Military Monday: Civil War Documents

I apologize for the slow down in my posts! There will be a new website soon that this blog will be moved to and I have been working on my new genealogy business. Stay tuned for that!

I have been slowly going through my 3x great-grandfather’s Civil War records. They have been very interesting and really give some insight into what his life was like from 1890-1932, when he died.

What I have loved as well is the added information on items I can’t find. For example, these records explain why there is no marriage certificate to be found (1):

461 Judson Almy Marriage

Also, the county Jutson died in no longer has a death certificate for him, just a recording in a book. However, his Civil War file has the actual death certificate! (2)

460 judson death certificate

It also explains why there was no will or probate record. There was nothing left to be given! He must have already sold off his land (he was a farmer) as his health was very poor for about 30 years before his death and farming just could no longer happen so he moved into the city. In one of his records, it states that there was no personal property left and he only had about $100 of cash money left. The homestead was owned jointly by his wife so there was nothing to go about there either. (3)

The other things that are great to find are all of the affidavits when his health started to get bad. There are many neighbors and friends who wrote in saying that he didn’t have these disabilities due to “vicious habits” but came by them naturally. It even includes an affidavit from a doctor who treated Jutson’s mother and brother. The doctor mentions his mother had died from consumption and his brother also had some respiratory issues. (4)

I love these records as I feel I know so much more now about Jutson then I did before. I love it when records make the ancestor seemingly become more alive. :)


1) Jutson Almy (Private, Company I, 15th New York Engineers, Civil War), pension no. XC 265,180, Federal Military Pension Application – Civil War and Later Complete File; Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

2) “Jutson Almy Death Certificate,” Jutson Almy (Private, Company I, 15th New York Engineers, Civil War), pension no. XC 265,180, Federal Military Pension Application – Civil War and Later Complete File.

3) “Affidavit Supporting Burial Claim,” Jutson Almy (Private, Company I, 15th New York Engineers, Civil War), pension no. XC 265,180, Federal Military Pension Application – Civil War and Later Complete File.

4) “Physician Affidavit 24 January 1896,” Jutson Almy (Private, Company I, 15th New York Engineers, Civil War), pension no. XC 265,180, Federal Military Pension Application – Civil War and Later Complete File.

Categories: ALMY, Discovery, Paper | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Wordless Wednesday: GM Gathering

459 Glenn Witherell


Left to Right: Mart Engerer, Jim Smith, and Glenn Witherell

Their badges say Central Foundry Division General Motors Corporation

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Wordless Wednesday: Formal Picture

Mary Hummel  age 17; about 1947

Mary Hummel age 17; about 1947

Categories: HUMMEL, Photo | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Matrilineal Monday: Barnes Line

I hate to say it, but I haven’t really focused on my maternal grandmother’s line, the Barnes, at all. I have focused on my own maiden name and my mom’s maiden name more than anything. After all, this search began with finding out where the Witherell’s came from. And my mom’s maiden name’s line has a lot of the immigrant stories that I love to hear about.

So, I kind of avoided/didn’t pay attention to the Barnes.

But their story is interesting too, as I’m figuring out with bits and pieces. I’ll share some of those bits today and hopefully have a much fuller story in the coming months!

James and Helen Barnes - probably taken early 1980s

James and Helen Barnes – probably taken early 1980s

These are my grandmother’s parents. She was only one of two children that they had. My grandmother is 11 years older than her younger brother so they weren’t very close. Which is probably why I don’t know much about this family and why they weren’t talked about too often. My grandpa, after all, had a large and local family so most of the family stories came from there.

However, those two up there did elope (1). I love the story my grandmother told me. Apparently, her parents met and fell in love early in life. Before her mom, Helen, graduated from high school, these two sneaked over the Ohio border and got married, telling no one. Then after her graduation, when Helen’s parents wanted to take her home, James (my great-grandpa) intervened and said Helen would go with him since they were married. I can’t imagine how well that went over!

The Barnes family isn’t one I have researched very well but I do know they came to Michigan from Canada. My 3x great-grandfather, James Kelley Barnes, was born in Canada (2). The story on him is interesting and I haven’t verified it yet but apparently he was quite the sportsman. So much so that in 1902 he went into Northern Michigan to establish a hunting and fishing lodge and his family never heard from him again. I really want to follow up on that and see what became of him.

The rest of the family I still need to search into but I can say that although the family wasn’t talked about in much detail, I think that will make everything I find all the more interesting. :)


1) Fulton County, Ohio. Marriage License, Barnes-Henderson, 1931; County Clerk’s Office, Wauseon.

2) 1880 U.S. Census, Tuscola County, Michigan, population schedule, Juniata Township, ED 407, SD 3, sheet 21A(penned), 198 (stamped), dwelling 197, family 197, James Barnes; digital image, ( : accessed 18 March 2014), citing National Archives microfilm publication T9, roll 407.

Categories: BARNES | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Friday’s Faces from the Past: Baby Picture

457 Baby


I love this photo but I have no idea who it could be.

Happy Friday everyone :)

Categories: Photo | Tags: , | 5 Comments

Wordless Wednesday: Flowers and a Visit

456 Ada (Raifsnider) Hummel

1948 – Ada (Raifsnider) Hummel visiting her sister, Hattie, in Centerville, Michigan.

Categories: Photo, RAIFSNIDER | Tags: , | Leave a comment

One Lovely Blog Award!


