Saturday, October 16, 2010

Civil War Veterans at Mt. Vernon

In September of 2010, I visited an Aunt and Cousin in Seattle.  We spent some time reviewing information we had on our family and I was able to add new information into my Legacy database on my Allen line.

My Aunt is by marriage and I had not seen the family history information she had on her family before.  She has items that will make a genealogist dance...several volumes of books containing hand-written genealogies and a family bible!  This bible was her Great-Grandfather's (Thomas Marion Rabon) that he carried with him during the Civil War.  It is stained, worn and starting to come apart.  At some point in time, someone took plastic and used straight pens to attach to the outside covers of the book.  I believe they thought they would be protecting the cover, but we all know the damage plastic can cause.  Still, the bible itself is beautiful.

Once I returned home I began searching for the Rabons on  This is one of the family lines we all love to have.  There has been much research done and family trees put online.  I always love to get all these clues to help give direction to my research.  One of the family trees looked especially promising and included photos, although the tree was private.  I sent an email stating my interest in the family and within 24 hours the photos and documentation started flooding my inbox.  I "introduced" my Seattle Aunt and Cousin to their new Texas Cousin, Carol.  It was very exciting for everyone, sharing information and photos!

This picture, in particular, caught my Seattle Cousin's eye.  Yes, that is Mt. Vernon in the background, the photo title states this photo was taken during a Civil War reunion. We have been able to identify Thomas Rabon, he is near the center of the photo, 3 rows back and is holding up his hat.

Thomas Rabon Civil War Reunion at Mt. Vernon

This photo by itself is pretty awesome, but it gets better.  My Seattle Cousin started searching online for "civil war reunions at Mt. Vernon", eventually finding this video created by Maureen Taylor, the Photo Detective.  This video contains a very similar photo and gives the details as to why a Civil War reunion would have been held at Mt. Vernon.  Please watch it, it is very interesting.

What an incredible find and what an incredible connection made.  The genealogy world really is a small place, we just need to take advantage of that fact.

Photo courtesy Carol Castro
Video from the Photo Detective


  1. Awesome finds, Jenna. Congratulations!

  2. This was pure luck Elizabeth! I emailed the right person the first time!! :)

  3. What a nice story, and the video by Maureen Taylor was an added bonus. So glad you shared this.

  4. Marvelous post Jenna!Congrats on all of the fun!

  5. What a great story! And thanks so much for including the video - it was so interesting. I've learned more history studying genealogy than I ever did in school :-)

  6. Great story and the video capped it off.

  7. Did you know that, during the Civil War, a number of soldiers visited Mt. Vernon and scratched their names or other identification into the wall at the tomb of George Washington? I took photos of the names, but they are not very clear. Perhaps I should blog about them.
    Jean Hibben

  8. Jean, I've never heard that before, that's pretty interesting. Please do blog about it, I'd love to see the photos!!