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52ancestors

Amy Johnson Crow, of No Story Too Small issued a challenge to the geneablogging world recently: to write a blog post weekly on one ancestor. This could be a photo, a story, biography, etc. To read her challenge please go to Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

Mary Adaline House is my Great-Grand Aunt on my father’s maternal side. I don’t know too much about Mary except the “particulars” and wish I had a photo or stories about her. Mary was the sixth child born to my second great-grandparents, Florus Allen and Julia Ann (Lewis) House. Her siblings included Emily born in 1838, William Riley born in 1841, James Emory (my great-grandfather) born in 1842, Margaret born in 1844, Sarah born 1848, Teressa born in 1850, Emma born in 1853, Nancy Elizabeth born in 1856, and John born in 1857. Mary, born in Coshocton, Ohio on November 17, 1845 (based on the information given on her death certificate), would have been almost five on the 1850 US Census, however she isn’t enumerated in the family household. She is there in 1860, age 14, and 1870, age 24.

On August 4, 1870 Mary married Jacob Mushresh Rodgers in Coshocton, Ohio (Source: Ancestry.com; Ohio Marriages, 1803-1900). Prior to their marriage, Jacob had been a member of the 122nd Regiment (Ohio Volunteer Infantry) Company D during the Civil War. He went in on September 30, 1862 and was mustered out June 26, 1865. He took part in the Overland Campaign and was wounded then in the Battle of the Wilderness resulting in the loss of a hand. The couple had five children but the only two that are known to me are daughters, Elizabeth Mae born 1873, and Emma Viola born 1875.  The other three children died in infancy. The family lived in Coshocton county predominately in Warsaw.

Jacob died on December 12, 1909 – two years after daughter Emma Viola passed away.  Emma left behind a daughter, Mary Gladys, and was predeceased by her second child in infancy. Elizabeth (known as Lizzie) had become the wife of George Paxton Nowels in 1902 and went on to have four children. Jacob’s will and probate information has been located on FamilySearch.org in the Ohio Probate database. He left his estate to his wife, Mary, his daughter Lizzie and to his granddaughter, Mary Gladys. When my Great-Grand Aunt Mary Adaline refused to take under will, the story made the front page of the November 22, 1910 edition of the Coshocton Daily Times. She chose not to take her widow’s settlement and instead chose to accept the inheritance while she remained Jacob’s widow. She followed her husband into death on January 17, 1925 due to endocarditis brought on by influenza. As part of Jacob’s will, he had allotted $1000 toward a monument in the Valley View Cemetery, Warsaw, Ohio. This can be seen on his Find a Grave memorial page.

I still have quite a bit of information to discover about Mary Adaline and her husband, Jacob, and their children.

Our relationship: Florus Allen and Julia Ann (Lewis) House > Mary Adaline House – she was the sister of James Emory House who married Frances Virginia Ogan > their daughter Ella Maria married Lloyd William Amore > my dad married my mom > me.  Since Mary Adaline is the sister of my great-grandfather, she is considered my Great-Grand Aunt.

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As I sit watching “Finding Your Roots” hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., questions pop out at me. Harry Connick, Jr. wonders why his 3rd great-grandfather, James Connick, enlisted to fight for the Confederacy during the Civil War. That led me to wonder why my great-grandfather, James E. House, enlisted as a soldier in the Union Army. Did he disagree with slavery? Was he afraid Ohio and the North would be over run with “those Southerners”? James hadn’t yet married so he didn’t have a wife and a family to support. Perhaps he wanted to help his parents, Florus and Julia.

I realized that I can’t quit asking questions as I research – the answers to those questions enable me to flesh out my ancestors.

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Along with many others – and a nation – I wanted to take a moment to reflect upon the life and honor our 16th President – Abraham Lincoln.  We all (should) know the story of the child born into poverty in Kentucky and who lost his mother at a young age; that his family moved to Indiana and then to Illinois where the young man, who didn’t have much of an education, went on to become a successful lawyer and a Senator. 

My “Lincoln” path began when I was in adolescence and first read a book called “The Death of Lincoln” by Leroy Hayman, first published in 1968, which I purchased through the school’s Scholastic Book Fair after 1972.  In my 7th grade History class, the students were required to teach a subject for one week culminating in a test given to the class.  My friend and I chose this particular area of history as our subject.  We took pictures of the photos in the book and wrote our “curriculum” for the week.  The instructor returned a slide carousel filled with the pictures we had taken to be used as illustrations.  Our report received an “A” and the teacher sent a note to my mother praising our report. 

