August 19, 2017

A Tenuous Connection To Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

When we were little kids in grade school each year we would dutifully make profile pictures of Abe Lincoln and proudly take them home to Mom and Dad. It never occurred to me that many years later I would be researching my husband’s family tree and find that there was a “kissin’ cousin” connection to the great man.

I should say, my husband is not directly related to Lincoln, but one of his DeSpain cousins was married into the Hanks family. Here’s how the connection happened:

Descendants of Andrew Jackson Hanks (brother to Nancy Hanks, Lincoln’s mother)

1      [1] HANKS, Andrew Jackson  Source1: 1870 United States Federal Census, Source2: 1880 United States Federal Census, Source3: 1860 United States Federal Census, Source4: 1850 United States Federal Census    b: 1815 in Grayson, KY
.        +PORTER, Melinda          m: 17 Mar 1837 in Illinois      d: 29 Apr 1856 in Pleasant Grove, Des Moines, IA
2      HANKS, Matilda  Source: “Obit for Nancy Hanks DESPAIN”            d: Aft. 1932 in Clovis, Fresno, CA
.        +CARTER, John
2      HANKS, Caroline
.        +HAWKS, William
2      HANKS, Elizabeth              d: 1927
.        +MCNEIL, Jerimiah (Jim)      b: 1838    m: Abt. 1866      d: 1919 in New London, Des Moines County, IA
2      HANKS, Mary Ann
.        +SHEPHERD, A.C.              d: Abt. 1864 in Civil War
2      HANKS, Melinda
.        +EVANS, Milton
2      HANKS, Celia
.        +MATTHEWS, G. W.
2      HANKS, Charles  Source: “Obit for Nancy Hanks DESPAIN”    b: 1841        d: 1937
.        +CARPENTER, Eliza Jane              d: 1914
2      HANKS, Nancy  Source: “Obit for Nancy Hanks DESPAIN”    b: 05 Jul 1848 in Pleasant Grove, Des Moines, IA        d: 04 Jul 1932 in New London, Des Moines, IA  src: “Obit for Nancy Hanks DESPAIN”
.        +DESPAIN, Newton  Source: 1880 United States Federal Census    b: 18 Feb 1851 in Louisville, Jefferson, KY    m: 29 Apr 1869 in New London, Des Moines, IA      d: 08 Mar 1915 in New London, Des Moines, IA
2      HANKS, William Henry  Source: “Obit for Nancy Hanks DESPAIN”    b: 1854 in New London, Des Moines, IA        d: 1933 in New London, Des Moines, IA
.        +MCCUNE, Harriet      b: 1855        d: 1946
*2nd Wife of [1] HANKS, Andrew Jackson:
.        +ROWE, Sophia      b: in New Jersey    m: Aft. 1838      d: 27 Aug 1879 in Pleasant Grove, Des Moines, IA
*3rd Wife of [1] HANKS, Andrew Jackson:
.        +MORAND, Milcah Gardiner          m: 07 Jan 1881

My husband’s connection to Lincoln and the DeSpains:

(1) John DeSpain and Mariah Perkins were parents of

(2) *Mary Elizabeth DeSpain who married **John W. Whittmore 05 Nov 1865

(2) Newton DeSpain who married Nancy Hanks 29 April 1869

*there were other siblings

** John W. Whittmore was a Medal of Honor Recipient in the Civil War

Mary Elizabeth and John Whitmore’s daughter

(3) Mariah M. Whitmore married William Henry Wilkerson 11 March 1896 at Burlington, Des Moines County, Iowa

Mariah and William Wilkerson were parents of

(4) Wesley L. Wilkerson who married Amanda Bean 17 November 1923 at Nashua, Iowa

Wesley and Amanda were parents of

Loren Wilkerson, father of my husband Jim




The Home Friend 1909

In the late 1980’s my husband and I owned an old house here in Port Orchard, Washington. It was in dire need of repair, and at one time we were in the process of tearing down a wall separating two rooms on the first floor. As we got one side of the wall boards off my husband noticed a rolled up paper inside which revealed itself to be an old ‘magazine’ called The Home Friend. I have toted that old magazine around for all these years, and just before Christmas I took it to a copier and had the pages scanned, printed and put on disk.  It is now 100 years later and I thought it would be fun to share some of the articles and advertisements contained in that homemade time capsule.  Be looking for them in future posts here on iPentimento. In the mean time, I leave you with one of the articles as a small tribute to the memory of Abraham Lincoln.


36 New Leads From A Civil War Pension Record

Information Extracted From Pension File for George O. Barlow

By Carol Yates Wilkerson

Name: George O. Barlow

Parents of George O. Barlow are: Stephen and Mary (Louis) Barlow

Born: 01 Nov 1837, St. Lawrence Co., NY

Military Service: Sgt. Co. K, 3rd Reg. MN Volunteer Infantry;  During the Civil War George contracted malaria while in Arkansas; attending physician was Nathan Birly; large doses of quinine given to George for “malarial poisoning and ague” caused acute deafness and “loss of constitution” [chronic fatigue].

