Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wentworth Diary

James Hamilton Wentworth was the husband of Elizabeth Green, sister of my great grandfather Andrew Jackson Green
Wentworth Business Card
He was 45 years old when they got married in 1883 and she was his third wife. I found this old photo of them was in my great grandparents bible.

James & Elizabeth Wentworth
As a younger man he enlisted in the 5th Regiment, Florida Infantry was promoted to Lieutenant and participated in several of the important battles of the Civil War.

James Wentworth was taken prisoner at the battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863. He was held as a Prisoner of War at Fort Delaware POW camp in the middle of the Delaware River for the rest of the war.

He was highly educated before the war. After the war he was a school teacher , lawyer, Judge, County Commissioner and Superintendent of Schools in Taylor County Florida.

He became a Baptist Preacher late in life and moved to Escambia County Florida.

He kept a diary of his years as a prisoner. The Fort Delaware camp was unusual in that the Confederate soldiers published a camp newspaper. There aren't any records to prove who wrote the newspaper but he is a likely suspect.

Fort Delaware POW Newspaper

Parts of his prison diary have been published in several magazines and excerpts were in the Perry Florida Newspaper in the 1980s.

Recently a cousin obtained a copy of the entire diary and transcribed it. It is an interesting account of surviving and keeping hope to return home.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Turkey Soup

My brother in law, Mike spends a lot of time in the kitchen whenever my wife's family gets together. When the occasion is Thanksgiving he makes turkey soup.

He starts this almost as soon as the Thanksgiving meal is over. All the leftover turkey, bones and whatever is dumped in a large pot and boils on the stove all day. Mike is a pretty good cook, self made, due to both need and desire. His turkey soup is always popular.

I can't remember every having turkey soup before Mike joined the family. We always ate Thanksgiving with family and always had turkey but I don't remember soup. The only thing I remember about my grandmother Edith's turkey was the seafood dishes that were served with it. There would be shrimp, oysters or fish.

My mother's turkey dishes were normally only motivation to get to the pumpkin pie sooner. In both cases the leftover turkey was something to avoid. Too bad they didn't have the soup recipe.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


My mom officially joined the Daughters of the American Revolution earlier this year.

She finally received a certificate, suitable for framing. The first one had the wrong home state listed for her Revolutionary War Patriot ancestor.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Long lost cousins

Several months ago I came across this blog written by Taneya, an African American woman who lives in Nashville. She was commenting on finding a marriage record for David Nunn and Mary Koonce.

David was a slave owner like many in North Carolina and had a slave, Solomon Koonce who was the ancestor of another African American researcher. David was also the first cousin of my ggg grandmother, Mary Nunn.

I have just started researching the Nunn family and only know about it because I found the death certificate for my gg grandmother and it listed her mother's maiden name.

I've helped on research for a couple African American families who lived in Florida for folks who found my email address on some genealogy web page and saw some surnames that matched theirs.
I have some difficulty in doing family research but for them it is many times more difficult due to the lack of records and also the lack of surnames. Slaves were listed only by sex and age up until 1870. Even after that since many of them could not read or write, their census record was not correct.
Many slaves took their surname from their owner and it may have changed. It has to be an amazing accomplishment to actually obtain some written documentation that would prove their ancestry.

Taneya is the administrator of several North Carolina and Tennessee County genealogy web pages so I am sure much of her time is spent doing research and locating valuable records that help others.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Family Veterans Day

My Dad was big into celebrating Veterans Day. He would always put up a flag, even if it meant taking down his FSU flag to do it.

Even though his military service spanned four decades he never was interested in the military clubs. He was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars for a while but never went to meetings and never had time for the other groups.

He did want to make sure Veterans received their proper honor. He contributed money to the WWII Memorial early on and kept up with the progress as it was being built. He, like many of the WW II vets, didn't live long enough to see it completed.

Daddy sent in memorials for his brothers and himself to the WW II Registry. Considering he never used a computer and didn't even have a typewriter at that point in life this was quite an accomplishment.

After he died he received a special invitation to the opening of the WWII Memorial. I sent it to my sister Cathy, so she and her husband Tom could attend.

I've submitted WW II memorials for about a dozen family members. Some made it through the war and some didn't. If your family has WW II Veterans, you should make sure they are included in the WW II Memorial Registry.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Oliff family

My great grandmother was named Rebecca Oliff Hogan Green. Another relative in Perry, Florida was named Mary Oliff Kelly.

A common practice in the 1800s was to use the mother's family name as the middle name of children. I haven't been able to figure out how we are related to the Oliff family.

I wish I could solve this one since one of my favorite aunts is Freida Wilson, who was born Freida Oliff King. She married my great uncle Walt Wilson. Freida was named for her mother's family. It would be nice to find we are related to Freida by more than marriage.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday School Ticket

Mary Warshaw, an artist and blogger from Beaufort, NC came across a Sunday school ticket, issued to Irvin Fulford in 1851. It was from Ann Street Methodist Church in Beaufort.

My wife and I visited this church the last time we were there, since it was across the street from the B&B we were staying at.

According to an old publication about the church history that Mary Warshaw found, the Sunday school ticket was given quarterly to such members of the Church as were recommended by a class leader with whom they had met at least 6 months on trial. Those without tickets were regarded as 'strangers.'
Back then strangers were not admitted to many of the church events.
I researched Irvin Fulford several years ago because I found battle reports he had issued during the Civil War.
He was the officer in charge of the artillery defense of Fort Fisher, located at Wilmington, NC. It was the only port on the Atlantic ocean still held by the South by December 1864.
The battle reports were published in 1893 and thanks to Google have been preserved
Irvin Fulford was born in Beaufort, North Carolina on March 31, 1839, the son of Absalom Fulford and Naomi Rumley. He enlisted in the CSA on April 23, 1861 as a private and eventually rose to the rank of Lieutenant.
His defense of Fort Fisher was successful but in an earlier defense of Fort Hatteras, NC on August 29, 1861 his position was overrun and he was captured and held as a POW along with 670 other troops who were at the fort.
He was paroled six months later and returned to Beaufort where he promptly re-enlisted.
He grave is in the Old Burying Ground cemetery, behind the Ann Street Methodist Church that issued him the Sunday school ticket. I took this photo of the marker while in town.