Friday, June 24, 2016

A Visit to Gratz, PA

Yesterday my son Rob had a doctor's appointment in the nearby town of Gratz. I went along with him and we found some things for an ancestor of my children.


I knew about Leonard Reedy, he is the 4th great grandfather of my first husband. So he is the 5th great grandfather. Leonard served in the War of 1812 and he was a gunsmith. I knew there is an Historical Marker in Gratz for Leonard. I had the photo that someone else had put on Ancestry and I really wanted to get my own photo for my tree. So I said to my son that after he was done with the doctor we should look for it. When we pulled into the parking lot he asked me to put up the photo on my iPad, we looked at it and figured it was on the main street. Then he scrolled to the next photo and it was his grave marker. Here right across the street from where we were was a Church with a cemetery. I said that was most likely where he was buried. After the doctor we went over there and found his and his wife's graves, and I took photos of them and found that there was a marker for him being a veteran of the War of 1812. I then took photos of the church sign, corner stone and the church itself.



Then we found the Historic Marker. As you can see he was known for being the gunsmith making Pennsylvania Kentucky Rifles. Well I saw as we were pulling away from the curb and taking the photo of the marker that the Gratz Historical Society was right across the street from the marker. That will be a trip for another day. But what we found today was great.

 





Saturday, June 11, 2016

Ellen Tracy Fitzpatrick-Mid Wife

Today I found another birth certificate with my 2nd great grandmother, Mrs. James Fitzpatrick, listed as the mid wife at delivery. I have found her name on a few family members since the PA birth certificates from 1906-1908 became available. This one is for Gertrude Elizabeth McKelvey, my 1st cousin, 2x removed. This is the first one that was not Ellen's grandchild, but she is still family. Her Gertrude's mother was Mary O'Donnell and the sister of Ellen's son in law, my great grandfather, Cornelius O'Donnell. 
Ancestry.com. “Pennsylvania Birth Records, 1906-1909” [database online]. No 43304, Gertrude McKelvey entry, born 1 March 1908, accessed 11 June 2016. Citing: Pennsylvania (State) Birth Certificates, 1906-1908. Series 11.89 (50 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.


This photo of Ellen was taken at her son, Thomas Fitzpatrick's studio in Bessemer, AL. His first child was born in 1892 so the theory is that she may have gone down there to deliver his child since she had been doing that with her grandchildren that were in Hazleton where she lived. 
photo taken in Ellen’s son Thomas’ studio in Bessemer, AL around 1892. original in private possession


In the "History of Luzerne County Pennsylvania with biographical selections" by Henry C. Bradsby, ed. that was published in 1893, I found Ellen's name listed in the "Medical" chapter. The section began with, " The law requiring physicians and accoucheurs to register went into effect in 1881, and the records show the following:" The name Ellen Fitzpatrick appeared near the bottom of the page. 


Ellen Tracy Fitzpatrick died in 1911 but I am sure that there a many birth certificates in Hazleton, Luzerne County, PA that have her name on them. I wish I could find someplace that would have records for the mid wives listing the babies they delivered.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Finding Jerome VanBilliard in Civil War Prison Camps

Ellen VanBilliard, widow's pension application no. 317526 (rejected), for service of Jerome VanBilliard (Pvt., Co. B, 153 PA Inf., and Co. A, 112 PA H. A.); Civil War Pension Files, accessed 25 Apr 2016, National Archives, Washington, D.C.

After posting about the information I found in Jerome's Civil War service file, I dove into his pension file and found some wonderful information. On the first page of Ellen VanBilliard's Widow's Declaration for Pension I found the answer I had been looking for. She stated that after he was taken prisoner at Chapin Farm, Virginia he was held at Salisbury Prison until June of 1864, which I am sure should be June of 1865 because his capture was in September of 1864. She said that during his confinement he contracted rheumatism and deafness and that he was afflicted until he died 7 April 1877. This was the day before his 40th birthday. He died of Typhoid Fever.

Reading about Salisbury Prison I found that in February of 1865 a new exchange program was approved and the men at the prison and the men were moved after being divided into two groups. The more able-bodied prisoners were taken by train to Wilmington, North Carolina and the group of sickest prisoners were sent to Richmond. According to the Salisbury Confederate Prison Association, the prison was then turned into a supply depot, but it held no prisoners when on April 12,1865, 3 days after Lee's surrender, Union General George Stoneman arrived in Salisbury to free the Federals. The prison was burned. If the men were to be exchanged in February of 1865 who did General Stoneman come to free? If he thought these men were still there, what happened to them in February, where were they taken if not exchanged. Why did Ellen say that her husband had been there until June? Looking further into the pension file I found what happened to Jerome in February 1865.

