Monday, May 30, 2011

Military Monday/Memorial Day: Lyle Family in the Civil War

My great great grandfather, Isaac Lyle (1830-1911) served in the Union Army during the Civil War. He and his younger brothers, Oliver and Boyd, were all in Company I, 53rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Another brother, Samuel, did 100-day National Guard service in Company D, 140th OVI from May 1864. Their brothers James and Biddle paid $4 to the Meigs County, Ohio, treasury rather than enlist in the military in accordance with an act requiring all white male citizens, residents of Ohio, between the ages of 18 and 45 years, be enrolled in the militia. Their father, Samuel Lyle, was well over 45 and not required to register. I’ve written about the experiences of this family, particularly the resulting ill health of Isaac and Boyd, in an article that appeared in the Ohio Civil War Genealogy Journal.

The Lyle family cousins and spouses of cousins also served in the Civil War. All were privates in Union service. Like the Ohio Lyle family, all were quite tall though otherwise of varying descriptions. All appear in my Lyle family website (see sidebar.)

David Lyle, one of the three sons of their uncle James Lyle of Jefferson County, Indiana, served in Company I, 145th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. The regiment mustered in at Indianapolis on 16 February 1865, each company recruited from a different county. They were shipped to Georgia where their primary tasks were guarding rail lines and bridges, also escorting wagons of provisions. Fortunately David was not one of the seventy enlisted men this regiment lost to disease. He was mustered out a little short of his year’s enlistment on 21 January 1866 at Cuthbert, Georgia.

Two sons of their uncle Charles Lyle of Wapello County, Iowa, enlisted in the Union Army. Joseph R. Lyle first served in Company F, 7th Iowa Volunteer Infantry and enlisted a second time 26 November 1862 in Company B, 14th Iowa. In January 1864 they were sent to Vicksburg and in February took part in the Meridian raid under Gen. Sherman. Upon their return to Vicksburg, the 14th Iowa was ordered to assist in the Red River expedition under Gen. Banks. That campaign led to the disastrous Battle of Pleasant Hill in Louisiana in which Joseph lost his life at age 21 or 22 on 9 April 1864. His younger brother, Benjamin F. Lyle, had previously enlisted in Company I, 14th Iowa and was mustered in on 5 November 1861. The regiment took ship to St. Louis to train at Benton Barracks. Benjamin was one of the many stricken in December with measles. He was later said to be suffering from “long continuous bronchorrhoea and tuberculosis,” also referred to as consumption, in the Fourth Street U.S.A. General Hospital in St. Louis in January 1862. He received a disability discharge, his company commander, Capt. Warren C. Jones, writing that Benjamin was in failing health. W. T. Sherman signed the order on 8 February 1862. Benjamin’s gravestone does not give a date of death, but he apparently died very soon after discharge, an unofficial victim of his service. Perhaps his death spurred Joseph to enlist in the same company. The husband of their sister Hannah, Samuel Milton Wright, has markers at his gravestone indicating service, but no records have yet come to light.

Uncle William Lyle of Schuyler County, Illinois, and Sullivan County, Missouri, had sons and sons-in-law in service. Wilmer Magarvy Lyle saw Union service enlisting in the 11th Regiment, Missouri State Militia Cavalry, mustered in on 27 March 1862. They were reorganized into the 2nd Missouri State Militia Cavalry. Wilmer was in Company G using his own horse and equipment from 30 April to 31 August 1863. From that time the army provided his horse and gear. His unit remained in Missouri, a divided state. He was shot 4 July 1864 while on guard duty at Cape Girardeau and died two days later. Though buried there, in 1869 he was reinterred at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis. His marker bears the name W. L. Lyle with the same incorrect middle initial as some of his service records. Less than three months later brother Jugurtha Lamar Lyle (his name recorded as Gugurtha) enlisted in Company E, 42nd Missouri Volunteer Infantry. He was ill and hospitalized in December 1864 at Fort Donelson, Tennessee. He mustered out on 28 June 1864 at Nashville. Jasper P. Farrar, husband of their sister Hannah, served in Company H, 115th Illinois from 22 July 1862 to 11 June 1865. Isaac Warden Carden, the husband of sister Martha Ann, enlisted in Company I, 16th Illinois on 24 May 1861. He received a disability discharge on 17 October 1862 and died 30 September 1864. Martha then married ailing veteran John N. Wheeler on 7 December 1870. John entered Company E, 16th Illinois at the same time as Carden in another company. John also became ill and was given a disability discharge 6 April 1862. Martha married a third and final time to veteran Daniel Seem on 5 March 1874. Daniel served in Company K, 119th Illinois from 14 April 1862 to 25 August 1865 when mustered out in Mobile, Alabama.

