Monday, October 28, 2013

Military Monday: Private Jesse Padgett

Jesse Padget, Company Muster Roll
Last week I spent some time at the Bell Research Center in Cumming, Georgia, using their extensive collection of Civil War resources.  I was trying to find more information about Jesse Padgett, my husband's Great Grandfather.  While I didn't find all the information I was seeking, I came home with a lot of new information, more questions, and some insight into researching our ancestors who were in the Civil War.

Company H, 7th Georgia Infantry, :Roswell Guards"
Roster of Confederate Soldiers in Georgia (1)

Prior to my visit to the Bell Research Center, based on his wife's application for a widow's pension, I already knew that Jesse Padgett had been a member of Company H, the 7th Georgia Infantry, known as the "Roswell Guards".(2)  I had been concerned, however, because I could not find Jesse listed in the Roster of Confederate Soldiers in Georgia.  Seeing Jesse's enlistment and death dates written on the company muster roll pictured above caused me to take a closer look at his widow's application for a Georgia Widow's Pension and the Roster of Confederate Soldiers in Georgia.  The enlistment and the death information from the muster roll is the same as that of the Roster's entry for Jesse Parker.  In addition, from the application for a widow's pension, the original three witnesses providing affidavits concerning Jesse Padgett's death (F. A. Hargrove, J. L. Gantt, and J. S. Pickens) are all listed in the Henderson roster for Company H.  I ended up feeling that Parker is just another variation of the Padget / Padgett / Paget  / Paggett name, perhaps based on the transcription of records containing Jesse Padgett's name.

With all the newly found information from the Center's Fold3 access, I knew I needed to put it into a timeline so I had a clearer idea of Jesse's life as a soldier.  Below is Jesse's Civil War timeline.  Events of historical significance are shown in red; events relating to Jesse and his wife/widow Parthenia Thomason Padgett are in black.

Aug 1860Jesse Padgett, Parthenia, and children residing in Atlanta area1860 census,
19 Jan 1861Georgia secedes from the
9 Feb 1861Confederate States of America
12 Apr 1861Attack of Fort
21 Jul 1861Battle of Bull Run (or 1st Manassas)
23 Aug 1861Jesse Padgett enlists in Co H, 7th Georgia, in Richmond,
31 Aug 1861Jesse Padgett, Company Muster
28 Dec 1861Jesse Padgett admitted to hospital, Danville, VA, then transferred to hospital, Richmond,
Dec 1861Jesse Padgett, Company Muster
2 Jan 1861Jesse Padgett dies in hospital, Richmond, VA
3 Mar 1862Beginning of claim process for Jesse's widow, affidavit of
1 Jul 1862Payment of claim to attorney for widow, $
1864Payment of claim to widow, $
9 Apr 1865Lee surrenders to
22 Sep 1891Widow files for Georgia Widows' PensionGeorgia Virtual Vault

The National Park Service Soldiers and Sailors Database provides a short history of the 7th Regiment, Georgia Infantry, the regiment in which Jesse enlisted.  It was interesting to note that Jesse was not part of the original regiment when it was organized in the Atlanta area in May of 1861.  Instead, according to the Company Muster Roll, Jesse apparently traveled to Richmond  to enlist a few months later on 23 August 1861.

Some stories suggested that Jesse had been wounded in the Battle of Manassas, but putting verifiable information into a timeline showed that Jesse had not enlisted at the time of 1st Manassas.  The 7th Georgia was involved in this battle, so I can't help but wonder if perhaps news of this battle prompted Jesse to get to Richmond and join other family or neighbors in the Confederate effort.

Jesse's widow, Parthenia Thomason Padgett, filed for a Widow's Pension from the state of Georgia in 1891.  Her application affidavit stated that Jesse caught typhoid fever while serving in the Confederate Army and had died of that disease in a Richmond, Virginia hospital.(2)  Research has shown that over two thirds of deaths in the Civil War were due to disease or poor sanitation rather than from battlefield wounds.(3)  Jesse was one more part of these grim statistics.

