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.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Naturalization of the Fitzpatricks

I am participating in Dear Myrtle's Tracing Immigrant Origins Study Group. This week we will be looking at Immigration and Naturalization records. This is my post for this subject.

My second great grandfather, James Fitzpatrick, along with 3 younger brothers, was born in Earltown, Colchester, Nova Scotia, Canada. James immigrated down to Pennsylvania in 1870. I have not found his naturalization records as yet but I do have his brothers. They left Canada before James and and settled in Massachusetts. I am using William Henry Fitzpatrick for this post.

"United States, New England Petitions for Naturalization Index, 1791-1906," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 9 July 2015), Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont E520 (Alexander) - F324 (Thomas) > image 4596 of 4635; citing NARA microfilm publication M1299 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
I had found William's index so I knew when he became a citizen. I found that Family Search had the Petitions for Naturalization but they are not indexed so I had to browse them to find it. It was very handy having the index because it gave me the information I needed to find the record quickly.

"United States, New England, Petitions for Naturalization, 1787-1906," images, FamilySearch (,1054679702,1054679703,1054735201 : accessed 9 July 2015), Massachusetts

The first page tells us that William is a Clergyman in the district of Stoneham and that he was born in Nova Scotia 21 September 1832 and is now 36 and he arrived in Boston on 4 April 1852.

The second page has his witness' saying they know him.Then his oath of allegiance and the statement that he became a citizen 2 July 1869.

I also have records for the brothers, Timothy and David, following the same process for them. I am still working on finding James' records. He was naturalized in Pennsylvania in Luzerne county. Hope to have them soon.