Mystery Monday

I chose the Mystery Monday blogging prompt for today because I’ve spent quite a bit of time over the last few weeks trying to find William Smith’s Confederate military records.  But first, the facts:

  • Born:  About 1822 in Montgomery County
  • Died:  after 1880
  • Married:  Sarah Strother
  • He’s my 3rd great-grandfather via:
    • his son, Jones Monroe Smith
    • his son, Joseph Jones Smith
    • his son
    • his daughter, Katherine Jean Smith

According to my cousin Helen Smith Crepps in the Montgomery County Heritage Book, Volume  I, he 

enlisted in CA at Brunswick on August 29, 1863.  he served in the 3rd Co G 40th regiment state troops, stationed at bald head island, near fort fisher, where his troop aided blockade runners and made soap and other supplies for the confederate army

According to my papa Nelson,

he enlisted late, about time war was over, was sent to Bald Head Island to make soap to clean things up, like dysentery and such.  At some point the Union surrounded them, his captain said every man for himself and he took off through the swamp barefoot.  He walked all the way home, barefoot, and they got after him saying he would be considered a deserter so he went back.  By the time he got back, the war was pretty much over.

Helen says that in October 1864, his troop was sent to Fort Fischer and told to escape if possible.

My inexperience with confederate records has really put me at a disadvantage.  I finally found a record of a William Smith who did indeed enlist in August of 1863.  This William was on roll until October 1864.  But, there’s nothing to tie him to my William.

At points like this, I really wonder what I’m missing.

Sources:

1940 Census x 2

I was super excited, like most people, to see all of the 1940 census records.  I even worked to transcribe many for Family Search.  In looking for records for my grandparents this past week, I came back across the 1940 census for his family.  Or at least I thought I though I had come across it again.  Instead, I found a second census record for the Fred H. Morris family.

I’m not sure what to make of it.  At first, I thought someone had uploaded a second copy in error.  But as I looked at the record, the names are different.  Even my family has a variation!  For the most part, the information is the same.  I do wonder why my grandparents appear twice.

Fred Morris Family, 194 census, Sheet 2b

Fred Morris Family, 194 census, Sheet 2b

Fred Morris Family, 194 census, Sheet 4a

Fred Morris Family, 194 census, Sheet 4a

Four Ancestors Ago–Boston Miller Robertson (52 Ancestors Week 2)

Boston Miller Roberston has turned out to be a much bigger puzzle than I had anticipated.  I can’t find any information on him regarding his Civil War activities beyond the Application for Headstone.  Evidently, when his son, Roy, applied for the headstone, there was quite a bit of a problem finding him!  The application is a mess.  The original application was Boston Miller and the updated one was for B.M. which is what is on his headstone.  I contacted a fellow genealogist and Civil War buff for some help with Boston as I can’t find anything.  He had helped me find William Allen so I was very hopeful.  He couldn’t find ANYthing on Boston!  His exact statement was,

“How his family got him a CSA marker, I don’t know.”

He did find in the Pulaski Heritage Book that Boston was a nickname for Sebastion.  This was indeed news to me.  I hope to find out the writer came upon this tidbit of information.  I do find Boston on several censuses and each time he’s Boston or Boss, so I’m not inclined to put much merit into it thus far.

According to the headstone application, he served as a Private in Company K of the 23rd Virginia Infantry but that’s as far as I can get.  Oh, how I wish these slips of paper would tell all their handlers knew!

Boston is my husband’s 2nd great-grandfather.

  • Sources:
    • Martha Thomas Robertson
    • Robertson, Boston Miller 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920 US Federal Census
    • Robertson, Boston Miller, “US Headstone Application”
    • “Robertson/Robinson.”  Grose, S.  Pulaski County Heritage, 2003

Five Ancestors Ago–John William Elder (abt 1835 – aft 1910) (52 Ancestors #4)

Various people have listed John William Elder as being the son of Elizabeth and Alfred. I haven’t made the trip to Charlotte County to investigate the Elder clan yet, but I have done a fair amount of research via census data. John William Elder was born about 1835

By 1910, John W Elder is widowed and living with a cook and hired hand (Puse Adams and Julius Walker) amongst other Elders (Charles & Edward) and Ramseys (Elizah). He’s a survivor of the war.

In 1900, John is living with Mattie D and his mother-in-law in Madison, Charlotte County, Virginia. He’s 63 and a carpenter. He can read and write, and owns his farm, albeit mortgaged. Nearby live Robert, Joseph, Luther Elder. His wife Mattie D has 7 living children of 9 total. His mother-in-law has one of one. John and Mattie have been married 42 years.

In 1880, John is living in Madison, Charlotte County, Virginia with his wife and 6 sons. He and Mattie are 43 and residing with them are: Cabel, 20; John S, 14; Joseph W, 12; Leslie, 9; Luther, 7; Edward, 2. John is a Farmer.

In 1870, John, 34, is living with Martha, 33, Richard, 11, William, 9, John, 4, Joseph, 1. John is a Farmer with a total value of $300. Living next door is Elizah and Elizabeth Ramsey.

In 1850, there is a John aged 12 years living with Elizabeth Elder in Campbell County, Virginia. Also in the home are Elizabeth, 45, Alfred, 19, Carpenter, Burwell, 14, John 12, Lucy A, 10, Martha J. 8, Mary E. 6, and Richard 4. It is generally believed that this is John, his mother, and sibling. Names and ages fit.

This leads me to question where is John’s father and where were they all in 1860? Well, in 1860, we have Alfred and Elizabeth Elder living in Campbell County, Virginia. Also living with them are Joseph, 26, Catherine, 24, Martha 18, Mary 15, and Richard O 12. Alfred is a 55 year old laborer on a farm with a personal estate value of $50. He’s also noted to be a convict. Heading back to 1850, where Elizabeth is living alone in Campbell County? At the same time, there is an A. Elder in Richmond in jail for manslaughter. I haven’t found who he killed, but he’s served less than 10 years (or right at it)

Tracing forward again, I find an Elizabeth Elder living with Alexander and Mary E Little in 1880. At this time, Elizabeth is 76 and divorced. Also, in 1870, I find an Alfred Elder living with a black Pugh family in Charlotte, County, Virginia and in 1880 a divorced 75 year old Alfred Elder living alone in Campbell County, Virginia.

A trip to Charlotte County for some Elder research is definitely in the plan!

John William Elder is my husbands third great grandfather.

After the fact, I’ve added this to my 52 Ancestors challenge.  Just because I can.