Monday, August 29, 2011

Military Monday - William Dennis Hill

Installment #3 of my Civil War Ancestors is my great-great-grandfather William Dennis Hill.

He was born on 14 April 1838 at Butler Co., OH to Caleb and Margaret (Dodds) Hill.  His father died when William was young.  In 1860, he traveled to Jasper Co., IL with his mother, brother, and sister. 

He enlisted in August 1861 and served in Company F, 59th Illinois Volunteer Infantry.  He served over 3 years and participated in the battles of Pea Ridge, Stone River, and all the battles from Chattanooga to Atlanta, where he was discharged.

He returned to Clark Co., IL where he married Sarah Ellen Forester on 12 October 1865.  She was born 24 May 1846 at Hocking Co., OH.  They had four children:

1. Harry Oliver Hill, born 12 January 1867
2. Charles Taylor Hill, born 18 August 1869 (my ancestor)
3. Lyman L. Hill, born 25 August 1871
4. Maude M. Hill, born 5 October 1880

In 1864, William purchased 80 acres of land in Clark County.  He later purchased 200 acres.  His livelihood was as a farmer.  His religion was Methodist Episcopal.  His politics were Republican and he served 2 terms as County Collector in Clark County.

Sarah died on 27 March 1914, and William died on 19 February 1925.  They are buried in Slusser Cemetery in Clark County, IL.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Society Saturday - Dames of the Court of Honor

Today was the annual meeting of the Illinois Society of the National Society Dames of the Court of Honor.
We met at Tom's Steak House for lunch and a meeting.  We had an interesting program given by Ellen Stortz about "Trees of the White House".  Charter member JosefaLee Hammond reminisced about early days of our chapter.  The 2011-13 officers were installed.

The Motto of this organization is "Noblesse Oblige" which means Rank Carries Obligation.  Membership in this organization requires proof of lineage from a commissioned officer who served in a conflict prior to 1865, which includes several colonial wars, the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, the Mexican War or Civil War.

My qualifying ancestor is Lieutenant Thomas Leffingwell.  He was born in 1622 in  Croxhall, County Derby, England.  He immigrated to this country by 1637, settling first in Saybrook, CT.  From there he moved to Norwich, CT where he served as their Deputy to the CT Legislature in 1662, 1663, and 1665.  During King Philip's War, he served as Lieutenant.

He married Mary White and they had 7 children.  I descend from his daughter Mary Leffingwell who married Joseph Bushnell.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Military Monday - John Johnson Neeley

The second "installment" of my Civil War ancestors is John Johnson Neeley.

J.J. Neeley was born 20 July 1841 at Perry Co., OH, the son of William Thompson and Mary (Johnston) Neeley.  They moved to Hardin Co, OH when he was young.

He was a Private in Captain Samuel R. Motts Co. C of the 57th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry.  He enlisted on 9 December 1861 and was discharged on 2 January 1865.  The company fought in:
Shiloh or Pittsburg landing, TN; Wolf Creek Hindman, AR; siege and assault of Vicksburg and Jackson, MS; Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, TN; Snake Creek Gap, Dallas or New Hope Church, Kenesaw Mountain, seige of Atlanta, Jones Brook, Fort McAllister, Savannah, GA; Fayetteville, Bentonville, and Goldsboro, NC and a number of minor engagements and skirmishes. 

On 14 March 1865, he married Elmina J. McGowan at Bourbon Co., KS.  They returned to Hardin Co., OH, and had nine children:
1. Harvey Slaman Neeley, born 18 Feb. 1866
2. Charles Harmon Neeley, born 19 April 1867
3. Lena E. Neeley, born 6 September 1868
4. James A. Neeley, born 20 June 1870
5. Mark Wood Neeley, born 15 January 1872
6. Mary Clinna Neeley, born 8 April 1874
7. Clara Clementine Neeley, born 14 March 1876
8. Orilda Maude Neeley, born 8 October 1878
9. Buddie Neeley, born 2 October 1880

The family moved to Illinois in the fall of 1880, where J.J. worked as a farmer and a feed dealer.  Elmina became ill and her sister Louisa moved to Illinois to help take care of the children.  Elmina died on 26 June 1882 at Greenup, Cumberland, IL. 

