A Civil War Soldier: Pvt. Sylvester FREDENBURG (1844 – 1879)

Source: Fredenburg(h), Sylvester. Photograph, reproduction. C. 1861. Original photo in the possession of Mary Jane Fredenburg Hittle, Columbiaville, Michigan. 2008.

How Related: My 3rd-great-grandfather

Born: 9 October 1844 (or 1842) in Benton, Yates Co., New York

Parents: Anthony FREDENBURG (1816 – 1881) and Hannah FOX (c. 1816 – 1890s)

Siblings: Sylvester was one of 11 children and one of three brothers that served in the Union Army:

  • Charlotte (b. c. 1839)
  • Amanda (b. c. 1839)
  • Abram (1841 – 1903)
  • Benjamin Franklin (c. 1844 – 1864)
  • Rachel (c. 1847 – 1904)
  • Alonzo (c. 1849)
  • George Cady (1852 – 1930)
  • Lurinda (c. 1854 – 1926)
  • William (c. 1856)
  • Isabella (c. 1856 – 1926)

Married: Mary Jane [–?–] (c. 1840 – bet. 1870-2) before 1865 in either New York or Michigan and Cornelia McCLELLAN (1856 – 1916) on 30 June 1872 in Ridgeway, Lenawee Co., Michigan

Children: With Mary Jane, he had two daughters: Maryetta (b. c. 185) and Sarah E. FREDENBURG (1868 – 1937). With Cornelia, he had three children: Mary Jane (1872 – 1962), my ancestor, named for his first wife; George Franklin (1873 – 1965); and William Anthony FREDENBURG (1876 – c. 1947).


Source: Civil War Pension Index Cards of Sylvester Fredenburg(h). Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900. National Archives and Records Administration. Publication T289. Digital images purchased at Footnote [http://www.footnote.com/].

Enlisted: 14 December 1861 at Penn Yan, Yates Co., New York; private. Enlisted 17 December 1861 in Co. A, 50th New York Engineers (same company as his brother Abram). Enlisted 14 March 1862 at Milo, Yates Co., New York in Co. I, 33rd New York Infantry. Mustered out with company 2 June 1862 at Geneva, Ontario Co., New York. Returned to Co. I, 33rd New York Infantry in November 1862. Re-enlisted 16 January 1864 at Jerusalem, Potter (now Yates) Co., New York. Enlisted 23 January 1864 in Co. L, 50th New York Engineers.

Side served: Union

History of Unit: 50th New York Engineers, 33rd New York Infantry (more info here, too)

Mustered out: 13 June 1865 at Fort Barry, Virginia

Biography or Information of Interest: Sylvester’s discharge paper states he was five foot, six inches high, dark complected, with brown eyes and brown hair. His pension papers were full of great genealogical information, as his widow, Cornelia, applied first for a widow’s pension on his account, and then later on her second husband’s–a Navy veteran–account. Since both Sylvester and Washington Foster JUDD (her second husband) had been married and had children before marrying Cornelia, there were all sorts of marriage records and affidavits as to the births of the prior children. Unfortunately, Cornelia–being illiterate–had incorrect birth dates for all hers and Sylvester’s children (listing all three as being born after his death!) as well as having listed an incorrect regiment for Sylvester’s service. In the record of his service, it was discovered that he “deserted at Geneva, N.Y. April 1, ’62. Retaken Sept. 1, ’62.” At his court martial, he was sentenced to a ” loss of all pay up to Sept. 30, ’62.” His records also show he was hospitalized in August, again in September, and still again in October of 1864. Friends of the family attested that he had never been completely well after his return from the war and that he had a persistent cough. His death record states he died of spinal disease. It appears he probably had tuberculosis.

Died: 20 March 1879 in Riley Twp., St. Clair Co., Michigan of spinal disease contracted during the war

Buried: Believed to be buried at Romeo Cemetery, Romeo, Macomb Co., Michigan

A Civil War Soldier: Pvt. Sylvester FREDENBURG (1844 – 1879)

Source: Fredenburg(h), Sylvester. Photograph, reproduction. C. 1861. Original photo in the possession of Mary Jane Fredenburg Hittle, Columbiaville, Michigan. 2008.

