Sunday, July 29, 2018

The Fundamental Orders of 1639 and Andrew Warner

Growing up I’m not sure I ever heard of the document “The Fundamental Orders of 1639” when I was studying US History.  I did however, find my paternal 8th great-grandfather, Andrew Warner, had a connection to this document.  So, what is this document all about and what did Andrew have to do with it? 

Andrew and Mary Humphrey Warner came to America in November 1631 settling in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  Andrew was a very active member of the Puritan church where the Reverend Thomas Hooker preached.  In 1636 Thomas Hooker and  a group of about 100 followers (Andrew and Mary among them) decided to leave the Cambridge area because it was becoming crowded and search for a new fertile area where they could farm and have a new settlement of like minded people.  They reportedly walked for about 10-12 days to reach this new area which would later become known as Hartford, Connecticut.  

In the spring of 1638 three Connecticut towns, Windsor, Hartford and Wethersfield, chose representatives and held a general court at Hartford.  Connecticut had been governing itself since Thomas Hooker led the band of Puritans away from Massachusetts in 1636.

The Fundamental Orders page 2
a copy of a page of the Fundamental Orders of 1639 from

The Fundamental Orders was an agreement written that formed the basic law of the Connecticut colony.  The Orders were  formally adopted 14 January 1639 and contain 11 orders.  The Fundamental Orders gave men more voting rights than they had in Massachusetts and allowed more men to run for office. The Puritans had created in America the first written constitution, a set of laws or principles which govern a people.  Many consider this a precursor to the US Constitution.  You can read the entire Fundamental Orders of 1639 at at the Constitution Society.

I have been unable to find a list of the Representatives from Hartford or the names of the signers of the Fundamental Orders, so, I don’t know if Andrew was one of them but I do know he was very involved in his community throughout his life.  I was able to locate a map found though the Society of the Descendants of the Founding Fathers of Hartford.  I was able to determine that Andrew was a landowner

and where his land was located (Andrew’s property in red).  (click on images to enlarge)
The original was drawn by William S. Porter based on original records of the town

I also see that Andrew’s property was near the Charter Oak (circled in yellow).  This Charter Oak was a landmark and symbol of Connecticut for many years.  There is a story or legend that the original Colony Charter was hidden in a hollow part of the tree and before that this tree was known to house Native American councils beneath it.  Today there is a monument erected in it’s place.

Did Andrew and his wife come over to America because of Thomas Hooker?  Why did they leave the Hartford settlement and move north to inland Massachusetts?

Now it seems there is another organization I am eligible to join-  The Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford 


and WOW! another connection I have to the founding of America.  How exciting!   (see previous post about my Alden connection at It’s Official! I Proved It!)

I started this journey by searching on-line with “Andrew Warner” and “Hartford” to see what additional information I could find.  I knew he had moved to Hartford but knew little else.  That led me to the Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford which led me to the 1640 map of Hartford and the Fundamental Orders of 1639 and a whole new history lesson about this country that my ancestor happened to be involved with.  Are your ancestors Founding Fathers of Hartford also?

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Sepia Saturday-Mystery Woman In the Studio

Sepia Saturday-Launched by Alan Burnett and Kat Mortensen in 2009, Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs. Historical photographs of any age or kind (they don't have to be sepia) become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images.

The theme of this week’s Sepia Saturday is STUDIOS : BACKGROUNDS : GROUPS : HATS.  With the following picture I figure I have 3 of the 4 items.  Now, if I could just figure out who this person is…

Some of what I see in the photo:
  • What a small waist she has!
  • in her left hand she’s holding on to a rope attached to the row boat and attached to a pier
  • trunks are stacked on the pier
  • detailed background looks like water and a boat off on the horizon complete with a cloudy sky
  • her right hand holding on to a rope attached to…
  • stylist hat (with perhaps a bow on it) and outfit (complete with piping along the jacket’s edges and a bow)
I wonder why the picture was taken?  Was it a special occasion?

Now is when I want to contact Maureen Taylor, the Photo Detective to help me determine what time period the photo is from.  I am guessing it was taken in the late 1800s.  There is no information about the photographer but that may be because this photo may only be a copy of an original.

