Question of the Week: Who are the military heroes in your branch of the tree?

+24 votes

In honor of Memorial Day, let's talk about our ancestors who died in military service -- famous or not.

in The Tree House by Julie Ricketts G2G6 Pilot (324k points)
edited by Julie Ricketts
Memorial Day is a day to remember those who gave their lives for their country.  

The only family member that I know was my Gr-Gr-Grandfather who died fighting for the Confederacy---and BTW was acknowledged as an American by an Act of Congress.

Captain Robert Sevier (1749-1780) who was mortally wounded in the Battle of Kings Mountain, during the American Revolutionary War. He left behind a wife and two very young sons, the youngest yet a babe in arms.

My Nan was evacuated to the country in WW2 to a farm in Wales with her sister. They were treated very badly and had to steal the rabbit food to survive.

I am a little late posting this , One of my father's brother's Clarence James Isleman enlisted in the Canadian Forces even thou he was a US citizen during WWll before the US was involved 


I was told he was involved in the Battle of Dunkirk 

Canada, WWII Service Files of War Dead, 1939-1947

Name Clarence James Isleman Birth Date 21 Mar 1917 Birth Place Toronto, Ontario, Canada Residence Place Toronto, Ontario, Canada Death Date 24 Mar 1944 Service Number A22131 Force Army Regiment Essex Scottish Regiment, R.C.I.C. Rank Private

Find a grave  his actual birth place was Toronto, Ohio

Among many others in my ancestry who served and are hero's my 1st Cousin 2x removed Lt. Kenneth Walter Lindsay (1920-1944) stands out.

He flew with Leonard T. Duval, they crashed, were captured and Lt. Kenneth W. Lindsay died in battle.

Here is his story told by Lt. DuvaI:

None of direct ancestors gave their life for the USA that I know of. My 5 great grandfather John Stewart Sr is said to have been wounded at the Battle of Monmouth in 1778 and afterward renamed his son from James to Scoby in honor of the the help he received from another soldier named Scoby.

A direct ancestor Timothy Willetts, a Quaker, was shot by Colonial militia on suspicion of harboring a Tory fugitive in 1777 in NJ. Reading the account of it told by his descendants it's clear that they were deeply embarrassed that Timothy was a Tory sympathizer.
My ggggrandfather, Alexander S. Jones, fought for the Union in the 2nd NC Infantry. He was captured and died in Andersonville Prison on July 4, 1864.

He was not quite 57 years old.

(from NY State)  Civil War:  Daniel Tuthill, Artillery Officer (his two sons Edward and Clarence survived with disabilities).  WW1:  Otto Sees (Russian POW).  WW2:  Walter Sees - awarded metal of honor.  

Right off the top of my head would be, Lt. William Daniel Walker Sr. and his father Col. John Rutherford Walker, the both served in the American Revolutionary War at Kings Mountain where the family's property was at. My father Dawson Joseph Walker served in the Korean War and I believe my Great Uncle Harol Prescott Walker served in World War II.

I'm fortunate, in that, although my father didn't serve, I have a long linage of service in my family. From the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War (on both sides) and all the way down to present times. I have four uncles who served as well. I, myself,  retired from the Army, and my son served in the Air Force.

44 Answers

+15 votes
Custer-109, George Armstrong Custer is my second cousin four times removed.  At least he had a decent Civil War record.


My great uncle James Lewis Schrader died in Italy in 1944. He had been engaged just before shipping out, and the woman is still living (in a nursing facility.) She never married.
by Natalie Trott G2G6 Pilot (630k points)
Well, Natalie, nice answer!!! I changed the question on you, and this *still* fits!! Ha ha!
Yes, I was a bit stunned! haha
Sorry about that!! :-)
No worries! Happy weekend!
Custer can be given part of the credit for the Union victory at Gettysburg. His impetuous charge against a larger formation broke up the cavalry attack that J.E.B. Stuart was supposed to make on the *back* of the union line just as Pickett's charge would hit the front. Given that Pickett did, in fact, make a temporary breakthrough and was narrowly repulsed, it's possible that Custer gets the credit. Of course, many others also achieved narrow victories that saved the Army of the Potomac during that battle.
I have a connection to Custer as well. He is one of the reasons I got interested in genealogy. Growing up, I was told he was an ancestor so I became kind of obsessed with figuring out the lineage. I disproved that connection years ago. It turns out one of my Minor cousins had a child with his brother Thomas (,_thomasc.htm). My Minor third great grandparents were married by Emmanuel Custer while he was Justice of the Peace, and it appears the Minors and Custers were neighbors.
+12 votes

Ulysses S. Grant is my 6th cousin, four times removed. His fifth great grandfather is my 9th great grandfather, John Porter. b 1594, Felstead, Essex, England. Porter-152 

Franklin D. Roosevelt was Assistant Secretary of the Navy. We are 7th cousins, twice removed, and descend from Stephen Skiff b 1641, Sandwich, MA. Skiff-8 .