How Related: My 3rd-great-grandfather

Born: 9 October 1844 (or 1842) in Benton, Yates Co., New York

Parents: Anthony FREDENBURG (1816 – 1881) and Hannah FOX (c. 1816 – 1890s)

Siblings: Sylvester was one of 11 children and one of three brothers that served in the Union Army:

  • Charlotte (b. c. 1839)
  • Amanda (b. c. 1839)
  • Abram (1841 – 1903)
  • Benjamin Franklin (c. 1844 – 1864)
  • Rachel (c. 1847 – 1904)
  • Alonzo (c. 1849)
  • George Cady (1852 – 1930)
  • Lurinda (c. 1854 – 1926)
  • William (c. 1856)
  • Isabella (c. 1856 – 1926)

Married: Mary Jane [–?–] (c. 1840 – bet. 1870-2) before 1865 in either New York or Michigan and Cornelia McCLELLAN (1856 – 1916) on 30 June 1872 in Ridgeway, Lenawee Co., Michigan

Children: With Mary Jane, he had two daughters: Maryetta (b. c. 185) and Sarah E. FREDENBURG (1868 – 1937). With Cornelia, he had three children: Mary Jane (1872 – 1962), my ancestor, named for his first wife; George Franklin (1873 – 1965); and William Anthony FREDENBURG (1876 – c. 1947).


Source: Civil War Pension Index Cards of Sylvester Fredenburg(h). Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900. National Archives and Records Administration. Publication T289. Digital images purchased at Footnote [http://www.footnote.com/].

Enlisted: 14 December 1861 at Penn Yan, Yates Co., New York; private. Enlisted 17 December 1861 in Co. A, 50th New York Engineers (same company as his brother Abram). Enlisted 14 March 1862 at Milo, Yates Co., New York in Co. I, 33rd New York Infantry. Mustered out with company 2 June 1862 at Geneva, Ontario Co., New York. Returned to Co. I, 33rd New York Infantry in November 1862. Re-enlisted 16 January 1864 at Jerusalem, Potter (now Yates) Co., New York. Enlisted 23 January 1864 in Co. L, 50th New York Engineers.

Side served: Union

History of Unit: 50th New York Engineers, 33rd New York Infantry (more info here, too)

Mustered out: 13 June 1865 at Fort Barry, Virginia

Biography or Information of Interest: Sylvester’s discharge paper states he was five foot, six inches high, dark complected, with brown eyes and brown hair. His pension papers were full of great genealogical information, as his widow, Cornelia, applied first for a widow’s pension on his account, and then later on her second husband’s–a Navy veteran–account. Since both Sylvester and Washington Foster JUDD (her second husband) had been married and had children before marrying Cornelia, there were all sorts of marriage records and affidavits as to the births of the prior children. Unfortunately, Cornelia–being illiterate–had incorrect birth dates for all hers and Sylvester’s children (listing all three as being born after his death!) as well as having listed an incorrect regiment for Sylvester’s service. In the record of his service, it was discovered that he “deserted at Geneva, N.Y. April 1, ’62. Retaken Sept. 1, ’62.” At his court martial, he was sentenced to a ” loss of all pay up to Sept. 30, ’62.” His records also show he was hospitalized in August, again in September, and still again in October of 1864. Friends of the family attested that he had never been completely well after his return from the war and that he had a persistent cough. His death record states he died of spinal disease. It appears he probably had tuberculosis.

