Saturday, July 4, 2020

Dr. Luther Waterman–Revolutionary War Surgeon ~ Borne From the Field of Battle

In a previous post I shared the fact that my 4th Great-Grandfather, Dr. Luther L. Waterman, was a surgeon in the Revolutionary War.  Many years ago, I learned of this fact while reading about Luther in The Waterman Family by Donald Lines Jacobus.In this book, Mr. Jacobus states the following regarding Luther's service, which he gleaned from Luther's Revolutionary War pension file (I added bold text to one sentence):
"…Phebe Waterman repeated her testimony, 5 Jan. 1839, and added that Luther entered service as a Surgeon under Dr. Spaulding, in Col. John Durkee's Regiment, in Cambridge, Mass., for nine months.  He then joined the Brigade of Horatio Gates, in Col. William Bond's Regiment, as Surgeon with Dr. Vinal, as his mate, for one year.  In 1776 he was at Lake Champlain, and was borne from the field, unable to perform his duty.  He was in the battles of White Plains, Stamford, Horseneck, and Rye.  This information was derived from Dr. Luther Waterman, himself."
In 1997 I ordered and received a copy of Luther Waterman's pension file. Unfortunately, this copy is quite difficult to read and only contains 12 of the 63 pages in the pension file.  I subscribed to, and happily I found Luther Waterman's full pension file containing all 63 pages on the website. Another bonus is that it is much easier to read on Fold3. The pension file copy I received in 1997 was inverted or reversed (black background with white writing). It also did not contain the page from the pension file that Mr. Jacobus used for his summary quoted in this post. With access to the full pension file, I was able to find the page from which Mr. Jacobus summarized Luther's war service, including the account of his being "borne from the field, unable to perform his duty."  This information was taken from the deposition of Mrs. Phebe Waterman, Luther's widow. Below is the pension file page containing Phebe's deposition:

Page 26
The entire page above is probably difficult to read, so I cropped it into three parts as follows:

At the bottom of her deposition Phebe signed her name. What a treasure it is to see her signature. Phebe was 82 years old at the time of this deposition.

I wonder what happened to Luther Waterman at the Battle of Lake Champlain that caused him to be taken from the field of battle unable to perform his duties? Unfortunately, I don't know the answer.  And there doesn't seem to be any elaboration about this fact in Luther's pension file. It is and may remain a mystery. The fact that I learned about this from Luther's full pension file shows that it is important to obtain the full pension file of our ancestors if possible.

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2020 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved


1 Donald Lines Jacobus, The Waterman Family Vol. 1,1939, (Reprint by Higginson Book Company, Massachusetts), 294, 295

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Enhanced Photos Using the MyHeritage Photo Enhancer

MyHeritage recently announced a new feature called the MyHeritage Photo Enhancer. If you'd like to see the announcement about it on their blog, click HERE.

This new feature is pretty cool. I have tried it out on a few of my photos. One of the photos I tried it out on is this photo of my paternal great-grandmother, Hilda Maria Carlsson. This is the original photo. As you can see the photo is kind of grainy.

Here's the same photo enhanced with the MyHeritage Photo Enhancer.

What a difference, right? 

Here's another photo of my great-grandma Hilda when she was younger. She was nineteen years old when this photo was taken. As you can see, the photo is a bit blurry.

I tried the MyHeritage Photo Enhancer and here is the result. Isn't that amazing?

The MyHeritage Photo Enhancer may not work as well on every photo, but I'm impressed with how well it worked on these photos.

Have you given this new MyHeritage feature a try yet?

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2020 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Genealogy Treasures in Great-Grandpa Carl's WWI Draft Registration Card

My paternal great-grandpa, Carl Albert Gillberg, was from Sweden. He immigrated to the United States in 1909. According to his 1924 Declaration of Intention, he arrived on 18 September 1909.
Nine years after arriving in the United States, Carl filled out this WWI Draft Registration Card. 

