Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Clue for William Grant's Birth Record

Cousins, here's a clue that will help us find a birth record for Eliza Esdaile's son-in-law, William Grant, the first husband of  Louisa Green. The Hampshire Chronicle, dated 4 February 1822 includes the following death notice:

Died on the Jamaica station, William Grant, esq. of New Fishbourne, Purser of his Majesty's Ship Pyramus, aged 32 years.

Medical accounts of yellow fever on the Pyramus (in another blog post here) say the purser died in early November of 1821 so we're looking for a birth date between November of 1788 and November of 1789.  I believe I've seen a naval record for him from the National Archives scrawled "born London", but I can't put my hand to it this morning. 

If you take on the task of finding his birth record, recall that his parents, with their Scottish name, may be Presbyterian rather than C of E.

Monday, March 7, 2016

A Civil War Ancestor for Gregg Descendants

Funeral of J.B. Gregg

And a Biographical Sketch of Old Soldier and Old Citizen

from The Red Oak Sun, Friday June 3, 1904

James Bonar Gregg

     There was a large attendance of friends at the funeral of James B. Gregg last Saturday morning. The services were held at the home at 10 a.m. Addresses were made by Rev. W. H. Shipman of the Corning M.E. church, and Rev. W. W. Merritt. The services at the grave were conducted by the G.A.R. The pall bearers were F.J. Brodby, P.P. Clark, J.M. Junkin, W.W. Merritt, C.C. Platter, and J.H. Taylor.
     The six children, five of whom came from elsewhere, were present at the funeral, Alvah and Miss Hazel coming from Lincoln, Neb., Miss Mary from Ouray, Col., Miss Laura from Pueblo, Col., and Mrs. Florence Foster from Adair, Iowa. Prof. J.E. Foster was present from Adair, and H.L. Laird, an old friend of Mr. Gregg, came from Tabor.
     James Boner Gregg was born in Burlington, Iowa, April 27, 1839. His boyhood was spent on a farm near Burlington, homesteaded by his father. At the age of 18 he became a student in the Iowa Wesleyan university at Mt. Pleasant, and in his Junior year enlisted in Co. K, 4th Iowa cavalry, in response to President Lincoln's call for volunteers. This regiment entered service in August 1861, and was mustered out in August 1865. It saw hard service in the four years, especially during the siege of Vicksburg, and in nearly all the numerous battles and skirmishes Mr. Gregg took part. His comrades say he was a true soldier in every respect. He was frequently detailed for duty in the offices at army headquarters. He was a war correspondent of some note, his letters to the Burlington Hawkeye being widely copied.
     Upon return from the army he resumed his studies in the Iowa Wesleyan university and was graduated from the university in 1865. He studied in the law office in Mt. Pleasant one year, and was then admitted to practice. In 1866 he married Miss Josephine Mills, of Mt. Pleasant, who survives him.
     In 1869 Mr. and Mrs. Gregg came to Red Oak. The lumber for his house he hauled by ox team from Council Bluffs. This first house forms a part of the family residence on Reed st.  Mr. Gregg practiced law here from 1869 to 1890, being in partnership the first few years with Allen Beeson, a brother of R.W. Beeson. He was prominent in politics for a number of years.
     Since 1890 he had given much of his time to study of literature, history and religious subjects. He was always willing to help in any cause that appealed to his judgment. Outspoken and decided, he was lacking perhaps in diplomacy which might have placed him in positions to which his talents entitled him. His influence was for the right in civic affairs. A student of history and literature, he had a wide range of knowledge. He was an able writer. He had a large fund of apt quotations and anecdotes. He had a good story for every occasion. An unfailing optimism was one of his most prominent characteristics. He filled his home with love and sunshine and to friends and acquaintances was cheery and sympathetic. He had been a member of the M.E. church since 1855, faithful and consistent.