Ellen VanBilliard, widow's pension application no. 317526 (rejected), for service of Jerome VanBilliard (Pvt., Co. B, 153 PA Inf., and Co. A, 112 PA H. A.); Civil War Pension Files, accessed 25 Apr 2016, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
So this document is a time line os what happened to Jerome from the time he was captured at Chapin Farm. The POW records have him captured 29 Sep 1864 and confined at Richmond, VA then sent to Salisbury N.C., 9 Oct 1864. He was Paroled at N.C. Ferry 28 Feb 1865. This lines up with the Salisbury Confederate Prison Association report. Then Paroled at College Green Barracks, MD 13 Mar 1865. He was sent to Camp Parole, MD 14 Mar 1865. He was furloughed March of 1865 for 30 days. He returned from the furlough 3 May 1865. No medical certificate for the extension of furlough on file so he was sent to his regiment 4 May 1865. I am guessing that the furlough was for him to be in the hospital. Then he was discharged by order of the War Department and Mustered out on Individual Roll 28 Jul 1865.

So I found that there are records for both Collage Green Barracks and Camp Parole, MD at NARA so I guess this is the next place I need to look. The descriptions say they contain registers, rolls and list of paroled prisoners, 1862-1965 including the camp hospital. So I know a lot more than I did last week, but there is more to find out

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Jerome VanBilliard, Civil War Prisoner 2x?


Compiled service record, Jerome VanBilliard, Pvt., Co B, 153 PA Infantry, Civil War; Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1780s-1917, Stack Area FW3, Row 2, Compartment 23, Shelf 3; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

I have been in Civil War record heaven this weekend having received some records from my "Genealogy Angel" Susan Bleimehi. It is so much fun going through these records. One of the things I was hoping to find out getting my 2nd great grandfather, Jerome VanBilliard, service record was to find out where he was held when he was a Prisoner of War. It turned out that it gave me some surprise information.
In reading this document it said that he was held at a Parole camp in West Chester, PA. this had me confused until I looked it up and found on Wikipedia that a parole camp was where Union soldiers on parole were kept by their own side in a non-combat role and I found that there was such a camp in West Chester, PA called Camp Elder. Then in reading further it said that they had no dates but that he was returned to his regiment July 18/63. So they did not have a date that he was captured, but looking at the records he is last marked Present for March and April of 1863. then he was returned to his regiment 18 Jul 1863 and then 24 Jul 1863 he was mustered out when the regiment was disbanded.
So one of the surprises would be that I never knew that he was captured when with the 153rd. This also means that he was not at Gettysburg with his unit because he was a prisoner at the time.
So the capture I knew about was when Jerome was with the 2nd Regiment, PA Heavy Artillery, 112th Volunteers. He had enlisted in this unit 26 Jul 1864, 10 days after the birth of my great grandfather. He was captured 29 Sep 1864, just 2 months later at Chapin Farm in Virginia. This was the capture I knew about and I think that was referred to in his pension file.
So I guess I will have to get his service record for 112th to get the info on that capture. this is so much fun finding all this. I will keep looking at all this and have more to talk about. I not only have Jerome's info but two of his brothers.
So I will keep looking!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Finding my McCarry's in Ireland!!!!!!

I really have not done much research since moving to my new place but I have this weekend and what a break through!
It all started with me watching the movie "An Affair to Remember". Love this movie.

 This movie was directed by Leo McCarey and I got to wondering if he could have been related to my McCarry's. I looked him up in Ancestry and found that he was born in LA and he is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Calvert City, California. My one family member that lived in California, Margaret McCarry Kirk, is buried in the same cemetery. I know no big deal. I found out that Leo McCarey's father, Thomas, was born in Illinois and his father's name was Patrick and he came from Ireland. Well this is where I went off the track of Leo McCarey and picked up my own McCarry's.What happened was when I started looking for Patrick my own Patrick started coming up. the first thing that came up was this baptism record for Patrick's son Michael. When the preview of the record came up and I saw Antrim I knew I was on the right track because I knew they had come from Northern Ireland. Then I saw the parents name of Patrick McCarry and Mary Stewart. Bingo! Michael was my 2nd great grandfather, Patrick McCarry's younger brother. Michael was baptized, 11 Jun 1858 in the Ramoan Parish, County Antrim, Ireland.

Ancestry.com. "Ireland, Catholic Parish Registers, 1655-1915" [database on-line]. Baptism Record for Michael McCarry dated 11 Jun 1858 accessed 9 Apr 2016. citing: Catholic Parish Registers, National Library of Ireland, Ireland. Published under the National Library of Ireland's terms of Use of Material made available on registers.nli.ie.

 The next record I found was for Hugh McCarry. Hugh was baptized 16 Jun 1849 in Culfeightrin Parish, County Antrim, Ireland. I looked in John Grenham's book, "Tracing Your Irish Ancestors". He has Parish maps of each county and these two are right next to each other.  The Diocese for this area is Down & Connor Diocese.
Ancestry.com. "Ireland, Catholic Parish Registers, 1655-1915" [database on-line]. Baptism Record for Hugh McCarry dated 16 Jun 1849 accessed 9 Apr 2016. citing: Catholic Parish Registers, National Library of Ireland, Ireland. Published under the National Library of Ireland's terms of Use of Material made available on registers.li.ie.
 The next record I found was the baptism for Mary McCarry. Mary was baptized Ramoan Parish the same as Michael had been. She was baptized 13 May 1855.
Ancestry.com. "Ireland, Catholic Parish Registers, 1655-1915" [database on-line]. Baptism Record for Mary McCarry dated 13 May 1855 accessed 9 Apr 2016. citing: Catholic Parish Registers, National Library of Ireland, Ireland. Published under the National Library of Ireland's terms of Use of Material made available on registers.nli.ie.

