A Country Divided – But Not a Family

I recently stumbled onto a new piece of information about an ancestor, William P. Cummings – even though he lived and died in Baltimore, he fought in the Civil war for Ohio. I have yet to figure out the reason for this, and I am sure there is one, but it gave me inspiration for a new post.

Listed below are the relative who I know enlisted and those who registered for the draft. Obviously, my family is not full of career soldiers as no one lasted longer than a year. I lied – I just found  new one. I’m sure there are still more to be discovered, but for now, here they are:


  • JamesO’Conor (1829-1911) [direct ancestor]
    • Union
    • Enlisted Date: 20 Oct 1861
    • Mustered Out: 18 Sep 1862
    • Rank: Private
    • Regiment: Company E, 1st Cavalry Regiment Maryland
  • William Peyton Cummings (1831-1901) [brother of direct ancestor]
    • Union
    • Enlisted Date: 19 Apr 1861
    • Mustered Out: 18 Aug 1861
    • Rank: Private
    • Regiment: Company F, Ohio 12th Infantry Regiment
  • John B.Thoms (1837-?) [brother of direct ancestor]
    • Union
    • Enlisted Date: 17 Jun 1861
    • Discharged: 10 Aug 1861
    • Rank: Ensign
    • Regiment: Company F, 15th New York Engineers
    • Resigned at Fairfax Seminary, VA
  • William Baker Smallwood (1843-1891) [brother of direct ancestor]
    • Union
    • Enlisted Date: 1861
    • Discharged: Sep 1865
    • Rank: Private
    • Regiment: Company A, 1st Maryland Light Artillery; Company B, Maryland Light Artillery

Draft Registration

  • James Joseph Lacy (1840-1913) [direct ancestor]
    • State: Maryland (Union)
    • Registration: Jun 1863
  • DanielWooters (1845-1920) [direct ancestor]
    • State: Maryland (Union)
    • Registration: Jul-Aug 1863
    • Remarks: Currently in service in the 1st Eastern Shore Regiment (this regiment fought in Gettysburg)
  • Gabriel Schaffer
    • State: Maryland (Union)
    • Registration: Jul 1863
7/31/14 11:16 PM - added William Baker Smallwood
8/1/14 11:42 PM - added Gabriel Schaffer

What is this Blog?

Welcome, all, who have stumbled across my humble, little blog. Here I will be sharing a variety of information related to my ancestors and genealogy, in general.

Who am I?

I am a self-taught genealogist. I am not a professional, but am happy to share my experiences and what I have learned with everyone, hopefully giving others ideas they may not have thought of or connecting with distant relatives. I would consider myself an armchair-genealogist – I try (very hard) to do as much research as I can from the internet and my computer. Yes, I am lazy, but I am also very busy, and as much as I would love to, cannot devote time and money to traveling to world to visit different cities and archives. One day, I would love to do so, maybe when I retire in 40 years… But I have found that the resources available on the internet have progressed so much from what there was, even 5 years ago, and is growing everyday. You just need to know where to look.

As the title of this blog suggests, I am based in Baltimore, Maryland and much of my family has never left the city and surrounding areas. I love Baltimore, especially for genealogy research. It’s a big enough city to have plenty of resources, but small enough that it is easy to identify ancestors in census records, newspaper clippings, etc. As anyone from Baltimore can attest, we lovingly call it “Small-timore” – everybody knows everybody, and if they don’t, then they know somebody who does.

I am descended from mostly Irish and Italian immigrants, most of whom immigrated directly to the Port of Baltimore in the 19th century, but I do have roots in Maryland and America that go back well into the 17th century.

What this blog isn’t.

This blog will not be a direct, word-for-word, recitation of my family tree; that is boring, and probably no one but me cares. I have an account on Ancestry.com for those who are interested in that sort of thing. I will not include family members that are still living or are deceased recently enough that I feel it is improper and an invasion of privacy to others to talk about them.

What this blog is

I will highlight and profile certain ancestors who I think are interesting or important (assuming I have enough information on them to make it so). My plan is to have posts about certain areas like good sites to visit, how to restore photographs, how to (roughly) date a photograph, tips and advice, how to organize your tree, etc.

If you have an questions or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment and I will try to answer if I can.