If you have information, stories, photographs, etc., to share about anyone in my family, please contact me - howardka at earthlink.net. If you use anything from this blog, please contact me for permission to post/use elsewhere. I don't mind sharing but would like credit for these original posts and family photos.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Wonderful Accidental Find

Sometimes I get so excited on this genealogy journey of mine that I can hardly keep from whooping and hollering from the roof top. Let me tell you about what has me so excited this time.

On August 9 I was reading my email from Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter mailing list that I subscribe to. I saw a link to an article that sounded interesting to me, so I clicked on it. http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2012/08/lost-photograph-connects-to-familys-long-history.html     This is what I read:

August 09, 2012

Thursday, June 7, 2012

William Franklin Pritchett and Thomas A. Pritchett - Confederate Soldiers

In a past post (November, 2011), I've written about a great+ uncle who was a Confederate soldier during the Civil War . . . William Ashley Gilley. There are others I haven't written about yet. The BIG news is I've now found a direct ancestor who was a Confederate soldier, William Franklin Pritchett, my grandmother's grandfather. I've written about him in previous posts in September, 2011. Use the Blog Archive to find them.

William Franklin Pritchett enlisted in Company K, 34th Alabama Regiment in late 1862. He was about 42 years old. While that seems rather old to join the Army, circumstances of the war changed age restrictions after September, 1862.

All healthy white men between the ages of 18 and 35 were liable for a three-year term of service in the Confederate Army. All soldiers already in the army for one-year terms now had their length of enlistment extended to three years. In September of 1862, the upper age limit raised to age 45. The age limits expanded to the age range between 17 and 50 in February of 1864.   Source: http://www.nellaware.com/blog/the-confederacys-conscription-act.html 

At that time William was married to his second wife, Nancy Ann Lindsay, my great great grandmother. They had a daughter, Margarett Emma Pritchett, my great grandmother, who was born November 21, 1860. He also had two sons, Thomas Wiley Pritchett (born February 14 1849) and James Phillip Pritchett (born May 20 1851). Their mother, William Franklin's first wife, Margaret Lena Striplin, died sometime after James Phillip's birth and probably before 1858-1859. So, when he went to war, W. F. left a wife, 32 years old, two sons, ages 13 and 11, and a 2 year old daughter.

Battle Flag of the 34th Alabama Regiment

Provenance Reconstruction:
This flag was probably issued to the regiment in the spring of 1864. It bears characteristics which are common to flags issued to artillery batteries in the Army of Tennessee under General Joseph E. Johnston. The flag of the 34th Alabama Infantry is the only known flag of this size to have been issued to an infantry regiment. After the war, the flag was preserved by Dr. John N. Slaughter of Coosa County who had served as a major in the regiment. It was donated to the Alabama Department of Archives and History by his son Dr. Jasper M. Slaughter on April 20, 1910.
       Curator's Object Files, Civil War Flags, Alabama Department of Archives and History.
       Madaus, Howard Michael. The Battle Flags of the Confederate Army of Tennessee. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1976.

His unit in the 34th Alabama Regiment also included his younger brother, Thomas. They fought together in the battles at Chicamauga, Mission Ridge and the campaign of 1864 from Dalton to Altanta. They also fought in the battle of Franklin, Tennessee, and Nashville. There the two brothers were captured by the Union Army on December 15, 1864. They were transferred to Louisville, Kentucky, and from there they were sent of prison at Camp Douglas, Illinois, near Chicago. Camp Douglas was known as the Union equivalent of the Confederate's Andersonville Prison. (Can you imagine how these two Southern soldiers taken to a prison camp in Illinois in winter survived? I'm sure it was very difficult for them.)
Camp Douglas was named for Stephen A. Douglas, whose estate provided about 60 acres on the southern side of Chicago. It was originally a training site for newly recruited Union soldiers from the area. The first Confederate prisoners (5,500) arrived in February, 1862. Camp Douglas was one of the longest continuous operating prisons in the Civil War and had the greatest number of prisoner deaths of any Union prison. Disease was rampant within the camp: smallpox, malaria, diarrhea, dysentery, anemia, tuberculosis, rheumatism, scurvy, bronchitis, pneumonia, pleurisy, not to mention battle wounds and injuries.

