Monday, March 19, 2012

My American Story & Vintage Family Records

Happy Monday Friends...
Looking outside this morning, we are blanketed in snow.
A weekend storm blew through, which left us looking like
a winter wonderland. This winter has been mild though, so I can't
complain, but as soon as I finish writing this post I've got to get
busy & start SHOVELING!!! Can I get an

If you follow me with any regularity, you already know I change from
one addiction to another in the blink of an eye. So for now, bye bye
soldering, Facebook & Pinterest & hello!

I've been really enjoying the NBC show sponsored by,
After watching a few of these episodes, they had me hooked & I
wanted to find out as much as I could about my heritage
& where I came from.

Luckily for me, my family has always talked about our history, so
I had a lot of information to start out with. I KNEW my Great-
Grandmother Grace, I stayed with her in Illinois for 2 months one
summer after my freshmen year. When my daughter was born,
we took a five generation picture. Not many people can say that
& I feel very blessed to have known her & loved her.

I had also spent some time on Ancestry a few years back & already had
many of the basics I needed for my research. So now I just needed
to sit down & do the work, connect the dots &
follow the yellow brick road.

My main goal was to find a relative that fought in the Revolutionary War.
I have always wanted to be a DAR, but I never expected to find almost
every line on my father's Brewer side, leading me back to the English Colonies
& then straight back to England. There is even a parish there near the
town of Chard called Isle Brewers...I mean come on now, that's COOL! 

I was excited to find the Pension filed by my fifth great-grandfather
for fighting during The Battle of 1812.

I knew we had Civil War connections, but I could never
quite pin it down to who & to what side we fought for.
Now I know & so continues, My American Story.

My third Great~Grandfather William was born in Washington County,Virginia.
He fought in the Civil War on the side of the confederates in the
Virginia Militia & was a part of the Battle of Knoxville.

His son John, my second Great~Grandfather married Estella Spenny, who's
father & uncle were born in Illinois & fought for the Union in the Civil War.
Stephen & William Spenny spent 3 years in the Illinois 2nd Battery.

So, my Great, Great Grandpa John's dad was a confederate &
my Great, Great Grandma Stella's dad was a federalist
& they fell in love & married & had children,
that lead right here to me.

Truly an American Story...

& looking at all the hero's in my family tree, including my Father,
a reminder that, Freedom does NOT come Free!

I hope you enjoy these images of vintage Family Records,
all found through The Library of Congress.
How appropriate, right!

For me, doing this kind of research is like being the family detective.
Hunting down clues, looking for confirmation on a hunch
& sometimes, chasing ghosts.

But I am the keeper of the past...
the holder of the archives...
the memory of a family.

It's what I do,
it's what I've always done.

I look to the future in the hope that another generation will
follow me & find value in these things, as I do. That they too
will want to know more about where they came from &
will continue to tell the stories of our American Family.
Maybe they will even remember a distant grandmother who's
great, great grandparents were the children of men who
fought in the Civil War for the North & the South,
proving that in the end, we are all just American's.



Cynthia said...

Loved the images of the Family records - so pretty!
My sister traced our family heritage a couple years ago, with similar results to yours. My mother had a Yankee grandfather and a Confederate grandfather! Plus, she traced my Dad's side back to England, a 1632 birthdate.

Alice said...

Me too, me too! What a fascinating story. I love hearing about ancestors, even if they are not my own. I've been on and off with, searching for my grandfathers roots, and having a difficult time of it. They used nicknames a lot, and important dates were not always recorded accurately. I was just about to give up and cancel my pricey membership when the new season of Who Do You Think You Are came on and gave me a renewed interest.

A question for you: what happens to a family tree if you cancel the membership? Can one still view it, or does it completely go away?

Can you give a desperat girl some hints on finding family members? I'm at my wits end.

Thanks so much for sharing!

Creations By Cindy said...

Enjoyed this post so much today! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

peggy aplSEEDS said...

lovely images and so interesting to find out about your family tree!