Monday, April 28, 2014

52 Ancestors #17 Fannie Hartman Hart Erwin

This is my latest post for the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” challenge initiated by Amy Johnson Crow of the No Story Too Small blog. For more information about the challenge and links to the other blogs participating in the challenge, please click on the badge in the right margin.

Fannie Hartman was my great-grandmother on my mom’s mom’s side, i.e. not the one who wrote out the family history notes.  From talking to the people who remember her, she was not a particularly pleasant person to be around. Mom and at least one aunt are each convinced she hated them. Other aunts remember visiting her and being afraid to touch anything in the apartment. I always wondered if she started out difficult or did life turn her that way? But then other people have gone through rough times and not turned brittle. Anyway, I’ll never know that; I can only tell you what I’ve found in my research.

Fannie Hartman was born the third daughter and fourth child of Samuel Myers Hartman and Julia Ann Zimmerman in December 1844 in Findlay, Ohio. She had ten brothers and sisters: Charles Oliver (1868-1943), Etta Genora Hartman  Archer (1869-1942), Della Sylvia Hartman Spitler (1871-1892), Zoe Amelia Hartman  Rader (1874-1954), Samuel Thomas (1876-1877), Jesse Ephraim (1877-1945), Wellie Z. (1879-1960), Henry Barnhill (1884-1968), and Cleo Zerelda Hartman Duffield (1869-1966).  The sister closest to her in age (Della) died at 21 [Fannie would have been 20] and one brother died in infancy.  Her father was a successful farmer in Hancock County Ohio, having moved there from Wayne County Ohio just before she was born.
Climbing My Family Tree: The Hartman Girls - Cleo Duffield, Fannie Hart-Erwin, Zoe Rader & Etta Archer
Cleo, Fannie, Zoe & Etta - The Hartman Girls
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She married Orley Calvin Hart on December 10, 1893, in Hancock County, Ohio, when she was 21 years old. He was born in Hancock County too. By the time of the 1900 census, they had moved to Clay County, Illinois, living and farming with Orley's parents.  Family paperwork (compiled by my Mom's cousin) says that they lived in Van Buren, Ohio until they joined other Hart families in Clay County, Illinois in 1899 and that they bought  40 acres and together with the other families farmed a total of 280 acres.  Fannie and Orley had five children: Lester Dene (1894-1981, Gladys (1896-1902), Reed C (1898-1954), Verne Allen (1900-1954), and Julia Ann (1903-1978). According to the same family papers, her daughter, Gladys, died at age 5 of “sugar diabetes”. Unfortunately, Orley died just two years later on January 28, 1905, also of diabetes, and Fannie was left grieving and alone to raise her four children. I would hope and expect that his family helped, at least with the farm.

The family of my  great-grandfather, Vernon Erwin, had lived in Clay county, IL since before  it was formed in 1824, but I doubt that Fannie had met him until after Orley died as he was away from the county for several years (his profile will be #18, tune in next week to see where he was).  She married Vernon Erwin in 1909, in Louisville IL (the main city in Clay County). The 1910 census shows Vernon (spelled Verna), Fannie (listed as Frances), and her four children, living together; Vernon is not working, but 15 year old Dene is shown as “farm labor”. Vernon and Fannie had two children of their own:  my grandmother, Mabel LeRe Erwin Snyder (1910-1990) and her sister, Dale Hart Erwin Crawford Shapiro Spicer Ludwig [actually I’m not exactly sure where Ludwig goes on that list] (1912-????).

Climbing My Family Tree: Mabel & Dale Erwin
Dale & Mabel Erwin
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My great-grandfather left my great-grandmother before 1920; I have a note from my mom’s cousin that says he left in 1915.  I don’t know whether he paid child support; but even if he did, Fannie was again left with the major responsibility of raising and caring for their daughters, alone. If it’s true that he left in 1915, my grandmother was 5 when he left and her sister Dale was 3.  By 1920, the census shows that Fannie (46)  had returned to Hancock County Ohio, and that she and her two youngest daughters, Mabel (9) and Dale (8), lived in Pleasant, Ohio in the household of a father and son, Henry and George Borough, where Fannie was employed as their housekeeper. The census says George (47) was a farmer and Henry (79) did not work. From that point on Fannie always told the census taker that she was a widow, even though my great-grandfather still lived (and I have pictures showing that he later visited his grandkids – my mom & her sisters and brother). I guess that either being a widow was less embarrassing than admitting she had been left by her husband, or she was trying to erase all memory of that disastrous short marriage from her life (to the extent possible given two children of the union).  I also expect she still loved Orley since she gave Vernon’s younger daughter, Dale Hart Erwin, Orley’s last name as a middle name; and she was Orley’s widow so it wasn’t entirely a lie.

