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My Painters

In My Genealogy, Painter on September 16, 2010 at 9:41 AM

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It occurs to me that I have not written much about my Painters lately.  These are the folks who arrived in Saskatchewan ’round about 1903 from Missouri, possibly with a side trip to Oklahoma first (family rumours, no proof as yet).  Before Missouri they came from Virginia, or more correctly, what is today West Virginia.  That was about 1837.  Prior to Virginia…well now, there’s a mystery.  It seems likely, from perusing kinfolk’s research, that they may have come from Pennsylvania in the late 1700s, and prior to that, from the area we now know as Germany.

Somewhere in there, and it seems to be isolated to just their time in Virginia, some of the family used the surname Bender instead of Painter.  I wish I could find out why, but so far, no idea.  We do know that George registered his marriage to Sarah Smith under both George Bender and George Painter.  That was in 1809.  Once this George and Sarah took their entire family to Missouri, they all used Painter.  So it is, to me, a curious thing.

Another curious thing is how all their children, save one, were literate.  Well, rather the fact that their son Samuel H. could not sign his name (he used an “X” to sign documents) is the actual curious fact.  Now I can’t prove or disprove that he knew how to read of course.  It appears that the other siblings could all sign their name and presumably read as well.  So perhaps he was left-handed and writing posed a challenge for him.  I’m not sure being left-handed carried the same stigma in Virginia and Missouri as it did in other places, but it does seem to have been universally frowned upon.  In any case, I do know that further generations had their fair share of left-handers and I, oddly enough, skate like a left-hander (spin and jump rotations done “backwards”).  I tell folks I’m left-footed…lol.  Well, anyways, there’s a theory about poor ole Samuel H. Painter.  Don’t you just wish sometimes you could sit down at the dining room table with these ancestors and have a chat?

On finding a Confederate soldier in my tree

In Painter, US Civil War on March 28, 2010 at 8:05 AM

I admit I know very little about the US Civil War other than that it involved emancipation of the black slaves and Abraham Lincoln.  So when I searched, and surprisingly found, for my great-great-grandfather in the Civil War soldier database I wasn’t exactly sure what I’d found.  He was listed as a Prisoner of War, so it listed where he was captured (not far from his home in Missouri) as well as when, and how/when he was discharged.  I dutifully took notes.

Then I thought I should figure out this Confederate-Union thing.  I was assuming that my ancestors felt the same way I do, that slavery is bad.  I was wrong.

Samuel was a confederate soldier.  As was his brother William.  And many of their neighbours.  And for the first time in 30 years of family research, I was a little disappointed in my ancestors.

I thought I should find out more about his regiment, “Porter’s Regiment”.  Most of what I found seems to be based on a regimental history by Mr. Mudd (I wonder if he was any relation to the Dr. Mudd who fixed up Abraham Lincoln’s assinator, John Wilkes Booth, which gave rise to the saying “his name is mud”?).  While Colonel Porter’s regiment was officially part of the army, they were at times, by some, considered Bushwackers as they employed guerilla warfare.  Colonel Porter was killed in Jan/Feb 1863–both Samuel and William were captured in 1862.

None of this information made me feel any better about my ancestors and I, who pride myself on being open-minded, find myself with quite a challenge.  How do I reconcile my ancestor’s beliefs with who I am (and are they rolling over in their graves with the knowledge of me as their descendant)?  I suspect I will have to do quite a bit more research on the US Civil War, in particular Missouri’s role in it, to help with that reconciliation.  What a difference 150 years and 4 generations can make!

Tombstone Tuesday-Jacob Painter

In My Genealogy, Painter on March 9, 2010 at 10:33 AM

At the Stoutsville Cemetery, Monroe County, Missouri:

His wife, Hannah, is memoralized on the other side of the column.

Transcription:

[one side]

FATHER

and

MOTHER

[another side]

JACOB PAINTER

Died

Mar. 12 1895

AGED

84Y.8M.24D.

His toils are past his work is done

And he’s fully blest

He fought the fight the victory won

And entered into rest.

[opposite side of Jacob]

HANNAH T.

PAINTER

BORN

FEB.2.1821

DIED

JUNE.28.1908

[verse illegible in pic]

Thanks to Geneabloggers for this daily theme.

