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Showing posts from October, 2011

Those Places Thursday on Sunday: Donnell Farm, Hyde, NC

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Donnell Farm may have been the reason my folks wound up in Hyde County. If you have read my earlier posts about the Whitneys, then you know I believe that my Whitney Ancestors came to America en-route to Virginia and then traveled south to New Bern, NC. They, according to oral history in my family were of Portuguese descent from the Azores Island, arriving and staying in Bermuda for a period of time and eventually making their way to America....and as on the show Seinfeld they would say, "Yadayadayada, here I am."   So what's the connection to Donnell Farm?

For the years 1830 and 1840, the family is headed up by my 4th great grandfather Samuel Whitney, residing in New Bern, NC.



Images courtesy of Ancestry.com.

For 1850 and 1860, I cannot find the family on the censuses for New Bern or Swan Quarter, Hyde, NC. Perhaps they had moved to a different area or were simply missed by census takers. 

By 1870, Thomas Whitney, the son of Samuel and his extended family are shown  living…

Wordless Wednesday: Hyde County, NC

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Closeup of a map at the NC State Archives called "Hyde County, North Carolina (State Highway and PublicWorks Commission)" Published in 1938. Lake Comfort is shown labeled in the center and is apparently where my Whitney Clan lived. It spans approximately from Swindell Fork on until it ends at where the map is labeled New Holland (part of the word Holland is cut off in the right portion of the map)

So the book came. That's right, the book I ordered a couple of days ago called "Hyde County History:  A Hyde County Bicentennial Project" by the Hyde County Bicentennial Committee. It is an excellent resource if you have connections to Hyde County. I have only started to skim through it but it looks like it has lots of good information. I have even surmised a theory for why and how the Whitneys may have left New Bern to come to Hyde County sometime during the years following the Civil War. Some good posts are definitely to come.





My Current Obsession--Hyde County, NC

My Whitney family line lived in an area called Lake Comfort, Hyde, NC. It is associated with Swan Quarter, NC. This is my current obsession. This area is rural, small population now and it has always been that way. Have to wait  a couple of days for a book I ordered to come in.  It is called, "Hyde County History: A Hyde County Bicentennial Project" by the Hyde County Bicentennial Commitee. Curious to see what info I may be able to gather from this book. My 2nd great grand uncle's Civil War Pension file I have found so interesting so far, but now I am thirsting for more information about Swan Quarter, Hyde, NC.  I will keep you posted. Happy Researching, Everyone out there in the Blogosphere.

Wedding Wednesday: My Wedding March 30, 2005

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Recreation Park March 30, 2005 Binghamton, NY My son is the best man. 








Just Breathe! Whooh.







What a great day! We had been together for almost 10 years at this point, so we were already committed to each other. It was nice making it official, especially with our son as best man. Went home and had hot dogs for dinner and that is how we celebrate our anniversary...that's right with hot dogs.

Oops! My Bad..It was Folly Island, not Pawleys Island, SC

Okay, I made a mistake. I was researching my ancestor Augustus Whitney last night and came across information regarding Folly Island, SC . The first time I used Google to search, I kept putting in Polly Island or Holly Island, SC because to me, that is what the cursive writing on the Civil War pension file looked like. The only thing that came up that was close was Pawley's Island, SC so I assumed, well maybe back in the day they spelled it as Polly and then later it was modified to Pawley. Well, You know what happens when you assume.  I looked at the file again last night and decided, well maybe that is an F not a P and guess what came up..Folly Island, SC. The site of a staging area for Union troops during the Civil War. I found some great information on the site called the civilwaralbum. here's the link to the section about Folly Island.http://www.civilwaralbum.com/misc9/folly_island1.htm

Another good read was a Los Angeles Times Article from 2010 that centered around a man …

Dr. John DeGrasse--African American Civil War Surgeon.

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When I was reviewing my 2nd great grand uncle's civil war pension file I came across some interesting side-note information. One of those little known facts that is often overlooked when discussing the grand story of the Civil War. According to Augustus Whitney's pension file he was treated by a Dr. John V. DeGrasse. So now in this age of google, I decided to google the good doctor's name and I was brought to several articles about the man. 

Dr. John V. DeGrasse b.1825--d.1868   African-American Doctor who served as assistant surgeon with the 35th United States Colored Infantry. Image Courtesy of the Massachusetts African American Museum, Boston & Nantucket, MA and the Massachusetts Historical Society.
Here is one that appeared in Black America Web.com, Dated Thursday December 16, 2010 By Erica Taylor http://www.blackamericaweb.com/?q=articles/news/the_black_diaspora_news/24333

Another golden nugget I found, was on the RootsWeb Page (An Ancestry.com Community), called The Afr…

How Did Augustus Whitney Become Injured During The War?

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So How did Augustus Whitney, my 2nd great grand uncle get injured during the Civil War? This Department of the Interior Document provides a summary of what happened. 

