A Civil War Soldier: Pvt. Levi L. HIGBY (1842 – 1862)

How Related: Brother of my adoptive 2nd-great-grandmother, Anna M. “Annie” HIGBY

Born: 10 January 1842 in Bedford, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio

Parents: Stephen HIGBY (1810 – 1873) and Hannah “Matilda” OSBORNE (1822 – 1893)

Siblings: Levi was the eldest of 11 children:

  • Albina (1842 – 1852)
  • Philemon S. (1846 – 1876)
  • Lafayette C. (1848 – 1908)
  • Albert (1850 – bef. 1856)
  • Carey W. (1853 – 1909)
  • Frank M. (1854 – aft. 1925)
  • Albert W. (1856 – 1921)
  • Amos O. (1858 – 1859)
  • Anna M. “Annie” (1861 – 1903) – my ancestor
  • Frederick Alonzo (1865 – 1920)

Married: never

Children: none


Source: Civil War Pension Index Card of Levi L. Higby. Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900. National Archives and Records Administration. Publication T289. Digital image purchased at Footnote [http://www.footnote.com/].

Enlisted: 12 August 1861 at Schoolcraft, Kalamazoo Co., Michigan; private. Enlisted 20 August 1861 in Co. G, 6th Michigan Heavy Artillery

Side served: Union

History of Unit: 6th Michigan Heavy Artillery

Discharged: Died of disease while serving with the 6th Michigan Infantry

Biography or Information of Interest: I’m not a military historian, so I can’t tell for certain, but it appears that the heavy artillery regiment that Levi served with was assigned to the 6th Michigan Infantry at the time of his death. His widowed mother applied for his pension benefits in 1879.

Died: 20 November 1862 of disease in Carrollton, Orleans Parish, Louisiana

Buried: Chalmette National Cemetery, Arabi, St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. He appears to also have a monument in the Higby family plot in Westchester Cemetery, Byron Twp., Kent Co., Michigan.

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A Civil War Soldier: Pvt. Levi L. HIGBY (1842 – 1862)

How Related: Brother of my adoptive 2nd-great-grandmother, Anna M. “Annie” HIGBY

Born: 10 January 1842 in Bedford, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio

Parents: Stephen HIGBY (1810 – 1873) and Hannah “Matilda” OSBORNE (1822 – 1893)

Siblings: Levi was the eldest of 11 children:

  • Albina (1842 – 1852)
  • Philemon S. (1846 – 1876)
  • Lafayette C. (1848 – 1908)
  • Albert (1850 – bef. 1856)
  • Carey W. (1853 – 1909)
  • Frank M. (1854 – aft. 1925)
  • Albert W. (1856 – 1921)
  • Amos O. (1858 – 1859)
  • Anna M. “Annie” (1861 – 1903) – my ancestor
  • Frederick Alonzo (1865 – 1920)

Married: never

Children: none


Source: Civil War Pension Index Card of Levi L. Higby. Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900. National Archives and Records Administration. Publication T289. Digital image purchased at Footnote [http://www.footnote.com/].

Enlisted: 12 August 1861 at Schoolcraft, Kalamazoo Co., Michigan; private. Enlisted 20 August 1861 in Co. G, 6th Michigan Heavy Artillery

Side served: Union

History of Unit: 6th Michigan Heavy Artillery

Discharged: Died of disease while serving with the 6th Michigan Infantry

Biography or Information of Interest: I’m not a military historian, so I can’t tell for certain, but it appears that the heavy artillery regiment that Levi served with was assigned to the 6th Michigan Infantry at the time of his death. His widowed mother applied for his pension benefits in 1879.

Died: 20 November 1862 of disease in Carrollton, Orleans Parish, Louisiana

Buried: Chalmette National Cemetery, Arabi, St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. He appears to also have a monument in the Higby family plot in Westchester Cemetery, Byron Twp., Kent Co., Michigan.

One Day, Two Family History Centers, and Seven Families

Locate residents, organizations, and businesses in America’s population centers within city directories.

