I don’t know if you recall the problems I’ve had trying to get the Civil War pension record for John Edwards, my 3rd great-grandfather.

You can read about my ongoing saga here and here and here.

To put it short and simple, he died in 1931 and his records aren’t in the National Archives along with the majority of the Civil War pensions.  The first time I tried getting his pension packet was about 8-10 yrs ago – and to no avail.  I tried again a few times over the years, getting very discouraged.  This past January I got serious about it.  I made a lot of phone calls to a lot of departments I didn’t know existed.  I finally was told that the records were with the VA and not NARA.  I put in my request and got a confirmation that they received it.  And then I waited and waited and waited and waited some more.  I tried calling the VA a few months back – have you ever done that before?  Suffice it to say that I didn’t get through to anybody and I had just about given up on ever getting my hands on these records.

On Christmas, my mom called and said she’d received a package the day before – from the VA.  (I put her address on the request since I knew we were moving and didn’t know if it would be forwarded to me!).  I now have his entire pension packet – and it was FREE!!!

The best Christmas present EVER!!!

I will be sharing some of the things I’ve discovered from the records in the coming weeks.

Have any of you gotten Civil War records from the VA before? 

  • Wendy - January 5, 2012 - 7:30 am

    Way to persevere!ReplyCancel

  • Heather Roelker - January 5, 2012 - 11:10 am

    It’s a banner day at Jen’s house! How very cool. I didn’t even realize that the VA maintained some Civil War pension files, although I suppose it makes sense. Have fun digging through your file!ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - January 5, 2012 - 4:39 pm

    Oh, how exciting. I’m eager to see what you received — I hope you’ll share it. My great-grandfather’s file arrived in December and I’m just now having a thorough look. The photocopies were not in order and it is hard to tell which papers go together as one document. I posted a bit about it last night and will continue to post and share some of the documents.

    I hope you find lots of great information after your long, long wait to receive the file. Like Heather, I’m surprised that his file was with the VA instead of NARA. You are some persistent lady! Good for you.ReplyCancel

  • Debi Austen - January 6, 2012 - 8:48 am

    How exciting – I can’t wait to hear what you find!ReplyCancel

  • Cherie Cayemberg - January 6, 2012 - 9:54 am

    Oh, Jen, that is so exciting! I know you’ve been trying and waiting for a long time! I can’t wait to hear what you find out!ReplyCancel

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Since I have a cool new tool on my blog that makes these picture grids, I thought I’d try it out with some of my favorite posts from 2011.  Hover over each picture for a link to that specific post.  Enjoy!! :)  Let me know what you think…

How My Great-Great Grandma Lost Her Arm

I have been wondering about the details of my great-great grandmother’s accident since I was a little girl. IView full post »

Tombstone Tuesday: Getting Muddy is Better Than Getting Shot

This is the story of how I found my great-great-great grandparents graves and lived to tell the tale. This storyView full post »

Tombstone Tuesday: The surprise at the end of the muddy trail

This is a continuation of last week’s Tombstone Tuesday, in which Ellie and I very bravely ventured down a muddyView full post »

A Glimpse into my Grandma’s Life: 1941

Besides the wonderful picture that I was reunited with last week, the woman who contacted me also gave me a glimpseView full post »

The interesting life of Rev. John Peter Hogstad, Missionary to Madagascar

When I began my genealogical journey 12 years ago, I never imagined that I’d have any kind of connection toView full post »

Bloggers’ Dinner with FamilySearch

Eating out at a Southern BBQ would have been great in itself.  Real macaroni and cheese, cole slaw, and of course lotsView full post »

NGS 2011 Charleston – Day One

We were up bright and early for our first day of the Conference.  I felt like a kid on the first day of school. View full post »

Charleston NGS 2011: Day 2

Day One was all excitement.  I took tons of pictures.  I met lots of people. I entered tons of raffles (still waitingView full post »

A Peek at Charleston

Ellie and I made it to Charleston Sunday night and were able to spent two wonderful days sightseeing with my friendView full post »

Genealogy for Kids: Cemetery Scavenger Hunt

I have to admit that while I was creating this scavenger hunt, my husband was kind of creeped out.  And he was warningView full post »

