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Missouri Bound Part Four: The Tschudi/Judy Family

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United States 1819

The United States in about 1819, the same time Mary Judy and Isaac Ely moved from Kentucky to Missouri Territory.

In the last three posts, I discussed the lineage of Gillian Virginia Morris(s), my Great-great-grandmother on my grandmother’s side, including the migration of that lineage from Virginia and Kentucky to Missouri. Her parents, grandparents, and her great-grandparents on her mother’s side would call Missouri home.

 

As review:

In Part I. I provided extensive information on the Salling (Sally, Salley) family who settled in Rockbridge County, Virginia. I included evidence to support the correction of an error in the parentage of Malinda Salling, mother to Peter Philander Morris, Gillian’s father.

Part II. I detailed my attempt to determine the parentage of Thomas H. Morris(s), Gilllian’s grandfather, who also lived in Rockbridge County, Virginia. The results were inconclusive. His parentage remains a brick-wall.

Part III. I documented the Ely family who came to America in the 1700’s and settled along the Cacapehon River in what would be Hampshire County, West Virginia. I provided evidence of the movement of son of Isaac Ely, Sr., Benjamin Ely, and his family, to Clark County, Kentucky, as well as proof of the Clark County marriage of his son Isaac Ely and Mary Judy. They were Gillian’s great-grandparents.

Now, what about the Judy family?

The surname “Judy” is of Swiss origin and was originally spelled Tschudi (Tschudy). The spelling morphed into “Judy” and “Judah” soon after the family arrived in America. Four men with the Tschudi name came to Philadelphia between 1740 and 1770. They included: Mardin Tschudi in 1738; Martin Tschudi in 1749, settling in Hampshire County, WV; Weinbert Tschudi in 1752.[i]

Then, my ancestor, Martin Tschudi, in the company of a Martin Nicholas Tschudi and Johann Tschudi, sailed from Rotterdam on The Sally and, after a stop in Cowes, England, disembarked on November 10, 1767.[ii] It is possible all four Tschudi’s were related. They all came from the Canton of Basel in Switzerland and many given names were the same.[iii]

According to the Lists of Swiss Emigrants in the Eighteenth Century to the American Colonies, he arrived with wife Anna Boni and children, Johannes, Martin, Elisabeth, and Anna.[iv] A son, Jacob Judy, was born September 18, 1767, this according to information in Find-a-Grave, which would indicate he was born on the ship. Afterward, Martin and Anna had three more known children: Winepark (Weinbert), David, and Samuel.[v] Some say there was one more daughter, a Nancy but the evidence is, so far, scant.

While numerous records for a Martin Tschudi exist, there is no clear evidence of where the family resided before 1791 in Bourbon County, Kentucky.[vi] The name was common and there were at least six of that name in America in those early years. Family lore abounds regarding the “Trek” to Kentucky, but I have found little definitive evidence to support it.

The 1800, Clark County, Kentucky tax list includes Martin Sr. and his sons David, John J, Martin Jr., Samuel, and Winepack (Weinbert).[vii] So between 1767 and 1800, the family, excluding John,[viii] had settled in Clark County, Kentucky. By then Martin Jr., Mary Judy’s father, had married Elizabeth Judy. While proven in a probate record,[ix] I’ve found no marriage record.

Family Lore says she was Martin’s first cousin, but I’ve found no proof. Of various suppositions I’ve found, the most likely candidate for Elizabeth’s father is Weinbert Tschudi who arrived in Pennsylvania fifteen years before Martin., or could be the Johann Tschudi who arrived with Martin. Some have linked her to a Johannes (John) and Maria Shaffner Judy from Fort Pitt in Pennsylvania, but Lancaster, PA, Mennonite Vital Records for a couple with the same names show them married in 1808, much too late to be Elizabeth’s parents. Some family historians indicate the father of Martin Sr. in Switzerland was the one who married a cousin. I mention all this speculation because it is floating out there as fact, so I wanted the reader to be aware of it. If anyone has validating information I would love to see it!

Regardless, Martin Jr. and Elizabeth Judy had a daughter, Mary (Polly) Judy. She married Isaac Ely, in 1798, and by 1820, they had moved to Missouri.

Like an extended Abbott and Costello skit, let’s play the game of Who’s On First, only our game is Who’s in Missouri.

  • Mary (Polly) Judy and Isaac Ely arrived in Ralls County, Missouri by 1824, more likely by 1819 when Isaac’s father Benjamin is recorded as arriving.[x]
  • Malinda Salling and Thomas H. Morris(s) are in Chariton County, Missouri, by 1849.[xi]

Now for one more piece of the Who’s in Missouri puzzle: Part Five of the Missouri posts—The Utterback Family.

 Map courtesy of Library of Congress; A new and elegent general atlas, containing maps of each of the United States; Baltimore : Fielding Lucas, [1817?]
[i] Strassburger; Pennsylvania German Pioneers, Vol 1, 1727-1775; Genealogical Publishing Company; Find My Past; pages 249, 391, 507
[ii] Ibid. pg. 738
[iii] Faust, A.B. & Brumbaugh, Gaiius. Lists of Swiss emigrants in the Eighteenth Century to the American Colonies, Vol. 2. Washington, D.C.: the National Genealogical Society, 1925. Reprinted by Genealogical Publishing co., Baltimore, 1976.
[iv] Ibid. pg. 243
[v] Various Find-a-grave resources for cemeteries in Clark County, Kentucky
[vi] Ancestry.com. Kentucky, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1810-1890 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999. Original data: Jackson, Ron V., Accelerated Indexing Systems, comp.. Kentucky Census, 1810-1890. Compiled and digitized by Mr. Jackson and AIS from microfilmed schedules of the U.S. Federal Decennial Census, territorial/state censuses, and/or census substitutes.
[vii] Ancestry.com. Kentucky, Tax Lists, 1799-1801, original from: Clift, G. Glenn. Second Census of Kentucky, 1800. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co.
[viii] No definitive record until 1820 census and Find-a-grave Greene County, Ohio
[ix] Heirs of Martin Judy; Ralls county Court House, pg. 537-538; probate 15 May 1838; transcribed by N.L. Moore.
[x] Documentation to come soon, in a separate post.
[xi] Documentation provided in Part II of the Missouri posts

Seven Brothers and the War of Rebellion: Part Four

Battle of Chickamauga sketched by J.C. McElroy September 1863

Battle of Chickamauga
sketched by A.R. Waud September 1863

It is September of 1863 and we join five of our seven Croy brothers as they move to capture and protect Chattanooga, Tennessee. As noted in the previous post, Greer Croy of the 36th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (OVI) and Robert, William, Duncan, and David of the 92nd OVI came together under the Hungarian General Turchin and the Army of the Cumberland. They marched toward Chattanooga and, through a series of maneuvers, outwitted Confederate General Braxton Bragg and occupied the city. General Rosecrans followed Bragg into Tennessee, but rather than retreat, Bragg turned round in a surprise attempt to regain the city he had lost.

