Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I am a Gilmore Girl, notes on my Gilmore Ancestry

Gilmore Family Crest (Postcard Available Here: zazzle )

'Nil penna usus' - 'Not the quill but its use'

"It will be given to the persevering" 

Gilmore Girl, sort of...

Gilmore girls conjures up images of Yale, New England, Dean, Jess, Paris, Rory, tartans and coffee. Lot's and lots of coffee!  It is one of my favorite TV shows and although I know it isn't real I was delighted to find a link to the actual Gilmore family name in my own lineage. As an avid ancestry junkie, I had to dig and piece together my own line from the beginning of what was available online and in paperwork.  I will highlight a couple of key figures (not that they aren't all important) and relay a bit more information about those individuals. So here goes...

Gawin Gilmore was born in roughly 1610 in Scotland.  The ancestral name is said to have originated in the Scottish Highlands (Wiki) as well as Ireland.  The name is stated to mean Devotee or Servant to the Virgin Mary.  It has two Gaelic forms, one being the Scottish Gaelic of 'Mac Gille Mhoire,' and another in the form of Irish Gaelice in 'Mac Giolla Mhuire.' When Gawin was born in Scotland in 1610 King James IV was on the throne and Scotland was in economic dire straits. Increased taxes, inflation problems, and harvest failures all marred Scotland's vast lands and kept the region in a state of poverty on the fringes of Europe.  Gawin's exact reasons for leaving his homeland of Scotland and venturing to Coleraine, Londonderry, North Ireland are unknown but economic stresses and failed crop harvests could have most likely played a key role in his decision.  Robert, son of Gawin, was born in Coleraine, along with his son William.  They both migrated to Rockingham County, New Hampshire.  Early Scottish and Irish immigrants weren't uncommon as persecution, economic hardships and constant fighting sent many to North America after the 1700s. William Gilmore went on to have Robert Gilmore, and Robert went on to have James Gilmore in 1685 in North Ireland, which means they must have made many return trips as evident by the births in both North America and Ireland for the family line.  James Gilmore had William Gilmore in Coleraine, Londonderry, North Ireland.  William Gilmore, my 8th great grandfather, became involved in the Revolutionary War defending his home of New York.  He served in the 1st regiment of New York:

 William Gilmore SR listed on muster roll for 1st regiment NY Jan thru March 1781.  He is listed on the lefthand side.  Names appear alphabetical. Document found through search. His DAR # A121410
William Gilmore Sr pay muster in Capt John C Ten Braeck's company April 1783.  He is 11th down on the lefthand side.  Very faint script but visible of enlarged. Document found on search.
William Gilmore fought bravely for independence but sadly passed in 1786.  According to documents because of his war service his family was granted land by the newly formed Congress:

Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application & William Gilmore SR bounty land certificate grant from the Dept of War. Document found on search.
William did have many children (12 in total!) and one of those children, named Margaret, was my 7th great grandmother.  Margaret Gilmore was born in in Pelham, Massachusetts and married Samuel Cowden on December 11, 1755, in Holden, Massachusetts.  Samuel and Margaret had six children including James Cowden, my 6th Great Grandfather, who then had Samuel Willis Cowden, my 5th Great Grandfather, who then had Elizabeth Betsy Cowden, my 4th Great Grandmother, in 1816 in Vermont.  Elizabeth married Charles Scates and had 6 sons and 5 daughters. Elizabeth lived in the north in the tumultuous era leading up to the civil war and it was her son, Charles Luther Scates, my 3rd Great Grandfather, who fought for the north in the Civil War as a union soldier.  I wrote an earlier blog about his service during the Civil War and his time after on the Kansas frontier.  Charles Luther Scates, who married the widow Alice James in 1867 in Ohio, went on to have have Luther Bertcell Scates (my 2nd great grandfather).  Luther traveled to Los Angeles with his wife Emma sometime before 1910, when he was first recorded on the 1910 census in Los Angeles County. Luther and Emma had several children including my great grandfather Charles Edward Scates.  

Charles and Luther Scates circa 1918.
Charles Edward Scates was born in 1893 in Kansas and by the age of 17 was living in California.  Charles, who by all accounts was a kind and generous man went on to have 7 wonderful daughters of which my grandmother Evelyn was one of them.  After the Selection Service Act of 1917, Charles at the age of 24 entered the WWI Draft:

WWI Draft of Charles (Front)

WWI Draft Card of Charles (Back)

Again, his service would be called upon for WWII and once again he entered the draft like many other able bodied men at the age of 49. 

WWII Draft card of Charles Edward Scates (Front)

WWII Draft card for Charles Edward Scates (back)...I especially like the term 'stout' for his description. 
So from Gawin Gilmore in the highlands of Scotland to William Gilmore an Irish immigrant fighting in the Revolutionary War to Charles entering the Union Army in the civil war to my great grandfather Charles entering the draft for both WWI and WWII; I am amazed at this line of incredible people. I think the only downside to working on ancestry is the inability to speak to the ancestors.  I want to find out about what life was like for Margaret Gilmore during the Revolutionary War era and speak with Elizabeth Betsy Cowden about her time in New England during the Civil War era.  What was it like for them, personally, during these difficult periods in American history? I may never know the answers and can only hope that someday we'll all be able to sit down and share stories with one another in the great beyond.

Charles and Velma Scates, Sept 1961

I enjoyed working on this line not only because of the Gilmore connection (and I am really going to use the "I'm a Gilmore Girl" phrase as often as possible) but because it allowed me to glimpse into the lives of my amazing relatives.  These were some strong folks to leave homelands, make oceanic voyages more than once, to settle the frontier, live through countless American wars, as well as journeying westward and back again. I am often humbled by their perseverance and endurance, and I am very proud to call them my ancestors. 

Thanks a bunch for reading! 
'I'm a Gilmore Girl' 
-Nellie Hull-


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