My biggest question involving Jesse concerns where he was buried.  Previously I had not found any mention of Jesse using either and  It is logical to assume that following his death in Richmond, he would have been buried with other Confederate soldiers somewhere in the Richmond area.  The Bell Research Center contains an impressive number of cemetery registers both for Georgia soldiers and for Georgians buried in other states as well as registers developed by organizations and societies.  I spent close to 45 minutes going through a number of these registers but was not able to find any listing for Jesse Padgett (or any variation of the spelling of his name).  

Oakwood Cemetery, Richmond, VA, 1865
photo: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Online Catalog

The Confederate burials in Richmond's Hollywood Cemetery have been well documented while the approximately 7000 burials in Oakwood Cemetery, Richmond, are not as easy to verify.  It may require a trip to Richmond and talking with cemetery officials to determine whether or not Jesse was interred in the Confederate area of this cemetery.  Although present day photos of Oakwood Cemetery show small numbered marble blocks as grave markers, this photo of Oakwood taken in 1865 provides a different view of the cemetery.  This image is enough for me to want to try and answer this final question about Jesse. 

(1) Henderson, Lillian. Roster of Confederate Soldiers in Georgia, vol. 1. Hapeville, GA:  Longine & Porter, 1959-1964. Digital images. : 2013.

(2) "Padgett, Parthene, Mrs." in "Confederate Pension Applications." Database and images. : 2013.

(3) Fause, Drew Gilpin, "Death and Dying." : 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday: The Locket

Gertrude Thankful Andrews
photo in personal collection
According to family stories, this is a photo of my grandmother Gertrude Thankful Andrews taken approximately 1909 at the time of her engagement to my grandfather Michael Arthur Myren.  Mike Myren had given the locket to Gertrude as an engagement present, and following their marriage Gertrude had it engraved with her new initials "GM".

Later my grandmother gave the locket to my mother.  It was kept in a small box in my mother's chest of drawers and brought out to wear only on Sundays or special occasions.  Then, some years ago, my mother give the locket to me, telling me the story behind the locket and giving me the old photograph.

Through the years, I had noticed some dings on the locket but thought they had come from being knocked around for 100 years.  It turned out the the dings were actually bite marks on the locket, made by my mother when she was teething and being carried around by my Gramma!  Each teething mark on the front, shown by the red circles below, has a corresponding mark on the back of the locket.

"Chomp, chomp, chomp"
The other day I bravely used a jewelry screwdriver to open the locket, something I had never done before.  Inside the locket was a faded picture of my father.  What a special surprise to realize that my mother had years ago added this photograph to the locket.

Someday the locket will probably be passed on to one of my grandchildren.  Along with the locket will also go the photograph as well as the story of how it served as a teething ring for their great grandmother.  This is also one more family heirloom that I am recording in my small "Family Treasures" scrapbook so that all of the family can share in this story.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

It's Enough To Make You Smile ...

Thumbs Up Smiley; source: skotan,

Some days you just have to smile.  I had one of those days the other day as I was looking for more information about the Hillhouse family.

Recently I had posted about Elijah Hillhouse who was both a Mexican war veteran and a Confederate soldier.  Through I found some additional information about Elijah which provided another view of this man.  My search for information on Elijah Hillhouse provided a link to the Bartow County [Georgia] Genweb site where I found a transcription of a newspaper article from the 4 Jul 1872 issue of The Standard and Express.  The article "Cherokee County Sketches, X" was about Elijah Hillhouse.(1)  The article spoke about his being elected to public office several times [tax receiver], living in the Sixes area of Cherokee County, and his death "on a distant battlefield".  There was enough information in the article that I could feel certain that it was about our Elijah. 

