Saturday, July 30, 2011


I'll be on vacation the next week. It will be a nice break from the daily routine. Meanwhile, I hope you all have a nice week and I'll post again when I get back!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Rachel Luttrell and Her Widow's Pension Woes-Part 6

It wasn't easy being a widow in the 1800's. If a woman wasn't left with any real estate or money then she was facing some hard times, especially if there were children to raise. The options were few, as illustrated in an affidavit from Alfred Carpenter, age 30, in Bourbon County, Kansas.

"I have known Mrs. Rachel Luttrell for 
seven years. She has no real estate
and her personel properity, excepting her
house hold goods, is not worth more
than thirty dollars ($30.00). She does not
earn more than five dollars ($5.00) per month
from sewing and washing. She is not
able to earn a comfortable support for
herself and family. She is forty four 
(44) years old and of frail form and constitution
Mrs. Luttrell has two children that are wholly
dependent on her for a support. She has
two boys, Arthur and Edwin that labor when
they can get work to do. They helped their
mother last with about seventy dollars

What really caught my attention in this affidavit was the names Arthur and Edwin. Rachel's oldest son was Thomas Arthur and her second son was John Edwin. In two other separate affidavits there is a reference to her husband, Hugh, as Lawson. This of course was his middle name. 

I am familiar with the German custom of using the middle name as the call name. However, the Luttrells are of Irish decent. Perhaps Rachel was German. With her maiden name being Schmuck it is a very good possibility. 

Discovering this family's use of middle names as call names has really changed my research direction. It has also made it just a little more confusing as well. As I've stated in previous posts, there were a lot of Luttrells and they all used the same names over and over again. 

This family sure keeps me busy!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Genealogy Education

Today I received my certificate of completion in the NGS American Genealogy Home Study Course. I feel a great sense of completion and satisfaction. Oddly I was also asking myself, "Now what? What should my next step be?"

For now I will enjoy the rest of the summer with my kids and attempt to get my house back under control. I  still have the monthly ProGen Study Group assignments and chats to tend to, as well as the monthly NGSQ discussions. I also have a stack of journals and books to read. These things are enough to keep me busy for the rest of the year. However, I will probably plan for more.

I have my education plan, that I will go back to and revise. I will set new goals for myself and decide where my genealogical education needs focus. A must on my list, is to attend Samford again next year. I hope to get into Elizabeth Shown Mills' class. Fingers are crossed. My long term goal is certification from BCG. I have a lot of work to do before I get to that point. For now, I'm enjoying the journey.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Amanuensis Monday- A Transcription Challenge For You Dear Reader!

In a previous post for Rachel Luttrell's pension woes, I transcribed a page from her widow's pension file. You can view that post here. In it she gives a description of the declining health of her husband, Hugh L. Luttrell. There are many spelling errors and there was one word I had particular difficulty with. One of my readers suggested I post the page to see if anybody else could figure it out. A great suggestion! So here goes...

 Deposition of Claimant, 30 July 1888, Rachel Luttrell, widow’s pension application  
no. 376,452, certificate no. 329,279; service of Hugh L. Luttrell (1st Lieut. Adj., Co. C,  
8 MO S.M. Cav., Civil War); Case Files of Approved1934; Civil War and Later Pension Files; 
DepartmGroup 15; National Archives, Washington, D.C.     

 The word in question is on the 8th line, "...and caused Consumption and [?]." What do you think it is? 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Rachel Luttrell and Her Widow's Pension Woes-Part 5

On 26 December 1890, J.G. Clayfield a Justice of the Peace in Bourbon County, Kansas wrote the following in a general affidavit:

" She [Rachel Luttrell] furnished a Bible Record Showing 
that she was married to Hugh L. Luttrell 
on the 25th day of August A.D. 1869
Thomas Arthur Luttrell Son of           
H.L and Rachel Luttrell was born
Nov 29th A.D. 1871
John Edwin Luttrell Son of H.L. and
Rachel Luttrell was born Oct 5th A.D. 1873
Sarah Louisa Luttrell Daughter of
H.L. and Rachel Luttrell was born 
Sept 1st A.D. 1875

I Hereby Certify that the above Record 
was Taken from the Family Bible as
shown before me by Mrs. Rachel Luttrell
This 26th day of Dec A.D. 1890
I should say from the appearance of the
Bible and Record that it was genuine"

Wait a minute. A family bible?? I wonder where it is today?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ancestors and Occupations

Yesterday I took my two boys (ages 7 and 4) to the Tennessee State Museum for Egyptian Family Day. It is the first time they have been to a museum and it was a very different experience than going with just my husband. They loved it and my 7 year old thanked me over and over for a planning such a great activity (this more than made up for missing the genealogy meeting that day).

At any rate, the boys move quickly and the experience was; if you blinked, you missed it. They were fascinated with the Civil War guns and swords on display so they slowed down for that, and of course with the Egyptian crafts that the museum was hosting.

