the name of Hiram Bebee until his death in Wyoming in 1955."

The question remains. If this is the real Butch and Sundance, why is great-grandma Alice Dutton (Shelton), her sister and brother in law in a picture with them? Did they run around with outlaws? Or just take advantage of an opportunity to sit for a photo with such an infamous duo? It looks like it was taken at a photographer's studio. It is a mystery. Are there any Dutton descendants out there have any more information? Perhaps there are some Butch & Sundance scholars who can add some insight. I would love to hear everyone's speculations and opinions.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Growing up without a Mama

Mother. Mama. It's one of the first words a baby learns to say. On the battlefield, it is often one of the last words uttered by the mortally wounded soldier. A mother is central to a family and especially to a young child. She is their world. She feeds, loves, protects, teaches, binds wounds, inspires, and passes on the values and traditions that she grew up with.

I go to a Tuesday morning bible study at my church, Calvary Chapel of Escondido. We are currently doing a bible study on the book of Esther. Beth Moore, the author of the study, made a point about how young Esther grew up without a mama. She pointed out how devastating that would be for any child and how formative that would be for them. It would shape their character and follow them for the rest of their lives.

Sitting in the study, I couldn't help but thinking about a few of my ancestors that I knew off the top of my head that grew up without a mama. I wonder how the loss of such a key person in their lives shaped who they grew up to be?

Jesse Clark Osgood (1837-1918)
His mama, Abigail Clark, died when he was 19 months old. His father, Thaddeus Osgood, remarried three more times. (I don't know...if I was wife #4, I'd think twice!) Jesse was raised by his mother's family, the Clark's. The 1860 census shows him living with his Uncle Jesse Clark and Aunt Lydia rather than his father. We also have several letters he wrote to his Clark relatives during the Civil War. I don't know if there was any bad blood between Jesse and his father, or step-mothers. There isn't any kind of family lore to say that there was. I can't help but wonder though, why he wouldn't be living with his father.

Jesse and his mama shared the same birthday, March 4th. I wonder if this made his birthdays bittersweet?

Sarah Warriner Hamilton (1843-1937)
Sarah's mother, Mary Stebbins, died when Sarah was 3 years old. Her mother died shortly after giving birth to twin siblings on Christmas Day, 1846. She died a few weeks later. This was 8 days after one of the newborn twins, Alfred, died. In Sarah's case, her father also remarried. His second wife, Katherine Dewey Collins, died in 1850. His third wife, Julia Blake Beach, was a widow and came to the family with four children of her own. She was a schoolteacher in the town where Sarah went to school. The Hamilton children loved Julia before she became their stepmother. The ten children of the blended family grew up in the love and affection of both Mr. Hamilton and Julia and were very close as brothers and sisters all their lives. In fact, after Mr. Hamilton died, Julia came to live in Florence, Kansas, near Sarah and her family. Julia died there in 1899. It's nice to see a blended family that grew up in affection rather than distrust and bad feelings.

I find it interesting that these first two ancestors that came to mind, Jesse Osgood and Sarah Hamilton, married each other. Losing their mother at a young age was something they had in common.

Robert Craig Graham (1780-1856)
Robert was named for his father, Robert Graham, who emigrated from County Down, Ireland. When Robert Jr. was six, his mama, Mary Craig, died. Robert had three brothers and three sisters at the time. When he was nine, his father remarried another woman by the name of Mary....Mary Cowan. This second Mary and Robert had seven children of their own. From all accounts, the children from the first Mary (Cowan) did not get along with their stepmother as adults. I have yet to document this, but apparently there were legal issues with the estate of his father. Robert married Catherine Crockett and the family moved to Johnson County, Missouri, in about 1834.

The descendants of Robert Graham Sr. with his second wife, Mary, stayed in Wythe County, Virginia. During the Civil War, this line of Graham's fought for the Confederacy, while Robert Craig Graham's grandson, Robert Barnett Graham, fought for the Union. If anyone is interested, there is a great website on the Robert Graham/Mary Cowan descendants in Virginia called Major Graham's Mansion and is worth a look at to learn about the impact Graham's had in that part of Virginia.