Thursday morning I had to drive clear across town to drop my son off to meet with his math teacher. He will be an eighth-grader next year, and is taking an online math course this summer so that he can skip ahead two grades to take a sophomore math class next fall at my daughter’s high school. His math teacher is teaching a summer school class at the high school on the South Hill of Spokane, about six miles from our home, and had some time to be available for Q&A and assistance with his graphing calculator. Matt had a little more than an hour to work on his lesson, so I thought I would take the time to visit the Southside Family History Center to see what kinds of materials they had available in their facility. We are lucky to have four FHCs in our county, and each one is unique as to the types of microfilms and microfiche they have on permanent loan, depending upon what records their patrons are researching and have ordered from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

In the 45 minutes while I was there, I wrote up two pages of notes, chatted with the volunteer on duty, and took a look around the facility. They don’t appear to have microfilm scanner/printer software set up on a computer in tandem with a microfilm reader, like the FHC that I usually patronize on the Northside, although they did have several manual readers. They did have a good number of computer stations, more than the Northside does, but many of them were older models. They had a nice selection of books, including passenger lists and immigration indexes. I used their card catalog, organized by country, state or province, and county to see what microforms were available for my areas of research, and was very excited to see they have a large selection of Ontario county records for specific areas I’m researching, as well as some of my ancestral Michigan and New York counties. My son has two more sessions with his math teacher next week, and I plan to return for an actual look at the microfilm, along with my laptop and file folders, for in-depth referencing.

Later that evening, I planned to go to the Northside FHC to work on some lookup requests that had come to me through Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness, when I received a call from the FHC director, notifying me that the microfilm I had ordered only the previous Thursday, had arrived from Salt Lake City that afternoon! We were both very surprised, and I was so excited! Normally, it takes two or three weeks–sometimes more–before I get the microfilm I’ve ordered. And I was eager to take a look at this microfilm roll, which included the city directories for Grand Rapids, Michigan from 1875/76 through 1879/80. Thanks to Jasia’s series, I had gotten enthused all over again to do research in city directories, and decided I would like to have more of these microfilmed records on permanent loan at my local FHC for ease of referral for whenever I discovered a new branch of one of my many Kent County surnames!

My earliest ancestors in the City of Grand Rapids were the TON and VanKLINKEN families, parents of one of my great-great-grandmothers, Jennie (TON) HOEKSTRA. Immigrants from the province of Zeeland, the Netherlands, they had moved to Grand Rapids by 1873 after first spending about 16 years in Cincinnati. Peter, the father, died the following year, and in 1875, Maria, the mother, married a widower with two children, Dirk BYL. Besides Jennie, Maria had two or three other daughters that survived infancy. In the 1873/74 and 1874/75 city directories for Grand Rapids, I had found the TON family, first on Taylor Street and then on Brainerd Street. Looking at the 1875/76 city directory, I did not find either a TON or a BYL family, even though I looked for alternate spellings. Both the 1876/77 and 1877/78 directories, however, listed a “Derk Byle,” laborer, who resided at 96 Brainerd, and the latter listed John VanKLINKEN, Maria’s brother, a laborer residing at 351 Taylor.

Actually, the 1875/76 directory was of no help, at least at first glance. None of my surnames I looked up appeared that year. The jackpot came in the 1876/77 and later directories, although I ran out of time to look at anything past 1877/78. The 1876/77 directory included a Kent County rural directory, which had my CONCIDINE, HIGBY, McDIARMID, and TUINSTRA families listed!

I also found the household of Beene STUIT at 321 First Street, Grand Rapids, in 1876/77; he was the husband of Catherina DEKKER, my great-great-grandfather Martin HOEKSTRA’s half-sister.

I can hardly wait to go back and discover more!

One Day, Two Family History Centers, and Seven Families

Locate residents, organizations, and businesses in America’s population centers within city directories.

Thursday morning I had to drive clear across town to drop my son off to meet with his math teacher. He will be an eighth-grader next year, and is taking an online math course this summer so that he can skip ahead two grades to take a sophomore math class next fall at my daughter’s high school. His math teacher is teaching a summer school class at the high school on the South Hill of Spokane, about six miles from our home, and had some time to be available for Q&A and assistance with his graphing calculator. Matt had a little more than an hour to work on his lesson, so I thought I would take the time to visit the Southside Family History Center to see what kinds of materials they had available in their facility. We are lucky to have four FHCs in our county, and each one is unique as to the types of microfilms and microfiche they have on permanent loan, depending upon what records their patrons are researching and have ordered from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

In the 45 minutes while I was there, I wrote up two pages of notes, chatted with the volunteer on duty, and took a look around the facility. They don’t appear to have microfilm scanner/printer software set up on a computer in tandem with a microfilm reader, like the FHC that I usually patronize on the Northside, although they did have several manual readers. They did have a good number of computer stations, more than the Northside does, but many of them were older models. They had a nice selection of books, including passenger lists and immigration indexes. I used their card catalog, organized by country, state or province, and county to see what microforms were available for my areas of research, and was very excited to see they have a large selection of Ontario county records for specific areas I’m researching, as well as some of my ancestral Michigan and New York counties. My son has two more sessions with his math teacher next week, and I plan to return for an actual look at the microfilm, along with my laptop and file folders, for in-depth referencing.

