Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Ireland 2017!

Hi everyone!

It's been a while since I've posted, I know. I've been working on a brick wall in another branch of my family (which I think I've solved, BTW).  The South Carolina trip never materialized, BUT I've planned a new adventure that will definitely happen, barring an act of God...

I'm going to County Donegal, Ireland in September to vacation and hopefully meet some Irish Baskins! I'm planning to bring a couple of DNA kits with me to hopefully prove the Donegal/Baskin connection that way. My uncle has done a Y-DNA test for me - we're waiting for those results to come in - so we'll have a Baskin Y-chromosome to compare with anyone I can convince to test over there. He and I have also both done the Ancestry autosomal test, so we'll have that to compare with also.

While I'm planning the trip, I'm trying to locate cemeteries I can search and contacting Baskin families in the area ahead of time so that I'm not just some crazy American asking for DNA when I get there! I will, for sure, visit Baskin's Cafe in Dunkineely and have their famous fish & chips. I'll post pics when I have them.

This is kind of the "Hail Mary" of genealogy, I realize, but I need a vacation and I've never been to Ireland. Wish me luck!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Road Trip Update

Well, unfortunately it looks like the trip to Abbeville has to be postponed for now, folks.  My sister is getting married this summer and living relatives take precedence over dead ones! I'll keep you posted on the new plan as soon as I have one!

In the meantime, research continues! I'm now looking into the Baskin family's slaves and trying to see if we can make a connection with the African American Baskin families out there.  I also hope to get some DNA testing done soon, assuming I have the money for it.  Please let me know if any of you have information that can help with the slave research and/or would be interested in doing a DNA test.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Calling All Descendants of Capt. William Baskin of South Carolina!!


     Do you remember seeing these? Perhaps in a previous blog post, perhaps in my book?  Well, the group responsible for these photos and what they contain is the Kettle Creek Battlefield Association and their Director, James Larry Wilson.  Today I received an email from Larry that I wanted to tell you all about.
     The association is in the process of purchasing battlefield land to create a memorial park, and they are asking us, the descendants of these original patriots to help by raising funds and potentially sponsoring a sign to be placed in the park.  So far they have purchased 75 acres.  To learn more about the battlefield organization and their efforts or to make a donation, you can visit the website here.  I don't know how much it would cost to sponsor a sign yet, but I've asked Larry to give me a figure.  To begin with, I think a goal of $2500 is completely realistic.  After all, we only need 100 people to donate $25, or 50 people to donate $50 to reach this goal.  We all know that the Baskin family has been very prolific since the Revolution.  Surely we can get together to make this happen in honor of a man and his neighbors who fought for our freedom over 200 years ago! I know times are tough, but this is not a lot of money when it's spread among us all.  I propose (unless I hear different from Larry) that we get on the website and make whatever donation we can afford - or maybe more than one if you need to spread it out - and make a note that this is from the Descendants of Capt. William Baskin on your donation form.  To make it a little better, I'll even throw in a free copy of my book for anyone who donates $100 or more - just let me know and I'll get it sent to you!

So let's do it, Baskins!! Let's show our pride in our ancestor's service and preserve his memory on the battlefield!!!

If you'd like to learn a little more about the battles around Kettle Creek, click here.  If you have any questions, shoot me an email.

**NOTE 1/20/14:  If you'd like to donate, please contact me first.  We need to gather our donations together and submit them as one to help the KCBA to keep track of where the donation will be applied. AW

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Planning a genealogy adventure

Darlington to Columbia to Abbeville: http://goo.gl/maps/kgPbN

     OK, Baskin family, I'm planning something super fun! My friend is moving back to South Carolina this month, and I'm planning to go visit her in the Spring (I think).  Since I'll already be out that way, I've convinced her to join me in a little genealogy road tripping to the State Archives in Columbia (where I know there is a ton of material waiting for me) and then on to Abbeville to search for the places good old Capt. William Baskin and his family roamed and lived and fought.  Maybe I'll even find some cool graves...

   Anyway, wanted to let you all know that although I'm focusing more on other branches of the family now and doing work for my client, I'm still always on the lookout for any good Baskin info.  Of course I'll share it all here with you as soon as I can!