This draft registration card contains some amazing genealogical information:

Name: Carl Albert Gilbert
Permanent Home Address: 367 So. 11 East, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah
Age in Years: 36
Date of Birth: January 8, 1882
Race: White
Alien: Non-declarant
Citizenship: Sweden
Present Occupation: Baker
Employer's Name: Vienna Bakery
Place of Employment or Business: 732 E. Fourth So., Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah
Name of Nearest Relative: Hilda Maria Gilbert
Address of Nearest Relative: 367 So. 11 East, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah
Signature: Carl Albert Gilbert
Height: Medium
Build: Medium
Color of Eyes: Gray
Color of Hair: Light
Has person lost arm, leg, hand, eye, or is he obviously physically disqualified? (Specify): First joint of 2 finger on left hand off.
Date of Registration: September 12, 1918

In this registration card, Carl signed his last name as Gilbert instead of Gillberg. In various documents, I have seen Carl's name as Gillberg, Gillbert, and Gilbert. On a passenger list during his immigration to the United States he was listed as Carl Gillberg. On Carl's 1924 Declaration of Intention he went by Carl Albert Gilbert. In his 1939 Declaration of Intention and Certificate of Naturalization he was back to Carl Albert Gillberg. I don't know why he switched back and forth between the different spellings of his name.

His occupation was listed as a Baker. It's really cool to have the name and address of the bakery where Carl worked at that time. Years ago I wrote a blog post about my grandmother's recollection that Carl would bring flour sacks home and his wife, Hilda, would make clothing out of them for their children. She also made quilts out of the flour sacks. If you'd like to read about that, here's the link to the post ~ Matrilineal Monday: Flour Sack Dresses–Ingrid Anna Gilberg

In this draft registration card it also states that part of Carl's finger is missing. His WWII Draft Registration Card and his 1924 Declaration of Intention also mention this fact, although they describe it as his left forefinger off or missing.

Carl's nearest relative listed in this document was his wife, Hilda.

I love these old documents. They are genealogy treasures full of interesting and valuable information.

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2020 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

Monday, April 13, 2020

David Debs Webster ~ My Newly-Discovered Granduncle

Isn't this a darling baby? I believe this is my newly-discovered granduncle, David Debs Webster.

A sweet 3rd cousin of mine recently emailed a scanned copy of a photo postcard to me with this baby's picture on it along with some writing. I'm so thrilled that she found this while she was looking through some photos, and then sent it to me along with some other pictures. She's so thoughtful and kind!

Here's what the writing says on this postcard:
(Stamped): Argenta, Arkansas 
Dear Sister: This is my youngest boy. His name is David Debs Webster. Born Sept 12 - 1905.  
Write, Lovingly 
Ur bro. 
Fred E. Webster
This postcard definitely interested me because Fred E. Webster is the name of my maternal great-grandfather. His name at birth was Watson Emory Webster, but he changed his name to Frederick Emory Webster later in life. You may know him here on my blog as "The Traveling Dentist."

So, is David Debs Webster one of my great-grandfather's children? The middle name of Debs is an interesting clue. My maternal grandfather was named Debs Warren Webster. He was one of the children of Frederick Emory Webster and Esther Matus Villatoro.

Fred is addressing his sister in this postcard. My 3rd cousin is a descendant of one of Frederick's sisters.

My 3rd cousin also sent me a scanned image of the address side of this postcard. It was addressed to Mrs. P. A. Hammett in Marysville, Kansas. One of Frederick's sisters was married to Paul Anderson Hammett and they lived in Kansas for a number of years.

These clues indicate to me that yes, the Fred E. Webster who wrote on this postcard, is my great-grandfather, Frederick Emory Webster. I know that he was in Arkansas at least a couple of times in his life.

Now that I'm almost positive that David Debs Webster is a son of my great-grandfather, Frederick Emory Webster, the question is who is David's mother?

I've been doing research to try and answer that question. I don't have definitive answers yet, but I have several clues that are leading me in one direction. I hope to find documents to prove my theory.