Newspaper Find: People View Night Blooming Cereus

Listening to Geneabloggers Blog Talk Radio last Friday, I was pointed in the direction of a great site which has manyView full post »

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday: The Three Sisters

We went to visit my husband’s grandma while we were staying in Kansas. She is almost 96 years old, which I thinkView full post »

Introducing: Genea-Comics, #1 The Court Record Lift

My daughter Ellie likes to draw, so I’ve commissioned her to start a series of genealogy relatedView full post »

Genea-Comics #2: The Brick Wall Buster

Here is the second installment of Genea-Comics from my daughter, Ellie.  I have come up with most of the ideas and sheView full post »

In Print

I finally got the latest issue of Family Tree Magazine in the mail a couple of days ago.  For some reason, my friendView full post »

Monday Madness: Solomon M. Hattery’s Accident

This is a stretch for Madness Monday.  No, he wasn’t crazy, but he was drunk and acting crazy. I found this inView full post »

Having a Slight Panic Attack

I’m a seasoned Army wife and am getting very used to packing up and moving every couple of years. ItView full post »

Treasure Chest Thursday: Meet Dee, My Security Blanket

This is hard for me to admit to the whole genealogy blogosphere, but I was a little Linus.  I carried around thisView full post »

Children of Carl Magnus Klarstrom, Part Ten: Charlotta Eugenia Viktoria Klarström

Charlotta Eugenia Viktoria Klarstrom, (or Eugenia as she was called), was my great-grandmother. She was the tenth (andView full post »

Shopping Through the Ages: 1903

Join me this week as we shop though the 1903 Sears, Roebuck, & Co. catalog. You can find the catalogs online ifView full post »

Oh, and please bear with me for the next few days as I make some modifications to my blog design.  I have some work to do on header design and such and thinks might look a little awkward until I get it fixed.

  • Larry Hollingsworth - January 4, 2012 - 7:07 pm

    A genealogy colage, it reminds me of a homemade quilt, could you imagine touching a square, and get the family story behind each square. Like the concept.ReplyCancel

    • Jen - January 4, 2012 - 9:03 pm

      Larry – I love thinking of it as a genealogy quilt!! :)ReplyCancel

  • Shelley Bishop - January 4, 2012 - 7:20 pm

    That hover feature is really cool, Jen! I enjoyed revisiting some of your posts – you had some great ones last year. Best wishes to you and your family for 2012!ReplyCancel

    • Jen - January 4, 2012 - 9:02 pm

      Thanks Shelley! I like the hover feature too. When I choose the posts I want to use, I can also choose whether I want to have the text show up when I hover over it, or else the text can be under the posts also.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - January 4, 2012 - 7:23 pm

    Your new picture grid tool is very fun. Is it offered through blogger? I know blogger has several new ways of present blog posts but I thought (think) they cannot be used for just one post. Thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

    • Jen - January 4, 2012 - 8:59 pm

      Nancy, it’s not through blogger. I have a self-hosted WordPress site and just upgraded my “theme” to ProPhoto4 – which is primarily used for photography blogs. Blogger seems to be adding new things all the time though – maybe they’ll offer it soon!ReplyCancel

  • Susan - January 4, 2012 - 8:33 pm

    Love the photo collage and the way you presented your favorite posts! You have a beautiful web site, I have been here several times. Looking forward to reading more of your posts!ReplyCancel

    • Jen - January 4, 2012 - 9:00 pm

      Thanks Susan!!ReplyCancel

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Francis L. Lee was my 4th great-grandfather, and father to Sarah Jane Lee (a sister of my ancestor Samuel E. Lee).

She married Jacob Sowder in Montgomery County, VA in 1839.

I love this document, because it appears to have their actual signatures.

  • Theresa Casteel - January 11, 2012 - 11:52 am

    Impending?…it sounds like doom. :-)
    After 26yrs I can say marriage isn’t all that bad.

    • Jen - January 11, 2012 - 11:04 pm

      Ha! You’re right. I don’t know why I worded it that way. I’ve been married for 13 and have been very happy. No doom here! :)ReplyCancel

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I will probably never know what the circumstances were behind these charges, but I can imagine all sorts of interesting reasons why my 3rd great-grandfather, Samuel E. Lee, was trespassing on someone else’s property.  And not only did he trespass, but he apparently caused some sort of damage.