It was here that William Franklin's brother, Thomas, died on April 23, 1865, just days after Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox. The cause of death was listed as Intermittent fever. His original grave was #1084, Block 3, Chicago City Cemetery. Later he was buried in Oak Woods Cemetery. The buried Confederate soldiers were moved in early 1867 when the Chicago City Cemetery was closed for the creation of Lincoln Park (on Chicago's north side). One section of Oak Woods is known as the "Confederate Mound". A 46-foot monument stands alone, surrounded by cannon and cannonballs. Buried around it are the greatest number of Confederate soldiers buried north of the Mason-Dixon Line  (about 4,039, maybe more). One of these is Thomas Pritchett.

Confederate Mound Monument, Oak Woods Cemetery, Chicago, IL

Confederate Mound Monument Dedication

Thos. Prittchett's name is in the 3rd column from the left, 15th name from the bottom

William Franklin Pritchett was held prisoner until the end of the war and was paroled in June, 1865. He made his way home to Dale County, Alabama, to his family.

Here are Confederate records for William Franklin Pritchett.


 Here are the Confederate POW records for William F. Pritchett.

 Here is the Confederate POW record for Thomas A. Pritchett.

Below is a Confederate Pension ledger page that shows where William Franklin Pritchett signed for his money. His is voucher #14149 in the amount of 25.00. The interesting thing to note is W. F. didn't sign his name. He made his mark "X" and his name was signed by J. J. holes and witnessed by Lincy Crawford. I don't know if W. F. didn't know how to write his name (being illiterate) or if it was because of his age, 91 years old. The cover page said the pension was "for the relief of needy Confederate soldiers and widows of those who have not remarried."

Confederate Pension Record for W. F. Pritchett, Date April 1, 1911 Third column is No. of Warrant, Fourth/Fifth columns are the amount, Sixth column is Signatures, Seventh column is Witness to Signature

Saturday, April 14, 2012

1940 Census - The Jowers Family

Some of you may be aware that the 1940 Census was released on Monday, April 2, 2012. According to federal law a census is made public 72 years after it was taken. The official census day was April 1, 1940, but of course the job of recording people took much longer than just that one day. The enumeration date of this particular census shown below was April 8, 1940.

I did my first 1940 census search on April 3 using the National Archives website (http://1940census.archives.gov/). The census is not indexed by names and has to be searched by enumeration district. Then you have to scroll through the photos of each page to look for family (or whoever you're looking for). It took some time to find who I was looking for . . .  my grandparents, Hilliard and Annie Jowers, and my daddy, Homer Jowers and his siblings. While it wasn't easy, I did find all but two brothers!

I looked for the family first in Leonia Church Enumeration District, Holmes County, Florida, which is where they lived in 1930. They weren't there in 1940. Then I scrolled through all the census records for Holmes County and some records for Walton County. Being unsuccessful, I had to do some more thinking. Cousin Edgar had mentioned to me one time that the family moved back and forth across the state line between Florida and Alabama. I also remembered my daddy joined the Navy in 1943 and his address was a Hartford, AL address. So, I looked there. I found them in Geneva County outside of (probably) tiny Hartford. Let me tell you, I was so excited to find them on the census. Sometime between 1933 and 1935 they moved just across the state line to Alabama. (Will explain how I know this later in the post.)

Here is what I found out from the census. My grandparents rented their home and lived in a rural area. Hilliard E. Jowers was listed as 59 years old, a working farmer born in Alabama who completed 5th grade. He is listed as #57 on the Farm Schedule (another census record). Annie (Gilley) Jowers was 48 years old and working in the home. She was born in Alabama and completed 5th grade in school.There is no indication who gave the information to the census taker.

