Monday, April 12, 2010

From Immigrant to Civil War Corporal

On this day in 1861 Confederate forces fired on Ft. Sumter starting the U.S. Civil War. Today I think of my ancestors that fought on both sides of the war. If any of your ancestors were living in the US from 1861 to 1865 they may have served as well. My third great paternal grand uncle Joseph Flading (Fladung) was one of the many that fought in the U.S. Civil War. I find his service especially interesting because he was a newly naturalized U.S. citizen.

Joseph immigrated here from Germany sometime between 1840 and 1858 and settled in Allegheny County, PA. (1) In 1858 Joseph became a naturalized citizen (1) of the United States and 3 years later on August 9, 1861 he enlisted in the Union army as a member of the 5th Pennsylvania Calvary Company L. (2)
Camp of the 5th Pennsylvania Cavalry near the battlefield of
Fort Burnham, Virginia, October 29, 1864.

As a member of the 5th Pennsylvania Cavalry Joseph participated in the Battle of Fair Oaks and the surrender of General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House in Virgina. One of the most interesting parts of Joesph Flading's military service to me was his capture at the Olive Branch Church in Virginia on February 7, 1863. I recently found a report on Google Books from the Confederate side of the skirmish describing the fight and the number of Union soldiers killed, captured, and wounded. I've embedded the report below.

At some point he was released by the Confederate army and continued to serve in the 5th Pennsylvania Calvary until he was discharged as a Corporal on August 7, 1865. (2) Joseph survived guns, cannons, disease, and capture by the enemy. And he did it all just three years after becoming a citizen of the United States. I am very proud of my immigrant Civil War Ancestor.

Interested in finding your Civil War ancestor? Start at the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors site for a free search!


Year: 1910; Census Place: Pittsburgh Ward 5, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll T624_1300; Page: 16A; Enumeration District: 337; Image: 790.

2-Year: 1890; Census Place: Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll 88; Page: 2; Enumeration District: 49.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday

August Flading
My 2nd Great Grandfather
Born: December 1866 in Pennsylvania
Married Anna T. Linkhauer on 24 Aug 1890 in St. Agnes Church in West Mifflin
Died: 30 Dec 1943
Spent most of his life as a Driver in the Coal Mines and owned the farm my Grandfather and Father would live and work on at Flading Lane in West Mifflin

Saturday, April 03, 2010

The House with Red Trim

For background on my Coleman line please see my post My Boston Colemans.

A few years ago I discovered my Great GrandUncle Michael T. Coleman was an owner of the bottling company Coleman & Keating based in Boston. Whenever I am in an antique store I'm always on the look out for their bottles to purchase as a family heirloom and every few months I do a Google search for "Coleman & Keating"to see if I can find any more information about the company. About a week ago I conducted one of those searches and came across a solitary blog post talking about Coleman and Keating and listed an email address. I quickly composed an email explaining my relationship to Michael T. Coleman via his brother Patrick Coleman (My Great Grandfather). Soon after I received a response from Patrick Coleman explaining that this he was Michael's Great Grand son and both his father and grandfather had worked at the factory. He also said that his father had very fond memories of my Great-Grandfather Patrick Coleman. Below is the email I received from Paul Coleman (Patrick's father) describing his memories of my great grandfather Patrick:

Hi Sandra,
I am Paul Coleman. I am 81 years old, a retired physician and the father of Patrick Coleman who gave me your address. I live in Danbury Connecticut. I grew up very close to my grandfather , Michel, and am very familiar with Coleman & Keating and worked there for my Dad, Walter, for practically all of my "growing up" years and loved every minute of it with many happy memories with my two heroes--my Dad and my grandfather.
I also knew Uncle Pat and remember him well. My son sent me a photo of him and I can verify that it certainly looks just as I remembered him. Although I knew little of his personal life I visited him several times in his beautiful home in Nantasket Beach. I remember his beautiful spotless shiny red convertible sedan with white sidewalls. His driveway was cement with a flower garden growing down the center - a most unusual site. His home was white with bright red trim and impeccably maintained inside and out. I remember meeting one of his bodyguards at the house and he seemed very nice. As you probably know he and Mayor James Curly were "acquainted " and Uncle Pat had may friends.
If you have any questions about him I would be happy to try and answer them for you. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions

I can just close my eyes and picture Patrick's fancy sedan and gorgeous home. It's almost like time travel! Paul has also agreed to make copies of some pictures of his father Walter and grandfather Michael for me. Once I receive them I'll post them here.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Birds of a Feather

I'm a firm believer that your likes, dislikes, and personality are a combination of environment and heredity. I could never explain my attraction to and love of motorcycles. No one in my family that I knew of ever owned a motorcycle and my Mother despises them! So I know I didn't get the fondness for the open road and the wind in my hair from her...or did I?

A few years ago my Mother sent me some photographs of the Garland family (her paternal line) that look as if they were taken in the late 1950's or early 1960's. They show most of the Garlands at my Great Grandparent's restaurant in Maine called The Hilltop. Two in particular that I have posted below caught my attention. It was my Grand Uncle Baker (Full name Andrew Baker Garland Jr) sitting on a motorcycle. When I asked my Mother about it she said that after he served in the Korean War he drove that motorcycle from Texas to Maine on one long road trip. Something I had never known about him. So now I know where my love of motorcycles comes from and have a great family story to pass on to family both present and future!

Do you have information on Andrew Baker Garland Jr. or the Garland line? I'd love to talk to you and exchange information/photos! Email me at

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Family Reflections is on Facebook!

In yet another step to expand on my research, I have created a Facebook Fanpage for Family Reflections. There I will give daily genealogical tips and news as well as direct fans here for updated blog posts and help those who need a hand with their own genealogical research. Don't forget to stop by and become a fan!