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.
(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
(found on books.google.com)
(9) 80th Ohio Volunteer Infantry
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)