Smile #1:  It turns out that Elijah Hillhouse, the soldier and tax receiver, was also a "singing school" teacher.  The article told of his involvement with the style of hymn singing known as Sacred Harp singing.  Growing up in the South, I had long known about Sacred Harp (or shaped note singing), especially since I lived in an area which occasionally held Sacred Harp singings.  These singings were usually held at small churches located out in the county.  More recently, I heard a family quartet singing in the Sacred Harp tradition at the funeral of my husband's uncle.  The haunting beauty of that music later sent me to YouTube where I listened to a number of wonderful examples.  If you want to learn more about this style of singing, view the movie trailer for a documentary about Sacred Harp music, "Awake, My Soul".  Learning that the soldier was also a singer was a surprising bit of information.

Smile #2:  Since my husband and I both have deep roots in Cherokee County, Georgia, I wasn't surprised to learn about our ancestors knowing each other.  In fact, I wrote a post about a few of these connections.  Continuing my research on the Hillhouse family, I was looking at some World War I Draft Registration Cards, primarily looking for birth date, residence, employment, and information on next of kin.  I was glancing over the card for John D. Hillhouse, taking notes, when the signature of the Draft Board Registrar caught my eye.  It was that of my Grandfather Oscar Perkinson!  I have his familiar signature on some family documents, but this was my first time to find it in such an unexpected place.  I knew he had been a community leader in Woodstock, having been elected to several offices, but it was a surprise to now learn that he had been a part of the local Draft Board in Cherokee County.

World War I Draft Registration Card for John DeWitt Hillhouse

It turned out to be a good research afternoon.  I had learned two surprising facts about two different relatives using two different resources.  Good reason to smile.  Good day to remember on my next brick wall, wheel spinning day.

(1) "Cherokee Sketches, X", transcribed by Linda Baty.  The Standard and Express, July 4, 1872; accessed through

Monday, October 14, 2013

Military Monday: Elijah Hillhouse, Two Wars, Two Different Outcomes

Elijah Hillhouse grave marker
photo c2006 Gordon Jones, posted on

Elijah Hillhouse, my husband's Second GreatGrandfather,  was the grandson of Capt. John Hillhouse, the Revolutionary War soldier.  Like his grandfather, Elijah Hillhouse was also a soldier.

His first military service was during the  Mexican War (1846-1847), serving as a private in Company K, 1st Georgia Infantry, also known as the "Canton Volunteers".(1)  According to The Cherokee County Advance, the volunteers left Cherokee County, Georgia, on 6 Jun 1846 and returned on 10 Jun 1847.  This company was one of the first groups organized in response to a letter sent to the states by the United States War Secretary William Marcy.(2)  Following his tour in the Mexican War, Elijah returned to Cherokee County, Georgia, where he farmed and was elected to serve a number of terms as the Cherokee County Tax Receiver. 

Soon after the start of the Civil War,  Elijah and his brother Samuel Wilson Hillhouse, Jr joined Company D of the Georgia Volunteer Infantry, known as the McAfee and Donaldson Guards, when the company formed 3 Sept 1861(3).  Elijah was seriously wounded during the Battle of Seven Pines on 31 May 1862.  He was taken to a military hospital in Richmond, Virginia where he later died on 8 Jun 1862.(4)  Elijah was one of almost 11,000 casualties of the battle.(5)  When he died, Elijah left behind his wife Nancy, two sons, and other relatives still fighting in the war.  Today Elijah is buried in the historic Hollywood Cemetery of Richmond, VA in Soldiers Section L, Lot 173.(6)

In 1927 Elijah Hillhouse was honored for his military service by the Atlanta Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.  The Chapter awarded a Cross of Honor in his memory; the award was received by a grandson C W Hillhouse.(7)

