Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fredericksburg Battlefield blog

Mysteries and Conundrums, "exploring the Civil War-era landscape at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania NMP in an unofficial sort of way."

This is a wonderful resource!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Betty's Brother Matthew

As I continue work on annotating the Civil War diary of Betty Herndon Maury, I continue to encounter wonderfully helpful people in libraries. The Central Rappahannock Regional Library in Fredericksburg VA has helped me on several occasions. And now the Cincinnati Library is helping me in my quest to learn about the death of Betty's brother, the one she refers to as Matsy in her diary, more formally known as Matthew Fontaine Maury. Some people have appended Junior to his name, as his name is the same as his father's, but I'm not sure that is correct. There have been so many of that very same name that it's hard to keep them straight.

Here's what I know about Matsy. He was born January 9, 1849. His father called him Matsy, Boy, and Brave. On December 18, 1877 Matsy married Rose Robinson (1856-1937). Matsy was a cartographer, and the Library of Congress web site displays at least one of his maps. Matsy died on December 31, 1886, just short of his 38th birthday. I found one reference which said he is buried in Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio.

And this is where the wonderful people at the Cincinnati Library come into the picture. They are searching to see if they can find Matsy's obituary for me. Thirty eight is young to die, and I would like to know what the cause of death was. So far I have not been able to learn anything more about his death, and it might be that no obituary was ever published. The help of the Cincinnati Library is much appreciated, whatever the outcome.