Nancy Jane King (1846-1929)
Hannah Magee was 27 when she gave birth to her daughter, Nancy, in March 1946. Baby Nancy was 5 months old when her mama, Hannah, died. This is one family line that I know very little about. I don't know if her 31 year old husband, Ambrose King, remarried. This is one family line that I certainly need to explore further.

Josiah Osgood (1739-1788)
Josiah's mama was named Abigail Day. She married Josiah Osgood Sr., at the age of 18. She gave birth four times before she died. Her last baby was Josiah in 1739. When Josiah was three, his mama died. His father married Hannah Kitteredge when Josiah was 10. But between the age of three and ten, Josiah was without any mother figure.

How did this impact their lives? It's impossible to know for sure. It probably made them have to fend for themselves more and grow up a bit faster. One thing is for makes me realize how fortunate I am to have grown up with a mama, who still is one of the most important people in my life.

If your mama is still alive, go give her a call and let her know how important she is to you.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday Memory-The Osgood house

A word of disclaimer: The facts and assumptions that follow may not be 100% accurate. They are the memories of a little girl and there are most likely innocent or misunderstood things in this post. Please excuse any of these, and I bet your indulgence for a short while....

On our trips to Idaho, we would sleep at the Graham's, but we would spend days at Grandma & Grandpa Osgood's house. I loved the look of the outside of the house with its turquoise accents. They had land that went far back as well. At one point when I was small, I remember Grandpa having cows! I also remember chickens and geese. Grandma also had a lot of farm cats. They stayed outside and did their thing, but it was always fun to see kitties running around.

As a young girl, I called Grandma Osgood my "pink" Grandma. I don't remember why-perhaps she wore a pair of pink slacks that impressed me once when I was young. But pink being a rosy and cheerful kind of color, it fit with my Grandma Osgood perfectly.

We would have to go down a long driveway to get to their house. There was a ditch that ran along the road that the driveway went over. My mom told me of times as a kid when asparagus grew wild along the ditch bank. I was always afraid we would fall in it! The driveway bordered a huge front yard. When I was small, there were huge apricot trees in the front yard. I remember eating my first apricots at Grandma Osgood's. The driveway ended at a garage. I was always kind of wary of this area, because they had two boxes with BEES in them hooked onto the building. I was told they weren't the stinging kind, but I still didn't want to be near them.

In between the driveway and the house was a contraption with a big stone wheel and a seat on it. It was kind of like a bike without wheels. I'm pretty sure now that it was a sharpening stone. If I'm wrong, I hope one of my Osgood relatives will comment here and correct me. Here is a picture of me when I was about 2 on it with my Grandpa holding me on the seat.

Grandma had a large kitchen garden in the back. There was also a good sized yard with trees. Grandma was a great gardener. Mom told me recently that there were times when she was young that Grandma's garden fed the family. I remember her making big "dinners" for the noon time meal. It was strange for us to have "dinner" at lunch time. I particularly remember some delicious rasberries that were partially frozen and sprinkled with sugar. I've never had raspberries like that since!

I remember summer days out on the back porch visiting. There were these funny chairs made out of tractor seats for everyone to sit on. Grandma & Grandpa had an old-fashioned Coke machine that took dimes. Grandma was a Pepsi drinker. No Coke for her. There was a difference, and you couldn't fool her. (Or was it the other way around?) The sodas (or "pops") came in glass bottles. We would drink them right out of the bottle, or pour them into one of Grandma's "Loony Tunes" glasses. She had a collection of glasses with all the Loony Tunes characters on them: Bugs Bunny; Elmer Fudd; Daffy Duck; Speedy Gonzales; Pepe le Pew; the Tasmanian Devil; etc. Mom let us kids have one soda per day. It was always kind of hard to decide when to take it. If you took it too early, you were done for the day.

I don't remember much of the house before they added some rooms onto the back. We would enter the house through the back, up a ramp built for my uncle who uses a wheelchair to have access to the house. The first room you would enter was the kitchen. There was a small room off to the side that had an old hospital bed and other stuff in it. The kitchen had a blue and white short carpet. Grandma's kitchen was a busy place. Her refrigerator was an old one...I think it said "Coldspot" on it. It had these complicated ice cube trays that I never did figure out how to use. This picture is from our trip during the summer of 1976.