Here are the children living with them:

Mozell (Mesell on census), age 23 years, completed 8th grade, born in Alabama
Homer, age 15 years, attended school, completed 7th grade, born in Florida
Gladys, age 13 years, attended school, completed 6th grade, born in Florida
Harmon, age 11 years, attended school, completed 4th grade, born in Florida
Era, age 7 years, attended school, completed 1st grade, born in Florida
Lutrell, age 4 years, did not attend school, born in Alabama

Here's how I know they moved to Alabama sometime between 1933 and April 1, 1935. Era Jowers was born in January, 1933, in Florida. The census recorded where the family was living on April 1, 1935. . . rural Geneva County, Alabama. That information narrows the move to between 1933 after Aunt Era's birth to before April 1, 1935, the date the census asked about.

I also looked in  Enumeration District to see if I could find any other family member, and I found my Aunt Voncile, her husband, and oldest child on the very next page. They were living nearby. Here is their information:

Beechum Bolin, age 21 years, 3rd grade highest grade completed  born in Alabama, lived in a rural area, and was a farmhand, lived in rural Geneva County, AL in 1935
Voncile (Jowers) Bolin, age 18 years, 7th grade highest grade completed, born in Florida, worked in the home, no listing of where she lived in 1935 (but it was most likely with her parents in rural Geneva County, AL
Lavona (Leevon), daughter, age 8 months, No place of birth listed

I did look for my uncles, Hubert and Henry, but couldn't find them. After spending several hours searching, I decided I'll just have to wait until Ancestry or FamilySearch has their indexing of records completed. Not knowing where they were living would make a continued search more time-consuming.

So . . . here my found family is in black and white on the 1940 census.

Hilliard and Annie Gilley Jowers and children in the 1940 US Population Census

Beechum and Voncile Jowers Bolin and child in the 1940 US Population Census

Monday, March 19, 2012

New Genealogy Friend

In my genealogy class this semester we are learning about more advanced ways to research our American families and how to evaluate the information we find. One of our recent topics was researching the females in our various lines, which is often a difficult thing to do when you get into the 1800's, especially the early part of the 1800's and pre-1800's.

In late February I got a phone call one afternoon from Donna, who lives in Ozark, AL. She called to say she could help me with the Pritchetts, my great grandmother's side of the family (Margarett Emma Pritchett Gilley). Donna contacted me after reading this geneanolgy blog, and am I glad she did! Since then we've emailed back and forth sharing information. Donna has given me more people to add to my grandmother's side and great grandmother's side of the family, including many female first and last names! It's much easier to look for records of a woman ancestor when you find out her maiden name and her father's name. The 1850 US Population census is the first census that names family members living in the household. Before that, only the head of households are named and family members are grouped into age categories. It can be a bit tricky to match families correctly in those early census records. Donna also gave me a link to a website that has more about the Pritchetts.

This genealogy adventure  gets so exciting when I meet people like Donna from Alabama and Lisa from North Carolina and Wendy from England (see an earlier post A Tale of Two Cousins). I find out new things about my family and/or get photos that are new to me. I also love getting stories and other things from my own cousins. I'm also glad to share anything I have as well. One thing is certain, I never dreamed I'd learn as much as I have about both sides of my family, here in the USA and in England.

Soooooo, if anyone who reads this blog has any information on my family, please contact me at howardka at earthlink.net. The family names I'm researching are: Jowers (mostly Alabama, Florida, South Carolina), Gilley (mostly Alabama, Florida), Pritchett (mostly Alabama, Georgia), Lindsay (Alabama), Langdale (England - Hertfordshire, London), Kirkpatrick (England - London), Rampton (England - London), Lenny (England - London), Denny (England - London). There are more, but this is enough for now.

