Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

roots run deep

 Being a member of Ancestry.com I get notifications from them whenever related events are added that apply to my tree. It is really a wonderful thing. Most times it is a repeat of what I already knew. I do get excited when new pictures are added or a mystery is uncovered. The other day I received a notification about a distant relative, Johnathan Allen Bennett. I had known of him previously as a veteran of the civil war. This notification informed me of the inclusion of some letters he had written home from that war. Although difficult to read I did manage to get the jest of them. Letters like that are always poignant. These are especially so because I know the end result. Johnathan Allen Bennett, is the second great nephew of the husband of my 5th great grandmother. He died, of disease, at Folly Island, South Carolina during the war.
 There is nothing unusual about that. As most know more died of disease and infection in that war than from actual combat. There were many that served from East Hampton in the 127th New York Infantry. In fact, per capita, more than anywhere else in Suffolk County. What I found of particular interest in this " discovery " was that my own Great Grandfather James B Terry had served in the civil war, the 127th New York infantry. He was there at Folly Island South Carolina at the time Johnathan was there. He too was listed as being, infirm, at the time. I have yet to fully research this connection but can assume they were aware of each other. Did they knw they were related ? I would think it is a possibility. They would most certainly have known of each others families. East Hampton is a small close knit community and had been so for generations at that time. They were somewhat isolated from the rest of the country by geography.
 In researching my great grandfather James B Terry I found that after the war he acted as a male nurse. I was shown, many years ago, a little black bag. It looked like a doctors bag but contained knitting. It was explained to me that James would carry that bag with him when he went to nurse. He would sit and knit socks or whatever while tending to his patient. I expect he gained some experience and knowledge while at Folly Island. As near as I can tell he spent about a year there, suffering from some ailment. Was he there when Johnathan passed ? I can't know that for sure without further investigation. That Johnathan was buried there is fact. Perhaps James attended the funeral. Did great grandfather carry those final letters home with him and deliver them ?
 I do think it is an amazing thing though. Here it is 150 years on and I get to see those letters. They were added by someone I don't know, but am likely related too. They are another piece of a puzzle. They hold no great revelation. I wonder if he was aware of the serious nature of his illness. Did he speak with James ? I may engage in further research to try to fill in some blanks. I'll have to begin with this relationship to me.  He is the second great nephew, that means the son of an Uncle of mine, that uncle would be the brother of my 5th great grandmother. This could take some time. My 5th great grandmother was Mary Baker but I haven't researched her brothers and their families. Johnathan would be in there somewhere. I do have a picture of him, and of course my great Grandfather James, in their uniforms. Perhaps I will contact whoever added those letters. That would be a good start. Roots run deep in our neck of the woods. This could be fun.