Search This Blog

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cousins, Classes, Clouds & Civil War

In the last blog I mentioned that we had "severe weather alerts" for our area -- it was true. Just after finishing our sliders on Saturday night my wife and I heard a heavy thump outside and we passed it off as a car door slamming somewhere.  It wasn't until the next afternoon that my wife called me to the backyard . . . several pieces of tree limb were found on the ground any one of which could have accounted for the "thump" -- my sense is that it was one large limb when it hit the ground and then broke into pieces. We deem ourselves very lucky from the standpoint that neither us nor the house was hit by these falling timbers. In town we saw several more trees down . . . and this week has thoroughly saturated the earth and we sleep a little less soundly amid the many Oaks in our yard . . .

Besides the weather though, it has been a full and rewarding week. I heard from several cousins during the week -- this has always been fun. Thank you Bruce for sharing your photos of the many bird feeders that you have in your yard -- how do you keep them stocked . . .

It looks to me like a full time job not to mention a seed truck.

Bruce Hiles is a second cousin that I met because of this genealogy hobby. Another cousin that I heard from this week was surprising -- a first cousin that I had no contact with for about 60 years -- it is too bad the way our families are sometimes. But Ruth Clifton Landers, a daughter of my father's sister, Muriel,  connected with me due to both of us having information on the same genealogy site. She brough me up to date with some of her branch of the family -- very nice!

Now -- this is the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War and recently I had paid tribute to one veteran of that war from my Mother's side of the family. Today I want to share a tribute to two from my direct paternal line.

John Hiles (Jr) I call him,  is my third great grandfather.  John Jr we think was born about 1789. He was married twice. His first wife was Charity Reed and after she died about 1837 he married his second wife, Nancy Crosby.  With his first wife they had at least 10 children and with his second wife they had three.

With Charity, one of the sons was also a John, and we call him John III.  This John was born about 1816 and he eventually married Margaret Householder (just shortly before his father was to marry Nancy Crosby) in 1836. John III and Margaret had ten children.

In his mid 40s he joined Company "A", 71st Ohio  Infantry Volunteers as a private, this was about the 9th of November 1861. In less than a year, late August of 1862 he would die from a bacterial infection caused by the sanitary conditions of the war.

His infantry unit gave him a furlough because he was so ill and he succumbed at home. He is buried in the Petrie Cemetery in Celina, Mercer County, Ohio.

After John Jr married Nancy Crosby they had three children. One of those was George W Hiles. He was born about 1841.

On about the 24th of October 1862 when George was about 21 years of age he enlisted as a private in Company "I", 114th Ohio Infantry Regiment.  A little over 8 months later he would die -- 3rd of July 1863 -- of the same type of bacterial infection that had claimed his half-brother. So sad  . . . his Regiment was active,  and George must have been there, in the battle of Vicksburg. Vicksburg was won by the Union Army and was a deciding factor in winning the war. Vicksburg gave the Union Army a vantage point to control the Mississippi River.

George had married in 1861 to Martha Lacey and apparently they had a couple of children who did not survive infancy. George is buried in Mississippi at the Vicksburg National Military Park:

And so John Jr had a least two sons die as a result of the Civil War, there may be others from his family to also have suffered that fate -- we are researching them as well.

Lastly, this week was the start of an online class for me -- "Social Networking for the Wise Genealogist" and it is interesting and fun because it encourages going outside the "tree" so to speak.
I will give more on the course in subsequent posts.

And since it is Saturday there will be sliders in our future dining . . . see you next week.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

March -- Ides, Madness and Rain

The weather here has been mostly rain -- yesterday even a tornado struck about 15 miles away, strange for sure. The grayness of the days are countered by the number of lights on in the house. It is a good thing for the rain for me because it pretty much matches the mode and mood I'm in this week. There have been a lot of exciting things going on this week though with respect to technology and genealogy. The introduction of the iPad 2 is one of those events.

I don't have one but the iPad that I do have is great and I use it everyday -- mostly for genealogy and/or photo enhancing. I like the idea that the new iPad has 2 cameras and so maybe there is a case to be made.

The other announcement along the tech/genealogy lines was the introduction of a new genealogy related search engine --

Mocavo, I have already used this and it produces really fast and many unique responses. I have added it to the favorites search engine choices of my Family Tree Maker program so that I can access it easily along with Google and the others.

Check out the new feature on the bootom of this blog page -- What's Happening ? -- it will give the latest events, introductions and news relating to the tech world which ultimately ties to genealogy enhancement.

Not long ago I spotted a non tech "Web-Post", well actually it really is high tech in it's own way:

This intricate web was connected to the post holding up our mailbox in the front yard. I thought it worthy of this web-posting as well. To get a closer view please click on this or any of the photos in the blog.

Now I always find it ineresting when I find people in the tree with the same name(s). In this case there is an "I" and a "Y" difference in the spelling but the name is the same . . .

So this week comes to an end -- it is Saturday and that means we do have sliders to look forward to
for dinner along with the sounds of rain patter -- and we hope that is the only weather related sound as our area did just receive a "Severe Weather Warning" -- very high winds gusting along with thunder, just the things our dog loves . . . NOT.

