Saturday, April 30, 2011

My House Divided - Civil War Saturday

I don't know much about my ggg grandfather Philip Mulkey beyond what was given to me in family records - name and dates.  He was born 14 Jan 1810 in Washington County, TN; married his first wife Ann Duncan in Washington County on 21 June 1831; died in Hawkins County, TN before 1 Oct 1883. Census and marriage records have supported much of the information my grandmother passed down, but I have no pictures of him and the only family story I heard had to do with the Civil War.

The story is that Philip was estranged from some of his children because of their support for the Union during the Civil War. His sons Isaac and James Duncan Mulkey served in the Union Army, James volunteering from Tennessee with the 8th TN Cavalry and Isaac serving with the 152nd Illinois Infantry. His daughter Rachel married another Union veteran who served with James in the 8th TN Cavalry after the war. I wrote recently about these Mulkey siblings when I was sent a copy of a photograph of James Mulkey.

A divided family in East Tennessee during the Civil War is not news. As I've started researching my 19th century kinfolk I'm discovering more and more incidents of divided families -- even relatives fighting for both sides. I suspect they were not willing volunteers. I've ordered a whole library of books to help me understand the situation there.

Still, I must admit Philip puzzled me. His father, grandfather, and grandfather-in-law were all abolitionists. His children fought for the Union. Was it possible to document this family story? I was fairly sure that at 50+ years old Philip did not fight and that good ole' reasonably exhaustive search failed to produce any evidence that he did. He did not file for any compensation from the Southern Claims Commission. But, I did find evidence - two files - that more than support the family story.

The first was a surprise - but then every record I find indicating someone in my family fought for the Confederacy has been a surprise given our family stories of no Confederate involvement.

Philip's younger brother Hiram Mulkey was a Confederate soldier. He enlisted at age 36 on 20 September 1862 and fought at Vicksburg where he was captured on 4 July 1863. He was paroled four days later and presumably returned home. I found no record of him serving after his parole.

The second file was an even greater surprise - it documented Philip's support for the Confederacy. On 16 September 1863, only two months after Hiram's parole from Vicksburg and while battles were raging for control of the railroads in East Tennessee, Philip sold 25 bushels of corn to the Confederate Army. Receipts show he sold two lots of corn, one to be delivered to Ferguson's School House (Washington County), TN and the other to Thomas' Mill (Sullivan County), TN. It doesn't seem that big a thing - to sell some corn to the Army parked on your doorstep.


However, less than two weeks later, on 28 September 1863, his son James enlisted in the Union Army where he served for two years. In 1860 James and his family were enumerated living next door to Philip in Washington County, TN. In 1870 Philip was living in Hawkins County, TN. James, his sister Rachel and their families were still in Washington County.

It doesn't get any clearer than that.


        James D Mulkey, muster rolls of Co. D, TN 8th Cavalry; NARA M395; Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Tennessee; digital images, ( : accessed 27 Apr 2011).  
        Hiram Mulkey file; NARA M268. Compiled service records of Confederate soldiers from Tennessee units; 109; digital images, ( : accessed 10 Apr 2011). 
        Philip Mulkey, Document 273; NARA M346. Confederate Papers Relating to Citizens or Business Firms, documenting the period 1861 - 1865; 109; digital images, ( : accessed 27 Apr 2011).
         1860 U.S. census, population schedule, Hoggards, Washington, Tennessee, p. 83, dwelling 624, family 624, Philip Mulky; digital images, (; citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M653, roll 1277.
         1870 U.S. census, population schedule, District 1, Hawkins, Tennessee, p. 6B, dwelling 94, family 94, Philip Mulkey; digital images, (; citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M593, roll 1535.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

Jehu S. Sawyer Funeral Records - Amanuensis Monday

Thanks to John at Transylvanian Dutch who originated the Amanuensis Monday meme, providing a framework (and nudge) for transcribing family records, news clippings and other treasures.

I recently found two booklets from my great-grandfather Jehu Stokely Sawyer's funeral services in the boxes of papers taken from his house in 1996 after the death of his last surviving child. I shall be transcribing some of the information over the next few weeks.

In Memory of 
Jehu Stokley Sawyer
Chestnut Hill, Tenn.
March 24, 1855
Departed This Life
January 19, 1940
Warrensburg, Tenn.
84 Years 9 Months 25 Days
Oak Grove Cemetery, Jan. 21, 1940
Greeneville, Tennessee

Doughty-Stevens Company (Greeneville, TN). "Jehu S. Sawyer Memorial Books." Digital Image. Privately held by Susan Clark. 1996.  