Died: 20 March 1879 in Riley Twp., St. Clair Co., Michigan of spinal disease contracted during the war

Buried: Believed to be buried at Romeo Cemetery, Romeo, Macomb Co., Michigan

A Civil War Soldier: Pvt. Benjamin Franklin FREDENBURG (c. 1844 – 1864)

How Related: Brother of my 3rd-great-grandfather, Sylvester FREDENBURG

Born: c. 1844, New York

Parents: Anthony FREDENBURG (1816 – 1881) and Hannah FOX (c. 1816 – 1890s)

Siblings: Benjamin was one of 11 children and one of three brothers that served in the Union Army:

  • Charlotte (b. c. 1839)
  • Amanda (b. c. 1839)
  • Abram (1841 – 1903)
  • Sylvester (c. 1842 – 1879) – my ancestor
  • Rachel (c. 1847 – 1904)
  • Alonzo (c. 1849)
  • George Cady (1852 – 1930)
  • Lurinda (c. 1854 – 1926)
  • William (c. 1856)
  • Isabella (c. 1856 – 1926)

Married: never

Children: none

Mustered in: 20 Februay 1862 at East Saginaw, Saginaw Co., Michigan in Co. E, 7th Michigan Cavalry; private.

Side Served: Union

History of Unit: 7th Michigan Cavalry

Discharged: Died as a prisoner of war at Camp Sumter (Andersonville Prison), Americus, Georgia


Source: Andersonville Prison, Camp Sumter, Ga., as it appeared August 1st 1864 when it contained 35,000 prisoners of war / drawn from memory by Thomas O’Dea, late private Co. E. 16th Regt. Maine Infi. Vols ; on stone by T. J. S. Landis. Lithograph. N.Y. : Henry Seibert & Bro. Art Litho., 12 & 14 Warren St., [1864 or later]. In the possession of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Digital print accessed online [http://hdl.loc.gov/] on 24 April 2008.

Biography or Information of Interest: It appears that Benjamin was taken prisoner on or before 11 June 1864, where he is listed as a prisoner of war at Trevillian Station, Virginia.

Died: 1 November 1864 of dysentery

Buried: Grave 11709, Andersonville National Cemetery, Americus, Macon Co., Georgia

A Civil War Soldier: Pvt. Benjamin Franklin FREDENBURG (c. 1844 – 1864)

How Related: Brother of my 3rd-great-grandfather, Sylvester FREDENBURG

Born: c. 1844, New York

Parents: Anthony FREDENBURG (1816 – 1881) and Hannah FOX (c. 1816 – 1890s)

Siblings: Benjamin was one of 11 children and one of three brothers that served in the Union Army:

  • Charlotte (b. c. 1839)
  • Amanda (b. c. 1839)
  • Abram (1841 – 1903)
  • Sylvester (c. 1842 – 1879) – my ancestor
  • Rachel (c. 1847 – 1904)
  • Alonzo (c. 1849)
  • George Cady (1852 – 1930)
  • Lurinda (c. 1854 – 1926)
  • William (c. 1856)
  • Isabella (c. 1856 – 1926)

Married: never

Children: none

Mustered in: 20 Februay 1862 at East Saginaw, Saginaw Co., Michigan in Co. E, 7th Michigan Cavalry; private.

Side Served: Union

History of Unit: 7th Michigan Cavalry

Discharged: Died as a prisoner of war at Camp Sumter (Andersonville Prison), Americus, Georgia


Source: Andersonville Prison, Camp Sumter, Ga., as it appeared August 1st 1864 when it contained 35,000 prisoners of war / drawn from memory by Thomas O’Dea, late private Co. E. 16th Regt. Maine Infi. Vols ; on stone by T. J. S. Landis. Lithograph. N.Y. : Henry Seibert & Bro. Art Litho., 12 & 14 Warren St., [1864 or later]. In the possession of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Digital print accessed online [http://hdl.loc.gov/] on 24 April 2008.

Biography or Information of Interest: It appears that Benjamin was taken prisoner on or before 11 June 1864, where he is listed as a prisoner of war at Trevillian Station, Virginia.

Died: 1 November 1864 of dysentery

Buried: Grave 11709, Andersonville National Cemetery, Americus, Macon Co., Georgia

A Civil War Soldier: Cpl. Abram FREDENBURG (1841 – 1903)

Source: Fredenburg Family Photograph. Reproduction of framed photograph. C. 1861. Original photograph believed to be in the possession of Dorothy Needham Moreno, Ann Arbor, Michigan. 2001.

