Archive for August, 2012

Military Monday – Civil War Service Recods

Posted by Jim Sanders on Monday, 20 August, 2012

The civil war produced a lot of records of great value for the family historian and genealogist. The civil war service records do not get as much focus for genealogy as the pension records. However, the family historian should not overlook the potential hidden genealogy nuggets within these records.

Edward A Banks enlisted in the 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery. He was seventeen at the time of his enlistment. Below is a note from his grandfather and guardian which gave him permission to enlist in the Army of the United States. His twin brother who enlisted just days later did not have the same type of handwritten note from his grandfather.

Civil War Service Record - Edward Banks - Orrin Shepard permission

If your ancestor ended up in a hospital for some reason or another, a record should exist within the service records. With this information you would be able to exclude some battlles your ancestor might have fought in. Here we find out that on May 23, 1865 Edward A Banks was admitted to the Douglas General Hospital in Washington DC.

Civil War Service Record - Edward Banks - Hospital Admission

If you like collecting signatures of your ancestors, a good place to find one would be on your ancestors enlistment papers. Here Edwin A Banks of the 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery signs his enlistment papers. He declares that he is eighteen years old. We know though that he is only seventeen as his twin brother needed his grandfathers permission to enlist.

Civil War Service Record - Edwin Banks - Enlistment Paper


Search Military Records - Fold3

A company descriptive roll will have a partial description of him. It will indicate how tall he was, the color of his hair and eyes and his complexion. Edwin A Banks was 5 feet 2 (1/4) inches tall with brown hair, dark eyes and a light complexion.

Civil War Service Record - Edwin Banks - Descriptive Roll

If your ancestor was unlucky enough to become a prisoner of war, you will find out some details. John D. Laurie of the 10th Connecticut Infantry was captured on Darbytown Rd in Virginia on October 13, 1864. He was paroled four days later on October 17 and admitted to a hospital on October 20.

Civil War Service Record - John D Laurie - Prisoner of War

And if your ancestor died during the civil war, details about his death and burial can be found. John D. Laurie died of his wounds on November 3, 1864. He was buried in Ash Grove Cemetery.

Civil War Service Record - John D Laurie - Death and burial


The service records and pension records can be ordered through NARA. However, you can hire a genealogist from the Washington DC area, save money and get the copies faster than you would by ordering them through NARA. I did this for my own civil war records and saved more the 50% of what I would of had to pay if I order them through NARA.

Sunday Morning Book Review – In Search of Our Ancestors by Megan Smolenyak

Posted by Jim Sanders on Sunday, 19 August, 2012

Years ago, I was on a short overnight vacation with my oldest daughter in a small town in Pennsylvania. We were there with my parents and one of my sisters. While we were there, we stopped by a small bookstore to see what they had to offer. I wasn’t sure what I was looking for. I stumbled upon a book called “In Search of Our Ancestors”. It was written by Megan Smolenyak. I picked up the book and read the back cover. I had just started some genealogy research at the time and was interested in learning more.

The book is not like most genealogical books you pick up and read. Most genealogy books talk about how to locate records, citing your sources, breaking down brick walls or other subjects relating towards your own genealogical research. I don’t know about you, but I can only read how to books for so long before needing to put it down and do something else. As per the back cover of the book, this book is about “101 Inspirational True Stories of Rediscovering Family History”.

The book is arranged into six different parts, each with it’s own category of stories. Each story is very short, ranging in size from as liitle single page to as many as seven or eight pages. The stories are so inspiring that I finished the entire book during my overnight stay in Pennsylvania. When I’ve been having a tough time finding more inspiration to continue looking for ancestors, I will often pick up the book again and read some of my favorite stories. It is always a great genealogy pcik me up.

The book may no longer be in print today. However, I’m sure you can find the book for sale on-line somewhere. You can also check out your local library to see if they have a copy. If you are looking for some inspiration in genealogy, pick up the book and start reading today.

Megan Smolenyak, In Search of Our Ancestors, Holbrook, MA, Adams Media Corporation, 2000

Society Saturday – Shelton Connecticut Historical Society

Posted by Jim Sanders on Saturday, 18 August, 2012

Nestled on the eastern edge of Fairfield County, Connecticut is the town of Shelton. Originally indian tribal land as all of Connecticut was at one time, it was settled in about 1680 from people from Stratford. The town has a long history and the residents of Shelton can be proud of the Shelton Historical Society” . They have done a fantastic job of preserving the towns history.

On October 2, 2012, the Shelton Historical Society will be having a program entitled “Civil War Living History”. If you are from the area, it’s a great opportunity to learn about the civil war times.

Search Military Records - Fold3

Links to other Historical Societies in Connecticut

Follow Friday – Genealogy Blog

Posted by Jim Sanders on Friday, 17 August, 2012

The Genealogy Blog may have a simple name for it’s blog type magazine. However, the blog topics and articles within it are wide ranging and very informative. There are more than 350 different categories of blogs listed.

I have been a regular reader of this blog and I’m surprised at how many unique articles they put out on a regular basis. Some recent article topics included “Delayed & Corrected Birth Records”, “Vermont State Archives opens court records for research” and “Mormon Gold”. Genealogy Blog might have just what you were looking for. However, you could end up spending an hour or two reading and browsing their website.


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