Thursday, February 28, 2013

Analyze Lands of Virginia and Kentucky

Virginians Granted Kentucky Land
Have you ever analyzed your Kentucky ancestors? If you get back far enough, you will find that many came from Virginia. Did you know that Kentucky was part of the Virginia Commonwealth? By following wars and the laws, you may be led to your early Virginian and Kentucky ancestors.

Looking at early Kentucky maps, it becomes apparent that south of the Green River is consistently designated as reserved territory. This is really obvious when researching the Mammoth Cave area in south central Kentucky, which is now a National Park, but at one point this massive set-aside land was the home of about 13 or more churches, residences and many cemeteries (few still remaining). Our research of this Mammoth Caves National Park and a few targeted early residents carried us back to the Revolutionary War and the French and Indian War. Yet Kentucky did not become a state until 1792.

War Impact
An often forgotten war in our genealogy research is the French and Indian War, 1754-1763. Perhaps you haven’t traced that far back yet, but it will probably prove to be significant in your Kentucky ancestors’ research. This war between British American and New France colonies left a paper trail since Virginia soldiers’ were awarded land grants in lieu of pay; leaving the researcher a wonderful collection of early Virginia-Kentucky ancestors’ land records. (The same is for Virginia-Ohio ancestors).

What are Bounty Land Warrants?
Our early military-active ancestors were enticed to join war efforts by the promise of “bounty land warrants.” Soldiers were able to first apply for the coveted warrants. If granted, the warrants on file confirmed the soldier and the number of bounty land acres he was entitled to based on his rank and other useful genealogical data is provided. 

Bounty land acres were reserved specifically for the purpose to pay for military service. For Virginia militia, land was set-aside in “Kentucky” for the soldiers (or heirs) to claim. Between about 1773 - 1792, Virginia soldiers, or their heirs, received warrants for bounty land. The land was located in what is Kentucky today. After the Revolutionary War, Kentucky was formed and designated from Virginia. Virginia Revolutionary War soldiers were also offered bounty land in Kentucky and Ohio. At least 4748 bounty land warrants were issued by Virginia to Revolutionary War veterans. The warrants authorized surveys of the soldiers’ land. A soldier was able to surrender his bounty land warrant for a land patent, resulting in ownership of the land.

Where are the Records?
The original warrants are held at the Kentucky Land Office, in Frankfort, KY and have been microfilmed by the Family History Library (FHL): Virginia Grants, 1782-1792. Be sure to also review the Old Kentucky Grants (1793-1856) microfilms held at the FHL. 

A vital resource to our Mammoth Caves area research was the FHL microfilm rolls of the Grants South of the Green River, 1797-1866. The land south of the Green river was also reserved for Virginia soldiers. 

Top research resources:
  1. Kentucky Land Office, Frankfort, KY 
  2. County Tax List,  held at Frankfort, KY also reference
  3. Preemption Receipts and Warrants from the VA Land Commission from the Library of Virginia, Richmond VA.  
  4. Kentucky Land Office Online Database: Virginia and Old Kentucky Patent Series 
For More Information
The process of Warrants to Patents has been simplified in this article. Much deeper understanding of the law is necessary for a successful search. Here are two places to begin:
Kathleen Brandt
Accurate Accessible Data

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Confederate Records for Free, Slave, White and Black

Confederate: Chimborazo Hospital, Richmond VA
Confederate Hospital Records
Many Confederate records were destroyed, often on purpose, so when we discover a useful resource for genealogical research of Confederate ancestors, we do a happy dance. Record Group 109, War Department Collection of Confederate Records holds the captured or surrendered “Rebel Archives, ”but it’s the Records of (Confederate) Hospitals, RG 109.8.4, that provides additional information on our individual ancestors that served the Confederacy.

