A Reflection on the Birth Of A Nation: Getting to Know Our American Ancestors

When I began my genealogy project back in 2009, I knew my husband and I, who were the main focus of the project were descended mainly through immigrants who came to this great nation in the modern immigration boom era and during the Irish Potato famine. I doubted I would find any daughter’s of the revolution candidates in our family tree, and so far I have been correct.  Most lines I have researched had immigrated no later than about 1800, long after the American Revolution.  However; I was pleasantly surprised to discover after sitting down with my daughter’s great-uncle on her father’s side, the names of my husband’s grandmother’s family and that is when the story became interesting.


My husband’s Grandparents William and Julia

The focus began with Julia’s Mother (my husband’s great-grandmother) Rebecca (Budd) Kelly.  She was raised in Dauphin County Pennsylvania the daughter of a coal miner and as I discovered later, a Civil War Veteran.  His name was William Budd, even more amazing was his brother Richard Budd.  He was a captain who held his own regimen Company K in the 96th Pennsylvania Infantry.  Of course I didn’t know any of this initially.  Our uncle simply gave us the names with no history behind them. In the end I was glad he didn’t give it away, because for a genealogist like me the initial discovery is the reward for all of the hard work.

It was then through internet research, I discovered the Gratz Civil War Blog With the help of this site simply discovered through googling our ancestor’s names, and  various other census and war records, I was able to discover the stories of my daughter’s 3x’s Great Grandfather and 3x’s great Uncle!  William and his brother Richard came to this country from Ireland after their father died only to lose their mother soon after.  William was a Coal Miner and Richard a Coal Miner and later a Lumber man.  Both men answered the call and enlisted to fight for the Union in the civil war, ending up in the 96th Pennsylvania Regiment, with Richard rising to the ranks of Captain of Company K and gaining much respect in the local community. He fought in many famous battles including Gettysburg  The death of Richard Budd: Gratz Civil War Blog

William Budd his brother and, my families direct ancestor, transferred to U.S. Veteran Reserve Corps on September,1 1863.  He fought in several battles but due to illness was discharged to the Reserves.  More info on William Budd can be found on Death of Widow of William Budd

Our families may not have descended from the Revolution, but certainly have their own uniquely American story. Imagine the stories and surprises you might uncover.

96th Infantry Civil War Flag