The above photograph shows the Fredenburg family. Sitting in the front row, left to right, are men who are believed to be Anthony (father), Abram, and Sylvester FREDENBURG. Standing in the back, left to right, are women believed to be their spouses: Hannah Fox (mother), Myra [–?–], and Mary Jane [–?–] FREDENBURG.

How Related: Brother of my 3rd-great-grandfather, Sylvester FREDENBURG

Born: 23 February 1842, New York

Parents: Anthony FREDENBURG (1816 – 1881) and Hannah FOX (c. 1816 – 1890s)

Siblings: Abram was one of 11 children and one of three brothers that served in the Union Army:

  • Charlotte (b. c. 1839)
  • Amanda (b. c. 1839)
  • Sylvester (1844 – 1879) – my ancestor
  • Rachel (c. 1847 – 1904)
  • Benjamin Franklin (c. 1849 – c. 1864)
  • Alonzo (c. 1849)
  • George Cady (1852 – 1930)
  • Lurinda (c. 1854 – 1926)
  • William (c. 1856)
  • Isabella (c. 1856 – 1926)

Married: Myra [–?–]

Children: Anna “Annie” (b. c. 1871) and Daniel Reeder FREDENBURG (b. c. 1873)

Source: Civil War Pension Index Card of Abram Fredenburg. Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900. National Archives and Records Administration. Publication T289. Digital image purchased at Footnote [http://www.footnote.com/].

Enlisted: 14 December 1861 at Penn Yan, New York; private. Enlisted in Co. A., 50th New York Engineers on 17 December 1861.

Side Served: Union

History of Unit: 50th New York Engineers

Mustered Out: 13 June 1865 at Fort Barry, Virginia

Biography or Information of Interest: There is some speculation that Abram also served in the 24th New York Cavalry, but I haven’t investigated enough to see if the man by that name in that regiment is the same as “my” Abram.

Died: 26 September 1903 in Kent Co., Michigan

Buried: Plainfield Township Cemetery, Grand Rapids, Kent Co., Michigan

A Civil War Soldier: Cpl. Abram FREDENBURG (1841 – 1903)

Source: Fredenburg Family Photograph. Reproduction of framed photograph. C. 1861. Original photograph believed to be in the possession of Dorothy Needham Moreno, Ann Arbor, Michigan. 2001.

The above photograph shows the Fredenburg family. Sitting in the front row, left to right, are men who are believed to be Anthony (father), Abram, and Sylvester FREDENBURG. Standing in the back, left to right, are women believed to be their spouses: Hannah Fox (mother), Myra [–?–], and Mary Jane [–?–] FREDENBURG.

How Related: Brother of my 3rd-great-grandfather, Sylvester FREDENBURG

Born: 23 February 1842, New York

Parents: Anthony FREDENBURG (1816 – 1881) and Hannah FOX (c. 1816 – 1890s)

Siblings: Abram was one of 11 children and one of three brothers that served in the Union Army:

  • Charlotte (b. c. 1839)
  • Amanda (b. c. 1839)
  • Sylvester (1844 – 1879) – my ancestor
  • Rachel (c. 1847 – 1904)
  • Benjamin Franklin (c. 1849 – c. 1864)
  • Alonzo (c. 1849)
  • George Cady (1852 – 1930)
  • Lurinda (c. 1854 – 1926)
  • William (c. 1856)
  • Isabella (c. 1856 – 1926)

Married: Myra [–?–]

Children: Anna “Annie” (b. c. 1871) and Daniel Reeder FREDENBURG (b. c. 1873)

Source: Civil War Pension Index Card of Abram Fredenburg. Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900. National Archives and Records Administration. Publication T289. Digital image purchased at Footnote [http://www.footnote.com/].

Enlisted: 14 December 1861 at Penn Yan, New York; private. Enlisted in Co. A., 50th New York Engineers on 17 December 1861.

Side Served: Union

History of Unit: 50th New York Engineers

Mustered Out: 13 June 1865 at Fort Barry, Virginia

Biography or Information of Interest: There is some speculation that Abram also served in the 24th New York Cavalry, but I haven’t investigated enough to see if the man by that name in that regiment is the same as “my” Abram.

