Thursday, November 15, 2018

My Entry in the Tenth Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge

An interesting feature of small town newspapers is the sense of humor that tends to get injected into the stories.

Add to that the "everyone knows everyone" factor usually involved, and this can make for some very interesting reading!

The town of Moores Hill, Indiana is a small town founded by my 4th-great grandfather, Adam Moore.  Adam, and his wife, Judith, had several children. Two of his sons were John C. Moore and my 3rd-great grandfather, Levin Smith Moore.

I am still doing some research into these two families, but I do know a few facts already.  I have seen several records that list Indiana Ruth Dowden as the wife of John C. Moore. Also, I know that Levin was married to a Dowden, before his marriage to my ancestor, Mary R. Sparks. I have not discovered yet how the two Dowdens were related. They might have been sisters or cousins, I am still researching this.

I found this short poem in a book entitled Cotton's Keepsake: Poems on Various Subjects. The author/poet wrote on several topics in various forms, but he had a chapter that he titled "Hymeneal Punnings".
Title page of Cotton's Keepsakes
Andrew Johnson Cotton

According to the book, Alfred J. Cotton was both a preacher and a judge. With these two occupations in a small town, I am sure that his name was on many of the marriage records!  In fact, he is listed as the justice of the peace on Levin & Mary Ann's marriage records.

This paragraph, found at the beginning of the chapter, sums up how these "punnings" were a regular part of the marriage process in Moores Hill!

             ~ "Judge Cotton, of Dearborn County, Indiana, has for many years enjoyed a very liberal hymeneal patronage. The young people flock to him to be joined in one, and he does the business with a grace and ease that does honor to him. After it is over, he writes out the marriage notice and sends to the paper for publication, often appending very happy remarks."  (p. 131) ~

Below, you will find the "punning" remarks that he had to say regarding the Moore brothers, and the Dowden ladies:


         These fair young ladies, full well I know,
                Had goods and cash in store,
         In great abundance one would think,
                but still they wanted MOORE.

          Well, more they got, I know that, too, but still as 'twas
           They were unhappy all the time unless they could have
           My saucy muse now I don't choose to hear "one single word
           If you don't mind, right soon you'll find yourself kicked out
                     the door.    (p. 141)

In conclusion, I have to say that this poem might mean just a chuckle or two to other people. But for the descendants of Adam Moore's sons, this is quite a treasure! In fact, I think that this poem, matted and framed might just make a nice Christmas present.

What do you think?


Cotton, Alfred Johnson. Cotton's Keepsake: Poems on Various Subjects. Applegate & Co., 1858.

Monday, November 12, 2018

In Honor of George W. Hillman, World War I Army Veteran

As I watched a portion of the Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of Armistace Day ceremony in France yesterday morning, my mind kept wandering to a man I never had the chance to meet.

George Washington Hillman
(Source: family photo)

George Washington Hillman was born in 1893 to Thomas Jefferson Hillman and Anna Moore. By 1917, he had already learned the blacksmithing trade as an apprentice in Moores Hill, Indiana.

With the United States entering World War I in 1917, it looked like he would be putting away his blacksmithing tools to enter the army.

But, that is not what happened.  As I quote from Batesville's local newspaper,the Herald-Tribune (date unknown), "Uncle Sam also made good use of Mr. Hillman's skill as a blacksmith and his Army duties consisted of -- you guessed it -- shoeing horses for the cavalry. This was a full-time job as horses were used extensively in those days."

According to the newspaper article, he enlisted in the Army on 8  April 1917. The draft registration card below shows a date of 5 June 1917. 

"United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," database with images, FamilySearch( : 14 May 2014), Indiana > Ripley County; A-Z > image 1358 of 3446; citing NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

The newspaper article also stated that he served overseas in France and Germany during the war. He was not mustered out until the spring of 1920 as he was a member of the occupation forces in Germany following the war.

In addition to the information that I was able to glean from the local newspaper, I have also always heard that he was a part of the famous Rainbow Division.

Since I am not that familiar with the Rainbow Division, I did a little research on it. I found a wonderful article on the Army website that describes it well.

The article, ~ " 'Rainbow Division' that represented the United States formed in New York in August 1917" by Eric Durr (New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs) written July 24, 2017 ~ is very well written and should be read in its entirety.

But, I would like to offer the following quote that best explains the purpose of the Rainbow Division. He states:

 ~ "So Major Douglas MacArthur-later to be five-star general Douglas MacArthur during World War II and the Korean War-- had a good idea. Take National Guard units from across the country and combine them into one division. That division could then be deployed to France without slighting any particular state or region.

In describing the division, ... MacArthur said the division would stretch across the United States "like a rainbow." ~

George Washington Hillman was the only brother to my great-grandmother, Carrie (Hillman) Haessig. As I said earlier, I wish that I had gotten to know this interesting  man. He passed away in March 1967. I was born the previous spring of 1966. If I had met him, I was much too young to remember! 

From all that I am discovering about this man, I am not only proud, but honored to be a part of his extended family.

George, thank you very much for the service that you gave to our country. I thank you from the bottom of my heart!


Friday, October 26, 2018

Always Learning!

I am a big believer that you always need to learn new things, in whatever topics you find interesting. 📖📕📖

This is exactly what I hope to accomplish tomorrow as I attend the Genealogy & Local History Fair 2018 at the Indiana State Library!

(Source: Indiana State Library)
I have attended a few of these in the past, and have always left with ton of new information from some great speakers!

What have you been learning this year to help further your research?

And, where are you learning it? Books, Speakers, webinars, classes, conferences?

Give yourself a round of applause 👏, and fill us in on your learning experiences!

We want to hear from you!!