The Findlay city directories for the next decade occasionally listed “Verne A Erwin” as her spouse, and sometimes listed her as Verne’s widow, and sometimes didn’t mention him at all. By 1929, she had obtained an apartment in Findlay with her two youngest daughters, and the directory indicated that she was a seamstress.  The 1930 census shows that Fannie (it says age 55, but she’s 58) is a seamstress for a clothing store, Mabel  (20) is a bookkeeper for a garage, and Dale (18) is a saleslady at a clothing store. The 1931 city directory is a bit more detailed, showing Fannie as a seamstress for Kessel’s Fashion Shop, Mabel a bookkeeper for the Davison-Harrington Chevrolet Company, and Dale as a saleswoman for C.B. Dabney. All three live at 425 Hardin Street.

In the next few years both daughters would marry in quiet simple ceremonies and move away. In 1935 Fannie moved to Massillon in Stark County, Ohio and was still living there at the time of the 1940 census.  Fannie was 68 in 1940, and the census indicates that she had a lodger by the name of Alexander Holderbaum, who was 81. She may have been hired as his caretaker, as Mom's cousin's notes indicate that she at one point cared for" a lady in Gomer, Ohio”; Gomer is in Allen County, Ohio.  She may have had a series of housekeeper/caretaker jobs.

By 1943, she was back in Findlay, living in the downtown apartment my mother and aunts remember visiting her at (218 ½ S. Main street -- across from the Courthouse), with her daughter Julia, who works as a clerk at Dall’s Drapery Shop . They would live together at that apartment for the rest of Fannie’s life.  According to Mom's cousin Fannie suffered an incapacitating stroke in March 1954 and was bedridden thereafter.  The Findlay Republican Courier reported that she was admitted to Blanchard Valley Hospital on March 9, 1954, and was taken to the hospital again, from her home, on March 17, 1954. She died July 13, 1954. Her son Reed died a month later; I think I’m glad she did not know that.

Climbing my Family Tree: Back row - Julia and and her mother,  Fannie
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Mom's cousin’s notes say that Fannie “enjoyed crafts and needlework. After visits to [her daughter] Dale in Florida, she made many objects from shells. She did a lot of sewing and made most of the granddaughters’ clothes. She loved to read, put jigsaw puzzles together, and take walks in the fields and woods.” She and Julia pieced and sewed  the quilt top pictured HERE , in my 3rd - ever post (my mom turned it into a hand-tied quilt, as the drapery fabrics used were too heavy to quilt in the usual manner).

U.S Census: 1880, 1900; 1910; 1920; 1930, 1940; "Illinois, County Marriages, 1810-1934," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 14 Apr 2014), Verna Erwin and Francis Hart, 1909; citing Clay, Illinois, United States; FHL microfilm 1008796; U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011., Findlay Ohio City Directories for 1927, 1929, 1931, 1933, 1935, 1943, 1946, 1948, 1950, 1952; Findlay Republican Courier, January 18, 1935, p. 6; Findlay Republican Courier, March 9, 1954, p. 16; Findlay Republican Courier, March 17, 1954, p. 12.
I need to look at the land records for Clay County to see when Fannie and Orley purchased land there.

I’d like to find marriage records (& not just indexes) and a death certificate and obituary for Fannie.

Monday, April 21, 2014

52 Ancestors: # 16 Christina Belle Snyder Buntz (1911-1942)

Climbing My Family Tree: Phyllis Snyder Frye & Christina Snyder Buntz
Photo used with permission
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This is my 16th post for the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” challenge initiated by Amy Johnson Crow of the “No Story Too Small” blog. For more information about the challenge and links to the other blogs participating in the challenge, please click on the badge in the right margin.

Christina (sometimes spelled Christine) Belle Snyder Buntz, my grand-aunt, was born on November 27, 1911, in Findlay, Ohio, to Philip Aaron Snyder (1882-1967) and Pearl Pauline Bailey Snyder (1891-1978). She was their second child.  Her father was a timber buyer in Findlay, Ohio, at the time.  During the time she lived at home, her father became a lumber dealer and became a real estate agent. Christina had three brothers and one sister: my grandfather, Clarence Weldon Snyder (1910-1984), Phyllis Ardyeth Snyder Frye (1914-2005), Paul Alexander Snyder (1916-1975) and Donald B Snyder (1918-2012). The family was very active in the Assembly of God church.