The next room was the dining room. There was a huge table that we all would sit around and chat or play Uno on. It had claw feet on it. My mom now has this table at her house. The bathroom was off to the left and it would be freaky sometimes at night or in the morning to go in and see a pair of teeth or two in a glass by the sink! Both Grandma & Grandpa wore dentures and that took some getting used to. Grandpa used to play around with my brother by popping his teeth out of place, yet keeping them in his mouth and chasing him around. It was funny to watch...I was just glad he wasn't chasing me!!

Past the dining room and through some accordion doors was the original part of the house. There was an old living room that smelled of old cigarette smoke. Grandpa was a long time smoker. It didn't bother me as a kid. It was before the days where there was any stigma attached to it. I remember a big velvet painting on one wall of a matador fighting a bull. There was a window air conditioning unit on the opposite wall. There was a downstairs bedroom that my uncle used. Like my Grandpa Graham, Grandpa Osgood had his chair. There were two couches for the rest of us.

I was always fascinated with the doorknobs in this room. They were so pretty to me--like jewels-chiseled diamonds. One door led to the upstairs. When you would start up the creaky stairs, it would feel like an older house. At the top was my aunt's room. I'm told that at one time my mom and 2 of her sisters all shared this room. When I was a kid, my aunt still lived there. She was a high school cheerleader and her pom poms would be tossed to the side of the room. She would go out on dates and was just so stylish to me. She had these pretty shoes in a size 5. She was only 10 years my senior, so I looked up to her a lot. Kind of like a living Barbie doll!

There was a very short and narrow hall way with a bookshelf packed with books and old Archie comics. I remember the high school senior portraits of my mom and her brothers and sisters in 8x10 frames on top. I was so impressed by these pictures! The girls all got to wear these pink or blue boas--they all looked like movie stars. The boys were in suits and looked so handsome!

At the end of the hall was Grandma & Grandpa's room. I rarely went in there. It just didn't seem right. All I can remember of it was their being a lot of "stuff" in there.

Sometimes, we would spend a night with my mom's parents too. But this post is getting pretty long, so I think I'll save that for another Monday.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

An Osgood Family History Mystery

I've come into possession of some old photographs of some Osgood children. I found them on Ebay and bought them in the off -chance that they may be relatives. I figured that even if they weren't "my people," old photos are neat. Besides, I could always upload them to a website that has done me a great service in the past, and perhaps help someone else in their family history search.

There are 3 photos altogether, but 2 are very similar.

This one says on the back: "1925. Robert Osgood. Ed & Lizzie's babe." There also is an address written: "2672 Poplar St."

There is another similar one taken with a wider lens, but at the same time and the same subject. It says "1925. Robert Osgood. Ed & Lizzie's babe."

I've looked in my database and the only Edward Osgood I have was my grandfather's older brother, born in 1900. I have two Robert Osgoods. One is another brother of my grandfather, born in 1898. The other is his son born in 1922.

I'm fascinated by the address on the back of one. I can't begin to imagine how many Poplar streets there are in the United States! This baby, Robert Osgood, may very well still be alive today, albeit an elderly man about 84 years old.

This photo says on the back: Ed and Lizzie Osgood Children. I don't know if these are additional siblings to the baby in the first two photos, or if the baby is the youngest boy in this photo. It looks like the same porch and house, though.
I'd welcome any clues anyone may have. It doesn't seem like these kids are my direct ancestors, though. I'd be happy to share the originals with their descendants.

For now, I'm off to upload them to DeadFred.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A soldier's story that has yet to be told

Sometimes I'm able to share an ancestor's story on my blog. Other times, I want to post about questions I have been unable to find the answers for....yet. This is one of those posts.

His name was Karl Gottlieb Kline. He was born in Prussia and emigrated to the United States at some point. He married another German immigrant, Amelia Wendel. They were pioneers in Kansas during the 1880's. I first find them in Douglas County, then Marion County, where they are buried. They are my great-great-great grandparents on my mother's side.

