Monday, December 31, 2012
A Little Piece of My Family's History
Here, my dad is shown posing with the restored Civil War flag of the 122nd Illinois Infantry, dedicated today at the Macoupin County Courthouse on the 150th anniversary of one of the regiment’s shining moments, a victory over Confederate forces under the notorious Nathan Bedford Forrest at the battle of Parker’s Crossroads, Tenn., Dec. 31, 1862. Benjamin Griffith, my dad's great grandfather, served in the 122nd.
Mom, Dad and I took a little family trip to Carlinville to attend the ceremony. My aunts Ginny and Donna were there, as well as my cousin Sandy. I took some photos and video (which I need to try and throw together before too long).
Ginny's late husband, my uncle Dick Griffith, was really interested in genealogy before he died. He took vacations centered around finding information about our ancestry. Ginny read the article in The Telegraph about the flag dedication, and recognized the infantry number. Somewhere, she said, she had a photo of Benjamin Griffith - but she didn't know where it was. My dad really wished he could see it.
A while back, David and I were able to trace both of our family trees back super far in one night using an Ancestry.com trial membership, but we only found names - not the kind of stories and photos Dick was uncovering. Still, I figured there'd be no harm in Googling. So I hopped on my Ancestry.com tree (once you build it, it's a part of your free membership), grabbed Benjamin Griffith's birth year and went for it.
Voila! I found the above photo of the very same Benjamin Griffith on a Find a Grave memorial website. I sent it to my dad and he thought it was really neat. Genealogy is fun. Maybe one of these days I'll do some more digging :)