Thank you to all our veterans and their family members for their service and sacrifice to our country. And Happy Birthday to all our Marines!
I would like to let you, and especially our veterans and their family members, know about a meaningful opportunity to learn about your heritage. I recently met with the new Executive Director of the Columbia County Historical Society, Lisa Weilbacker and Board President Alexandra Anderson. They took me through their vision for reinvigorating CCHS and offering new opportunities and benefits for residents to learn about our local history.
One benefit that immediately interested me was a genealogical look into my past with an annual membership. I purchase an annual family membership so my daughters can visit the various locations. Lisa then put me in touch with their Research Librarian Jim Benton to review my family history, specifically looking at past military experience.
What Jim found was deeply meaningful for me and my family!
There were three men named Abrams from the town of Kinderhook listed as having served in the Civil War. They are Andrew, John Jr., and George. My great grandfather (x3) was George! George enlisted in the 91st Regiment, NYS Volunteer Infantry on August 30, 1864. The unit was stationed in Baltimore until the spring of 1865, when they moved first to the lines around Petersburg, Virginia, and later participated in the final act of the War, the Appomattox campaign. The unit also participated in the Grand Review of the Armies, which took place in Washington, D.C. in May of 1865. George was discharged June 3, 1865. None of the Abrams men from Kinderhook died in the Civil War.
I had no idea that my direct ancestors lived in Kinderhook! It’s amazing that my family ended up back here.
In addition, my great grandfather (x6), John Abrams, served in the 1st (Malcolm’s) Regiment, NYS Levies in the Revolutionary War. The Levies were militia members who were designated, unlike the great majority of militia, to serve outside the state. The first iteration of the regiment was raised in New York City and paid for by the commander, Col. William Malcolm. The Lieutenant Colonel of the Regiment was Aaron Burr. That regiment was technically known as Malcolm’s Additional Regiment. They served in the Battle of White Plains, the Battle of Long Island, and the attack on Trenton. It is more likely that, given the location of John in New Windsor, that he served in the second iteration of Malcolm’s regiment, known as the 1st Regiment of Levies. They were primarily active against Loyalists in the lower Hudson Valley, fighting what was a guerrilla-style civil war in small units. Significantly, there is only one John Abrams in the entire list of men who served in any capacity during the Revolutionary War from New York State.
This is all incredibly meaningful information for my family and especially for my father, who is an Army veteran. He did not know much about his ancestors.
And all of this came from the wonderful resource located in our village!
CCHS is offering a special membership deal for veterans this month in recognition of Veteran’s Day. Please visit their website at https://www.cchsny.org to get in touch with their team and learn more.
Happy Veterans Day!