I’m not sure where Christina met Warren Buntz (variously spelled Buntz & Bunts). He was a laborer, son of Mr. Warren J. & Mrs. Alta Orena (Snyder) Buntz, Sr., who owned and operated a traveling carnival show. He had grown up traveling with the show  to places like Camden, SC and Citrus County, Florida.  But his mother was born and had grown up in Arcadia, a town near Findlay (I haven't yet found a connection to my Snyder branch although since they were from the same county it might well be there), and the traveling show came to Findlay on occasion. But Christina and Warren did meet, and fell in love.

On February 16, 1929, Christina married Warren J. Buntz, jr. were married at 7:30 p.m. at the residence of the Rev. T.K. Leonard of the Assembly of God Church. Besides the parents of the bride and bridegroom, there were three witnesses: Naomi Leonard, Russell Simpson, and Phyllis Snyder (Christina’s sister). The bride and groom were 17 years old.

Climbing my Family Tree: Warren Buntz, jr. & Clarence Snyder
Photo used with permission
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Christina and Warren began their married life at the start of the Great Depression, when it was difficult for anyone to find work. In the 1930 Census, we find Christina and Warren (18), and their one month old daughter* living with his parents, and his younger siblings, at 1028 Adams Avenue, in Findlay, Ohio.  Warren, jr. was described as a day laborer (if he was like many day laborers at the time, his days of work were scarce). There were nine people living in the home. But Warren’s father owned the house so it was probably a more stable situation than for many who lost their homes in that time, and it might have been easier at the outset to have experienced help with the baby. According to the 1931 City Directory, Christina and Warren  jr.(20), were still living with his parents, and Warren was working as a showman in his family’s carnival, which must have been struggling as people really didn't have much money to spend on frivolous things during the Depression.

By 1933, Warren and Christina had moved to a new address, down the street from her parents (Christina and Warren lived at 427 Eben Avenue and her parents lived at 524 Eben Avenue, in Findlay), and Warren had obtained a job as a “platform man” with the Findlay Ice and Fuel Company. That year their second daughter*was born. 

In all, Christina and Warren, jr. had four children,  three girls and one boy, born in approximately 1930, 1933, 1936 and 1938. *I’m not going to name the children because I promised at the outset of the blog not to name living people, and to my (admittedly limited) knowledge, most of the children are alive.*
Over the next decade or so, Warren continued to work for the same company, next working as a laborer for them and finally progressing to driver. He was a driver for the company from at least 1937 through 1941 (and perhaps longer but I lost him after 1942). In 1941, they moved back into the home that had belonged to Warren’s parents. I haven’t been able to tell yet whether his parents still owned it or whether Warren jr bought it.  (Warren's parents  had been living in Camden, SC according to the census, although that might have been the winter home of the Carnival as Camden had become a vacation-land haven for rich horse people.) By September 1942 Warren and Christine lived at 1028 Putnam Street, Findlay.

As far as I have been able to tell, Christina did not work outside the home, so Warren’s career with the Findlay Ice and Fuel Company was sufficient to support their growing family.  Christina had plenty to do as a homemaker and  Mom of four. She also remained active in her church, the Assembly of God. I found several  entries in the newspaper saying that Phyllis Snyder /Frye (depending on where it was before or after her own marriage) and Mrs. Warren J. Buntz jr performed a trumpet and vocal duets for church programs at Thanksgiving,  Christmas, and Easter  at a variety of churches in the area. As her children started going to school, she also became an active member of the Parent-Teachers Association, also performing in the PTA Christmas program and plays. My parents have told me several times that she also performed with an All Woman Brass Band, but I’ve not been able to document that yet.

Then, on Wednesday, September 9, 1942, tragedy struck at 3:30 a.m. on the Dixie Highway near Bluffton Ohio. Warren, jr., Christina, and Helen Hoffman were returning to Findlay, driving the Dixie Highway.  There was more traffic on the road than I would have suspected in 1942 in Ohio at that hour. Three vehicles were traveling toward Findlay, Ohio.  A car being driven by a man from Detroit had gone into the ditch at the side of the road, and two men in a truck stopped to help him.  The car directly in front of the Buntz car managed to swing wide and went around the truck. Warren evidently didn’t see the truck in time to go around it. He swerved left, but the right side of the car hit the left rear corner of the truck. Christine was in the seat to the right of Warren. She received a broken neck, jaw, and leg and other injuries, and was killed instantly. Her husband received head and chest injuries, and their passenger, Helen Hoffman, suffered a dislocated right knee and bruises; both were taken to Bluffton Hospital where Warren was listed in critical condition and their friend in good condition. No one else was injured.

