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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Telelaget of America

Telelaget of America is a Bygdelag (organization of descendants of emigrants from Norway to North America) for the descendants of immigrants from Telemark county, Norway. They publish a journal, Telesoga, which contains articles on immigrants from Telemark and their ancestors and descendants. The May 2008 issue of Telesoga (volume 29, no. 1) includes a profile of Charlie Halvorson, my great-great-grandmother's brother. Members of Telelaget of America may also purchase the organization's books. Two books in the Telemark to America series are currently available. Volume I - Emigration includes information about Norwegian history, the history of Telemark and of Telemark emigration, and some information about settlements. Volume II - Settlements contains translated articles (originally published in Norwegian) about settlements in the United States which first appeared in Telesoga and Aarbok for Telemark, 1926. It includes information about some of my ancestors and their families (the Boe and Halvorson-Otterholt families).

For more information, go to

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Civil War

This month marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, so I thought I'd start my blog off by honoring the members of my family who participated in the war:

My 3rd-great-grandfather Davidson Binkley was born in Robertson County, Tennessee on November 11, 1832. By 1860 he was living in Williamson County, Illinois with his wife and children. He joined the Union army on September 26, 1862 and mustered in on November 5, 1862 at Camp Butler, Illinois. He was a private in Company G of the 128th Regiment of the Illinois Infantry. He died of measles on January 9, 1983 in Cairo, Alexander County, Illinois, and was buried at Spiller Cemetery in Williamson County, Illinois. His family moved back to Tennessee after his death.

My 4th-great-uncle Samuel August Samuelson was born on January 3, 1839 in Västra Harg, Östergötlands, Sweden. He came to the United States in 1851 with his parents and siblings, and after spending a year in Chicago, Illinois, the family settled in Porter County, Indiana. He enlisted in the Union army on August 16, 1862, and was a private in Company E of the 73rd Regiment of the Indiana Infantry. He mustered out on May 28, 1863; he was discharged because he had been wounded. He was disabled for more than 3 years, but eventually recovered. He died on January 14, 1908 in Porter County, Indiana and was buried at Augsburg Lutheran Church Cemetery in Porter, Porter County, Indiana.

My 3rd-great-grandfather Joseph Tarkington was born on November 8, 1830 in Williamson County, Tennessee. He enlisted in the Confederate army on December 5, 1862 in Waverly, Tennessee. He was a private in Company D of the 10th Regiment of the Tennessee Cavalry. However, he was at home on sick leave for much of the time due to asthma and pneumonia. He died on April 19, 1903 in Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee and was buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Nashville.
Joseph Tarkington at Find A Grave has Civil War records; although it is a subscription site, they are offering free access to the Civil War Collection and the 1860 and 1870 U.S. censuses from April 7-14, 2011. also has Civil War records; it is also a subscription site, but access to the Civil War Collection is free from April 7-14, 2011.

Other useful Civil War links:
Civil War Soldiers & Sailors System 
Civil War Maps, 1861-1865 (American Memory from the Library of Congress) 
Research in Military Records: Civil War (National Archives) 

State resources are also available; here are a few examples:
Illinois Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls Database
Civil War - Indiana State Digital Archives 
Tennessee Confederate Pension Applications: Soldiers & Widows

Some helpful books:

Dollarhide, William. Genealogical Resources of the Civil War Era: Online and Published Military or Civilian Name Lists, 1861-1869, and Post-War Veteran Lists. Bountiful, UT: Family Roots Publishing Co., 2009.

Munden, Kenneth W., and Beers, Henry Putney. The Union: A Guide to Federal Archives Relating to the Civil War. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1986.

Beers, Henry Putney. The Confederacy: A Guide to the Archives of the Government of the Confederate States of America. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1986.