Monday, April 30, 2007

A Day of Silence?

No disrespect meant towards anyone but I'll admit, I'm not totally convinced of the idea of a day of silence in the blog world. I may not post anything tomorrow but probably more so because I haven't been posting on a daily basis. Remembering The Virginia Tech Massacre Victims is a wonderful thing but I believe we should also pay respect to those that die as a result of war and violence every day, all over the world.

Silence is a Memoriam, Not a Reason to Stop Blogging

Day of Blog Silence: Honoring The Victims of Violence

As seen by the comments on this post
April 30: A Day of Silence not everyone agrees with having a day of silence. And that is the true beauty of the country we live in. Everyone is entitled to their own opionon.

Note added at 10 a.m. 04/30/2007 - I've disabled comments on this post because several really nasty and vulgar comments were posted by someone that obviously did not fully read this post. I see no reason to subject my (few) readers to that kind of trash. I also do not want to enable moderation of comments because I do believe in the principals of freedom of speech, but NOT when it is so offensive to myself and others. The person that posted the inappropriate comments was not a genea-blogger nor anyone that is associated with the genealogy field, at least as far as I know. - - Becky

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Civil War Ancestor - William Brubaker

William Brubaker was born in Perry county, Ohio, November 20, 1843. His mother was Sarah Foster, daughter of Benjamin and Margaret "Peggy" Myers Foster. His father was John Brubaker, son of Martin and Nancy Neel Brubaker. William's parents were never married to each other. My grandmother's notes state that two girls were pregnant by John Brubaker, Sarah Foster and Catharine Clum. John chose to marry the one that was "more pregnant" and that was Catharine. In 1849 John and Catharine moved to Huntington County, Indiana. They had eleven more children. Even though William was not mentioned in his father's will of 1879 it is thought that he did have a relationship with some of his half-siblings as he is mentioned in the obituary notices for several of them and those still living when he died are mentioned in his obituary. When he enlisted in the 17th Indiana he used the Brubaker surname; he used that name for the rest of his life.

When William was 5 ½ years old, his mother, Sarah Foster, was married to George Parkison and in 1851 the family moved to Whitley County, Indiana. In the 1850 and 1860 census William was listed in the household of George and Sarah Parkison, under the Parkison surname. In the 1870 census he is listed with them as William Brubaker. George Parkison, in his will dated June 10, 1902 stated "It is my will that said William Brubaker, although he is my step-son only, shall take his equal share as hereinbefore and hereinafter set out, the same as if he were my son by blood." William was also made co-executor of George's estate.

William Brubaker enlisted April 21, 1861 in Company E, 17th Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry, which became known as Wilder's Lightning Brigade after the regiment was mounted in February 1863 and then armed with Spencer repeating-rifles in May 1863. William served three years and two months in the 17th. He took part in all the battles and skirmishes in which the regiment was engaged through October 3, 1863.

One record in his pension file No. 102.087 shows that he was 5 feet 8 ¼ inches tall when he enlisted in 1861 and he had a fair complexion, gray eyes, and brown hair. A surgeon's certificate dated April 17, 1878 shows that he was 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighed 145 pounds and had a dark complexion.

On October 3, 1863 while in the line of duty at Thompsons Cove, Tennessee and engaged with his company in a skirmish with rebel troops he was shot through his right thigh by a musket ball. The next day he was sent to the hospital at McMinville, Tennessee where he remained until January 15, 1864 when he was sent to the hospital at Nashville, Tennessee. He was at Nashville for four days when he went home on furlough with his company. He remained at home until March 20, 1864 when he returned to the field again. He was discharged on June 20, 1864 at Columbia, Tennessee. I would imagine that he went home for further recuperation.

On February 28th 1865 he was "veteranized" and enlisted as a sergeant in Company I, 152nd Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He was again honorably discharged at Charlestown, West Virginia on August 30, 1865.

His injury plagued him the rest of his life. He filed for an "invalid" pension on February 1, 1866 stating "He was and still is unable to perform any manual labor of any consequence. He can do some light work and that is all." and was awarded $4.00 per month with a one-half disability. In March of 1891 he applied for a re-rating of his pension and was awarded $6.00 per month.