Funeral services were held two days later on September 11, 1942, at the Coldren Funeral Home and burial followed in Maple Grove Cemetery in Findlay, Ohio. I’m not certain that Warren was able to attend. One newspaper article made it sound like he was still in the hospital.

Climbing My Family Tree: Maple Grove Cemetery, Findlay OH

The children were 12, 9, 5, and 4 years of age. Their mother was dead and their father was too injured to care for them. Initially there were divided among various relatives across the state. Later on October 3, 1942, all four children were sent to Crystal River, Florida to stay with Warren, jr’s parents for awhile. I can tell by newspaper articles for Camp Fire girls, etc, that at least two of the girls were returned to Findlay by the next year.

I lost Warren, jr after that (no censuses released after 1940 yet), until he died on May 18, 1987, in Crystal River, Florida.
I’d like to be able to find:
Documentary evidence of the All-Women Band my parents spoke of -- was that why were they out at 3:30 a.m. on a weeknight?
More of what  happened to the children after (I have some…a little - One daughter found me through the blog/Facebook, and has given me wonderful old pictures of family.)
And what happen to Christina’s husband, Warren, jr, in the missing 44 years ?
[Resources: Federal Census for 1920, 1930, and 1940. Findlay City directories for 1927, 1931, 1933, 1935, 1937, 1939, and 1941; The Findlay Republican Courier, various dates]

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

52 Ancestors: #15 Alfred Conley (1841 – 1932), Corporal in General Wilder's Lightning Brigade

This is my latest post for the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” challenge initiated by Amy Johnson Crow of the No Story Too Small blog. For more information about the challenge and links to the other blogs participating in the challenge, please click on the badge in the right margin.

Climbing My Family Tree: Gravestone of Alfred & Sarah Conley, Louisville ILLinois
Picture from, Illinois, Memorial #20741880
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Alfred Conley, my 2nd great grand uncle, was born to Henry Conley (1810-18-78) and Sarah Cosner (1811-?), on April 23 1841. His younger sister, Amelia Ann Conley (1847-1915) was my 2nd great grandmother (she married John Erwin, 1841-1917). His other siblings were Solomon (1833-1875), James R. (1836 - ?), Tharsia C. (1837-1927), William A (1844-1915), Permelia A.  (1847 - ?) and George P. (1849-1869). His father was a farmer and owned 1000 acres when Alfred was nine years old.

Both of Alfred’s parents were born in North Carolina and came to Illinois through Indiana, where they had also lived for some years. Alfred’s two oldest brothers were born in Indiana. Aldred was born in Hoosier Township, Clay County, Illinois.

In 1860, Alfred was still living at home, as were all of his brothers, likely helping to work his father’s farm. The 1860 Census indicated that he had attended school within the year.  It also showed that the family employed a domestic servant, Nancy Jenkins to help with the chores around the house. There was probably a lot of cleaning to do as there three men and 2 boys in the household (I have three brothers, I remember how much mess a boy/young man can make) and this is before any of the modern conveniences that make housework easier.

A biographical sketch in the History of Wayne and Clay Counties, indicates that he was brought up on the old Conley homestead and attended He attended “the common schools and the Mitchell [Indiana] Seminary.”

Alfred fought for the union in the Civil War. He joined the 98th Illinois Infantry as a corporal, on July 26, 1862, when he was 21. He was 5’9”, with light hair and blue eyes. His complexion was dark. He told the recruiter he was single, and a farmer from Clay Co. Illinois. He was signed for a 3 year term by E P Turner in Clay County IL. He mustered in on September 3, 1862 at Camp Centralia in Illinois, and mustered out on June 27, 1865 in Nashville TN by Capt. Hosea. 

During his service Alfred was a member of the Gen. Wilder's Lightning Brigade (a revolutionary concept:  mounted infantry which used horses to get quickly from one point to another but fought dismounted, with the new Spencer repeating rifles - a deadly combination), and participated in the battles of Buzzard Roost, Chickamauga, all of the Atlanta campaign, and on Wilson’s raid through Alabama and Georgia, including the capture of Selma. He was present at Macon, Ga., when Jefferson Davis was brought in to the union headquarters, after another portion of the division captured him. [HERE  and HERE are excellent articles on General John Wilder's creation of the Lightning Brigade and his use of the the new Spencer Repeating Rifle, and on Wilder's life after the war. Interesting reads.]