Aunt Elizabeth (Lyle) Hall of Jefferson County, Indiana, apparently had no sons or sons-in-law with records of service though most were of an appropriate age. Uncle Francis Wayne Lyle apparently died before 1850 and what appears to be his family remained in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Son Thomas McCune Lyle/Lysle may have been too young to serve but Robert S. Figley, later husband of Martha Lyle, was one of many who answered the call to all able-bodied men to serve as militia to repel Lee's invasion of Maryland. He was recorded as one of the thousands reporting in a company of 82 from Monongahela City, Washington County, Pennsylvania, who left "by boat on the morning of September 16th, arrived in Harrisburg on the morning of the 17th, were armed, equipped, assigned to the 18th Regiment [Militia Infantry], commanded by Colonel L. McClay, marched to the front" where they overlooked the battle of Antietam at Sharpsburg, Maryland. Though they did not participate in the battle, they were considered a moral support. The men of Company G turned in their arms and equipment and returned after twelve days. This was much like the “Squirrel Hunters” of Ohio who went to support the city of Cincinnati when it was feared there would be a Confederate invasion.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Finding Mr. Wright?

Charles Nichols was born 3 April 1817 in New Windsor, Orange County, New York. His parents were Moses Nichols and his second wife, Mary. Moses died intestate in 1822. Estate administrators were Mary Nichols, his widow; Samuel Nichols, a brother; and Daniel Moores, a friend; all of the town of New Windsor.1 Moses and his brother Samuel were originally from Newark, New Jersey, sons of Robert and Elizabeth (Johnson) Nichols. They were the only members of the family to relocate to New Windsor, specifically to the portion called Little Britain. Widow Mary Nichols died in 1827 leaving a will. She named her oldest son, Aaron, and mentioned three more sons. The executors were: Robert Fulton, Samuel B. Moores, and Daniel Moores; witnesses: Samuel Nichols, Jabish Atwood, and Alexander McC. Nichols.2 In 1829 or at the time each of the sons reached the age of fourteen, he was appointed a guardian. Daniel Moores was appointed guardian of Aaron W. Nichols.3 Samuel Nichols was appointed for the other three: Robert J., Charles and Moses H. Nichols.4 Samuel is referred to as an uncle in the paperwork for Charles.

Robert J. Nichols and Moses Higby Nichols appear in census records with their father’s birthplace in New Jersey and their mother’s in New York.5 As their father moved to New York with his first wife, Jane, and is buried with her in New Windsor,6 it is likely that his second wife was local. There are a few suggestions for the maiden name of Mary Nichols.

