The first is the U.S. Army Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914 found at ancestry.com. For Geo. C. Pollard, it shows that on 14 November 1891 he enlisted for five years, at St. Paul, Minnesota. He states that he is 20 years and 4 months old. George had blue eyes, brown hair, fair complexion, height 5'7.5" and he is in the U.S. 8 Cav., Co. K. While this age is not consistent with other records, it appears he may have lied about his age to enlist before he was 18 years old. It shows that he was born in Stanton, Minn. and he was a farmer. He was discharged on 27 November 1892 at Ft. Mead, S.D., under special order #273. Having served just over a year he was discharged for medical reasons.
The next document is for the marriage of George C. Pollard to Sarah Bradshaw on 1 October 1913, in the South Dakota Marriages, 1905-1949 found at ancestry.com. George is shown as divorced and living in Rockford, Pennington Co., (possible error by the clerk, should probably be Lawrence Co.) age 38. Sarah is living in Deadwood, Lawrence Co., age 19. Since George was listed as divorced in the 1910 census this seems consistent. In the 1920 census he is living alone, but it is hard to read if he is single or divorced.
Our military expert located the 1918 Draft Registration Card for George Christopher Pollard, the only place we found where his middle name was shown, in the U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards 1917-1918 at ancestry.com. He is living in Rockford, Lawrence Co., South Dakota and his birthdate is listed as 27 July 1874. George is a farmer working for himself. Listed as his person to contact is James Pollard of Northville, Minnesota. George is of medium height and weight, with blue eyes and brown hair.
She also located the pension card for George C. Pollard at Fold3.com. His is listed as serving in Co. K, 8 Reg. U.S. Cav., enlisted 14 Nov. 1891 and discharged 27 Nov. 1892. The date of his filing is 6 March 1933, with an application #1.731.764 and no certificate number given. This would have occurred shortly after his release from the Soldier's home.
In the process of discovering his parents I also looked for military records for his father James Pollard. He appears in the Minnesota, Civil War Records, 1861-1865 at ancestry.com. This shows a birth year of 1833 for him. He enlisted on 10 Feb. 1865 in Cannon Falls. James served in the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Division and was discharged 30 April 1865. In the U.S. Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 at ancestry.com, James Pollard is listed as having served I.1 Minn. H.A. He filed for the pension on 26 June 1884, application #516.601 and certificate #402.500 in Minn.
For further quick research it was time to consult with findagrave.com. The burial records for James Pollard, born 22 January 1828 and died 29 December 1921, indicate he is buried at Oaklawn Cemetery, Northfield, Rice Co., Minnesota. There is a picture of the lovely marker in his honor. Buried with him is Margaret M. Gibson, his first wife. She was born 4 July 1832 and died 3 August 1885. His second wife Ellen is also buried there, born 1841 and died 2 April 1913. Adaline the daughter of James is buried there as well, born 1861 and died September 1882. There are two other burials that are probably family members, one a baby and the other Eugene Pollard who died in 1905. Of interest it is noted that Margaret his first wife was moved from the cemetery in Stanton to Oaklawn after they moved there.
No death record was found for George C. Pollard in South Dakota or Wyoming. There is a death listing for the son George C. Pollard in the California Death Index, 1940-1997 at ancestry.com. It provides his social security number, his birth date of 18 January 1904, birth place South Dakota, his death date of 9 June 1967 in Los Angeles and most importantly his mother's maiden name Kenyon.
The last and most important piece that we presented was the short family history found in the book History Goodhue County, Red Wing, MN 1878, found on the website of the Minnesota genweb.
Two items that we did not have time to pursue collecting are obituaries for James Pollard and his daughter Adeline. These are found at the Family History Library in the book, Obituaries and articles on residents of Morristown, Minnesota, and surrounding communities, 1885-1957 compiled by Shirley Welcome-Rainey, 977.6555/M1 V4.
Did we have fun with this project? In the process we adapted to each other's research styles and became friends in the process. It is not every day that one is exposed to the opportunity to learn with like minded people in the setting of an institute like SLIG. What a privledge to have a week in which to submerge oneself in such an environment. In leaving home my laptop and not spending a lot of time on my cell phone, I was able to focus on just being a student. Now that I am home life is back to normal, but what I learned will enhance any work I do going forward. Just thinking about all the records one could still pursue in this project is amazing. This was a big dose of serendipity as we made so many discoveries, 32 documents and there is so much more that could be done.