On This Day: Ira Sayles Enlists in the Union Army

On August 14, 1862, my great-great-grandfather, Ira Sayles,  volunteered "to serve as a soldier in the Army of the United States of America, for the period of THREE YEARS, unless sooner discharged by the proper authority."  The forty-four year old teacher from Alfred, New York joined others gathering at the recruiting station in Almond, Allegany … Continue reading On This Day: Ira Sayles Enlists in the Union Army

Project 150: Ira and Serena Sayles in 1861

November 1861   The rolling hills of Allegany County, New York were studded with trees, bare-limbed but for the oak trees.  Red brown leaves would be clinging fast to those branches until harsh winter winds pulled them into crunchy swirls.   Ira and Serena Sayles would have been leading very full lives on the campus of … Continue reading Project 150: Ira and Serena Sayles in 1861

Project 150: It’s 1861. Farm On.

Project 150 is a series of Civil War posts that, taken together, will tell the story of my family's life choices during the years of rebellion.  Sources used for today's post include privately held family documents, a Wiki article on the election and the Federal 1860 census accessed at ancestry.com. My great-great-grandparents, F. Marion and … Continue reading Project 150: It’s 1861. Farm On.

The Cloak of Defeat: Friday’s Facing The War

Author's Note:  What began as a mere dabbling into my family roots has become a robust investigation of my family history. Slowly the search has become centered on the lives, decisions and events of the Civil War era, 1850-1880, as they shaped the physical and mental landscape in which my grandparents and parents lived.  Here I … Continue reading The Cloak of Defeat: Friday’s Facing The War

This Day in Family History: April 15

April 15. A date burned into my brain by adrenaline and estrogen and progesterone, a hormone cocktail that pushed a new life into our world. In 1864, my great-great-grandmother, Mary Jane Gwynne Minor lay in her child bed. Her birthing team may have included a sister-in-law, a midwife, or perhaps a doctor from nearby Waynesburg, … Continue reading This Day in Family History: April 15