Climbing My Family Tree: Member of General Wilder's Lightning Brigade
Unknown soldier, Member of General Wilder's Lightning Brigade
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Just over six months after he mustered out on the Army, Alfred married Mary Ann Toliver, who was born and raised in Lawrence County TN on December 28, 1865. He was 24 and she was 21.  The speed of their wedding makes me kind of wonder whether she was his sweetheart before the war? Or did they meet and have a whirlwind courtship after the war? Maybe someday I’ll find out.

The 1870 census shows them in their own household, down the street from his father. Alfred was a farmer and Mary kept house. He owned $1600 worth of real estate and $820 in personal property (he may have taken over his father’s land as Henry is no longer listed as owning real estate).

Alfred and Mary didn’t have any children and she died, at age 33, on November 27, 1875. Two years later, Alfred married Sarah Francis (House) Jones on May 1, 1877. In 1880, according to the census, Alfred was a farmer, and he employed one man as a farm laborer, who lived with them.  He was also a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, which was formed to provide life insurance to its members, per The History of the Wayne and Clay Counties. The History also stated that he owned and successfully ran a steam power vibrator thresher , which likely meant that he was a very successful farmer.  The coal-fired, steam-powered thresher was a huge machine used to separate grain from the plant during harvest time, and the new-fangled vibrating sort made it effective to use on smaller grains as well as larger ones. Advertizing material for the leading brand of the time, emphasized not only is it “the best for handling wheat, oats, barley, rye, and buckwheat, but,  it is the only machine that successfully threshes and winnows the more difficult flax, timothy, and millet.” 

Climbing My Family Tree: Nichols, Shepard & Co Catalog - Vibrator Thresher, 1876
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Alfred and Sarah’s only child, a son named Guy, was born in 1881. The 1890 census being lost to fire, the next I pick up Alfred’s trail is in the 1900 Census. Alfred is 54, his wife, now calling herself Frances, is 53, and Guy is 19. Alfred and Sarah have been married 23 years. This time Alfred lists his profession as Postmaster. They own their own home, free and clear. In 1910, it is just Alfred and Sarah at home in Hoosier Township, Clay County, Illinois. Alfred is 68 and Sarah is 62. Alfred reports that he has his own income. By that he may mean the invalid pension he had requested against his Army time, initially in 1890 and again in 1907, or they may have sold the farm and are living off the income of the sale (I have to check that out). The pension index has a certificate number so it probably was granted, at the rate of approximately $8-12 a month. I haven’t yet been able to find them in 1920 Census, and Sarah died on September 10, 1921 in Sailor Springs, Clay County, IL.

In 1930, at the time of the Census, Alfred was living with his son Guy and his family in Myrtle Creek, Oregon. He was listed as “retired” on the Census. Guy is a farmer and his wife sells dry goods; they have one 9 year old daughter, named Yvonne. Alfred died two years later at his son’s home in Oregon, at age 91, and he was buried at home in Clay Co. IL.
I need to remember to check land exchange records.
And decide whether I want to order his pension file.
I also need to find Alfred & Sarah on the1920 Census, and to find his will, if possible.
[Resources: Federal Census for 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900. 1910 A

and 1930.; “History of Wayne and Clay Counties” published by Brookhaven Press in 1884; the Illinois Civil War Detail Report (found here: ); )

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

52 Ancestors: #14 Mariah/Maria Williams Bailey Huber (abt 1815 – after 1900), Strength in Tragedy

Map Courtesy of

This is my latest post for the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” challenge initiated by Amy Johnson Crow of the No Story Too Small blog. For more information about the challenge and links to the other blogs participating in the challenge, please click on the badge in the right margin.

My first introduction my 3rd great grandmother was through my great grand-mother’s (GGM) family notes. I’ve referred to them in prior posts. They appear to be memories of family, written down at someone’s request. They are about six pages long. Thus far, her notes have proven to be close to but not entirely accurate, but overall, decent clues. In this case, so far, she’s less helpful than usual so far. GGM wrote “Papa’s mother was a straight line descendant from the Roger Williams (who founded Rhode Island). Papa's father was Scotch-Irish. His mother was full blood Welch. Her name was Sarah Williams. Not sure of her first name. May have been Maria. Wonderful woman, Quaker by birth. Later after marriage she attended Methodist Church.”

As I’ve not yet been able to find her parents, or much of anything before her marriage to my 3rd great grandfather (or much of anything about him!), I’ve made no progress on proving or disproving whether she is a descendant of Roger Williams. Hopefully, that will come in the future. If anyone knows, please contact me!