 The last record I found just too wonderful. It was the marriage record for Patrick McCarry and Mary Stewart. My 3x great grandparents. I could not believe it. They were married in the same Parish that Hugh was baptized in, Culfeightrin Parish, County Antrim, Ireland.
Ancestry.com. "Ireland, Catholic Parish Registers, 1655-1915" [database on-line]. Marriage Record for Patrick McCarry and Mary Stewart dated 4 Jul 1841 accessed 10 Apr 2016. citing: Catholic Parish Registers, National Library of Ireland, Ireland. Published under the National Library of Ireland's terms of Use of Material made available on registers.nli.ie.
I have not found a record for my 2x great grandfather Patrick or his older brother John, but I am still looking. Hopefully I will find them.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Railroad Retirement File for James John McCarry

"Application for Employee Annuity" (Form AA-1(4-52)), filed 19 Jan 1954, James John McCarry pension file, SS no. 716-09-2211, 1954; NIA: 5743080, Textural Records; Inactive Claims Folders; RG 184: Records of the Railroad Retirement Board; National Archives-Atlanta, Morrow, GA.

A couple of weeks ago I looked at NARA to find my grandfather's Railroad Retirement file. I found the information I was looking for in Atlanta. I sent an email giving them the information requested and received a response that same day telling me that I should hear back within 10 business days. Last Monday I received an email telling me that his file had been located. They gave me options on obtaining the file. I decided on the 25 page digital scan file to be emailed to me. I received my email on Monday.


There are a few parts to this file and lots of information. The above form he filed when he retired in 1954. He had been diagnosed with tuberculosis in October of 1952 and went out on disability at that time. He had worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad since 15 July 1920 starting as a brakeman.

Passenger(?) brakeman (Pa. US) some time between 1918 and 1920, wikipedia.org
For the last 15 years he was a conductor for the railroad which from what I found about his brakeman job, was much safer.
"Record of Employee's Prior Service" (Form AA-2P), filed 30 Sep 1942, James John McCarry pension file, SS no. 716-09-2211, 1942; NIA: 5743080, Textural Records; Inactive Claims Folders; RG 184: Records of the Railroad Retirement Board; National Archives-Atlanta, Morrow, GA.
Included in the file was information about compensation for service prior to The Railroad Retirement Act of 1937.  This  included a chart giving his pay received from Jan 1924 to Dec 1931. On the form above it gives his birth date of 19 May 1901 stating is was not verified. I was hoping that there would have been a birth or baptismal certificate in the file to verify this because I have not been able to find this for him. But no luck on that.
"Application for Lump-Sum Death Payment and Annuities Unpaid at Death" (Form 70-R144.5), filed 19 Jul 1957, James John McCarry pension file, SS no. 716-09-2211, 1957; NIA: 5743080, Textural Records; Inactive Claims Folders; RG 184: Records of the Railroad Retirement Board; National Archives-Atlanta, Morrow, GA.
My grandfather died 5 Jul 1957 so my grandmother, Theresa V. Gunther McCarry, made her application for a Death Payment.  This form gave their marriage date, listed surviving children with their address and date of birth, and surviving brothers and sisters. It did not give their ages, adults was written down the column and just the city and state was given for their address. There was even two letters my grandmother had written when she misplaced her check and wanted it replaced.

So all and all there was a lot of information in the 25 pages I received and I am glad I finally have this.

So keep on looking, you never know what you will find!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Early Genealogy Christmas Wish Granted-Pension File for Jerome VanBilliard

A couple of weeks ago on "Mondays with Myrt" we were talking about our Genealogy Christmas wishes. I mention I would love to get the pension file for my 2nd great grandfather, Jerome VanBilliard. Well that wish was granted early thanks to fellow Dear Myrtle community member, Susan Bleimehl. She sent me the access to the file in Google Docs. It was so great to see this record and I thank her so much for sending this to me.

Deposition of Claimant, 9 July 1884, Ellen VanBilliard, widow's pension application no. 317.526; service of Jerome VanBilliard (Pvt. A. 2 PA. H.A. & B 153 PA. Inf., Civil War); Case Files of Rejected Pension Applications Civil War and Later Pension Files; Department of Veterans Affairs, Requested by Susan Bleimehel, stack area 16w4, row 5, compartment 11, row 5 National Archives, Washington, D.C.
I am still going through this and trying to read it all. This page is the General Affidavit of a physician who had know them for a long time and was present at the births of the children listed, one being my great grand father, George. This listing has his middle name as Mcclellan. I have only seen this in one census record. Have not seen it anywhere else.

Ellen's application was not approved because his cause of death was Typhus, because this was not a result of his service. Jerome had been captured in September of 1864 and there were affidavits that his "health and constitution were ruined when he returned from the rebel prison and we know that he suffered continuously until he died." I was really hoping that there would be a mention of where he was a prisoner, because I have not been able to find out where that was, but I am very happy to have this now.