Information to be found in Wills (James Yeazel)

James Yeazel is the Husband of my 3rd Great Aunt.   As I was searching the Littler side of the family though and was just wondering through the names, I came across the settlement of his estate.  Within the papers were forms to hand over the work to an administrator.   – In this case two people gave permission with one being his widow.


What I especially found interesting though was that everything was to be appraised and a set amount was to be set aside for the widow – enough to live on for 1 year from the looks of it.  Then I assume the rest would be dealt with.  In this case the amount in the estate was less than the amount normally handed to the widow for 1 years expenses, so the widow received everything.  I also found it interesting that the Value of Property allowed to the widow included the sewing machine.

I’m now curious to search the Illinois Wills site to see who else I can find!

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Same Names through History?

When looking up family history I keep running into family with the same name.  The most recent is Edwin Littler.  Edwin Littler is my g-grandfather a few generations ago – Mary Ann Littler (wife of Edward Corbly)’s father – his son is also Edwin Littler.  edwin

In Stearns Cemetery is the tombstone for Edwin Littler with no birth or death information.  It does include information about Civil War Service though.

Edwin Littler (the son) – 1843-1862  can be found in the Illinois Civil War Muster and Descriptive Roll Database .

Edwin is listed as being in the 125th Il US Infantry which matches his tombstone.  He joined August 11,1882, mustered September 3, 1862 and was declared dead on November 25, 1862 at Bowling Green, KY.  It includes that he was 19, with black hair, light complexion, dark eyes, and was 5’8″.

Not knowing a lot about the battles in the civil war I am lost as far as cause of death.  According to a civil war driving tour write up:

By late 1861, Bowling Green became the heart of the Confederacy’s efforts in Kentucky. The new year brought serious worries to the Confederate occupation force. A Union victory at Mill Springs in Eastern Kentucky, on January 19, 1862, and General Grant’s victories at Forts Henry and Donelson to the west, made Bowling Green untenable for the Confederates. Union General Don Carlos Buell advanced his Army of the Ohio southward from the Green River. Under the command of General Ormsby Mitchel, Bowling Green was bombarded from across the Barren River. The Confederate army evacuated the city, and by mid-February 1862, the city fell into Union hands. Federal troops controlled Bowling Green and Kentucky for the rest of the war. By 1864, there was a vigorous effort by the federal government to recruit and enlist slaves in Kentucky. Bowling Green and seven other military camps were designated to receive and protect those recruits. Source

This makes me wonder if there was a push in November by the Confederate army to take back Bowling Green, or possibly Edwin was sent out with troops to take more ground and wounded in battle – returned to Bowling Green for care and to ultimately pass away.

Edwin’s father, also being named Edwin was more difficult to find in history.  He had moved from Ohio, bringing the young Edwin as a child, and set up residence in Vermilion County. Some database records have him recorded as Edward also, making identification a more difficult task. Currently I’ve identified Edwin the father in the 1840 and the 1850 census files.

Verifying that ancestors with the same name and place can be difficult.  When in doubt I have been linking information to both individuals and editing later.  Not the most ideal, but definitely helpful to keep from losing information.  Original sources are critical also.

Ancestry is changing (Good or Bad?)

I’ve been trying the new ancestry. I do like parts of the new site. So far I’ve mostly played with hints and the facts view.  The new site includes and updated LifeStory view, the Facts view (with lines linking facts to sources), and a media gallery.  If you want to sign up to be added to the waitlist, sign up at:

Ancestry recently posted on their blog the list of features they are working on.  One thing that is super annoying to me is the extra step on hints.  After choosing to review a hint, I receive a preview of the information and am asked if this looks like my relative, (yes, no, or maybe)…  after answering yes I get to go on to the screen to match up the details to my tree.  Previously it was assumed if you chose review you thought it was a match…. so why the extra step?

I can’t wait to see where Ancestry goes with this though….


Scheduled to be available in the next couple of weeks:

  • Web Links: quick links to web pages
  • Media Gallery features:
    • Save: Save photos to your family trees from the new media viewer
    • Edit:  change the description and details on a photo or story
    • Create/upload story: create and upload a new story in the media Gallery
    • Audio/video file support: view and listen to audio and video files

Planned to be available in about a month:

  • Profile picture cropping: edit/crop a profile photo to fit in the circular photo space
  • Quick Edit: edit an ancestor’s vital information directly from the tree viewer
  • Media Gallery sorting/filtering: sort and filter by media type, chronological order
  • FamilySearch integration: LDS Account holders can share information between their Ancestry tree and their Family Tree on FamilySearch

Exact Functionality/Timing still TBD:

  • Member Connect features:  Find other members researching a similar ancestor and save info from their family trees

Lower-priority features/not currently being addressed: These features have very low usage. We will evaluate these once we have taken care of the more important needs and features represented above.

  • Family Group Sheet: a family view of the tree data
  • Military Pages: tribute pages for ancestors who served in the military

– See more at: