Category Archives: Bloody Paperwork

An interesting document

Page 57


While researching the Rev War pension records of my 7th great grandfather Col. Jonathan Holman I came across this document. From the other documents in this file I was able to assume that Jonathan’s second wife was trying to get the pension he was owed after he died. I can also assume that this was something she was using to prove his service in the Revolutionary War.

This is interesting to me because of the mention of the Washington Papers. Of course when I see something mentioning Washington I get excited. I would love for one of my ancestors to have known or worked with Washington. However, I’m not sure what this document means. It says that:

In Volume 99 Page 226 of the Washington Papers, there is on file a paper purporting to be “a return of the regiment of foot in the service of the United Colonies, commanded by Colonel Jona. Holman,” dated Sept. 27 1776, and signed by “Jonathan Holman, Col.”

To my understanding Washington wrote the “Washington Papers” right? If that is true, why does this say that Jonathan Holman signed his own account in them? Or am I reading this completely wrong? The other question I have is the reason it says that no record of service could be found when it plainly says that he returned with a regiment?

As if this document wasn’t exciting enough. At the very end it is signed by “James Buchanan”. Putting that with the fact this came from the Department of State during the time Mr. Buchanan was  Secretary of State (1845-1849), can it be safely assumed that this James Buchanan is the same one who became the 15th President?

Just finding documents on my ancestors is huge for me. But this one has kept me on the edge of my seat for a few days now.



I just did a Google search for James Buchanan’s signature and this is what I found.


I think it’s pretty darn spot on to the signature in my document. It’s pretty exciting to know that this one document ties my ancestor indirectly to two presidents. And the fact that James Buchanan did a little research on Jonathan Holman is beyond words. No matter the outcome. This is why I love genealogy.


G is for Genealogy Forms

Yesterday’s letter was G. For some reason I only seem to be able post every other day. So here’s G, something that I don’t like to spend my time doing but it’s an important part of keeping track of the family tree.

As I’ve said before when I started researching my tree I jumped in head first not knowing a thing about how to do it correctly. My naive self thought that I could use what other people had in their trees as a single source to grow mine. That wasn’t a huge mistake, but it’s had some draw backs. The only good thing that came from that is I have an “idea” of who to look for when searching for ancestors now.

After looking over that first tree I noticed so many errors I scrapped it. The second time I went to Ancestry I did a mix of documents and other people’s trees. This yield a much better result but now I have a ton of random documents and my tree is still a mess.

When my Ancestry account ran out I decided it was time to get a hold of my tree and start to see who was on it. I researched different organization systems and found none of them to suit me. Once I had it planned out I needed a way to display the information I had that would best help me in seeing the life my ancestors.

This leads me to yesterday’s letter. Genealogy Forms are the most time consuming thing I’ve ever tried to tackle. I have about 350 families in my tree at the moment. I’m working on putting them all on Family Group Sheets. Because I don’t have access to a printer I decided that I would hand write all of these sheets in a spiral notebook. What a mistake that is, but I’ve started and can’t stop now.

At the same time I’m filing these out I’m recording what documents I have for that person. Another form comes with that and then there is the timeline for each ancestor. When I’m finished I expect to have over 1000 pages for my family. Hopefully that will help me in writing the family history I started out to do.

Without these forms I would have never noticed things were wrong with my tree. They are a pain in my butt but it’s important to get it all down and easily searched when needed.