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As I was going through the Ohio County Marriage Records on FamilySearch.org yesterday, I came across three listings for James E. House in Guernsey County, Ohio.  Two of them are known to me.  My great-grandfather, James Emory House, married Barbara Shryock on May 29, 1866.

 

They went on to have one son, Edward F. House, and two daughters – Belle Dora House and Lucina House.  Barbara (also called Barbary) died on July 10, 1872. 

Then the story goes that James had Frances Ogan keeping house for him – as told in a letter written by his youngest son, Alva Lester House, to my aunt Gertrude.

So Father got my mother to keep house for him after his wife died.  So him and Mother got married and they had 8 children.

James and Frances (Ogan) were married on May 26, 1873. 

Their first son, Florus Allen House (named after James’ father), was born a month prior to their marriage on April 21, 1873. 

And this is where it gets interesting.  When I clicked on the third entry for James E. House on the marriage records, it showed a marriage license issued on March 4, 1873, for James E. House and Elizabeth A. Meloy- it was never returned – and the couple didn’t get married. 

Curious!  In order to determine if this was my great-grandfather, I set about comparing signatures.

I looked at all three – since two of them were “documented” as true and correct (sources are the children of my great-grandfather and his two wives – Barbara and Frances) – then I needed to compare his signatures with the one on the license for Elizabet Meloy.

I looked at unique aspects – the curliques especially – to determine if the same person could have signed all three documents and voila!  It sure enough was!  So who was this Elizabeth Meloy?  How long had they known each other?  Did James even know that Frances was expecting his child very, very soon (within a month of the date of the license)?  Why didn’t he and Elizabeth get married? (On a personal note, I’m glad they didn’t or else I wouldn’t be here!) 

I set about trying to find out who this Elizabeth was.  It seemed that whomever wrote down the names on the licenses, didn’t check for spelling.  Either that or my great-grandfather was very bad at remembering spelling or names.  Instead of Barbara Shryock – she is listed as Barbary – which is what James wrote down on his pension application.  Instead of Frances or even “Frankie” – she is listed as Frank.  So that made me realize that Meloy could be a convoluted spelling for Malloy or Maloy.  After not finding any possible Meloy families in the census, I looked for Maloy families. 

James had grown up in Linton Township, Coshocton County, Ohio.  In the 1860 US Census, he is living with his parents (Florus and Julia House) in Linton Township, dwelling and family number 778.  Elizabeth Maloy, 9 years old, is living in the William and Louisa Maloy household in Linton Township, dwelling and family number 759.  In the 1870 US Census, Elizabeth is still living with her parents.  She is listed as age 18.  The family had moved to Monroe Township, Muskingum County, Ohio.  Since I have not been able to locate James and Barbara in the 1870 US Census, it is unknown where they were living.  What I do know is James’ parents, Florus and Julia, were married in Muskingum County – so perhaps Julia’s family still lived in the area and perhaps they visited them from time to time.  I would imagine that the families knew each other from some community function – church, school, or a social club.  Elizabeth was about 8 years younger than James.  She was three years younger than one of his sisters and two years older than another one. 

Further research on Elizabeth indicates that there was an Elizabeth Maloy who married James Parks on June 13, 1877 in Coshocton County, Ohio.  I can only assume that this is the same woman.

I’m still looking for more information.  Right now Elizabeth Meloy/Maloy is just as mysterious as she was when I found the marriage license!

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If you have not read my previous articles: Lester’s Despair – Part One and More Tragedy for Lester House, then I urge you to do that before continuing.

I learned more about Lester and Mary’s (Besser) son, Jarold, than I really cared to know.  It was concerning why he was sent to the state mental hospital and to jail.  The morals charges were of the worst kind – out of regard for his living descendents I will not post the details.  I will, however, say that it is all spelled out in some newspaper accounts (so if they go looking, they will find the stories). 

Jarold and his wife, Margaret, had four sons.  I don’t believe they were very old before they were sent to live with foster families.  Since some of the sons are still living I will call them Son One, Son Two, Son Three and Son Four (again some of the events of which I will write about are all available to be found in newspaper reports). 

In the mid 1970s, Son Two and Son Three, along with at least one other young man, killed a man.  Apparently there was kidnapping and mutilation involved.  As I perused the newspaper articles, the nagging thought I had, was to wonder if the father’s actions towards his sons had any bearing on their emotional states as young men.  At least their grandfather, Lester House, had already passed away.  This new tragedy would have been more than enough for him after all that he had been through.