The Battle of Chickamauga began in earnest on September 19th and continued through the 20th. I cannot attempt to detail the battle here for lack of time and expertise. Excellent sources for more detail are noted at the end of the post.

The brothers no doubt performed heroically. While the Confederate Army took control of the battle, two thirds of Union rank and file, along with their leadership, fled the field. But under Major General George Thomas (“The Rock of Chickamauga”) Turchin with the 36th and 92nd OVI, held a section called Horseshoe Ridge long enough to prevent a complete rout. The Army of the Cumberland fell back to Chattanooga. Greer Croy worked his way back slowly, wounded for the second time in the war (the first at Antietam.)[i]

The Union cost in dead and wounded was severe. But, because the Rebels did not take advantage and pursue them or take back Chattanooga, it was a positive pivot point for the Western Theatre and the war in general. The Union soldiers could not know this. They would simply try to survive. Stuck in Chattanooga, with the Confederates controlling Lookout Mountain on the south and Mission Ridge (to be called Missionary Ridge) on the east, supplies were squeezed. Half and quarter rations compounded by cold, wet weather challenged morale. They hung on for a month.

At the end of October, in a brilliantly conceived plan, approximately 1,400 men, including the 36th and 92nd, floated down the Tennessee River without a sound, passing under the eyes of Confederates on Lookout Mountain. They set to work building a pontoon bridge and securing Brown’s Ferry, creating a supply line for Chattanooga that the soldiers called “Cracker Bridge.” With Sherman’s Army coming to support them and Grant heading to Tennessee to provide leadership, the brothers readied themselves for next phase of the conflict.

Charge up Mission Ridge Kurz & Allison

Charge up Mission Ridge
Kurz & Allison

Mission Ridge was the controlling high ground and, on November 25, 1863, Grant meant to take it. He did not plan to take it with The Army of the Cumberland, now under Thomas’ leadership. Grant did not hold them in high regard…yet. Where Sherman and Hooker were slow to respond, Thomas was not. The brothers, under Turchin, stormed the ridge with the rest of the Cumberland. They pushed forward and did not stop, leading the charge up the ridge. They won control of the ridge and the strategic staging ground for the war. Among the wounded in the 92nd OVI was young David Croy.[ii]

Grant at Lookout Mountain (A popular point for photographs, one photo found in the book about Crook shows the 36th color guard of Greer Croy on the point, part of the Strayer collection.)

Grant at Lookout Mountain
(A popular point for photographs after the victory at Missionary Ridge, one photo found in the book by Werrell about Crook shows the 36th color guard of Greer Croy on the point, part of the Strayer collection.)

Note: Copyright free photos from Library of Congress Prints and Photographs www.loc.gov/pictures

More on General John (Ivan) Turchin and Nadine Turchin who wrote the only military war diary by a woman in the Civil War: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Turchaninov

Additional resources: Crook’s Regulars,[iii] the Wikipedia link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Chickamauga, and Ohio Civil War Central http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com

[i] Roster Commission by authority of General Assembly, Official roster of the soldiers of the state of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866, Volume 3 (Cincinnati: The Ohio Valley Pub. & Mfg. Co., 141 and 143 Race St., 1886) p. 669 https://openlibrary.org/books/OL7041537M
[ii] Roster Commission by authority of General Assembly, Official roster of the soldiers of the state of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866, Volume 9 (Cincinnati: The Ohio Valley Pub. & Mfg. Co., 141 and 143 Race St., 1886) Books. Google.com
[iii] Kenneth P. Werrell, Crook’s Regulars: the 36th Ohio in the War of Rebellion (Christianburg, Virginia, KPW, 2012) Note: Most of the detail of the 36th comes from this excellent, self-published book.

Missouri Bound: Out of Rockbridge County, Virginia Part I

salling-estate-newspaper-article

I was Just Plain Wrong

In my New Year’s quest to review all my family records for accuracy, I turned to my grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Ison’s ancestry. Her parents Gabriel Ison and Gillian (Gillie) Virginia Morris(s) married in Missouri.[i] Gillie was the daughter of Peter Philander Morris and Elizabeth Ely.[ii] I’ll delve into the Ison, Morris, and Ely family history and how they came to Missouri in later posts. This is just Part I of my efforts to rectifying any abuses of the following rules of genealogical research:

  1. Never rely on another researcher’s family tree without looking for documentation.
  2. Always back-up your work with documentation or a triangulated proof.
  3. Use “Find-a-grave” for information on photographed and marked graves only. Otherwise refer to #1.

Gillie’s father Peter Philander Morris was the son of Thomas H. Morris and Malinda Salling.[iii] In previous posts I stated Malinda’s father to be George Salling, right family wrong sibling. This post repairs that error and provides just a smattering of amazing information I’ve discovered as I researched her ancestry.

Malinda Salling was born to Peter Salling and Rebecca Holms[iv] on March 19, 1803 (ca).[v] How do I know this? Because I just finished analyzing 1,126 pages of Chancery documents available at the Library of Virginia website.

An aside: I find Chancery documents in which inheritance issues, often complex, are ironed out, often over extended periods of time to be the genealogical mother lode. If you have any Virginia ancestors, check out this site. http://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/?_ga=1.224291475.920046502.1485978183

Let’s Start at the Beginning with the Patriarch: John Peter Salling

John Peter Salling arrived in Pennsylvania in 1733 with wife Anna Maria Vollmar and children Elizabeth and Anna Catharina. [vi] On 14 November 1735, he filed a warrant for 250 acres of land on Conestoga Creek in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.[vii]

Then: “In the year 1740, I came from Pennsylvania to the part of Orange County now called Augusta; and settled in a fork of the James River close under the Blue Ridge Mountains of the West side, where I now live.”[viii]

This passage comes from John Peter’s recollections of his capture by Indians, his transfer into the hands of the French, and his eventual recovery by the British Navy and his return to “Charles Town.” (For more on his crazy adventure go to the link cited in endnotes.) An Index of his will names one son besides the daughters who came from Northern Alsace (Germany) with him, that son is George Adam Salling.[ix]

The Family of George Adam Salling

From the Chancery Document of Augusta County, Virginia, we know that George Adam Salling of Orange County, North Carolina bought and transferred a warrant for 200+ acres to George Salling on the first bend of the James River.[x] Biographical information in A History of Rockbridge County says George Adam moved to North Carolina about 1760. He must have returned to Rockbridge or was simply cleaning up old warrants, as his will is recorded in August County (the land in what would be Rockbridge County, VA). It provides for the same 200+ acres for George and is “proved” 1 June 1789, about a year after George Adam Sallings death.

