Saturday, June 27, 2015

Ellison K. Plyler

My fourth-great granduncle, Ellison Kershaw Plyler, was born 18 Feburary 1837 to Elisha Plyler and Mary Elizabeth Hancock. Whenever I see some male with a birthdate in Ellison's range, I instantly search for Civil War service records. I was not disappointed when I searched for Ellison's.

Ellison enlisted as a Private with the 12th South Carolina Volunteer Regiment, Company I, on 15 May 1862 at Camp Jackson, Virginia for the duration of the War.
Taken from Service Records
Ellison doesn't seem to have a very easy experience at Camp though. By July or August 1862, he is sent to the hospital and he appears "absent" in the muster rolls. I don't, however, find him in any hospital records until October. On 3 October 1862, I see he is admitted to the C.S.A. General Hospital at Farmville, Virginia with rheumatism.
Taken from Service Records
Just a few days later, Ellison is transferred to General Hospital No. 6 in Richmond, Virginia. Whether in this hospital or another hospital, Ellison is listed as being "absent" from his Company due to being in the hospital all the way until 10 January 1863.
Taken from Service Records
After his return, Ellison seems to stay with his company for his longest stretch yet. He appears as "present" up until 1 July 1863 when he is "wounded at Gettysburg, Pa. ... and left."
Taken from Service Records
That phrase "and left" is a little haunting. Growing up near Camp Lejeune, I grew up hearing "no man left behind" a lot. The men in Ellison's Company did not seem to feel that way. They simply left him there when he was wounded.

Ellison's fate was seemingly unknown to his Company for quite some time because they repeat this wording up until March of 1864 when they seem to update the status of their wounded man.
Taken from Service Records
Finally, they list him as being "in the hands of the enemy."

Ellison would remain a Prisoner of War for the remainder of the War. Upon capture, he is sent to Fort McHenry in Maryland. He stays there for about a week or two until he is transferred to Fort Delaware, located in Delaware.

He stays at Fort Delaware until he is finally released on 10 June 1865 having taken the Oath of Allegiance.

Often, when a person took the Oath of Allegiance, their physical description was recorded. I assume this was to help enforce the Oath in the case that the person chose to go back to the Confederacy and pick up arms again against the Union. Ellison's description is one that is a bit unique.
Taken from Service Records
They list his complexion as "sallow." I have seen "light," "dark," and all kinds of various shades in-between described here, but I have never seen "sallow." I wonder if he appeared sallow because of his rheumatism. Or I wonder if his nearly two years as a POW caused his complexion to become sallow.

In any case, Ellison left the War and seemed to go straight home to his wife, Mary (last name unknown), and his two young children, Margaret and Jonas. Not long after being home, Mary becomes pregnant with their third child, John, who is born in 1866. Their fourth, and the last known child I have for the couple, Mary, was born a few years later in 1869.

Ellison lived to be 80 years old. He died of "old age" on 8 January 1918.
Taken from Death Certificate
I'm glad to see that despite his rough experience in the War, he didn't seem to let it hinder his ability to lead a long, full life.

  • 1870 Cabarrus County, North Carolina U.S. Federal Census (accessed on Ancestry)
  • Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of South Carolina (accessed on Fold3)
  • Death Certificate, Ellison Kershaw Plyler (accessed on Ancestry)

Saturday, June 20, 2015

George Hodson Triplett

George Hodson Triplett is one of my "problem" ancestors; some call them "brick wall" ancestors. I can not yet confirm his parentage, but I am under the assumption that his parents are Thomas Triplett and Elizabeth Hedgeman Triplett.
George Hodson Triplett
Photo provided by Thomas Cardenas
Despite not knowing George's parents, I do know George was born about 1793 in Tennessee. I know George married Elizabeth Ida Link, presumably sometime before 1821. I also know that in 1850, George and Ida were living in Ozark, Greene County, Missouri. In 1860 and 1870, the couple were living in Marshfield, Ozark, Webster County, Missouri. I also know George was a farmer.
Clipping from 1850 Census
I also can't prove George's children. I assume he is the father of my fourth great-grandfather, John Marion Triplett, but I have no concrete evidence. I am hoping this post will help me figure out more about him or help other Triplett researchers find me.