The pension act of February 6, 1907 apparently based pensions on age rather than just disability. William reapplied for pension on March 5, 1907 when he was 63 years old, which made him eligible to receive $12.00 per month. Veterans over 70 years of age could receive $15 while those 75 and over could receive $20 per month. He received the increase of $12 per month for the rest of his life.

William died on January 26, 1912 aged 68 years, 2 months and 6 days. His widow, Malissa Joslin Brubaker, immediately applied for pension and was awarded $12.00 per month, which she received until her marriage to Jacob Bower on May 18, 1915. He died on March 22, 1929 and just four days later, Malissa reapplied for a widow's pension based on William's service. Malissa had moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana and was living with her granddaughter Hazlette Brubaker Phend and her husband, Vic Phend at 2221 West Brook Drive. Malissa's application was approved and she received a pension of $40.00 per month until her death on September 30, 1937 at Columbia City.

William Brubaker and Malissa Mariah Joslin, daughter of Lydia Robison and Lysander Price Joslin, were married on April 20, 1871 by A. J. Douglas, Minister of the Gospel. (Just as a side note, six years later, A. J. Douglas would become the father of Lloyd C. Douglas, minister and author.)

Photos: The first two were tintypes and are of William Brubaker and Malissa Joslin Brubaker. They were probably taken about the time of their marriage in 1871. The group photo was probably taken around 1890-1891, shown are William (born 1843), Hale (born 1886), Charles (born 1871), and Malissa (born 1849).

From the 1907 History of Whitley County, Indiana we learn that in 1871, William "purchased one hundred and thirty acres of native forest land, bordering Goose Lake, which now, as a result of his earnest labor and successful management, presents a neat and thrifty appearance, being nicely fenced, well drained and thoroughly equipped with a comfortable and substantial residence, barn and other improvements necessary to render farm life pleasant and profitable. In politics he is a Republican, but refuses to serve in public capacity. Mrs. Brubaker is an active member of the Woman's Relief Corp of Columbia City and also takes an interest in religious matters, being a member of the Baptist church. The family is well known and highly respected, taking an active interest in all social and public enterprises."

Two children were born to William and Malissa: Charles Romain was born August 19, 1871 and married Maud Wise (more on them in the future). Maurice Hale, who was born May 17, 1866 and died December 14, 1910 at New York City while attending the law school of Columbia University.

His obituary, published January 27, 1912 in the Columbia City Post, in part, stated: "William Brubaker, an old veteran and one of the kindliest of men, entered into the long sleep at his home on North Elm street Friday forenoon about ten o'clock. He had been unconscious since Wednesday and his passing was peaceful and quiet. The last illness dates from a week ago Monday, but Mr. Brubaker had been feeling badly for the past six weeks, during which time he had not been off the premises. It was four years ago that his health began to fail, and the sad and untimely death of his son, Hale, which occurred December 14th, 1910, was an affliction which bore heavily upon him and burdened him with grief. Heart trouble and such complications as follow diseases of that organ undermined his strength and when Bright's disease set in his powers of resistance were almost exhausted."

On Saturday, April 28th, William Brubaker, my 2nd great grandfather, was inducted into the "charter class" of the Society of Civil War Families of Indiana, a project sponsored by the Indiana Genealogical Society.

Jacob Wise - Nashville Cemetery

Jacob Wise, one of my civil war ancestors, is buried in Section "J" at the National Cemetery in Nashville, Tennessee. I had planned on posting these pictures with my previous post on him and his family, but sometimes life gets in the way of good intentions!

The first two photos were taken in the summer of 1928 and are from my grandmother's files. Shown in the photo on the left are Grace Zinsmeister, Maude Wise Brubaker Yontz, Rose Wise Zinsmeister, and (a very faded) Hazlette Wise Burns. Rose, the youngest daughter of Jacob, whom he never saw, was born two weeks after he was drafted in October 1864. Grace, Maude and Hazlette are Jacob's granddaughters.

