Honoring My Military Ancestors

In honor of Memorial Day today, I want to take a moment to remember my ancestors that served in the military.

1. World War II and Korean War:

*Herbert Hoover Dugger (1927 – 2003, my grandfather)

2. World War I:

*George M. Rogers (1882 – 1956, my great-grandfather).  George is one of my biggest brick walls.  He served in the Army before the start of World War I, and when American entered World War I, he became an Army officer.  My dad and aunt remember seeing his military medals and remember being told that he was an Army officer.  However,I haven’t been able to find him in World War I (I have his military records of him prior to World War I).  I also have not yet been able to find his burial-place, which I believe is somewhere in Washington State.

3. Civil War

*Benjamin Smith Dugger (1835-1885)  Benjamin is not my biological ancestor, but he was married to my great-great-grandmother, Charlotte Asher prior to the Civil War.  He originally enlisted with the Confederate side, but then switched to the Union side.  As far as I can tell, he never returned home to Charlotte in Tennessee, but instead started a whole new family in West Virginia.  His wife Charlotte had him declared dead.  Charlotte was incredibly poor and had four children after her Benjamin was declared dead.  It is generally unclear who the father of these children, including my great-grandfather, Monroe Dugger, was.  I have a guess who some of the fathers could be, but only a DNA test will give me an answer.  Perhaps one day a DNA test will fall from the sky so I can finally afford it.

*James L. Clawson, Sr.  (1837 – about 1910, my great-great-great-grandfather) served for the Union in Company E, Regiment 13, Tennessee Cavalry.

*William Wilbourne Vines (1835 – 1864, my great-great-great-grandfather) served for the Union in the 13th Regiment, Tennessee Cavalry.  He died in the General Hospital of Nashville, Tennessee on February 19, 1864 of Rubella.

4. Revolutionary War:

* Zacheus Downer (1756-1851) of Coventry, Connecticut; Sharon, Vermont; Springfield, New York; and New Lisbon, New York

I am grateful for the sacrifice my military ancestors and their families made, and it makes me very proud to be their descendants.  I continue to be thankful to the hard work, dedication, and sacrifice made by our men and women in uniform and their families.  I pray for wisdom in the leaders of the world and for peace between all of the nations.

Happy Memorial Day!

Hope you have a wonderful three-day weekend full of good food and fabulous company!

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7 responses to “Honoring My Military Ancestors

  1. Leslie Lawson

    Elyse, do you have George M. Rogers death certificate? Died 29 Aug 1956? It should tell you where he is buried. Let me know.

    • Hi Leslie – I have the death certificate and it lists Green Lake Funeral Home in Seattle, Washington. This funeral home only deals with cremation and doesn’t actually have a vault, tomb, or cemetery to put the ashes in. My dad and my aunt both agree that George’s wife, Julia, probably had some sort of small funeral – just because they say it would be out of character to have her not give him a final resting place. I just don’t know where that place is. His ashes haven’t been passed down into the family, so the assumption is that his ashes were either scattered or in a cemetery somewhere.

      But after looking at the death certificate, I noticed that there is a question asking “Burial, Cremation, Removal (specify)”. The answer is listed as “Removal”. I wonder what that means?

      Thanks for commenting!

      • Leslie Lawson

        Removal usually means the ashes were taken (or removed) from the facility. In the online death records it states he died in Ft. Steilacoom, Pierce Co., WA. Have you searched for a newspaper to see about a death notice or obituary posting?

  2. I really enjoyed your column/blog, Elyse. I thought I was the only one who couldn’t afford the DNA testing! I got lucky with my brother, though. A nice gentleman looking for his biological father paid to have the DNA test done for the Hill family! Turns out he wasn’t related but I’ve got lots of leads, now.

    I am thinking, especially after reading your words about missing fathers, wives left behind to fend for themselves, etc., that family history is really a macrocosm (or is it microcosm?) of our lives. Our own lives often contain broken links in the chain, too. The thing is (about broken links), is that it often leads to courage and strength. Who were these super women that survived disappointment and change? How does their survival reach down the years to us and inspire us to never give up on ourselves?

    Thanks for getting me thinking and reflecting, too, on my own familial war heroes. Now, I just have to take the time to blog it!
    Margaret Harris´s last blog post ..The Ancestry Insider- Utah South Area Gets Online Film Ordering

    • Hi Margaret – Thanks for commenting! Family history is truly complex – sometimes it is happy, beautiful, adventurous, and exciting, but it is also full of stories of loss, sadness, fear, and hardship. As genealogists, I believe that it is important to have all of the stories in order to better understand the people who lived before us and have shaped our own lives. I know that in some of the harder times of my life, I have always drawn strength, courage, and perserverance from our ancestors – and I always wonder if they ever imagined what life is like for me.

      Thanks for reading and I am flattered that this post could get you thinking and reflecting. Have fun blogging about those ancestors!

  3. Hi Elyse,

    I have been researching my husband’s side of the family, the Duggers, and I believe that we are on the Rachel Lantz/Grayham side of the family!

    Benjamin S Dugger married Rachel Lantz
    their son Scott Dugger married Mary Susan Simmons
    their son Harry Lessley Dugger married Vernie Fairburn
    their son Ted Dugger married Reva Johnston
    Ted Dugger is my husband’s grandfather and is still living

    I do have a few death, birth, and marriage certificates from WV for the above which verify the info. I am most interested in making sure that I have the correct Benjamin since I have found more than one – there is a Sr. and a Jr. correct?

    This is all new to me so I have much to learn. I was wondering if you would be willing to share some of your experience with me? Is there any chance you have the time to answer a few questions? I am very interested in the family Bible as well. Would you be willing to share an scanned copy? Are you on ancestry.com?

    Thanks so much!

    • Hi Lydia! Thank you so much for contacting me!!

      Benjamin S Dugger had two marriages and, as far as I can tell, two lives. Before Benjamin came to West Virginia, he lived in Tennessee and was married to Charlotte Asher. The couple had one daughter, Sarah Dugger. When the civil war started, Benjamin joined the Confederate side. He deserted when his regiment was near West Virginia and he married Rachel Lantz. It appears that he never went back home and just started life over. His wife in Tennessee, Charlotte Asher, went to court to have him declared dead.

      After the Civil War, Charlotte lived in a life in poverty. She ended up having 4 more children, but it is unclear who the father(s) of those children are. I am descended from one of these children – and it is *highly* unlikely that Benjamin ever came back to Tennessee to father these children.

      Therefore, while we are not technically related, I would love to help you do research on both Benjamin and Rachel Lantz.

      The Dugger family runs very deep in Tennessee and is seen multiple times in my tree, so in the end, we might still be related, just rather distantly.

      If I forget to email you later today, PLEASE email me again. I want to make sure that I don’t forget. I have stuff from Tennessee that I’d be happy to share with you.


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