Son Two and Son Three were convicted of kidnapping and murder and sentenced to prison.  Son Three was killed in prison and Son Two is still incarcerated.  Son One passed away several years ago.  I haven’t uncovered any information on Son Four – so it seems he has left his family and past behind – and really who could blame him?

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This past weekend as I perused newspaper articles in Ancestry, I ran across a boatload of information concerning some distant cousins and an in-law of one of my great uncles.

Susan Peterson posted on her blog, Long Lost Relatives, an article, What To Do With Skeletons in the Closet” on February 26, 2011. She asked some pertinent questions (I urge you to go and read what she posted).  When I ran across all the information that made it abundantly clear that not only does our family have skeletons in the closet, but some scandals, and then those who are just plain screwed up, I realized that I would have to answer those questions.  My belief is that if the involved individuals are deceased – and more importantly – that the next generation is also deceased, and if the information is a matter of public record – especially when it was in the newspaper or on a document that anyone could obtain, then I will tell the story.  If there are truly sensitive aspects, I won’t lay them out in such detail, but respect the fact that there are possible descendents who either don’t know or have chosen not to acknowledge such behavior. 

A little over a year ago, I wrote Georgia On My Mind about my great-grandfather’s niece, Georgia Amore. This weekend I’ve learned some new information in addition to bits and pieces I’ve discovered since I wrote that. Soon, you’ll see that post again – with all the newest items added!

Many years ago when I first started my genealogical journey, a cousin mailed me some information – before either of us were proficient at scanning – and my email system back then wouldn’t even allow attachments. If it had, I’m sure it would have taken a very long time to download as I was still on dial up. One of the news clippings he mailed to me concerned someone who died in prison fairly recently in genealogy time (the 1970s). The man had the same last name as my paternal grandmother’s maiden name. Neither of us had heard of him or even if he was part of “our” House family. Fast forward ten years and I’ve made a connection – and a pretty sad one at that. Some of you might remember the series I wrote about my grandmother’s brother, Alva Lester House, – Lester’s Despair – Part One and More Tragedy for Lester House, concerning several losses that he experienced during his life.  The news clipping concerns Lester’s son and his grandsons.  After I assemble all of the new items, I will write a post about what I’ve learned.

Another news item that caught my eye, was about my great-uncle’s sister-in-law.  I found it only because I’d put my maiden name as a keyword to search Coshocton newspapers.  I saw the name “Mayme Amore” (first name spelled incorrectly) and wondered what it was about.  She was married to my grandfather’s brother, Roy. (Yes, a real consanquity chart would say that Roy is my grand-uncle, but as I’ve mentioned before, I grew up having him referred to as my great uncle.)  I clicked on the news article and it was about Mamie testifying at her sister’s trial.  Whoa!  What? A trial?  What sort of trial?  And that my dear readers, is something you’ll have to ponder for awhile – but I will give you the answer and all the particulars soon!

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Each Saturday evening, Randy Seaver over at Genea-Musings posts Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – a little game for all the geneabloggers. Unfortunately due to my recent schedule I haven’t been able to play as often as I’d like. But when I saw this post on Your Paternal Grandmother’s Patrileneal Line”, I couldn’t resist. So what if I’m a couple days late!

What was your father’s mother’s maiden name?
My paternal grandmother was Ella Maria HOUSE.  She was born June 22, 1882 and died on July 3, 1946 in Coshocton, Ohio.

What was your father’s mother’s father’s name?
Ella’s father was James Emory HOUSE.  I wrote a biography that you can find here.  He was born May 2, 1842 and died October 1, 1924 in Coshocton, Ohio.

What is your father’s mother’s father’s patrilineal line? That is, his father’s father’s father’s … back to the most distant male ancestor in that line?
The father of James Emory HOUSE was Florus Allen House born January 5, 1813 in New York and died June 25, 1891 in Coshocton, Ohio.

The father of Florus was Allen HOUSE born June 13, 1791 in Hartford County, Connecticut and died September 1, 1845 in Milford, Michigan.

Allen’s father was Lazarus HOUSE born April 14, 1748 and died after 1817 in Hartford County, Connecticut.

Lazarus’ father was William HOUSE born September 9, 1713 and died March 20, 1788 in Hartford County, Connecticut.

William’s father was also William HOUSE born abt. 1684 and died in 1742 in Hartford County, Connecticut.

William’s father was another William HOUSE born in 1642 and died 1703/1704 in Hartford County, Connecticut.  He may have been born either in Connecticut or England.  It is thought that he traveled from England to America as a crewmember on board ship.  Very little is documented about this man.