What caught my eye was a Cabinet Making display/area. My ggg grandfather Richard William Gunter was a cabinet maker. Lately I've been wondering what he made, and if I would be able to track any of it down. This display also got me thinking about the artistry of the craft. I also wondered who he would have apprenticed with. Of course I ended up with more questions than answers. No surprise there.

After getting the kids to bed last night, I googled cabinet making and 1800's. I also checked out google books. There is a lot of information out there, but not really much for me to grab onto. My search will continue and I'll have to go interview a few of the antique dealers in the area. There is also a restoration specialist on my list to speak with.

Occupations define people and it tells you something about them. Richard Gunter had a life long stuttering problem, so I can see why cabinet making would appeal to him. It even gives you clues about their personality. For example, I would imagine wood working requires a certain amount of patience and creative vision. To be a clerk in a store would require literacy, math skills, and a social nature. You get the idea. Even if all of your people were farmers, they would have to enjoy working with the soil, animals, and the elements outside. Also, what did they farm and why? Investigating these questions and your ancestor's occupation adds dimension to their character.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rachel Luttrell and Her Widow's Pension Woes-Part 4

The following affidavit gave some delightful information about my gg grandmother Sarah "Sallie" Luttrell. It was given by GC Chaney MD, age 45, in Independence, Montgomery County, Kansas.

"...he is a regular practicing physician and has been for the last twenty years, that he was well acquainted with the above named soldier and his wife from the 1872 to the year 1882, that he was the attending physician at the time of the birth of their daughter Sallie, that she was born near Osceola St. Clair County MO, September the 1st 1875. Also states that Rachel Luttrell, (this Claiment) is the lawful widow of the above named Hugh L. Luttrell."

Now how cool is it that I know the doctor that delivered my gg grandmother?!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Rachel Luttrell and Her Widow's Pension Woes-Part 3

Rachel's affidavit from 30 July 1888 gives a grim account of her husband's declining health.

" My Family Physician who attended my Husband in his last sickness is dead his name was James Brown his Post Office address was Fort Scott, Kansas. The doctor told me on his last visit to see my Husband that Cattrrah of head and Bronchitis had reached the lungs and caused Consumption and [?] wer brough about by exposure in the military servis of U.S. and this seems to be the general Impression of all his neighbor that his disability was brought about by Exposure in the military service."

The one word I had trouble with appeared to have something to do with a disease of the thoracic cavity. I tried to google variations of what I thought the word was but did not come up with anything specific. There were a number of misspellings in this passage and perhaps this word is also one of them, making it difficult to track down.

At any rate, I'm left wondering if Dr. James Brown's records are preserved somewhere. If they are, is my Luttrell family mentioned in them?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Rachel Luttrell and Her Widow's Pension Woes-Part 2

In the pension file two unexpected clues came from one affidavit given by Mrs. Amanda Schmuck, age 65, on 12 October 1888 in Bourbon County, Kansas.

"... [has known Rachel] perfectly well since the death of her husband Hugh Luttrell and that - she has not-been married since his death[.] That- she has lived all the time since his death in Pawnee Station with the exception of one 4 or 5 month in East Tennessee."

Four or five months in East Tennessee?? Rachel must have gone to Hugh's family to visit for awhile. I'll have to sit down and look through microfilm of the newspapers to see if there is any mention of this visit. If I'm lucky there will be some good information on this family. The other clue was the name Amanda Schmuck, age 65. Rachel's maiden name was Schmuck, however I know nothing about her parents. Could Amanda be her mother? I'm giddy with the possibilities.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday-Hugh L. Luttrell

During Hugh Luttrell's service in the Civil War he contracted lung trouble. Based on affidavits in his pension file he first started complaining of issues during the command at Greenfield, Missouri in August 1863. The company surgeon started treating Hugh for chronic laryngitis in October 1864. Those symptoms were first noticed during Price's raid through Missouri in the fall of 1864. For the rest of Hugh's life he would be plagued with chronic bronchitis and catarrh. Eventually they led to his death on July 23, 1886 at Pawnee Station, Bourbon County, Kansas. He is buried in Fort Scott National Cemetery, Kansas. The image of his gravestone was found on

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Yesterday I attended a webinar given by Dear Myrtle and hosted by the Southern California Genealogical Society. The topic was the DAR website and how to best navigate it to find information on possible ancestors. I've never attended a webinar before so I really didn't know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised.

I have visited the DAR website before but found it somewhat overwhelming. Myrtle went through the site step by step and made it seem simple. During the webinar several people were finding American Revolutionary ancestors. Afterwards, I myself found a few that I didn't know had served. It was exciting and very appropriate for this July 4th weekend.

If you missed this webinar and are a member of the Southern California Genealogical Society then you can still access it in their "Members" section. Otherwise it will cost $35 for a one year membership, and then you will be able to access it. After the webinar I checked out their page and as a genealogical society they have a lot to offer. I myself am not a member, and am just passing the information along.

Wishing you all a very Happy 4th of July!