Showing posts from May, 2011

Memorial Day History

In honor of the members of my family who have died while serving in the United States military:

William Wardlaw, born 1771, died August 4, 1812, either of disease or at the Battle of Brownstown, Michigan.  William was my fourth great grand uncle in my paternal grandmother's family.Samuel Kincaid, my fourth great grandfather in my paternal grandmother's family, died May 5, 1813 at the siege of Ft. Meigs, Ohio.Campbell Dudley, born 1837, died July 29, 1864 while serving with the 48th Ohio Infantry when he drowned in the Mississippi River at Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  He was my great grand uncle in my maternal grandmother's family.The following information is excerpted from The United States Department of Veterans Affairs website, which can be found at

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves…

Reconnecting with the Donaldson Family

My mom never knew her Donaldson aunts and uncles. Her dad, Eddie Earl Donaldson, the son of David Scott Donaldson and Mary Cordelia Lamb, moved from Oklahoma to the Cincinnati, Ohio area as a teenager in around 1915. My mom, who was seven when her dad died, never had the opportunity to know or visit her dad's brothers and sisters. So, it is always exciting to meet (at least online) our distant Donaldson cousins.
It seems that there is at least one person in every Donaldson aunt's or uncle's family who is interested in the family history. To date, I have made contact with descendants of Arthur Ray Donaldson (1888 - 1951), Harry Alva Donaldson (1891 - 1961), Lelah Donaldson Hensley Bowen (1893 - 1957), Violet Pearl Donaldson Hensley, and William Everett Donaldson (1903 - 1975). Thus far, I haven't made contact with descendants of Charles Lamoine Donaldson (1886 - 1948), James Donaldson (about 1899 - unknown), or Katie Donaldson Willie (1906 - 1983).
Most recently, I have …

Our Brush With Fame

Although it really doesn’t matter to me that I haven’t found any famous ancestors, I confess that it was kind of excited to learn that George Washington mentioned one of my ancestors in his diary. Of course, he didn’t write about him in a flattering context, but he mentioned him just the same.

Matthew Hills is one of my fifth great-grandfathers on the Donaldson side of the family. Admittedly, I haven’t done a great deal of research on Matthew. He was the father of Rebecca Hillis, who married Ebenezer Donaldson. From the little research I have done to date, Matthew was born around 1742, possibly in Washington County, Pennsylvania. It appears that Matthew lived most, if not all, of his life in Washington County.

In September 1784, George Washington journeyed from his Virigina estate, Mount Vernon, to Washington County to dissolve an ill-advised partnership, consider the potential for water transportation between the Ohio River and the Potomac River, and visit some of his unoccupied boun…