I started my genealogy hobby about 2 years ago. My Grandmother Nina Lane had left me a box of records about my Father's family. I didn't open that box for a number of years. I guess because I wasn't mature enough to see the value in that gray, tattered box. I now understand that she left me a precious gift. Maybe she knew that it wouldn't be significant until long after her passing.
Aaron Lane was my Great, Great Grandfather. He has become one of my favorite relatives. In my research I have come to respect and admire him for his life has become an adventure for me.
Aaron was born Aug 5, 1840 in Lewisburg, TN which is located in Marshall County. His parents may have been Tedence Lane and Nancy Aldridge. Aaron's records have not stated his parentage. I have been embracing the records that my Grandmother left me. She had a copy of the Marshall County Census of 1850 with notes indicating this was Aaron's family. His age fits the census records. Assumptions are hard for me to accept. I have tried many avenues to find out his parentage with no results. The Early Middle Tennessee Marriages Vol. I, by Byron & Barbara Sistler 1988 shows Tedance married to Nancy Alldridge 1-18-1826 in Maury County, TN. Farming was a way of life for this family. The census of 1850 indicates that Tedance was a farmer. Sons, Alfred 22 and James 18 were also farmers. The rest of Aaron's siblings were: Mary 17, Sarah 14, John 12, Permelia 7, William 3, and Nancy 1. Aaron was shown as being 9 years old. Aaron must have grown up in Tennessee and attended school. He was proficient in reading and writing. His parents must have had an appreciation for education. I am sure that most of the male children in the 1840's worked on the farm instead of the classroom.
Sometime in the late 1850's Aaron moved to Vienna, Illinois. I have not been able to track down the whereabouts of the rest of the family. Perhaps Aaron was a restless young man and struck out alone to the land of corn. The first record that I have of his living in Vienna is his marriage to first wife Martha Miller, April 25, 1861. I have a copy of their marriage certificate. I was very anxious to learn more about Martha because she was my Great, Great Grandmother. Martha did not have a chance to enjoy her marriage to Aaron. I am sure that she entered the marriage with all the hopes and dreams of every young bride. War changed all her plans and Aaron's. The Civil War broke out and volunteers were solicited in Vienna. Aaron was assigned to Company B, 120 Volunteer Infantry on Aug 14, 1862. He had to leave pregnant Martha and their five-month-old son James Franklin. James Franklin was my Great Grandfather. He was born in Vienna on Mar 23, 1862.
Aaron had a tough time in the Civil War. The fighting was tough. The disease was rampant. I obtained an abundance of information from Aaron's Civil War pension records. I obtained the records from The National Archives. His war records gave a general description of him. Aaron was a slightly built man by today's standards. He was only 5 foot 6 inches tall with white skin, black hair and eyes. He was only 22 years old with a growing family. I can't imagine what the experience was like for such a young man from the farm. Aaron's records indicate that he went on furlough during his Civil War duties. The records do not show why he went on furlough. He left on April 11, 1864 destination, Illinois and came back to duty on May 11, 1864. I assume that he went on leave to see his second son. His son, Andrew was born Mar 1864. I am sure that Martha and James were very sorry that he had only thirty days to spend with them. It was probably a very emotional good bye, as no one knew if Aaron would survive the war or not. Martha was left with a lot of responsibility. Aaron developed health problems. He came down with the measles and had chronic diarrhea. In early 1865, he contracted diphtheria. The weather was very hot during the war campaign and he became a victim of sunstroke and collapsed. He mustered out in Memphis, TN Sep 20, 1865. He returned home to Vienna, Illinois.
His troubles did not subside. Andrew had died on Aug 13, 1865. His grave is in the South County Line Cemetery in Carbondale. Just 1 yr and 5 months old. Aaron had a troubled life of hard work and grief. One year and three months later, Aaron buried Martha next to Andrew upon her untimely death on Nov 6, 1866. I have been unable to unearth the reason for either of their deaths. Aaron was now a widower with a 4-year-old son. I imagine that he went looking for a wife and mother for James. He married again for the second and last time to Matilda Epperson Aug 29, 1867. . She added to the family by having five more children, Mary Elizabeth Lane 6-4-1868, William Monroe 1870, died as an infant, Thomas Benton 2-18-1872, Melvina 2-21-1874 and John Wesley 9-5-1876.
Aaron decided to move to Kansas sometime around 1873. The family moved by wagon to the state of Kansas. He settled in Dexter Kansas. He farmed the land until 1908 when old age hit him hard. He states on his application for pension: "Am ruptured on both sides, deaf and cannot see well. I have varicose vains so badly that cannot get around without a great amount of pain. Since my wife died in January 1921 I have gone to pieces and my nerves are in such a condition that I cannot sleep at nights. I require the assistance of some constantly as I am afraid in my condition to stay alone". He received his pension of $72.00 a month granted on Nov 1923 and stopped on Feb 9, 1928. His obituary states that he was the last of the Civil War Veterans in Dexter Township. The Baptist church of Dexter was the site of his funeral service. He was a member for 35 years. He died Jan 28, 1928 and was buried in Dexter on Jan 30, 1928.
Genealogy is not just a facts and figures compilation. It is developing a relationship with your ancestors as you search and seek the whole story of their lives. If there is anyone who recognizes the names of my relatives, please correspond with me. If you have time to do lookups in your area, please remember my need for information on these individuals.
ObituarySubmitted by JoAnn Lane Stickley
Tom & Carolyn Ward, Columbus, KS