Sunday, March 13, 2011


I have been working on my family tree the past couple weeks. I knew my mother had her side of the family genealogy done several years ago. I decided to do more. I started doing some online research and last Friday spent several hours at the library going through resources. I am amazed at how far I was able to "branch out" in a short amount of time.

I went looking for one paper my mother had of my grandmother's family, but instead found a different set of papers for my grandfather's family history. Then searching a different file cabinet drawer, I found an old envelope which was marked with my father's name. I didn't know the envelope existed, because I never cleaned out the files my mother kept - even after six years. She kept so much.

As a result of my searches, I have added 114 people to my family tree, the oldest of which dated back to 1761. My most impressive find was my great-grandfather, and the history of his life and death in Greenfield, Ohio.

My great-grandfather was John Anderson Porter who was born July 26, 1844. His parents moved to Greenfield in 1852 from Cambridge, Ohio. John A. Porter enlisted in the Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company H, 40th Regiment and fought in the Civil War from 1861 to 1865. The story, written by his sister (which I have) stated that the riderless horse returned home that fateful day after John rode to Washington Court House to enlist. He'd sent the horse home. When the letters home stopped coming, the family learned that John was in Andersonville Prison, taken prisoner at the Battle of Chickamauga. Many soldiers died at that prison from smallpox, but John survived. However, he did contract scurvy, which affected him all his later life.

After the war, he was discharged on February 1, 1865 and returned home to marry, and fathered 12 children - all in Greenfield. John A. Porter was baptized in the First Baptist Church of Greenfield, by Pastor S. T. Griswold on February 4, 1873. He joined Gibson Post No. 180 of the Grand Army of the Republic on January 23, 1882.

John A. Porter was first employed at Welshimer's Flour Mill in Greenfield, and later at Wright's Stone Quarry, just west of Greenfield. While working there, four of his children died of diphtheria between October 19-November 18, 1872.

He later worked as a superintendent at Rucker's Stone Quarry in Greenfield for many years, and was employed there until his death October 18, 1889.

I also learned that a few of John's brothers and sisters are buried in the Porter Cemetery Lot in Greenfield. I will be visiting that cemetery for more information very soon. John A. Porter's parents, James and Catherine Porter are also buried in the Greenfield Cemetery, according to my family history papers. I currently have two living cousins in Greenfield, and I surely need to pay them a visit also.

I am learning so much of my heritage and history, just more recently becoming thirsty for knowledge of my genealogy. I will continue my quest for information and adding to my Tree as time goes on. I found it to be a fascinating subject.

1 comment:

skymetalsmith said...

I need to get back on my family tree. I got distracted! Thanks Gail.