The star shaped emblem to the left of their headstone has the initials "G.A.R. 1861-1865" The Grand Army of the Republic. This was a fraternal organization for Union veterans of the Civil War. It would seem then, that Karl was another civil war veteran in my family tree. Excellent!

Ever since 8th grade, I have been a Civil War buff. I'm not sure what initially captivated me. Our 8th grade social studies teachers showed us a lot of historical movies. We saw the entire series of "Roots," for example. We also saw a movie adaptation of the classic book, "The Red Badge of Courage." It starred Richard Thomas of "The Waltons" fame. For me, that movie put me in the shoes of that young soldier who was so ready to go fight...until he heard the sounds of cannon and gunfire ahead. Perhaps that was what did it. Anyway, I did a lot of reading and learning on my own since then about the Civil War. So I'm very interested in the details of any Civil War service I run across.

Try as I might, I have been unable to track down exactly where Karl's service was. I've gone through all the military databases on I've been to the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System. I've even had a difficult time tracking down census records of this family. At one point, I wondered if they really even existed!

Through the kindness of a genealogist friend, (you know who you are...) I have found some census records, the earliest being 1880 in Eudora Township, Douglas County, Kansas. I found a great book online on Kansas Memory: Roster of the Members and Posts: Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Kansas, dated 1894. That would fit my time frame, since Karl died in 1907. I manually went through each of the 259 pages and scanned for any mention of a Karl Kline, Karl Klein, Gottlieb Klein, and all permutations of the three names and spellings as I could. NONE. I guess I could have missed it.....if anyone has some time on their hands and wants to try, I would welcome another set of eyes!

I have found records of another German immigrant who fought for the Union by the name of Gottlob Klien, but he was killed during the war. So he's not my Karl. I'll admit in the haze of frustration, I pondered the possibility that my Karl assumed this poor soldier's identity after he died!

The closest I've gotten to some evidence of Civil War military service is a hazy image on a Kansas census record, but I can't really make it out. The 1895 Kansas census includes information on military record (condition of discharge, state of enlistment, letter or name of company or command, number of regiment or other organization to which attached, arm of service.) It kind of looks like Ohio 122. I've looked into that unit, and can't find any names that are even close. I'll put the record at the bottom of this post for anyone who would like to take a stab at it for me. I'd be happy to email it to anyone who wants the file to enlarge to examine it.

So there you have it. One of the reasons I started this blog in the first place was so that others researching the same family lines as I could connect with me and we could collaborate on information. I'm crossing my fingers and saying a prayer to the genealogy fairies on this one.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

On the Homefront-Sarah's Memories of the War of the Rebellion

Sarah Warriner Hamilton, my great-great grandmother, was born in March 1843 in Greenville, Illinois. Her mother died three weeks after giving birth to twins when Sarah was no more than 5 years old.

Sarah attended Montbello College at Alton, Illinois and taught school for a number of years. According to a family history, Sarah could have been an author if time had permitted. She wrote a number of short stories and also wrote the lyrics to a hymn after hearing a sermon on John 3:1-2. It's called "My Advocate" and I'm pleased to have a copy if it. I look forward to having my son learn it.

It is my understanding that Sarah kept a journal. I have yet to locate it in its entirety, but have a copy of a few pages that capture her reminiscences of the Civil War. Enjoy

Part of a writing by Sarah Warriner Hamilton Osgood

To go back to the time, when our boys marched away. I am surprised now, when I remember the erroneous ideas, we entertained (that as we young people), of war. We supposed they would be taken right to the seat of war, in a very few days, and lined up in battle, and that all was needed, to make soldiers out of them was a “suit of blue” a sword and gun; little dreaming of the days of drill and dull routine of camp life, they must go thro(ugh) ere they are ready to meet the foe.

So when it came to pass our soldier boys found themselves settled in camp, not far from home, our hearts began to settle back into their normal condition; and life to move on in something of the old routine, only we missed them so. Buying, and selling. Sowing, and reaping, must still go on, tho hearts are breaking.

Now our boys are sent to the front, their furloughs become fewer, life takes on more, and serious phases, varied with letters from the front, and now and then a visit, of a few days from someone of them.

