Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Against the Grain: Union Supporters in Civil War Texas (Part 2)

Now, the story of Thomas Jefferson Martin (my first attempt at writing some family history; a real "cold case"):
Thomas Jefferson Martin (ca. 1843-1924)

Preliminary Biographical Sketch, by
Brent Bradberry, 31 May 2003 (updated 18 Apr 05)

Thomas Jefferson Martin, my great-grandfather, has been a mysterious figure to me most of my life. I remember that, so far as my family knew, he disappeared from his home in Texas about 1886 and was presumed to have died not long thereafter. Over the past few months I have been able to obtain quite a bit of information about his life, including his thick pension file from the National Archives. The following is a brief summary of those facts of which I am confident, based on records. I include an occasional item of which I am less confident, indicated by [].

Tom Martin was born about 1843 at Mattoon, Coles Co., IL to Joel Feagley Martin and Elizabeth Clemons. Tom was the seventh child and fifth son and was listed as 7 years old according to the 1850 census. [Probably some of the family, at least the two older brothers, moved to Texas about 1858. One source has these brothers, Samuel and John D., drafted into the Confederate Army, although they were Union supporters.]

Tom enlisted as a Private in Co. A, 7th Regiment, Illinois Infantry (he later was transferred to Co. B) along with his cousin Daniel Parker Martin on 3 February 1864, and was honorably discharged 9 July 1865. Dan Martin was the son of Joel Feagley Martin’s older brother John Martin, and was born 2 November 1845. Tom was taken prisoner by Confederates 7 May 1864 but escaped and returned to Union lines 20 June 1864. His service included “Marching Through Georgia” with Wm. T. Sherman. [One source has Tom’s next older brother Levi also enlisting about the same time and being captured and taken to the Confederate POW camp in Tyler, Texas where his brother Sam was a guard].

After the war, Tom moved to Texas [presumably to be near his brothers]. About 1871 he married my great-grandmother Anne Marie Attebury. They had seven children and farmed at Lancaster, TX until about 1880 and later at Lipan, Hood Co., TX. Their youngest child Estes Jefferson Martin was born 26 December 1885 and within a year Tom had left the family and never returned. The circumstances of his departure are unknown, and I can find no record of dissolution of the marriage. However, both Tom and Anne Marie married again and had other children. In one of his pension documents Tom claims that they were divorced in 1890 in Granbury, Hood Co. TX (but by 1890 he was living in Chelan, WA).

Tom spent one or two years in Idaho and by 1888 settled in Chelan, Okanogan Co. WA. He evidently lived a simple life as a farmer and/or horse breeder. He was a member of the Harrison Post 104, GAR and according to affidavits from neighbors, was sober, well-liked, and had no “vicious habits”. These affidavits are part of his pension file, which is voluminous due to numerous applications, rejections, and re-applications for a disability pension. One of the reasons for rejection is that Tom never used the same birth date twice. The birth dates in his file range from 1842 – 1845. He usually gave October or November as his birth month, with various dates within the month. Based on the 1850 census, 1843 is most likely.

Tom married Maggie Minnie Culbertson in Douglas Co., WA, 27 February 1895. The marriage was recorded at Waterville, Douglas Co. WA. They had two children, William b. 12 April 1896 and Yola (or Eola) b. 12 December 1897. Maggie died 18 March 1900 and by August 1900 Tom was living with T. H. Culbertson in Twisp, WA. T. H. Culbertson was a farmer, age 42, and was Maggie’s father and hence Tom’s father-in law, although he was more than ten years younger than Tom. Tom had given his age as 39 when he married Maggie; he was actually about 51. Maggie is now buried in the Chelan Fraternal Cemetery, Row N37. I have found no record of Yola other than her birth, but I have found William in the 1910 census.

About 1902, Tom showed up in Humboldt Co., CA. Tom lived at Burnt Ranch, China Flat, and Yreka (Trinity Co.), all of which are within the same area. By this time he was receiving a small pension ($16.00/ month) for his disabilities, which were “rheumatism, weak eyes, and piles”. It appears from his physical exam records that he suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, chronic conjunctivitis and hemmorhoids. There is no indication of his employment, if any, in California. In the 1910 census, William Martin was listed as a farm hand, boarding with an unrelated family near Burnt Ranch. I have not found Tom or Yola in that census.