I would watch anything on television that had anything even remotely assosciated with Lincoln, his presidency, the Civil War, or his assassination.  I read articles about his life and studied some of his speeches.  In another History class in high school, I had to memorize and then give the Gettysburg Address. 

And I wondered – what would history have said about Abraham Lincoln had he not been killed soon after his second term began?  Would he still be remembered as the Great Emancipator?  The President who had saved the Union?  One of the greatest presidents our nation ever had?  What would his life had been like?  Would Mary Todd Lincoln had been able to maintain her sanity?  What would the reconstruction of our torn Union have been like had Lincoln been around to oversee it?  How would history have been changed?

Answers are speculatory and self-serving.  I would hope that everything would have been better had President Lincoln continued his service to our country.  Would he have remained as melancholy as the States formed one complete Union again as he had been through most of his life?  Would there have been another crisis he would have had to face immediately had he lived?  Would he have remained great in the eyes of a grateful nation?

It has been reported that my great-grandfather, James Emory House, shook hands with President Lincoln; however, I’ve yet to find any documentation that places my great-grandfather’s regiment and Lincoln in the same place. I’ve also heard that one of my great-grandfather’s (or perhaps a 2nd great-grandfather) watched his train go by. I’m unsure if this was the train he took to Washington D.C. to be inaugurated as the 16th President or if it was his funeral train. My maternal great-grandfather, John Lafayette Johnson, who lived in rural Rush County, Indiana near Knightstown, would have been a little over 4 years old as the funeral procession came through.  He would have been with his parents.  His father, James Wilson Johnson, who was an adult at the time Lincoln was elected President, could have seen the inaugural train carrying the President-Elect toward Washington in February 1861 as it made its way through Indiana.

This past summer as our family was on our annual vacation to Missouri and then Ohio, we stopped in Springfield, Illinois to visit the Lincoln home.  As I mentioned in this post we weren’t able to take the tour but I did get photos of the exterior.

p7160169

Happy Birthday, Mr. President!  And may you eternally rest in peace.

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This is the 4th and final article in this series on Military Records. You can read the first three in the series at Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. These records can offer up quite a bit of information including your ancestors’ and collateral relatives’ vital statistics, birth date and location, residence at the time of registration, type of military service, campaigns they might have been involved in, next relative, occupation, address of their employer, identifying marks, their signature, and reason for infirmities if they applied for an Invalid Pension.

In Part 3 I used my great-grandfather’s (James Emory House) Application for Invalid Pension as an example. I will continue with his papers to show who he served under, campaigns he took part in, and the reason he applied for this.

james_house_pension91

My great-grandfather appeared before a clerk of the Common Pleas Court of Coshocton County, Ohio on September 6, 1887 to submit this Declaration for an Original Invalid Pension.  In it he stated the date and place he enrolled to serve the Union and the State of Ohio in the Civil War and also what company and regiment in which he served.  The document lists that James’ regiment was commanded by Col. E.R. (Ephraim) Eckley and mentions that my great-grandfather was honorably discharged at Washington D.C.

When he was discharged from the service he was 23 years old and stood 5 ft. 8.5 inches, had dark complexion and hair and grey eyes.  It goes on to read, “That while a member of the organization aforesaid, in the service and in the line of duty at Near Corinth in the state of Missipi on or about the               day of April, 1862, he contracted a disease of his stomic which the doctors called catarrh of his stomic. That his disease of his stomic continued to afflict him untill he was discharged and has continued to afflict him more and more untill the present time.”

The continuation of the document tells the location of the hospitals where he was treated: one in Tennessee and also in St. Louis.  It also says that James did not have any other military service except serving for the Union.  His occupation prior to and following military service was Farmer and that he was considered one half disabled.

james_house_pension6

In a General Affidavit dated June 21, 1888, 63 year old S.M. Baldwin of Butler County, Iowa stated that he was James Emory House’s sargent and later his First Lieutenant and knew James personally while in the service of Company “H”, 80th Regiment of the Ohio Volunteers.

james_house_pension7
(Further transcription) That while in line with his duty as a soldier near a place called “Corinth” in the State of Tennessee some time in the month of Apl 1862 he the claimant contracted a trouble in his stomach and was sent to Hospital at St. Louis and after his return to the company it appeared that he could bear but little fatigue and was constantly complaining of trouble in his stomach.

The above paragraph gives me an approximate time and place that my great-grandfather’s illness began and that it was so severe he actually had to be hospitalized.  I also learned who his immediate superior was by this General Affidavit.