One, what a happy go-lucky fellow he was—and such extravagant stories he told of life on the Gun Boat Fleet on the Mississippi river. While he was at home he conceived the happy idea of taking all his girl friends to the artists-for their pictures to take back with him. There must have been near a dozen, who, sat for a picture. Between two of the prettiest, he managed to seat himself. They had on those ugly shaker bonnets, the fashion of that time. I could not see the roguish face, trying to peer into the demure face of the girl on his left. It made a very comical picture indeed. After he returned to duty he wrote what fine parties they had, with the girls’ pictures in places of honor. He was another of the heroes that died.

I was in the long, long funeral train, that bore him to his last resting place. I heard the ministers voice as in a dream say, his sun has set while it is yet day.

As the stress of those days grew upon us my father, (than whom a greater Patriot never lived), grew haggard, and old, fast. His great anxieties, for his country, caused him sleepless nights. One incident will take to illustrate his tender heart, for the soldiers. It was during the early days of the war, that the papers chronicled the event, of a young soldier found asleep, while on duty and sentenced to be shot. We all felt greatly exercised over it, but, particularly so, was my father. I never shall forget how earnestly he prayed for the life of that young soldier; as tho he were his own boy. And when news came of the reprieve, there was at least, one heart, full of gratitude.

With what intense anxiety we all awaited news, from the front; and especially if a battle were imminent. In order to facilitate the spreading of the news, a tall flagstaff was raised in my uncle’s yard, in sight of all the county about. Whenever there was news received of a battle the flag was run up. If won by Union forces, it proudly floated from the top of the staff; but if the Union suffered a defeat, then it was run up at half mast. How the whole region watched, for the sign of that flag, and could hardly wait the return of the swiftest messenger, to learn the particulars. Were any of our boys in the engagement? Were they killed or wounded? Were questions we tremblingly asked ourselves. And when our brothers were finally engaged with the enemy, and received severe wounds, and came home to us, we began to feel somewhat relieved from the pressure borne so long.

And so the weary months rolled on, the sky growing darker. And then, the clouds began to lift a little, and then to roll away, and Peace has come again. Our old friend, the flag, that has been a sign, to us all thro(ugh) these trying days---now floats from the summit, we fondly said, never to be raised at half mast again, and we are wild, wild with joy.

But how soon, as our joy turned into mourning. Only a few days, and our flag is floating, at half mast again for our beloved Lincoln lies dead. Dead, did they say? We cannot will not believe it, and that was the way we felt in those dreadful days.

Well my butter has come.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Monday Memory - the old Graham house

On our annual vacations to Idaho, we generally stayed at Grandma & Grandpa Graham's home. This is the house my dad grew up in. We would spend a good part of the days over at Grandma & Grandpa Osgood's, but always came back to the Graham place. It had more bedrooms
to put us all in. Plus, over at the Osgoods, at least when I was still little, I still had an aunt and uncle living there.

The "old" Graham place sat in between an apple orchard and a cherry orchard. Grandma & Grandpa bought the place in 1947. Grandpa was a farmer, like his father Guy Graham was. As you can imagine from the orchards, he grew cherries and apples. I remember them shipping our family in California a big box of apples in the fall.

It was great to be able to go and help pick cherries in the summertime. Grandma would give us a bucket and let us go on our way. We ate way more than we gathered! Fresh cherries right off the tree-delicious! I can still see my little brother red-faced with cherry juice and goo all over him! There was an oval "track" that went around the house and Grandpa's barn and garage. In between the two and around the house was a nice lawn. One winter we drove up for Christmas. I was probably around the age of 10. Dad hooked up a sled to a tractor and dragged my brother and I around that oval. It was so much fun....until I kind of fell off the sled and was dragged on the ground for awhile before Dad noticed!

On the edge of the apple orchard was Great-Grandpa Ira Shelton's trailer. He had lived there since 1961. His wife, Alice, had died a couple years earlier. (Great-Grandpa is the son of the mysterious Nathaniel Shelton that I blogged about a few days ago). I would often go and visit him in his trailer. He had stacks and stacks of paperback books out there. When I was around seven, I remember him asking me to guess how old he was. I had no idea, but knew it was pretty old. (At least from a kid's perspective...I realize as I approach 40 that the concept of "old" is relative). He held up 8 fingers and flashed them at me twice--eighty eight. He would give me bananas and we would hang out. Great-Grandpa rarely came into the house, but he did one winter when we were visiting for Christmas. It seemed to be a big deal that he was in the big house instead of his trailer. Great-Grandpa died a couple years later at the age of 90.