J.J. married Louisa on 27 December 1882 at Cumberland Co., IL.  J.J. and Louisa had 5 children:

10. Zella Edna Neeley, born 5 December 1882
11. Unnamed infant, born and died 15 February 1884
12. Fred Frank Neeley, born 17 May 1889
13. Alva Coral Neeley, born 12 April 1894
14. John Virgil Neeley, born 3 September 1899.

J.J.'s pension application describes him with red hair and a beard, and blue eyes.

He and his family were members of the Pleasant Valley United Brethren Church in Cumberland Co., IL.

He died of pancreatic cancer on 17 September 1908 at Casey, Clark Co., IL and is buried in the Washington St. Cemetery there.  Louisa died on 12 March 1917.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Society Saturday - Illinois Chapter of Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America

The Illinois Chapter of DFPA met today for lunch and planning. 

We have some exciting things coming up - we are hoping to host the National President Donna Derrick at a meeting this year.  Donna will finish her term in April, so we will be honored if she comes all the way from San Diego to meet with us.

We are planning some joint meetings with other lineage groups in the area.  Because there is so much overlap in our membership, a joint meeting gives us an opportunity to "kill two birds with one stone" - cutting down on time and travel requirements. 

Finally, we are hoping to host one of the National Society's October Board meeting in the future.  We talked about various locations such as Chicago vs. Springfield, and brainstormed some tours and activities we could do in each location. 

Our chapter has 44 members with other ladies working on their applications.  Membership is somewhat restrictive, because it is through only the male line.  Basically, you need to trace your lineage back through either your paternal grandfather (using your maiden name) or your maternal grandfather (using your mother's maiden name) to a "Founder" (someone who was here prior to 1687 with a Revolutionary War "Patriot" in that line.

My Founder is: my 9th great-grandfather Richard Ormesby, who was born in Lincolnshire, England ca 1602.  he came to the colonies on the ship "Abigail" and settled first at Saco, Maine.  He married Sarah Upham ca 1640 and they had three children, John, Thomas and Jacob.  Richard lived in New Hampshire for a short period, then moved to Salisbury, MA and finally to Rehoboth, MA where he died in 1664.

My Patriot is: my 5th great-grandfather Nathaniel Ormsby, who was born in 1734 at Norwich, CT.  He married Elizabeth Perkins in 1759 and they had 8 children.  Nathaniel served as an Ensign in the French and Indian War, then in the Continental Army in 1777.  He was captured by the British and died at Albany, NY while captive on 25 October 1777.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Military Monday - Charles Clark Ormsby

In an effort to get back into blogging, and in honor of the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, I am going to write about my 5 ancestors who fought in that war.

I will start with my 2nd-great-grandfather, Charles Clark Ormsby.

C.C. Ormsby was born on 20 August 1838 in Brecksville, Cuyahoga, OH.  His parents were Selah and Diana (Clark) Ormsby.  He moved to Cumberland County, IL with his father and stepmother at the age of 2.   

C.C. married (1) Louisa Ann Shuey, daughter of Ephraim and Matilda (Grass) Shuey, on 22 September 1861 at Greenup, Cumberland, IL.

On 14 August 1864, he enlisted in Company E, 123 IL Volunteer Infantry.  He was discharged from service on 3 July 1865 with the rank of Corporal.

Louisa died on 14 February 1872 and C.C. married (2) Sarah Ann Delp on 9 November 1873 at Casey, Clark, IL.

C.C. and Louisa had 3 children:

1. Francis Ezra Ormsby, born 21 July 1862 at Cumberland Co., IL and married Kate Shoemaker.
2. Edward Arthur Ormsby, born 15 October 1866 at Cumberland Co., IL, and married Lena E. Neeley.
3. Ida Mae Ormsby, born 13 January 1872 at Cumberland Co., IL, and married William Emmet Havens.

C.C. was a charter member of Pleasant Valley United Brethren Church.  Early member, teacher and trustee in that church which was located across the highway from his house.