The Chancery records include an incomplete copy of the will of George Adam Salling, 1788. It lists his male offspring: Henry, Peter, and George. He leaves use of the meadow and the house to his wife Hannah along with the use of Henry’s portion of the plantation until he reaches maturity. He declares that the plantation at the fork of the James and North Rivers with three hundred sixty odd acres and meadow be divided equally between sons Henry and Peter (the quality of the division the reason for the dispute). He gives two hundred twenty acres to son George. With wife Hannah to “support that part of my unmarried children who may chuse to continue with her and likewise to give them the necessary schooling.”[xi]

The above statement indicates additional children. Virginia marriage bonds are family affairs, often listing the parentage of both bride and groom. I was able to add Magdalen, Elizabeth, Peggy, and Hannah.[xii] George Salling who married Matilda 19 January 1791 and moved to Gate City, Scott county, Virginia between 1810 and 1820. (This is the George I incorrectly designated as Malinda’s father.)

Thanks to the extraordinary effort of Marilyn Headley and Angela Ruley. They digitalized the Rockbridge County Marriage Bonds, 1778-1801. A great resource, http://www.usgwarchives.net/va/rockbridge/license.html

The Children of Henry and Peter Salling

For this portion, let me introduce you to Peter A. Salling, the son of Peter Salling, and he had a mission: to acquire the whole of the estate of George Salling. He and his wife, Aurelia Paxton had no children aside from Aurelia’s neice whom they adopted. It seems tradition was important to Peter A., so he left his substantial estate to his namesake nephew, Peter A. Salling.

rockbridge-county-detailThe “Mrs Salling” at the Fork of the James and North River is Aurelia, the last owner of the Salling Plantation.

The ins and outs of his complicated acquisitions and the dispersals at his and Aurelia’s death led to four separate Chancery filings over fifty years. From these records we know:

  • Henry Salling (of George) married Lucy and had children: Lucy, Mary Polly, Hannah, Magdalene, George Jackson, Lavinia, Henry, and Benjamin. Henry died in 1834.[xiii]
  • Peter Salling (of George) married Rebecca Holms and had children: John, Rebecca wife of William Harrison, Malinda wife of Thomas H Morris (Happy Dance!), and Mary Ann deceased who had children by a Goodwin (George W., Harriet wife of William Wasky, Peter A (the namesake), Robert B, John, and Rebecca wife of David Ely who died after her Grandfather Peter who died in 1839[xiv]

As you can imagine, the 1, 126 pages of information holds gems galore. One page of interest lists the names of Negros to be distributed to the heirs as exchange for their share of plantation land. Thomas H. Morris, Malinda’s husband, took his share in slaves.[xv] slave-dist-morrisInsights into farming, husbandry, life in Texas, and changes brought by the Civil War comes to life in these pages. I can only say—again—if you have any ancestors in Virginia and know the county of origin, check out the Library of Virginia.

Next week: Thomas H. Morris and who moved to Missouri…

[i] Marriage License of Gabriel Ison and Gillian Morris Ancestry.com. Missouri, Marriage Records, 1805-2002 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2007. Original data: Missouri Marriage Records. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives. Microfilm.
[ii] Census record of Peter P. Morris Year: 1870; Census Place: Township 55 Range 19, Chariton, Missouri; Roll: M593_768; Page: 362B; Image: 63785; Family History Library Film: 552267 Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
[iii] Peter Philander Morris Death Certificate #9537 (T.H. Morris and Malinda Salling parents)
[iv] Peter Salling/Rebecca Holms marriage bond 9 April 1787, Rockbridge County Marriage Bonds, 1778-1801, digitalized at http://www.usgwarchives.net/va/rockbridge/license.html
[v] Malinda H. Morris Find A Grave Memorial# 37019534, Brunswick City Cemetery, Brunswick Township, Chariton County, Missouri.
[vi] Burgert, Annette K. Eighteenth Century emigrants from the Northern Alsace to America. Camden, ME: Picton Press, 1992. Pg. 416; Ancestry. Com. U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index.
[vii] Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Land Warrants and Applications, 1733-1952 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.Original data: Warrant Applications, 1733-1952. Harrisburg, PA: Pennsylvania State Archives.
[viii] The Journal of John Peter Salling, transcribed by L.S. Workman from The Annals of an American Family by E. Wadell http://files.usgwarchives.net/va/augusta/misc/m-sal01.txt
[ix] Ancestry.com. Virginia, Land, Marriage, and Probate Records, 1639-1850. Orignial data: Chalkley, Lyman. Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, 1745-1800. Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1965. Originally published in 1912. NOTE: I did not find this record in the Library of Virginia Chancery Records.
[x] Index # 1818-104, Augusta Co. Henry Salling vs. Peter Salling. Library of Virginia Digital Collection: Chancery Record Index, pg. 68.
[xi] Ibid. pg 27.
[xii] Rockbridge County Marriage Bonds, 1778-1801. All found under “M”
[xiii] Index # 1840-028, Rockbridge Co. Peter A. Salling vs. heirs of Henry Salling. Library of Virginia Digital Collection: Chancery Record Index, pg. 3.
[xiv] Index # 1841-019, Rockbridge Co. John Salling vs. heirs of Peter Salling. Library of Virginia Digital Collection: Chancery Record Index.
[xv] Ibid pg 27

Finding Vital Records: Four Lessons Learned

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A wonderfully accurate account of a death.

A wonderfully accurate account of a death.[i]

My goal for 2015 is to document, for the Ohio Genealogical Society, the Civil War service of the seven sons[ii] of Jacob Croy (1810-1872) and Margaret Pugh Croy (1813-1884). If you are familiar with my blog, you know that I have researched this portion of my heritage extensively. (Interested? Search “civil war” at this site and you will find all my entries.)

Given the extent of my research, you would think this an easy task; it is not, and here is why. The Society includes this caveat; “Pre-1880 censuses cannot be used as sole evidence of relationship since no relationships are stated in these records.” [iii] The term ‘sole evidence’ gives a little leeway for proving the relationships. Still, the fact that documentation of Ohio births and deaths only began in 1867, were spotty, and didn’t always include parent names until 1908, complicates things. The Society also requires proof of marriage, and a license “is not acceptable evidence …it only proves intent…” Records of marriages are more numerous in Ohio but some counties record only licenses, and, until 1900, names of the parents were not included.

