Monday, February 24, 2014

Military Monday ~ John Gorin, Revolutionary War

As I noted in my Surname Saturday post for my Gorin line, I found John Gorin's Revolutionary War Pension file at, a subscription website which focuses on military records, and has a wealth of information on John Gorin. In fact, there are 95 pages associated with his name in the Revolutionary War pension file!

Deciphering the handwritten pension application is on my list of things to do, but one of the pages, in response to a query, is a typewritten summary of John Gorin's Revolutionary War service.

Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files (
for John Gorin, of Virginia, Pension Number W 25643.

     In reply to your request for a statement of the military
history of John Gorin, a soldier of the Revolutionary War, you
will find below the desired information as contained in his
(and his widow's) application for pension on file in this Bureau:"
For ten weeks in 1777, he served ten weeks under Captain Thomas Pollard and Colonels Ramsay & Gilpin in Virginia. He then spend three weeks as a "Private To guard Gen. Washington's house."

In 1781 for four weeks, John Gorin served as "Pressmaster to raise a company of horse." He then spent four weeks as "Ordly.Segt." under Hugh Douglass and Summers & Merriweather. He also served four weeks as "Wagon Master Conveying Cornwallis's Baggage to Baltimore."
"Battles engaged in: Germantown and Yorktown.
Residence of soldier at Enlistment: Fairfax County, Virginia.
Date of application for pension: September 28, 1832.
Residence at date of application: Barren County, Kentucky.
Age at date of application: Born May 15, 1763, Fairfax Co. Va.
Remarks: His claim was allowed.
He married Elizabeth Duvall, May 26, 1825, in Barren Co., Ky. and
August 5, 1837 She was pensioned as his widow.
Had son Thomas J. (F) Gorin."
The NSDAR (National Society Daughters of the American Revolution) Genealogical Research System Ancestor Search summarizes John Gorin's service as:
1) Capt Hugh Douglas, Cols Summers, Meriweather
2) Also Cpl, Capt Thomas Pollard, Cols Rumsey, Gilpin, also Wagon Master

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Surname Saturday ~ Gorin of Virginia and Kentucky

Virginia (courtesy Wikipedia)
The first Gorin ancestor I know about is the ancestor under whom I applied for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), John Gorin. He was born on May 15, 1763, in Alexandria, Fairfax County, Virginia. I don't know his parents or where they were originally from. There are some online (unsourced) family trees at that indicate his father's name is John Gorin; that he was born in France; that his wife's name was Gladin; and that there were at least three children from this union. I have NOT added this to my family tree, as more research needed here, but it is an interesting trail to pursue., a subscription website which focuses on military records, has a wealth of information on John Gorin. His Revolutionary War Pension file includes letters written by descendants in the early 1900s looking for information about his service in the war, as well as correspondence from the 1850s regarding the application by his widow (his second wife) for a pension as well as for bounty lands.

In a later 1793 record, he appears in muster rolls as a Sergt. Major for Russell's Reg't Cav. of the Kentucky Volunteers.

In 1799, he moved his family from Virginia to Barren County, Kentucky, after receiving a land grant for 200 acres as of August 27, 1799. At this time, this was the frontier.

John Gorin later served in the War of 1812, as a Major in the "10 Regiment (Barbour's), Mounted, Kentucky Volunteers."

Kentucky (courtesy Wikipedia)
He first married Elizabeth Franklin (about 1765-1824) in about 1786, in Alexandria, Fairfax, Virginia. With her, he had at least eleven children, the youngest of whom was Thomas Jefferson Gorin. His wife predeceased him, dying in 1824. He remarried another Elizabeth: Elizabeth Duval, on May 26, 1825, in Kentucky. She died in 1855, and it looks like she continued to receive a pension as John Gorin's widow until her death.

He died August 5, 1837, in Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky, and is buried in the Glasgow Municipal Cemetery.

See his Find A Grave memorial, which includes a photograph of what is likely his original gravestone, as well as a newer stone indicating his service in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.

Generation 2: Thomas Jefferson Gorin (1808-1883) married Mary Ann Bowman in 1831.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wedding Wednesday ~ Edgar Carter Rust and Elizabeth Adsit Pyle

On Valentine's Day, I shared a 1937 love note to my grandmother, Elizabeth Adsit, from her second husband, Edgar Carter Rust.

I recently obtained their marriage record from the Family History Library photo duplication services.