Mariah/Maria Williams was born in about 1815 in Pennsylvania. According to most of the censuses her name is Maria. But, according to her Widowed Mother’s Army Pension claim based on her son’s service in the Civil War, her first name is Mariah. (This could be where the Maria/Sarah confusion in GGM’s notes originated.)

On March 4, 1843, John Bailey and Mariah Williams (both would have been about 28) “were legally joined in matrimony“ by Jacob Pottsgrove, J.P., according to an affidavit by Mr. Pottsgrove, in Mariah's application for Mother’s Army Pension.  I find it interesting that they were married by a Justice of the Peace, and, apparently not in the church. Perhaps because she was Quaker & he was Methodist? (per GGM's notes.) 

Climbing My Family Tree: Affidavit of Jacob Pottsgrove, J.P.
Jacob Pottsgrove, J.P. Affidavit

They had the following children:  John W. (1843-1864), Anna Mary (1845 - ?), Lydia Maria (1847 - ?), Edward Carleton (1849-1926), Eliza Jane (1851-1926), Richard Howard (1853-1935), James A (1955- ?), and Rebecca Ella(1858 -1926). In 1850, the family lived in Union PA, in Mifflin County. Mariah and John were 34, and their family at that time was John W. (7), Anna M. (5), Lydia (3), and Carleton (1,  Edward Carleton, my 2nd great grandfather).  At the time of the 1850 census, the family lived in Mifflin County PA, Mariah and John were both age 34, and John was a blacksmith; besides the four oldest children, they had one other person living with them, John Flory, age 18, who was also a blacksmith.

Mariah only had 15 years with John. He died in 1858, at approximately age 43. This was the same year that their youngest child, Rebecca Ella was born; she would have had no memory of her father.  I don’t know anything about the circumstances of his death. Mariah was now a single mother, grieving the loss of her husband.

In the next census, 1860, Mariah is living in Jackson Township in Huntingdon County, PA (on the above map, that is the portion of Huntingdon county  in the top right corner between Centre and Mifflin Counties). She listed herself as a seamstress. She had real estate with a value of $500 and personal property worth $50. In looking through her neighbors, that is by far not the highest property value, but it is more than some have. The property was likely inherited from John at his death as few women had their own property in those days.  Still at home with her are Lydia Maria (14), Eliza Jane (10), James A (5) and Rebecca E. (2). It looks like Anna may have died. I never found her again after the 1850 census and GGM does not mention her in her notes. I hope not, as Mariah would then be grieving both a child and a husband.

Maria saw both her older sons John and Edward C. go off to war, but only Edward C. came home. John died on July 26, 1864, of wounds incurred in the siege of Petersburg on June 28, 1864. More grief for Mariah. Then some time after the war Edward left to move first to Kansas and then to Ohio. He was married and in Kansas by 1875.

On July 14, 1862, Congress had passed a law granting Army pensions (under certain conditions) to invalids, widows, children under 16, mothers with no living husband, and dependent sisters under 16 years of age. The New York Times ran an article on August 12, 1862 about the Act, explaining who qualified and how to apply; click HERE  to read the article.

John W. had been sending money home from his Army pay to help support his mother. It looks like her fortunes had gotten decidedly worse than they were in 1860 (or was played that way for the pension application).  On October 15, 1864, Mariah filed a petition for a Mother’s pension based on John W.’s service death  and the fact that he had been contributing to her support prior to and during his service in the war, certifying that he died without wife or child. She and the neighbors who filed supporting testimony and affidavits on her behalf stated that: “She is poor, owning no property but a small house and lot valued at $200 which was given her by her neighbors and son.” “She is extremely poor and [?]. Her only property consists of a small house & small lot of ground, which was paid for and donated to her by the charity subscribed by the citizens of neighboring families. She has no other means whatsoever of support.” “John W. Bailey, the dec. soldier, paid 100 dollars of his own money in payment for the house and lot …and …100 dollars was paid by subscription .…the house and lot is worth two hundred dollars on the account of the dilapidated state of the fences and buildings and her want of means to keep it in repair is not worth more than the above sum.” I would guess that the $100 paid by John W. came out of the $300 bonus he received for re-enlisting in January 1864, since a private’s pay was about $13 a month. On January 4, 1865, Mariah was granted a pension of $8 per month, retroactive to July 26, 1864.

