Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Discussion Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Michael Ratliff Lutz (#47625801)
 member for 3 years, 2 months, 18 days
[Add to MyFriends]
Bio and Links
My mother Nina Mardel Ratliff Lutz (1909-1985) was the family historian and left me with the family bible and most of the family documents. It wasn't until after her death that I began researching our family history and discovered that most of what I thought was family folklore was actually family history. With only a couple of exceptions, all of the memorials under my care are members of my family.

The marriage of my mother, Nina Mardel Ratliff and father, Richard George Lutz created a bit of historical irony as well as me. My mother's great great grandfather was Judge Bowling Greene(1786-1742), friend and mentor to Abraham Lincoln during his days in New Salem, Illinois. He loaned Mr. Lincoln many of the books he used to study law. He and his wife Nancy Potter Green(1793-1867) also took Mr. Lincoln into their home when he was despondent after the death of his first love, Ann Rutledge(1813-1835). In 1842, Mr. Lincoln delivered the eulogy at Judge Greene's funeral and stayed with the family a while before and after the funeral.

My great great great uncle, John Jack Armstrong(1803-1857) was famous for his wrestling match with Mr. Lincoln. Jack lost but he became a lifelong friend of Mr. Lincoln. Jack was Bowling's half-brother. Their mother, Nancy Greene Armstrong(1768-1856) was the matriarch of a family who were among Mr. Lincoln's closest friends during his life in New Salem, Illinois.

Jack Armstrong's wife Hannah Jones Armstrong (1810-1890), my third great aunt, lined Abe's pants legs with buckskin to protect his legs from brambles when he worked as a surveyor. A process called "Foxing". Hannah was known for asking her friend Abraham Lincoln to defend her son Duff in the famous "Almanac Trial". Duff was acquitted. She later visited with Mr. Lincoln in the Whitehouse to secure a discharge for her son, William "Duff" Armstrong(1833-1899) who was in a Union Army hospital. Mr. Lincoln wrote out Duff's discharge as he discussed old times with Hannah. It is the only case of a military discharge having been personally written by a U.S. President.

Mr. Lincoln also interceded in the enlistment of another cousin, Pvt Edward Potter(1845-1927)

My great, great grandfather, Eli W. Benway (1827-1897) was wounded twice and enlisted twice during the Civil War. He was a blacksmith who holds patents for some of his inovations.

My great granduncle William Graham Greene Benway (1886-1961) was an early inventor of hearing aid glasses.

On March 22, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln appointed my great granduncle, Congressman Anson Burlingame as our second Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Qing Empire (China). The city of Burlingame, California was named after Anson Burlingame.

There were Revolutionary War heroes like my 5th great grandfather Colonel Israel Angell (1740-1832), the commander of Rhode Island's second regiment, who received gold medals from General George Washington and the Marquis de La Fayette. The gold medal presented to Col. Angell by Lafayette was donated to the Rhode Island Historical Society museum collection in 1938 and my 4th great granduncle Jervis Green(1750-1782), who served under Colonel Daniel Boone at the Battle of Blue Licks, Kentucky.

Another cousin, Catharine Caty Littlefield (1755-1814) was the wife of
Major General Nathanael Greene (1742-1786).

Capt. Stephen Olney (1755-1832) and his company took the first redoubt gun enplacement at the battle of Yorktown.

Col Christopher Greene (1737-1781) commanded the 1st Rhode Island regiment made up of free men of African origin, and slaves who were promised their freedom in return for their service.

There were even well known authors like Lillian Angeline Hinman Shuey Bailey. Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910), a cousin, wrote The Battle Hymn of The Republic.

Theologian Roger Williams (1602-1683, founder of Providence Plantation and the state of Rhode Island is my ninth great-grandfather.

My ninth great grandmother, Mary Morrill Folger (1620-1703) is mentioned by name in Chapter 24 of Herman Melville's "Moby Dick". Melville mentions that she was the grandmother of Benjamin Franklin when justifying the morality of whaling as a profession on Nantucket Island. The DAR chapter on Nantucket Island is named after her daughter Abiah Folger (1667-1752) who was the mother Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), my first cousin.