Please, if you know anything about this family, please send me a message or comment on this post.

  • 1850 Ozark, Greene, Missouri U.S. Federal Census (accessed on Ancestry)
  • 1860 Marshfield, Ozark, Webster, Missouri U.S. Federal Census (accessed on Ancestry)
  • 1870 Marshfield, Ozark, Webster, Missouri U.S. Federal Census (accessed on Ancestry)

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Jesse Lee Findley

My great-grandfather, Jesse Lee Findley, was one of the few great-grandparents I didn't have a chance to meet. I'll refer to him as Jesse Lee throughout the remainder of this post in order to distinguish him from my grandfather Jesse Joe.

Jesse Lee was born 1 September 1908 in Hart County, Georgia. He was the first (or possibly the second) of at least 11 children born to his parents, William Ben and Pearl Olivia Cargill Findley.

Most of the stories of my great-grandfather were passed down from my grandfather to me and my siblings. According to my brother, Jesse Lee wanted to join the military. (Remember, Jesse Joe joined the Coast Guard as a teenager with the permission of his parents.) According to the story my brother heard, Jesse Lee was not allowed to join the military due to an issue with his eye. The story goes, as a child, Jesse Lee was playing with a stick. He threw the stick in the air, and it came down and hit him in the eye injuring it.
Jesse Lee Findley
Photo provided by Thomas Cardenas
If I had just seen this picture without having known that story, I probably would have thought it was just a sunny day and he was squinting because of the sun.

The biggest mystery to me surrounding my great-grandfather, though, is why he moved around so much. As I mentioned earlier, he was born in Hart County, Georgia. I'm not sure where he was between birth and 1920, but he is seen still being in Hart County, Georgia in 1920. (I'm still leafing page by page through the 1910 census in Hart County, and I haven't given up hope in finding them!)

Sometime between 1920 and 1930, Jesse Lee moves from Hart County, Georgia to Chicago.
Clipping from 1920 Census
He's renting a room from a 29-year-old named Walter Fredericks. Jesse Lee's occupation is listed as being a laborer of "odd jobs," and Walter's is listed as being a chauffeur for a printing business. I wonder if Walter and Jesse Lee met in Chicago after he moved there or if Jesse Lee somehow knew him before moving. According to the census, Walter was born in New York to immigrant parents; his father was from Canada, and his mother was from England. This leads me to believe they did not know each other (or at least for very long) before becoming roommates.

I've always wondered why Jesse Lee left Georgia for Chicago, but in any case, that is, no doubt, where he met his wife, Rosemary Christine Reaber, a native Chicagoan. Rosemary and Jesse Lee married in Chicago on 27 January 1932.

According to the 1940 census, the couple was still living in Chicago in 1935, but by 1938 they appear in a city directory in Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida.
Clipping from Page 1 of the 1938 Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida Directory
In the 1940 census, the family has moved from Jacksonville to DeLand, Volusia County, Florida. Jesse Lee's occupation is listed as "rodman with the State Road Department." I'm not entirely sure what a "rodman" does, but I'm more curious how or why he ended up in Florida from Chicago.

Was this a joint decision with his wife to move to Florida? He seemed to do odd jobs in Jacksonville before moving to Volusia County. Did he get the job with the Road Department before or after moving to DeLand? DeLand is the county seat for Volusia County, so it does at least make sense that they would have ended up there as opposed to another part of the county. (DeLand is in the western part of the county. Daytona Beach is also in Volusia County. Duval County is a few counties north from Volusia.)

I lose the family rather quickly after the 1940 census except from city directories and family stories. I find them in Jacksonville as late as 1944 in city directories. Florida had a state census in 1945. They are still living in Jacksonville, Florida then. But then the trail goes cold.

I know my great-grandfather died in Jacksonville, Onslow County, North Carolina in 1985. So, sometime between 1945 and 1985, the family moved to North Carolina. (My grandfather, Jesse Joe, was living in the next town over by this point.)