I really like this photo but I also really want to know who it is a picture of?  (see previous post Photo Friday-Who is the Woman in the Picture?) I believe it is on my Hughes or Rowan ancestral lines.  They lived in New York City so I believe they would have had more access to a photography studio with such elaborate backgrounds and props.  

Hopefully, someday, someone will recognize her and help me name her.

 If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Civil War Record of John W. Rowan

A few weeks ago I told the story of my search for which of my paternal ancestors, based on a family story, had served in the Civil War.  (See blog posts  Who Was the Civil War Veteran? and Is it the right John W. Rowan, Civil War Veteran?.) After an extensive search I obtained Civil War Pension records for my paternal great-great grandfather John W. Rowan.  With thanks to my cousin Craig for reviewing and transcribing some of the original records and helping me with researching the Regiments John was in.  

civil war cannon

From John’s Application for an Invalid Pension and additional research we have put together a better picture of what we believe happened to John during the Civil War:
21st day of August 1862 - John W. Rowan enrolled at New York City in Company “D” 145th Regiment of New York Volunteers, to ‘serve 3 years or during the war’.

emblem worn on the Civil War cap

11th day of Sept, 1862 - John mustered into service as a ‘Private’ at Camp New York, Staten Island, in Co “D”, 145th Regiment of New York Volunteers. 
From the National Park Service Battle Unit Details I was able to learn the following about the 145th Regiment:
  • Regiment left New York in September for Washington, D.C.
  • Duty at Bolivar Heights, Maryland until Dec. 1862. 
  • Skirmishes at Charlestown and Berryville Dec 2-6. 
  • March to Fairfax Station, Virginia Dec 10-14.  Remained until 19 January 1863
  • Burnside’s 2nd Campaign, “Mud March” January 20-24.
  • At Stafford Court House until 27 April.
  • Chancellorsville Campaign 27 April until 6 May.  Including Battle of Chancellorsville May 1-5.  At the battle 5 enlisted men and 1 officer were killed, 28 men wounded.  2 officers and 50 men were reported missing after the battle.
26 June 1863 -  Reported ‘deserted’ on the roll for Sept & Oct 1863, reports him ‘straggled’ while on the March from Stafford, Virginia to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  June 26, 1863 he returned to his company for duty.  In researching the term “stragglers” I learned they were generally thought to have been men who informally took time off to recover from fatigue or illness.  This seemed to have been a problem since men were not granted leaves during this time period.  I wonder if John had been injured and was hospitalized during this time period or was one of the 50 men reported missing after the Battle of Chancellorsville? 
  • Gettysburg, Pa Campaign June 11-July 24.  Including Battle of Gettysburg July 1-3.  For the Battle of Gettysburg the Regiment brought 245 men.  1 man was killed and 9 were wounded.
photo from The Battle of Gettysburg (click on image to enlarge)
  • Pursuit of Lee July 5-24. 
  • At Racoon Ford, Virginia until Sept.
  • To Stevenson, Alabama Sept 24- Oct 4.
  • Duty along Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad until December.
  • The regiment disbanded 9 December 1863.  Men were transferred to 107th, 123rd and 150th Regiments.
12 Jan 1864 - John is reported transferred to Co “H” 150 New York Vols. 
  • Guard duty on line of the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad until April, 1864.
      Atlanta campaign:
  • Demonstration on Rocky Faced Ridge May 8-11.
  • Battle of Resaca May 14-15.
  • Near Cassville May 19.
  • Advance on Dallas May 22-25.
  • New Hope Church May 25.
  • Battles about Dallas, New Hope Church and Allatoona Hills May 26–June 5.
  • Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain June 10–July 2.
  • Pine Hill June 11-14.
  • Lost Mountain June 15-17.
  • Gilgal or Golgotha Church June 15.
  • Muddy Creek June 17.
  • Noyes Creek June 19.
  • Kolb’s Farm June 22.
  • Assault on Kenesaw June 27.
  • Ruff’s Station,
  • Smyrna Camp Ground, July 4.
  • Chattahoochie River July 5-17.
  • Peach Tree Creek July 19-20.
20 July 1864 John was wounded in action.  (More to follow on the battle he was injured in and his injuries in a future post.)
9 April 1865 - Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox
14 April 1865 - assassination of President Abraham Lincoln
8 June 1865 - John mustered out of Co H 150th Regiment New York Volunteers. 

