Genealogy and Vacations

I'm a member of New England Historic Genealogical Society and today received an issue of the publication sent to members. In one article one of the directors in NEHGS tells how she enjoys hearing how people get into genealogy. She tells one man's story of the influence his father had been in sparking his interest. His father lost many family members and subsequently this caused the desire to learn more about his family. The son remembers his father working at the kitchen table at night typing notes onto three-ring sheets. But this is the fun part (My Children, take note.)
"My father planned so many family trips around his research," Bob recalled, that "until I was a teenager, I assumed everyone's vacation included a visit to a cemetery."
Don't they??? Too funny! And I do think it's interesting--and I tell this to people who wonder if my kids are interested in genealogy, too--that when we went to Harper's Ferry for its historical interest, my kids asked if we were going to go to the cemetery there. Harper's Ferry is a town built into a rocky hillside and the cemetery is at the top! I told the kids, "Well we don't have anyone buried here." And they wanted to go anyway. They did think it fun to find Mr. Harper buried there, although my recollection is that he either died soon after arriving there. Even though we visited purely for historical reasons (although certainly the case could easily be made that genealogy would also be "historical reasons"), there is a place in the town section that is marked as being the location of the store where Meriwether Lewis purchased some items for the Lewis and Clark Expedition. We are related to Meriwether Lewis, although I don't know exactly what cousin and how many times removed we are because I don't have him entered into my genealogy program.

Newspaper Finds of the Day




My latest request for microfilm for the Clarksville Star from Clarksville, Iowa came in today. June 6 1878: Married, by Elder J. W. Moore, at the residence of H.F.L. Burton, n this place, June 3, 1878, Mr. A. L. Van Hoesen and Miss Carrie, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Burton. Like all young people, who start out right in life, they kindly remembered the printer. May their ways be ways of pleasantness and all their paths be peace. (A.L. (Albertus Louis Van Hoesen and Carrie Burton are my great-great grandparents and the one mentioned below regarding finding his Civil War records)






October 3, 1878: HOUSE BURNED.--On Thursday evening last, just about dusk, the house of R.C. Van Hoesen, about 3 1/2 miles northwest of town, was discovered to be on fire. The fire was first seen issuing from the gable by Wells, who was a few rods distant. He at once rushed to the rescue, and with the aid of his parents and wife succeeded in saving most or the contents below, but a greater portion of the waring apparel and bedding was up stairs and went with the house, which was totally destroyed. The fire is supposed to have caught from some flaw in the Chimney between the ceiling and roof. There was a small insurance. (R.C. Van Hoesen was Albertus's father and therefore my great-great-great grandfather)








April 10, 1879: Burt Van Hoesen is the happy pa of a boy. (Burt is Albertus and the "boy" is my great-grandfather Robert Lucky Van Hoesen)

Civil War Ancestors

Today I got military record packages from the National Archives for two of my ancestors, Albertus L. Van Hoesen and Henry Hunt. Albertus joined up in early 1864 when he was 17 and was injured near Washington D.C. November 26, 1864. Their regiment was fighting at the battle at Fairfax Courthouse that exact day. His job is given as a "saddler" so I don't know if that means he didn't fight in battles or not. Henry Hunt was part of the following regiment for it's entire existence and so fought in many well-known battle including the infamous one where Stonewall Jackson got killed (by friendly fire, so certainly not by Great-great-grandpa Hunt.) The following list of regiment movement comes from a neat website produced by the National Park Service that allows searches for soldiers and also gives the regimental history. 136th Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry Organized at Harrisburg August, 1862. Moved to Washington, D. C., August 29, and duty there till September 29. Moved to Fort Frederick, Md., thence to Sharpsburg. Attached to 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 1st Army Corps. Army of the Potomac. Duty at Sharpsburg, Md., till October 30. Movement to Falmouth, Va., October 30-November 19. Battle of Fredericksburg, Va., December 12-15. Burnside's 2nd Campaign, "Mud March," January 20-24, 1863. Duty at Falmouth and Belle Plains till April 27. Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6. Operations at Pollock's Mill Creek April 29-May 2. Fltzhugh's Crossing April 29-30. Battle of Chancellorsville May 2-5. Mustered out May 29, 1863. Now to await the pension records.....stay tuned.


Here's a photo of my dad, compliments of my sister Debbie, at about age 1. dadkanepa


I have two ancestors, father and son, for whom I have not gotten any definitive information about where and when they died. Often a genealogist can be on the track of one of the children from whom she is descended and thus lose sight of the fact that she doesn't know what happened to the parents. But there's a certain level of "closure", to use a popular term, in knowing when and where the person's life ended. Last night I was perusing documents at which is a fabulous new site with digitized documents from the NARA (National Archives and Records Administration). NARA would like to get materials digitized, but can't afford to do so, so has stepped up and is digitizing the records and supporting their endeavors through subscription. One can peruse the site without a subscription, but I like to think that I'm helping in the effort to get the records available. I was looking for the father of this pair and because I was running the search through all the databases came up with his grandfather (I think--there were four generations with the first name of Gerrit, the last was the brother of my ancestor, Robert Van Hoesen) whose records appear for the Revolutionary War. I limited the search to the Civil War database and did not find Robert Van Hoesen (which is tricky, too, because the name is often spelled creatively), but did find his son Albertus who is the son from whom I am descended. I thought Albertus was too young to have fought in the Civil War. I found the index card for his records. The bottom of the card gave the date and place of his death! It was a place I had suspected he had died, so eventually I would have found him. Here is a photo of him just a year or so before he died. He's the older man in the middle. Blogs are nice in that I can talk about things like this and if you're bored, you just don't have to read it.:-) We recently had a guest in our home who knew about his family history enough to know the immigrant ancestor bearing his surname. I whipped on over to New England Historic and Genealogical Society, of which I am a member, and accessed a very nice file on his immigrant ancestor and printed it off for him. I was very impressed that this young man knew that information and was very accurate in details that he did know. See what you can look forward to when you come to visit?