©2009-2016 Becky Higgins

Thursday, May 13, 2010

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy - Challenge #19

Week 19: Examine the “Genealogy and Military Records” page on the National Archives page (http://www.archives.gov/veterans/research/genealogy.html). (Non-U.S. folks: examine the military records information from your country’s national archives.) Click the links and read everything you can. If you’ve ordered a military file before, read this page again and refresh you memory so you can help others. Authors of genealogy blogs can write about records they’ve received, comment on the National Archives page, or ask questions of their readers via their blog.

I did go out the NARA website which is wonderful and very helpful. However, I’ve decided to write about the military records I’ve received from them in the past. In each case I ordered both the military and pension files (complete). My veterans are Peter Miller (1836-1911), Eliphalet B Miller (1840-1887), Benjamin A Stewart (1840-1914) and Burwell S. Blue (1821-1877). These are all Civil War Veterans
I learned so much from these records it’s hard to know where to begin. I’ll have to just give a few highlights from each:
Peter Miller (my great-granduncle):
Ø      I received 120 pages in all.
Ø      I learned that Peter had flat feet and, during the war, lost much of his sight.
Ø      I learned of a first marriage and child I didn’t previously know about at all. Papers regarding that divorce issued 08 May 1865 were from the lawyer’s office because the county records were burned in the Chicago fire of 1871.
Ø      Before I received these papers, I had lost Peter’s whereabouts. The records traced him to Oklahoma.
Ø      I learned about his family and his wife’s eventual move to Texas.
Ø      And much more.
Eliphalet Miller (my great-grandfather):
Ø      I received about 100 pages in all.
Ø      It contained affidavits for the births of his children born in Illinois. (According to their guardian, Charles Miller, the family had not attended church in that state and it was before county records were required. Other than Bible records, these have been the only corroborating evidence for these children I’ve found.)
Ø      Affidavits were presented for the marriage of Eliphalet and Mary (Blue) Miller and also for each of their deaths. Eliphalet died one year after the death of Mary in childbirth – leaving seven children orphaned.
Ø      And much more.
Benjamin Stewart (my great-grandfather):
Ø      I received 260 pages in all
Ø      I learned that he joined in August of 1862, came down with the measles in November 1862 in Gallatin, Tennessee and was discharges 30 January 1863.
Ø      He stated there was no room in the hospital at Gallatin and that he and several others were “moved from place to place” often in the rain.
Ø      There is an affidavit in his words regarding his movements from his discharge to his pension claim in 1883 which is revealing.
Burwell Spurlock Blue (my 2nd great-grandfather):
Ø      I received 120 pages in all
Ø      I learned he mustered in on 20 December 1861, mustered out 26 February 1864, reenlisted 27 February 1864.
Ø      He was wounded in the shoulder by gunshot at Franklin, Missouri. 01 October 1864, returned to duty 21 January 1865 at Eastport, Mississippi, discharged 10 September 1865.
Ø      He died in 1877 and his wife, Malvina, tried for years to get a pension to no avail.
Ø      She lived in abject poverty, even having to place three of her children in the Soldiers and Sailors orphanage in Indiana.
Ø      And much more. 

1 comment:

  1. I am so jealous...all those wonderful records. And, I just don't have a single CW soldier, at least I haven't found one yet. Thanks for the eye-opener of what you can get.