George Washington, fifth cousin, 7 times removed. Thomas Vessey is his fourth great grandfather and my 11th great grandfather. Vessey-8


by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2m points)
+16 votes

My brother, my Dad, his cousin, my two grandfathers, a couple of great-great grandfathers and scores of "cousins" who fought on both sides of the civil war, a cousin who was with Andrew Jackson through a lot of his expeditions. Many brave men who fought in the American Revolution mostly from Connecticut. Daniel Knowlton is one of my husband's. He fought alongside my ancestor, Eldad Mix and his son Titus Mix.

I consider all my family who fought in wars to be heroes.

by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
+16 votes

My great great great grampa

Civil War, US 3rd Regiment, Colored Cavalry 

by Eddie King G2G6 Pilot (519k points)
+14 votes

Phelps LaVere Gill

Phelps LaVere Gill
Added by: Debbie Dabrowski
Phelps LaVere Gill
Added by: Debbie Dabrowski
Phelps LaVere Gill
Cemetery Photo
Added by: CABrown
Phelps L. Gill was an army captain during WWI. He served in the European theatre.

All four of his sons served in the army during WWI. One, private Richard H. Gill gave his life on a French battlefield. 
Birth:  Jan. 4, 1925
Lawrence Park
Erie County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death:  Oct. 24, 1944
Departement de Meurthe-et-Moselle
Lorraine, France
During WW II, killed in Action At Embermenil, France Buried at Epinal France. 

Family links: 
  Phelps LaVere Gill (1891 - 1971)
  Mabel Frances Hallifield Gill (1892 - 1980)
  Jack LaVere Gill (1913 - 1981)**
  Donald Phelps Gill (1917 - 1993)*
  Richard H. Gill (1925 - 1944)
*Calculated relationship
Note: Entered the Service from Pennsylvania.
Lakeside Cemetery *
Erie County
Pennsylvania, USA
Plot: sec 7
*Cenotaph [?]
Maintained by: Debbie Dabrowski
Originally Created by: Pamela Mills-Smith-Keith
Record added: Nov 10, 2009 
Find A Grave Memorial# 44166959
Pvt Richard H. Gill
Added by: Debbie Dabrowski
Pvt Richard H. Gill
Added by: Andy
Pvt Richard H. Gill
Added by: Pamela Mills-Smith-Keith
by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2m points)
+15 votes

*Colonel Augustus Barry served in the military during the Civil War in 1861.

* SGM Augustus Barry served in the American Civil War in the 16th U.S. Infantry for the Union Army. He received the Medal of Honor on February 28, 1870 for his actions in Tennessee and Georgia during the war.

**Sgt Edward Francis Barry who was killed in action during the Vietnam War February 15, 1969 in Long An, Vietnam. Sgt Barry was one of many heroes of battle for Saigon during Tet -68 and May offensive.

Then closer to home, my grandfather Henry R Garde who was born in Massachusetts.  In 1917 he registered for the draft and served in the US Army, during WWI. My uncle George C Taft, also was a veteran who served in the United States Army Air Force during World War 2 in the early 1940's. He held the rank of Staff Sergeant. And my other uncle Charles St Sauveur was a World War 2 Veteran, serving in the US Marine Corps in 1943, 


by Dorothy Barry G2G Astronaut (2.2m points)
+14 votes
by Kevin Conroy G2G6 Mach 4 (40.9k points)
+12 votes
by Jacqueline Clark G2G6 Pilot (158k points)
+10 votes
I have a number of veterans in my family tree, but none that I can think of who perished while in military service. I'll just be thankful that my ancestors were survivors who taught me well, as I'm a veteran who is a survivor too. I'd have to go hunting up and down lines to find one who might fit the profile.
by Scott Fulkerson G2G6 Pilot (807k points)
+9 votes
My brother,was in Korea with U S. Marine Corp.Was wounded in Chosin