In another affidavit, given by William Derr who personally knew James House, the affiant stated that my great-grandfather contracted the catarrh of the stomach about April 30, 1862 and was sent to a hospital in Tennessee for about 10 days and then to a St. Louis hospital.  He returned to duty in July 1862 which indicates that the hospitalization lasted about 3 months. 

james_house_pension8Above is the Declaration for Invalid Pension that my great-grandfather submitted.  This application states that on July 9, 1890 James, at age 48, residing in Tuscarawas Township, Coshocton County, Ohio, made a declaration that he was the same man who enrolled as a Private in Company H of the 80th Ohio Volunteer Infantry on December 26, 1861 to fight in the Civil War.  Furthermore, that he served at least 90 days and was honorably discharged on May 22, 1865 at Alexandria, Virginia.  He asked for Invalid Pension due to the fact that he could not earn a living because he suffered from “disease of stomach, piles and heart, Catarrh of head and throat, and total loss of sight of right eye.”

It is not clear if he lost his sight due to the infirmaties he suffered from military service or had contracted glaucoma or macular degeneration.  Catarrh of stomach/head/throat, etc. is categorized as “An inflammatory affection of any mucous membrane, in which there are congestion, swelling, and an alteration in the quantity and quality of mucous secreted. In America, especially, a chronic inflammation of, and hypersecretion from the membranes of nose or air passages. in England, an acute influenza, resulting from a cold and attended with cough, thirst, lassitude and watery eyes; also, the cold itself. ” (Causes of Death in the Late 19th Century)

In August 1912 the Adjutant General official document read:

james_house_pension10
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF PENSIONS
Washington, D.C., Aug. 22, 1912,
Respectfully returned to the Adjutant General, War Department for a full military history and a personal description with age at enlistment.
2 Enclosures

james_house_pension11
THE ADJUTANT
GENERAL’S OFFICE
WASHINGTON, AUG 27, 1912
Respectfully returned to the
Commissioner of Pensions
with the information that in
the case of
James E. House Co. H, 80th Reg’t, Ohio Inf
the records show personal description
as follows:
age 19, height 5 feet, 8 1/2 inches,
complexion dark, eyes grey, hair black
place of birth Coshocton Co, O
occupation farmer
Age at reenlistment 21 years.
The revocation of the muster out to reenlist as veteran and muster in as veteran is canceled, he was a veteran volunteer from Feb. 21, 1864 when reenlisted as such.
The military records furnish nothing in addition to that shown in former statements.
Geo Andrews, Adjutant General

On April 30, 1923 when James was 81 years old a Declaration for Pension was applied for: james_house_pension12
This application stated that James required attendance by another person because of his disabilities that included: totally blind in right eye, bronchial asthma, chronic indigestion, prostatic trouble, kidney trouble, rheumatism, weak and emaciated.  Furthermore, it stated that since leaving the service he had lived in Coshocton County, Ohio and the State Soldiers Home of Ohio (Erie County), and he had been unable to work.

On the bottom of that declaration is a stamp that specifies that the “Declaration accepted as a claim under Sec. 2 Act of May 1, 1920.”

And the final page in the file is dated October 1924.

james_house_pension_13

Above is the drop report stating that James House, who had received $72 a month with the last payment sent in August 1924, had been dropped from the roll due to his death which ocurred on Oct. 1, 1924.

From all of the information contained in James House’s pension file, I can conclude that he never did return to full health after being afflicted with catarrh during his service in the Civil War and that even though he had been able to work as a farmer after he was discharged, he couldn’t work full time and earn enough to live on.  I believe that as he aged the disease and other disabilities weakened him.

The overall picture of my great-grandfather’s life became much clearer after reading through this file as I could put dates to events in his life. 

I urge you to see what kind of picture you can get of your ancestors and collateral relatives with the aid of their military files (if they have any) in order to “flesh” out the person or persons you are looking for.

I hope this four part series has given you more avenues to look when doing research and inspired you to see what other stones can be turned over in order to document events in your ancestors’ lives.

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James Emory House, born 2 May 1842, was my great-grandfather, born over 100 years and dying 35 years before I was born.  Yet it is this man that I return to in my family tree to seek out more information.  His is a fascinating story, and my father was privileged to be a small child in his company.

