Showing posts from July, 2011

Putting Things in Perspective

Last week I wrote about what I learned about Campbell Dudley’s death from the military pension application filed by his mother, Lettitia Dudley.My primary objective in ordering the pension file was to learn more about Lettitia.Most of what I knew about Lettitia and her husband Thomas I learned from the Dudley album I received from my great-uncle Clarence Dudley’s step-grandson a year and a half ago. I have gleaned other information from the usual genealogical sources, mostly census records. Iva Lettitia Tankersley was born January 18, 1811 in Virginia.There is a Virginia marriage record that indicates that a Thomas Dudley married a “Malitia Tankesley” in Pittsylvania County, Virginia on November 17, 1830.However, the Dudley album states that Thomas and Lettitia were married in 1829 and moved from Virginia to Ohio.The Dudleys’ first child, Matilda, was born on October 11, 1830 and died June 24, 1831.They then had ten more children, Absalom, Robert, Campbell, William, John, Jane, twins J…

The Death of Campbell Dudley

Several weeks ago, I was exploring and discovered that my second great-grandmother, Lettitia Dudley, had filed a pension application after her son Campbell died in the Civil War.I am desperate for information about Lettitia and her husband Thomas, so after a couple of days of debating with myself whether I wanted to spend $75.00 to order the pension file from the National Archives and Records Administration, I took the plunge and did it.My purpose in ordering the file was to hopefully learn more about Lettitia and, in the process, find out more about Campbell’s military service and death while serving in the army.

I have received the pension file and, yes, it provided a little illumination on Lettitia’s life.I will cover what I learned about Lettitia and her application for a military pension in next week’s post.The real surprise in the pension file was the story of Campbell Dudley’s death. Campbell Dudley was born March 25, 1837, the fourth child of Thomas and Iva Lettitia…

Robert Hamilton

Robert Hamilton was my fifth great-grandfather (Robert Hamilton – Elizabeth Hamilton Dunn – Robert Dunn – Lulu Dunn Wardlow – Dora Elma Wardlow Ballein – Jennie Esther Ballein Davis – Russell Lee Davis – me).He was born in Ireland on May 16, 1760, but came to America as a teenager and soon thereafter joined the Pennsylvania Line of the Continental Army.

Robert first married Susannah Kean, my ancestor, on April 30, 1781.They had three children, Elizabeth, Robert Jr., and Joseph.After Susannah died, Robert married Ann Hays on February 23, 1792.Robert and Ann had one child, William Hays Hamilton.The Hamiltons moved from Pennsylvania, ultimately settling near Lebanon in Warren County, Ohio.Robert worked as a blacksmith. As I am writing this, I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of a Civil War pension file from the National Archives on an ancestor on my maternal grandmother’s branch of the family.Military pension files are interesting not only because of the information they provide on an ind…

Ralph Waldo Ogden

My dad and his dad James Quincy Davis were storytellers.We used to kid my dad about the stories he told us over and over again.One sad story passed from Grandpa Davis to my dad and then to my sister, brother, and me was the story of the tragic death of Ralph Waldo Ogden.

Ralph Waldo Ogden was born December 17, 1907 in Pike Township, Brown County, Ohio to Santford Morton and Bessie Ralston Ogden.Santford was the son of my second great-grandparents Santford and Sarah Steward Ogden and brother of my great-grandmother Rosa Ogden Davis.On June 4, 1908, Bessie died and Waldo was sent to live with Rosa and her family.My grandpa was a little over a year older than Waldo. My dad said that grandpa referred to Waldo as his “little half-brother.”At the time of the 1910 census, Waldo was living with the Davis family, while his older siblings, Ivah, Paul, and Sarah were living with Santford and his second wife, Lucinda.By 1920, Waldo was living with his father again. I have often wondered about Wal…

Mystery Photo No. 1

I am titling this post "Mystery Photo No. 1" because I have many old photographs that are a mystery to me.  I plan to share more of these pictures in the future and hope that readers will post comments to help answer some of my questions.

I will begin by admitting my ignorance of rural life.  I have always lived in the suburbs and have spent over 20 years working in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio.  So, please forgive me if I am unable to identify some objects in this photo that are obvious to you.  Just roll your eyes at my ignorance and post a comment to help me out!  Enough about my shortcomings; here's the photo:

We are almost certain that this photo is from my maternal grandmother Mary Jane Dudley Donaldson's family.  The photo is printed (not mounted) on cardboard and there is no photographer's mark.  The photo as it appears above has been cropped, but there is a white border of approximately one-half inch above the picture.  The picture is not a postcard.  It is …