  1. A genealogy of Humphrey Nichols, grandfather of Moses, says perhaps it was McDowell. Of three, not four, sons named, only one is correct leaving significant doubt as to the accuracy of its information.7
  2. Daniel Moores as an administrator of the estate of Moses Nichols, an executor of the will of Mary Nichols, and guardian to their oldest son appears to be an important person to the family, possibly a member of her family.
  3. An unsourced online family tree with some very accurate data gives her maiden name as Mary Ann Wright and her oldest son’s middle name as Wright. Many documents list him as Aaron W. Nichols, so it is possible that it is Wright.8
If Mary Nichols was born Mary Ann Wright, likely in New Windsor, who might be her father? She and Moses were married about 1812 as his first wife died in 1811 and their first son, Aaron, was born in 1813. U.S. census records for 1790 – 18109 along with New Windsor town records10 reveal two good candidates: David Wright and John Wright.
Thomas does not appear after 1790. Note this was Ulster County in 1790. Mary should appear in the free white female column in 1790, probably in her birth household.
New Windsor seems to have been enumerated under Newburgh in the 1800 census.
John Wright
A John Wright and his wife were buried in the same New Windsor cemetery as Moses Nichols.6 John died in 1838 leaving a will.11 His will names a daughter Mary who predeceased her father. She left five children of the surname Preston. No heirs were named Nichols. This eliminates John Wright as a father to Mary, wife of Moses Nichols. The will was written in 1813 witnessed by David Wright, Thomas Fulton and Daniel Moores. Only Daniel was still living when the will was presented for probate in 1838. In addition to Daniel, John’s sons and executors, John Junr. and William J. Wright, testified, as did Samuel Nichols. The presence of the same names as in the Nichols’ probates may simply reflect the makeup of a small community, but might indicate closer association.

David Wright
The DAR ancestor index contains one Wright in Orange County, New York, David of New Windsor.12 The applications are with wife Margaret Woodhull through a son Benjamin. Service was in Col. James McClaughrey’s company of Ulster County militia, 2nd regiment. David’s death is listed in 1833. A son John is documented by a descendant in Nebraska.13 There is no will or other probate record for a David Wright of New Windsor in Orange County. The 1830 census shows four heads of household by that name in Orange County.14 One lived in New Windsor and one lived in Newburgh. The latter died in 1835 and does have probate records. The county deed index appears to show his executors as his widow Temperance and son William. David of Newburgh is a different person from David of New Windsor.

With no probate records for the New Windsor David Wright, deeds are a possible source of information. The grantor and grantee indexes of deeds for Orange County were consulted for the surnames Nichols and Wright.15 Each of the sons of Moses and Mary Nichols sold land on at least two occasions. The microfilm containing deeds for Charles Nichols have been requested. Also requested is the film containing a deed with a David Wright as the sole grantor listed for the period about 1835 and for one of "John Wright Ex. etc." John Wright had an executor of John Junr., but this appears to be before he died and David reportedly also had a son John. Hopefully the Wright deeds will have heirs of David and/or the Nichols deeds will be for land inherited from both father Moses Nichols and the maternal grandfather.
1. Orange County, New York, Letters of Administration, E: 212, Moses Nichols entry, (1822), Surrogate Court Clerk's Office, Goshen.
2. Orange County, New York, Wills, H: 302-04, Mary Nichols will, (1827), Surrogate Court Clerk's Office, Goshen.
3. Orange County, New York, Letters of Guardianship, B: 99, Aaron W. Nichols entry, (1829), Surrogate Court Clerk's Office, Goshen.
4. Orange County, New York, Letters of Guardianship, B: 100, Robert J. Nichols entry, (1829); and B: 197, Charles Nichols entry, (1831); and C: 335, Moses H. Nichols entry, (1834.)
5. 1880 U.S. census, Delaware County, New York, population schedule, Town of Hancock, ED 2, sheet 212A, dwelling 86, family 92, Moses H. Nichols household; ( accessed 17 May 2010); imaged from FHL microfilm 1,254,823; also 1880 U.S. Census, Hillsdale County, Michigan, population schedule, Robert J. Nickols household, Jefferson Township, ED 87, page 170D, dwelling 301, family 322; ( accessed 22 August 2009); from roll 581; both digital images,, from National Archives microfilm T9.
6. Albert Gedney Barratt, Inscriptions on Gravestones in New Windsor Cemetery (Newburgh, NY:, 1902), digital images Internet Archive ( : accessed 29 August 2009.)
7. Frederic C. Torrey The Ancestors and Descendants of Humphrey Nichols of Newark, New Jersey, and of his Brothers and Sisters (Lakehurst, NJ: author, 1917), Google Books digital images ( : accessed 18 August 2009), 20.
8. Robert, "Soher Iversen Gammon Beal Carson Spalding Bevan" Database RootsWeb's WorldConnect Project ( : accessed 25 August 2009.
9. U.S. census search at for the surname Wright in Orange County, NY, for the years 1790, 1800, and 1810.
10. “Town of New Windsor, Historic records on line,” transcriptions by Glenn T. Marshall, Town Historian ( : accessed 29 August 2009.)
11. Orange County, New York, Wills, K: 231-33, John Wright will, (1838), Surrogate Court Clerk's Office, Goshen.
12. DAR Genealogical Research Databases, Wright of Orange County, New York Ancestor Search, database, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution ( : accessed 28 May 2010); and Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, David Wright entries, McClaughrey's Regiment of (Ulster County) Militia, digital images, ( : accessed 22 May 2010); from NARA RG 93, microfilm M246, ID 602384; and no record of pension paid to David Wright of New Windsor found at
13. Maude Egbert White Cleghorn, "Ancestry and Posterity of Abner White of Dutchess County, N. Y.," The Nebraska and Midwest Genealogical Record Vol. IV (1926): 301, transcribed online Nebraska GenWeb Project ( : accessed 22 May 2010).
14. 1830 census search for David Wright in Orange County, NY, at
15. Orange County, NY, deed indexes, 1703-1869, FHL microfilm 0,826,918, grantor K-Z, and 0,826,950, grantee I-Z.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Tribute