Died: 26 September 1903 in Kent Co., Michigan

Buried: Plainfield Township Cemetery, Grand Rapids, Kent Co., Michigan

Ancestors in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census – Part 9

April 1st was Census Day for the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. In honor of that census day, throughout the month of April I posted lists of my known direct ancestors and where they were residing during that census. I am continuing this series into the subsequent months. I’ll also list who’s missing; for us family historians, missing individuals on census records can be the most frustrating and intriguing challenges of genealogy!

In Part 3 of this series, I presented census information on one of my paternal great-grandmothers, Mary Jane BARBER. This post looks at the household in which her widowed mother, Mary Jane FREDENBURG lived in 1930. I refer to my great-great-grandmother as Mary Jane (the Elder) in this post, to differentiate her from her daughter, whenever it is necessary.


Mary Jane (Fredenburg) Barber, c. 1902

I had a great deal of difficulty finding Mary Jane (the Elder) in the 1930 Federal Census at Ancestry.com. I knew that her husband, Orlando BARBER, had died in 1910 in Lapeer, Lapeer County, Michigan. I found her (again, with much difficulty) in the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, married to a man named Fred SMITH and living in Flint, Genesee County, Michigan. A map of Michigan shows that Genesee and Lapeer Counties are adjacent, and this family emigrated back and forth frequently between counties. In both the 1920 and 1930 Censuses, I had to look for Mary Jane’s children in order to find her. Alexander “Red” BARBER, Mary Jane’s middle son, was living in Fremont Township, Tuscola County, Michigan in 1930, and that is where I found Mary Jane. I had to do some creative searching, as the household was indexed under “Barter.”

The household, enumerated in E.D. 20, sheet 5A, consisted of:

  • Alexander BARBER, head of the household and owner of the home, which was located on a farm. There was no radio listed, indicating the house probably did not have electricity. He was a male, white, 25-year-old single person, not in school, able to read and write, born in Michigan, as were his parents. Able to speak English, he was employed as a farmer in general farm work (self-employed), but not a veteran.
  • Mary [Jane] BARBER, mother, female, white, 54 years old, Widowed [“Divorced” has been crossed out], age 16 at the time of her first marriage, not in school, able to read and write, born in Michigan. Her father is listed as having been born in Pennsylvania, and her mother’s birthplace is stated as Scotland. The correct answers should have been New York and Michigan, respectively. She was able to speak English.
  • Levi KELLER, Lodger [“Servant” has been crossed out], male, white, 51 years old, Widowed [“Divorced” has been crossed out], age 25 at the time of his first marriage, not in school, able to read and write, born in Michigan. His father was born in the “U.S.” [“not known” is crossed out], mother was born in New York. He was able to speak English, and employed as a farm laborer (no doubt on Alex’s farm), working for wages. He also was not a veteran.

What is interesting here is that my family oral records state Mary Jane and Levi married in 1922. I haven’t gotten their marriage record yet to verify or discredit this statement. I do know they did marry, as I have Levi and Mary Jane’s obituaries, and Mary Jane’s death record; these three documents show secondary source evidence of a marriage. Another interesting fact is that in 1939, Mary Jane’s daughter, Mary Jane BARBER (my great-grandmother), married Levi’s son from his first marriage, Archie KELLER (they divorced in 1946).

This was a third marriage for both Levi and Mary Jane (the Elder). Their children who married each other were both from their respective first marriages, and it appears that they were both widowed in their first marriages and divorced from their second spouses. Levi died in 1945, and Mary Jane never married again.

She had had eight children with Orlando BARBER; the first three had died in infancy between 1894 and 1901. The five surviving children were Clara May, James Albert, Alexander, Arthur, and my great-grandmother, Mary Jane. So far, I have only found Alex and Mary Jane in the 1930 Census. Mary Jane (the Elder) did not have any other children with her subsequent husbands, Fred SMITH and Levi KELLER.

(Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12)