William’s father was John HOUSE (HOWSE) born about 1610 in Somersetshire, England and died in 1644 in Connecticut.  This informaton is still speculation and has never been documented.

Can you identify male sibling(s) of your father’s mother, and any living male descendants from those male sibling(s)? If so, you have a candidate to do a Y-DNA test on that patrilineal line. If not, you may have to find male siblings, and their descendants, of the next generation back, or even further.
Ella had six brothers and one half-brother (through her father). 

Her half-brother, Edward HOUSE had one son, Waldo, who died in 1966.  Waldo has two sons – still believed to be living – Richard and Donald and Donald has one son – Dan.

Ella’s oldest full brother, Florus (named after his grandfather), had 3 sons.  It is believed there are still several male descendents still living.

Brother, John, had one son who died in 1983.  I don’t know if he had any male descendents.

Brother, Alford Elmer, died at age 4.

Brother, James, had two sons – Raymond and Wilbur.  The latter died at age 1.  I have no further information on Raymond.

Brother, Charles, died at age 12 in a farming accident.

Brother, Alva Lester (see Part One and Part Two of his biography), had three sons.  Arthur died at age 2 months from pneumonia.  His last child, an unnamed male, was stillborn.  His fourth child, Jarold, had four sons – all presumed to still be living.  Jarold died in 1980.

The conclusion is that there are still several males to do a Y-DNA test on – however, I’ve never actually met any of these men so the odds of the test being done are slim to none!

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Randy Seaver of, GeneaMusings, offers a bit of fun each Saturday night. Two days ago, he came asked “Who’s number 21 on your ahnentafel list?”

This is a list whereby one’s ancestors are in a particular order.  For example – I am number 1 on my list.  My father is number 2 and mother is number 3.  Paternal grandparents are next at number 4 and 5.  Maternal grandparents would be 6 and 7.  Get the picture?

Number 21 on my list would be my paternal 2nd great-grandmother, Julia Ann Lewis.  Up until last summer, I didn’t have a maiden name for her.  She was just “Julia A.” married to Florus Allen House.  Then I found several death certificates of their children listing her maiden name.

Julia was born the day before Christmas in 1815.  I have no documentation as to her place of birth except it is reported in the 1850-1880 censuses as Ohio.  In the 1880 census she listed her parents’ birthplace as Virginia but I don’t know if that was Virginia as it is known today or the part of Virginia that broke from the state to become West Virginia.

Julia and Florus A. House married probably before 1838.  Their oldest child, a daughter, Emily – age 12, is listed in the 1850 Census as being born in Michigan.  Florus had been living in Michigan prior to Ohio so that is possible.  She doesn’t appear on any other censuses of this household, and I haven’t been able to document her death or her marriage. 

Julia and Florus went on to have a total of 11 children.  One daughter, Teressa, died at 3 years and 3 months.  One son, John, died at age 6 and yet another, George, died at less than one day.  My great-grandfather, James Emory House, was the second son and third child of this couple.  The family lived in Coshocton County, Ohio most of their married life.

Julia died eight years after her husband, on October 6, 1899 in Coshocton and is reportedly buried at Mt. Zion Cemetery in Coshocton County.  Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures of this couple or their children (not even my great-grandfather).  I’m hoping that another descendent and distant cousin may share some photos someday.

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To go along with my earlier post, Cleaning Up the Family File, I’ve done some additional searches using a wonderful resource – Marriages, Coshocton County, Ohio, 1811-1930 : compiled from marriage records, Probate Court, Coshocton County, Ohio.  This book was put together by Miriam C. Hunter for the Coshocton Public Library in 1967.  She spent most of one year searching the records in Coshocton County in order to compile this book.  I was able to access it through HeritageQuest via my local library.

Since most of my paternal ancestors lived in or near Coshocton during the time period included in the book, I spent the better part of three days carefully combing through the names comparing them to the surnames in my family file.  The time spent searching paid off as I was able to enter dates or a location (Coshocton County) that I didn’t have.

The first part of the book – Volume I – is alphabetized by male surname, then giving the bride’s name and the date of marriage.  However, if the bride had been married before, sometimes she was listed as “Mrs.” and other times not.  Volume II is alphabetized by bride surname and only gives the groom’s first initials and surname.  No date of marriage.  To find that, I had to go back to Volume I and locate the information.  It was pretty time consuming going back and forth – especially when I located several marriages for the bride under previously married names.  I had to keep searching until I found her maiden name.

