Welcome to my genealogy blog. Ancestors I Wish I Knew is a combination of genealogical information and stories about individuals in my family tree. The focus is on those from my Cochrane, Eitelbach, Merrett, Minarcik and Richards lines and their descendants.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

#49 Loving John Wesley Hannah

This week’s theme focuses on love and which ancestor you love to research.  So do I love to research an ancestor who was or is a great challenge, one who is easy to research, one who has an interesting story, or becomes a real person.  

After some though I decided that John Wesley Hannah was one of my favorite ancestors.  I think his life was interesting and to me, he seems to be more than a story on paper.  If you have followed this blog, you might be able to figure that out, since I have five entries about him(# 38 through 41 and #5).   I would not say he was easy to research, but I have been able to gather a good bit of information about him.  I sent for his Civil War Records from the National Archives so
I could track his military life.  I was able to follow him from Illinois, down to Tennessee, over to Arkansas, and west to Oklahoma.   I saw that during the course of the war he was promoted from a private to captain and that he end his career as the Captain and commanding officer of his company.  According to his pension file, his health deteriorated badly when he was about 58, due to illnesses that he was acquired during the war.  As an aside, his pension file was a wealth of genealogical information.  While I knew most of it, it serves as a verified source of birth information for his children and his marriage to his wife.

One day while looking for information about Butler, Missouri, I found the application that was made to place the Palace Hotel on the National Register of Historic Places.  John Wesley built the Palace Hotel in Butler Missouri.  The application for that status, tells the story of how the hotel was built and the various purposes it was used for.  I have used Google Maps street view to look at places in my genealogy.  So one day recently, I went on line and went to Butler and “drove” around the square in Butler and saw the hotel.  It was almost as good as going in person.

I just discovered that the Library of Congress has historic newspapers online, including two for Butler, Missouri.  Because Butler was a small town in the latter half of the nineteenth century, the paper contains lots of information about the people who lived there.  I cannot wait to explore it more, because it looks as though it will give me a feel for the daily life of John Wesley Hannah and his family.

 For most of the people in my genealogy, I do not know what they looked like.  However, thanks to my cousins,

Alice and Anna, I know what John Wesley looked like.  This is one of my favorite pictures of him with his two youngest daughters, “Tim” and “ Toots."

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