The photo on the left, below, is one that I took several years ago. On the right is the gravemarker that was put up at the time of the death of his wife in 1901. The stone is in Hively's Corner, now St. Matthew's Church, cemetery in Thorncreek Township, Whitley County, Indiana. The date of Jacob's death on the stone in not correct. The widow's pension records show that he died on May 17, 1865 not on May 7th.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Civil War Ancestor - Jacob Wise

Jacob Wise and Malissa Stem were married on June 27, 1850 in Wayne County, Ohio. According to my grandmother's notes, they were living in Miami County, Indiana in 1852 when their first child, William (my 2nd Great Grandfather), was born on January 1st. A year or so later they had moved to Thorncreek township, Whitley County, near Malissa's parents Conrad and Indiana Sisley Stem. Their first daughter, Mary Ellen, was born on March 11, 1854 and five more children would follow: Sarah Jane was born August 17, 1855 and died October 1, 1863; James Roscoe was born on September 5, 1858; Christina was born December 15, 1860 and died January 4, 1870; Sylvester was born December 6, 1862 and died September 1, 1864; Rosilla was born on October 19th 1864.

Jacob was drafted into the Army on October 5, 1864 just a little over a month after his son Sylvester had died and just two weeks before the birth of his daughter Rosilla.

I can't even begin to imagine how his wife, Malissa, felt. Expecting a child, just having lost a son, and her husband being sent off to war... Jacob never returned, he never saw his last child. Family tradition has it that worry and homesickness was the cause of his death and I'm sure that it may have been a contributing factor, however, his Widow's Civil War Pension Records (Application 101.119 and Certificate 75625) show that he died of chronic diarrhea on May 17, 1865 while a patient at the 1st Division Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. Jacob is buried at the National Cemetery in Nashville.

The Widow's Pension Application shows that Jacob was a Private in Captain J.D. Likens' Company "C" of the 30th Regiment of Indiana Volunteers; he was born in Wayne County, Ohio; was aged 37 years; he was 5 feet 9 inches high with Dark complexion, Dark eyes, Dark hair, and by occupation a Farmer, who joined for service and was Drafted on the 5th day of Oct 1864, at Kendallville, Indiana by Capt Iddings, for the period of one year; and "having served Honestly and Faithfully with his Company to the present date, is now entitled to a Discharge by reason of Death in Hospital at Nashville, Tennessee on May 17, 1865 of chronic diarrhea."

Jacob had Pay due from Enlistment but had received clothing amounting to $49.48 with $12 still due to the United States. He was indebted to Nellis Rorden, sutler, for 7 dollars. The final inventory of his personal effects showed "None".

Jacob appeared on the Company Muster Roll on February 10, 1865 in Huntsville, Alabama and was listed as present in March and April 1865, but no place was listed.

The record of service of the 30th Regiment, Indiana Infantry shows that the regiment was consolidated to a battalion of 7 companies on October 3, 1864. Nashville Campaign November-December. Columbia, Duck River, November 24-27. Battle of Franklin November 30. Battle of Nashville December 15-16. Pursuit of Hood to the Tennessee River December 17-28. Moved to Huntsville, Alabama, and duty there till March, 1865. Operations in East Tennessee March 15-April 22. Duty at Nashville till June. The Regiment lost a total of 4 Officers and 133 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 274 Enlisted men by disease.

A public sale, which raised $602.52, was held on Friday, September 1st, 1865, offering "personal property not taken by the widow, namely: a lot of young cattle, a lot of hogs, wheat in the bushel, corn in the ground, hay, farming utensils, 1 two-horse wagon, and many other articles too numerous to mention." Among the items that were taken by the widow were a pair of harness valued at $10.00, 50 hogs valued at $40.00, 4 sheep $5.00, 1 house $50.00, 20 bushels of wheat $18.00, a stove and furniture $8.00, a sink $3.00, a table $2.00, a bureau $5.00, a clock $3.00, a bed and bedstead and bedding $12.00, a spinning wheel $10.00, a cupboard $2.00, a trundle bed $3.00 and other items. The total value of the things she "took" was $216.37

One of the claims filed against Jacob's estate was by Adam Humbarger who went "to Nashville at request of Widow to see the decedent who was sick and who died before he arrived there 6 days at $2.00 per day $12.00"

