Civil War - Civil Union:
Civil War-Civil Union
Chapter 1: 1842-1862
Chapter 2: 1862-1863
Chapter 3: 1863-1882 Chapter 4: 1883-1912
Chapter 5: 1912-on
Descendancy Chart (to come)
For Questions or
The basics of the story are now documented, but are certainly not complete. There are several sources that still need to be reviewed to more fully fill out the tale. Most notable are land records from Will and Black Hawk Counties. These records would show where the Elderkins owned land after they emigrated from Canada in 1841. Furthermore, given that David Troop Elderkin’s parents died without a will, it is likely that land records would provide otherwise unavailable genealogical clues to information about other family members that I know little about. And in Black Hawk County, it is clear that David and Mary used real estate to supplement their income. Land records would show to what extent that they used this tool.
After reading the 100 plus pages of David Troop Elderkin’s Civil War pension file, I also wonder what his ailments really were. Did the noise on the battlefield further degrade his hearing? And what about the constant ringing in his ears and the deterioration of his mind and memory? Did he suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder? I would be curious to hear a modern medical opinion. David’s lack of treatment after an apparently severe concussion on the battlefield could provide a clue. After being taken prisoner by the Confederates, he probably was given little water or food and was transported (or forced to march) over bumpy roads from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to prison in Richmond, Virginia. Perhaps such treatment following a concussion could result in longterm problems. Finally, I wonder if his hearing and his other problems could have been improved by modern medical technology, such as a hearing aid.
As my research reveals, however, the saga of David Troop Elderkin’s family more than anything else shows the fortitude and determination of Mary to hold the family together and ensure its survival. If I were to do more research, I would spend more time researching the Finity family. Mary’s parents were Irish immigrants, but that is all I know to date. What brought them to Monroe County, Illinois, and why did some members of the family further migrate to Will County? Where did Mary’s steely determination and perseverance, which she displayed repeatedly throughout her marriage to David, come from? There are many stones unturned here. Discovering what lies beneath them will be a fascinating journey for further study.