Great-grandpa's trailer is on the left of the barn.
Great grandpa shows us his garden in 1972

We would enter the house through the kitchen. Grandma always was able to cook enough for everyone. I found out later that when she was growing up, her mother would cook for all the farm hands in the area. She grew up learning how to feed an army!

In the living room was GRANDPA'S CHAIR. It was his and his alone. Nearby would be a TV Guide, an ashtray and some snacks. I discovered "Whoppers" there one summer. Those chocolate covered malted milk candies will always remind me of then. Grandma and Grandpa liked to watch TV. I remember them watching "The Price is Right" and a soap opera every day. I'm not sure which soap it was....I knew it wasn't the one my mom watched.

I usually slept in a bathroom. That may sound weird, but this was a big bathroom. As I recall, it was on a landing, with stairs going up on the other side of a ceiling, which was slanted. It was pink. There were two single sized beds in the room. On a table was a big shiny conch shell that we were supposed to be able to hear the ocean in. I remember trying to pretend to be asleep on the morning we would be leaving Idaho to go home. Maybe if I never woke up, we wouldn't have to leave! It didn't work. I hated those mornings.

I don't remember ever going up to the next story in that house. I'm sure I did, though.

TV was a big deal at Grandma and Grandpa's house. It was on a lot. I was there eating a slice of watermelon on August 16, 1977 and hearing that Elvis Presley had died. I also remember watching the Donahue show with mom and grandma while the show topic was the Jonestown Massacre.

Grandma & Grandpa sold the place when I got a little older and Grandpa retired-it was in the late 70's, early 80's. They moved onto a smaller place in Fruitland and lived in a mobile home with less acreage to take care of. That will be the subject of another memory post in the future. It was a sad time for my dad when they sold the place. I suspect it was for others as well. A few years after that, there was a fire and the house burned down.

All you Graham relatives out there, I'd love to hear some of your memories of the old place. Leave a comment!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Mary's Story

My mom's paternal family line in America goes back to the Puritan era. My first ancestor to arrive in the New World was John Osgood in 1638. He helped to found the town of Andover, Massachusetts. This is the story of his daughter in law, Mary Clement, who married his son, John Osgood, Jr. Mary is my 8th great grandmother.

Mary was born in England and came to the New World with her family, settling in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Her father was the local magistrate and united her in marriage to Captain John Osgood, Jr., in 1653. The Osgood's were held in high esteem by the town of Andover, which Captain John's father helped to found. Mary was described as, "remarkably pious and a good woman." She bore eleven children between 1654 and 1680, three of them dying as infants. Her last baby to die was Clement, in November of 1680.

In 1692, some girls in Salem village were supposed to have the power of detecting witches. The two supposed witch-finders, who were called "afflicted persons," were taken to the Andover meeting house, along with the accused. Mary Osgood had been arrested and was put before them. When Mary looked at them, they went into convulsions. On September 8, 1692, she was questioned before the magistrates.

Frantic from the endless badgering from the court, Mary confessed to being a witch. When pressed to admit an exact time when she began her covenant with the devil, her mind went back to about 11 years prior when she suffered from a "bit of melancholy" around the birth of her last child (which had died). Even her husband initially believed her confession. Mary recanted a month later, explaining that the confession "was no other than what was suggested to us by some gentlemen, they telling us that we were witches, and they knew it, and we knew it, which made us think that it was so. And our understandings, our reason, our faculties, almost gone, we were not capable of judging of our condition; as also the hard measures they used with us rendered us incapable of making our defense, but said anything and everything which they desired, and most of what we said, was but, in effect, a consenting to what they said."

Mary was imprisoned for fifteen weeks in Salem amid brutal conditions. It was so bad that some of the accused died in jail. Mary was released after her husband and other townspeople petitioned for her freedom and her husband posted bond in the sum of £100 for her freedom. Mary was indicted in January 1693 and was found not guilty by a jury later that month.