Of their seven children, 4 lived to adulthood: William married Sophia Dunfee, remained in Whitley County and had four children: Harry, Maud (my great grandmother), Maurice and Hazlette. William lived to the age of 83. Mary Ellen married David Anspaugh and they had eight children: Clarence, Emma, Simon, Bertha, William, Mary, Charles and Clyde. Mary Ellen and David lived in Whitley County until about 1910 when they moved to Clear Lake in Steuben County, Indiana. She was 82 years old when she passed away. James Wise married Miriam Minerva Blain and had two children, Earl and Ethel. James died in 1890 at the age of 32 of small pox in Chihuahua, Mexico while on a business trip. Rosilla, also known as Rose, married John Zinsmeister and moved to Lorain, Lorain County, Ohio about 1896. She was 90 years old when she died in 1954. Rose and John had four children: Hamer James, Lena Ann, Grace and Ralph Zinsmeister.

Malissa remained unmarried for nearly 11 years. On March 30, 1876 she married Jacob Scott. She was his third wife and he was nearly 20 years older than she. Malissa passed away at the home of her son William on August 6, 1901 at the age of 68. Her obituary, in part, stated: "The most of her life was passed in the vicinity where she died, where all learned to esteem her for her kind and careful life and many virtues. Her last days were fraught with suffering being a helpless invalid for several years, but she endured her suffering with hopeful patience making no complaint, but with faith looking forward to the relief of the coming dawn of Eternal day."

This Saturday, April 28th, Jacob Wise, my 3rd great grandfather, will be inducted into the "charter class" of the Society of Civil War Families of Indiana, a project sponsored by the Indiana Genealogical Society.

Wise Family - Index to Posts

Saturday, April 21, 2007

22nd Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy

The 22nd Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy was posted a few days ago by Jasia at Creative Gene. (I know, I'm a bit late, but it's a great edition!) If you haven't seen it already, you have check it out! This was a 'Carousel' edition, an open topic, and includes 26 articles by 23 bloggers. It's an interesting genealogical potpourri with articles on ancestors, Jewish genealogy, DNA and Genetic Testing, scrapbooking, graveside reunions, family mysteries, skeletons in the closet, a trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and more. Thanks to Jasia for putting it all together.

The topic for the next edition of the COG is: School Days.
Share a school memory of your own or a story about an ancestor. Maybe you know the history of a one-room school house your ancestor attended, or maybe you have some teachers on the family tree you'd care to write about. Grade school, high school, or college... this is a subject everyone can write about, even if it's only about the school of hard knocks! The deadline for the next Carnival of Genealogy is May 1st. Please submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using the carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival index page.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906

The terrifying rumble of an earthquake shattered the early morning silence of April 18 at 5:15 AM. The quake lasted only a minute but caused the worst natural disaster in the nation's history. Modern analysis estimates it registered 8.25 on the Richter scale (By comparison, the quake that hit San Francisco on October 17, 1989 registered 6.7). The earthquake was felt from southern Oregon to south of Los Angeles and inland as far as central Nevada.

However, the greatest destruction came from the fires the quake ignited. These ravaged the city for three days before burning themselves out. The maelstrom destroyed 490 city blocks, a total of 25,000 buildings, made over 250,000 homeless and killed between 450 and 700 people. Damage estimates topped $350,000,000.

Two Whitley County men, Ancil Brown and Joe Archer, were in the San Francisco area at the time of the earthquake. Their letters published in the Columbia City Post can be found at Whitley County Kinexxions.

Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco has a timeline, scans of some newspaper clippings and transcriptions of others, eyewitness accounts which are incredible - including one from Jack London. They have a list of "names compiled from newspapers of those persons who died as a direct result of injuries received either at the time of the earthquake and fire, or during the latter half of April 1906" and of course, lots of photographs.

These are some of the other sites that I found interesting (a Google search turned up 956,000 hits for “San Francisco Earthquake”).

Eyewitness to History

The Library of Congress American Memory


Berkeley Seismological Laboratory

Monday, April 16, 2007

DoHistory and Martha Ballard's Diary

DoHistory is a fascinating website that I came across several years ago, forgot about, but recently rediscovered.

From their About this Site page: "DoHistory invites you to explore the process of piecing together the lives of ordinary people in the past. It is an experimental, interactive case study based on the research that went into the book and film A Midwife's Tale, which were both based upon the remarkable 200 year old diary of midwife/healer Martha Ballard. Although DoHistory is centered on the life of Martha Ballard, you can learn basic skills and techniques for interpreting fragments that survive from any period in history. We hope that many people will be inspired by Martha Ballard's story to do original research on other "ordinary" people from the past."

