Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What Grandmother Said?

I have a brick wall I’ve been chipping at for about 35 years, and I thought I’d run it by you:

My grandmother Ruby Reed left a hand-drawn family tree that indicated that her mother’s father (1822—1863) was killed in the Civil War.

So the only evidence that you have that your grandmother's mother's father was a Prosser is this family tree?  And some people of that surname in a later census found in the household of others?

Ruby’s mother was Rhoda Ruth Prosser, who was born in Hillsdale, Michigan in 1860.  Rhoda’s younger brother Charles was born about 1863, and their mother (also named Rhoda) remarried, to Henry Jones, in 1865.  I have not been able to find the Prossers on the 1860 census of Hillsdale, and of course by 1870 they are listed with Henry Jones. 

Where is Charles in 1870?

Although you do not mention Robin Wilsey in this post as the father of Rhoda Ruth, you state that is the case in your blog according to her death record. There is an R. Wilsey in the 1860 census in Michigan (Tuscola, Fremont, p. 27), with a wife Rhoda and a three-year-old daughter, Rhoda. Are you sure that this is not your family of interest. Rhoda, the daughter is born in Michigan, but it looks like they came from Canada just before 1858.
So one has to ask what the basis is for the assertion that Rhoda Ruth is born in Hillsdale, Michigan in 1860. Could it be that the Rhoda in the household of R. Wilsey in 1860 is this person?

If that I nos the case than Ruby Reed's mother's (Rhoda Jones) father would be a Wilsey, not a Prosser. Is is possible that Rhoda Wilsey, wife of R. Wilsey (aka Robin) remarried to a Prosser and that the man who died in the Civil War was Wilsey and her mother remarried a Prosser, only to marry Henry Jones at a later date prior to 1870?

It’s taken me a long time to learn of Rhoda Prosser Jones’ death (she was indeed hit by a train – or possibly murdered) in 1883, and even longer to understand that she would not have received a pension, because she had remarried. 

But her children under certain circumstances would have in the event of her marriage.
So, I have the Civil War pension records for every male Prosser who fought in a Michigan regiment during the Civil War.

In looking at the list of Michigan soldiers from Hillsdale county (on the Hillsdale US GenWeb), there is one Prosser – Lewis Prosser, who was 17 in (presumably) 1861.  That seems way too young, as Rhoda was about 30 when my great grandmother was born.

So, I have two questions:

1.        Would it be productive to explore the military records of all the Prossers from Michigan, who fought in the Civil War?  I’ve looked on Fold3, and they only have index cards.  According to the Civil War Soldiers & Sailors, there were 7 Prossers who fought from Michigan, and some of those names I recognize as being men I have pension records for.  For that matter, since Prosser is a fairly unusual name, maybe I should explore ALL Prossers who fought on the Union side!

I would focus on those who died in the war.

2.       And, since Prosser is an unusual name, it has occurred to me that perhaps my great-great-grandfather wasn’t alone in the state of Michigan, that perhaps he had brothers or cousins there as well.  And perhaps I should explore the families & ancestries of those other Prossers.  I’m doing a proof argument on Charles Prosser (who died in Chicago in 1910), and in arguing that the two Charles Prossers in Michigan during the right time period are not my great-grandmother’s brother, I’ve discovered that those other two Charles Prossers are actually related to each other – 2nd cousins.  AND, what is stranger still, all three Charles Prossers had sons named Earl.

So who was Earl?

I would also look at the Wilsey families in the area to the same depth, but believe because they were new to the area you might not find much.

So, any hints you could give me would be greatly appreciated!

My sense of this is that Robin Wilsey and Rhoda Wilsey of the 1860 census are the parents of your Rhoda.

That Rhoda Wilsey would married a Prosser prior to 1863 and have Charles.

That Rhoda would then marry Henry Jones. will will will will and will you will you as you is a you and a you a you

And then Henry would kill her, but that is just a guess.