Tombstone Tuesday–Samuel H Painter

In My Genealogy, Painter on February 16, 2010 at 8:04 AM

Samuel H. Painter, Stoutsville Cemetery, Monroe County, Missouri, USA

GPS coordinates:
39°32.817′N
91°51.138′W
0 m

Samuel H. was the youngest son of George and Sarah Ann (nee Smith) Painter/Bender.  He was born 25 Sept 1829 in Berkley County, Virginia (now West Virginnia).  The family migrated to Missouri in Samuel H.’s youth.  He married America Ann Nesbit 24 Aug 1852 in Missouri according her published obituary.   They had eight children, including James William (“Will) Painter, my great-grandfather.  Samuel H.  farmed at Stoutsville until his death 27 Nov 1893.

Stoutsville Cemetery, in part, had to be moved for a Dam project which created the Mark Twain Lakes from the Salt River forks.  The cemetery, as a result of the Dam project, is very water logged, especially at the lower portions where I found my feet sinking a little as I walked around.  Apparently not all the graves were succesfully relocated before the water level rose.  I was unable to locate any records of the relocation project while there.

Transcription:

IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE

ARE MANY MANSIONS

S.H. PAINTER

DIED

Nov. 27.1893

AGED

64Y.2M.2D

[illegible due to weathering]

My Painter Soldiers in WWI

In General Genealogy, My Genealogy, Painter, WWI on January 25, 2010 at 3:06 PM

I”m not sure how I ended up there, but yesterday I found myself  knee-deep in World War I research.  In particular I was reading up on the Canadian Railway Troops (CRT) and the 16th Battalion (Canadian Scottish) to which grandpa and his brother (my granduncle) belonged respectively.

Going over my granduncle’s military file (search Attestation Forms at CollectionsCanada, then order a copy of the entire file for around $30),  I found that while it was true he belonged to the 16th Battalion when he died, he had only belonged to them for a month before he was killed.  His short career in the army saw him transferred between four different battalions.

Grandpa on the othe other hand, being older, enlisted earlier in January 1915 and was transferred only once, from his enlisted battalion (58th) to the 1st Canadian Pioneers, which later became known as the 9th CRT.  His paybook and file paysheets list him as a Steam Tractor Engineer & Repairs.

For an interesting description of what it was like in France, and in  particular being part of a CRT company, download and read France & Flanders: four years experience told in poem & story (1919) by W. Brindle, a Sapper (roughly the engineer equivalent of a Private).   What a promising source InternetArchive (www.archive.org, Canadian version) is!

Another wonderful source of information I found was the CEF (Canadian Expeditionary Force) Study Group.  Try searching on your ancestor’s battalion to begin with, or just browse..  The amount of accumulated knowledge on this site is formidable.

Finding out what happened on a specific day in the war in a particular battalion is actually quite easy–search on the battalion and read the War Diaries.  Almost everyday entries were made describing what the battalion did on that day.  Although very few names are specifically mentioned, it can give you a very good overview of what things your ancestor did on a day-to-day basis, and show what happened the day, as in my granduncle’s case, your ancestor died.

There are many many books out there written on specific battalions and battles.  If you are researching the 16th Battalion as I am, I highly recommend Brave Battalion by Mark Zuehlke (Chapters, Amazon).  Last night I read 4 pages detailing what happened October 1st, 1918, giving me a pretty good idea exactly what my granduncle’s last morning was like, and how and where (and why) he was likely killed.  Thank you to my sister for giving me this book for Christmas!

Tombstone Tuesday

In My Genealogy, Painter on December 15, 2009 at 9:01 AM

Today’s advent calendar theme (Holiday Happenings…birthdays, anniversaries and the like) did not inspire me this morning I’m afraid.  However I do like this idea of Tombstone Tuesday also found on GeneaBloggers.

This is Annie Mary Painter’s headstone.  She is my great-grandmother.  Born Annie Mary (or Marie) Turnbough in Monroe County, Missouri 23 July 1873 she married James William “Will” Painter 22 Jan 1891 in Florida, Monroe County, Missouri.  She had five children.  In the midst of her childbearing the family moved from Missouri to Sasaktachewan, Canada–near Shellbrook–and homesteaded.  After her husband died she headed west, ending up finally in Vancouver, British Columbia where she died 30 June 1940.  She is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Burnaby, British Columbia.

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