Starting when she was 50 years old, Martha Ballard wrote in her diary nearly every day from January 1, 1785 to May 12, 1812 (27 years) for a total of almost 10,000 entries.

Who was Martha Ballard? - - "Martha Moore was born in 1735 in the small central Massachusetts town of Oxford, but the real story of her life begins in Maine with the diary she kept from age fifty. Without the diary her biography would be little more than a succession of dates. Her birth in 1735. Her marriage to Ephraim Ballard in 1754. The births of their nine children in 1756, 1758, 1761, 1763, 1765, 1767, 1769, 1772, 1779, and the deaths of three of them in 1769. Her own death in 1812.
"The notice of Martha's death in a local paper summed up her life in just one sentence: "Died in Augusta, Mrs. Martha, consort of Mr. Ephraim Ballard, aged 77 years." Without the diary we would know nothing of her life after the last of her children was born, nothing of the 816 deliveries she performed between 1785 and 1812. We would not even be certain she had been a midwife."
--from Laurel Thatcher Ulrich's A Midwife's Tale

Be sure to read the Project History page that tells how Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, a middle-aged University of New Hampshire history professor looking for her next project, met Martha Ballard in the two-hundred-year-old pages of the midwife's diary on a summer day in 1982.

The About the Online Diary page tells how the husband-and-wife team of Robert and Cynthia MacAlman McCausland spent their evenings for nearly ten years in transcribing verbatim Martha Ballard's 1,400+ handwritten pages to create the text version. It also tells how the image version was created.

The How to Use Primary Sources page includes a History Toolkit with "short essays designed to help the beginning historian conduct and organize his or her own historical research."

Other information available on the site includes:

And of course, there is Martha Ballard's Diary!

Traveling the World

This doesn't have anything to do with genealogy...

Mark Schatzker has a job I can only dream of, in my wildest dreams... A little over a month ago, on March 5, 2007, he began his trip Around the World in 80 Days - the kicker is, he's being paid to do it!

In his first post on February 27th Mark states: "The conditions of this trip are as follows: I cannot take a plane or helicopter, I cannot travel more than 100 miles per hour, and I must complete the journey-travel west out of New York and arrive from the east-in precisely 80 days. The intention is to rediscover "slow travel," of the way humans moved across vast distances back when Jules Verne wrote his famous book about Phileas Fog and before commercial airliners painted their lines across the skies."

And a bit further down: "The good news is that unlike so many world travelers, I have a sweet budget. I owe my good fortune to the fact that I will be writing about this journey in the pages of Conde Nast Traveler, a magazine with a taste of the good life. They are paying me not only to see the world, but to live well while doing so. As journalistic assignments go, it doesn't get better than this. How I lucked into it, I cannot explain."

Into day 36, Mark has left China and is now on his way through Mongolia on the Trans-Mongolian Railway. You can read all about his travels on his blog "80 Days or Bust" which is very interesting, to say the least.

Also, the Travel Channel has a relatively new series going on now. "Inspired by Patricia Schultz's best-selling travel book, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die chronicles the journey of a young couple who put their lives on hold to travel the world for 14 weeks. Albin and Melanie Ulle, newlyweds from Colorado, experience the vast beauty and diverse cultures of 13 amazing countries and approximately 100 of the 1,000 Places from the book, while unearthing all the local charms and traditions along the way!"

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Helen, Dorothy and Mildred Jones

Helen, Dorothy and Mildred Jones were the children of Charles Isaac Jones (1859-1940) and Emma Liggett (1861-1949). The photograph is from the Whitley County Historical Museum. Charles is my 1st cousin 4 times removed. Our common ancestors are my 4th great grandparents William B. Jones and Elizabeth Helms. They were Charles' grandparents.

Helen was born May 1, 1888 in Columbia City and married John Albert Menaugh on April 22, 1913 in Whitley County, Indiana. In 1940 and 1949 she lived in Chicago, Illinois.