Bottom line? I was forced to hunt down the necessary vital records, some not easily obtained or valid based OGS rules. Some records were easy enough to find: the birth and marriage certificates of me, my husband, father and mother. Attempting to use the OGS criteria to document the Civil War brothers and their relationships to each other, to their father and mother, and to their spouses would require much more detective work since the majority of the records I needed would be dated between 1810 and 1930.

I knew the brothers familial relationships through so many indirect sources, and knew the truth, didn’t I? That comment just made dyed-in-the-wool Certified Genealogists cringe but, really, my dad knew the name of his grandfather, didn’t he? Relax, I’m joking, and we’ll get to the punch line later, but by gathering the more obvious documents, I was led to my first lesson.

Lesson #1: Gather together those documents so often taken for granted. Beg them from family members, retrieve them from your own files, put them in archival sheets, order them by date, and store them in a fire safe.

Marriage and death certificates of the relationships closest in time proved easy enough to obtain, but they were everywhere. I started to realize how easily these genealogically significant documents could disappear.

Lesson #2: Search wide, and keep going back to your resources. Go to your favorite “pay to view” genealogy site, of course, but FamilySearch is an absolute must. And don’t forget the state genealogical sites. They might require payment for membership so you can access their site but the dollars might be worth it, especially if you have enough ancestors from a particular state.

My “pay for” site didn’t yield much usable information so I turned to FamilySearch. Using its ‘wiki’ resources[iv] I determined what was available by state and county. Their searchable resources have also increased mightily. I found a number of actual documents (not indexes) unavailable when I looked a year ago. Using their information, the Ohio Genealogical Society resources, and what I knew about the location of the family through time, I began contacting individual counties for records and, in the case of Calvin, my great-grandfather, I looked to other state records in Kansas and Oklahoma.

Lesson #3: Not all counties and states are equally responsive concerning record retrieval, and some make you stand on your hands, do a break dance, and a back-flip to boot.

Kiss the ground and shout “Halleluiah” if you have ancestors from Washington County, Ohio. Their library and probate court personnel answered my e-mails promptly and gave me what I needed at almost no cost. Through them I retrieved useful death and obituary records, all through e-mail, and they included very interesting ancillary data. Other counties had no on-line or e-mail connections so I resorted to snail mail. And Oklahoma recommended I go through VitalChek. I had to document my relationship to the deceased (dead since 1922), fax my information, and pay $50 for the results. That leads me to the final lesson, for now.

Lesson #4: Sometimes parts of the records, filled out by fallible humans, are just plain wrong.

I awaited my great-grandfather’s death certificate anxiously. It was, after all, according to the OGS standards a valid record of relationship, and I already had clear documentation that three brothers dying after 1908 where sons of Jacob Croy. This certificate would prove the fourth, very important, relationship. Wrong!

So here’s the punch line. Calvin Croy had moved his family from Ohio between 1880[v] and 1885.[vi] Justus Croy, my grandfather and the person who filled out his death certificate, was between three and five years old when he last saw any Ohio relations. Communication systems were sparse at the time, and, it seems, his mother and father hadn’t talked much about his grandparents. He probably didn’t consult his mother when filling out the form either. He got the first letter of his father’s parents first names right and used his mother’s maiden name for the maiden name of his father’s mother. I researched the John Croy and Mary Smith he named on the death certificate just to be sure. No such Ohio couple at an appropriate time, not that I could find.[vii]

And the not-so-perfect accounting of a death.

And the not-so-perfect accounting of a death.

Seems the census information for 1850, 1860, and 1870 was more accurate than a toddler’s recollections forty years later, no matter what the OGS lineage rules say. So I have more work to do. Hopefully the Civil War records coming from the National Archives will hold definitive proof of the yet unverified relationships. I can also probably “prove” the relationship using the census information as supporting evidence. But for now I search on, four brothers shy of my goal to honor seven brothers who served in the Ohio Volunteer Infantry at a defining moment in their lives and the life of our Nation. I’ll keep you posted.

[i] “Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953,” Database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-21273-78102-86?cc=1307272 : accessed 22 June 2015), 1914 > 34601-37460 > image 2483 of 3296.

[ii] Robert, William P. Greer, David, Nathan, Duncan, and Calvin Harrison Croy

[iii] The Ohio Genealogical Society: Lineage Society Rules and Application Procedures. https://www.ogs.org/about/lineage/scwfo.php

[iv] example https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki

[v] Year: 1880; Census Place: Keene, Coshocton, Ohio; Roll: 1003; Family History Film: 1255003; Page: 115C; Enumeration District: 048; Image: 0234 http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1880usfedcen&h=17434673&indiv=try&o_vc=Record:OtherRecord&rhSource=7163 accessed September 27, 2012

[vi] National Archives and Records Administration; Nebraska State Census; Year: 1885; Series/Record Group: M352; County: Richardson; Township: Spencer; Page: 18. Ancestry.com. http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=NEstatecensus&h=712701&indiv=try&o_vc=Record:OtherRecord&rhSource=1088 Accessed September 27, 2012

[vii] Certificate of Death, Oklahoma State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics.

Seven Brothers and the War of Rebellion: Part Six

Maj. Gen. Slocum and staff and army of Georgia passing in review by Mathew Brady

Maj. Gen. Slocum and staff and Army of Georgia passing in review
by Mathew Brady

So what happened to the four brothers serving in the 92nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company G, after Missionary Ridge? Greer Croy labored in the 36th under Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley. Nathan and Calvin, in the 148th, protected the Capital. (see previous post)

Under Sherman, the 92nd would move south. Sherman, promoted by Grant, took command of a “Division of the Mississippi” and, in turn, promoted Major General George H. Thomas, who had distinguished himself in the Chattanooga campaign, to lead the Army of the Cumberland. The taking of Atlanta became their first mission.

Assigned to Thomas, the 92nd moved against Johnston and Hood in the drive to take Atlanta, Georgia. Joining with the Army of the Tennessee and the Army of Ohio, they took the center. Later Grant referred to the battles and consequent siege of Atlanta as a “120 day continuous battle.”

During the day and night of September 1-2 of 1864, Hood evacuated Atlanta. He headed north, hoping to join up with Lee. Rather than follow in mass, Sherman divided up the forces of Thomas’ Army of the Cumberland. Half would go after Hood with Thomas. The rest would head south, supporting Sherman’s mission to cut the South’s supply route. The 92nd went south.

The 92nd OVI again acquired new leadership. They now served under Major General Jefferson Columbus Davis in the 14th Army Corp. They marched under General H.W. Slocum and would man the left wing of Sherman’s March to the Sea. But first they would decimate Atlanta’s infrastructure including railroads and manufacturing. They protected churches and hospitals from destruction.