In any event, this is an exciting discovery. Another leaf for our family tree!

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2020 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

Monday, April 6, 2020

My 8th Blogiversary

Yesterday was my 8th blogiversary. It's hard to believe I've been blogging for eight years already! I haven't been blogging as much this past year. I have been keeping myself busy though. I'm almost finished with my third and final semester at BYU-Pathway Worldwide. And, I've applied to and have been accepted to BYU-Idaho's Online Degree Program.


Thank you to my wonderful readers for taking the time to read my posts and for leaving comments over the years. I appreciate your support very much!


Here are some posts from the last year (since my last blogiversary)

Fred E. Webster, Jeweler ~ Ad in an 1890's Newspaper - April 16, 2019

The Webster Dehorning Chute by E. P. C. Webster - May 2, 2019

Grandpa Debs Webster's Blue Notebook - June 10, 2019

My 2014 Blog Book - July 22, 2019

A Christmas Card from Aunt Juanita - August 7, 2019

My Dad. Member of the Tech Pep Staff in High School - August 29, 2019

Yearbook Finds - My Dad was on the JV Football Team in High School - September 7 2019

Veterans Day ~ 2019 - November 11, 2019

Questions for Grandpa Debs - January 2, 2020

Beginning My Last Semester at BYU Pathway Worldwide - January 6, 2020

Yearbook Find ~ My Mom, Member of Future Business Leaders of America - January 11, 2020

Yearbook Find ~ My Mom's Senior Picture - February 7, 2020

Another Senior Picture of My Mom, Elizabeth Webster - February 16, 2020

Again, thank you for taking the time to read my posts!

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2020 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Another Senior Picture of My Mom, Elizabeth Webster

In my previous post, I shared my mom's senior picture from her 1957 Pomona High School yearbook. As I mentioned in that post, I found another photo of my mom while I was looking through photos. It looks like it was taken at the same photo session for her senior photo.

Here's her senior photo published in the yearbook.

And here's the one I found while looking through photos.

Here's the colorized version of the first photo.

I think it looks like it was one of her photos from her senior photo session and just wasn't the one chosen for the yearbook. What do you think?

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2020 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

Friday, February 7, 2020

Yearbook Find ~ My Mom's Senior Picture

In my previous post Yearbook Find ~ My Mom, Member of Future Business Leaders of America, I shared a photo of my mom as a member of the Future Business Leaders of America when she was a senior at Pomona High School.

Today I'm sharing another photo from that same 1957 yearbook. This time it's her senior picture. I've added arrows pointing to her senior picture and her name.

I cropped her picture and name.

We have a colorized version of this photo already. But it's great to see it in her high school yearbook. It verifies that the colorized photo we have is her senior picture.

While looking through photos for this post, I found another photo that looks like it was taken in her senior photo session. It's a different pose. She was looking the other way. I'll share that in a future post.

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2020 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Yearbook Find ~ My Mom, Member of Future Business Leaders of America

My mom, Elizabeth Webster, graduated from Pomona High School in 1957. I'm fortunate to have three of her high school yearbooks in my possession.

On page 33 in the yearbook for 1957, I found this photo of my mom. I put a red rectangle around her and her name. This is the page for the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) at Pomona High School.

Here's a cropped portion of the photo so we can get a closer view of my mom.

It's so fun to see this photo of her. I love her outfit. Look at her smart blouse with the standing collar. So cute! And look at those adorable flats she's wearing!

It's really neat to know that my mom was a member of the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) in High School. It looks like the FBLA went on some interesting field trips including visits to Lockheed Aircraft Company in Ontario, the Metropolitan Junior College at Los Angeles, The Southern California Edison Light Company in Los Angeles, and the Carnation Milk Company in Los Angeles. I wonder if my mom was able to go on all of the field trips listed on this yearbook page.

My mom was born on 24 July 1938, so depending on when this photo was taken, she would have been around 18 years old. She immigrated to the United States from Brazil in July 1952, so she graduated from high school only about five years after arriving here. From what I understand, she didn't speak English when she arrived. Her father, Debs Warren Webster, did speak English. He also spoke Portuguese and Spanish.

