12. William McDonald Wolfe

It is so hard to focus on this week’s 52 Ancestors post. I am much too excited for tonight’s season premier of Game of Thrones instead. I had read all the books long before the series had started, and to say I’m a huge fan is an understatement.

Alas, there are no Starks, Lannisters or Baratheons in my family tree. No bastard sons brought home from war nor any Red Weddings. What in Seven Hells am I going to write about?

So using Game of Thrones as inspiration I have decided to write about my husband’s 3rd Great Grandfather, William McDonald Wolfe. The direwolf afterall, is the sigil of House Stark.

ImageWilliam was born March 18, 1842, not in chilly Winterfell, but near Esteville in Scott County, Virginia. His parents were Emanuel Wolfe and Sarah Curr. He grew up on his parents’ farm with his 3 brothers and a sister.

The United States found itself in the Civil War in 1861 and many young men went off to war. Young William was one of these and enlisted with the Confederate Army on May 20, 1861. He was a private for Company D, 37th Virginia Regiment. His company participated in the first Battle of Kernstown, Virginia on March 23, 1862. In this battle, a group of 3000 soldiers, under the command of General Stonewall Jackson confronted a Union Army of 7000 under the command General James Shields. At the end of the day, the Confederates were forced to retreat. William was among the many wounded from this battle.

William returned to Scott County after the war, took up farming and married Amanda Moran on March 17, 1864. They had 7 children. In 1896 William received a land patent and packed up his family and headed west to settle in Upton, Missouri. William lived there until his death on April 14, 1914. He and his wife, Amanda, are buried in the Liberty Cemetery in Turley, Missouri.

Of course, now my husband is pleased to find that he has Wolfe blood in him. He says it is only proof that he is “King of the North.”

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3 comments

  1. I wonder if it was difficult for men like William to return from such an awful war and settle back into farming. Perhaps it was one of the reasons he took the offered land as an opportunity to get away from the reminders of war. I wonder.

  2. An update to William Wolfe. I was able to comb through some more Civil War records.

    After the Battle of Kernstown, William appeared on a report of casualties from a camp near Mount Jackson, VA which stated he was wounded in the thigh.
    William appeared on a Prisoners of War roll. On May 12, 1864, William was captured near Spotsylvania, VA during the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. He was transferred to a prisoner camp in Elmira, NY on July 30, 1864. He remained there until June 27, 1865 when the war ended. His physical appearance was also on this document: his height was 6 feet, auburn hair, florid complexion and blue eyes.

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