Later that evening, I planned to go to the Northside FHC to work on some lookup requests that had come to me through Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness, when I received a call from the FHC director, notifying me that the microfilm I had ordered only the previous Thursday, had arrived from Salt Lake City that afternoon! We were both very surprised, and I was so excited! Normally, it takes two or three weeks–sometimes more–before I get the microfilm I’ve ordered. And I was eager to take a look at this microfilm roll, which included the city directories for Grand Rapids, Michigan from 1875/76 through 1879/80. Thanks to Jasia’s series, I had gotten enthused all over again to do research in city directories, and decided I would like to have more of these microfilmed records on permanent loan at my local FHC for ease of referral for whenever I discovered a new branch of one of my many Kent County surnames!

My earliest ancestors in the City of Grand Rapids were the TON and VanKLINKEN families, parents of one of my great-great-grandmothers, Jennie (TON) HOEKSTRA. Immigrants from the province of Zeeland, the Netherlands, they had moved to Grand Rapids by 1873 after first spending about 16 years in Cincinnati. Peter, the father, died the following year, and in 1875, Maria, the mother, married a widower with two children, Dirk BYL. Besides Jennie, Maria had two or three other daughters that survived infancy. In the 1873/74 and 1874/75 city directories for Grand Rapids, I had found the TON family, first on Taylor Street and then on Brainerd Street. Looking at the 1875/76 city directory, I did not find either a TON or a BYL family, even though I looked for alternate spellings. Both the 1876/77 and 1877/78 directories, however, listed a “Derk Byle,” laborer, who resided at 96 Brainerd, and the latter listed John VanKLINKEN, Maria’s brother, a laborer residing at 351 Taylor.

Actually, the 1875/76 directory was of no help, at least at first glance. None of my surnames I looked up appeared that year. The jackpot came in the 1876/77 and later directories, although I ran out of time to look at anything past 1877/78. The 1876/77 directory included a Kent County rural directory, which had my CONCIDINE, HIGBY, McDIARMID, and TUINSTRA families listed!

I also found the household of Beene STUIT at 321 First Street, Grand Rapids, in 1876/77; he was the husband of Catherina DEKKER, my great-great-grandfather Martin HOEKSTRA’s half-sister.

I can hardly wait to go back and discover more!

Week of July 23 – 29, 2006

Saturday, July 29
Diana Wilkes, a Find A Grave photo volunteer, blessed the socks off of me by not only taking many photos of my Robbins ancestors’ graves at Hesperia West Cemetery in Hesperia, Michigan, but also submmitting a cemetery map with all the Robbins’ graves marked! In addition, she will be mailing me a CD with all the photos. The photos she submitted to Find A Grave were for Joseph Josiah Robbins, Marinda (Robbins) Robbins, Charles H. Robbins, and Viola Gertrude (Peck) Robbins.

Sent a link to my Robbins Family Page to the McKean County, Pennsylvania GenWeb site.

Found info online about the Wyckoff House Museum, which my ancestor, Pieter Claessen Wyckoff, built c. 1652 on Long Island. It is the one of the oldest standing wooden homes in North America, and New York City’s first Landmark.

Friday, July 28
Andrew Whitlock, a Find A Grave submitter, e-mailed to say he had updated my Civil War ancestor Benjamin Henry Kimball’s information, which I had sent him a few weeks ago.

Thursday, July 27
Requested photos of my Higby ancestors graves in Old Westfield Cemetery in Middleton, Connecticit from Norma Unger.

Matt and I went to Holy Cross Cemetery and took photos of the graves of George Ogden and Dessie Lola (McCready) Purviance for a requestor. It was my first time there, and I found it to be a beautiful, well-laid-out cemetery with easy-to-find graves. It is a newer cemetery (built 1931).


