Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Back on February 6th I came up with the idea of the Civil War Genealogy
Blog Challenge as a way to mark the 150th anniversary of the start of the
Civil War on 12Apr 1861:

Did you have ancestors in America on 12Apr 1861? If so, where were they
and what were their circumstances? How did the Civil War affect them and
their family? Did the men enlist and did they perish in battle or die of illness?
On which side did they fight, or did you have relatives fighting on BOTH sides?
How did the women left at home cope, or did any of them find ways to help
the war effort? Were your ancestors living as slaves on Southern plantations
and if so when were they freed?  Or were they freemen of color who enlisted
to fight?

If your ancestors had not emigrated to America as yet, what was their life
like around the time of the Civil War?

The 150 year celebration of the Civil War is a great source for those of us
blogging about our family history. So, let's do a little research over the coming
weeks between now and April 12th. Find out the answers to the questions
I asked and write about them. Or if you think of another topic to do with your
family history and the Civil War, write about that. Send me the link when you
publish it on your blog, and on April 12th I'll publish all the links here.

 Well, quite a few of you rose to the challenge and I now present to you the
results! So get comfortable with your drink of choice and get ready for 
some excellent reading!

Dorene at Graveyard Rabbit of Sandusky Bay was the first to respond to the
challenge with the story of The Civil War Service of Great Grandma Irene's
Grandfathers, Patrick Larkins and James Cross.

Angela Y. Walton Walton-Raji has an excellent entire blog devoted to telling
the African American Civil War story. It's called The USCT Chronicle and
it's great reading!

James Alexander Meek and Nathaniel C Callaway were Dee Burris’ direct
ancestors and she details their Civil War stories in two posts at her Shakin’ 
the Family Tree blog. Then she talks about how the War affected her various
family lines in Civil War Sesquicentennial Challenge.

Over at Nutfield Genealogy Heather Wilkinson Rojo tells the story of a distant
relation who was an officer in the Mass. 54th Regiment, the subject of the movie
Glory. Read her Captain Luis Emilio and a Brave Black Regiment to learn more!
Heather also shares a list of other Civil War era relations, some of whom she's
already blogged about, in The Civil War's 150th Anniversary.

The role of German immigrants in the Civil War was an important one. Roger
Moffat’s wife has a German immigrant ancestor who fought at the Battle of
Chancellorville and Roger shares his story in An Ancestor Honoured over at
Roger’s Ramblings.

Some medals in a box have prompted Cheryl at the Two Sides of the Ocean
geneablog to look into the mystery as to whether her own German immigrant
ancestors was a Civil War veteran. She begins her investigation in Civil War
Ancestor? A New Mystery!

Kevin Walker’s ancestor died in a tragic train wreck six weeks after enlisting.
In The Death of Henry Martin Walker, Sr (1829-1865)Kevin provides us with
eyewitness accounts at his blog, Who We Were, Are, & Will Be Our Family.

Kevin Harris is devoting a whole blog, An Indiana Soldier, to his great great
Grandfather Lewis Kinsey Harris’ Civil War experiences. He begins with
Who Was L.K. Harris? . Check it out!

Kathy Reed has written eight posts concerned with the Civil War at her blog
Family Matters. Two concern the death of her ancestor Britton Wainwright
(Part One & Part Two). Another deals with her relative Robert William Darby
who was a crew-member of an ironclad ship, and another discusses relative
Joseph Bickerdyke Darby . I look forward to reading more!

Janeen of They Came in Ships put together a list of her relatives who fought in
the War and you can see it at her post, Civil War Week . She certainly has plenty
of blog material there! opened their Civil War records up for free this past week and Frances
Elizabeth Schwab was excited with what she found out about two ancestors there.
She talks about it in Civil War Ancestors-One Young, One Old(ish) at her Fantastic
Electrisoil blog.

Many Civil War soldiers developed medical conditions that would persist throughout
their lives. Shelley Bishop’s 3x great grandfather was such a one and she tells us
about it in Newell King, 91st Ohio Volunteer Infantry at A Sense of Family.