I am encouraged though by a sign I spotted on one of my favorite sites "StumbleUpon" and it is appropriate for this week:

Saturday, March 12, 2011


This is a special day, for a special Grand Son. It is birthday number 5 for Caleb, so we send our best wishes to him! Even though he lives far away we think of him often -- wondering how his day is going and hoping all is well.  I think that I can remember some things from that age but most of it probably comes from "tales" that others relate to me. I can only hope that the "tales" Caleb remembers about being 5 are the very best.Here is picture (taken last year) of my Grand Son Caleb:

It is interesting that Caleb shares this birth date with at least  eight others from our family tree -- starting from 1841 up to 2006. Happy Birthday to all!

It is also interesting how things can trigger different remembrances from our past. For example, in the morning I walk our dog, Auggie and I listen to something on my iPod as I walk. I subscribe to and usually get an interesting new book once per month -- this month I am listening to "Known & Unknown" read by the author Don Rumsfeld and it is fascinating to hear his recollections of the behind the scenes activity to so many of the world events that I lived through. The other morning in the middle of the walk the section of the book that I had on the iPod concluded and I would either walk in silence or listen to my library of music shuffled to play randomly. I chose to listen to the music and up came a hauntingly reminiscent piece relating to the days of the Civil War.The song was written by a young war widow about her recently "fallen" husband and his favorite color "blue". That struck a cord with me because not only is that my favorite color as well a memory from my childhood days popped into my awareness. I recall playing with the neighbor kids and one time I was asked whether I supported the "blue" or the "gray" . . . the Civil War has been over almost 150 years but at the time of the question it was less than 100 years but still it was something that us kids related to and reenacted somewhat in our play.

That remembrance made me think of the relatives in our tree that took an active role in the Civil War. There were many ancestors who were from both my paternal HILES line and from my maternal BUMGARDNER line that were directly involved in the war -- most on the side of the "blue". One that comes to mind is John Bumgardner who was in the 35th Iowa Infantry and he enlisted at the age of 19 in the year 1862, September. Less than two months later he would die of injuries suffered in that war -- 11th of November, 1862. I visited his grave in Muscatine, Iowa a few years ago.

In downtown Muscatine, Iowa is a monument dedicated to those that gave their lives in that war and John's name is on that monument:

In the weeks to come I will try to highlight some of the many others from our family known to have been in an active role in the Civil War.

Now I thought it might be interesting to see an ad for a product that we use probably everyday and could not exist as  a country without. The ad comes from the Sheboygan, Wisconsin newspaper some 62 years ago -- 1949:

Those were the days -- I can recall riding in the car with my father who would pull into the "full" service gas station and ask for "Two Dollars, Ethyl" now I know why . . . then, he might get around 6 gallons, today we get less than a half gallon for that price.

It being Saturday I am looking forward to the sliders tonight!  Have a fine week!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The BEE's in the Trees . . .

It's interesting that it is not springtime, but there are some BEE's in my tree. They have been assigned names too, surnames actually -- BUMGARDNER is one of the BEE's. That happens to be my mother's line and so there are many Bumgardners in the tree. A very fascinating family with a lot of stories and history associated with them. While searching in old newspapers recently -- well not actually that old but from the 70's and 80's which seems like "just yesterday", I found a Chicago newspaper -- "The Daily Herald", which I think used to be "The Chicago Herald American" and while looking at the comic page I discovered a surprising comic strip:

Now, having grown up in the Chicago area AND having several Bumgardner relatives living in Chicago I was amazed that I never had heard of this comic strip done by Jim Smith.  The date of this particular strip was in approximately 1974. Admittedly I had moved away by then so I wouldn't have been reading Chicago papers on a regular basis. I did some searching but I have not been able to find any real information about the strip -- but I would love to know if any of my relatives were either represented or were somehow connected to this -- if anyone can shed some light on this -- please share.

Now, another Bee in my tree comes actually from my wife's family -- Bouldron. The sad thing is that there are only a few Bouldrons left in the United States that I am aware of . . . most of the Bouldron families had female offspring and they most likely have changed their names.  While there are Bouldron descendants here they just are not named Bouldron. There are no known new male Bouldrons here in the U.S.  We have found Bouldrons on the web -- but they are in France mostly. It may be possible that some Bouldrons changed their names and as with most surnames that can lead to endless branches. So our search continues for the elusive Bouldron. A great picture of Gail's father (Millard, Jimmy) from WWII days shows him with hand resting on the bow of the launch in the Philippines, 1945:

Another Bee in the tree is Charles Dwight Baker whom I found while working on the numerous documents that I gleaned from the Family Search website. I have just this week sorted and "filed" most of those documents -- of course the problem is that when I connect the new found cousins I then find more . . .
But I hope to learn more about the Baker family in the coming weeks. Here is a snapshot of his place in the tree -- he is a second cousin, twice removed (two generations apart from me):

While all this is going on TV continues to bring more and more attention to genealogy. Who Do You Think You Are (WDYTYA) is absolutely captivating in it's presentations so far this season. And as a matter of fact has already been renewed for a third season. It would be nice if they could expand the number of subjects in a season also.

So again as the weather plays tricks on us the week ends. We look forward to "slider Saturday night"!
Have a good week!