Friday, September 4, 2009

One web leads to another-Centerview, Missouri

I'm dabbling on a new genealogy social networking site, GenWise. I joined the Missouri genealogy forum and was browsing through the discussion lists. Why Missouri? Well, several generations ago in about 1833, Robert Graham, Jr., moved his family from Wythe County, Virginia, to Johnson County, Missouri. 3 generations later, my great grandfather, Guy Graham, moved his bride, Jennie O. Shipp to Fruitland, Idaho.

I'm probably most familiar with the names of my dad's line, the Grahams. I know the names of the families that married into the Grahams, but not much else. In the past, I have seen the names of families that married into the Grahams: Roop and Shipp both come to mind. (Although there were Hobsons, McGees, and Kings that gave brides to Graham men). I don't know a whole lot about them past their names. However, my genealogy quest goes beyond knowing the names and dates of my ancestors, though. For some reason, I thirst to know who they were, how they lived, and how the events of their times that we now study as history impacted on them.

Anyway, in browsing the lists, I stumbled across a site on Missouri Genealogy, and specifically Johnson County, where Centerview is located. I found out some interesting facts about these other ancestors:
* William Lemuel Shipp, my great-great-great grandfather was a justice of the peace in 1882. In 1902 he was appointed school superintendent and later elected to that post in 1905, 1907 and 1909. This is a photo of William and his family. My great-grandmother, Jennie is the girl on the bottom left.

* Elhanan Roop was the first postmaster after the town of Centerview was officially founded in 1865

* The first school built after the civil war in Centerview was named the Graham school. (Sound familiar?) This was the only school in the township for some time and pupils from a radius of 6-7 miles attended. In 1868, the school district was organized and purchased the private school house. William Lemuel Shipp was one of the principals of this school.

So how does this all fit? Jennie Shipp, William's daughter, married a Graham. Her mother, Mary Elizabeth's maiden name was Roop. Her father was Elhanan Roop, that first postmaster. The possibilities only continue as I go farther back. In just browsing this one site on the world wide web, I ran into a web of relationships and lives that only mean hours of fascinating research for me. I'd better get reading!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Brick Wall #1 - Nathaniel Shelton...Who's your daddy?

A friend, who happens to be a professional genealogist, defined a brick wall as a "solvable problem." I like that definition, especially when I feel like I'll never get past a certain point.

Like this one. I'm hoping that by gathering my thoughts enough to write this post, I may notice something I had not before. If not, then I'm hoping that perhaps another person researching this family line will have a piece of the puzzle I do not.

His name was Nathaniel Shelton. He is my great-great grandfather. He's the one sitting in the chair. It's my understanding that the man standing next to him is his nephew. I can't confirm that becuase I have NO idea about Nathaniel's family of origin. What I would love to find out is who Nathaniel's father was.

According to his death certificate, Nathaniel was born 19 Feb. 1839. This is not sure since the 1900 Census lists the year as 1843. The death certificate says he was born in Kentucky, although census records say different at times. (No town names are ever mentinoed). He died in Memphis, Missouri.

The census records are a mystery. I have been unable to locate him for sure prior to 1870. I know that 2 of his wives names were Sarah, and the names of his children. That is how I am able to say for sure in 1870 that it is my Nathaniel.

1840 Federal Census
I haven't done much here becuase the only named individuals are heads of households, and I don't know Nathaniel's father's name.

1850 Federal Census: Illinois>Hancock>Warsaw Ward 1>page 21
Thomas Shelton, age 36
Marena Shelton, age 25
Nathaniel Shelton, age 12
Nancy E. Shelton, age 7
Stephen Shelton, age 1

This may be him--I don't know for sure. One of my problems is that I don't know his father's name. His death certificate names a "Samuel Shelton" from Kentucky as his father. His widow was the informant on the record, so she may not really know herself.

1860 Federal Census: Illinois>Hancock>Warsaw Ward 1>page 21
Thomas Shelton, age 45, teamster, born in Kentucky
Angeline Shelton, age 29, born in Tennesee
Nathaniel Shelton, age 21, farm laborer, born in Tennesee (actually used " beneath Angeline)
Nancy Shelton, age 15, born in Illinois
Martha E. Shelton, age 9, born in Illinois.

