Saturday, July 21, 2012

Civil War military records & 1940s census progress

Hey fellow genealogists! Sorry for the long absence things have been kinda hectic around my house lately.  Unfortunately my uncle lost his 3.5 year battle with colon cancer so we've been dealing with that and everything that comes with a death in the family; but I digress.  So in my absence I haven't been able to spend as much time as I would like working on my genealogical quests, but I have come up with a few small things.  Firstly I must say that attempting to hand search through hundreds of 1940 census records to find your family is exhausting.  I have still yet to find everyone, but I'm making some headway.  In my efforts to find all my living family members on the 1940 U.S. Census I have realized that I have a lot of those little hint leaves on my family tree (at last count about 340 total hints) and I must say it is driving me a bit bonkers. Hopefully when you hear from me next I will have been able to sort through some of those to eliminate them.

In other news, I have been attempting some more research on my 4th great-grandfather on my mother's side of the family.  For those of you who may not remember I've written about him a few times; Familial Connections in a Strange Place & Finding Your Ancestry Isn't Always Easy.  William R. Meek has been a bit of a mystery to my family as of yet and I'm really struggling to find out more about him with the records I have available to me.  Now I know that he was injured at a battle in Georgia and died later of wounds he received there, his wife Rebecca remarried and her parents took in their only son William D. Meek.  I've been searching for where the Meek(s) family came from and I'm still coming up blank and it is beyond frustrating.  I was hoping that by finding William R. Meek's military records it would help lead me to his parents.  Unfortunately, that was not the case but I did get some really interesting documentation to share with my family.

Through the National Archives I was able to order William R. Meek's Pension Records and Military Death Records.  When they arrived it was like Christmas morning; I was so excited to dig into those records and see what they could tell me.  The death records were fairly simple, mostly copies of casualty sheets and muster rolls all signed by commanding officers.  The Pension Record envelope was a whole different story.  While it didn't lead me to William R.'s parents; it did give me some insight into how things working in the 1960s after the Civil War.  Most of the documents were depositions as to when William R. & Rebecca got married, doctors attesting to William D. being their child and all that good stuff.  There were also papers in their about Rebecca's pension claim being denied because she had gotten remarried, and that William D. would get $8 a month until his was 16 years old.  All in all unfortunately nothing helpful in the genealogical sense, but none the less exciting to look at.

Anyone have any suggestions as to what steps to take next?  I'm stuck in Ohio in 1800 and I don't know who to get out!