 

 

The House family originated in England and migrated to the United States in the 1600s settling in the Glastonbury area of Hartford County, Connecticut.  The family had married into the Loveland, Hollister, Risley, Bidwell, and Bigelow families.  When Allen House (son of Lazarus House and Rebecca Risley) was a very young man, he served in the War of 1812 from July 18 to Sept. 16, 1813. He and Editha Bigelow had been married less than a year.  In 1816 the couple moved from Connecticut to New York and became members of the Methodist Church in Ovid.  They moved then to Seneca County, New York. (1)  They are found in the 1820 census for Ontario and Steuben counties living in the town of Jerusalem. (2)

 

By 1835 the family migrated to Michigan via Buffalo, New York (via Canal) then to Detroit (via steamboat) and settled in Oakland County.  He received a government land patent for Section 7, Milford Twp. Oakland Co., MI.  He had 91 acres and not much money left over.  (3) (4)

 

Allen (b. 13 Jun 1791 d. 1 Sep 1845) and Editha (b. 19 Apr 1791 d. 20 Oct 1865) had five children – Nelson W. House b. 13 Jan 1815 in Glastonbury, CT; Amasa G. House b. 26 Sep 1817 in Yates, NY; Florus Allen House b. 05 Jan 1813 in NY; Eli H. House b. 16 Feb 1824; and Abigail House b. East Hampton, Middlesex County, Connecticut.  The couple is buried in Oakgrove Cemetery, Milford, Michigan.

 

Florus Allen House married Julia Ann Lewis (b. 24 Dec 1815) before 1838.  Florus received government land in Livingston County, Michigan.  He first acquired 80 acres in 1835 and then120 acres in 1837.  The family is found in the 1850 Census taken on October 23, 1850.  They lived in Linton Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio.  Florus was 37, Julia (listed as Julianna) – age 34.  Their children were Emily (12), Wm R. (10), James E (8), Margaret (4), Sarah E. (3).  Emily is listed as being born in Michigan and the rest in Ohio. (5)

 

The family is also found in the same township in the 1860 census.  By the 1870 census they were living in Tuscarawas Twp in Coshocton County where they were still living in the 1880 census. In addition to the children listed above, the family also included Emma, Nancy and John. (6) 

                                             

 

The nation was being torn apart – the north and south ripped asunder as the War Between the States dawned.  On the day following Christmas in 1861, James House, age 19, enlisted in Company “H” of the 80th regiment of the Ohio Volunteers commanded by Col. Ephraim Eckley.  Two months later the regiment left Ohio and began its trek toward battle in Corinth, Mississippi.  It was near Corinth in April 1862 that James became seriously ill with catarrh of the stomach.  This was a particularly debilitating illness with symptoms of moroseness, weakness, chills, and paleness.  One’s stomach would feel full and sore to the touch, the appetite would be non-existent, yet thirst is great.  In addition to that, there would be bloating and constipation.  James suffered with this illness for the rest of his life.  During war time he was treated in St. Louis and Tennessee hospitals without much relief. (7) (8 )

 

 

March of 1863 saw the 80th regiment moving along the Mississippi River to join General Grant’s forces at Vicksburg where there is a special monument erected in honor of the 80th.  In June of 1864 the men joined with Sherman on the March to the Sea and took part in the Siege of Savannah.  The men took part in many other campaigns as the Great Rebellion started coming to an end.  At some point President Lincoln saw his regiment and it has been reported by his grandson (my father) that James shook hands with the 16th president. (I have been unable to document a time or location that this could have taken place.) (9)  James was honorably discharged on May 27, 1865 in Washington D.C.

 

James married Barbara Shryock in the mid 1860s.  She was born in Guernsey County, Ohio to George Shryock and Abigail Easter about 1843.  Barbara (also listed as Barbary in some documents) and James had one son, Edward, and two daughters, Belle and Lucina. Barbara died on July 10, 1872.  Soon, Frances V. Ogan, was helping James take care of his house and his children.  She gave birth to the first of their eight children in April 1873 – one month prior to their marriage.  The couple married on May 26, 1873 by J.P. Robinson in Washington, Guernsey County, Ohio. (10)  The family included besides Florus Allen (named after his grandfather) b. 21 Apr 1873 – John W. (b. 31 Aug 1874), Alford Elmer (b. about 1878), James W. (b. 20 Jun 1879), Julia Ann (b. 20 Sep 1880 – named after her grandmother), Ella M. (b. 22 Jun 1882), Charles (b. 1884), and Alva Lester (b. 9 May 1886).

