Author Archives: Diana

FEATURED

FBI File of Reverend William Weiler

"The first World war put my convictions to the test. When it broke out I was the pastor in Santa Claus, Ind. I had five children, the oldest ten and the youngest one. My salary was $800. We had nothing else to fall back on. My future was at stake. My pacifist position aroused suspicion, misrepresentation and opposition, especially after the became involved. If I were to go into detail I could tell you a…
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Wagner

The Court Martial of William Wagner

January 9, 1865 was a rainy Monday in Corporal William Wagner’s Union Army camp at Clarksville, Tennessee. He and his Company had been stationed there for a couple years. They were bored and impatient for the war to end so they could go home. Earlier in the day, William had quarreled with Charles Walster over a pistol. (Walster was a survivor of Company M transferred to Company H after a third of his Battery was…
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Barth

Mystery Heirs of Frederick Herman Barth

How an old debt helped me put a big crack in a brick wall My third great grandfather Frederick Herman Barth was born in Hanover, Germany in 1816. I had very little information about his parents or anything about him before he moved to Canton, Missouri. There was also confusion about his wives, and the family stories didn’t provide much more than the fact that they came to Canton from Maryland after immigrating from Hanover.…
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[Help Needed] Martin Ancestors in Preston and Taylor Counties WV and PA

I recently discovered a serious error in my tree. I had the wrong parents attached to Charles Wesley Martin. I and many others had connected George and Rebecca Martin as his parents based on records of their son Charles W. Martin born in a nearby county in the same year. When I noticed two different 1880 censuses attached to my Charles - one with his new wife Leah Knaggs and the other in Harrison Co.,…
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Bill Russell

Wagner Descendant’s Guide to Canton, Missouri

Canton, Missouri is where multiple generations and branches of our ancestors were born and lived and are buried. I’ve visited several times during my life, and it was the Homeplace for several generations. We have so many ancestors, cousins, aunts and uncles who lived here I cannot mention them all for this. DOWNLOAD PDF Here's a travel report from a recent trip my cousin Ben Wagner took to Canton. The Wagner house on Lewis Street…
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Interesting Tidbits

Rev. Weiler’s Louisville church to become whiskey bar and Bob Dylan art gallery

In 1933 my great great grandfather Rev. Weiler, wife Addie Hanning and their last child Pearl moved to Louisville, Kentucky to serve the church at 604 East Market Street.  Cindy Ward sent me this article about the church being turned into a whiskey bar and Bob Dylan art gallery. Pretty sure Rev. Weiler would not approve of his pulpit becoming "the high church of bourbon." It was from this pulpit in 1937 that Rev. Weiler preached…
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Freyhofer

Letter from Jacob Freyhofer, 1871

On February 22, 1871, Jacob Freyhofer, age 64, widower, from Randolph, Kansas, wrote a long letter to his adult children, probably Susan Hanning, back in Santa Claus, Indiana.  Jacob was one of the earliest settlers to Riley County, Kansas along with several of his sons. Read more about the Freyhofers and Hannings here. Jacob is responding belatedly (for which he apologizes profusely) to their “happy and interesting letter” dated Jan. 16. He thanks them for…
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Bill Russell

Til the Butcher Cut Him Down

This 1971 film by Philip Spalding was narrated by my great uncle Bill Russell. The film includes him talking about the musicians and himself, shows Preservation Hall, New Orleans, second lines, Ben Jaffee, and even Bill Russell's apartment with his massive collection. A superb study of the history and men who played New Orleans Jazz through the eyes of one of its greatest trumpet players: Punch Miller (died 1971). Kid Punch was renowned in New…
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Site SEARCH function

My family site has over 100 articles and posts about multiple branches of my family, research tips, and links. I organize them with categories and menus, but with so much content, it's often difficult to know what's on the site. Did you know you can SEARCH for names, places, and other keywords. For example, if you are related to the Wagners, you can search for your surname and it will return any posts with that…
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Are we related?

We’re All Connected

It turns out that my half siblings and a close friend and his mother and my mother are all distant cousins, at least by marriage. It wasn’t some deep dark secret the family had kept hidden. I only just stumbled on it. Sometimes I think that instead of a tree, my family works better as a spirograph or vines that twist and tangle onto themselves as they grow in all directions. READ:
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