Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A field trip! Relating to Harshbarger, Beeks, Allen, and Holbrook lines...

Saturday my sister Sue and I went to the Abraham Lincoln museum in Springfield, Illinois. She had been telling me for quite some time that I needed to go, and it was the sixth time she'd been there, so she should know. She was correct; I needed to go. 

To relate this to genealogy right away, as far as I know now we have absolutely no connection to the Lincoln family.  However, our ancestors were all affected by the same things that affected the Lincolns, and certainly they were all affected by the Civil War.  Our great grandfather, George R Allen, served in the Civil War.  Two of Phoebe Brown Holbrook's brothers served in the Civil War.  John Calvin Starr, son of John Havens and Clarissa Falley Starr, died of illness in the Civil War.  One of Isaac Hetrick's sons died in a Confederate prison in the Civil War.  One direct ancestor in the Harshbarger line, William Withers, was a Civil War veteran but I haven't researched the Beeks and Harshbarger lines to know if there were "uncles" who would have served then. The odds are high that I will find some in those lines, also.   

Most certainly, each of our ancestors who was alive during the Civil War was touched by the Civil War in some way.  Taxes were instituted and some of our ancestors were "wealthy" enough to have to pay them, because they owned a carriage or a piano or a watch, all of which were considered "luxuries".  The newspapers were full of news of the war. Their neighbors went to war, and men who didn't go frequently helped keep another farm or business running while their neighbors were gone.  So, there was a genealogy connection to each of our families who lived in that time period, that I thought about while touring the museum.

The museum itself was fabulous. It's a new building, with all the fancy technological stuff one could want, but also with recreations of everyday life at different stages in Lincoln's life. I loved looking at the artifacts, whether it was an inkwell or a china dish, that showed what our ancestors may have had, or aspired to have. Of course we went to all the theaters, and read as many of the plaques and explanations as our minds could absorb.

If I haven't convinced you to go to Springfield yet, the museum is only one part of the Lincoln scene.  Right next door is the Lincoln Presidential Library.  There are exhibits there, too, but the main focus is preservation of materials related not just to the President, but to his times.  The old state capital building is across the street, and just around the corner is the actual Lincoln-Herndon law office, where the two men practiced law for many years.  We ate lunch at Robbie's, a building a few doors down from the law office.  That building was constructed as a "mercantile" in 1840. So we ate in a building that the Lincolns would have frequented in their day. That was awesome. 

Another huge enticement for me was a bookstore next to the restaurant.  It was the largest used bookstore I have ever seen, and I could have stayed there for hours.  We didn't get a chance to see other Lincoln sites, such as their home, or the railroad depot the President elect left from to go to Washington, but they are there and open to the public. We need to go back to continue exploring Springfield.

Here is a list of ancestors who were adults during the Civil War, so if they didn't go to war, their brothers, uncles, nephews or neighbors likely did:

Beeks line: William G Beeks and Mary Wise
                   David Wise and Matilda Martin
                   Darlington Aldridge (died 1859) and Leah Folsom
                   Samuel G Dunham and Eliza Reese
Harshbarger line:  Lewis Harshbarger and Catherine Mancer
                              John Harter and Mary Bennett
                              William A Withers (soldier) and Barbara Cook
                              Adam Kemery and Nancy Buchtel
Holbrook line: Fremont Holbrook and Phoebe Brown                             
                        Joseph Holbrook and Mary Whittemore
                        Adam Brown and Phoebe Myers (at least two sons served)
                        Hiram Stanard and Susan Eddy
                         Isaac Hetrick and Elizabeth Black (died 18620; son of Isaac died)
Allen line:  George R Allen (soldier) and Nancy McCoy
                   Archibald Allen and Margaret Dunn
                   Vincent McCoy (died 1857) and Eleanor Jackson
                   Thomas Knott and Hannah Bell
                   John H Starr and Clarissa Falley (son died of illness)

While I was learning about Abraham Lincoln and seeing him come to life, I was thinking of these people and how what he said and did impacted them. 

It was a good genealogy day, even if I didn't learn one single fact to add to one single person on my tree!                

The Lincoln "family", my sister Sue, and yours truly (white shirt)  in the Lincoln museum in Springfield