Cousins Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)from Pennsylvania, Gov. Stephen Hopkins(1707-1785) from Rhode Island, William Whipple (1730-1785) and Josiah Bartlett (1729-1795)from New Hampshire, signed the Declaration of Independence


 Contact: Leave Public Message
Contributions to
Find A Grave
 • 100 Memorials Added
 • 357 Memorials Managed
 • 1 Memorial/week
 • 159 Photos
 • 82 Photo Requests
 • 2 Volunteer Photos Taken
 • 1,848 Virtual Flowers
 • 15 Virtual Cemeteries
 • 2 Famous Bios
 • 3 Fame Ratings
 • 2 Sponsorships
 • 2 Friends
Search Contributor's Records

First NameLast Name

Virtual Cemeteries
Colonial Governors (16)
Declaration of Independen... (4)
Diplomats (2)
Friends of Abraham Lincol... (18)
Friends of George Washing... (8)
Friends of Rev. Roger Wil... (7)
Gaspee Affair Ancestors (5)
Immigrant Ancestors (45)
Members of Congress (6)
Prison Ship Martyrs' (7)
[View all Virtual Cemeteries...]
Find A Grave Friends
B.J. Nelson, Tyler L.
Messages left for Michael Ratliff... (135)[Leave Message]
Elana Kahn
RE: Edward Burlingame
No problem! Happy holidays.
Added by Elana Kahn on Dec 21, 2014 11:34 AM
.. in my previous please read "I have the silver porringer that belonged to Catharine Littlefield Greene Miller's AUNT (who raised her)... and was a gift to Catharine Ray (the aunt) and Gov. William Greene of Rhode Island on the occasion of their marriage".
Added by Preservationist on Nov 29, 2014 7:01 PM
Catharine Greene Littlefield Miller
Dear Mr. Lutz,

I've only just found your posting of the grave of Catharine Ray (Greene) Littlefield Miller.

Her aunt and namesake (Catharine -née Ray- Greene) wife of William Greene, Governor of Rhode Island is my own 5th Great Grandmother maternally.

Indeed Catharine Littlefield and Nathanael Greene were married in the "Blue Parlor" at the house, built in 1680 in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. Said house has been in the family since its building and is now owned by my fourth cousins once removed (John Kessler).

I'm writing simply to connect with you and find out if any photos survive of Mulberry Plantation or the Plantation on Cumberland Island built after Phineas Miller died. I have the porringer that belonged to Catharine Littlefield Greene Miller's mother (given her by Dr. Franklin) at the time of her marriage to Gov. William Greene of Rhode Island. It would be interesting to see just how we're related.

my email address is

Best, Richard B. Hall
Added by Preservationist on Nov 29, 2014 6:58 PM
History Buff
Sally Bartlett Merry
Thanks for Eunice's stone # I found Asa Merry's Stone # 81756985 1770-1837 but I can not locate his wife Sally Bartlett Merry - I am doing one generation at a time locating their stones - I really appreciate your help -
Added by History Buff on Nov 09, 2014 12:36 PM
Carol Moore
Anson Burlingame
I was pleased to find your reference to Betsy Ludlow Holmes Burlingame Sherman this morning. I've been working on the history of this family for decades and work with other descendants all over the country. My third great grandmother Deborah Holmes Sage was the half sister of Betsy Ludlow Holmes. I recently received pictures of the Holmes siblings that are archived in the New York State Library at Albany which I added to the one I had of Deborah in her last years that was passed down from her daughter Jane Sage Mathewson, my second great grandmother. If you are a close enought connection to be interested in our work, you may contact me at
Carol Mathewson Moore
Added by Carol Moore on Nov 09, 2014 9:21 AM
History Buff
David Merry 1741 - 1790
Do you know if there is a stone for his wife Sally Bartlett Merry?
Added by History Buff on Nov 08, 2014 4:38 PM
Armstrong cousins

I would love to get in touch with you regarding our shared Armstrong cousins. I am also a 1st cousin, 4x removed of William Duff Armstrong. You can find my email address under my profile here.
Added by StacyC27 on Oct 27, 2014 1:02 AM
Willaim Field
I was looking at William's and Waite's memorials, turns out I don't think they are in my Field family line, and noticed that only one child is linked to William. A very good headstone picture is on the memorial which lists other children and I saw that memorials had been done for them. You might be interested in linking them.
Added by DKMac on Oct 01, 2014 6:44 AM
Tyler L.
RE: Mary Maria Monti Benway
Hi Michael,

I just want to let you know I have not forgotten about getting a new picture for Mary Benway #36749326. I do not save most of my pictures so when the memorial was merged my picture was lost. I haven't been up that way since, but before the end of the year I will.

Added by Tyler L. on Sep 26, 2014 7:51 PM
Ralph Davis
RE: Oliver Abell
Your very welcome, have a good one
Added by Ralph Davis on Sep 13, 2014 8:45 PM
[View all messages...]

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service