Who knew…a johnny reb wanna-be

Well it finally happened, something so unexpected I almost hate to share. It looks like we have ourselves a little confederate wanna-be in our family tree.

Fold3 is a great website for researching military history, and like other sites of the same nature they are always adding new content. So I was checking into a lesser researched ancestor by the name of Dallas Lemasters. This gentleman is of French Huguenot descent and married Mary Headlee in 1834, in West Virginia. Their daughter Lydia married Thomas R. Stackpole.

When the Civil War started in 1861 Dallas was in his 50s, so a little too old to be joining the ranks of soldiers to fight for his cause. Instead he and his brother Septimus along with Septimus’ son Jasper decided to join a party of civilian guerillas, whose intent was to fight the enemy, that being the Union Army, on their own. Unfortunately, for them, they were captured by the Union and imprisoned at Camp Chase in Ohio. At the time of their parole hearing, several citizens in the area Jasper was from recommended that Jasper stay imprisoned as they considered him a very dangerous man. Dallas and Septimus were released on their own recognizance in November 21, 1862 after signing an oath to protect and preserve the Union.

So far I haven’t been able to find out anything more about this turn of events, but I will keep on working at it.

Camp Chase in Ohio, Civil War prison camp for Confederates.

Heading to Salt Lake City, Utah again…

The first week of June I will be heading my way southwest to Salt Lake City, Utah for another bout of mainlined research. I have been spending most of my weekends making my lists and checking them twice. The research this time will focus on two families, mainly the Brooks of Albany, New York and the Shepard lines of Westfield, Massachusetts. I am more interested in the Brooks, but I also don’t want to neglect those lines related to the Shepards in Westfield. There are quite a few, Dewey being one of the big ones.

I don’t know if we are related to Melvil Dewey the guy who invented the Dewey Decimal System, but we are related to the guy to created the Webster Dictionary, he is a distant cousin, our common ancestor being Governor John Webster of Connecticut.

Lots of interesting tidbits have been popping up in my research lately. Especially when checking into those old New England surnames on the Shaw side of the family.

Of special note are three surnames in our ancestry who were somehow involved in witch trials in Long Island and Connecticut in the 1600s. In one case our ancestral husband and wife were witnesses, the accused was found not guilty. In another case two of our ancestors were jurors in the same trial, they found the accused husband and wife guilty; they were sentenced to death. So we have a couple more ancestors who can be called murderers, all in a good cause of course.