Oh how I wish they asked about relationships in these early records!!

1870 Federal Census: Illinois>Hancock>Township 4, Range 9>Page 4
Nathan Shelton, age 27, born in Illinois, farm hand
Sarah Ann, 22, born in Indiana, keeping house
Cora, 6/12, born in Illinois.

The ages are a bit off here for Nathaniel. If the 1860 Nathaniel were the same as this one, he would be about 31, not 27. But look 10 years later...

1880 Federal Census: Missouri>Scotland>Union>District 87>Page 15
Nathaniel, 35, farmer, born in Indiana, fathers birthplace Kentucky, mother's birthplace Germany
Sarah Shelton, 24, born in Iowa, father and mother born in Virginia
Cora Shelton, 11
Thomas Shelton, 6
Viola Shelton, 2
Kate Brown, 18, boarder, domestic servant

Now Nathaniel is listed as being 35. He should be either 41 or 37!
I know all the reasons why there could be errors here (uninformed informant, human errors, etc).

I do know that the 1870 and the 1880 Nathaniel's are the same person since I do have compiled family records from his wife Sarah Deen Shelton's side of the family, which has the same names of the children.

Also, this is the first time we see anything about a foreign born mother. Interesting....

1890 Federal Census: Veteran's Schedules
Nathaniel is listed here as a Civil War veteran. This confirms other military records I have. Unfortunately, the 1890 census records are largely lost.

1900 Federal Census: Missouri>Scotland>Union>District 149> Page 11
Shelton, Nathan, born 1843, age 57, born in Indiana, Father born in KY, mother in Penn.
Sarah F. Shelton, 1855, age 44, mother of 9, 7 still living born in Iowa, parents birthplaces unknown
Hettie S. Shelton, age 18
Molly Shelton, age 16
Ira Shelton, age 12
Samuel Shelton, age 10
Bennie Shelton, age 5
Ruth L. Shelton, age 1

Some thoughts on this one, the age would match up with the 1870 census. However, it doesn't jive with the 1850 record (assuming it is the same Nathaniel) If he was 57 in 1900, he would have been 7 in 1850....not 12. If he was 7 in 1850, Marena (who was then age 25), could certainly be his mother, having borne him at age 18.

Also, a German born mother, or one born in Pennsylania? There were a lot of German immigrants in Pennsylvania. Could be one or the other. But again, I have NO clue about Nathaniel's parentage. Does Marena sound German? Could be...

1910 Federal Census: Missouri>Scotland>Mt. Pleasant>District 154>page 13
Nathaniel S. Shleton, age 68, married 3x, born in Indiana, Father born in KY, mother in Penn, farmer.
Sarah F. Shelton, age 55, married 2x, mother of 10 children, 7 still living, born in Iowa, parents born in VA
Samuel Shelton, age 19, born in Missouri, father born in Indiana, mother born in Iowa
John B. Shelton, age 14, born in Missouri, father born in Indiana, mother born in Iowa
Ruth Lu Shelton, age 10, born in Missouri, father born in Indiana, mother born in Iowa

Nathaniel died on May 19, 1915 in Memphis, MO at the age of 76 (maybe). The informant on the death certificate was his wife of 35 years, Sarah. Information she gave about her husband for the certificate:
  • Date of birth 19 Feb 1839
  • His occupation was a teamster. (Strange since census records all say farmer)
  • His birthplace was Kentucky (again, census records all say Indiana, except 1870, which says Illinois)
  • His father's name was Samuel Shelton (first time we see this name)
  • No birthplace of father or mother is listed, nor is mother's maiden name filled out.
After writing this over the past few hours are re-examining the census records, I've come to one hypothesis: Nathaniel's father was Thomas, his mother Marena. He was born in 1843. Thomas was born in KY, Marena in either Germany, or in Pennsyvania of German ancestry.

Of course, this all could be completely wrong. I suppose I now need to start researching Thomas Shelton (and Shelton's in general) in Kentucky??

My head is getting sore!