On November 15, 1864, they headed for Savannah. Most records show that Slocum’s Army of Georgia, taking the left flank, saw little opposition and less fighting. As with so much of the boy’s Civil War service, the exactly role of Robert, William, Duncan, and David Croy in this controversial march remains unknown.

“They had enjoyed a fine march, having had but little resistance. The stories of the mock Legislature at the State capital, of the luxurious supplies enjoyed all along, and of the constant fun and pranks of “Sherman’s bummers,” rather belonged to that route than ours.” Major General of the Army of the Tennessee, Oliver O. Howard[i]
Sherman's Army removing ammunition from Fort McAllister in Savannah by Samuel A. Cooley

Sherman’s Army removing ammunition from Fort McAllister in Savannah by Samuel A. Cooley

On December 21, 1864, after an 11-day siege, Sherman’s army marched into Savannah. The troops again busied themselves either destroying or confiscating the city’s resources. Meanwhile, the ranks needed replenishing. New volunteers came south over a rough and circuitous route. One of the new members traveling to join up with 92nd, Company G was Calvin Croy.[ii]

Again taking the left flank, Slocum’s army moved north following Confederate General Johnston. At Bentonville, North Carolina, on March 19, 1864, the Confederate forces doubled back, surprising them. They fought through the night and nearly lost their position. In the end, Sherman sent reinforcements and Johnston retreated. They joined forces in Goldsboro and Sherman honored Slocum’s army with its official title, “Army of Georgia.”

On the way to Raleigh, on April 12, 1865, Sherman issued a major message. Lee had surrendered at Appomattox! Image the celebration of the five Croy brothers left in the war. Image the joy in Fairfield Township where their wives, children, parents, and brothers waited, one who was recovering from war wounds. The words of Major General Slocum, written some 20 years after the event, might capture the emotion.

“Thoughts of meeting wives, children, and friends from whom they had been so long separated by the bloody struggle, occupied the minds of all. A happier body of men never before surrounded their campfires than were to be found along the roads leading to Raleigh.”[iii]

Then another event required a second message from Sherman. On the way to negotiate the surrender of Johnston, he learned of the assassination of President Lincoln. Under this veil of sorrow, the troops marched to Washington, D.C., burying soldiers left from earlier battles on the way.

The five Croy brothers participated in the Grand Review on May 24, 1865, the last great event of the war. In Slocum’s words, it was not the cavalry or mounted generals that won the greatest applause, but the rank and file soldiers, lovingly called “bummers,” who earned the audience’s greatest admiration.

“At the review the men appeared “in their native ugliness” as they appeared on the march through Georgia and the Carolinas. Their pack- mules and horses, with rope bridles or halters, laden with supplies such as they had carried on the march, formed part of the column.” [iv]

Next post: The aftermath

Note: Excellent resource with many primary sources http://www.armyofgeorgia.com

[i] Howard, Oliver O., Major-General, United States Army, Shermans advance from Atlanta. In Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Vol. 4, Century Magazine, New York: Thomas Yoseloff, Inc., 1887, 663-666. (quote from P 164)
http://www.armyofgeorgia.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/howard_shermans_advance.pdf
[ii] NARA. U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 (Ancestry.com) T288_105, also Martin R. Andrews, edited and compiled, History of Marietta and Washington county, Ohio and representative citizens, Vol. 1 (Biographical Pub. Co., Chicago, 1902) pg 755-756 https://openlibrary.org/books/OL6573096M (Includes interesting accounts of each Ohio regiments service from the perspective of the late 1800’s.)
[iii] Slocum, H. W., Major-General, United States Volunteers. Final operations of Shermans Army. In Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Vol. 4, Century Magazine, New York: Thomas Yoseloff, Inc., 1887, 754-758. (quote from p 755) http://www.armyofgeorgia.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/slocum_final_operations.pdf
[iv] Ibid quote from p 758

Seven Brothers and the War of Rebellion: Part Three

Transport on the Tennessee River Taylor & Huntington

Transport on the Tennessee River
Taylor & Huntington

Imagine your 16-year-old son telling you that he is going to war. He can stand aside no longer, not while his brother fights in a war consuming the Nation. What do you say or do? If you are Jacob and Margaret Croy, it seems, you send your eldest son along to protect him. You are family. Duncan Croy, age 16, signed up for the war on the same day as his brother Robert, age 28. They volunteered for a three-year term in the 92nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company G, on August 5, 1862. Greer gave his age as 18. All death, census, and supporting data show his age to be sixteen at the time.[i] Robert, who would muster out as corporal, now had three children between the ages of six and two.

Now imagine these two are your brothers who are joining with another brother already serving in this historic conflict. Do you stay behind? You are young, idealistic, and you are family. William Croy, aged 25, enlisted with the same company in the 92nd only four days later, August 9, 1862. Like brothers Robert and Greer, he would muster out as a corporal. David Croy joined, at 20 years of age, on August 15, 1862. Within a ten-day period, they had all joined the war. Now only Calvin and Nathan stayed home to help their parents and watch after the families of William and Robert. [ii]

The 92nd proceeded to Gallipolis, Ohio for training with Austrian rifled muskets. By October they moved into the Kanawha Valley and into the brigade of General George Crook. With him was Greer Croy, serving in the 36th OVI.

Now the story of five brothers joins, briefly and dramatically. All five brothers now were serving in the war under the same General but in different regiments. They were dispatched by Ohio River transport to Nashville, Tennessee and then on to Carthage. In the two months spent in Carthage, they buried more than 90 men to disease.

In June they headed through endless rain to Big Springs, Tennessee. Here General John Turchin took command. A colorful and portly immigrant from Hungary, he would lead the brothers successfully through the next infamous campaign. First, though he would secure “green corn, blackberries, and fresh vegetables, speedily [eradicate] all traces of scurvy and disease contracted at Carthage…” [iii] His wife, Nadine, who followed him in battle, supported his efforts.

by Alfred Edwards Mathews

by Alfred Edwards Mathews

By September of 1863 the Army of the Cumberland had arrived in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The battles along the Georgia/Tennessee line loomed before them, ones that would tip the scale of the war.

Note: Copyright free photos from Library of Congress Prints and Photographs www.loc.gov/pictures

Next: the 36th OVI and the 92nd OVI in the Battle of Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge.

