Tuesday, August 23, 2016

CIVIL WAR PENSION RECORD FOR WILLIAM LUNSFORD ~ How I began my review and some of what I found

Page 59 - Isaac Darling_Page_002 Page 59 - Isaac Darling_Page_003

OK, so you’ve received the pension record for your ancestor.  It might be 25 pages or 225 pages.  Now what?

You can read my post here that tells you how I ordered this record.

Since I’d never done this before, the first thing I did was read through all 174 pages.  As I did, I wrote down a couple of notes of import. One was a deposition by a woman saying she was Nancy Massie Lunsford’s sister.

I have yet to prove who Nancy Massie Lunsford’s parents are, so finding a sister’s name would be a great clue.

I also noted, during that first read through, a deposition from a man who states that he married William Lunsford’s sister in about 1870.  Another great clue.

TIP:  If you’re anything like me, you are going to be so excited to have this record that you’re first read through will be done too quickly to catch all references to family and/or events.  Don’t worry about it, just enjoy it.  You have plenty of time to go back & “really” read those pages.

It’s day two now and time to begin going through this record, again, slowly.  The documents are NOT in chronological order.  One thing I generally don’t do is create any paper for my research.  In other words, I keep records digitally.  That was true here too.  I sit at my desk where I have two monitors and do my research from there.  The nice thing about reading any document on your monitor is the ability to enlarge it.
 
I sat here with my notepad and as I came to something important in the document I wrote down the page number and what the item referred to.

Here are a few examples of what I found.  There are many more.  Remember, you can click on any image to enlarge it.

Page 14 – Nancy’s declaration that she married William under the name Nancy Massie, and that they married on 17 Sept 1836. (I don’t have a marriage record for this couple, but found a reference to them being married Sep 1836, in Ohio, on someone’s tree on Ancestry.  I made a note of that in Legacy)  Also on this page was the name of the person who married them, Jesse Corn and the location Greasy Ridge. I know of the Corn family from Lawrence County, Ohio and also the location Greasy Ridge, from the same county.

Page 14 annotated
Page 14

Page 45 – A declaration by Joseph Massie, who states that he is a cousin of Nancy Massie Lunsford.  Good to know, as it may lead me to her parents & family.

Page 45_Joseph Massie_annotated
Page 45

Page 59 – Declaration by Isaac Darling who is not related to either William or Nancy Lunsford.  He claims that the children of the “old woman” all testified against their father and that Bazell (son Basil Lunsford) got judgement.  The “old man” anticipated the judgement and sold off property and stock.  Also on this page this person claims that the claimant (Nancy Lunsford) is living with her sister Rebecca Ferril, until a month ago when the sister died.  Now the claimant (Nancy) lives with her son, Basil Lunsford.

Page 59-1 - Isaac Darling_annotated
Page 59


Two more pages I’ll share with you today.  These give the details of William’s death on 20 May 1887 at the Central Branch, National Home for Disabled Soldiers in Dayton, Ohio.

Williams death page 1_ANNOTATED Williams death page 2_ANNOTATED

There is so much more in this 174 page file.  But, I think you have the general idea of the value of these pension files.  Do they all have this much information?  I expect it varies from file to file.  However, I’ve heard nothing but good things about the content of these pension files.

Have you received Civil War pension files for your ancestors?

If so, how did you record what you found in the file?  What was your step by step procedure?  Please leave your comments here on the blog or write your own blog post and leave the link to it in a comment.  I’d love to hear from you.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2016   Diane Gould Hall
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  NO USE WITHOUT PERMISSION

Monday, August 22, 2016

MY FIRST CIVIL WAR PENSION FILE ~ William Lunsford & his widow Nancy–Lawrence Co., Ohio–What now?

clip_image003

In the 13+ years I’ve been researching, I’ve never ordered or even seen a Civil War Pension File.  Well, I’ve seen images of some of them on various websites, but never seen one in it’s entirety.  And, certainly not for one of my ancestors.  So, this was an exciting moment for me.

I know that they can be full of family connections, history and other important information.
 