Army Pension: CW military pension #491,619. Affidavits signed by Thomas Hunter, Charles Perry, A. C. Wedge documenting service and affects of malaria; Other affidavits signed for character and proof of parentage of his three minor children, as well as his marriage to Eliza: Peter T. Safford, Sauk Center, Stearns, MN; Benjamin Veeder, and David Cleveland, Stearns, MN; also, Hannah Veeder; 1st Lt. Thomas Hunter (in Co. K); Charles Perry, Pvt., Co. K.

Marriage:  Wife, Eliza A. Safford; married 05 Nov 1865, Olmsted Co., MN at residence of Joseph Bear; witnesses: Joseph Bear and David Wood.

Land Ownership: Land owned in Todd County foreclosed on for back taxes 1898.

Occupation: Farmer

Memberships: Grand Army of the Republic Post 100, Long Prairie, MN [attested to by fellow members].

Died: 09 May 1898 Long Prairie, Todd, MN; (Cause of death: Angina Pectoris and fatty degeneration of the heart;) H. P. Johnson, MD, Long Prairie, MN.

Undertaker: G. W. Dinkel


Spousal Information From Pension File of George O. Barlow

Name: Eliza (Elizabeth?) Ann Safford

Born: 07 January 1846, Christiana, Dane, WI

Sibling: Peter T. Safford

Children: Minor children living at time of pension application: Cora B (b. 12 June 1886);  Flossie (b. 21 Sept. 1889); and Leland Barlow (b. 22 June 1892).  These three children were all born at home and delivery was assisted by Eleanor Cates/Cotes.

Pension number: #467609; application filed 19 May 1898, St. Paul, MN.  Affidavits signed by Mary Maute and Mary N. Adams; also, Hannah Veeder and Catherine Galusha.

Died: 12 April 1920, Minot, Ward, ND












Tombstone Tuesday: Confederate Burial in New Jersey


For this Tombstone Tuesday, I think it’s only fitting that I should acknowledge the death of James Barnard Morrison so close to the date that he died, June 12, 1864.  Yes, it was during the time of the Civil War and yet, part of me feels bad that he had to die so far from home, at Finn’s Point National Cemetery in New Jersey. (I have the roster of those who died there if anyone needs a lookup).

James was the son of John and Molly (Deatherage) Morrison who, at the time the Civil War began,  resided in Roane County, Tennessee. John’s mother was Mary Barnard, hence the middle name. James was my 3rd Great granduncle. His wife, Anna Holmes was a sister to my GGG-Grandmother, Deborah Holmes who married Miles Yates. Deborah later divorced Miles and married James B. Morrison’s brother William Deatherage Morrison.


The children of Debby Holmes and Wm. D. Morrison

James B. Morrison was a Private in Co. B, 5th TN Cavalry (CSA)(McKenzie’s). James’ widow, Anna,  left Tennessee in 1885 with her nephew, Gideon J. Pillar Morrison (pictured far left in the above photo) and his family. They all moved to Howell County, Missouri to homestead.


The Gideon Morrison Family

The Gideon Morrison family were also accompanied by James W. M. Yates and his sister Myra.  James and Myra were the half neice and nephew of Gideon. No doubt they were brought along for many reasons. Our family story has it that Jim and Myra Yates didn’t like their step-mother so they might have seen it as a way to escape that household.  Gideon and his wife Martha Jane (Edgemon) might have agreed to have them along since they had five small children to look after. Jim would have been around 21 years of age, and Myra just two years younger.

* Just a side note about Finn’s Point Nat. Cemetery: At the time I was just getting information about the cemetery (1997) and buying the roster of names it was when Andrew Cunanan committed one of his murders, killing William Reese and stealing his truck.

20% Discount at Footnote in May

I am a subscriber to Footnote, as well as an affiliate. I don’t make a living as an affiliate for anyone, but if someone signs up through my link, of course, I benefit. This month Footnote is offering a 20% discount, which might be of interest to any genealogist. Click on the banner below to join today. Thanks very much if you do. No harm, no foul if you don’t. 😉

Today, I found an image on Footnote for my husband’s GG-Grandfather John Whitmore who was a Medal of Honor recipient during the Civil War. It is additional documentation that proves that John received a pension from the government.

The reason John’s medal was so unusual is that most often it was given to officers and not Privates. He must have done something beyond amazing to have been given such an honor. John served with the 119th Illinois Infantry in Company F. About 10 years ago a new headstone was placed on his grave in Des Moines County, Iowa to acknowledge his honor and service during the war. The headstone was given to the family to place on his grave by the Veteran’s Administration.

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