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Buy The Book!!

If you're still reading this blog, thanks!! I published this information and more for a family reunion this year.  If you'd like a copy, it is available for purchase at:

If I have a chance and I come across some amazing, new Baskin information, I'll post it here, too!!  Thanks for reading!!


Monday, April 11, 2011

Baskins and the Civil War

I know I promised my next post would be on Adolphus McDuffie Baskin, but the plan has changed a bit. In honor of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Ancestry.com has made many new records available for review, and I've taken advantage. Since tomorrow, April 12th, is the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, I wanted to share some of these stories with you all. I've chosen a few individuals who I've identified pretty well as close relatives who would have surely known one another. Each soldier's story impacted the others and the family as a whole, I'm sure. Hopefully this inspires us all to at least think about that terrible war and what it did to and for our country...

(All stories based on the Compiled Confederate Service Records found at Ancestry.com/Footnote.com, Confederate Pension Records found at Ancestry.com/Footnote.com, and Confederate Pension Application obtained from the Texas State Archives by mail, as well as my own research into our family history.)

Moses H. Baskin

Moses H. Baskin was the son of John Alexander Baskin and Sarah Noble. He enlisted in Greene County, AL as a private of Company C, 11th Alabama Infantry, C.S.A. on June 11, 1861 for the duration of the war. He appears on the company muster roll from June 11-20, 1861 and July and August 1861. The muster roll for September and October 1861 says that he was last paid on Aug. 31, 1861 and was furloughed on 6th September for 6 weeks. He had been absent without leave since October 20th. Though he returned late from furlough, he did return. We know this because he next appears on a report of casualties in Anderson's Division in the engagements before Frederickburg, VA, Dec. 11-15, 1862. "Remarks: wounded since dead."
I haven't been able to find a regimental history for the 11th Alabama Infantry yet, but they were far from home in a cold winter in Virginia when Moses was killed. Frederickburg was a Confederate victory.

George Peter Keys Baskin

George P. K. Baskin was a 1st cousin once removed of Moses H. Baskin. His father, William Leroy Baskin, was the son of William Cander Baskin who was John Alexander Baskin's brother. Though his family lived in Mississippi, George enlisted at Opelousas, LA as a private in Company F, 8th Regiment Louisiana Infantry C.S.A. on March 22, 1862 for the duration of the war. He appears on the muster roll on April 30, 1862, Aug. 31, 1862, September and October 1862, November and December 1862, January and February 1863, and Feb. 28 to March 14, 1862. He was paid each time roll was taken. The rolls for May 14 - Aug. 11, 1863 list him absent - detached on General Ewell's Guard. He served in General Ewell's Guard from Jun 6, 1863 to his return to his company on Nov. 19, 1863, according to the muster roll taken in December 1863. The next roll on which he appears was taken a year later and tells us that George was killed on May 10, 1864. Remarks on his service record say that he was a student from Mississippi, age 19 when he enlisted, and was "A general favorite of all who knew him. A good and willing soldier."
George was listed as "absent - sick" for engagements occurring May 25 - July 1, 1862. He was present at Slaughter Mountain on Aug. 9, 1862, Bristoe Station on Aug. 27, 1862, and 2nd Manassas on Aug. 29-30, 1862. He was wounded at Chantilly on Sept. 1, 1862, so he missed the battle at Harper's Ferry on Sept. 15. He was "absent - on detail or duty by order" during the battle of Sharpsburg on Sept. 17, 1862, but he was present at 1st Fredericksburg on Dec. 13, 1862 (where Moses died) and 2nd Fredericksburg on May 4, 1862. At 2nd Winchester on June 14, 1863, George was present, but then he went to serve with General Ewell's Guard for 6 months. I assume that wherever General Ewell was, George was fighting. When he returned to his company, it wasn't for long. He was killed at Spottsylvania Court House on May 10, 1864. One of his pay receipt from May to August 1863 says he was paid $44.00 for his service, or $11.00/month.

