Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sunday Search: Requesting Records

Excuse me, have you seen my family? 
A recent conversation with a brother from the lodge got me thinking a little about some of the organizations that I could possibly join in recognition of my ancestors. Namely those who participated in the Civil War both in the Union and Confederate armies. I know that there are plenty who fought on both sides and I even have a few of the records, mostly pension papers, for a number of people who participated in the conflict. That conversation also had me wondering about the lives and service of a few others in the family tree.

Early this week I decided to take action on these thoughts while also taking a chance that there is more information out there that still exists by submitting service record requests with the National Archives and Records Administration. The first form I filled out is also the most obvious. While I have been able to piece together some of the detail surrounding the death of Jacob Worth (1836-1864) during the Battle of Mobile Bay while serving at a First Class Fireman aboard the USS Tecumseh (Union), that is pretty much the limit of my knowledge. Anything regarding his service before that fateful day is a mystery and hopefully there is a service record available to provide some answers.

The second ancestor I submitted was George William Clapsaddle (1834-1916) who served as a Private in the 28th Regiment, Virginia Infantry, K Company (Confederate). The only details I have about this 3rd great grandfather’s service is in the regimental history and in his application for assistance from the Federal Government that he filed on 10 November 1902. According to records, he enlisted on 20 July 1861 (one day before the regiment’s participation in the First Battle of Bull Run (Battle of First Manassas) and mustered out on 30 September 1861. I am particularly curious read about his time at part of the 28th Virginia especially given his short length of service.

The request I made was for the service record of Jacob Teaford (1790-1877) who was part of Captain Joseph Larew’s Company of the 6th Regiment Virginia Militia. While there is little I have been able to find regarding his service during the War of 1812 beyond his basic pension listing, I did find that the 6th Regiment Virginia Militia did take part in the Battle of Baltimore in September of 1814 in support of Major George Armistead in defense of Fort McHenry. Obviously, I am curious to know whether my 4th great grandfather was present when Francis Scott Key was inspired to write what would later become the Star Spangled Banner.

The final file that I hope to receive is that of John Redcross (1740-1800) about whom I already have a mountain of information but still have a few holes that need to be filled with regard to his service. He served in Captain William Long’s Company, 2nd Virginia State Regiment, for nearly the entirety of the Revolutionary War including active participation under the command of Major General Lafayette and later as part of Colonel Charles Dabney’s band of regiments during the Siege of Yorktown. I am fascinated to see if any additional information is provided.

So those are the four requests that have been submitted. I am going to wait to see what is sent to me before submitting anymore but really any new information will be well worth the time, energy, and nominal fee. Of course, there are still other request that I have to make from other organizations but, being more recent records, there are a few more steps that I have to take. I guess I know what my next genealogy task will be. Stay tuned for results.