(1) "Mexican Soldiers Officers and Privates of the Canton Volunteers,: The Cherokee Advance, 11 Feb 1887, transcribed by Teresa Burks;
(2) Kurtz, Wilbur G., "The First Regiment of Georgia Volunteers in the Mexican War" ; Georgia Historical Quarterly, vol. XXVII, Dec 1943;
(3) Henderson, Lillian. Roster of the Confederate Soldiers of Georgia, vol. 3. accessed through
(4) Hillhouse, Billy.  Hillhouse Kinship; 
(5) "May 31, 1861: Yankees and Rebels clash at Battle of Seven Pines (Fair Oaks); seven-pines-fair-oaks-virginia.
(6) "Genealogy" Hollywood Cemetery ;
(7) Buzzett, Isabell Smith, "Crosses of Honor Awarded by Atlanta Chapter No. 18 United Daughters of the Confederacy From 1900 to 1935";  //

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Through the Vault -- An Adventure With Sallie

Sarah A "Sallie" Dillard Smith was my husband's Great Grand Aunt, and she was probably the person after whom his Grandmother Sarah E Dillard was named.  Now, she has turned out to be one more relative we've learned more about as I have been reviewing citations for sources.

The first step was to establish a timeline for Sallie's adult life using census records and a quick trip to  Here is what I was able to find along with a brief reference to a source.

29 Jun 1830         Birth in Tennessee (1900 census,
1850                      Married, living in Murray County, Georgia (1850 census)
1870                      Married, living in Gordon County, Georgia (1870 census)
1880                      Married, living in Coosawattee, Gordon County, Georgia (1880 census)
1900                      Married, living in Coosawattee, Gordon County, Georgia (1900 census)
1910                      Widow, living in Resaca, Gordon County, Georgia (1910 census)
1920                      Widow, living in Seventh, Gordon County, Georgia (1920 census)
29 Apr 1923         Died, Gordon County, Georgia (

I wanted to learn more than just census dates for Sallie as well as to look for verification of the information.  Since the majority of her life had been spent in Gordon County, Georgia, I turned to Georgia's Virtual Vault to see if I could learn more about Sallie.

Application for Widow's Pension, Sallie Smith
source: Georgia's Virtual Vault

 The first source I found there was Sallie's application for a Confederate widow's pension from the state of Georgia.  The five pages of her application included some helpful information.  Here is a quick look at what I learned from her pension application file.

  • Sallie had been a resident of Georgia for 83 years, most of her life, at the time of the pension application (24 Sep 1921).
  • Sallie and her husband, P. L. [Prior] Smith, were married sometime in October, 1846 in Gordon County, Georgia.
  • Sallie never remarried following Prior's death.
  • Sallie's application is signed with her mark rather than with her personal signature.
  • The application witness, G. T. Fite, had known Sallie since she was 14 years old, and he had served in the Confederate forces with Prior Smith.
  • Following Sallie's death on 30 Apr 1923, several bills were submitted to the Pension Office on her behalf.  One bill was to pay Dr. D J Borders for two visits to Sallie in the days just before her death.  The second bill was to a furniture company for the purchase of a casket for Sallie.
  • The application packet includes a sworn statement by Sallie as to her inability to locate any official record of her marriage to Prior Smith.
Death Certificate: Sallie Smith
source: Georgia's Virtual Vault