In this case it was the Civil War pension file for my 3rd great granduncle, William Lunsford, born 16 Mar 1816 in Mason, Warren, Ohio.  He married Nancy Massie in Sep 1836 in Ohio.  They had 12 known children.  William served in the Civil War from 1861-1864 in Company H, 9th West Virginia Infantry.  William Lunsford died at the National Home for Disabled Soldiers  in Dayton, Montgomery, Ohio on 20 May 1887.  Cause of death – Softening of the brain.

I had located a Pension Index cards several years ago for both William, who applied before his death, and Nancy, who applied after his death.

You can locate indexes to the Civil War Pension files at several websites.  However, the records themselves are not yet scanned and available.

General Index to Pension Files 1861-1934: NARA TO288

United States Civil War Widows and Other Dependents Pension Files, 1861-1934

                                                         Here are the two pension index cards I located:


LUNSFORD_William who died in 1915_pension index card_1879 LUNSFORD_William_Civil War Pension index_widow_Nancy LUNSFORD_1883 and 1889

Because I belong to a Facebook page called The Lawrence Register, I have met many descendants of my ancestors.  It’s an extremely active group.  I’ve been back to Lawrence County, Ohio and met some of those Facebook friends in person.
 
One “cousin” I met was Randy.  We believed we might be related via our Lunsford line.  However, during the many years we have communicated we have pondered an additional marriage for William Lunsford, prior to Nancy Massie.  A recent DNA test by Randy has proven that we have no actual blood connection.  This is the beauty of DNA testing.  It can really assist you in your research, but that’s a discussion for another post.
 
P.S.  Randy and I have decided to remain virtual cousins anyway.

I was more anxious than ever to get the pension file for William Lunsford and discover what it would say about marriages, children etc.

One of my contacts from another Facebook group Detroit Genealogy, has been so busy pulling documents from the National Archives that she has moved from Detroit to Maryland.  She is now closer than ever to the archives.  Her name is Deidre Erin Denton and she can be found at Twisted Twigs on Gnarled Branches Genealogy.  By ordering your pension file from Deidre you save money and time.

The website for ordering pension files directly from the National Archives is Veteran Service Records

I ordered the file through Deidre’s service and was not disappointed.  In fact, I was so happy that I’ve ordered a second file for another ancestor.

This file for William contains 174 pages!!!

What will it tell me?  I can’t wait to find out.
 
STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT POST ABOUT THE PENSION FILE AND WHAT I LEARNED FROM IT

DISLCAIMER – I make no money nor benefit in any way from the work that Deidre Denton does regarding pulling files at the National Archives.  I make no guarantee about her work. The opinons expressed here are strictly my own.

Do you have any pension files for your ancestors?
 
OTHER POSTS THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST

THE CIVIL WAR - HOW OUR COUNTRY DEALT WITH THE AFTERMATH

TOMBSTONE TUESDAY - Civil War Soldier Headstones

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2016   Diane Gould Hall
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  NO USE WITHOUT PERMISSION

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

TUESDAY’S TIP ~ Another way to edit your images in Microsoft Office Picture Manager


My “go to” program for editing pictures and documents that are JPG format, is Microsoft Office 2010 Picture Manager.  It’s easy, quick and efficient.  I even recently found out I can still use this program on my new HP laptop that has Windows 10.  Sadly, Microsoft discontinued the Picture Manager portion of their Office suite in recent versions.

BUT, if you still love and use this program as I do, here’s my newly discovered edit feature.  And, silly me, I thought I knew this program inside and out.  Just goes to show, we always have things to learn.

Today we are talking about those images that are too dark.  Let’s say you download an image that looks like this.  I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want this image attached to my Legacy file or anywhere else.

Lunsford pension before
Once the image is opened in Microsoft Picture Manager (which is set as my default), you would select the “Edit Pictures” option.

Lunsford edit pictures

Now choose “color” in the right hand column.

Lunsford color

Now select “Enhance Color”

Lunsford enhance color

You see the grey wording underneath “enhance color?”  Once you click on the icon, those words turn dark, like this.

