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Saturday, February 2, 2019

George Leonard Merritt: Wounded in Action

His Civil war service record shows our second great grandfather,* (see relationship notes below)  George Leonard Merritt, joined Connecticut's 6th Infantry on September 5, 1861. He was wounded on July 10, 1863, at Morris Island, South Carolina, and discharged on September 11, 1864; when his term of enlistment expired.

This post is taken directly from The Old Sixth: It's War Record, Chapter V, by Charles K Caldwell. Caldwell kept a diary of his service in Connecticut's 6th and records the events on the day grandpa Leonard was wounded at Morris Island, South Carolina. It was the first attack on Fort Wagner. He was-out of-action one week before the second attack.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

George Leonard Merritt: Ware County, Georgia


March, 2014 Ancestry.com message: 
Calvin Wesley 'Pops' Merritt
Hi David, 
"...your grandmother, Carrie, was a sister to my grandfather, Calvin Wesley Merritt. ...about the Cherokee family rumors. I heard the same thing growing up, but in my research, I found no connection and there is not one family member I've met who can answer that question."

Then she wrote about George Leonard Merritt.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Georgia/Florida Musgroves: Y-DNA Update

Musgrove Y-DNA Testing


Melvin and David Musgrove - 1959
My father, Melvin Musgrove, took the Family Tree Y-DNA (FTDNA) test for the descendants of our great, great grandfather, John 'David' Musgrove, of Pierce County, Georgia. * (see relationship notes below)

"A Y chromosome DNA test (Y-DNA test)...is used to explore a man's patrilineal or direct father's-line ancestry. The Y chromosome, like the patrilineal  surname, passes down virtually unchanged from father to son. 
International Society of Genetic Genealogy Wiki 

We hoped to connect our results to the lineage of our mystery grandpa James Walter (aka Gordon) Musgrove.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Ballad of Little Musgrave: Minstrels

The battle started with a song. In 1066, the first fatal blow struck in William the Conqueror's take-over of England was by a minstrel.

"At the Battle of Hastings, Taillefer sang the Chanson de Roland (Song of Roland ed.) at the English troops while juggling with his sword. An English soldier ran out to challenge him and was killed by Taillefer, who then charged the English lines and was engulfed." Wikipedia


He's mostly lost to history, but the song he sang that day formed British society. It was number one in England for centuries. And it was the fuel that sent the Ballad of Little Musgrave to the Blackfriar's Theater in 1607. The vehicle? Minstrels, all the way down.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Ballad of Little Musgrave: Story

Barnard Castle, Durham, England
The Ballad of Little Musgrave:

"...is a Border ballad probably originating in Northern England that describes an adulterous tryst between a man and a woman that is ended when the woman's husband discovers and kills them." Wikipedia

An 'educated guess', from Simon Fury on the Traditional Ballad Index website.

"Little Musgrave and Great Musgrave both still exist in Cumbria, in what used to be Westmorland... and are about 20 miles from Barnard Castle in County Durham. So what we have in the song IMHO is a simple bit of hanky-panky between the wife of the lord of Barnard Castle (the ancient seat of the de Balliol family) and a landowner in Little Musgrave."

We think he's almost right. We'll explore the historic characters and setting of this story in this post.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Ballad of Little Musgrave: Author


The Musgraves were,
"A powerful family of Cumberland who had a long record of service to the English Crown, both as soldiers and March officers. ...One of the two 'greatest names' of the West Wardenry (the other was Salkfield), the Musgraves were constantly at feud on the Scottish side, and had a three century vendetta with their fellow Cumbrians, the Dacres."
Steel Bonnets page 63 Kindle Unlimited 

That's not their only feud with fellow Englishmen.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Ballad of Little Musgrave: Origin


Holy Day Gathering
We're blogging on the border Ballad of Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard. It's a song about a love triangle between a Lord, his Lady and Little Musgrave. It ends violently.

The background for this post is the historical setting of and the earliest text for this ballad we've previously established.

Short version: The text is 81A of James Childs ballads. The dates are after 1543 but before 1607. (This time frame is dominated by the Reformation from Catholic to Protestant England under Henry VIII.)  The setting is a church in the English/Scottish borderlands. The origin of the story is the subject of this post.