My name is Ian Breckenridge
and I started this site.The size of our family tree is now over 8000 individuals.If you would like to contribute information, documents or pictures or have noticed an error, please click here to contact me. The site was last updated on May 18 2013, and it currently has 52 registered member(s).
April 2013 Update
This is Chapter 3 in the continuing story of my gggg-Uncle Walter Brackenridge.
To quickly re-cap, Walter was born, in 1809, in Paisley, Scotland (near Greenock & Glasgow) and became a weaver employed in the labour intensive textile industry.He married Catherine Pollock and lived in Paisley without children.Walter left Scotland in 1860 alone, traveled to America and worked in a carpet mill in Philadelphia.When the US civil war broke out in 1861, he became a volunteer Union soldier at the age of 51.He was captured in 1864 and spent his remaining days at Andersonville Prison in Georgia.
Recently I drove to Florida and made a point in taking a detour to the Andersonville National Historic Site.The Andersonville prison was constructed by surrounding about 17 acres of land with a 15 foot stockade.A river ran through the property that was the sole source of water for drinking, bathing and “other stuff”.Although drinking water was supplied from the upstream side of the property, the river was believed to be contaminated before it entered the site.No shelters or other improvements were made before prisoners were marched into the camp.They built their own shelter from wood and any materials they had.When the river dried up in the summer of 1864, they dug their own wells for water.
The camp, while built for 10,000 prisoners, saw 45,000 men, 13,000 of which succumb to its horrible conditions. These casualties were buried in a cemetery near the prison.A Union prisoner marked each grave with a numbered post and kept records in duplicate to indentify each grave and keep an official record.Eventually the posts were replaced with wooden planks, followed by the marble stones that are there today.
I located Walter’s grave and took a picture.Then I did some thinking.Walter likely left Scotland, ahead of his wife, Catherine, to start a better life.They had no children.The extended family did not appear to have wealth. I have not found any record of family travelling to America until years later.Could it be that I was the first to pay my respects?I hope that was not the case but it was quite possible.I suddenly felt that this visit held more importance than a mere detour from a long trip.