[i] 1860 U.S. census, Fairfield, Washington, Ohio; Roll: M653_1048; Page: 124 Image: 251; Family History Library Film: 805048 from NARA microfilm publication accessed through ancestry.com also 1850, 1870, 1880, 1900. 1910, and death cert.
[ii] Roster Commission by authority of General Assembly, Official roster of the soldiers of the state of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866, Volume 9 (Cincinnati: The Ohio Valley Pub. & Mfg. Co., 141 and 143 Race St., 1886) Books. Google.com
[iii] Martin R. Andrews, edited and compiled, History of Marietta and Washington county, Ohio and representative citizens, Vol. 1 (Biographical Pub. Co., Chicago, 1902) pg 692 https://openlibrary.org/books/OL6573096M
Includes interesting accounts of each Ohio regiments service from the perspective of the late 1800’s.

Researching New Haven—and a few general hints, as well

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Inside Map with scrolling

Early sketch of New Haven. Repository Yale University

My upcoming novel, The Forging of Frost, is set in 17thcentury New Haven Colony so I decided to look back at the catalyst for that novel, the family research I did on my New Haven ancestors.I am, after all, the real life version of the fictional Maggie found in my books.

I was surprised to find only one postWhy?

Well, there just aren’t many resources available, but they are extraordinarily comprehensive.Here’s what I discovered, and along the way I’ve added some hints, whether you’re doing New Haven research or not.

Hint #1: Always determine where the person(s) you are researching lived and go to FamilySearch.org.

Input the place name to search their research wiki for an overview of all available resources and the catalog to discover their library’s digital resources. I didn’t always do this and would go on random search adventures. But why?

And never think your done. While testing this article, I reviewed the resources in their catalogand found this in the Abstracts of the early probate records of New Haven compiled by Winifred S. Alcorn. Screen Shot 2018-07-15 at 1.40.00 PM

Typical of New England colonies in general, most of the New Haven information comes from copious records kept by documentation-conscious church leadership. Later, the minutes of town and colony, as well as church vital records, were unified into book form by early historians (before those three to four-hundred year old records turned to dust or were ruined by constant exposure). So what’s available?

Colonial Records: in this case the online and searchable archive.org versions.

I love these records—my book, after all, fictionalizes a handful of trials found inside. The volumes unveil New Haven’s development, dilemmas, and ultimate demise in a moment by moment manner. Included in the meeting notes are a host of family names. Some parts of the transcribed volumes are redacted due to what the editor sensitivity to what he deemed offensive content. The unredacted originals are housed in the Connecticut State Library archives.

Hint: archive.org books (digitalized by numerous contributors) are searchable.

Just make sure you use the format that looks like a book and click the magnifier to the right. (When hovered over, it says “search inside.”) Use all the possible spellings. In my case, “Payne” and “Paine” provided results, as did “Payen” in other works.

Town Records:I’ve found these extremely useful, but you usually have to work for them. FamilySearch.org has a range of them on line, but they aren’t usually searchable. Except by you—one page at a time. Luckily, a transcript of New Haven’s town records is available through archives.org.

Hint: A good sense of the time frame in which your ancestor inhabited the town helps narrow your search.

Town records include tidbits not available in the colonial records, and if your ancestors moved within the colony, research every town.

Local Town Genealogies:I’m speaking of the genealogies compiled from town vitals and other records not easily accessed, not books produced by descendants or gathered from residents for town histories that include biographies based on recollection. They are less reliable. Regardless:

New Haven has an excellent and comprehensive eight-volume set of early family records.

  • Families of Ancient New Haven, Volumes 1-8,compiled by Donald Lines Jacobus, C.D. Smith, Rome, New York, 1923. While some of the volumes are available through archives.org, the most comprehensive and searchable version is through Ancestry.com $$

Hint: Always, always, check the front pages of compiled records for ABBREVIATIONS.

Screen Shot 2018-07-14 at 9.29.09 AM

Sample of abbreviations found at beginning of Ancient Families of New Haven

Don’t just guess at them. Some useful information might be over looked if you don’t know their meanings. Note the example. All of the records in Volume 6 of Families of Ancient New Haven for Samuel Payne, my 4x great grandfather, have an F by them, indicating the author drew the information from family records. (Refer to the hint below!)

Local Histories:Two examples I read on New Haven included the following searchable books found at archives.org.

Hint: Be very careful with town, county, and descendant genealogy/history books, for while they may contain information that sends you down fruitful paths, you must verify through other sources.

Historical Societies and Museums:Some are excellent repositories; some aren’t repositories at all. Some provide their resources on-line; some require a visit.

Hint: If you plan a visit, check out when they’re open.

I did, but no rearranging of my travel schedule got me to New Haven on the right day. Still, a place like the one below is wonderful about returning e-mails and helping with research, so ASK. New Haven’s best bet?

So, whether you’re searching for ancient ancestors in New Haven, New England or further afield—or just want to know more about the history of a place—check FamilySearch.org resources, use the magic of archive.org digitalized books, go deep, and keep looking.

Do you have other hints or ideas for research? Let me know in comments!

Finding Father: Ralph Lewis Croy

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artifacts

The folder contained a pile of paper my father saved. The contents provide a glimpse into the life of a fine father, Ralph Lewis Croy. My brother gave me the file a couple years ago for an obvious reason. I’m the historian for the family. It’s a curious phenomenon. I hold together a family history for an independent, often distant, family. But we are, I discovered, after opening his folder, shoots not far from their roots. Dad did not keep everything—no random terrible artwork, no diary—he wasn’t that kind of guy. But what he kept provides a roadmap to his life.

Obviously, he kept his birth certificate. He was born at 9th and Moore Street (no hospital involved) in Henrietta, Oklahoma. Henrietta was always the place where he said he “grew up.”

that old gang of mine

This picture was a favorite of his. He labeled it “that old gang of mine.” He is bottom center. They are holding sticks for a game of hockey, I think.

But when the Great Depression hit in 1929, his dad lost his foreman position in a coal mine in Henrietta, and the family was forced to move. He often told me he planned to go to college at Alabama State, maybe even on a basketball scholarship. He was always athletic. His dreams were dashed and his father got a job as a miner in Spiro, Oklahoma.

 

He kept his high school diploma. He graduated from Spiro High School on May 16, 1931, with 19 others classmates. He likely knew none of them well.

Spiro High School

Dad wrote right on the photos. It drove Mom nuts, but, hey, it’s pretty clear, right?

 

There is no record of what he did during the next four years. The most impactful period in my dad’s life, based on the stories he told, was when he road the rails out to see his brother, Muriel, in San Francisco. I’ve never been able to pinpoint when he lived his “hobo” life. This is one possibility but I don’t think Muriel live in San Francisco at the time. A paper from the file that Dad typed up outlining his work life (in an attempt to get social security benefits) gives 1937 as his first work year, but he had forgotten about the following service.