Lunsford enhance color-2

Just take your mouse and move over the image.  You’ll see a little round target kind of pointer show up.   It looks similar to this.target-pointer-aim-cursor-round-128

Once you see that target pointer, just click on any area that should be white.  BINGO!

Here is the result.  Compare it to the image at the top of my post.

Lunsford after correction

Depending on the image, you’ll get different degrees of resolution.  I personally think this looks much better.

For the past 6 years I have used Adobe Photoshop Elements to make this kind of change.  However, it required an extra step because all my images automatically open in Microsoft Office Picture Manager.  I rotate and crop them in that program.  Now I can just stay there and perform this addition fix.

I wrote a previous post about making adjustments to the images we download.  Easy Document Editing

I hope you found this post helpful.  I just had to share this tip with you, in case, like me, you didn’t know this either.
 
Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2016   Diane Gould Hall
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  NO USE WITHOUT PERMISSION

Sunday, August 14, 2016

SLAVE NAME ROLL PROJECT ~ Releasing Names from the probate of James H. Bowen, Greenbrier County, Virginia - 1851

“It’s Honorable to do…You’re RELEASING their Names and their Souls for their Descendants to hopefully find them one day.  Every time this Happens they are Rejoicing.  They have been in a book or what have you for so long.”    
          ~ True A. Lewis


This is my first post where I will be “releasing” the names of slaves owned by my ancestors.  This is a project that many bloggers are participating in, thanks to Schalene Jennings Dagutis who writes the blog, Tangled Roots and Trees.  She has a tab on her blog page “Slave Name Roll Project” where you can find links to all the posts regarding the names of slaves.
 
Why do this?  Because our census takers did not list household names (other than the heads of household), on census records prior to 1850.  Therefore, all you will find on these records is a tic mark indicating family members of what age.  This includes any slaves on the property.  Then, the Civil War took place along with the Emancipation Proclamation. Many of those freed people took the last name of their previous “owners.”  In order for their descendants to find them it is up to all of us to “release” the names as we find them on probate and other records.

Here is an example from the 1840 census for my 4th great granduncle, James Hamilton Bowen, a land owner in Virginia.

Name:    James Bowen
Home in 1840 (City, County, State):    Greenbrier, Virginia
Free White Persons - Males - 60 thru 69:    1
Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 14:    1
Free White Persons - Females - 15 thru 19:    2
Free White Persons - Females - 30 thru 39:    2
Free White Persons - Females - 40 thru 49:    1
Slaves - Males - Under 10:    2
Slaves - Males - 10 thru 23:    2
Slaves - Males - 24 thru 35:    3
Slaves - Females - 10 thru 23:    2
Slaves - Females - 24 thru 35:    1
Slaves - Females - 36 thru 54:    1
 

Persons Employed in Agriculture:    5
No. White Persons over 20 Who Cannot Read and Write:    2
Free White Persons - Under 20:    3
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49:    3
Total Free White Persons:    7
Total Slaves:    11 

Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves:    18

James Hamilton Bowen (son of Anthony Bowen & Alice Hamilton) was born about 1779.  He married first Jane Mann McClintic (1782-1832) on 24 Dec 1800 in Bedford, Virginia.  He next married Nancy McClintic(1795-1866) on 29 Oct 1833 in Bath Co., Virginia.

Here are the names of the slaves listed in his Last Will & Testament from 1851.  The will is dated 26 Aug 1851, with the codicils being dated 26, 27 and 31 Aug 1851.  This will can be found in Will Book 2, page 524, Greenbrier County, Virginia.

I have listed the names as they were written.

“I also give to my wife Nancy, the following slaves, to wit, Charles, Hannah, John and Jullia.”
“to my daughter Jane Pollock’s children, one negro boy named Lewis.”
“I also give to my son, Allen Bowen’s children, tow negroes, Jesse and William.”
“I also give to my daughters, Polly and Eliza, two negro boys, Henry and Alexander.”
“To my daughter Peggy Bright’s children, four slaves, Allice, her son Washington, Peyton and Jimima.”
“I give to my daughter Sally Johnston’s children three negroes, Vina, Samuel and Mary.”
“I give to my daughter Susan Brown’s children three negroes, Willie, Jand and Franklin.”
“I give to my daughter Mirim Wallace three negroes, Rosetta, Minty and Nathan.”
Codicil 1 – “I give to my daughter Jane Pollock a negro boy named Franklin.”
Codicil 2 – “I give to my daughter Susan and her children a negro woman Alice and Washington, formerly given to Peggy Bright. And to Peggy Bright,  Mitche first given to Susan Brown.  I also give a negro named Jane, lately given to Susan Brown to Jane Pollock.”