If my mother, Virginia, were living she would be 100 years old. I created a tribute to what would have been that birthday last year. It features a photograph of her as a small child with her parents Oliver Guy and Bessie Grace (Bell) Lyle. She only lived to the age of 82, but her three children all think of her at times like today. I was happy to document the three of them as of 2010 for Century Families of Ohio, a new lineage society of the Ohio Genealogical Society.
Designer Credits:
-papers, green flower, ribbon: Fanette - Funny Summer
-sun, yellow flower: Loloden - Funny Summer
-frame, elements in clock cluster: Celine Designs - Flowers Time
-heart with ribbon: Bellisae Designs - Blossoms of Ice, Part 3
-rope ribbon: Deb Ammerman - Totally Grungy
-alpha (recolored): New Lifes Dream - Moon is a Star
fonts: baby dont worry bout it, Adorable

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Judith E. (Bell) Davis

Judith E. Bell was born 8 December 1849 in Newport Township, Washington County, Ohio, to Joseph and Deborah (Williamson) Bell. She was an older sister of my great grandfather William Williamson Bell. The family moved to Clay Township in Gallia County, Ohio, in the 1860s. There Judith married Quincy A. Davis on 15 July 1872. They were members of the Clay Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church. The Davis family moved into town in Gallipolis before 1900 then north to a farm in Medina County by 1910. Judith died on 21 April 1914 at age 64 at the home of her oldest daughter, Mabel Cottrell, at 2324 E. 87th Street in Cleveland, Ohio, where she had been for forty-seven days, probably cared for by Mabel and attended by a doctor for chronic nephritis and chronic endocarditis. She was buried in the historic East Cleveland Cemetery. Her husband lived on in Medina County. He died 5 January 1941 in Lafayette Township, Medina County, Ohio, at age 91. He was buried with his wife though the gravestone was never updated for him.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday's Obituary: Oliver G. Lyle, 1957

Oliver Guy Lyle was a special grandparent who had a strong interest in family history in addition to his many other interests that are mentioned in his obituary. It appeared in the Gallipolis Daily Tribune, Gallipolis, Ohio, Thursday, July 25, 1957, in the center of page one. His death was a shock as we had visited him in the VA hospital in Huntington, West Virginia, on the way home from Kentucky. We had attended the funeral of my great uncle Sam (yes, I had a real Uncle Sam!) My grandfather was doing well and a day was soon scheduled for him to go home. That was the day his heart gave out. Since I've turned to genealogy myself, I miss him even more, even after all these years.

Click on the image to see it large enough to read.