He applied for military pension for reason of rheumatism, chronic diarrhea and hernia of right side.
Charles Clark Ormsby died on 11 June 1920 at Cumberland Co., IL from Cancer of the Mouth.  He is buried in Washington St. Cemetery at Casey, Clark, IL.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

C.A.R. Regional Tour part 2

As I mentioned before, the National Officers and Chairmen of the Children of the American Revolution travel to other regions over the summer to meet C.A.R. members from around the country.

Since Amanda is a National Chairman, and I am a Senior National Chairman, we took advantage of the opportunity and traveled to the South Central Region and the South-Eastern Region.

The South Central Regional meeting was held in New Orleans - right in the middle of the French Quarter.  One of the skits that the National Board did was based on the movie "Tangled".  Here are some of the actors in that skit.  Amanda is the Ruffian/Thug with the hook.

Our tour at this Region was to the National WWII Museum.  I would highly recommend that you visit it if you are ever in New Orleans.  It depicts events leading up to World War II as well as everything that happened during the war and is extremely well done.  The 4-D movie hosted by Tom Hanks is very moving and not to be missed.

The banquet that evening was a Mardi Gras theme, so everyone had a mask.  Here is Amanda with her friend Callah.

After New Orleans, we drove to Pawley's Island, SC for the South-Eastern Regional meeting.  Our first day there we were treated to a beach party hosted by the South Carolina C.A.R.  We all had a good time, although it stormed off and on that day.

The tour for this region was to Brookgreen Gardens to see their sculptures and zoo.  The gardens were quite nice, although the mosquitoes were terrible!

We had fun traveling with the C.A.R. I think that it is a great opportunity for our children to meet others from around the country, to visit historical sites, and learn about other places.  We are already looking forward to next year's Regional tour.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

C.A.R. Regional Tour

Every summer, the National Officers of the Children of the American Revolution tour around the country to meet the members and tell them about the theme for the year.  They stop in each of nine Regions and present their program through skits that they have written.

In Illinois, we are part of the Great Lakes Region.  This year, our Regional meeting was in Novi, Michigan.

Here is a skit that my daughter and her friend wrote to help raise money for the C.A.R. Voyager fund.  They were dancing to the tune "Friday".

Each region features a tour to a local attraction.  In Michigan, we went to Greenfield Village, a nationally renowned historic village.

The Regional meeting always ends with a formal banquet and dance.  Here is Amanda with National President Mary Lib Schmidt.

Mary Lib Schmidt is from Virginia.  She is the National President of C.A.R. for 2011-12.  Her theme this year is "Living the American Dream".  She is raising money to support the Fisher House foundation - an organization that provides lodging for family members of injured veterans while they are patients at a military or VA hospital. 

Friday, August 05, 2011

Hill-Ormsby-Kern Reunion

Last month, we had a reunion of our family.  It represented the descendants of Charles Taylor and Nancy Jane (Wiley) Hill.  Almost 70 of the descendants of their son William Hill and their daughter Jessie (Hill) Ormsby Kern met at the house of my cousin D.J. in Swanton, OH.  She has a large great-room for entertaining, a large yard and a pond with a beach which kept the younger members entertained.

Family members came from across the U.S. - those who came the farthest were Mike and Jane (Watkins) Trefren who drove from Florida, Don and Kathy Hill who drove from North Carolina, Arlene Hill who flew from Washington, D.C., Aunt Shirley Kern who flew from New Orleans, and Chuck and Kathy Ormsby who drove from southern Illinois.

We had a great time visiting with our cousins who we don't see very often.  Of course, there were some younger cousins and some spouses who I hadn't met yet.  Everyone had a great time despite the 90-plus degree heat.  I hope that we have another reunion soon.

The Hill Family - 4 generations of descendants of William and Marguerrie (Spray) Hill

The Ormsby Family - 3 generations of descendants of H. Basil and Jessie (Hill) Ormsby
(her first marriage)

The Kern Family - 4 generations of descendants of James and Jessie (Hill) Kern
(her second marriage)

The "Elder Statesmen" of the Family-
Shirley Kern (daughter of Jim & Jessie)
"Wimp" Hill (son of William)
Ruth Ormsby (widow of Basil & Jessie's son Don)
Mary Kern (widow of Jim & Jessie's son Dick)