The second document to help me was Sallie's Death Certificate.  This document provided the following information:
  • Sallie died in Gordon County, Georgia, 30 Apr 1923.
  • Her husband [Prior] Lee Smith had preceded her in death.
  • She was born 29 Jun 1830 in Tennessee.
  • Her father Eliga [Elijah] Dillard was born in Tennessee.
  • Her mother Permelia McSpadden was born in Kentucky.  [Mystery #1 - Other sources list Sallie's mother as Permelia Greenberry of Virginia.]
  • The person providing the information about Sallie was R. L. Smith.  [Mystery #2 - I have no idea who this was for these initials do not match the names of any of her children, the usual informant for a death certificate.]
  • Her cause of death was nephritis.
  • She was buried at Peasant Hill Cemetery [Gordon County, Georgia].
  • Calhoun Furniture Co. was listed as the undertaker, a surprise tidbit of information.
Because Georgia's Virtual Vault has a searchable collection of county marriage licenses, I looked through those for information about the marriage of Sallie Dillard and Prior Lee Smith.  The pension application said they married in 1846 in Gordon County, but Gordon County did not exist until 1850 so I needed to look in the records of other counties.(1)  According to the 1850 census, Sallie and Prior Smith were living in Murray County with their two children, so Murray County's books were a good starting place.  I search the Murray County Marriage Books for 1834-1849, 1843-1852, and 1853-1860, but, like Sallie, I could not find a record of their marriage.  Sallie's father, Elijah Dillard, had been living in Cass County at the time of the 1840 census so I also looked at some of the Cass (now Bartow) County marriage records.  There was no record of a marriage for Prior and Sallie in the 1849-1853 book and, unfortunately, the Bartow County Marriage Book C, 1843-1849, was not in the digitized collection.  Maybe if the elusive Book C ever turns up, we might find a marriage record for Prior and Sallie.

Georgia's Virtual Vault ended up providing me with a variety of information about Sarah A "Sallie" Dillard Smith.  It was no surprise to also be provided with more questions for which to seek answers.

(1) Bryant, Pat Georgia Counties: Their Changing Boundries. Atlanta: State Printing Office, 1983. Digital images accessed through Georgia's Virtual Vault.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuesday's Tips - My New Favorite Things

I've been using Family Tree Maker for over 10 years and decided after some months of debating with myself that it was time to update to the latest version, Family Tree Maker 2014.  My copy came in a bundle of vacation mail, then sat on my desk for another week before I had time to do the install.  I'm so glad I finally updated FTM.

However, even before my copy of FTM 2014 arrived, I had been reading Russ Worthington's Family Tree Maker 2014 Blog.  Each post discusses one tip or feature of FTM 2014, so when I finally had time to update, I felt Russ's blog was there to help should I run into any big problems.

All of my previous family trees uploaded to the new version without a hitch.  I decided the best way to check out new features was to add a new family tree to hold information I am gathering for a sister-in-law concerning her family.  The process for starting a new tree and adding information was basically the same as in my previous version of FTM.  But I started to do my happy dance when I added the first source for an census record.  There, on the source template, is now a space for the web address of a source.  It had always been simple to do a copy and paste of a web address and put into the citation detail of a source.  The BIG difference now is that in FTM 2014, your copy / paste becomes an actual link to the web site you used.  This means you can click and return for a closer look at information.  It also means I no longer have to go another copy / paste onto a new screen to return to my original online document or database.  Just click the globe icon (indicated by the red arrow) and I go right to either the original document or the search screen for the document.

All this is part of why upgrading to Family Tree Maker 2014 is one of my new favorite things.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Ripples On The Pond ...

Raindrops on Water by Leon Brooks
Wikimedia Commons

The current government shutdown is something almost everyone is discussing and about which most of us have an opinion or suggestion, some even espouse some interesting solutions.  Without getting into politics, It has become apparent to me that some of the things I personally rely upon in my online genealogy research are no longer available.  For me, it means the following web pages which I use frequently are currently not operating or else are inaccessible.  This is just my list; we all have "go to" websites.
  • The National Park Service - a great source for information about historical battles, monuments, homes, historic places; no access to the Soldiers and Sailors Database
  • The National Archives and Record Administration - information may not be up to date; requests for military records may be further delayed in processing; no posting to blogs, facebook, twitter
  • The Library of Congress - Historical Newspaper Collection, Veterans' History Program, their collection of historic photographs; no posting to blogs
  • The Bureau of Land Management - homestead and land grant records, maps
Until the budget situation is finally resolved, I'll try to use this time to discover and then explore some other online resources which cover these topics.  It is just another reminder how both time and place affect our daily lives, just as it did those of our ancestors.