I was very surprised to see that the Genealogy Sisters nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award! Thank you so much!! I can’t begin to tell you how honored and surprised I am to receive your nomination :) I started this blog nearly one year ago and wasn’t quite sure where it would take me. I know I have fallen off a bit on blogging on a more regular basis but I’m still here and not planning on going anywhere.

With this blogging award, there are a few guidelines:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to that blog

2. Share seven things about yourself

3. Nominate 15 bloggers you admire (or as many as you can think of!)

4. Contact your bloggers to let them know that you’ve tagged them for the One Lovely Blog Award.

So with that, here are seven things about me:

  • The main reason I love genealogy so much is to help me discover who I came from. I know for some, knowing who your great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather/mother was isn’t very exciting because of how far removed we are. But for me, once I place that person then I have someone to follow through history with. They are like little time machines for me. I love figuring out how they lived their life and even, if possible, what kind of person they were.  I also like to try and figure out if any traits have been passed down through the generations. I find it very inspiring.
  • I have lived in three states so far and have always lived near very large bodies of water. My husband and I toyed with the idea of moving west, maybe to Colorado, but the idea of being in a place without a large body of water is foreign. And I feel very dry just thinking about it.
  • I am a runner but it’s because I’m lazy. Wait, wait! Let me explain! I like the idea of burning a certain amount of calories (usually goes along with how many goodies were consumed over the weekend!) but I honestly don’t like to work out for that long. I’d have to walk for about 2 hours to get the same amount of calories burned for a little over half an hour of running. So, I run. Makes sense, right? :)
  • I am a HUGE reader. And I love for that reason. It’s a great place for me to keep track of what books I’ve read and what I want to read. Plus, I love the reading challenges! I challenged myself to 60 books this year but I’m a bit behind. I read a few very LONG books this year!
  • I love to travel. In fact, if I could, I’d sell the house and get some sort of RV to travel all the time. My husband and I had a plan to do just that for a year but as things usually go, life happened and plans changed. But we still travel as often as we can.
  • I painted for the first time (ever) this past weekend at a Wine and Canvas event. Now all I want to do is order paint and canvases and go crazy! But really, if you have one of those Canvas type places by you (not all include wine!), try it. It’s amazing what you’ll be able to do! Maybe some of my grandma’s talent is in me? :)



  • One of the main reasons why I started this blog was to see if I could pull some Witherell’s out of the woodwork. What I once thought was an uncommon name, I’ve discovered is not. So I’ve been ever hopeful that someone, somewhere is also searching for the same Witherell’s I am! My fingers are still crossed!

For the fifteen or however many blogs, I know not all like awards. If I nominated you and you don’t like awards, I apologize (I also apologize if you’ve already been nominated)! Not all are genealogy related but all are worthy reads. So here are some of the amazing blogs that I nominate (in no particular order):

  1. If Destroyed Still True
  2. Tracing Amy: My Ancestral Journey
  3. Anglers Rest
  4. A Day in the Life of Patootie
  5. A Hundred Years Ago
  6. Family History Across the Seas
  7. On the Upcycle
  8. Past Smith
  9. Genealogy Adventures
  10. Turquoise Compass
Categories: Unrelated | Tags: | 12 Comments

Six Word Saturday: Pets

455 spoiling the dog

Spoil the dog? We would never! ;)

Categories: Photo, WITHERELL+ | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Thankful Thursday: Digital Records

How to Store These???

How to Store These???

One of my society’s has an off branch group that meets once a month to go over a specific topic. This last week we discussed scanning items – specifically photos. I found this incredibly useful as I don’t have much experience with that yet.

At the moment, I use a portable scanner like this one. It’s great for documents and when I travel to visit family I can easily scan documents and photos without having to ask to borrow the picture/document or bring a clunky machine from house to house.

The only problem is that it doesn’t have the best DPI as it only does 300 or 600 DPI. That is fine for documents and even newspaper clippings but I would like something better for pictures. And as you all know, I have a LOT of pictures. We got to watch some demonstrations that showed what a higher DPI could do for photos and I was amazed! I am now hunting for a good scanner.

Along with that, we got to talking about photo editing. I use Picasa because it’s free. It works for the most part but I can’t move the margins of a picture so I can then write the citation below the image. This is okay for most of my documents as I’ll then be sure to scan a bit below the document so I have room to type the citation without writing over the image. However, with some documents that doesn’t work. So I’d like to have something better. Everyone at the meeting seemed to use Adobe Photoshop Elements. What about everyone who reads this – what is your preference? I’d be working with old photos so something that could help me touch up photos or make them look better is what I’d want.

So, any suggestions for scanners? Photo editing?


Categories: Method | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Wordless Wednesday: Three Generations

454 1929 grandpa


1929- My great-great grandpa, Arthur Almy, my beloved grandpa Bobbie Witherell (only three months old here!), and my handsome great-grandpa Glenn Witherell. I miss my grandpa a lot this time of year (and well, every time of the year really) and felt this picture was fitting for the my mood. :)

Categories: ALMY, Photo, WITHERELL+ | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Blog at The Adventure Journal Theme.

Virginia Allain

Writer, Photographer, Book Designer

Once a Hoosier...Always a Hoosier

Record your Indiana Ancestors

Planting the Seeds

Genealogy as a profession

If Destroyed Still True

Putting my teenage diaries online is a pretty daft idea but I can't quite bring myself to chuck them on a bonfire after years of writing EVERYTHING down... with diagrams.

Janaline's world journey

My Strange and Wonderful Experiences and Adventures as I Travel through the World

My Genealogy Life

Ancestor Hunter

It's all Relative


Famtastic History

Digging up the past is a present to yourself


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