Hope this helps.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Marine Corps Muster Roll Remarks

While researching U.S. Marine Corps records for a client, I located muster rolls noting that this ancestor was put on probation in early 1938 and spent several months “sick” [and hospitalized] before his last found record in January 1939.
The following discharge notes were included in that final muster roll.
“1, jd by S/Rs fr Bty C, 1st Bn, 10th Mar, 1st Mar Brig, FMF, Post. 1-17, con Post Prison awtg BCD. 18, jd in person. 18, BCD in pursuant of sent of SCM. Char Bad.”
 1, joined by Service/Records from Battery C, First Battalion, Tenth Marines, First Marine Brigade, Fleet Marine Force, Post 1 - 17, confined Post Prison awaiting Bad Conduct Discharge, 18, judged in person. 18, Bad Conduct Discharge in pursuant of sentence of Summary Court Martial. Character of Service: Bad
There is the possiblity that it is not a Summary Courts-martial, but a Special Courts-Martial. Today, under the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) it would have to be a Special Courts-Martial, but I am not sure what the circumstances were in 1939. Because NPRC states that it has Summary Courts-Martials on file that do not result in a BCD it leads me to believe that Summary Court-Martials could sentence an enlisted man to a BCD at some time in the past. 

2008 Elliot
Quantico, VA 22134

If that does not work I would So I would start with the Marine Corps Historical Center to see if they know where they are located.

Since the Marine Corps and the Navy are all part of the Navy Department it might be that they are found in Navy JAG records.

They would be in RG 125, Records of the Office of the Judge Advocate General (Navy), but they seem to end in 1930 at NARA. So if the MCHC does not pan out I would then look to the Naval Historical Center.

Additionally, a same-name ancestor, and the name is unusual, enlisted and served in the U.S. Army in 1944.  Could this have been possible if the enlistee had served time in a Marine Corps prison?

He probably lied about prior service. In 1944 they were not that picky and probably did not check to see if there was prior service.

Hope this helps.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Underwood Sisters?

I would also to prove the relationship of two women who I suspect are sisters in my family tree.  I have an ancestor - Rebecca Underwood - who appears in the
census suddenly in 1860 in Clarke County, Iowa.  The Census states she was from Indiana.

You have to admit that the household she is in in 1860 in Clarke County is an interesting one. I think you need to look at why she is in the Hunt household. I would not consider Iowa to necessarily be a safe place for an unemployed 18 year old woman. It looks like she marries prior to the 1870 census. When does she marry, to whom, where, when?

  I am pretty sure she is my ancestor based on her location in the Iowa census.

How are you sure? Not from what is in the 1860 census. Must be something else.

 I checked Indiana for census records on Rebecca and there is a Rebecca Underwood in the 1850 – 1870 Censuses in Hendricks, Indiana that has a similar birth year but I have ruled her out as a match because I have the 1870 census for my Rebecca Underwood (now Proctor) in the same place in Clarke County, Iowa.

If you found Rebecca in 1850 in Indiana, did you also find the person you suspect of being her sister in the same household? 

I believe I have found Rebecca’s sister based on the fact that the 1880 Census for Rebecca states that she has her niece and nephew living with her and her husband.  The census gave the niece and nephew’s name as Mary and William Lafollette, who were born in Indiana.

Could you send me the citiation. I don't see the census record you are refering to.

  I was able to find a marriage record for a Susanna Underwood who married a Joshua LaFollette in Clarke Co Iowa in Jul 1859. 
Yet I don't see a Joshua LaFollette in the 1860 census.

From the location and the names I am pretty sure that Rebecca and Susanna are sisters. 
Why is that?

However I cannot find other Underwoods in Clarke Co – there is a group of Underwoods who lived in Mahaska County, Iowa but the census records seem spotty for them and I do not find any Underwood Iowa family trees on that have sisters named Susanna and Rebecca.
Probably because you are not looking for an Iowa family with a Susanna and Rebecca but an Indiana one.

Where would you suggest I look next?
I suggest that you focus on finding Rebecca in Indiana (or elsewhere) in 1850 and also the person you believe to be her sister. There is also the possibility that the residents of the Hunt household in 1850 believed that she was born in Indiana, whereas she might have just been from Indiana but born in another state. Regardless, given their ages and the issue that you believe them to be in the same county in 1860, they should be together in 1850 somewhere.

I also continue to wonder who this Garner Hunt might be and what his family looks like. Why would Rebecca end up in this household. Is there a relationship between her and any of the other people in this household.

In the 1880 census do both sisters have parents born in the same states.

I would not rule out the Rebecca Underwood of Hendricks just yet.

Hope this helps.