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The Family Bible and Ancestry

001There are many sources of information about families.  An old family bible is one of the most valuable items that can set a person to tracing a significant link in ancestors.  Older family bibles allowed the owner to add the name of a mate, children and grandchildren to the second (or third) page of this possession.  My grandfather Samuel Armstead Graham and his wife Belle (Arabella) (Bradshaw) Graham had such a bible.

In in headline of this page we have the statement “Family Record of” with names added below in the handwriting of the owner of this bible.  The handwriting states S. A. and Belle Graham Married Nov 18, 1880.  This seems to be written after the fact just above the names:  S. A. Graham & Belle Graham.  Names and Births came next.  S. A. Graham – Feb 19, 1859; Belle Graham – Aug 1, 1859; with the children listed next.  Stella Graham – Jan 16, 1882; Norman Graham – Dec 28, 1883; Olin Graham – May 11, 1886; Mattie Graham – June 8, 1888; George Graham – Feb 16, 1891; Margaret Graham – Feb 14, 1893; Ophelia Graham – May 16, 1894; Paul Graham – April 25, 1896.

Don’t throw those old bibles away.  They have valuable information that someday would pay dearly to receive.


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James W. W. Graham enlistment document

James W. W. Graham.enlist.doc.1861Many of you know that I enjoy genealogy.  Several years ago while researching my father’s lineage, I came across the Fold3 site that accumulates military records.  They have an enormous digital library of records including some on the Civil War.  These were the records that I was interested in at the time because I knew that I had two and perhaps 3 great grandfathers who were killed or died during the duration of the tragic (and many believe necessary) happening of the battles between the North and South.

One of the records that the Fold3 site provided is shown at the right.  This is a copy of the Company Muster Roll of Company K, 2nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment for September and October 1861.  Pvt. Graham was noted to be from Inka Mississippi.  He had signed up for 7 months duty and his recruiter was noted to be Lieutenant H. Davenport.  At that company muster James was noted to be sick in camp.

A latter company muster roll indicates that James was absent because he had been wounded.  This report was for the months July and August 1862.  It also notes that he had been promoted to Sergeant.  There is a record from General Hospital, Howard’s Grove, Richmond, Virginia dated October 1, 1862 indicating that James was admitted to the hospital.  A later record indicates that he was furloughed on October 8, 1862 for 30 days.  A footnote says that he had an index and middle finger amputated from the right hand.  According to further records he had returned to duty on the November and December 1862 muster roll.

The first part of 1863 indicated that James was present at the company until the July – August Company Muster Roll showed him to be absent.  A further note indicated that he had been captured at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863.  Other company muster rolls indicated that he was prisoner of war being held at Ft. Delaware, Delaware.  He died of Influenza of the Lung on April 16, 1865.

Burial records indicate that his body and the bodies of several dozens of other prisoners were buried at Finnis Point National Cemetery at Salem, New Jersey, Site 833.  This is on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River and there is a large tombstone over the burial site with all the names of those interred in this mass grave.  Rest in peace great grandfather James W. W. Graham.