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Michael Ratliff Lutz (#47625801)
 member for 3 years, 7 months, 22 days
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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


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Messages left for Michael Ratliff... (148)[Leave Message]
Kenneth Bednar
RE: Christopher Bentley
I found out that they do not allow scanned obituaries due to copyright issues.

I will be contacting the Decatur Herald seeking permissin for scnnig photos they have in the January - February 1940 hardbound newspapers I own. Once I have their permission I will at least be able to post any photos that I can match to find a grave.

Sorry, I thought it would be nice to post the obituaries.

Ken Bednar
Added by Kenneth Bednar on May 20, 2015 7:51 PM
RE: Newmansville Cemetery Photo Request
I'm hoping to return there later this summer and remove some of the dirt off of some of the partially buried stones. Also want to bring some equipment and clear around the stones on the North East corner that are covered by branches and weeds. Also am going to contact county to see who is responsible for the cemetery as it is still active with a fresh grave there.
Added by CPOBacon on Apr 23, 2015 10:26 PM
RE: Newmansville Cemetery Photo Request
I hope to make another visit and try and uncover some of those I was unable to so still may find it.
Added by CPOBacon on Apr 23, 2015 9:54 AM
Newmansville Cemetery Photo Request
I spent the afternoon today out at the Newmansville Cemetery. Sorry I wasn't able to find your request. There are many markers that have been damaged and worn beyond recognition and some that are partially buried which leads me to believe there are many buried there. I spoke with the lady that runs the bait shop there, the only business and one of only a handful of residents there. Once upon a time that was a thriving community, but as many of our rural towns have done, there isn't much of it left anymore. I wish I could have been of more help to you as I know how important it is to some of us researching our roots. Darrel
Added by CPOBacon on Apr 22, 2015 10:12 PM
RE: Henry Percy Jaques
By the way -- fascinating bio! I actually have Rutledge in my ancestry -- 3rd great grandfather was Joseph Rutledge (1814 South Carolina - 1910 Alabama)... Wonder if there's a relation.
Added by DanM on Apr 22, 2015 6:51 PM
RE: Henry Percy Jaques
Very welcome!
Added by DanM on Apr 22, 2015 6:44 PM
Tom Glowacki
RE: Alma Gage
Glad to be of help.
Added by Tom Glowacki on Apr 14, 2015 11:44 PM
Scott McKinzie
RE: Walter Burlingame

I just added a photo of Chapel of the Chimes.

Added by Scott McKinzie on Apr 09, 2015 2:27 PM
Diane LM
RE: Walter Angell Burlingame
If there are any others you would like, just let me know. I am not a relative
Added by Diane LM on Apr 06, 2015 6:56 AM
Scott McKinzie
RE: Walter Burlingame
You are very welcome!

By the way, Chapel of the Chimes is a beautiful landmark in Oakland. If you aren't familiar with the structure, I encourage you to look it up. The architect was the incomparable Julia Morgan, a legendary figure here in the Bay Area, and best known for having designed Hearst Castle.

Added by Scott McKinzie on Apr 03, 2015 11:00 PM
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