A Good Place To Start
The Confederate Congress passed the “Act to better provide for the sick and wounded of the Army in Hospitals” on 27 September 1862.  However hospital records are dated as early as 1861: Record Group 109.8.4, Records of (Confederate) Hospitals.  Although not complete, you may find your Confederate ancestor listed or named correspondence and documentations included in the Records of the Medical Department, Confederate War Departments, 1861-1865.
If your ancestor was hospitalized in the Richmond Virginia area, there were many beds. The records of each of the area hospitals should be checked but the Chimborazo Hospital  in Richmond, VA was the largest, with an 8000 patient capacity; and Winder Hospital, with a capacity of 5000 patients, also in Richmond.

If you find your ancestor in a nearby Confederate Cemetery, be sure to check the records of the closest hospital. For example: the Shelby Springs Confederate Cemetery listings has 105 graves listed on Find A Grave, many of the veterans interred here were patients at the Shelby Springs Confederate Hospital.

What to Expect
Besides listings of patients, and officers, the researcher may also find their Civil War Confederate veteran in the collection of hospital musters, lists of medical officers, lists of patients, soldier discharges, and more in Record Group 109.8.1 and Record Group 109.8.2. A bonus, should it be located, is the “Soldier’s Furlough Passes.” These records can be located in RG 109.8.2 Records of Medical Directors.  Again, not complete, but the passes provide the dates of when a solder was furloughed from the hospital and furlough information directed to the soldier.

As for vocabulary on these records, know that muster rolls were personnel lists and records to include the wage amounts.

African American Confederate Ancestors
There are few records that record the black that serviced the Confederate military. However, the collection of medical records gives an account of African Americans that served in a medical facility as a civilian employee. Civilian employees may have been cooks, laundresses, etc. The recording of black Civilian workers varied between medical facilities. Know that not all hospitals recorded their black civilians or slaves. However, if available the African American records can be found in the hospital muster and clothing rolls, 1861-1865, RG 109.8.1. Most of the muster lists provide the employee, the name of owner and the date of service, and type of service. Even slaves who were placed at medical facilities are listed, but only by first name. As usual, to conduct your slave research, a slave master must be known, but they are named on these records.

In Richmond hospitals there are five (5) Confederate volumes targeting the African American workers.  These volumes are not indexed, but available:
  • List of colored employees, General Hospital No. 21, 1862-1863 (Vol. 14)
  • Lists of employees and accounts for food purchased, Chimborazo Hospital No. 1, 1862-1865 (Vol. 307) 
  • Record book, Chimborazo Hospital No. 1, 1862-1865 (Vol. 310)
  • Lists of employees, Chimborazo Hospital No. 2, 1862-1865 (Vol. 85)  
  • Jackson Hospital, lists of employees, Division Nos. 1-4, 1863-1864 (Vol. 187) 
Locations of Hospitals
A listing of these Confederate States assigned hospitals with salvaged records is below.
Fort Morgan Hospital, 1862-64
Ross General Hospital (Mobile), 1861- 65
Shelby Springs General Hospital, 1864-65
Rock Hotel Hospital (Little Rock), 1862-63
Walker General Hospital (Columbus), 1864-65
General Hospital No. 1 (Savannah), 1862-64
Additional hospitals at Dalton, 1862-63, and Macon, 1862-65
Bowling Green Hospital, KY, 1861-62
            Shreveport General Hospital, LA, 1864-65
Lauderdale Springs General Hospital, 1862- 63,
Way and Yandell Hospitals (Meridian), 1865
St. Mary's Hospital (West Point), 1864-65
New Mexico
Fort Fillmore, 1861-62
Dona Anna, 1861-62
North Carolina
General Hospital No. 7, 1861-65
Pettigrew Hospital (Raleigh), 1861-65
Military Prison Hospital (Salisbury), 1864-65
General Hospitals No. 4 and 5 (Wilmington) 1862-65
Additional hospitals 1863-65
Charlotte, Fort Fisher, Goldsboro, Greensboro, and Wilson,
 Overton General Hospital, Memphis, TN, 1861-62; 
General Hospitals at Franklin and El Paso, TX, 1862, and Galveston and Houston, TX, 1861-65
General Hospitals No. 1-27, 1861-65
Chimborazo Hospital, 1861-65
 Howard's Grove Hospital, 1862-65
Jackson Hospital, 1861-65
Camp Winder General Hospital, 1861-65
Danville, 1862-65
Orange and Farmville, 1861-65
Petersburg, 1861-65
Williamsburg, 1861-64