One example is my grandmother’s (Ella House Amore) half-sister’s, son, Guy Irvine Conger, was married to a woman whose name I’d found awhile back. It was Ethel Ford Maple.  I had located their marriage on Page 65 of Volume I.

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She was listed as Mrs. Ethel Ford Mapel.  I also knew that some of the names have been misspelled so I kept searching.  The next time her name jumped out at me was on Page 262.

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So her marriage to Frank Murphy was 5 years prior to the marriage to Guy Conger – yet the entry in the book still reads Mrs. Ethel Ford Maple (this time with Maple spelled correctly).  Hmmm.  I had to go find a Maple who had married this woman in order to find out if her true maiden name really was Ford and not a previously marred name or a middle name.  So I went back to Page 220.

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That’s when I located Ethel Ford who had married Samuel Maple on July 9, 1914.  If I hadn’t looked through this book carefully, I might not have discovered any of this information. 

That also solved a mystery for me as I have Maple ancestors and thought that perhaps Ethel was a Maple whose parents I hadn’t found.  Turns out she wasn’t born a Maple – she just married one!  And obviously she liked the name for she used it even after her second marriage to Frank Murphy was dissolved by divorce or his death.

Another mystery that I solved happened as I searched for the marriage of my first cousin once removed – Pauline House.  She was my grandmother’s niece (daughter of her brother).  I had many newspaper clippings that listed her as Mrs. Pauline Torjusen but I had never located her husband’s first name.  I couldn’t locate her husband’s family in any of the censuses in order to figure out who he might be.

In Volume II, page 82, I found the HOUSE entries.  There she was – Pauline Hazel House who married T.S. Torporsam. 

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Talk about a misspelling!  In every other source (newspaper, family letters, etc.) it is spelled Torjusen.  That is why I didn’t see it in Volume I – because it was listed differently.  So then I had to flip back to Volume I in order to find out what this man’s name was!  On page 372 I found him – Tobias Suran.  The last name was still spelled incorrectly.

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Information such as what I found by scanning this book has also helped me in locating Ohio Death Certificate information off of FamilySearch and in the censuses.  Sometimes all of that combined can lead to new names, correct ages, etc.

So I urge you to see if there is a resource such as this available in the areas you are researching – perhaps in the Genealogy area of your local library or nearest large city public library or even from the Genealogy Society.

Now – I’m off to continue my research on many of these names and family members I’ve recently discovered!

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Though my posts have been a little sparse in the last month or so, I’ve still done quite a bit of research.  I’m attempting to clean up my family file – gather death and marriage dates and add source documentation to items I’ve found.

Luckily, I am able to access the Census records on Heritage Quest from home through my library’s database.  Between that and the databases on Family Search I’ve been able to gather many more bits of information and sources.

My steps include:

  1. Finding an ancestral family (let’s use my 2nd great-grandfather, Florus Allen House as an example).
  2. I check to see what census records I have for him and make sure all are sourced correctly which includes the date census was taken, series, roll, page, dwelling and family numbers, and all information pertaining to the household.
  3. Then I check surrounding households to see if any relatives are nearby.
  4. If I find that I’m missing a census record, I re-check the databases using wildcards, just the first name, different surname spellings, etc. to see if I can locate the record.
  5. I check to make sure that ages match up for children or if there is an in-law, grandchild or other relative also living in the household.
  6. From there I move on to the children in the household and begin looking for them in census records after they have moved out of the family home.  I use the same type of searches as I did above.

The information this yields has documented marriages, children of the marriage, birth months and years, approximate length of marriage and the number of marriages a person has had. 

For my ancestors living in Ohio, I’ve been able to look at the Ohio Deaths on Family Search and have been able to gather death dates, whether married, cause of death, location of death and usual residence, birth dates, parents’ names, and occupation.  Sometimes the informant has been a family member which helps document that.  All of that information combined with other sources has been able to provide better documentation.

I’ve also discovered while doing my clean up that information I found through other means or from another person, hasn’t been accurate.  For one child of my 2nd great-grandfather, I had found a record (not sourced) that gives a marriage date – 20 years after this person had allegedly died.  I’ve not found any documents to support the death or the marriage – so on the “notes” section of my family file I list what documents support that this person was a child in the family (census records), and where I found the other information but that it is not proven yet.  In other words a big question mark!

I’ve also found similarly named individuals in the census records that I’ve had to check different documents in order to offer proof it is the individual I’m researching or one who belongs to an entirely different family. 