He kept his release papers for his service with the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC’s) in Oklahoma. He worked in Pine Valley, Oklahoma from June 25, 1935, through December 1, 1935, as a truck driver in road construction. The CCC’s, formed in 1933 as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, was in full swing by 1935, employing a half-million men across the country. During his six-month stint, Dad sent a total allotment of $25 home to his father Justus Croy, care of general delivery, Spiro, Oklahoma.

No records exist for 1936. From my father’s stories, I know Justus Croy and family traveled up through Colorado, working along the way. By the first of 1937 my dad, if not the rest of the family, was in Farson, Wyoming.

He kept a letter dated January 14, 1937, from the regional director of the Department of Interior, Department of Grazing. “Dear Friend Ralph, As I was interested to know, at my recent visit to Farson, of your progress in Engineering, I have taken the “liberty” to list your name with the R. Hardesty Mfg. Co, and they will send you their Handbook on Hydraulic Data, which I trust will be beneficial to you…” I had always thought his studies began by “mail” after his time in the US Army Air Force. I was wrong. His interest in engineering began as early as age 25.

He kept his CCC release papers for his service in Wyoming. He worked in Farson, Wyoming from May 6, 1937, through September 30, 1937, doing clerical work with the CCC’s and was paid $45 (no allotment sent).  He gave the address 1016 Lee St, Rock Springs, Wyoming for any further correspondence.

He kept a Union Pacific Coal Company Certificate of First-aid Training for “Aid to the Injured” dated 1939, the recipient: ‘Ralph Lewis Croy of Reliance, Wyoming.” According to his typed work record, he worked for Union Pacific Coal Company in Rock Springs, Wyoming from 1938-1940.  My brother recalls the story he told of how he walked off the job after seeing a man, one of many, injured in a mining accident, never again to work in the coal industry. His uncle Gardner had been electrocuted in a mining accident in 1920. Four years after he left Union Pacific Coal, his uncle David died in a landslide while working coal.

He kept a letter of recommendation dated August 29, 1942, from contractors Radich and Brown of Oakland, California. He worked for them as a transit man at the Oakland Naval Supply Depot. The letter stated: “It is our experience that his integrity is beyond reproach.” According to his typed record, he worked for contractors in Oakland from 1940- October 10, 1942.  I know my uncle, Muriel Croy, worked in construction in the San Francisco area at this time, so Dad likely followed Muriel there after walking away from Union Pacific Coal. There is a discrepancy. It is more likely he moved to Oakland in early 1941. Why? He, with his father and his mother Mollie, are listed in the same household on the 1940 census. His father Justus Croy died of emphysema (black lung) on December 13, 1940.

He kept his discharge papers from the US Army Air Force. He enrolled on October 30, 1942, in San Francisco, CA. He listed his civilian occupation surveyor and his home address 5016 Calaveras Ave, Oakland, CA. He trained at Bombsight School at Lowry Field in California as a Bombsight Mechanic. On February 11, 1946, he separated from Squadron C, 2619th Army Air Force Base Unit at Indiantown Gap Mile Reservation, Pennsylvania. He had married my mother Hattie Beatrice Schulz on August 4, 1944.

dad and dog

Always wondered exactly when they were in Carlsbad, NM. No doubt now.

 

He kept the March 27, 1946, letter he received from US Bureau of Reclamation Construction Engineer, O.G. Boden. “There is a vacancy in the position of Engineering Aide (Survey, SP-6), $2320 per annum, with headquarters in Antioch, California. This work will include operation of instruments of field survey party engaged in location and property surveys for the Contra Costa Canal System. Please advise at your earliest convenience if you are interested in employment in the above position.” He became a permanent employee with the Bureau on March 9, 1947, and I was born October 18, 1947, in Pittsburg.

Of course, there is more to the story, the stuff of another post. What I write here is about one file. The artifacts my dad saved help us trace his movement through time and place with exacting detail. He loved history, of his family and his nation. He preserved the remnants of it.

I often wonder why I do what I do: the blog, the historical fiction, the research, the amassing of artifacts. Not because my family reads these missives, if they do, which I doubt. I do it for love of Dad. I do it for me. I spring from his roots, where the past is forever present.

Happy Fathers Day, Dad—and thank you.

 

 

Be Open to What You Don’t Know…in Genealogy, in Writing, in Life.

gear-butterfly-1447330_1280I haven’t posted anything for a while, but not for lack of research or ideas…just busy with it all. Over the past month I have been both working with Huston family researcher, RBryant, and the chair of the First Families of Ohio, Margaret Cheney. Each communication with these two women required many hours in which to analyze and reassess my work. Both women challenged my thinking, heightened my efforts, and became the catalyst to this post and my New Year’s resolution:

Be open to what I don’t know, accept when I don’t know it, and make sure I admit it; what I don’t know opens me to discovery and growth.

Okay, it’s much too long for a resolution…so let’s go for four.

  1. Be open to what I don’t know. My writing may not hit the mark; my understanding of a life circumstance may be circumspect, or research information unknown to me before might appear.

For example, RBryant approached her research from a different family line; she used surname analysis and DNA information to build her conclusions. The collision of my research and hers put new light on old assumptions. Please, if you are in any way interested in the Huston line, read her compelling argument here, https://boards.ancestry.com/surnames.houston/2902/mb.ashx. It outlines why the old assumptions regarding Andrew Huston Sr., Bedford, PA may be incorrect. And if you are a male descendant of Alexander, Edward, or Robert Huston please contact her and get that DNA test. It will help in her research. Her argument led to some changes in my family tree, so check it out! (Remember, it is a compelling and well-constructed argument, not fact. Unfortunately the dearth of 18th century and earlier documentation make undisputable proof highly unlikely.)

The very construct of a family tree makes it dangerously susceptible to assumptions. A blank or the word “unknown” screams for closure. We want to put something on the line for parent or birth or death or place. We want to provide the familial connection of all those same surnamed individuals living in one place. It is human nature. We like our world packaged and tied with a bow.

While I worked with RBryant on the Huston family line in Bedford County, and with Margaret Cheney, I came across some familial assumptions in my family tree passed from other researchers. I knew they were assumptions particularly regarding female relationships, but I stuck them there without explanation. In the process I also noticed some casual calculations (ie average rather than range) and calculated dates not marked as such or referenced. This year I will update my family trees to reflect what I know (and DON’T KNOW) more accurately and, as I do, I will post a link to the new pages with an explanation of my corrections. I have also put this disclaimer on each of my family pages:

“This material is constantly under construction and errors may exist. Please, search my postings and always research beyond them to confirm and verify information, PARTICULARLY anything before 1790 because with ever greater distance in time less information of a more tenuous nature exists.”