It is my hope that in participating in this project the descendants of these individuals can find them.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2016   Diane Gould Hall
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  NO USE WITHOUT PERMISSION

Friday, August 12, 2016

FRIDAY FINDS ~ Anna M. Bezner hit & killed by street car in Detroit - 1906


Finding something when you aren’t looking for it.  It surely happens to all of us.  That’s the case today with Anna M. Prediger Bezner.  Also known as Mary A. Bezner.

As I was researching the Vernor family for my last post, (you can read that post here) I was looking at the Hart family, since Frances Hart married Benjamin Vernor.  I was using Newspapers.com to find articles about the couple.

In doing so, I also came across several articles and documents for the Bezner family that married into the Hart family.  Sadly one of those articles was about the death of Anna M. Bezner.

Anna “Mary” Prediger was born June 1861 in Indiana.  She married Frederick Bezner on 5 Dec 1878 in Jersey County, Illinois.

To the couple was born four children: Frederick O., born 1879, Emma A. (1880-1965), Irene, born 1893 and Florence, born 1896.  

Frederick Sr., was born in Germany in Jul 1850.  In the 1900 census he was working as a Florist.  In August 1901, Frederick died, leaving Anna a widow with at least two children at home.  I found Anna listed in a Detroit, Michigan City Directory in 1903, living at the same address as her daughter, Emma.  So, we know that after Frederick’s death Anna must have moved to Detroit.
 
HERE’S THE NEWSPAPER ARTICLE I LOCATED ABOUT ANNA.

BEZNER_Anna M_killed by street car_Detroit_Free_Press_Mon__Jun_18__1906_pg 5_annotated
Full page with article indicated by red arrow - Detroit Free Press, 18 Jun 1906, pg 5
BEZNER_Mary_Inuries_cause_death_18_Jun_1906_DetFreePress_pg_5_cropped
Here's the cropped article

So, now both the parents are dead.  There are still two under age children – Irene who would have been 13 yrs. old and young Florence who was only 10 yrs. old.
 
There was a Coroner’s Inquest into the accident and I located the following articles about that inquest.

All articles were located on Newspapers.com and are from the Detroit Free Press.

(CLICK ON ANY OF THESE IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM)
BEZNER_Mary_O_coroners_Inquest_23_Jun_1906_DetFreePress_pg_5 - Copy Copy of BEZNER_Mary_O_Jurors_no_show_for_inquest_24_Jun_1906_DetFreePress_pg_10_cropped BEZNER_Mary_Coroner__039_s_verdict_27_Jun_1906_DetFreePress_pg_6 - Copy

I was able to locate her death certificate.  On it she is listed as Anna M. Bezner, born 29 Jun 1861 in Indiana.  Her parents names & places of birth are given.  The informant was Fred Bezner of the same address as Anna in the 1903 directory.  I believe this was her son, who would have been 27 yrs. old at this time.  You can also see the cause of death “Shock killed by st car” and “Inquest Pending.”

BEZNER_Anna M aka Mary A_death cert_17 Jun 1906_DetroitWayneMichigan_annotated

Both Anna & her husband Frederick have headstones at Elmwood Cemetery in Detroit, Michigan.  I took pictures of those headstones during a visit back in 2009.  You can visit their memorials Frederick #76369064 and Anna aka Mary #76369088.  The memorials are managed by someone else and I’ve submitted family links and edits to the memorial manager.
 
BEZNER_Frederick  headstone
Photo taken by me in Sep 2009
BEZNER_Mary Anna headstone
Photo taken by me in Sep 2009

While Frederick and Mary Anna Bezner are not direct relations to me, I still found their story interesting.  And, once I find a story I like to follow it through.  I will continue the research and find out what became of the four children of Frederick and Anna Bezner. 