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hricak ~ Bihun Wedding: (Not So) Wordless Wednesday

Carpatho-Rusyn wedding party, Chicago, c. 1923

The bride was my first cousin, once removed, Anna Hricak. The groom was a young man who had been boarding with the family, Ignatz Bihun. I believe Anna's sister Mary is standing on the far right. Anna and Iggy were probably married at St. Mary's Greek Catholic Church at 49th & Seely Avenue. In 1931 they left St. Mary's to join the newly formed St. Peter and Paul's Orthodox Church. Iggy, who had a magnificent voice, became the choral director there. I was thrilled last year to read an article mentioning him at Lake Michigan Rusyns

Sometime after Anna died in 1951 Iggy moved to Bridgeport, CT where he was a church cantor while I was growing up. Occasionally I'd be puzzled how this man, who was so much older than I, was my cousin and my father would once again explain that Iggy had been married to his first cousin which made him my cousin. Most of the time I just loved listening him sing. 

Hricak-Bihun Wedding,  Photograph, undated. Digital Image.  Privately held by Susan Popp Clark [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE], 2008.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Leonard Smith Bible, Part 2 - Amanuensis Monday

Thanks to John at Transylvanian Dutch who originated the Amanuensis Monday meme, providing a framework (and nudge) for transcribing family records, news clippings and other treasures.

Last September I photographed and transcribed a family record found in an 1832 Bible belonging to a great-granddaughter of Leonard and Elizabeth Jamison Smith of Allegany County, Maryland. This is the second part of the transcription.

The following material appears on a right page opposite the above page near the back of the Bible:

Family Record
                          Ages                Births
Leod. Smith Born 29th March 1794
Died July 2nd 1849
Eliza Smith his wife
    was born Decer 19th 1795

Died  Nov 26th. 1875
Leod Smith Married Eliza Jamison
    October 3rd 1815.

Leod Dominick first son born
   August 4th 1816

Died Oct. 12. 1816.
John Frances  Decr 23. 1817
Died Augt. 25. 1818.
Leod born Sept. 16. 1819

Catherine Frances  Augt 27 1822
Died Dec. 26. 1918 1908
Charles Oct. 24th 1823
Died Feb 20th 1888
John  March 30th 1826.
Died 9th April 1869
Frances Fenwick   May 24. 1828
Died Aug. 26. 1900
Joseph  June 19th 1831 –
Died 25th Oct. 18[?]0
Edwd D. Fenwick [**]  Nov 25 1833
Died 24th  Nov 1863
Aloysius Raphail  [**] March 31. 1831
Died 24 March 1838.
Eliza Victoria September 10. 1838 [**]
Died Dec. 9. 1905

Transcriber’s notes:
The writing for this entry differs from the entries up to and including “Joseph”.

The record includes a hand drawn vertical line on the second page separating the Births and Deaths columns.

Leonard Smith Bible (dated 1832), The Holy Bible, Translated from the Latin Vulgate... Clementine Edition of the Scriptures (Baltimore: Fielding Lucas, Jr.), digital image. Privately held. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Civil War Saturday - Matthew McAdams' Brief War

Matthew Judson McAdams and his two younger brothers John Cloyd and David Brainard McAdams left their home near Locust Mount in Washington County, TN in early November, 1862 to volunteer for the Union Army.

Matthew was born August 15, 1835, the eldest of the eleven sons of Thomas and Cynthia Stephenson McAdams. In 1862 he was 27 years old, and had been married eight years to Sarah E. Sevaney (or Swinney). They had at least two children, Cynthia, David and likely another, Thomas, and were living near his parents. He and his brothers were all farmers, probably working his father's prosperous land. Mathew, Sarah, their two eldest children, her sister and mother (who appears on the next page in the census) all appear in the 1860 census next his father.

1860 Census, from

I noted in an earlier post about the 1860 census that Matthew's father had two slaves who were originally enumerated with the family, then crossed out and transferred to the slave census. Having grown up hearing of the McAdams brothers' Union service I was more than surprised to learn that they came from a slave owning family.