28 June 1865 - John was honorably discharged at Washington, D.C.

I have not been able to verify yet all the battles John actually fought in that are listed above but it gives me an idea of what the Regiments went through during the Civil War.  Reminder, this was the first national draft in history.  I can’t imagine what it was like for this young man so far away from home and in the middle of War for so many battles.

The family story was that John enlisted at 14 and had a neighbor sign saying he was able to enlist.  Based on the records above it appears that John was 16 years old when he enlisted and 19 years old when he was discharged.  Still under the age of 18 which was the enlistment age.  I did find a listing that showed John W. Rowan and an aka James Rowan.  I would also like to investigate that name and see if that was the name he originally enlisted under since he was underage.

 If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Sepia Saturday-The Worm Stand

“Launched by Alan Burnett and Kat Mortensen in 2009, Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs.  Historical photographs of any age or kind (they don’t have to be sepia) become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history, in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images.”  This week’s theme any of the following- Children: Dogs: Prams: Sticks

Worm stand

The Worm Stand

My grandparents owned and ran a duck farm on Eastern Long Island about 60 miles east of New York City.  On the southern end of the property was the Peconic River.  My grandparents had several bungalows near the river and wooden row boats.  In the summer, and before central air conditioning,  my grandparents, aunt and father would stay in the bungalows because it was a little cooler there.  A vacation of sorts.

My grandmother’s family was from Brooklyn and would frequently come out to the ‘country’ and stay in the bungalows also.  My Dad recounts what fun it was to have cousins around and to go out fishing on the river.

One summer my dad, on the left, and his cousin Warren Earle decided to build a worm stand.  They dug their worms, placed them in tin cans with some dirt and were ready to sell them to the fishermen that would rent the rowboats from my grandparents.

I love this picture of an innocent time when young boys figure out a way to have fun and make some money during  a lazy summer.  The bungalows haven’t been used in over 50 years and have fallen down but what a great memory of a time gone by.
What would it be like to have those days of no TV, telephones or gaming systems back for kids in the Summer?

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

Be sure to check out other Sepia Saturday posts by going to

Sunday, July 8, 2018

My Maternal Line and Mitochondrial DNA

I was thinking lately about who to research next on my maternal line and I was wondering about the DNA testing I have done.  Most people who do DNA testing are looking at their ethnic makeup.  How much Irish or English or Scandinavian am I?  I wanted to take a look beyond that to look at what Mitochondrial and Y-DNA testing can also tell me.   I have been fortunate enough to have been able to do DNA testing on both of my parents.  Mitochondrial DNA will help me determine how far back my maternal line goes.  I have tested at Family Tree DNA and 23 and Me and obtained the same results. 

So, I wondered what the Mitochondrial DNA (from mother to mother to mother to mother, etc.) testing will tell me about the genes that have been passed down all these generations to me?  I learned I am in Mitochondrial Haplogroup J1c3c.  This haplogroup traces back to a woman who lived about 4,000 years ago or 160 generations back.  WOW, that’s pretty over whelming to think about.  I have genes in the mitochondria of my cells that I share with a woman who lived 4, 000 years ago. 

Next, I thought I would look at how far back on paper I have my maternal to maternal to maternal line:

Turns out, not very far on paper compared to the woman who lived about 160 generations ago.  To date I have researched and posted blogs about the women in generations 3 (Edna), 4 (Nettie), and 5 (Hattie).  I know that Amanda was Hattie’s mother but that’s all I have.  I guess it’s time to do some research on Amanda Johnson Browning.  What can I find out about her?  Can I determine who her parents were and maybe even go back further?  Now, I seriously doubt I can get back even a total of 10 generations on paper but it’s pretty amazing to think of that unknown woman who’s genes I carry and what life must have been like for her 4,000 years ago. 

