Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Genealogical Ketchup

Yesterday, I received an email from the New Hampshire State Records office in response to my inquiry regarding probate records for grandfathers Ludovicus Towle, Elbridge Gerry Towle, and grandmother, Hannah Clayton Towle Nickett.  Unfortunately, there is no probate record for EG Towle in Rockingham County.  He remains elusive.  I can't find a birth record or death record for him.

I'm hoping to have a couple of questions answered within the other probate records:  Did Ludovicus Towle have any other children beyond son EG Towle?   And what did EG's wife, Hannah Clayton Towle Nickett leave in her will to the rest of her children?  New Hampshire land deeds have show that following her death, two of her children, Mary L Towle Muzzey and Gerry Towle, received land in Kingston, NH.  Did her other children, Rose Towle Pratt, Hannah Towle Dole and Ida Nickett Blye receive anything?  If so...what?

In other news, I got a message over on Ancestry.com from someone working on a tree for a friend.  Turns out, this friend is the great-grandson of Ida Nickett Blye.  Ida Nickett Blye is the daughter of Hannah Clayton Towle Nickett and her second husband following the death of EG Towle.  His mother searched out their Blye-Nickett line back in the 1980's but didn't get much information on them.  We have since made email contact and shared information.  He, cousin Chris, was kind enough to send along a photo of his grandmother Ida.  

Ida Mabel Nickett Towle
Chris tells me that Ida was alive up until 1964 - the year I was born.  Amazing.  He isn't sure when this photograph was taken but looking at it, the details of her clothing lead me to think that it was probably around the turn of the last century.  

While looking through my cousin Lisa Cochran Berl's old photos, I stumbled across this one.  Our grandmother Rose Towle Pratt.

Rose Ann Towle Pratt

Cousin Sally O'Connell should weigh in with her opinion but I find a striking resemblance between Rose and my cousin, Bill O'Connell.  This photo of Rose was also taken around the turn of the last century.  Rose looks considerably older than Ida - there was 17 year age difference between these siblings.  This age difference is also the reason why Ida is Chris' great-grandmother and Rose is my great-great grandmother.  Rose gave birth to my great-grandfather Walter Pratt, when Ida was 4..

I also found this on cousin Lisa's family archive:  A announcement for her shower thrown for her grandmother, Elizabeth (Betty) Clayton Pratt 

What's interesting about this - beyond the charming details of the newspaper social page reporting, is the attendance of one of her guests: Floris McCurdy.  Floris is my grandfather's Fred Pratt's first wife.  No one talked about this marriage; I didn't learn of it until after his death.  Lisa's grandmother Betty was only 3 years older than her nephew, my grandfather Fred Pratt.  Rose had 9 children, my grandfather Walter was #2, her grandmother Betty was #9.  I suspect Betty Pratt Birdsall was more like a cousin than an aunt to my grandfather Fred.   My grandfather Walter got married the same year (1900) that his sister Betty was born.

I've sent off for EG Towle's Court Martial record - all 66 pages of it.  I should hear back relatively soon as they tell me that they've already pulled the record and made the copies.  The more I work on EG and get nowhere, the more determined I am to see that he get at least a marble slab memorial courtesy of the US government.  No birth record (so far), no death record beyond his muster rolls and the government can't tell me what they did with his body after his death following the Battle of the Crater - which he survived for over a week...it doesn't seem right.  I don't know if I'm going to have to search manifests of the hospital ships in area at the time; or even if there is any, but it bothers me to no end that he has nothing to show for the sacrifice of his life in the Civil War.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to the Geneabloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

    May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

    Dr. Bill ;-)
    Author of "Back to the Homeplace"
    and "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"