Nevertheless, Matthew and his brothers decided to join the Union Army. They rode northwest, through the Cumberland Gap to McKee, Kentucky where, on November 5th, they were enlisted as privates by Lt. Mullenix in what became Company B, 4th Tennessee Cavalry Regiment. According to their muster records Matthew was the shortest of the three brothers, standing 5' 6" tall. They stairstepped in height with David, the youngest, standing the tallest at 5' 10". All three shared dark hair, eyes and coloring. They likely moved quickly to Louisville and then towards Nashville where the they were officially mustered in on February 9, 1863. And there they stayed.

From Google Earth

Matthew spent the remainder of his entire, brief war in Nashville. He died of typhoid on June 19th only seven months after leaving home and was immediately buried. He lies in the National Cemetery just north of Nashville. It seems he never saw combat, only the tedium and disease of camp life. The Tennessee GenWeb site history of the regiment quotes a letter from Brig. General Robert Mitchell written in March complaining of a lack of weapons for the regiment. It was autumn before the 4th Cavalry was deployed.

Death Record from

Matthew's brothers both survived the war, as did his younger brother Samuel, my great-great grandfather, who enlisted in November, 1863.

Matthew's widow Sarah first filed for a widow's pension on October 12, 1865. She married William Mahoney, who had enlisted and served with the McAdams brothers, on August 21, 1866 in Washington County, TN. He may have been the brother of John Cloyd McAdams' wife Sarah Jane Mahoney.

William, Sarah, Matthew's children and their own children all appear in Greene County in the 1870 census and in Washington County in the 1880 census. Sarah's sister Nancy is still living with her. The McAdams children are enumerated as Mahoney in 1870 and 1880, but Cynthia and Thomas both appear in Tennessee marriage records as McAdams.

1880 Census, from


       1860 U.S. census, population schedule, Tennessee, Washington, Campbells District, p. 64, dwelling 1145, family 1145, Matthew J McAdams; digital images, (; citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M653, roll 1277. 
       1880 U.S. census, population schedule, Tennessee, Washington, District 1, enumeration district (ED) 28, p. 431D, dwelling 65, family 66; digital images, (; citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T9, roll 1284.
        Matthew J. McAdams, John C. McAdams, and David B. McAdams muster rolls of Co. B, 4th Tennessee Cavalry, 5 Nov 1862-19 Jun 1863; NARA M395; Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Tennessee; digital images, ( : accessed 7 Apr 2011).
       "Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900," database and images, (accessed 7 Apr 2011); Matthew J McAdams; NARA T289.
        R.N. McAdams, "McAdams Family Record" (Private). 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Great Reads - Follow Friday

Some blog posts are worth reading. Not scanning for surnames or hints. Not looking at the pictures (though I adore the pictures). Reading. For comprehension. Absorbing. 

As the multitude of geneabloggers grows (the miracle of the loaves and fishes comes to mind for some reason) I've had trouble keeping up. I am now following 259 blogs and adding a couple more every week. So yes, I scan and when I see something long with polysyllabic words I pause. My strategy has been to "star" it to read later - in the evening when the Cardinal's are letting balls slip out of gloves or hitting into double plays. I've had LOTS of reading opportunities so far this season. 

Sometimes, one of the posts is so good that I keep it starred. I read it again the next night. I think about it during the day. I share a morsel with my husband or daughter. It's a really good read.

I've come to rely on those bloggers who share their favorite posts of the week. HUGE fan of their efforts. I'm not going there. But I do want to highlight the posts that stick with me - that nourish my mind and often my spirit. So here's the plan. When I find something I keep going back to I will share it through Google Reader. There's a widget this blog's sidebar now titled "Great Reads" that will highlight my shared posts. They won't be the helpful tips or humorous posts that have us howling. Others are highlighting those brilliantly. They will be longer, thoughtful and thought provoking pieces that illuminate a moment or an idea. So when you have a moment, check them out. They are truly worth the time. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Considering the Source

I completely amaze myself with my ability to stumble over the obvious. Here's the issue (actually this just scratches the surface) - I want to do a better job with sources. I know. Big news. I'm sure I'm the only one.

Here's my work flow.
  • Gather piles of stuff and put them near my work space. Stuff is defined as the photographs, news clippings, letters or documents filling the boxes filling my house. 
  • Scan something and put it in a basket (or pile) to be filed or thrown away. Put the digital file in a folder to be processed (meta data, links to specific individuals, added to database, blog fodder, etc). 
  • Repeat until bored then start working on a digital file.
  • Something about a file prompts a blog idea. I start the post, forget the meta data, links or database and wander about my mental and digital files looking for information to complete the post. 
  • Look at post, realize I have no source listed and struggle to construct something that might pass for a citation if one had spent decades on a desert island talking to a volleyball. 
  • Give up and go back to scanning or playing with the digitized files. 