Even though Jesse Lee and Rosemary moved closer to their son, Jesse Joe, I see no evidence that they ever saw either of their parents again. Rosemary's parents died in Chicago, and Jesse Lee's parents died in Georgia. I know Rosemary communicated with her mother in letters, but I don't know if they ever visited each other. I have a good idea on Rosemary's relationship with her parents, but I wonder what Jesse Lee's relationship was like with his. Based on the constant moving, either it wasn't very good, or he just craved adventure and new experiences. More investigations will hopefully lead me to the actual reason.

  • 1920 Rays, Hart County, Georgia U.S. Federal Census (accessed on Ancestry)
  • 1930 Chicago, Cook County, Illinois U.S. Federal Census (accessed on Ancestry)
  • 1938 Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida City Directory (accessed on Ancestry)
  • 1940 DeLand, Volusia County, Florida U.S. Federal Census (accessed on Ancestry)
  • 1942 Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida City Directory (accessed on Ancestry)
  • 1943 Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida City Directory (accessed on Ancestry)
  • 1944 Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida City Directory (accessed on Ancestry)
  • Death Certificate, Jesse Lee Findley (provided by Thomas Cardenas)
  • Tombstone, Jesse Lee Findley and Rosemary Findley (personally visited in 2006 at Rosemary's funeral)

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Wilhelm Luebbert

Wilhelm Luebbert was born about 1835 in Germany to Salvador Luebbert and Elena Fhurker. My third great-grandfather is someone about whom I know very little. All of the information I have on him comes from my brother, whom I leave to do most of the research on the Mexican side of our family. (He knows significantly more Spanish than I do.) Here is what I do know.

Wilhelm was a miner and mine owner in Mexico, as was his father before him. I am unsure if Wilhelm inherited his father's mine or if he found his own. This is what my brother told me: 
"Wilhelm Luebbert, our tatarabuelos's padre (great great great grandfather), was not only a miner but he owned mines. One of the mines may have been one of Mexico's biggest or most important mines. It was a silver mine."
Since I know so little about Wilhelm and his personal life, I thought this post would be about silver mining in Mexico.

From what I can tell, Mexico is has been a large supplier of silver for quite a while. The First Majestic Silver Corp states, "From the late sixteenth century until the 1870's, silver was Mexico's chief export, amounting to more than 70 percent of the total exports." This includes most of the time I imagine Wilhelm would have been mining.

The laws and codes of mining changed every few decades, it seems, in Mexico. In 1821, during the time of the War of Independence, the law stated that the property of all the minerals belonged to the Nation. By 1857, it was up to each state to determine the governing rules related to mining. These state-specific rules often did not transfer over to other states, and this was discouraging to miners. The Mining Code of 1884 created a unified stance on mining and alleviated some of the cross-state tensions that the previous laws allowed. They even instituted tax-exempt guidelines regarding supplies and imported materials and created a maximum tax ceiling that the states could not raise or exceed.

Then, in 1892, the Mexican mining law was changed again. This time, it granted mineral rights to the mine (or land) owners. Minerals produced in the mines were viewed as "income" and were the sole property of the mine owner. They would then be taxed appropriately. The annual tax of silver was $10 per hectare. If the amount of silver does not reach 250g per metric ton if between 50 and 100 hectares are owned, then the tax was $5 per hectare or $2.50 if more than 100 hectares are owned.

The new laws enacted in 1884 and 1892 created a mining boom in Mexico. I like to think this is probably the time Wilhelm was was involved.
Clipping from "Data Referring to Mexican Mining"
Clipping from "Data Referring to Mexican Mining"
It notes that the legal value of a Kilogram of pure silver was $40,915 (in Mexican Dollars).
I know mining isn't a glamorous job, despite how it may seem in Disney movies...
Image from the Disney Movie "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"
I know it was a quite dangerous job at times. Narrow shafts, the use of explosions, and all other types of job hazards existed in the mine, but it seems Wilhelm and his father survived the occupation okay. I'm not sure when Wilhelm died, but I know it was supposed to have been at least before 1917.

Wilhelm married Maria Magdalena Diaz Bojorquez in about 1862 in Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico. Together, they had at least five children. They are:
  • Enrique Luebbert Diaz, born 1862
  • Carlos Luebbert Diaz, born 1865
  • Maria Luebbert Diaz, born 1870
  • Guillermo Luebbert Diaz, born 1875
  • Emilio Roberto Luebbert Diaz, born 1878