Archival Research and Genealogy
Dependent’s Pension Affidavit for Children of Elias Oxford

The document below was moved along by the older brother of Elias Oxford. Private Elias Oxford had been in Confederate custody beginning October 1, 1861 through his release at the docks of the James River May 11, 1862.  Upon release, Elias, was treated for typhus at the Patent Hospital (Now the National Portrait Gallery just [...]

Sergeant-Major Charles Hammond Comly, of the 20th Indian Volunteer Regiment, had run into a string of bad luck over the year just prior to the opening of the Civil War.  His venture to open a mining implements business for the miners at Pike’s Peak had fallen flat and he returned to his Dayton, Ohio home [...]

Margaret Jane (WILDER) WELCH NAYLOR – 1882 Michigan Birth Record

My sister, Sue, has also done a considerable amount of family research over the years on our Wilder family.  She mentioned to me via Facebook recently that she had a birth record for our great-grandmother Margaret Wilder.  However, she noted, as she recalled, it didn’t contain much useful information.  Well, as she was locating that [...]

1881 Apparent Death of A Newborn? – Isaac Burdett COOK and Sarah Ann (PRICHARD) COOK

Government records can appear, on their face, sterile, statistical and indifferent to the human lives they document.  Last evening, I was looking through Michigan Births, 1867-1902 on the beta records site for and located some original birth records for several people on my “hit list.”  In the process, I came across a record for [...]

Margaret Wilder Welch Naylor Obituary – Mandan, ND – 1923

Below is the transcript of the Mandan, ND obituary for my great-grandmother, Margaret Jane Wilder. Oddly, included in the listing of surviving family members is “a brother.”  I have not been aware of any brother of Margaret’s.  Is it possible that Frank Wilder, Sr. is including as a “brother” the “step-son” named Vinal Bulin, the [...]

Jim Naylor Obituary – Mandan, ND – 1923

Finding James Naylor’s obituary today helped to fill a gap.  Previously unable to find a death certificate, I was only aware that he passed away some time prior to Margaret Wilder Welch Naylor’s 1923 death .  I was not expecting to find that the couple died within six months of one another – Jim on [...]

Ann Kitson Bentley Reveals Bloodline of First Child – 1889

Sylvester R. Bentley’s Civil War Pension file comprises some 100 documents – including those associated with Ann Kitson Bentley’s Widow’s Pension claim following Sylvester’s 1873 death. In 1889, Ann made a startling revelation about the conception of her first child, Edward N. Bentley.  In a January 29, 1889 affidavit presented by her attorney, William W. [...]

Sylvester R. Bentley Family Bible Page – 1889 Pension Record

A few months ago, I was able to pull the Civil War Pension file of Sylvester R. Bentley, the grandfather of my great-grandmother, Maude Bentley Clemence Combs.  Maude is the daughter of Sylvester’s son George R. Bentley. There were more than 100 pages of documents in the files, including several family surprises.   I will [...]

Frank Wilder, Sr. and Jeannette Bulin – 1920 Marriage or Cohabitation?

It came as a surprise to find Frank Wilder, “Sr.” in the 1920 ND Census [of employees of the ND State Penitentiary] living with a woman, twenty-two years his junior, named Jeannette on January 1, 1920 – exactly one year after the death of his first wife, Julia Barber Wilder.  The Census enumerates the employees [...]

Henry Levi Dorton – Revolutionary War Pension Deposition – A Transcription

I previously posted Henry Dorton’s Revolutionary Pension Deposition (completed in 1834, retroactive to 1831).  However, I thought a transcript of the document would be helpful given the difficulty of reading the old script.  That transcript is below. The handwritten Revolutionary War Pension statement of my maternal grandmother Lula Cook Wilder’s third-great-grandfather, Henry Levi Dorton.  He [...]