Forming a Research Plan for Little Eddy, Part II

Yesterday, I started making a research plan to find out more about Edward Dwyer’s service in the Civil War.  I wrote down what I know of Edward’s early life and his service in the Kansas and Missouri regiments in the Union Army as well as his 1866 entry in a Saint Louis city directory.  This leads me to many questions, which I am going to work on today.

Edward had just turned 15 when he enlisted in the 8th Regiment Kansas Volunteers, Company K,  and was mustered in as a private on 02 Jun 1862.  He was born in Saint Louis, Missouri, and lived there all his life; he was a resident of Saint Louis when he enlisted.  Why did he choose a Kansas regiment?  There were several officers from Saint Louis and Patrick Callahan enlisted the same day as Edward as a private, was promoted to musician and was discharged the same day as Edward.  What was their relationship?  How old was Patrick?  Did he lead Edward into this great adventure?  What did Jeremiah and Anna think of this?  Did they know?  Edward was a young-looking 15 if the photo is any indication.  According to a later muster and description roll when he was 17, he was only 4 feet 8 inches tall.  It is hard to believe that a recruiter would not have known that he was under age!

What information is available for Kansas volunteer regiments?

What happened when Edward and Patrick were discharged in Nashville on 04 Jun 1863?  Did they return to Saint Louis?

Did Edward enlist prior to 29 May 1864?  He would have just turned 17 the week before.  Was this a cut-off for joining?  Did Patrick join again with him, or what happened to him?

Edward’s Muster and Descriptive Roll lists his as plumber.  Did he learn this skill while he was (presumably) home between Jun 1863 and May 1864?

Would the signed order (S.O.) of General Canby exist anywhere?  What type of information would it contain?

Where did Edward go when he deserted?  How long was he gone?  What happened to his drum?  Did a sentence of General Court Martial result in anything other than the loss of pay?

Edward was only back with Company A about six weeks when he was mustered out.  Did he not have to serve the entire three-year period of his enlistment because the war had ended?

Finally, who was A.W. French and what was his relationship to Edward?  What is this card referring to?

If you missed the other parts of Edward’s story, here are links to them:
Military Monday – Little Eddy the Drummer
Military Monday- Edward Dwyer in the Civil War, continued
Tuesday’s Tip — Forming a Research Plan for Little Eddy
or his family’s stories:
Mystery Monday – Jeremiah Dwyer, county Tipperary to Saint Louis, Missouri
Mystery Monday – Anna Rooney, county Clare to Saint Louis, Missouri
Workday Wednesday – Jeremiah was a Drayman


Tuesday’s Tip — Forming a Research Plan for Little Eddy

The last two Mondays I have written about Edward Dwyer in the Civil War, Little Eddy the Drummer and Military Monday- Edward Dwyer in the Civil War, continued.  Yesterday I looked at Edward’s Missouri service, using the Civil War cards which I had downloaded from when I had a subscription.  I didn’t do anything with the information then, but now I’m trying to use my time without subscriptions (this journey of Genealogy in the Recession) to further my research in other ways and to write my family history.  Last Friday, I highlighted some of the things that I learned in Marian Pierre-Louis’ webinar “”Plan Your Way to Research Success.”  Today, I’m going to begin work on creating a Research Plan for Edward Dwyer — feel free to add your comments or e-mail me at with any suggestions.

The first thing about a Research Plan is to focus on one person — Little Eddy — keep the focus narrow — find out about his military service — and write down what I know:

Edward Dwyer, born 22 May 1847, in Saint Louis, Missouri 1

In 1860 Jeremiah Dwyer and his family were living in St Louis Ward 7, St Louis (Independent City), Missouri.  The household included Jerry, 40, drayman, $3000, $400; Ann, 34; Edward, 12; Mary, 9; Laura, 2.  Edward and Mary attended school within the year. 2

8th Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company K
mustered in as a private 02 Jun 1862 [age 15]
promoted to musician
discharged 04 Jun 1863, Nashville [age 16]
Patrick Callahan, also resident of St. Louis, same dates 3