About 1915 Tom was accepted as a resident at the Soldiers’ Home, Sawtelle, Los Angeles Co., CA. He married Barbara C. Palmer at Sawtelle on 27 March 1916. According to the marriage license, he was 71 (although he may have been 73) and she was 63, the widow of another “old soldier” at Sawtelle. On their marriage license she listed two prior marriages, both ending with the death of her husband. Tom mentioned only his marriage to Maggie and their two children (not a word about his marriage to Anne Marie and their seven children).

About 1920 Tom and Barbara moved to St. Cloud, Osceola Co., Florida. They lived there until his death on 3 June, 1924, of “Tuberculosis of Glandular System”. He was buried 4 June, 1924 in Mt Peace Cemetery by Eiselstein Bros., Undertakers. From his physical exam records, we know that (in his prime) he was about 5 ft 6 inches tall, weighed 150-160 lbs, and had a light complexion, light hair and blue eyes.

Major Sources:
1)“Neely and Martin Descendants”, ed. Louise Y. Neely, privately published in Dallas, TX, 1982
2)“Fragments of Martin Family History”, compiled by Robert Eden Martin, printed privately in Chicago, IL, 1990.
3)Federal Pension File nr. 1011066, Thomas Jefferson Martin, National Archives
4)Email from Fred Pflugrath
5)Email from Ann Bergelt

Against the Grain: Union Supporters in Civil War Texas (Part 1)

My great-grandfather Thomas Jefferson Martin and his father-in-law Stephen Clement Attebury (my great-great-grandfather) were both Texans, and both supporters of the Union. They were both Union soldiers, although Stephen served during the Mexican war, well prior to the Civil War. Since Texas was a Confederate state, they were members of a distinct minority. I think their stories are worth telling. First, the story of Stephen C. Attebury:

Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, published:

Chicago; The Lewis Publishing Company, 1892.

STEPHEN C. ATTEBERY, an early settler of Dallas county, is a native of Hart county, Kentucky, and a son of Thomas Attebery, a native of South Carolina.The latter, moved to Kentucky in an early day, and in April, 1834, he removed to Greene county, Illinois, thence to Macoupin county, same State, where he lived most of his life, dying, however, in Macon county, in September, 1875, at the age of seventy-two years. Our subject's mother, nee Elizabeth Clement, was born and reared in North Carolina, and also died in Macoupin county, Illinois, in 1838 aged fifty years. Mr. and Mrs. Attebery had eleven children, two of whom die dyoung, and nine became grown, married and had families.

Stephen C., our subject, was born in Hart county, Kentucky, March 24, 1820, and was reared to the age of fourteen years in Grayson county, that state. He accompanied his parents to Illinois in 1834, where he remained until June, 1846, and then entered the United States army, as a member of Company C, Captain Frye's First Illinois Regiment, under Colonel John J. Hardin. His company met at Alton, Illinois, where it entered the First Illinois, moved to New Orleans, where it took ship and landed at Port Lavaca, and moved overland to San Antonio. After five weeks stop there, it went to Presidio, on the Rio Grande, and there entered the Mexican territory. After a march of 140 miles, in three days, it passed MonteClover, Santa Rosa and Paris, reaching Saltillo, and was in the engagement at that place February 22, 1847. Mr. Attebery's regiment remained at Saltillo until ordered to Comargo, on the Rio Grande, and there, July 19, 1847[sic], he was discharged. The men had their choice, either to return home by way of the Gulf of Mexico, transportation free, or to accept an amount equivalent to mileage and ship passage, and make their way home as they pleased.

Mr. Attebery chose the latter and with three comrades, Alanson Doddy, Richard Bandy and James Brock, they obtained an outfit, crossed the Rio Grande at Comargo, traveled 200 miles through a wild county to San Patricio, twenty-seven miles above Corpus Christi, on to Nueces, then to Goliad, where they crossed the San Antonio river, thence to Chesholn's ferry, on the Guadaloupe, thence to LaGrange, on the Colorado, thence to Washington, on the Brazos, and next along the old Comanche trail to the northeast until they reached settlements in the vicinity of where Lancaster now stands. They reached the settlement July 12, 1847, and Mr. Attebery spent the first night with Samuel Keller. He had acquaintances in the village, and, in fact was engaged to be married to a young lady, a daughter of one of the settlers, to carry out which engagement was the object of this visit.