Dorothy and Mildred were twins, born January 9, 1892 in Columbia City. Dorothy married Russell B. Clapham on June 15, 1919 in Whitley County. According to her mother's obituary in 1949, Mrs. Dorothy Clapham was living in Washington, D. C. Her husband, Russell, died December 28, 1928 in Columbia City of cerebral meningitis. In addition to his wife, Dorothy, he was survived by his 8 year old son, Charles Clapham.

In August 1918, Mildred married Robert Dale Robertson at Peoria, Illinois. In 1940 and 1949 she was living in Washington, D. C.

A fourth child, Lucy, was born to Charles and Emma Liggett Jones in March of 1894. According to her parents obituaries in 1940 and 1949, Lucy was married to Walter Mitchell and lived in Washington, D. C.

Mildred Jones Married Illinois Man - 1918

Columbia City Post, Whitley County, Indiana ~ Wednesday, August 28, 1918
Mildred Jones Married Illinois Man.

Daughter of Vice-President of First National Bank Wedded to R. D. Robertson, of Albion, Ill. Chautauqua Manager, but will enter Army.

The C. I. Jones family on Spencer street received a telegram from their daughter, Mildred, Friday, announcing her marriage. The new member of the family is Mr. Robert Dale Robertson, of Albion, Ill., and the marriage occurred at Peoria, Thursday afternoon at three o'clock. Mr. Robertson is manager of the Mutual Chautauqua, with headquarters at Chicago, and met Miss Jones while acting as supervisor of the children's playground for the same company, last summer. Miss Jones was especially qualified for this position as she graduated from Mrs. Parson's Physical Training School, in 1917, and acted as supervisor of this department in the schools at Oskaloosa, Iowa, for several years. She also is a graduate of Columbia City high school and Earlham college.

It was necessary for Miss Jones to resign a very fine position at Detroit, Mich., in the Y. M. C. A., as physical director, in order to be with Mr. Robertson when he enters an army training camp the first of September. Mr. Robertson attended school at the Illinois State University during the time Rev. Lloyd Douglas, formerly of this city, served as secretary of the Y. M. C. A., and they became the very best of friends as well as fraternity brothers. During Miss Jones' Easter vacation Mr. Robertson spent a few days here as the guest of the C. I. Jones family, but few had the pleasure of making his acquaintance, so are looking forward to the arrival of the bride and groom following the close of the Chautauqua season, and in the meantime we extend our congratulations and very best wishes.

[Note: Mildred Jones was my 2nd Cousin 3 times removed. Her parents were Charles Isaac Jones 1859-1940 and Emma Liggett 1861-1949. According to their obituaries, Mildred Roberson/Robertson was living in Washington, D.C. at the time of their deaths.]

Saturday, April 14, 2007

April 14th

Today, April 14th, is the anniversary of the assassination of President Lincoln in 1865, the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 and the Great Dust Storm of 1935.

Lincoln's Assassination

The Sinking of The Titanic

The "Black Sunday" Dust Storm:

Today is the anniversary of Black Sunday, the day in 1935 when a windstorm hit a part of the Great Plains known as the Dust Bowl. When the day started, the weather was sunny and calm. People were on their way home from church, or out visiting friends for lunch, when they saw huge flocks of birds flying south, away from a dark black cloud on the northern horizon. As the cloud approached, people realized that it wasn't a storm cloud, but a cloud of dirt, blown up by the wind. Witnesses said it was like a black tidal wave came down from the sky. It became as dark as night as soon as the cloud descended. Static electricity stalled cars and shorted out telephone lines. People standing a few yards away from their homes got lost in the darkness, and grabbed onto fence posts to keep from being blown to the ground. It was later estimated that the storm carried 300 million tons of
soil through the air.

Coincidentally, it was four years later on this day in 1939 that John Steinbeck (books by this author) published his novel about the farmers displaced by the Dust Bowl drought: The Grapes of Wrath. The novel tells the story of three generations of the Joad family, who lose their farm in Oklahoma and set off across the country for the paradise of California, only to encounter extreme poverty and corrupt corporations trying to make a profit off of them. Steinbeck interspersed the story of the Joads with chapters describing the migration as a whole, to give the
impression of a social history as well as a personal story.