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Friday, February 1, 2013

Using U.S. Congressional Serial Set, Part II

Black History Month
Yes it’s black history month, but family researchers with slave ancestors or those descendant of slave masters must tap slave and free-colored records year round. Why? Because these collections hold our history; a great part of the US history. So, here’s the highlight on slave and free-colored research using the U.S. Congressional Serial Set.

Using Serial Set to Research Slaves and Slave Holders
The U.S. Congressional Serial Set, filled with genealogical tips, hints, and treasures, is not getting its fair share of attention by genealogists or other historical researchers. I can’t think of one reason why this free-resource is not being perused on a regular basis. It’s full of what we love – gossip, scandal, court cases and names of both supportive and vile neighbors. It covers topics on women, African Americans, Native Americans, students, soldiers, sailors, pensioners, landowners, and inventors. Is this not the genealogists’ dream?  And as already mentioned – it’s free (with a library card).

If you use the keyword  “slaves” there are 659 occurrences  Some of these documents give us social history and legal proceedings void of ancestors’ names and may be deemed less than helpful to the researcher. But, the collection also includes claims for slaves killed in the military – especially useful if you are stuck in the War of 1812 era, pension appeals, land disputes, and even emancipation information like that of  Jane Hall (above).
Emancipation Papers: Francis Hall and Others.
Maryland slave Jane Hall, born 1799 ran away from her master in 1820 and subsequently was manumitted (as were her heirs) by Alexander Claxton in 1821. (Francis Hall, 55th Congress, 1st Session, Senate, Rpt No. 123).
Pension: Richard Jackson 22 Jul 1890 
Many pensions were settled at the congressional level and the US Serial Set has detailed accounts of the requests, proposals and appeals.  Richard Jackson, a slave and teamster for the Union Army was shot, captured and imprisoned, attempted an escape, shot again. The account is pretty detailed, and it also gives his slave master’s name as Dr. Charles J. Manning. (Serial Set-ID:2815 House of Representatives, Report No 2784, 51st Congress, 1st Session).
LandOn the Application of a Cherokee Indian Woman to Sell a Reservation of Land Which Was Made to Her Husband, Who was Adjudged to be a Runaway Slave. 
 A difficult research project is the intermarrying of Native Americans and African Americans residing in the southeast. A report dated 8 Feb 1831 documents Sally Johnson, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation in Jackson County, Alabama married a runaway slave Peter Johnson. Peter was “reclaimed by his master.” The legality of selling of Peter’s 650 acres of reservation land was in question. (Serial Set: A3P033 Publ. land No. 892, 21st Congress, 2nd Session). 

Runaway Slave NamesBenjamin Oden; 7 April 1834. 
Slave Frederick ran away from his master, Benjamin Oden in Maryland,1814. He enlisted in the military as alias William Williams and died in 1815.  Military men were entitled to bounty land and the master wanted to claim the bounty land that would have been given to William Williams, as if he were a free man. This one report gave us the name of slave, freeman alias and master. (Serial Set-ID 262; Benjamin Oden, Rep No 392, 23rd Congress, 1st Session, House of Representative). 
Accessing the U.S. Congressional Serial Set
If you aren’t familiar with the Serial Set, be sure to read U.S. Congressional Serial Set for Genealogists, Part I. The Serial Set is an online resource available via your local library that subscribes to HeritageQuest Online; and, it’s accessible remotely using your home computer with a library card.

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, Accessible Answers

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