 

The family is found in the 1880 Census living in Tuscarawas Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio on June 9, 1880.  This is the only record of Alford E. at age 2 years old as he died at the age of 4. (11)  Charles would only have been recorded in the 1890 census as he died at age 12 in 1896 due to a farm accident.  (12) In 1900 the family is recorded living in Bethlehem Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio on June 14, 1900. James listed his birthplace as Ohio and that his father was born in Connecticut and his mother born in Ohio.  He owned his home and it was not mortgaged.  Frances listed that she was the mother of eight children and only six were living.  In addition to their children living with them, the household also included Mary J. Ruby (listed as Ward).  Mary was James’ granddaughter – child of his daughter Belle and her husband Thomas Ruby. (13)  On April 15, 1910 the family is enumerated as living at 423 N. Eleventh Street in Tuscarawas Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio.  Besides Frances, their son, (Alva) Lester and his wife, Mary (Lucy Besser) together with their son Arthur, were living with them. (14)

 

The family not only had lost two of their sons, Charles and Elmer, but also their oldest daughter, Julia.  She and Percy J. Tuttle had married on Christmas Day 1906.  Almost a year later she died from blood poisoning following childbirth.  The baby lived only a few hours. (15)

 

On February 18, 1915 Frances died of Pulmonary Tuberculosis at the age of 68 years, 2 months, 19 days.  She was buried two days later in Prairie Chapel Cemetery in Roscoe, Coshocton County, Ohio near her daughter. (16)

 

James is found still living in Tuscarawas Twp in the 1920 US Census dated Jan. 8, 1920.  Also in the household are his son, (Alva) Lester, daughter-in-law, Mary Lucy, granddaughter, Georgia and grandson, Jerrold. (17)

 

Soon after that he went back and forth between living with his kids and the Ohio Soldiers and Sailors Home in Sandusky, Ohio.  His granddaughter, Marie, wrote, “My mother’s father, James House, lived with his kids off and on when he got older and when he couldn’t stand the kids, he would go to the Ohio Vets home in Sandusky.  I think he had T.B. in his later years because when he lived with us (I remember him) Mom used to scald all the dishes he used.” (18 )

 

James passed away at the age of 82 on October 1, 1924 at the home of my grandparents, Lloyd and Ella (House) Amore on West Lafayette Road in Coshocton County.  His obituary stated that he was a member of the United Brethren Church.  He was buried with his wife, Frances, at Prairie Chapel Cemetery.  He left behind four sons, three daughters, three sisters, and numerous grandchildren. (19)

 

My great-grandfather had enough influence on his grandson that he was proud to carry the name James as his middle name in honor of him.  I wish I could see a picture of James in order to see what this man who fought in the civil war looked like.  And to know that he served in the military under my favorite president and one I have studied, is thrilling.

 

Rest in Peace, Great-Grandfather.

 

 

Footnotes:

(1) Information from Florence Wenk Woodard Barrett, descendant of Nelson W. House, son of Allen and Editha House.

(2)  1820 US Census

(3) Related by Descendant of Nelson W. House

(4) Government Land Records (digitized copy in possession of Wendy Littrell)

(5) 1850 US Census (digitized copy in possession of Wendy Littrell)

(6) 1860, 1870, 1880 US Censuses (digitized copies in possession of Wendy Littrell)

(7) James House’s Declaration for an Original Invalid Pension, 6 Sep 1887 (copies from National Archives in possession of Wendy Littrell)

(8 ) Special Pathology and Diagnostics with Therapeutic Hints By Sigmund Raue, C. G. Raue

Published by B. Jain Publishers, 2002

ISBN 8170210798, 9788170210795

Pages 436-427

(found on books.google.com)

(9) 80th Ohio Volunteer Infantry

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~keller/ovi80/work/index.html

Charles Paul Keller, author of the website (his source is: from Volume 6, Ohio Roster Commission; Official roster of the soldiers of the state of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861 – 1866; Cincinnati, Wilstach, Baldwin & Co. 1886-95.)

(10) Dept. of the Interior; Bureau of Pensions

Certificate No. 418793 (copy from National Archives in possession of Wendy Littrell)

(11) 1880 US Census (digitized copy in possession of Wendy Littrell)

(12) Letter written by Alva Lester House to his niece, Gertrude Amore Shackelford, dated January 25, 1963.  (Copy is owned by Wendy Littrell.)

(13) 1900 US Census (digitized copy in possession of Wendy Littrell)

(14) 1910 US Census (digitized copy in possession of Wendy Littrell)

(15) Newspaper; Coshocton Age; Thursday, November 28, 1907 (digitized copy in possession of Wendy Littrell)

(16) State of Ohio, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Certificate of Death, Number 6761 (digitized copy in possession of Wendy Littrell)

(17) 1920 US Census (digitized copy in possession of Wendy Littrell)

(18 ) Email from Marie Quirk to Wendy Littrell on Feb. 9, 2000

(19) Coshocton Newspaper (digitized copy in possession of Wendy Littrell)

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Pennsylvania Monument at Gettysburg

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