Excerpts from "The Dust Bowl, Men, Dirt and Depression" by Paul Bonnifield can be found at the Cimarron Heritage Center (Boise City, Oklahoma).

A very interesting
interview with Melt White is on the PBS website.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Peace Lilly

My Mother's Peace Lilly is blooming and I wanted to share. It's so beautiful... and appropriate for today, I think.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Battle of Shiloh (Pittsburg Landing) April 6-7, 1862

This year is the 145th anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh, one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. There were 241 separate military units (128 Federal and 113 Confederate) engaged on April 6th and 7th, 1862. The final number of dead or missing was 13,000 on the Union side and 10,500 on the Confederate side.


JACOB BERLIN (my 2nd Great Grand Uncle) was born on September 30, 1836 in Columbiana County, Ohio and was the 5th of 10 children born to John D. and Susannah Huffman Berlin. About 1846 the family moved to Rootstown in Portage County, Ohio. About 1852 the oldest son, Solomon, migrated to Locke Township in Elkhart County, Indiana. A few years later, Jacob joined Solomon in Elkhart County where they had a brick kiln and a sawmill.

Jacob enlisted in Company “C” Ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry on September 5, 1861. Just seven months later, on April 7, 1862, Jacob met his death on the battlefield of Shiloh in western Tennessee during the second day’s fighting. He was 25 years old. When the G.A.R. post in Nappanee was established, it was named in his honor. A few years ago I went to the Shiloh Battlefield and Cemetery. I discovered that Jacob was probably one of the many soldiers who were buried in the mass graves as he was listed as a "known, unknown" which meant that it was known that he died there but they didn't know where he was buried. Jacob was not married and did not have any children.

The monument to the 9th Regiment states: "Commanded by Col. Gideon C. Moody. This regiment arrived on the battlefield at 9 p.m., April 6, 1862, moved upon the enemy at daylight of the 7th, was hotly engaged at this place 10 a.m. Repulsed a heavy attack from the front (south), and charged with brigade to the right (west), and drove back the enemy. At 12.30 p.m. was sent by Gen. Nelson across the road to the left to the aid of Col. Ammen. Casual- ties--killed, 1 officer and 16 men; wounded, 7 officers and 146 men; total, 170."

A letter written by Jno. H. Violett of the 9th Regiment was published in The Times, Goshen, Indiana on Thursday, May 1, 1862 and graphically describes their part in the battle.

The Times published another letter, not quite so graphic, written by Capt. H. G. Davis, a member of the 29th Regiment on Thursday, April 24, 1862. His letter was written on April 11th.


RALPH GOODRICH (may be my 4th Great Grand Uncle) was born March 30, 1820 probably in Franklin County, Ohio. His relationship to Bela Goodrich, my 5th Great Grandfather, has not been positively established but they both came from Franklin/Delaware County, Ohio to Whitley County, Indiana in 1838 and in 1841 Bela sold 40 acres of land in Whitley County to Ralph for $50, which was the same amount that Bela had paid to the U.S. Government.

At the time of his enlistment on September 25, 1861 Ralph had a wife (Lucinda Bennett) and five children. The oldest child, David, was 18 years old and joined the 44th along with his father. The youngest child of Ralph and Lucinda was not quite four years old. I discovered last year that I work with a descendant of that youngest child, Alfred Marion Goodrich! If we could prove the connection, he'd be my 5th cousin once removed. The other children of Ralph and Lucinda were John W., Arvilla, and William Swayze Goodrich.

Ralph and David both enlisted in Company B, 44th Regiment of Indiana Volunteers. Ralph was wounded on the first day of battle, Sunday, April 6th and died on a ship at the landing on Tuesday, April 8th. It is not known whether his son David was with him or not. The "Enrollment of the Late Soldiers, Their Widows and Orphans of the Late Armies of the United States for the year 1886" for Whitley County shows that David was a Musician and that Ralph had been "shot through the thigh".