William Cander Baskin

William Cander Baskin was also a 1st cousin once removed to Moses H. Baskin and a 1st cousin to George P.K. Baskin. William C. Baskin's father was George Pringle Baskin, whose father was William Cander Baskin, brother of John Alexander Baskin.
William C., or W. C., Baskin (he is referred to both ways in the service records) served throughout the war as well. He enlisted at Columbus, MS on Nov. 14, 1861 at the age of 22. He began as a private in Company A, 4th Battalion, Mississippi Cavalry. He brought with him his own horse and tack valued at $255 total when he enlisted. Company A, 4th Battalion Mississippi Cavalry subsequently became Company C, 8th (Wade's) Confederate Cavalry after the Battle of Shiloh in April 1862 under Major General W. T. Martin. W.C. Baskin rose from private to Captain at some point and was then recommended by Gen. Martin for promotion to 2nd Lieutenant in December 1862. He was then assigned to duty as Ordnance Officer of Martin's Brigade in November 1863. His service record contains many requisitions for not only ordnance, but horses and feed for the horses. He was relieved of his service as Ordnance Officer in July 1864. I'm not sure if he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant as it seems there was no vacancy for him to be promoted, and records for the surrender show him as both Captain and 2nd Lieutenant Jr. in Martin's Escort. Regardless, he appears on the list of those surrendered and paroled at Columbus, MS on May 19, 1865, more than a month after Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House and Lincoln's assassination.

J.A. Baskin

I cannot be certain that this soldier is who I think he is, but here is his story anyway. I believe, based on location and census records, that J.A. Baskin is John Alexander Baskin, Jr. - brother of Moses H. and William Orren Baskin. There are, however, several other Baskins with the same initials, so this could be one of them. I was unable to find a pension record which may have solved this mystery, and I will keep looking. Regardless, he is likely related to us somehow!
J.A. Baskin enlisted in Company B, 27th Louisiana Infantry as a Corporal at New Orleans on March 25, 1862. I assume he entered at a higher rank either because he was older (he was about 39), had previous war experience, or brought with him supplies, money and/or men; but I don't know for sure. He was promoted from 2nd Corporal to 5th Sergeant to fill a vacancy on Sept. 8, 1862. He next appears on a Roll of Prisoners of War paroled at Vicksburg on July 4, 1863. At that time, his rank was 2nd Lieutenant Jr. It appears that wither the siege of Vicksburg was enough war for J.A. Baskin, or he took the document he signed upon his parole very seriously, because we have no further record of him during the war.

G.R. Baskin
This is another possibly incorrect assumption on my part. I suspect that this man is George Reid Baskin, brother to John A., Jr. and Moses H., again based on census records and the fact that he and J.A. Baskin served in the same company. I could be wrong.
According to G.R. Baskin's service record, he enlisted as a private in Company B, 27th Louisiana Infantry on March 25, 1862 at New Orleans - same as J.A. He, too, was at the siege of Vicksburg and was paroled on July 4, 1863. His parole document was witnessed by "J.A. Baskin Jr. (or Lt.?)", which also leads me to believe the two were related and, indeed, are who I think they are. As with J.A., the war service record for G.R. ends here.

Moses H., John Alexander, Jr., and George Reid Baskin were all younger brothers to William Orren Baskin, as were Thomas Stuart and Adolphus McDuffie. These younger brothers, where they had children, had children too young to serve in the Civil War. William Orren, however, had a couple of sons who came of age during the war and subsequently joined the fight. Here are their stories:

J.J. Baskin

J.J., or John J., Baskin was born in 1843 in Alabama, but his family lived in Louisiana by 1860 and he with them. Be that as it may, he enlisted as a private in Company B, 36th Alabama Infantry, C.S.A. His service record is sparse. He appears on a receipt roll for "commutation of rations" and was paid on Dec. 24, 1862. He also appears on a receipt roll for clothing, issued on April 14, 1864. He next appears on a Roll of Prisoners of War at Meridian, MS on May 12, 1865 - the end of the war. That's all that his service record reveals.
His pension application is more informative. One Oct. 9, 1913 in Knox County, TX, John J. Baskin filed Form A - For Use of Soldiers Who Are In Indigent Circumstances. This form, which he completed himself, says that he does not make more than $300/year and his property exclusive of his home does not value more than $1000. He says he is 71 years old, born in Greene County, AL, and has lived in Texas for 30 years. He enlisted March 1862 and was discharged in the spring of 1865, serving the entire time in Company B, 36th Alabama Infantry. Witnesses who attest to his identity and service under oath are his brother, G.B. Baskin, and a G.O. Baskin, but that wasn't enough. They needed an affidavit from someone who served with him, and that's where this next comes from. Mr. M.C. Hutton says, in fact, that they served together until about 3 months before the end of the war when, during fighting in Tennessee, J.J. was wounded by a minnie-ball in the top of the head as he stood beside his friend. J.J. Baskin was sent to the hospital and Mr. Hutton does not remember if he was able to return to service before the war ended.
I can't tell if all of this got J.J. the financial help he needed, but included in the file is an Application for Mortuary Warrant. It seems old J.J. died on Sept. 14, 1933 in his home of heart disease, and his son, W.B. Baskin, applied for help with the funeral expenses.

G.B. Baskin

G.B., or George Baxter, Baskin will get a bigger biography later as he is my Great great grandfather, some of William Orren Baskin. His service record is very short as he only served one year - the last one. Why? I can't imagine, but he served under his 2nd cousin, W.C. Baskin. G.B. was 4th Corporal in Martin's Escort, C.S.A. from 1864-1865. His service record only tells us that he was surrendered and paroled at Citronelle, AL in May 1865.
His Soldier's Application for Confederate Pension is slightly more informative. It is dated 21 November 1925, and at that time he said he was 79 years old and in poor health. He said he served in an escort Company under Capt. W.C. Baskin in the Cavalry. His brother, J.J. Baskin, signed an affidavit confirming his service and identity, as did a lady living in California then, a Mary J. Mecklin. The War Department, however, could not find record of G.B.'s service (I suspect because they were looking at the 3rd Alabama Cavalry rather than the 8th!). His pension application was approved anyway.

Of course, these are just some of the Baskin soldiers on both sides of the Civil War. It seems that most of our close relatives were Confederates, which is understandable when you consider that most of them were also slave owners. The story that isn't told here is that of the women and children and old folks left at home. Remember, they were Southerners and the war was fought in and around their homes. In this way, they were as much a part of the war as the enlisted men were. Then there are the men who chose not to enlist. Why didn't they choose to fight? I wish we had some diaries or letters to give us at least some hints at what all went on during this tumultuous time in our nation's history!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

William Orren Baskin

IV. William Orren Baskin (born Nov. 2, 1811 in Abbeville, SC, died Feb. 6, 1891 in Falls, TX) married Mary Ann Mitchell (born Sep. 25, 1825 in Franklin Parish, LA, died Dec. 18, 1907 in Franklin Parish, LA) on Feb 14, 1842 in Franklin Parish, LA.

1. John J. Baskin (born Feb 5, 1843 in Alabama, died in Munday, TX) married
Emily Cathern Henderson.

2. William Orren Baskin, Jr. (born Sep. 29, 1844, died Apr. 10, 1918 in LA)
married Sallie L. Dunham in 1865, then Annie M. Mecklin in 1885, then Rosa Baskin (his cousin) on Feb. 10, 1895 - all in Franklin Parish, LA.

3. George Baxter Baskin (born May 29, 1845 in Alabama, died Jan. 20, 1931 in
Democrat, TX) married Rose Ella Barnes Henderson (born Aug. 20, 1852 in
MS, died Jan 13, 1940 in Mullins, TX) on Jan. 7, 1873 in Franklin Parish, LA.