Annie Gilley Jowers, about 1910, about 18 years old

Sisters Annie Gilley Jowers, Ada Gilley Elmore , May Gilley Peterson

Margarett Pritchett Gilley, mother of the sisters above

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Researching My People

Embarrassing as it may be, I'm showing you where I do my genealogy work at home. It's not a pretty sight, but I get things done. Under the pile of papers on the left of the desk by the phone is my large portable scanner. The papers on top are copies of research my Uncle Henry and Aunt Nita did on the Jowers family and the Gilley family. The very top paper is a copy from the Gilley Family Bible mentioned in earlier posts. You can see my computer, small red speakers, my tea mug, printer, trays for paper and research, various genealogy records, my clock, lamp, and various other stuff. The banker's box under the table held the treasures from Uncle Henry and Aunt Nita that Cousin Jane loaned me. (The box has since been returned.) The bottom drawer on the right holds my paper files. There's not a flat surface I can't cover well!

I wish I could say I was a very organized researcher. I'm not. I'll give you an example by telling you about the research I did on Sunday, January 29. I started out by working on one of my private Ancestry dot com family trees. My plan was to add more family members to Thomas Gilley's family (my great great grandfather, 1822-1898). I added all his children's names, with the exception of my great grandfather, Thomas Gilley, Jr., who was already in the tree. Then I started saving various records -- mostly federal census records, some photos and a few other things -- to some of the people in the tree to provide documentation for residences, approximate birth years, Civil War records, and more.

I was doing fine keeping to my plan until. . . I reread a note someone else had uploaded to Ancestry trees which had to do with my great grandfather, Thomas Gilley, Jr. He obviously had dictated an affidavit  for some purpose about his deceased cousin, Rev. J. B. Bryan, and then he signed it. He had mentioned that his father and J. B. Bryan's mother were brother and sister. I realized not only did I not know who this sister was, but I didn't have any information about their parents or other siblings. (I was able to find out later from another person who is researching the Gilley family that Thomas Gilley's sister was Martha Jane Gilley Bryan.)

Statement Dictated and Signed by Thomas Gilley, Jr. 1930

It didn't take long for me to abandon my original plan and start looking for my 3rd great grandfather. I love the hunt for people most of all. I won't give all the details but I went down lots of rabbit trails and I think I've found my great great great grandfather, Leroy Gilley and his wife, Mary. (I'll leave looking for her family to another day.) I started my search in Georgia because I knew Thomas Gilley (1822-1898) was born in Georgia two years after the 1820 census. Most likely his family was in living there when the census was taken.

I found Leroy Gilley in the 1820 census in Montgomery County, Georgia. He was named in the census, being the head of the household. There was a total of 6 persons in his household: 3 free white males under 10 (sons), 1 free white male 26-44 (Leroy), 1 free white female 16-35 (his wife), and 1 male slave under 14.

1820 US Census, Montgomery County, Georgia

I then looked for the 1830 Georgia census. Thomas Gilley was born in 1822 in Georgia, so I figured the family might still be there when the 1830 census was taken. I didn't find anything. Then I searched the Alabama 1830 census and came up empty-handed there as well.

My next step was to go look for Leroy Gilley in the 1840 census. I found a family in Dale County, Alabama that seemed to fit: 1 free white male under 5, 1 free white male 5-9, 1 free white male 10-14, 1 free white male 40-49 (Leroy), 2 free white females 5-9, 1 free white female 10-14, 1 free white female 15-19, 1 free white female 40-49. What happened to all those sons born between 1810-1819 that were in the 1820 census? Well, they were in their 20's to 30's by 1840 and most likely had their own families and places in the census. It's possible that some of the other Gilleys on this page are Leroy's sons. I'll tackle that research another day.

1840 US Census, Dale County, Alabama

If you're wondering how I came to the conclusion that these nameless censuses, except for the named head of the household, were my ancestors, I'll tell you. The 1850 census recorded the names of everyone in each household for the first time. Looking at several 1850 censuses for Dale County, Alabama, finding out a few names of Leroy's children and his wife helped me be almost certain I had the right family. I still have more work to do and I think I'm on the right track.

After I got distracted from my original intent of posting documents to my family tree on Ancestry dot com, I did manage to stay with the new research trail and where it took me. I worked for several hoursthat night, and . . . I'll tell the rest of the story in another post. I'll be able to name names then.