This is a slow process but one that has yielded promising results.  For me it is akin to working a jigsaw puzzle and checking each piece to see where or if it fits at all.  Half the fun is getting there!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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(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.

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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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In Part 1 I discussed how Military Records can help you get a complete characteristic profile of your ancestors and collateral relatives. The WWII Registration Records (“Old Man’s Draft”) in 1942 list color of eyes and hair, type of build, and height as well as birth location and date and their signature. To a lesser extent so does the WWI Registration Records of 1918.

In Part 2 I listed examples ranging from employer to possibly a wife or other relative who is listed as knowing the address of the person registered. That informaton has helped me place the individual with the correct family.

In this article I will give examples of how Civil War Pension Records or Invalid Pension Records are also useful in determining dates of marriage, children’s names and birthdates, and type of duties the individual performed in service to the country.

When I first started on this genealogy quest ten years ago, it didn’t take me long to make contact with a cousin who had copies of our shared ancestor’s Invalid Pension application documents.  He copied those and mailed them off to me.  Seeing how valuable those sheets of paper were, I sent off to the National Archives for my own copy (before prices went way up!).  It seemed to take forever before I received them – but only after I got a reply that stated what they had found and how much I needed to send before I got the actual copies. 

Most of the information on the service of my maternal great-grandfather, James E. House, was posted here in a biography I wrote about him. However, as I began my search for Grandfather House, I realized that there were other people in the Coshocton area of Ohio who shared the House surname. I mentioned this to the cousin who had sent me information, and he reasoned that he thought he’d placed James in the right family based on what was on the Invalid Pension application. That’s when I thought I should pay closer attention to these records.

One page in particular was a voucher sent to James requesting that he complete and send back in order to receive his next quarterly payment.  The questions concerned whether he was married, what proof he had of the marriage, names of children and dates of their birth.

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First, Are you married?  If so, please state your wife’s full name and her maiden name.

Answer, Frances V. House   maiden Frances V. Ogan

Second, when, where, and by whom were you married?

Answer, By A.Y. Kingston J.P., Washington, Guernsey Co., Ohio May 26, 1873. 

(I believe this was probably the next question.) Third, what proof of marriage exists?

Answer, Marriage certificate also in records in probate judge’s office, Cambridge, Ohio.

This tells me the exact date and place of the marriage between my great-grandparents and where the marriage record was located.  His wife’s maiden name has been reported differently by descendents yet in James’ own hand, he listed the maiden name that I believe is correct (albeit probably a maiden name acquired as either a foster child or adopted daughter of the Ogan household.)

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Fourth, Were you previously married? If so, please state the name of your former wife and the date and place of her death or divorce.

Answer, Yes. Barbara S. House, died July 10, 1872 in Guernsey Co, Ohio

With this last bit of information, I was able to clarify which James House (out of the few I’d found in and around Coshocton) was my great-grandfather.  I also learned the date of death of his first wife which until I had this paper, I knew was sometime between the birth of her last child and the date of my great-grandparents’ marriage.

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Fifth, Have you any children living? If so please state their names and dates of birth.

Answer, E.F. House Dec. 17, 1886.  Belle D. Ruby Apr 23, 1868. Lucina Conger Sep 13, 1869.  Florus A. House Apr. 21, 1873.  Jno W House Aug. 31, 1874. James W. House June 20, 1876. Julia A. House Sep 20, 1880.  Ella M. House June 22, 1882.  Alva L. House May 9, 1886.

Date of Reply June 4, 1898 and his signature.

My first thought was “I have my great-grandfather’s signature!”.  Then my next thought was “Oh, he married Frances AFTER their first child was born!”  That first child had been “in question” as to being Barbara’s (the first wife) or my great-grandmother’s.  With James listing Barbara’s death as prior to Florus’ birth, that answered that question.

Other pages in the Pension forms included General Affidavits of persons who had known my great-grandfather either prior to and after his service or during his service in the Civil War.  One of those affidavits I realized were given by James’ parents, Florus Allen House and Julia A. House – my great-great-grandparents!  I saw that they had also signed the affidavit!

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Florus’ and Julia’s ages were listed which also gave me another documentation on their approximate birth years and the township and county in which they lived in 1888.

With just these two pages of James House’s Invalid Pension Application, I acquired information on three generations – my great-grandfather (James), his parents (Florus and Julia) and his two wives and children.

Next – more information from my grandfather’s Civil War papers.

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