Sunday, October 3, 2010

British in the American Civil War, and My Husband's Genealogy Bug

"What does King Henry VIII, The Civil War and Abraham Lincoln have to do with this Englishman?"  This is the first question my husband posed to our audience at a recent "getting to know you" party/church social.  Even though some were already enamored with my husband's strong Yorkshire accent, there was curiosity in this Arizona audience of how an Englishman could be connected to Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War, let alone King Henry VIII.  My husband spoke with pride about his family line, but none of this information would be known had he not got the genealogy bug after being inspired by my research.
My husband was born in Yorkshire, England, and me being a typical American that I am, I just thought that I would find my husband's family linked to some Royal line eventually.  It never happened, and all of those 840 people I did find were mostly just commoners (or peasants, as his Dad used to joke).  I did have some close calls, like finding an illegitimate son of a wealthy lawyer with the last name of Carwardine.  It turns out the Carwardine family was quite famous, even somewhat linked to King Henry VIII.  No - not a direct royal link, but Carwardine was a beloved tent keeper for King Henry VIII, to whom he bestowed a castle (which looks like a manor, not a castle).  In any event, it was fun reading and made for a good story.

This story sat dormant for a couple of years until we had to do our presentation at the church social.  My husband spent four days preparing for his portion of the presentation, and I didn't know what he was doing during all that time.  I later found out he had taken my Carwardine research and dug a little deeper, finding a Carwardine ancestor (cousin) from Essex who crossed the Atlantic to fight for Lincoln and the North.  Here's the article on John Carwardine:  "An Essex Man in Lincoln's Army."

Needless to say, I was impressed by my husband's research, and proud!  And, I learned that there were many British who fought in the American Civil War.  Has the genealogy bug really bit my husband?  Well, it did for a while, until I find another ancestor somewhat close to royal lines!


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