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

Some trivia, King Richard III and I share a common female ancestor from 13,000 years ago.  Pretty amazing to even know that.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Is it the right John W. Rowan, Civil War Veteran?

Last week in my post entitled Who Was the Civil War Veteran? I recounted my search to prove or disprove a family story about one of my ancestors on my paternal side being a Civil War Veteran.  I used the family story and research to determine which of my ancestors may have fit the criteria of the family story.  After I narrowed down my search to my paternal great-great grandfather John W. Rowan I then had to determine which of 4 John W. Rowan’s records to get.   All 4 men were listed as having served in Regiments from New York.  After additional research I decided to take the plunge and order copies of one of the John W. Rowan’s records.

You can buy services that will go to the National Archives in Washington, D. C., St. Louis or College Park and get scans of the records for you.  I used Twisted Twigs on Gnarled Branches Genealogy a service that offers NARA (National Archives and Records Administration) Record Retrieval Services.  It took me about 8 weeks to get my records instead of about 3-6 months through NARA.  A service I recommend if you are trying to get records.

YEA, the records have arrived!  How exciting but was it my John W. Rowan or someone else’s records that I ordered?  I downloaded the file of 81 pages and waited impatiently and with trepidation for the file to open…

I began scrolling slowly and there was a title page, … there was an Examining Surgeons Certificate (that states how, where and when John was injured, his height, weight, complexion and respiration), … some additional Surgeons Certificates and documents… and then on page 8… I see the following:


and I instantly know that this is the right record!  This is the record of my paternal great-great grandfather John W. Rowan because Mrs. Sadie King is my great grandmother and John’s daughter!  YEA!!! HAPPY DANCE!!!

Here is one of Sadie’s letter to the Veteran’s Administration in 1940:
(click on image to enlarge)
                                                                                                                                                                               June 17-40
Dear Sir,
I’m writing to you to find out about my Father’s pension, He was getting a pension for his service in the Civil War up to his death which was February 22nd 1897. I have just found out that there was money coming to me. I was 17 years old when we lost him and as he told me before, I would receive the Pension money until I was 18 years old. He collected his last pension in December 1896-There is 3 months coming to him which should have been paid to me. His pension Number 128489. His name was John W. Rowan. He was a private of Co-H. I think because of pension paper being so old, was of the 150th Regiment New York Vols. This pension being for gunshot wound in right shoulder. The time of my fathers death my brother being the oldest took everything over & as we have just lost my brother I have just found about the papers.
                                              Hoping I will hear from you in regards to this I remain
                                              Respectfully, Mrs. Sadie King
                                              653-53rd St, Brooklyn, N.Y.
                                              Maiden name was Sadie Rowan
                               At time of my fathers death was living at No-10-43rd St-Brooklyn, N.Y.

Wow!  What a treasure to have a copy of!  I am sure my family members will also enjoy reading this.  There is so much information here, some of which I already had but this is further conformation of where my great grandmother lived, etc.  I was only 2 years old when she died.  I have one vague memory that I can’t be sure is true of her reaching down to pick me up.  I had only heard my great grandmother referred to as ‘Nanny’ or ‘Mom’ and was surprised to see that she used ‘Sadie’. I never knew until this letter that the woman I knew from records as Sarah A. Rowan King used the name ‘Sadie’.  After finding this I asked family members and they all said yes, she used ‘Sadie’.  One of those things that you just don’t realize to ask about until you find something like the above letter.

My father and I went a few years ago and found where John Rowan is buried at Cypress Hills Cemetery in Locust Grove, Kings County, New York.  I was saddened by the fact that there was no headstone to identify where John is buried.  Now that I have identified him as Civil War Veteran I hope to petition the Veteran’s Administration for a headstone identifying John’s burial place and commemorating his Civil War service.  I’ll keep you informed and let you know if I am successful.

Now on to the other 80 pages of records in the record set I received.  How and where was John injured?  From the above letter I see he was shot in the shoulder and not in the leg as family members heard.  What battles was he in?  Did he enlist at 14 years of age?  Definitely more to follow on John W. Rowan, Civil War Veteran.

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,