The Carnival of Genealogy goes wine tasting

Just went to the local wine and cheese bar in town. While discussing the merits of one particular Zinfandel with the proprietor, we began to speak about the art and task of writing. He let slip the word “genealogy” and I buttonholed him later to ask him if he had a family war story for the Carnival of Genealogy. I hope he sends it to me in email tomorrow. This will be an honorary blog entry inspired by “a quality floozy of a Zinfandel wine” and a tale of an ancestor in Civil War times. If so, this post shall be updated with great details. Civil War stories. Peppery California Zinfandels. Who knew?

Here is a brief synopsis about Tom Dugan’s ancestor, Peter Whelan. He wrote this email—from memory; he wasn’t where he could access his notes— telling me about Peter Whelan’s involvement in the Civil War.

Peter Whelan was born about 1842 in Co Leitrim, Ireland.  He arrived in the US with his parents in about 1852.  He grew up in Warwick, RI.  In 1862 (around 20 years old), he enlisted in the Army at Providence, RI.  He fought in multiple battles in Maryland and Virginia during the next two years.  In one of those battles, he was shot in the head.  He survived and was eventually transported to a hospital in West Philadelphia, PA.  He lost the use of one eye from the bullet would and full functionality on his left side. One of his nurses, Marcella (last name unknown) was assigned to him and he considered her most responsible for nursing him back to full health. 
Around 1869, Peter married Agnes Devlin in Warwick, RI.  Their first daughter was named Isabella Marcella to honor the nurse.  Peter, as most Irish immigrants in the area, worked in Cotton mills the rest of his life in Warwick, Natick and Providence, RI.  He died in Providence in the early 1920s.


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Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on September 14, 2007 in • Genealogy
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