Climbing My Family Tree: Maria Bailey pension granted
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On March 9, 1870, Mariah married Samuel Huber in Pinegrove Mills, Centre County, PA [now part of State College PA]. When she married her receipt of the pension ended.  After their marriage  the couple resided in Jackson Twp, Huntingdon County PA, and when the census taker arrived in Jackson Township,  on July 6, 1870, he recorded that both Samuel and Mariah Huber were 55 years old, Samuel was a tailor and owned $400 worth of real estate and had $200 worth of personal property, and Mariah was recorded as having $400 worth of real estate (and as keeping house). Perhaps the property was that which John W. and her neighbors had previously bought her, in better repair?  Samuel’s son William, 16, lived with them and is listed as a laborer. Mariah’s children, James (14- laborer) and Ellie (12-at home) also lived with them. Three year old George Stiffey or Steffey is also listed as living there. I don't know who he is.

Mariah only had, at most, 11 years with Samuel. I haven’t found Mariah or Samuel on the 1880 census.  Samuel Huber died on June 16, 1881 at McAlevys Fort, Huntingdon County, PA. Mariah did not marry again. The 1900 census shows Mariah (85) living with her daughter Eliza Jane (48) and her husband Mordecai M. (50) Tate, a wagon maker; Mariah is listed as a boarder. Also in the household are two of Eliza’s daughters, Maud (25) and Alabama (22), and Mariah’s son James Bailey, also listed as a boarder – he was an oil well digger.

Climbing My Family Tree: 1900 Census Tate Huber Bailey
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On Jun 25, 1901, Mariah filed a petition for Restoration of Mother’s Pension, certifying that she was again a widow. Her signature was witnessed by MM Tate and Eleanor Tate, who certified that they had no interest in prosecution of the claim. (This seems a bit disingenuous considering she was living in their home as a boarder and boarders usually pay for their room and board.)  The claim was rejected on September 30, 1901. The decision said that the claimant had no title under the Act of March 3, 1901. The Act of March 3, 1901 provided that a widow who had lost her pension by reason of remarriage may be restored to the pension roll when she again becomes a widow. It probably meant widow of the deceased soldier, not the widowed mother of the deceased soldier.

I’ve not found Mariah again after that. I don’t know when she died or where she’s buried.

I need to find out about Mariah’s family of origin and where she lived, who her parents were and whether she had any siblings. Also, is she a descendant of the Roger Williams?
She married James Bailey when they were both 28. Was she or he married before that?
I would like to find out where she and Samuel were in 1880.
I would also like to find out when she died and where she is buried. And where John Bailey is buried.
I wonder if she ever saw my 2nd-great grandfather, Edward Carleton, again after her left Pennsylvania after the War. It would be sad if she hadn’t.
I would also like to find information on her daughter Lydia. My GGM's notes say that she was a nurse and that she dressed well, lending the impression that my GGM may have met her, but I've not found her after the 1870 census when she was at her sister Eliza's house.
And I haven't found anything about Anna Mary since 1850 - I'd like to know what happened to her.


[Federal Censuses of 1850, 1860, 1870, & 1900;, Case Files of Approved Pension Applications of Widows and Other Veterans of the Army and Navy Who Served Mainly in the Civil War and the War With Spain, compiled 1861 – 1934, record group 15, John W. Bailey; for sources on information  relating to John W. Bailey see the post on him HERE.]

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

52 Ancestors: #13 Corporal John W. Bailey (1843-1864); 45th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Company C

This is my latest post for the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” challenge initiated by Amy Johnson Crow of the No Story Too Small blog. For more information about the challenge and links to the other blogs participating in the challenge, please click on the badge in the right margin and it will take you to her site.

Photo used by Creative Commons License, obtained through, photo credit:

John W. Bailey is my second great uncle, son of John and Maria (Williams) Bailey. He was born on December 7, 1873, and first appears on the census with his family at 6 yrs old in 1850, in Union PA in Mifflin County. His siblings are: Anna Mary (1845 - ?), Lydia Maria (1847 - ?), Edward Carleton (1849-1926), Eliza Jane (1851-1926), Richard Howard (1853-1935), James A (1855-?), and Rebecca Ella (1858 -1926). His father was a blacksmith.

I’m not entirely sure where John was in 1860. He was not at home with his mother, sisters and little brother when the census taker came through. However, his father had died at the end of 1858 and I believe he may have needed to find work to help support the family, as his mother’s application for a pension based on his later military service indicates he was giving her money for support before he enlisted, including giving her $100 to help her buy a small house and lot (this may have come from a military signing bonus since the average weekly wage, based on 10 hour days, for a blacksmith –guestimating he went into the same field as his father and brother – was $10.68 in 1860; a laborer made $5.88 a week).  I’ve found a few possibilities for him on the census rolls but I’m not positive which is the right John W. Bailey at the moment.

