Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Final rest on foreign fields

Today we bring our soldiers home no matter the cost. This seems to be a result of the Vietnam war. It was not popular at home and the idea of leaving our boys behind on foreign fields didn't sit well with the public. Not only the expense of equipment and resources but many lives are lost trying to retrieve soldiers who have died on foreign fields.

That was not always the case. We have several relatives who gave their life in armed conflict on foreign fields and their final rest is where they died. The first one I know of was Micajah C. Hogan. He was the brother of my Great Great Grandfather, James Henderson Hogan.
Micajah was born in Stewart County Georgia in 1845 and died at the Camp Douglas POW camp in Illinois on November 24, 1864. Micajah enlisted originally in the 17th Regiment, Georgia Infantry, CSA. On February 5, 1864 he enlisted in Company F of the Georgia 46th Infantry Regiment.

Micajah had been all over Virginia, Tennessee and Pennsylvania with the 17th Infantry. When he joined the 46th the battles were closer to home. At this point in the war they were defending Georgia from invading Union troops.
They started fighting almost every day sometimes several times a day. A list of their after battle reports shows the following engagements:
Fought on 15 May 1864 at Resaca, GA.
Fought on 15 May 1864 at New Hope Church, GA.
Fought on 16 May 1864.
Fought on 17 May 1864 at Calhoun, GA.
Fought on 17 May 1864 at Adairsville, GA.
Fought on 19 May 1864 at Kingston, GA.
Fought on 19 May 1864 at Calhoun, GA.
Fought on 20 May 1864 at Resaca, GA.
Fought on 28 May 1864 at New Hope Church, GA.
Fought on 28 May 1864 at Dallas, GA.
Fought on 30 May 1864 at New Hope Church, GA.
Fought on 5 Jun 1864 at Pumpkin Vine Creek, GA.
Fought on 14 Jun 1864 at Pine Mountain, GA.
Fought on 15 Jun 1864 at Pine Mountain, GA.
Fought on 15 Jun 1864 at Kenesaw Mountain, GA.
Fought on 17 Jun 1864 at Kenesaw Mountain, GA.
Fought on 18 Jun 1864 at Pine Mountain, GA.
Fought on 19 Jun 1864 at Marietta, GA.
Fought on 19 Jun 1864 at Peach Tree Creek, GA.
Fought on 19 Jun 1864 at Atlanta, GA.
Fought on 19 Jun 1864 at Kenesaw Mountain, GA.
Fought on 20 Jun 1864 at Kenesaw Mountain, GA.
Fought on 20 Jun 1864 at Marietta, GA.
Fought on 20 Jun 1864 at Atlanta, GA.

Micajah was taken prisoner on June 20, 1864 in a battle outside Atlanta, Georgia. He was eventually transferred to Camp Douglas. He contracted smallpox while in the prison camp and was one of approximately 7500 to die there. One in five prisoners of war died while at Camp Douglas. It was called the Andersonville of the North.

The final resting place for Micajah and over six thousand others is a mass grave called "Confederate Mound" in the Chicago, Illinois Oak Woods Cemetery.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

No, it won't predict cancer

A really interesting part of modern genealogy research is DNA testing to trace family lines. There have been several TV shows with famous people talking about how their DNA test located their long lost cousins in some tribe in Africa or wherever.

From what I have learned most of that is just wishful thinking or clever marketing. The DNA tests used for genealogy purposes will ID someone who shares a common ancestor with you but it does not tell you who the ancestor is or if they lived 100 years ago or 10,000. With the way man has migrated it could be a common ancestor on just about any continent.

I have been tested for the Green surname project at FamilyTreeDNA. It didn't come up with any exact matches but gave me two guys who were matches on 24 out of 25 markers. What does that mean? Not sure. Maybe we have a common ancestor or maybe not. Neither of them could give me any information about their family prior to 1820 which is where my Green family documentation has hit a wall. Maybe one day someone else will submit a test and have a match from an old family bible or some other record, to a John Green, born in 1820 in either South or North Carolina and it will tell me where my Greens came from.

I actually started a Fulford family DNA testing project for my Mother's family, which has already found several family matches with just 10-15 participants.

Why would anyone want to do this? Well a Fulford cousin gave me the following explanation.

First an explanation about Y-DNA testing. Y-DNA testing is a new tool for the genealogist or anyone interested in family history. The Y chromosome is passed from father to son virtually unchanged over the generations. This means only males can be used for this particular DNA test.