“Across the Pond” in England Julie Goucher is exploring the possibility that a
relative of her husband emigrated to America and made a fortune as a
gunsmith during the Civil War. She describes the start of her research into
the story in The Civil War Genealogy Blog Challenge at Anglers Rest.

Greta Koehl sets out the list of those of her ancestors who fought in the War
and as she says, “it’s a big honking article” with a lot of interesting facts. It’s at
The Civil War and My Ancestors at Greta’s Genealogy Blog.

Leah of Leah’s Family Tree shows us how the Civil War divided families in her
post The Mason Family and The Civil War.

Susan of Nolichucky Roots has decided to go with a Civil War Saturday approach
which I like a lot. She gives an overview with Civil War Saturdays- the war brought

Linda McCauley’s 2xgreat grandfather John T, Bennett was a Confederate captured bythe Northern army . Linda gives a biography of him at John T.Bennett-41st Georgia
Infantry on Documenting the Details.

Jenny Lanctot’s cousin John W Crow likewise was a Confederate soldier
captured by Yankees after surviving many battles. H was not as fortunate as Linda’s
ancestor had been as you’ll read in Cpl. John W. Crow, 10th Alabama Infantry, 
Company A, 1841-1865 at Are My Roots Showing?

Jennifer Woods got the chance to visit some of the Civil War battlefields last year
and she has some great photos and documents on both her and her husband’s
ancestors who served in the War. You can real all about it at Our Ancestors in the 
Civil War on Climbing My Family Tree.

Over at Apple's Tree Apple goes through her list of cousins and relatives whose
lives were effected by the War and how she plans to explore their stories. The
post is called Civil War Stories.

Thomas L Davis was the great great grandfather of Debbie Blanton McCoy. He
enlisted in the Confederate army in 1862, and Debbie tells us of his brief military
career in Thomas L. Davis, Civil War Vet at her blog Blanton Family Roots &

What started out as possibly two or three posts by Carol A. Bowen Stevens on
the mystery surrounding the fate of her ancestor Alfred Darden turned into a
fascinating four parter over at Reflections From the Fence. Start reading it
with Alfred Darden, Civil War Soldier Mystery, His Family .

Jean Wilcox Hibben's 2x great grandfather Nathan W. Wilcox was a Union
soldier who helped rebuild Tennessee after the War. Jean tells us about his
life and about how her family replaced his missing headstone in Tombstone
Tuesday-17 August 2010-remembering a forgotten grave, Nathan W. Wilcox.
at her blog, Circlemending.

When Linda Hughes Hiser's Dad was a Civil War buff who taught a seminar
on the War at his retirement village. This prompted Linda to research his
ancestry. What she found and how she presented it to him makes a great
read over at the Flipside blogpost, The American Civil War Genealogy 
Challenge--Where Are My Paternal Bluecoats?

When Sara Byron Jeffers emailed me with a question about this challenge,
she mentioned that the ancestor she would write about was named Charles
Barker Todd from Massachusetts. It turns out Sara and I are distant cousins
through my own Barker line! Read how Sara plans to approach researching
and writing about Charles in The Civil War Genealogy Blog Challenge at
Musings & Meanderings ,

Peggy Ingles has an interesting post about her 2x great grandfather Hamilton
Ingles and the battles he took part in at Civil War Sesquicentennial on her
blog, Collecting dead relatives...and live cousins!

At My Tapley Tree...and its Branches you'll find Liz' Military Monday:
My Civil War Ancestors with lots of information and some great photos.
Barbara Poole contributes the story of the first men to die in the Civil War
during an incident in Baltimore, Maryland. Read The Minutemen of 1861--
First Soldiers to Die in Civil War Were from Lowell--Tombstone Tuesday
at Barbara's Life From The Roots blog.

At Hanging from the Family Tree Donna Hansen Peterson introduces us
to two brothers from Illinois who enlisted and fought. It's in her post Military
Monday-Civil War Soldiers-Fergusons of Willow Hill, IL.