Just before Lincoln’s inauguration on March 4, 1861, seven southern states formed the confederacy. Initially, the other eight slave states rejected calls for succession.  On April 12, 1861, Confederate forces fired upon Ft. Sumter, a key fort held by Union Troops in South Carolina. Lincoln called for each state to provide troops to retake the fort, and four more slave states joined the Confederacy.  Pennsylvania answered the call first, and with the most troops. The state raised over 360,000 soldiers for the Federal armies (more than any other Northern state except New York), and served as a major source of artillery guns, small arms, ammunition, armor for ironclad gunboats, and food supplies.

John W. Bailey enlisted with the 45th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Company C, for a term of three years, on August 1861. He was 17, and was made a private.  When he enrolled, he told the Army that he was 19 and a blacksmith. Pennsylvania records show he was 5’7”, with dark hair, hazel eyes and a florid complexion.

During the course of his service he continued to send money home when he could.  According to witness affidavits attached to his mother’s pension application, he sent $75 in June 1862, $10.00 in September 1862, and $5.00 in October 1862. Another witness’ affidavit said that he sent a total of $155 over various times to that witness' knowledge. By this, we can probably extrapolate that he would have sent money when he could throughout his service. He was a good son. A private’s pay was about $13 a month.

The 45th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry was first sent to Washington DC in October 1861 and attached to the Army of the Potomac, and then it was sent to join Sherman’s South Carolina Expeditionary Forces. Company C was among several other companies used to occupy Fort Walker on Hilton Head after it had been retaken by Union troops. They also participated in the Siege of Vicksburg MS in June and July 1863, and then advanced to Jackson, MS and participated on a siege on that city. In the fall of 1863, the 45th Regiment was assigned to General Burnside’s East Tennessee campaign and was involved in the siege of Knoxville TN.

On January 1, 1864, John W. Bailey re-enlisted as did the bulk of the regiment.  Soldiers who re-enlisted became "Veterans" and were authorized a $300 bounty and 30 days furlough. He re-mustered in with his company, as a Corporal, on February 24, 1864 and joined the regiment as it moved to Annapolis MD, before being deployed to be part of General Grant’s Overland Campaign fighting several battles in Virginia in May and June 1864, and ending up as part of the troops participating in the Siege of Petersburg, VA.

Climbing My Family Tree: affidavit by CPL JW Bailey's Commanding Officer regarding his death
Affidavit by CPL JW Bailey's Commanding Officer regarding his death
Click to make bigger

On June 28, 1864, John W. Bailey was badly wounded while on the front lines during the siege of Petersburg. He was shot in the small of the back by a mini-ball (see above affidavit from his commanding officer), causing a “fracture of spinous processes of 1st, 2nd, & 3rd lumbar vertebrae”. He was evacuated and sent by railroad to the Grant General Hospital in New York City. He died of his wounds on July 26, 1864. He is buried at Cypress Hill National Cemetery in Brooklyn NY in Section 1 at site 1461.  (The Pennsylvania Civil War Soldiers Index Card system says he died at Washington, DC, of the wounds, but the “Registers of Deaths of Volunteers, compiled 1861–1865,” records of the Adjutant General's Office, says he died at Grant General Hospital NY, and since he’s buried in Brooklyn NY, I’m going with NY.)   

I’d still like to know where he was and what he was doing in 1860.
I wonder if anyone in the family every visited his grave. Distances were much further back when transportation was much cruder.
I’d also like to know where and why his father died. And frankly, more about his father’s family altogether.


[1850 Federal Census;; History of the 45th regiment Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer by Allen Diehl Albert. Grit Publishing Co., Williamsport PA 1912; U.S., Registers of Deaths of Volunteers, 1861-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA:; Memorial # 2584730;, Case Files of Approved Pension Applications of Widows and Other Veterans of the Army and Navy Who Served Mainly in the Civil War and the War With Spain, compiled 1861 – 1934, record group 15, John W. Bailey;  Civil War Veterans' Card File, 1861-1866, Civil War Veterans' Card File, 1861-1866, Items Between Bailey, John S. and Bailey, Mell,;The Civil War Journals Colonel Bolton, by Joan Sauers, William Bolton, and Richard Allen Sauers, Da Capo Press;;; .]