4. Sarah Baskin (born 1848) married Oliver (Nathan) Balph (died Feb. 5,


William Orren Baskin was born on Nov. 2, 1811, according to his headstone (which I recently found!). This contradicts my previous belief, which was based on the work of Raymond Martin Bell in 1963. This new birth date is also supported by the 1850 US Census which was dated 20 Nov. 1850 and lists his age as 39 years, as well as the 1860 US Census, dated 29 June 1860, which lists his age as 48 years. Clearly the November birth date is most likely. This finding also changes my assumptions of his parents, John and Sarah, and why they may have been married. Although these two certainly wasted no time between their wedding in January 1811 and the conception of their first born, Sarah could not have been pregnant when the couple got married.
(Just thought I should clear that up...more to come later.)
So, as we've learned, William Orren Baskin was born Nov. 2, 1811, first child of John Alexander Baskin and Sarah Noble Baskin. His parents gave him lots of siblings, and his first 24 years were lived in Abbeville County, SC. By this time the Baskins had a long history in that area, and though their grandfather died in 1804, you can bet William Orren and his siblings grew up with stories of his namesake, Capt. William Baskin, the old war horse.
In what seems to have become almost a family tradition though, the family packed up and moved to Alabama in 1835. The move seems to have served the family well. On Valentine's Day 1842 William Orren married Mary Ann Mitchell, and they soon started a family of their own. First came John J. (born Feb. 5, 1843), then William Orren, Jr. (born Sep. 29, 1844), then George Baxter (born May 29, 1845), and finally a girl, Sarah (born 1848). Yes, it was a small family for the Baskins, but there were cousins nearby. The 1850 US Census shows this little family prospering with William Orren, Sr. listed as a planter with real estate valued at $2000 and 6 slaves who, judging by their ages, may have been a young family themselves, though we may never know that for sure. What we do know is that there was lots of family in the area in the 1850s. A directory of Greene County, AL from 1855-56 shows John A., Sr., a planter, John A., Jr., a merchant, T.S. (Thomas Stuart), a druggist, Moses H., a planter, G.R. (George Reid/Reed), "California" (still no clue what this means!), and, of course, W.O. (William Orren), a planter. By 1860, planter William Orren Baskin had improved his lot further according to that year's census. His real estate is valued at $3600, his personal estate at $14990, which included 14 slaves by this time. The 1860 US Census also tells us that three of William's brothers, John A., Jr., Thomas Stuart and Adolphus McDuffie, and his son, George Baxter, have moved to Franklin Parish, LA. So, on the eve of the Civil War, the family is separated by a great distance. As it will later become clear, however, they kept in touch.
William Orren, Sr. was, perhaps, too old to join the army on either side when the Civil War began, but his sons and nephews were not. With so many planters and slave owners in the family, and so many rambunctious young men, it is no surprise they fought for the Confederacy. What is interesting is that they did not all fight for a company from the state in which they were living when the war broke out. Some of those boys who had moved from Alabama to Louisiana, for example, returned to Alabama to fight in a regiment led by their second cousin! This underscores the family connection that must have existed among different branches of this large family tree. That, sadly, is the only bright side of the Civil War for the Baskins. William Orren, Sr. lost his brother, Moses, in action at Fredericksburg in 1862, several cousins were taken prisoner at Vicksburg in 1863, and when the war finally ended the Southern economy had collapsed. By 1870 the US Census shows that old William Orren and Mary Ann Baskin had joined their family in Louisiana, but the value of their real estate was one $300, their personal estate $100. It is the same for the rest of the family too, but they stuck together, presumably to help each other. Next door to William and Mary in 1870 live all of their adult sons and one grandchild, born the year before. The boys are all listed as farmers living on what appears to be William Orren, Jr.'s land. Interestingly, just a few doors down from them lived another Baskin family, a black Baskin family. Since 1870 is the first year that most Southern black families were listed by name in the census, it may be impossible to know if these Baskins are our kin, our ancestors' former slaves, or both; but they aren't doing much worse that William Orren and his boys financially in 1870.
It is no surprise then that a couple of William and Mary's sons moved on in search of opportunity, I presume, in the 1880s. Perhaps William Orren, Sr. was visiting one or both of the boys in Texas in 1891 when he died, I don't know. All I do know is that he was buried at Carolina Cemetery in Falls County, TX. According to his tombstone, he died on Feb. 6, 1891. Mary Ann, his wife, seems to have stayed in Louisiana because she died there in 1907.

NOTE: My next post will veer off of my/our direct line a bit to tell you about one of
William Orren's brothers, about whom I have some interesting information.
Also, if you read the comments posted on the entry about John Alexander
Baskin, you noticed we've found a new relative! Our next entry will address
one of her ancestors, Adolphus McDuffie Baskin, MD. Welcome to the family,