7th Regiment Missouri Infantry, Company F
enlisted 29 May 1864, St Louis, musician [age 17]
enrolled for a period of 3 years
bounty due $100, credited 8 ward St Louis
joined as recruit with consent of guardian
mustered in 25 Jun 1864, Memphis
Detached as musician at Gen. Hosp. Nashville Tenn
transfer 04 Dec 1864
11th Regiment Missouri Infantry, Company A
Deserted 30 Sep 1865
Returned from desertion 01 Dec 1865.  Stop one month pay sentence of a G.C.M.
Muster-out 15 Jan 1866, Memphis, Tenn
Clothing Account due soldier $11.77   Bounty paid $180; due $120.
Age 17
Stop one months pay proper sentence of Court Martial.
Stop $5.00 for one drum complete.
Reference to A.W. French 4

1866, Dwyer Edward, student Bryant, Stratton & Carpenter’s College, Olive, cor. 5th 5


1 Baptism record from St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, on microfilm at the St. Louis County Library, Frontenac

2 U.S. Federal Census, 1860. St Louis Ward 7 , St Louis (Independent City), Missouri, page 169; Online publication – Provo, UT, USA:, Inc., 2004.Original data – United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Eighth Census of the United States, 1860. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1860. M653, 1,438 rolls..  Accessed on (date unknown).

3Extracted from Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Kansas, Vol. 1. – 1861-1865.Leavenworth, Kansas: Bulletin Co-operative Printing Company, Chicago. 1867. Eighth Regiment Kansas Volunteers – Infantry, Company K

4 NARA M405 Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations From the State of Missouri, Record Group 94, State: Missouri, Roll 0473, Eleventh Infantry, Cr-D; Roll 0441, Military Unit Seventh Infantry, D-Fi. Accessed on (date unknown).

5 City Directories for St. Louis, Missouri, 1866. Publisher Edwards Greenough & Deved. Page 340. Accessed Sep 2011

Follow Friday – Follow-up on the Research Plan webinar, by Marian Pierre-Louis

This week’s Legacy Family Tree Webinar was “Plan Your Way to Research Success” by Marian Pierre Louis.   As usual, the topic was terrific, the host Geoff Rasmussen was great, the price was right (free!) — and the hour and a half with Marian flew by as she gave tips, examples, motivation and more on using research plans to make our genealogical searches more effective and more efficient.  Marian presented a wonderful webinar and I highly recommend it.

On Thursday Marian wrote about it in her blog Marian’s Roots and Rambles: Follow-up on the Research Plan webinar.  She includes a link to the archived webinar, which will be free for about ten days.  There are also links to purchase the CD or a bundle, and a coupon code for a discount good through Monday, July 23.

Here are some of the important points that I took away from the webinar:

  • Search only one person or one family unit (not extended)
  • Keep the focus narrow
  • Keep the focus more narrow the less you know (e.g., for a brick wall ancestor)
  • Writing your research plan necessitates writing what you do know
  • This will lead to what you don’t know
  • Go to FamilySearch wiki or something similar to find what records exist during the applicable time period and location
  • Create a plan to find the information, using research plan forms

Marian’s webinar gives examples of the forms she creates for some of her own research plans.  She uses Microsoft Word for these forms.  I would probably use a spreadsheet.  Marian stressed the importance of using whatever helps you — you need to make it work for the way you organize and think.  Don’t get hung up on the way other people make their research plans. The important thing is to take control of the research process and use forms to help identify what you know & what you don’t know to lead to what you WANT to know.

This webinar is what I needed to think through the use of a research plan.  It will help me focus on creating smaller research projects.  Another important thing that it reinforced is my need to write what I have found, including conclusions, reasons, next steps, stumbling blocks, and why I am perplexed about something.  Then when I come back to that family and that individual, it will be easy for me to remember what I learned and what else I need to search for.

I hope that you will check out Marian’s blog and her webinar.  She has lots of practical advice that you can use in your research.  Here is an example of what you will find.

Thank you, Marian, for a great webinar!


You may also want to take a look at the list of Legacy’s upcoming webinars.  There are some great ones coming up in the next few weeks that I don’t want to miss.