And here's my revelation.
Use my Legacy software to record the source when I'm writing the blog post.
Mind blowing, isn't it? It takes about a minute, gets the digitized record/photo/whatever into my database in at least one relevant spot AND I get a citation I can copy and paste into the blog.

Is it a perfect system? Well, no. I don't get the source added to all relevant events/people in the database. The odds of my maintaining it are slim. But it's far better than what I've been doing (nothing). Maybe I'll be disciplined enough to continue.

Any comments reflecting on my obvious scatterbrainedness, ADD or calling me a geneaditz will be met with a DUH! Family need not comment at all.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Leonard Smith Bible, Part 1 - Amanuensis Monday

Thanks to John at Transylvanian Dutch who originated the Amanuensis Monday meme, providing a framework (and nudge) for transcribing family records, news clippings and other treasures.

Last September I photographed and transcribed a family record found in an 1832 Bible belonging to a great-granddaughter of Leonard and Elizabeth Jamison Smith of Allegany County, Maryland. This is the first part of the transcription.

The  following material appears on a left page near the back of the Bible:

My Father John Smith was born Nov  9. 1754
            And died 26 January 1805
“————“———— “———— “———— “———— “
My Mother Elizabeth born Feb.y 15. 1761.
            And died March 21. 1826.
“————“———— “———— “———— “———— “
My Father & Mother married Apl. 25. 1784.
                                                            Leod Smith
My Fathers children as follows.
Mary Smith born May 7. 1785 -- & Died Jun 1785
John Smith           Oct. 5. 1786 - &  Died Mary 17[?]7
Charles Smith      May 10. 1788 - & Died Der 16 1809
Elizabeth Smith    May 11. 1790
Mary A. Smith     Apl. 2. 1792 & died
Leod Smith –– March 29. 1794. & died July 2d 1849[*]
Helena Smith    May 20. 1795  & died 24 der 1834
Ignatius Frances Smith    Jany 31. 1799
John Smith   Feby 21. 1801 and died in [Rome??] Sept 14 1823.
[?] [?] --    Nov 23.1803   died Der 20. 1803

Transcribers notes:
[*]The writing for this entry differs from the entries up to and including “Joseph”.

Leonard Smith Bible (dated 1832), The Holy Bible, Translated from the Latin Vulgate... Clementine Edition of the Scriptures (Baltimore: Fielding Lucas, Jr.), digital image. Privately held. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Civil War Saturday - the war brought home

With the 150th anniversary of the firing on Fort Sumter only days away, I've decided (with prompting from Bill West's Civil War Genealogy Challenge) to add to my genealogy goals and examine the Civil War's impact on the families I research.  Occasionally on Saturdays over the next four years I will write about my findings.
Matthew Brady Civil War camp scene from the National Archives via Flickr's The Commons

My children have four direct ancestors who fought in the Civil War - three for the Union and one for the Confederacy.

  • Caulk, Allen Monroe
UnionCompany D, Illinois 7th Infantry
  • Conway, Charles Turner Porter
ConfederateCompany I, 61st Infantry Regiment Tennessee
  • Jones, Joseph
UnionCompany B, Illinois 117th Infantry and Company H, Illinois 33rd Infantry
  • McAdams, Samuel B
UnionCompany D, 8th Regiment, Tennessee Cavalry

At least eleven uncles of various degrees also fought - most for the Union - and uncounted cousins, in-laws and shirttail relatives. Of the uncles only Matthew McAdams died during the War. Like many, he died of disease in Nashville. I shall write about Matthew next week.

  • Clark, Elon D
  • Conway, Joseph
  • McAdams, David Brainard
  • McAdams, John Cloyd
  • Mulkey, Isaac
  • Williams, John F

Some of our families lived in the midst of some of the fiercest fighting - western Maryland - and some in areas of brutal local conflicts - East Tennessee and Missouri. The Civil War looms large in their stories and traditions. My husband's Tidewater family, proud but distant cousins of Robert E. Lee, were staunch Confederates and he grew up hearing the war referred to as the War of Northern Agression. My grandmother, whose grandfather and five great-uncles all fought for the Union, was equally proud of her heritage. She was however, unaware of or unwilling to acknowledge the full scope of her family's involvement in the War. I wrote about this last summer in Story time, or Lies, Lies and more damned Lies.