Wednesday, July 26
Added details to a memorial page on Find A Grave, which I created for my grandaunt, Mary Louise (Hoekstra) Glashower.

Heard back from Judy Zenge, a Find A Grave photo volunteer who is looking into taking a photo of the grave of my infant brother, Aaron James Robbins. She talked to an individual in Metlakatla, Alaska who said his parents are buried right next to Aaron, and he and other Metlakatla citizens continue to tend the grave out of loving respect and memory of all my parents did as Salvation Army officers to that village over 30 years ago. He also stated that the cross Dad made for Aaron’s grave was still intact. Judy is hoping to get over to Metlakatla on Annette Island from Ketchikan soon, to take a photo. This news was very touching to me.

Tuesday, July 25
As pre-arranged, I received a telephone call from Laurie Perkins, Education Historian at the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing. She is in charge of developing and overseeing the Future Historians program for 9 – 15 year olds at the Museum. She told me about the program and answered my many questions. She also gave me contact information for the person in charge of the Genealogy Sprouts Day Camp program through the Library of Michigan. I am hoping that my local genealogical society can develop (a) similar program(s) in the Spokane area, with the help of the Spokane Public Library and/or the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture.

Monday, July 24
My son, Matt, and I went to Greenwood Memorial Terrace to take a photo of the grave of Allene Eugenia (Castlio) Castlio for someone who requested it through Find A Grave. We stopped first at the cemetery office, and were informed that Allene was not buried there; she was buried at Fairmount Memorial Park. Greenwood and Fairmount are both owned by the Fairmount Memorial Association, which also owns Riverside Memorial Park, Spokane Memorial Gardens, and Woodlawn Cemetery, so they have all the records at the central office at Greenwood. I was given the locations of some more Castlio burials; two at Greenwood (Edwin Sparks and Dora A. Castlio) and two at Spokane Memorial Gardens (Raymond W. and Alma L. Castlio). Since I was already at Greenwood, I went and took the photos; then I went to Fairmount and, after a little help from the office there, found Allene’s burial place (her grave is unmarked, except for a curbstone family marker off to the side). After adding Allene’s photos to her memorial page at Find A Grave, I created pages for the other Castlio individuals at that site. I used information from the Washington State Death Index at Ancestry to fill in some unknown information.

Sunday, July 23
I worked on my friend Bev’s family tree website, and I now have three pages up. Once I get it complete, I’ll put a link here for my readers, so that they, too, can read it. Bev is a great writer; a professional journalist who writes for many genealogy magazines, and her family stories on her new website will warm your heart and make you feel like you’ve known these people all your lives!

One of the ladies from the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society contacted me; she recently ordered a copy of the GenSmarts software by phone. She talked to Aaron Underwood, the owner of the program, and suggested that he donate a copy as a door prize for our October workshop. He agreed, and I think that this will make a wonderful addition to a great program (Michael John Neill will be our guest lecturer)!

I’ve agreed to be the coordinator for the EWGS’ educational program for 2007. We offer free computer classes for members each month with a different topic. So far, we covered Using the Boolean Search Method, Using Ancestry.com, Placing Queries for (and Finding) Surnames Online, Using FamilySearch.org, How to Fix Broken Links (see my blog entry of July 16th), Patriotic and Lineage Societies Online, and Using GenSmarts Software. My job will entail signing up people for the classes (there’s a limit of 15, due to the amount of computer stations in the computer lab), of which we hold three each program day.

I also started adding a lot of cemetery information from various sources to the Goodrich Cemetery (Atlas Township, Genesee County, Michigan) listing at Find A Grave…kind of an outgrowth to my work on The Atlas Project.

Week of July 23 – 29, 2006

Saturday, July 29
Diana Wilkes, a Find A Grave photo volunteer, blessed the socks off of me by not only taking many photos of my Robbins ancestors’ graves at Hesperia West Cemetery in Hesperia, Michigan, but also submmitting a cemetery map with all the Robbins’ graves marked! In addition, she will be mailing me a CD with all the photos. The photos she submitted to Find A Grave were for Joseph Josiah Robbins, Marinda (Robbins) Robbins, Charles H. Robbins, and Viola Gertrude (Peck) Robbins.

Sent a link to my Robbins Family Page to the McKean County, Pennsylvania GenWeb site.

Found info online about the Wyckoff House Museum, which my ancestor, Pieter Claessen Wyckoff, built c. 1652 on Long Island. It is the one of the oldest standing wooden homes in North America, and New York City’s first Landmark.

