Monday, January 30, 2012

My Civil War Potter Ancestor

It's time to come clean; I have a questionably shameful ancestor story and it concerns my direct line Potter ancestor. My Matthew Potter, 1838-1902, was a Civil War veteran. He married my ancestor, Lydia Temple, and then in 1878, he married Sarah Hendricks. (Lots of detail; no need to rehash it all here.) His obituary in the Belleville, St.Clair County, Illinois, newspaper spoke of him as a "loving and lovable father" to his many children.

But.  In 1924, when widow Sarah was trying yet again to get a pension because she had been married to a Civil War veteran, she was yet again rejected (because she remarried). But in a typed affidavit, she explains, "I divorced him on account of I caught him in a vile sexual act with a chicken.....after which he beat me, and threw me out of the house in my nightclothes............... (more)."

As a genealogy teacher, I never have a problem with folks fearing to trace their ancestry for worry over finding a horse thief!! Nobody has yet topped my very-true story.

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