During these Sesquicentennial years, a century and a half after the Civil War raged across our country and our families, I plan to research and write about the its impact on both the men who fought and the women and families swept up in the conflict. The costs and effects were far reaching, profound and continued late into the 20th century.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lighting candles

Once upon a time there was a beautiful little boy who grew up to be a bright, wonderful man who married bright, wonderful women and had bright, wonderful daughters.

The glare from all that brilliance and today's candles is enough to send one running for sunglasses. But having donned them, Happy Birthday Daddy!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mulkey Siblings - Almost Wordless Wednesday

James Duncan Mulkey, 1836-1909

I recently received this image from a newly connected Mulkey cousin. It is an image of an image - and perhaps again of an image - showing my great-great grandmother Rachel Mulkey McAdams' older brother James in his Civil War uniform. It's difficult to compare the images I have of Rachel and her two brothers taken at different ages and in different condition, but I see a resemblance to James across her mouth and nose. Isaac, with his full beard, is even more difficult, but he and Rachel seem to have the same coloring (beyond the faded sepia), hairline and shaped head.  

Rachel Mulkey McAdams, 1839-1906
Isaac M. Mulkey, 1834-1885

Monday, April 4, 2011

Meredith Passport Application - Amanuensis Monday

Thanks to John at Transylvanian Dutch who originated the Amanuensis Monday meme, providing a framework (and nudge) for transcribing family records, news clippings and other treasures.

A passport was issued at St. Louis, Missouri to William V Meredith on 1 March 1880.


[Form for Native Citizen.]

No. 15548                                                               Issued March 1, 1880


State of Missouri }
City ss.
County of St. Louis }

          I,  W. M. V. Meredith                         , do swear that I was born in the State of Virginia , on or about the 25 th day of Jan'y 1832 ; that I am a Native and Loyal Citizen of the United States, and about to travel abroad                                                                                           
         Sworn to before me this 28th day
         of Feb'y , 1880                                                   Wm V. Meredith     
         Louis D. Picot     
                              Notary Public
                               St. Louis Co Mo.

I, Joseph P. Whyte , do swear that I am acquainted with the above-named WMV Meredith , and with the facts stated by him , and that the same are true to the best of my knowledge and belief.

         Sworn to before me this 28th day
         of Feb'y , 1880                                                          Jos P. Whyte

          Louis D. Picot
                              Notary Public
                              St. Louis Co Mo.

Description of William M. V. Meredith

Age, 348 years                                                     Mouth, medium
Stature, 5 feet 7 1/2 , inches, Eng.                       Chin, round
Forehead, high                                                    Hair, grey & black
Eyes, grey                                                           Complexion, fair
Nose, full                                                            Face, full

          I,  W. M V. Meredith , do solemnly swear that I will support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, whether domestic or foreign; and that I will bear true faith, allegiance, and loyalty to the same, any ordinance, resolution, of any State, Convention, or Legislature to the contrary notwithstanding; and further, that I do this with a full determination, pledge, and purpose, without any mental reservation or evasion whatsoever; and further, that I will well and faithfully perform all the duties which may be required of me by law: So help me God.

                                           Wm V Meredith
Sworn to before me this 28th day of Feb'y , 1880.

Louis D. Picot
Notary Public Qualified June 17, 1876 for a
term expiring April 19. 1882
     The above affadavits and oath of allegiance must be attested by a Notary Public or other officer authorized to administer oaths, whose signature must ALWAYS be accompanied by his OFFICIAL SEAL or the CERTIFICATE OF THE COURT as to his official capacity.
     When husband, wife, minor children, and servants are expected to travel together, a single passport for the whole will suffice.
     For any other person in the party a separate passport will be required.


NOTES:  Father Meredith was my husband's great-great-great uncle. The application gives his birth date and a physical description. There is a handwritten notation on the application reading "1/2 of check No. 39673" suggesting that two applications were filed and paid for at the same time. Presumably the other application was for one of the other Redemptorist priests or brothers living and working with Father Meredith. Thirteen were living at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church with Father Meredith on 11 Nov 1880 when the 1880 census was taken.

I wonder what Meredith, from a staunchly Confederate family and himself a Confederate supporter, thought of the oath of allegiance.

Source: "Passport Applications, 1795-1905," database and images, ( : accessed 15 Jul 2010); Wm V Meredith application; citing NARA publication M1372, Record group 59, Vol. 516 (1880).