29 April 2014

The March Begins

     More Sesquicentennial history goodness, this time from Georgia Public Broadcasting and the Atlanta History Center.  Each week, for 37 weeks, there will be a short video detailing Sherman's march across Georgia.

     I had a great many ancestors' in Sherman's path, in both Georgia and in his return path through South Carolina.  Some families, such as those living in Emanuel County, Georgia, and Lexington County, South Carolina, were directly in Sherman's path.  This video series is of great interest to me and I hope to learn many new things.

     Right now, you can watch Week One (Apr 21-27) and Week Two (Apr 28-May 4), or view a list of all videos.

25 April 2014

A Little Postal History

     I unexpectedly had the day to spend with my mom today and, after dithering back and forth, we decided to browse some antique stores.  On the way, however, I spotted the sign for the "Yellow River Post Office Park" (3519 Five Forks Trickum Road, Lilburn, Georgia).   We'd noticed this before and knew it was something historic, but had never taken the time to check it out.  On impulse, I pulled into the parking lot.

     The park turned out to be quite small, but full of local history.  Signage throughout the park told the story of the Hudson - Nash families, their plantation and the General Store / Post Office that they ran.  There were four buildings, two from the 1830s and two from the 1930s.  They were locked up, but it was still neat to see what the buildings were like from the outside - especially the General Store / Post Office, which had been built in use for over 150 years ago.  I loved the mail slot with the faded "Yellow River" brand above it.  History!

     My family wasn't in this area at the time, but I can connect through the knowledge that my many-times-great Grandfather, Willis Craft, served as Post Master in Elbert County, Georgia around the same time period.  I wonder if his post office was in a general store too?

21 April 2014

The Slowly Growing 1812 Pensions

   I periodically check in to see how the War of 1812 Pension Files database is growing on Fold3.com.  It was recently updated and I was able to search for my 'G' surname ancestors, which is actually just one guy: Michael Garman.

     I am really excited about this project and the information that it can provide about my ancestors.  For Michael, I had seen a lot of information in online family trees but, as is often the case, didn't see any sources.  There was actually a lot of information available on the previously available index cards... but who doesn't always want to see the actual record?  Who trusts an index anyway?  Here's some of the information that I found in Michael Garman's pension file:
  • That he was drafted
  • When, where and with whom he served
  • When and where he was discharged
  • His wife's name and when(ish) and where(ish) they were married
  • That he did not see action
  • That he received a surgeon's discharge for a disabled shoulder
  • That he had received 80 acres of bounty land but had "legally transferred and disposed of it" and wanted more land
  • That he claimed not to have sided with the Confederacy (I say ha! to that)
  • He claimed to have aged really quickly! (65 in 1850, 80 in 1855 and 100 in 1871)
     And how I said there was a lot of information on the index?  Yeah, you can't trust the index card.  It said that Michael and his wife, Polly (Mary?), were married in 1812.  The actual records states "he was married on the __ day of __ 180(before the war began) in the State of South Carolina.   I read that to say that he was married in eighteen oh-something, whereas the indexer read it to mean when the war began in 1812.  

     This pension records provides a lot of dates and places, as well as tidbits of randomness that hint at more.  I'm going to take those tibits and hopefully find even more information about Michael Garman... while waiting patiently for P, R, and maybe other surnames to be added to the database.

     But if I really want to hurry things along, I can take a more active role in the process. Anyone can make a donation to Preserve The Pensions Project and, thanks to Ancestry.com, each donation will be matched to make an even bigger impact.

14 April 2014

April's DAR Meeting (Pending Membership)

     I attended my 3rd DAR meeting yesterday and this time I took my mom with me.  It was interesting because, like many things Genealogy, most people will assume that she's dragging me along, and not vice versa.  But I wanted her to see how the meetings went and let her decide if she wants to join.  She doesn't have a job right now since her company went out of business, though she does watch my nephew (aka the Best Baby Ever) three days a week.  I think that she'd have a lot more time to participate than I will.

     This meeting was the first one in which I had a pre-printed name tag, from which I figured out that I've moved from "prospective member" to "pending member."  I think I've been pending for a bit; I'm not sure but I think that means my application has been sent in, vs I'm still considering membership/working on my application.  Pretty much my best guess here; I still have a lot to learn.

     And that's one thing about this experience that I felt at this meeting: that there's still so much I don't know.  From what I've picked up, it's not that it's a secret or anything; if I ask a question I get an answer.  However, I don't know all of the questions to ask.  I think that once I have my membership number I will have access to the member's website that contains tons of information.

     And, according to the Interim Registrar, my application is "up next."  Maybe I'll become a member next month!

    Anyway, this month's speaker was from Atlanta's Historic Oakland Cemetery - one of my most favorite places.  I've gone on a few tours at Oakland, but have only scratched the surface of the many different experiences they offer.  Although I know a good bit about the cemetery, this presentation reminded me of how much more there is.  It really made me want to visit again, especially in the spring with all of the flowers and trees in bloom.

12 April 2014

Civil War Cannons - How It All Worked

     At a recent visit to Andersonville NHS, where the notorious Civil War Prison once stood, I was able to observe an artillery presentation.  They explained how cannons were used in the Civil War.  I put it all together in a video and, if you are at all interested in this time period, I think you will enjoy watching.  And watch all the way through the end to see the cannon fired.


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