Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Dead Men Tell No Tales
This phrase was coined by Saban pirate Hiram Beakes, it has been made into a movie, it is the title of a few songs, numerous poems, literary works, magazine articles and now this blog! Now, I can imagine the pirate saying it to someone who was about to walk the plank for any given amount of reasons. I find in Genealogy that nothing could be farther from the truth, with this particular phrase. I think they tell tales, they talk, they sing and in some instances they SCREAM at us to pay attention to them and their stories. As a someone who works with Genealogy, I feel it my duty to give them a voice, much like in my nursing career giving my patients a voice.
Are you wondering what stirred this up? Well it was a man named Copl. Melvin Flener, Company I, 52nd Regiment Kentucky Mounted Infantry. I met Melvin today, for those of you familiar with civil war history, Melvin was there, and I met Melvin today. No, I don't talk to the dead, I don't see them, at least I hope not, I do visit their resting places, and that is where I met Melvin today. Melvin was a Union man, the company he road with mustered in Franklin, Kentucky on March 3, 1864. The regiment lost 59 men during service, not our Melvin, 48 of those were due to disease. Wikipedia
A little flipping through some research I find that Melvin was born in 1864 in Kentucky, at one point he moved to Poteau, Oklahoma, where he is buried and where we 'met'. The 1910 census he is 64 years of age, and his son Orill and grandson Melvin were living with him and his wife Georgia. According to a 1860 census Melvin was born to Isaac and Annie in Kentucky, one of 6 children. That is in about 10 minutes of searching things to find just a few things out about Mr. Melvin! Now you know a little bit about Melvin, a man you never heard of, who now has a voice living on in this blog! See, Genealogy is fascinating!
Genealogists, although versed in many areas, find niches' that they are either more interested in, have a knack for, something about an area of study, a geographic area, a people, really turn that Genealogist into a knowledge machine. We crave knowing and studying more in these areas. One of mine is headstones, that is why I met Melvin today, I am on to photographing and documenting my third cemetery in as many months. I assure you it is a labor of love of the highest order BUT, when you 'meet' people, like Melvin, it makes it so much more interesting, fascinating actually. So, tomorrow and for many more tomorrows to come, I shall look and find someone else for you all to 'meet'.
I would like to introduce you, to Melvin as we close!