Resoirvar,They were surrounded by Chinese.Took several weeks to ship

him a Hospital.Was on Morphine,He was dishcharged in 1954 a broken

man.Suffered from PTSD.But no one knew about it then.He passed away

and is buried in Leavanworth Kansas military Cemetary.God Bless him
by Wayne Morgan G2G6 Pilot (888k points)
The Forgotten war. We have a Korean soldier Monument here. It is just like the Korean Soldiers Monument in Washington. This Soldier is alone, but facing the same direction as the soldiers in Washington. Very poignant. My Dad was at Old Baldy in March,1953 with the 7ID. Mags
+8 votes
First of all, my father who was a career Army officer, 1934-1962,  Lt. Col. Frank E. Smith.

My brother, Frank B. Smith, a Viet Nam combat medic.

My father's 1st cousin, died 1944 at Normandy WWII, Tec5 Loren R Dressander. (He was the only child of my Grandmother's sister.)

My Grandfather, Gerald Joseph Barry, Army, WWI, wounded in France.

Our tree is filled with those who fought on both sides of the Civil War, and those who fought for independence in the Revolutionary War.

We honor all of them today.

Memorial Day is a day to honor all who died in service for our country. However, I always think of those whose lives were changed and lived out their lives with the scars and health issues. They are all heroes.
by Eloise Smith G2G6 (9.4k points)
+7 votes Eldridge Williamson Boyett, died in a broiler room explosion onboard the USS Concord in Oct 1943
by Joseph Garcia G2G Crew (720 points)
+8 votes
This question prompted me to put up a tribute on Face Book about my Ancestor .

Absalom Bedell B 1736-D1778  (Bedell-386)

He had a rank of Corporal and he mustered in aprox 1977 from Morris Co. NJ, #1 Battalion, Company or regiment #2 under Capt. Morrison. I believe.

He died  on May 12,1778 at age 42

If any one can help me find out the battle he was in it would be an honor.
by Kathleen Townsend G2G6 Mach 1 (12.5k points)
+9 votes

My grandfather and at least two of his first cousins went to World War II together.

Edward J. Freeth Sr. 

Joseph Goggin Jr. - awarded the Silver Star for drawing enemy fire away from his troop, wounded in action but survived the war and died in the 1990s.

William J. Hempel  - killed in action at the end of 1944, posthumously awarded the Silver Star.

by Vicky Majewski G2G6 Mach 7 (72.6k points)
+8 votes
James Thomas Maiden (Maiden-161), my great-great grandfather, who died trying to protect and help his fellow soldiers abroad in France in WWI. I even have a plaque which was created describing his bravery!
by Jack Haywood G2G1 (1.1k points)
+7 votes
My great-grandfather's first cousin Ferdinand Constand Schneider ( was killed in the Battle of Château-Thierry during World War I. He was the son of a German immigrant, and he died fighting against the Germans.
by E. Gatlin G2G6 Mach 1 (10.5k points)
+7 votes

My dad, my brother, three uncles, quite a few others back through the Civil War (both sides) and the Revoluton.

Then the other day I found a 3rd cousin, three times removed, who was in the Spanish American War. He received the Medal of Honor for courage under fire rescuing the wounded from the front lines. Date of service 1 July 1898, MOH awarded 22 June 1899. Charles Patterson Cantrell


by Shirley Dalton G2G6 Pilot (445k points)
+7 votes

Attached is a short video well worth watching for those interested in the CW. A park ranger describes

In June, 1864, my great uncle, Vinal Flye Hooper, took part in an infamous charge against dug in Confederates at Petersburg, Va.. He was a member of the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery Regiment.

The charge resulted in the greatest regimental loss North or South during the entire CW. Vinal somehow survived and died in 1922.

George Herbert Hooper 111
by George Hooper G2G Crew (670 points)
+6 votes
My 3rd great grandfather John Graham of Peterborough (or Hancock), NH was at the Battle of Bunker Hill.  When he ran out of ammunition, he started throwing rocks!  I have some evidence that he was wounded in that battle and probably died before 1779.
by Dorothy Coltrin G2G2 (2.5k points)
+5 votes
In my tree I have ancestors who fought in most of the American wars, from 1776 to present.  Nine verified Revolutionary Patriots,two participated  of War of 1812 , Mexican War and both sides of the Civil War.   Spanish American War, my grandfather WWI and II, my Dad WWII and Korea, my husband Vietnam and a son-in-law is now deployed in Iraq. All heroes!  


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