Edgar Carter Rust and Elizabeth Adsit Pyle married at the "Fifth Ave. Pres. Ch." on 12 August 1933. He was 50; she was 36. The one error I see in this record is that Edgar was widowed; his first wife, Rosamond Pierce Weeks, died on 19 December 1931, leaving Edgar with four children.

I love the second page, where I can recognize my step-grandfather's signature (same as the love note) and my grandmother's handwriting, and the only place I have ever seen her signature as Elizabeth Adsit Pyle!

The witnesses were George W. Kuehn, a son-in-law of Rust, and Charles C. Adsit, Libby's brother.

This was a very happy marriage. Edgar C. Rust died in July 1963, about a month before they would have celebrated 30 years of marriage. This picture is from the summer of 1962, with Libby having just turned 65 and Dad Rust (as we refer to him) almost 80 years old.

Friday, February 14, 2014

True Love ~ Teddy and Libby

My grandmother, Elizabeth Adsit, first married my grandfather, Charles McAlpin Pyle, in 1919. Their only child was my father.

This was not a happy marriage.

In the early '30s, Elizabeth (known as Libby, even to her grandchildren), divorced her first husband. Within days after the divorce was finalized in August 1933, she married a widower, Edgar Carter Rust, whom she had met on a trans-Atlantic cruise, according to the family story. (I have not yet found a passenger record to prove this.)

Libby and Teddy (as he signed another letter to her) had a very happy marriage and in honor of Valentine's Day, I share the following letter Teddy wrote to Libby. It appears that in December 1937, Libby had gone to Chicago, (perhaps to see her mother before she moved to New York City?) and was away for about a week. She was staying at the Hotel Ambassador East in Chicago.

To An Absent Bunny.
O sad is me since you has went
So here I will my sorrows vent
The day is gloomy. There is no cheer.
Everything's nothing when you ain't here
Love and laughter went out west
We're left without a bit of zest
There's no desire to cut out loose
Even the King looks like the Deuce
Mary and Sarah and Mike and Joe
All want me to tell you so.
But through the clouds a bright light shows
Because of course one really knows
That bright sunshine and skies so blue
Will very soon be breaking through
When back to me come Charles and You.
From the Bunny's Mate.
Also in the envelope were the following drawings:

Monday, February 10, 2014

List Your Matrilineal Line - Update

Back in October 2011, I shared my matrilineal line - my mother, her mother, etc. back to the first identifiable mother. At that time, I only knew back five generations to my immigrant maternal ancestor, Lillias (Johnston) Alston.

I recently discovered indexes of Scotland Births and Scotland Marriages at, and have extended my matrilineal line by a couple more generations.
a) Elizabeth
b) My mother (still living) married Charles McAlpin Pyle, Jr.
c) Helen Lysle Hunter (1907 - 1990) married Lowell Townsend Copeland
d) Marguerite Lysle (1876 - 1967) married Percy Earle Hunter
e) Marion Helen Alston (1850 - 1885) married George Lysle, Jr.
f) Lillias Johnston (4 June 1806, Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire, Scotland - 3 Jan 1852, Allegheny, Pennsylvania) married John Alston on 28 June 1833, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland.
g) Lilias Kennedy (27 December 1775, Douglas, Lanarkshire, Scotland - ????) married Robert Johnston, 22 November 1801, in either Douglas or Carmichael, Lanarkshire, Scotland.
h) Jean Grienshields [Greenshields] is listed as the mother on the index of the birth of Lilias Kennedy.
This line is how my mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) was passed to me. Since I originally shared this maternal line, I have had my mtDNA tested (with FamilyTree DNA) and I now know that I am in mtDNA haplogroup U5b2a1a1. A haplogroup is a personal DNA signature, which can be thought of as a branch in our common maternal lineage, which traces a branch back to a shared maternal ancestor in Africa. The U haplogroup is the major branch, and because I did a full mitochondrial sequence, I know the "smaller branch" of the haplogroup that I descend from.

Mitochondrial DNA is passed along from mother to child (son or daughter), so a son can be tested for his mtDNA. (Y-DNA is passed along from father to son, so only a son can be tested for his Y-DNA haplogroup.)

Going back thousands of years in the "maternal tree" (what FamilyTree DNA calls the "deep ancestral origin"), my branch's migration was from western Asia to northern Europe. When I look at my mtDNA matches in FTDNA, they are primarily in Norway, England, Scotland, and Germany.

For a more thorough  explanation of using DNA in genealogy, I recommend the blog, Your Genetic Genealogist, written by Cece Moore. Also, The Legal Genealogist, Judy G. Russell, wrote weekly posts about DNA last year, many of which explain DNA very well.