Four of Dana Swier Huff's maternal 3xgreat grandfathers fought on the
Confederate side. She shares their record and some photos in The Civil
War in My Family at Our Family History

Debi Levy Austen likewise has a 3xgreat grandfather from Illinois and she
details what she knows about Emery Waller in Civil War Break at the
Who Knew? blog.

Laurie Pratt Sisk contributes information about her Civil War ancestors,
including a summary one of them wrote himself about his service. Take a
look at it over at Yankee Cousin's Adventures in Ancestry in her 
Civil War Sesquicentennial Blog Challenge: Kellogg and Towle.

At Susi's Chatty Performances on Genealogy, Susi Pentico
presents information about her ancestors Sanford Huffman/Hoffman
and Daniel Warden in Sanford Huffman/Hoffman and Daniel Warden
CW Veterans Mom's Family.

New geneablogger Sherry Kimbrough inaugurates her Searching in
Seattle blog with a post about her great grandfather, Civil War veteran
Alphonso D.L. Collins. It's entitled One of our Civil War ancestors. 

Canadian Jacqueline Foster has American ancestors and one of them,
John H Littrell, served in the Civil War. She talks about what she
knows and what she needs to search for in The American Civil War-
John H Littrell at her blog My Journey Back.

Tina at Generations Past introduces us to the story of her ancestor
H B Alverson of Texas who enlisted in the Confederate Army at the 
age of 44! You can read more in Civil War Ancestors- Alverson

 Lisa Swanson Elam has the story of the Botkin family from Ohio whose
six sons went off to fight in the War. Find out what happened to them
in Military Monday-Botkin Soldiers-Ohio at The Faces of My Family

Stephanie Goldberg's 3x greatgrandfather Henry B Jones was charged
with desertion and she details his fight to have his dishonorable discharge
reversed in her post One Battle, Two Sides to the Story at her blog

As for myself, I'm exploring the pension file of my 2x great grandfather
Asa Freeman Ellingwood, beginning with Asa Ellingwood's Pension File
Part1 here on West in New England

And finally, Karen Packard Rhodes tells us "the rest of the story" for two Civil
War ancestors who she previously blogged about in the post Bill West's Civil
War Genealogy Challenge at Karen About Genealogy. (P.S. It's also Karen's
birthday today, so Happy Birthday, Karen!!)

That concludes the Civil War Genealogy Challenge, but remember, we have
four years worth of history that can provide you with lots of information about
your ancestors that you can blog about and share with your fellow geneabloggers!

My thanks to all who have participated!


Frances Elizabeth Schwab said...

Bill-Thanks for all your work on this. I'm interested to see what everyone has posted. I'm sure I'll find some new blogs to follow

Dorene from Ohio said...

Thanks so much for hosting the Civil War challenge! I can't wait to read all the entries.

Kristin said...

Oh no! I thought I had until the 15. Oh well, I will be posting my civil war related post later today. I look forward to reading those above. I'm glad you did this challenge, even if I missed it.

Julie Goucher said...

Bill thanks for organising and collating the wonderful links. I have just popped lunch in the oven to heat, made a cup of tea and am almost ready to read the contributions made.

Susan Clark said...

Fabulous job, Bill. Thanks so much - both for the Challenge and delivering the results to us today.

Anonymous said...

I'm already digging into several of these entries. People have put a lot of time and research into some fascinating family history.

Thanks for prompting us to do this.

sherry kimbrough said...

OK, I did it, too!

Greta Koehl said...

Most excellent! Bet you've had a busy couple of days!

Barbara Poole said...

Thanks Bill for all your efforts on this. You had a lot to read! Anybody reading every post here will sure come away with a Civil War education.

Nancy said...

OK - So I'm just a little bit late for your challenge ;)

I have my own Civil War Challenge. I need help to identify four soldiers found listed in the Alburgh, VT town records simply as "Four Indians". Read what I have found so far in by blog post for 26-Apr-2011 and help me by spreading the word around.

Thanks for a great posting - they are all great stories.

Nancy Lecompte