The Monument to the 44th states: "Commanded by Col. HUGH B. REED. This regiment formed in this line Sunday, April 6, 1862, at 8.30 a.m. It repulsed several charges made by the enemy, which, under orders of Gen. Bragg, was attempting to force this part of the line back. During these engagements the woods caught fire. At 2.30 p.m. regiment fell back to a line with 1st Brigade, then to rear and left of Bloody Pond, where it charged on enemy's infantry and artillery. Here seven flag- bearers were shot down. At 4.30 p.m. slowly fell back and supported siege guns. Monday, April 7th, regiment fought the enemy till 3 p.m. Number of men in action, 478. Casualties-- killed, 1 officers and 33 men; wounded, 6 officers and 171 men; missing, 1 man; total, 212."

A photograph of Ralph's gravemarker can be found at the Shiloh Battlefield website. The date listed is the date that he was wounded, though it says date of death.

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My 2nd Great Grandfather, WILLIAM BRUBAKER, enlisted in Company E, 17th Indiana Volunteer Infantry on April 21, 1861 when he was 17 years and 5 months old. I'll write more about him in a future post. The 17th Regiment arrived on the battlefield at 12 o'clock on the night of April 7th. They were too late to participate in the battle but were prepared for battle on the morning of the 8th. I've often wondered if he helped to bury the dead or care for the wounded. What did he think when he saw the carnage on the battlefield? He had served for nearly a year and had been in several battles by this time. What effect did it all have on him?

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Some websites to explore:

The Battle of Shiloh (Pittsburg Landing) -

The Battle of Shiloh "A Very Bloody Affair" -

National Park Service Shiloh page -

Eye Witness to -

A Virtual Tour of Shiloh -

Shiloh National Military Park Monument Location System -

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Life Balance?

Several days ago I was tagged, along with several other genea-bloggers, by David Bowles at Writing the Westward Sagas with something called the Life Balance Meme, which was started by Lillie Ammann at A Writer's Words, An Editor's Eye.

I knew I was supposed to respond with a post, but what the heck is a meme? So, I checked the Merriam-Webster website and it says a "
meme is an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture" - sounds kind of like a virus or a disease, doesn't it?

Anyway, the questions (you can respond to one or all, as desired) for the life balance meme are: How do you achieve balance in your life? What is your biggest challenge in balancing your life? What are your priorities? How have your priorities changed over time and why? What advice can you share to help all of us balance our own lives?

Reflecting somewhat on the past, my personal life seems to have been one of extremes and contradictions. I go through phases where I'm involved with one thing or another with a single-mindedness of purpose then I'll switch to something else, at times multi-tasking with several projects going on at the same time. My job definitely requires multi-tasking, and the last couple of years I've been getting more and more frustrated with having to work because it takes away from other things I'd rather be doing. It's one of those "necessary" things, but not for long! The job is not a bad one, and the people I work with are great, it's just that I don't want to do it anymore!

Life is a juggling act. My priorities change as my life changes. My life has gone through some changes in the past eight months (sold the house, got mom into her own apartment, got my own apartment, getting used to and enjoying living by myself again) and will be undergoing even more changes in the next couple of months (finishing up projects at work, retirement in June, deciding whether to move again or not, trying to wrap up various projects for the genealogical society).

Just like most everyone else I know, I try to do the "right thing" and do those things that "need" to be done as well as the things that I want and like to do. These things, not necessarily in any order, include spending Saturday afternoons with my mother, visiting friends and other family members, keeping the Phend Family reunion going, volunteering on projects for the Whitley County Genealogical Society, continuing research on my families, reading, relaxing, trying to get in better physical condition, losing weight, staying healthy, etc.

As for advice? I think
Randy, the Geneaholic, said it best. . . "do all things in moderation, do them well, stay true to your principles, be happy and forgiving, love well, learn always, get a good nights sleep, eat your vegetables and fruits, and follow your dreams."

21st Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy now Online!

The 21st Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy has been posted by Jasia, with some great stories to tickle your funny bone. The theme for this edition is Funny, Foolish, Family! Check it out and enjoy.

Jasia is looking for suggestions for future carnivals, but the next edition will be a "carousel" edition. She says "Just like carousels have a variety of animal figures on the ride so too will the next edition of the COG have different topics. All topics (genealogy-related of course!) are welcome. Submit any article you'd like. I already have 9 submissions so if there are even just a few more it will be the largest COG ever. It could be a wild ride... it's up to you!"

Blog articles can be submitted to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using the carnival submission form. Past posts can be found on the blog carnival index page.