If you think you might be related to anyone mentioned in this blog post, please contact me.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2016   Diane Gould Hall
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  NO USE WITHOUT PERMISSION

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

VERNOR’S ~ A MICHIGAN CLASSIC–Does our family have a connection?

Vernors birthplace of Vernors bottle Vernors cart with horses
 Photos courtesy of public domain & Detroit Historical Society

If you are from Michigan, you know Vernor’s Ginger Ale.  To those of us who were born there, ever lived there or have family from there, you know that we consider it to be the “only” real ginger ale.

To read a history of the background of Vernor’s Ginger Ale, created in Detroit click here.

Since myself, my parents, my siblings and 3 of my 4 grandparents were all born in Detroit, we know Vernor’s.
 
My grandmother would always offer me Vernor’s if I had an upset stomach.  And oh those Boston Coolers (Vernor’s and ice cream).  Why aren’t they called Michigan Coolers or Detroit Coolers?
 
A couple of years ago I went to my cousin’s house just up the coast from me here in California.  We had another cousin visiting from Michigan.  Guess what was sitting on the counter when I walked in?  A BIG bottle of Vernor’s Ginger Ale.  So, you get the idea.

As I’m researching my family on my father’s side, I come across a Vernor.  Woohoo!  Are they related to “the” Vernors?  And, how does my family fit in, if it does?

Here is what my research revealed.

Fanny L. Hart, born 14 Sep 1876 in Detroit married Benjamin Granger Vernor born Jul 1871, on 11 Dec 1902 in Detroit, Michigan.

Below is the marriage record.  Their parent’s names are listed and match the data that I have.

(CLICK ON ANY IMAGE IN THIS POST, TO ENLARGE IT)
HART_Frances marriage to Benjamin VERNOR_11 Dec 1902_DetroitWayneMichigan_annotated
VERNOR_Benjamin__amp__Frances_HART_announce_marriage_DetFreePress_7_Dec_1901_pg_15

Fanny L. Hart is my 1st cousin 3 times removed.

Here is an obituary for Frances L. “Fanny” Hart Vernor.
VERNOR_Frances_nee_HART_obit_DFP_10_Aug_1950_pg_22

With this evidence, I have established that my 1st cousin, 3 times removed, Frances Hart, married Benjamin Vernor and was still married to him at the time of her death.  The newspaper announcement of their impending marriage gives her parents names as Mr. & Mrs. Simeon Henry Hart.  Simeon Henry Hart is my 2nd great granduncle.

I believe, based on evidence, that Benjamin Granger Vernor is the son of Charles H. Vernor who married Mary Granger, grandson of John T. Vernor & Polly Smith and the nephew of James Vernor, Sr., who invented Vernor’s Ginger Ale.
 
What proof do I have of this connection?

PARENTS OF BENJAMIN GRANGER VERNOR
- Charles Henry Vernor Sep 1839 to 4 Mar 1928 married on 13 oct 1868 in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, Mary Lucy or Luce Granger Nov 1845 to 25 Dec 1922

Source:  Michigan Marriages, 1851-1875

NOTE:  While there are no parents names listed on this marriage record, Polly Vernor (Charles Henry Vernor’s mother) is a witness to the marriage.

VERNOR_Charles H to GRANGER_Mary L_1868_Detroit_annotated

- Birth record for Benjamin Granger Vernor, 10 Jul 1871, Detroit, Wayne, Michigan.  Here is the text from this record:
Name: Benjamin Granger Vernor
Gender: Male
Baptism/Christening Date: 
Baptism/Christening Place: 
Birth Date: 10 Jul 1871 Birthplace: Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
Death Date: 
Name Note: 
Race: 
Father's Name: Charles H. Vernor
Father's Birthplace: 
Father's Age: 
Mother's Name: Mary S. Vernor
Mother's Birthplace: 
Mother's Age: 
Indexing Project (Batch) Number: C02142-5
System Origin: Michigan-ODM
Source Film Number: 1377655


- 1880 census, Detroit, Wayne, Michigan has Charles & his wife Mary in a household with their daughter, Edna, age 10, son Benjamen G., age 8 and daughter Winifred, age 2.