He then took a headright of 320 acres of land in the southern part of the county, near where Hutchings now stands, and also 320 acres seven miles northwest of the present village of Lancaster. He settled on the former tract, and resided there from January, 1848, until some time in 1850, when, his father-in-law having died, he moved to a part of his farm, about three miles west of Lancaster, where he has since resided. Mr. Attebery has owned considerable land in this county, having at one time as much as 1,500 acres, but which he has since divided with his children. He has been engaged in farming and stock-raising all his life, and although past his seventieth year he still gives his attention to his business.

He was married ten days after his arrival in this county, July 22, 1847, to IsabellaRawlins, a daughter of William Rawlins, originally from Greene county, Illinois, where his daughter was born. Mr. and Mrs. Attebery had eleven children, viz.: Sarah Ann, who died in infancy; William Thomas, also deceased in infancy; William, who died when young; Annie, John J., Stephen J. and Lucy, who died young; Benjamin K., deceased; Mary E., deceased; Mattie J., and Millie, who died in infancy. Only four of these children are now living: Annie, the wife of Mr. Martin, of Hood county, Texas; John J., a resident of this county; Stephen H., of Lancaster, Dallas county; and Mattie, wife of Alexander Mills, of Lancaster. The wife and mother died February 11, 1877, and Mr. Attebery was afterward married to Mrs. Susan Wallace, widow of A. Wallace, of Dallas county.

Mrs. Attebery was born and reared in Washington county, Missouri, and was married first in Franklin county, that State, and came with her husband to Texas in 1874, settling in Dallas county. Mr. and Mrs. Attebery have one child, Joseph. Mrs. Attebery's mother was a daughter of Thomas P. Stovall, a native of Kentucky. He subsequently moved to Missouri, where he married Judith Bass, a daughter of Thomas Bass, of Washington county, Missouri. Mr. and Mrs. Attebery are members of the Christian Church.

Mr. Attebery refused to enter the Confederate army during the late war, and is proud of the fact. Having fought under the old flag he loved it too well to raise his hand against it, and says he is uneducated and has never traveled, but knows enough and has seen enough to convince him that he lives under the best government that ever existed.

Submitted by: L. Pingel


The neologism "genetealogy" combines "genetics" with "genealogy" and refers to the use of DNA to help prove (or disprove) lines of descent. So far, I've become involved in using yDNA (the Y chromosome is passed from father to son intact except for rare mutations) and mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA, which is passed from mother to child - both men and women have their mother's mtDNA; only women can pass it on). My mtDNA has been completely sequenced and shows that my maternal branch of the human family tree is one labeled H4a1. So far, this appears to be a fairly small twig; my close matches have family backgrounds which seem to be English or Scottish (or Scots-Irish) which agrees with my maternal paper trail. The Y chromosome is many times larger than mitochondria, consequently much more expensive to sequence completely (although prices are declining rapidly). I have had enough of my Y sequenced to place me in the paternal haplogroup I1, and further into that twig denoted as "I1(T2)". My closest match is with my second cousin Ben Bradberry (no surprise!), but Ben and I also have very close matches with men named Whitehead, Buie, Foster, Wasdin, Powichrowski, Stryzowski, and others. One expert has suggested that a thousand years ago (more or less), our common "nth" greatgrandfather was a Viking or Norman, some of whose descendants settled in England and Scotland while others went to Poland and Lithuania. I have started a yDNA project to help sort out the various Bradberry and Bradbury family lines. You can check it out at www.familytreedna.com/BRADBERRY_BRADBURY_DNA/.

Getting started

I've decided to use this medium to indulge my interest in the stories of my ancestors. For the last several years I've been gathering genealogical information and family stories, and have been sharing my findings sporadically and unsystematically. My hope is that this blog will impose some structure on my efforts. Comments, contributions and criticisms are welcomed from any and all.