Those who follow my blog will probably remember that Debs was the son of Watson (Frederick) Emory Webster, a.k.a. "The Traveling Dentist" here on my blog. Debs' mom, Esther Matus Villatoro, was from Arriaga, Chiapas, Mexico, and his father was from Athens, Ohio, USA. So, it's not surprising that my Grandpa Debs spoke Spanish, English, and Portuguese. He traveled with his father while he was young. And "The Traveling Dentist" did travel quite a bit.

I have more yearbook discoveries from the pages of my mom's yearbooks that I'll share in future posts.

Have you found photos of your parents or other relatives in yearbooks?

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2020 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

Monday, January 6, 2020

Beginning My Last Semester at BYU Pathway Worldwide

Here we go! My last semester at BYU Pathway Worldwide officially starts today. This is my third and last semester in this program. I began BYU Pathway Worldwide in April of 2019. After this semester I will be transferring to BYU-Idaho's online program.

After transferring to BYU-Idaho's online program, I plan to earn a Certificate in Family History Research. The Introduction to Family History course listed in this semester's course list (above) is one of the Certificate in Family History Research courses.

BYU-Idaho's online program also offers an AAS in Family History Research, which I may earn as well. They don't offer a Bachelor's Degree in Family History Research at this time.

Before I was married, I attended BYU-Provo for three semesters and I've taken a few college courses over the years, but I never earned a degree. BYU Pathway Worldwide is providing me with a wonderful way to further my education.

To learn more about BYU Pathway Worldwide, click HERE.

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2020 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Questions for Grandpa Debs

While looking through my draft blog posts today, I came across this one. I don't know why I never published it as it seems like it was pretty much finished. So, I've decided to go ahead and finally publish it today. Nancy's blog post that inspired this post was published back in 2015. Wow! That was five years ago already. I think it's about time I published this post. Haha! The following is what I wrote back then except for a few things I added at the end.

Nancy, author of the My Ancestors and Me blog, recently wrote a blog post titled If You Could Spend an Afternoon With an Ancestor..... In this blog post Nancy imagines spending time spent with an ancestor and being able to ask him questions. She also invited her readers to share their thoughts and questions they'd ask an ancestor if they could spend time with them.

I'm going to take her up on her invitation. I wish I could spend an afternoon (or longer) with many ancestors. I have plenty of questions I could ask of them. Today I'm going to share what I wish I could ask my maternal grandfather, Debs Warren Webster, if I could spend an afternoon with him.

I remember my Grandpa Debs very well. When I was young, our family visited with my Grandpa and Grandma Webster many times. When Grandpa Debs passed away, I was already married and was a mother of four children. You'd think I would already know pretty much everything about him right? Well, unfortunately, that's not the case. You see, I began my family history research AFTER his death. And he didn't talk about his family history at all, as far as I can remember. From my research, and talking with my mom, I know he led a very interesting life. After all, he was the son of Watson (Frederick) Emory Webster, a.k.a. "The Traveling Dentist" here on my blog.

Debs was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil on 27 April 1914. He traveled a great deal with his father both before and after the death of his mother, Esther Matus Villatoro. Frederick practiced dentistry in three countries - The United States, Mexico, and Brazil.

Debs, his wife, and children immigrated to the United States in July of 1952.

What I wish I could ask my Grandpa Debs:
  • Did you enjoy traveling with your father?
  • Where did you go to school when you were a boy?
  • How did you learn to speak Spanish, Portuguese, and English?
  • What was life like as the son of "The Traveling Dentist?"
  • What were your favorite memories of your mom?
  • What was she like?
  • What was your father like?
  • How did you meet your first wife Sarah Vasques Madeira?
What questions do you wish you could ask an ancestor? Also, do you have blog posts in draft form from way back when? How many do you have waiting to be published?

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2020 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved



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