A kit is sent to the donor's address for the DNA sample. It's a cheek swab. Like brushing your teeth. Simple and painless. Mail back to the lab, and tests are then run. It takes about 6 weeks to get your results.

Test results establish "marker" numbers. These numbers are compared to other donors and when a match occurs, it is proof positive the two donors have a common ancestor. It's that simple.

Here are the top ten reasons to join (or have your male Fulford spouse, father, brother or cousin join) the Fulford Y-DNA Testing Project:

(1) Each donor represents their particular line in the Fulford Y-DNA Testing Project. Years from now, descendants of your family line will be glad you joined.

(2) With a match(s) of Y-DNA to other Fulford participant(s), the donor(s) will know proof positive they share a common ancestor. The test results don't name the common ancestor, but can predict how many generations back he lived. The more markers tested, the closer the prediction.

(3) Matches of Y-DNA between donor(s) confirms your family lineage. You have proof you are related to others with the Fulford name around the world.

(4) The donor will learn the "Recent Ethnic Origins" = Country where his ancestors lived before coming to the USA. Mine is the United Kingdom.

(5) The donor will learn the Haplogroup of his ancestor. This is his ancient ethnic origins. Mine is Nordic (Vikings).

(6) The donor will receive a certificate from the lab showing his Y chromosome marker numbers. If you wish, you may add your markers to any DNA databank. There are 4-5 of these with over 200,000 test results on file. Your privacy is guaranteed. Only you can allow your name and/or test results to be shown anywhere.

(7) The donor's DNA sample will be stored by the lab 25 years at no extra cost.

(8) The donor's marker numbers become a part of the Fulford Y-DNA testing project. Hopefully enough will join so that various Fulford lines of descent will become established for the benefit of current and future Fulford researchers.

(9) The donor's lineage will be added to the Fulford DNA website. This is free advertising for the donor's family line, so that present and/or future researchers/cousins might be able to contact each other.

(10) Test results (marker numbers) will last forever, so it's a bit of immortality. Trouble is for those who haven't joined yet, you aren't getting any younger.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Genealogy has it's roots

I'm not sure why Genealogy or family history research is so attractive to us. In almost every family there is someone who does it or did it. I will try to use this blog to share some of the research about my family connections. I may not change the names because it is way too confusing to keep all the relatives straight as it is, to try and keep up with made up names.

Many of my relatives who did genealogy research are no longer around. An uncle on my father's side, an aunt on my wife's. They did it by visiting cemeteries and Courthouse basements trying to locate records of a lost ancestor.

One of our goals in genealogy research is to locate graves of ancestors. One of my memorable experiences was to locate the grave of my Great Grandfather, Andrew Jackson Green who died January 9, 1911. Andrew was born in Coffee County Georgia on February 10, 1855 and moved to Taylor County Florida with his father before 1860. Andrew's father died young and Andrew had heart problems that caused him to move his family to Lowndes County Georgia around 1910 to be closer to relatives. He soon died and after the funeral the family moved back to Taylor County Florida.

The family story was that Andrew had been buried in Georgia but none of the family knew exactly where. He had 13 children and the three youngest daughters were still at home when he died. The daughters, who to me were always called "the aunts" as if they were one person (another story for the future) said he was buried in Lovett, Georgia. As I researched the family this was confusing since it was a pretty good distance from where they were living. None of the family ever visited his grave and I guess it was not a high priority for folks who were living in a rural Southern community in the early 1900s.

In 2001 I was using a search engine with some family names and came up with a hit on Andrew J Green. It was a pretty common name for the mid 1800s so I was amazed to discover the web page had a list of graves at a small cemetery in Madison County Florida and the Andrew J Green was in fact my Great Grandfather. Growing up in nearby Tallahassee, I had driven by this place dozens of times and never had any idea my ancestor was buried there. I contacted a relative who lives in Perry, Florida about 50 miles away and he went by and took a photo of the marker for me. My curiosity about my Great Grandfather's resting place continued and eventually I discovered this part of Madison County Florida had at one time been called Lovett. So "the aunts" whichever one it was, were close. They had the name of the community just the wrong State.

The first time I visited the grave myself was in 2004, three years after I first found the location. My daughter was going to college in Tallahassee and after getting her moved into the dorm I drove over to find it. The Concord Missionary Baptist Church cemetery is about ten miles off the highway in a small farming community. I still don't know why he was buried in this cemetery. I don't know of any connection to the church or anyone else who is buried there. Andrew's grave is by itself, the only one in the plot. Maybe one day I will figure out how he ended up there but for now will have to just be happy to have found him.