Department of the Interior Pension Office
June 23, 1884

Sir:  

                  I have the honor to request that you will furnish from the records of the War Department a full report as to the service, disability and hospital treatment of Augustus Whitney, who it is claimed, enlisted May 21, 1863, and served as Private and corporal in Co. D, 35 Regt. USCT; also in Co. ,___________and was discharged at Charleston, SC June 1, 1866. 
                 While serving in Co. D 35 Regt. USCT he was disabled by injury to right arm at Polly's Island, SC about the 10 of July 1863, while working on the signal station. ______________________________and was treated in hospitals of which the names, locations, and dates of treatment are as follows:  By regimental surgeon from middle of July to middle of October 1863 on Polly Island, SC b…

So Who Was Dr. M. M. Murray?

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Dr. M. M. Murray Born July 27, 1828 Died Jan. 26, 1908 Having served his generation by the will of God he fell asleep.  Amity Methodist Church
Lake Landing, Hyde, NC
Image courtesy of Find A Grave
On my last post regarding Augustus Whitney's Civil War pension file, I had found out that Dr. M. M. Murray employed my 2nd great grand uncle as an "office boy" prior to the Civil War.  As soon as I found this out, I starting digging to see who this M. M. Murray was. This is what I found out. 
Dr. Morgan Monroe Murray was born July 27, 1828 and died January 26, 1908. He resided in Lake Comfort, Hyde, NC and was both a doctor and a farmer. He was married to a Sarah Jane Gibbs on May 21, 1867. He was the son of a Riley Murray (b.1799--d.1894) who apparently was person of some stature in the Hyde community. Here is a copy of Riley Murray's obituary from March 2, 1894. I found this on the Hyde County GenWeb Page.





HYDE COUNTY - The venerable Riley MURRAY, the oldest citizen of Hyde C…

Wordless Wednesday--Mom and Me.

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Do you ever have a case where you think the ancestors are working behind the scenes to get you ready for your big search. Well the reason for my statement has to do do with my journey. My ancestry journey started for me when I was kid and I would look at my Grandmother's picture of her mother in her bedroom. There's a picture of Ophelia Jones Bryant that used to hang in my grandmother's bedroom and whenever I would visit I would look at that picture for a period of time and wonder who that lady was and what she was like. That was for me the catalyst in my journey. Little did I know that there was another beautiful golden nugget just so subtlety in the background of my youth. When I started my ancestry search almost 3 years ago I filled my mother in on every step of the way with all the discoveries I made. My mother had asked for a copy of her great grandmother's picture from my aunt and uncle who live in Morehead City, NC. My Uncle Nat made a copy of the picture he had…

Augustus Whitney--Slave or Free Person of Color?

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This Civil War Pension File continues reveal great little tidbits of information. One of the things I was hoping to find out, was who Augustus Whitney worked for before the Civil War. In his U.S. Colored Troop Service record it showed that he was a servant before the war but that could mean he was free or he was a slave. He I believe was of mixed ancestry. His father and grandfather were Portuguese and his mother black. If his mother was a slave, then he and his siblings would have been as well. What kind of person did he work for? Did whoever he worked for treat him with some level of compassion?  One hopes for so much from these old pieces of paper we research. Anyway, here is an affidavit for a Dr. Morgan M. Murray from April 27, 1883 that sheds some light on Augustus Whitney's pre-Civil War life.




Physicians Affidavit 
State of North Carolina County of Hyde In the pension Claim No. 477.762 Augustus Whitney Corpl Co. D 35 Regt U S C Inf Personally came before me a Morgan M. Murra…

Augustus Whitney's Civil War Pension File--Part Two

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So here is another section of Augustus Whitney's Civil War Pension file. 
Declaration For Invalid Pension
State of  North Carolina, County of Hyde. On this 10th day of April, A.D. one thousand eight hundred and ninety-six, personally, appeared before me, J. M. Watson a Justice of the Peace within and for the County and state aforesaid, Augustus Whitney, aged 55 years, a resident of the _______of Lake Comfort County of Hyde, State of North Carolina, who was enrolled on the 21st day of May, 1863 in Co. D -35-USCT in the service of the United States in the war of the rebellion, and served at least ninety days, and was honorably discharged  at Charleston, S.C., on the 1st day of June, 1866. That he has not been employed in the military or naval service otherwise than as stated above______________ That he is now unable to earn a support by manual labor by reason of injury of right arm. That said disabilities are not due to his vicious habits and are to the best of his knowledge and belie…

Christmas In October, WooHoo! Augustus Whitney's Civil War Pension File--Part One.

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On September 7th, I put in an email request with the National Archives for Augustus Whitney's Civil War Pension file. I was so delighted to receive the file ahead of expectation on Thursday of this week. So WooHoo! Here we go. The file is 125 pages long and filled with lots of leads for me for finding out additional information about my ancestors. Also, it has included some answers to when family members died. It has portions that are out of order but as I have been reading it, I have found that it follows a reverse chronology from shortly after his death to when he first applied for his pension. Some of the pages and testimonies are repetitive and due to the size of the file, I have decided I will share select portions.

The name of the document is a Drop Order and Report from the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions.
Pensioner:  Augustus Whitney Certificate Number:  322907 Class:  Invalid Service:  Co. D 35 USC Inf U.S. Pension Agent, Knoxville Sir:  You are hereby direc…