This happened in Montgomery County, VA in 1869.  William Angell appears to be the one pressing charges.  I don’t know what the outcome of this case was.

Do you have any lawbreakers in your family tree?

  • Debi Austen - January 3, 2012 - 4:33 pm

    Sadly, I do. My 2nd greatgrandfather was arrested for assaulting his son. Not an easy discovery to make :-(ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - January 3, 2012 - 5:29 pm

    No known law-breakers — yet. I’m sure there were, though. I just have to find them.

    Can you find more information about Samuel E. Lee and the circumstances surrounding this event? Perhaps there were newspaper articles or more court documents?ReplyCancel

  • Shaz - January 3, 2012 - 8:18 pm

    My second great-grandfather was shot and killed
    by his wife’s brother. Seems ‘grandpa’ was
    more than a little involved with his sister-

    • Jen - January 3, 2012 - 9:15 pm

      Oh no!! I haven’t run into anything like that yet!ReplyCancel

  • Jen - January 3, 2012 - 9:20 pm

    I’m hoping that I can make another trip to Virginia and possibly find out some more information about Samuel. I’ve had such a hard time researching his family, because they moved around between 4 different counties – Bedford, Roanoke, Montgomery, and Franklin Counties, VA. I wish they would have stayed put for a bit, but I guess I can’t blame them – my descendants are probably going to be amazed with how much my family moves around too! :)ReplyCancel

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One of the best ways to get a peek into someone’s life is to see what they owned.
This is the inventory of the estate of my 6th great-grandfather, Jeremiah Wade.

He lived in Bedford County, Virginia and died in 1772.  He didn’t own much!

I find it interesting that his estate was inventoried in 1772 and it wasn’t recorded in the Court until 1779.  Is this normal?  Or does this have something to do with the fact that the Revolutionary War was going on during this time?  Just curious.

My transcription of the document follows the images.  I know I made some mistakes.  I’m always unsure how to write the little symbols and such also.  I just do my best and move on.:)

Inventory of the Estate Jeremiah Wade Dec’d

One Man’s Hat at Value 0.12.6   Two Books 0.2.0L  ……………….. 0.11.6
One Bed + Furniture L 4.0.0  Twelve Barrels Corn [961?]…………..8.16.0
Old Iron 17/6  Two Bells /1/……………………………………………………..1.1.6
One Mans old Sadle………………………………………………………………..0.10.0
one Old Bag + one Case Knife………………………………………………….0.1.0
one pr Specs + Two Combs 1/…………………………………………………..0.1.0
One White Horse……………………………………………………………………3.10.0
Eight Head meat Cattle…………………………………………………………..14.0.0
one [Fro?]1/6   One old Bed Tyke 2/…………………………………………0.3.6

Inventory of the Estate Jeremiah Wade dec’d. Taken this 10th day Oct 1772. Taken by James Hilton. Er of s’d  Wades Estate + appr’d by Wm. Hudnall, Wm Adams + James Mitchell on Oath pursuant to an Order Court

Wm his X mark Adams
James Mitchell

In a Court held for Bedford County 22d day of Nov 1779. This Inventory and appraisement of the Estate of Jeremiah Wade dec’d was return’d to Court and Ordered to be recorded
Teste J. Steptoe, Cl.

  • Alex Daw - January 2, 2012 - 12:54 pm

    Dear Jen – Thanks so much for following my blog. I’m pleased as punch. I just love your blogs. They are very beautiful and must take so much work. You are a great photographer and a brilliant designer too. Thanks for including the image of the will – so very beautiful. Aren’t inventories great?? One Man’s Hat – love it. And the bells….what’s that about? I did a course in Wills a couple of years ago. I don’t think it’s uncommon for some estates to take many years to be processed – that’s why it’s always worth searching indexes many years after someone’s died and also – for folks like me in Australia – to check overseas indexes too as many estates were processed back in the “old country”.ReplyCancel

    • Jen - January 2, 2012 - 3:30 pm

      Thanks so much Alex. :)
      I really love seeing what my ancestors owned – or didn’t own in many cases!
      I never thought about that – you having to check overseas indexes for estates. That could take some extra work!ReplyCancel

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