Friday, July 28
Andrew Whitlock, a Find A Grave submitter, e-mailed to say he had updated my Civil War ancestor Benjamin Henry Kimball’s information, which I had sent him a few weeks ago.

Thursday, July 27
Requested photos of my Higby ancestors graves in Old Westfield Cemetery in Middleton, Connecticit from Norma Unger.

Matt and I went to Holy Cross Cemetery and took photos of the graves of George Ogden and Dessie Lola (McCready) Purviance for a requestor. It was my first time there, and I found it to be a beautiful, well-laid-out cemetery with easy-to-find graves. It is a newer cemetery (built 1931).


Wednesday, July 26
Added details to a memorial page on Find A Grave, which I created for my grandaunt, Mary Louise (Hoekstra) Glashower.

Heard back from Judy Zenge, a Find A Grave photo volunteer who is looking into taking a photo of the grave of my infant brother, Aaron James Robbins. She talked to an individual in Metlakatla, Alaska who said his parents are buried right next to Aaron, and he and other Metlakatla citizens continue to tend the grave out of loving respect and memory of all my parents did as Salvation Army officers to that village over 30 years ago. He also stated that the cross Dad made for Aaron’s grave was still intact. Judy is hoping to get over to Metlakatla on Annette Island from Ketchikan soon, to take a photo. This news was very touching to me.

Tuesday, July 25
As pre-arranged, I received a telephone call from Laurie Perkins, Education Historian at the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing. She is in charge of developing and overseeing the Future Historians program for 9 – 15 year olds at the Museum. She told me about the program and answered my many questions. She also gave me contact information for the person in charge of the Genealogy Sprouts Day Camp program through the Library of Michigan. I am hoping that my local genealogical society can develop (a) similar program(s) in the Spokane area, with the help of the Spokane Public Library and/or the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture.

Monday, July 24
My son, Matt, and I went to Greenwood Memorial Terrace to take a photo of the grave of Allene Eugenia (Castlio) Castlio for someone who requested it through Find A Grave. We stopped first at the cemetery office, and were informed that Allene was not buried there; she was buried at Fairmount Memorial Park. Greenwood and Fairmount are both owned by the Fairmount Memorial Association, which also owns Riverside Memorial Park, Spokane Memorial Gardens, and Woodlawn Cemetery, so they have all the records at the central office at Greenwood. I was given the locations of some more Castlio burials; two at Greenwood (Edwin Sparks and Dora A. Castlio) and two at Spokane Memorial Gardens (Raymond W. and Alma L. Castlio). Since I was already at Greenwood, I went and took the photos; then I went to Fairmount and, after a little help from the office there, found Allene’s burial place (her grave is unmarked, except for a curbstone family marker off to the side). After adding Allene’s photos to her memorial page at Find A Grave, I created pages for the other Castlio individuals at that site. I used information from the Washington State Death Index at Ancestry to fill in some unknown information.

Sunday, July 23
I worked on my friend Bev’s family tree website, and I now have three pages up. Once I get it complete, I’ll put a link here for my readers, so that they, too, can read it. Bev is a great writer; a professional journalist who writes for many genealogy magazines, and her family stories on her new website will warm your heart and make you feel like you’ve known these people all your lives!

One of the ladies from the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society contacted me; she recently ordered a copy of the GenSmarts software by phone. She talked to Aaron Underwood, the owner of the program, and suggested that he donate a copy as a door prize for our October workshop. He agreed, and I think that this will make a wonderful addition to a great program (Michael John Neill will be our guest lecturer)!

I’ve agreed to be the coordinator for the EWGS’ educational program for 2007. We offer free computer classes for members each month with a different topic. So far, we covered Using the Boolean Search Method, Using Ancestry.com, Placing Queries for (and Finding) Surnames Online, Using FamilySearch.org, How to Fix Broken Links (see my blog entry of July 16th), Patriotic and Lineage Societies Online, and Using GenSmarts Software. My job will entail signing up people for the classes (there’s a limit of 15, due to the amount of computer stations in the computer lab), of which we hold three each program day.

I also started adding a lot of cemetery information from various sources to the Goodrich Cemetery (Atlas Township, Genesee County, Michigan) listing at Find A Grave…kind of an outgrowth to my work on The Atlas Project.