Why? Because no one is perfect (big surprise)—a segue to the next part of my resolution.

  1. Accept when I don’t know. It’s okay not to know, either what is true, what to do, what is best, how to help, or how to proceed—in life, in writing, in genealogy. Facts are unforgiving; theory is more forgiving; conjecture and assumptions…well…then you just don’t know.

I can happily announce nine Huston/Oswalt/Croy/Pugh ancestors have been approved for First Families of Ohio. They are Alexander Huston (confirmed entry to Ohio 1799 before Ohio became a state), Jacob Croy, Sr (1805), Mary Huston Croy Roberts (1807), Jacob Oswalt (1805), Sarah Huston Oswalt (1805), Andrew Croy (1810), Susannah Oswalt Croy (1810), Jacob Croy, Jr (1810), and Margaret Pugh Croy (1813). This was no small feat. A number of triangulated proofs were required. I was sure my application was perfect…and it was rejected. My hackles went up; I knew my research was right, and my knowing threw up a barrier to my learning.

Oh, what I didn’t know! Luckily, my resolution already glimmered inside me. I stepped back and considered that I might not KNOW everything, got humble, and learned. (Boy, this sounds pretty deplorable in print but…skip to “make sure I admit it…”) I read the instructions incorrectly, and without going into detail, my application was a mess. Thankfully, Margaret Cheney, the chairperson, worked through everything with me, took it upon herself to check this web site, and with some effort on my part, gave her stamp of approval. So, that leads to the next point in my resolution.

  1. Make sure I admit what I don’t know. Have you ever not known something and, rather than admit it, stood back and watched until you got the gist of it? Or did you ever want so much for something to be true that you adjusted your “facts” or “truths” to make it fit your desire? Maybe you are better than all that…but I’ve caught myself a few times! So, I resolve to gift others and myself by admitting my weaknesses right off. As my husband has taught me, it’s the way of a quality apprentice. So, while an argument for or against a proposition may ring true, I will attempt to present the argument to which I lean, but not present it as fact. I will ask for help when I just don’t know. I will listen.
  2. Finally, why is it important? Because what I don’t know opens me to discovery and growth. Every time I take a breath, lower my barriers, and exposed myself to the possibility of NOT knowing, doors of wonder open. I grow as a human being, become more tolerant and understanding— and I learn things.

So, bless you all in this New Year. I don’t know what the year will bring, but I am ready. I will be open to what I don’t know, accept that I don’t know, admit out loud (or in print) that I don’t know, and embrace the knowledge and discovery that comes from doing so. Because a year of grow is in the wind—whether I know it or not.

Throwback Thursday: Emily Gassage Croy, wife of Robert Croy

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Emily Croy 2Most lives aren’t fairy tales; some less than others. Emily Gassage Croy was born in Jefferson County either in 1835 (death record)[i] or January 1838 (gravestone)[ii]. She married Robert Croy in Coshocton County, Ohio on the same day as her brother Samuel married Mary Croy, Robert’s sister, 27 March 1854. [iii]

Robert bought property in Coshocton County in 1853[iv] but by 1860[v] they moved to where his brother William lived near Cutler, Ohio in Washington County. Robert, a carpenter by trade, joined Union Army in 1862. Here is the information from the “Rolls” interview soon after the war.[vi]

“Robert Croy, son of Jacob & Margaret Croy was born in Carrol [sic] Co O March 25th 1832. Sent from Fairfield in Co “G” 92nd O.V.I. Aug. 5th 1862 Was never sick to be in Hosp. or wounded or prisoner–Took part in all the regimental actions. Was discharged with his Co near Washington D.C. June 10th 1865. Married & has four children. Stanton b. ca. 1856, Joanna b. ca 1858, Rhoda b. ca 1860 and ?”

More on his war history here.

Tragedy struck soon after the war. Robert, Emily’s husband, came home with severe hearing loss. Coping with his frustrations, while caring for four children, Stanton, Joanna, Rhoda, and Lorrain (born just before he left for duty), Emily took ill in 1870 as did her youngest daughter. Lorrain died 19 February 1870 at 7 years 7 months. Emily died 14 April 1870.[vii]

Robert’s life maintained its tragic trajectory. Robert married Mary Aikens Nelson on 23 March 1871[viii] less than a year after his wife’s death. They had a son, Arthur. It was a troubled, contentious marriage. Out of his deafness and obstinacy (as his wife reported), or because of her daughter’s loose behavior and dislike of him (as he reported), no one can know.[ix] But we do know his son Stanton drowned, likely in the Ohio River, in Belfre, Ohio on 16 July 1874. The boy was 18 years 5 months 12 days old.[x] Facing the death of three loved ones within four years (not including his father and brother), as well as living in a world of limited communication, might sour a man. He lived, moving through the years from his daughter’s home to his sister’s home, until he died 23 March 1908.[xi]

robert obit

[i] “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 22 July 2015), Washington County, Death Records, 1867-1908, image 62 of 492; county courthouse, Ohio. [calculated]
[ii] Emily Croy, Decatur Presbyterian Cemetery, Veto Road, Washington County, Ohio [calculated]
[iii] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” Database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-22512-85444-76?cc=1614804 : accessed 24 June 2015), Coshocton > Marriage licenses 1837-1854 > image 17 of 71; county courthouses, Ohio.
[iv] Coshocton County Court House, 4 Oct 1853, Grantee: Jacob & Robert Croy; Grantor Andrew G. Woods Vol 30, pg 298
[v] 1860 US Census; Census Place: Rose, Washington County, Ohio;
[vi] Handwritten Roll of Honor document, compiled by Charles Strong Perry, 1865, Washington County Public Library, History and Genealogical Archive, 418 Washington St., Marietta, OH. Fairfield Township, pg 7.
[vii] See “i” above
[viii] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” Database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-22512-85444-76?cc=1614804 : accessed 24 June 2015), Coshocton > Marriage licenses 1837-1854 > image 17 of 71; county courthouses, Ohio.
[ix] Soldier’s Certificate No. 679496, Robert Croy, Corporal, Company G, 92nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry; Case Files of Approved Pension applications of Veternans Who Served in the Army and Navy Mainly in the Civil War and the War with Spain (Civil War and Later Survivors’ Certificates), 1861-1934; Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, National Archives, Washington, DC
[x] “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” Washington County, Death Records, 1867-1908, pg 104 #2266
[xi] Robert Croy Obituary; March 23, 1908 , Marietta Daily Times ,page 1, column 5; Washington Co. Public Library, Local History and Genealogy Dept, 418 Washington St., Marietta, OH.