- 1900 census, Detroit, Wayne, Michigan has Charles H. Vernor, and his wife Mary, with son Benjamin G., age 28 and single, daughter Edna, age 30 and single and daughter Winifred, age 21 and single.  Benjamin is working as a bank teller.  He remains in that profession the rest of his life.

There are other pieces of evidence, but I’ll move on.

PARENTS OF CHARLES HENRY VERNOR AND HIS CONNECTION TO JAMES VERNOR, SR., Inventor of Vernor’s Ginger Ale.

- Charles is named in the obituary of his brother, James Vernor, Sr.  Detroit Free Press 30 Oct 1927, page 1. (Image below)

- 1860 census – J. T. Vernor and his wife Polly are living in Detroit with children: J.S., Elizabeth, Harriet, Charles H. and James (Image below)

VERNOR_James_Obit_DetFreePress_30_Oct_1927_pg_1 1860_VERNOR_J.T. wife Polly & children_DetroitWayneMichigan
I’m certain there is more evidence out there.  But, for the purposes of this post, I will stop here.
 
While not related very closely, I am still able to say that there is a family connection to the Vernor’s.  James Vernor, Sr., (inventor & purveyor of Vernor’s Ginger Ale) is my 1st cousin 3 times removed's husband's uncle.

TIP:  In conducting this research, I’ve given you an example of how to connect the dots in your own research. One record at a time you come to a conclusion, based on evidence. Sometimes that conclusion is negative and sometimes it’s positive.  Keep track of these conclusions and how you reached them.  I use the notes section in my Legacy software to keep track of my own progress and conclusions.  What do you use?

OTHER POSTS THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST
Ever Had One of Those "Slap Your Forehead" Moments In Your Research?

Have Limited Time for Research?  Here's What I Did Today in Just 60 Minutes

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2016   Diane Gould Hall
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  NO USE WITHOUT PERMISSION

Saturday, August 6, 2016

ON THIS DAY ~ August 6th



I have a very close friend who is having a 70th birthday today. I thought I would use this date and see who in my family was born, married or died on this date.  And, what happened in history on August 6th?

WHO WAS BORN ON AUGUST 6TH?
And how are they related to me?

CLARK, William W., born 1844 in Lawence Co., Ohio (several times removed cousin)
EASTLAND, Elizabeth, born 1860 in Millville, Cumberland, New Jersey (husband’s great granduncle’s wife)
HOEFLER, Wilma O., born 1894 in Dearborn, Wayne, Michigan (wife of 1st cousin, twice removed)
HOLLAND, Thelma, born 1901 in Chesapeake, Lawrence, Ohio (wife of 2nd cousin, 3 times removed)
LEONARD, Abigail, born 1737, unknown location (distant relation by marriage)
MUSHINSKY, Christopher P., (living)
PRATT, Alonzo, born 1889 in Richmond, Macomb, Michigan (distant relation)
ROIG, Raymond B., (living)

NOTE:  For those people I’ve indicated are “distant relations” it would mean that they are either cousins several times removed or they are in- laws or grandparents of spouses of cousins, several times removed.  They are probably in my database because I was conducting some collateral family research in order to try to locate information.  Legacy can tell me exactly how they are related, but I just chose to indicate them in this way.

I’m surprised to say that there are no marriages or deaths in my Legacy database for August 6.  This is the first time I’ve run a date and found two of the three items with no names associated.
So, what are some of the events in history that happened on this day?

(All information courtesy of Wikipedia)

FAMOUS PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY

EVENTS ON THIS DAY
  • 1914 – World War I: Serbia declares war on Germany; Austria declares war on Russia.
Happy Birthday to any of you celebrating today and especially to my friend.

What events happened in your family on this day?  I’d love to hear about them.

OTHER POSTS THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST
ON THIS DAY ....In the History of our Family - September 11

An Exact Death Date in a City Directory Listing

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2016   Diane Gould Hall
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  NO USE WITHOUT PERMISSION