Friday Findings: McCLELLAN Pension Record, E-mails, Atlas Project, BORCHERS

I ordered the Civil War Pension Record for my 4th-great-grandfather, Levi E. McCLELLAN (McLELLAN, McLALLIN, etc.). That along with subscriptions for Internet Genealogy (renewal) and Discovering Family History (new) were some of my Christmas gifts this year.

On Saturday, I e-mailed the VALK and LEWIS cousins that had left comments in my website’s guestbook a couple of weeks ago. I also went through my Juno email inbox (nearly 900 messages), deleted all the junk and forwarded the good e-mails to my Gmail inbox. I used to use Juno for many years, and keep this freebie account open for those times when a distant relative or other researcher comes across a query I left on a message board with the old address. One of the messages was the following:

I have been searching for over 5 yrs. for a missing link, my Gr. Grandfather Lewis Harding. I knew his name, his wife’s name, when he was born, where he is buried and I knew that he came to Michigan when he was 2 yrs. old. I spent some time on looking at the Atlas Project, did a search and found him in the biography of George M. Campbell. Thank you so much for your Atlas Project. I not only found Lewis Harding’s parents, but also his sisters and brother. I have an old album that belonged to my grandparents, M.C. and Matilda Harding that has pictures of several of the people named in the Atlas Project. I knew they were relatives, but I didn’t know their connection and thanks to you now I do. I am thrilled to get this information that I have been seeking for so long.

Thank you again.

As you can imagine, this made my day! I haven’t worked on the Atlas Project in a couple of years so it’s nice to know that the information I put on it has helped someone. Here’s another person I need to contact to see if she would be willing to add her photographs to the website for the benefit of others.

I heard back from my LEWIS cousin we are collaborating. I have the information she needs on the earlier, older generations and she has information I’ve been wanting on the more recent ones–info I couldn’t access because of restrictions to current vital records. I also sent her quite a few ancestral and gravestone photos. I’m very excited to find how easy it is to find things and send them to others using my new filing system for documents, photos, and research notes.

Speaking of which, I spent a lot of time this week organizing digital files, answering a backlog of emails, and even got some scanning done. My dad loaned me the funeral book of my paternal grandmother’s adoptive father, Alfred Henry HOLST. There are lots of gems inside: obituaries, signatures of nearly everyone in town (including other relatives), and pages where relatives are specifically listed. One of the list of relatives had some unfamiliar names on it. I remembered that I had discovered that Alfred’s father, John, had a sister that had also immigrated from Germany; this was from John’s FBI Case File, which I found at Footnote. His sister was listed as Mrs. Anna M. BORCHERS, so using Ancestry and FamilySearch Record Search, I was able to piece together her family and identify the individuals by the same surname listed in the funeral book: Anna’s sons and Alfred’s cousins. Doing research on this family uncovered that Anna and her husband Claus immigrated from Germany in 1874, so when John and his wife and infant son Alfred immigrated in 1882, it was obvious that they were joining his sister and brother-in-law. I love how putting pieces of the puzzle (facts) together gives a larger, deeper look into the family history!

Lastly, I happened to go to the Zeeland (Netherlands) Provincial Archives website and saw that they had added birth records, which they were lacking before. I’ve been able to add quite a few details and family members to my TON and VanKLINKEN lines.

Friday Findings: VALK, LEWIS, McCLELLAN, Markham Twp Ancestry

I haven’t done a Friday Findings post in a while, and as I’m slowly returning to posting more of my regular “columns”, I thought I’d start here. Friday Findings is a feature I started last summer to record my weekly research finds and cousin connections. I hope to do a better job of keeping up with this. This post covers the past two weeks.

LEWIS and VALK
Last week, I had two cousins leave comments on the guestbook at my family history website, also named AnceStories. I’m delighted to hear from them, and need to take the time to compose thoughtful, comprehensive e-mails as responses.

McCLELLAN
I have spent a lot of my online research time during the past two weeks trying to find as much as possible about one of my brick wall ancestors, Levi E. McCLELLAN (or McLELLAN). The Michigan vital records at FamilySearch Record Search helped me to determine that he was indeed married twice, and not just once. Confusion came about because both wives had similar names. His first wife, my ancestor Clarissa Mary (or Mary Clarissa) CLEVELAND, was born c. 1832 in New York state. She last appears on the 1870 Federal Census with him and the children, William, Cornelia (my 3rd-great-grandmother), and Edwin in New Haven Village, Macomb Co., Michigan. In 1880, Levi is living with wife Mary C. FORD, along with a 10-year-old son Ira, and two step-children in Detroit. Finding son Ira’s marriage record, also at FamilySearch Record Search proved that he was Clarissa’s son and not Mary’s. Mary appears in the 1890 Veteran’s Census as a widow of two veterans, Levi being one of them. So Levi died sometime between 1880 (when he appears in both the Federal Census in Detroit and the 1880 Detroit City Directory) and 1890. The 1850 Federal Census gives me a possible mother, brother, and niece for Levi. I’ve decided to spend my Christmas money on obtaining Levi’s Civil War Veteran’s pension record from the National Archives to see what genealogical gems I can glean from it.

Markham Twp., York Co., Ontario Ancestry
Janet Iles was kind enough to let me consult her regarding what Markham Township records are available so that I can try to knock down some other brick wall lines, my WILKINSON and either TERRY or LAMONEAUX lines. I’m hoping to find the marriage record of Richard WILKINSON and his wife Mary, who seems to have two surnames (TERRY and LAMONEAUX).

A Civil War Soldier: Cpl. Levi E. McCLELLAN (c. 1823 – bef. 1890)

How Related: My 4th-great-grandfather

Born: c. 1823 in New York

Parents: unknown

Siblings: possibly include William J. McClellan (1822 – 1881) who also served in the same company and regiment

Married: by 1854 to Clarissa CLEVELAND (b. c. 1832 – d. c. 1870); married c. 1870 to Mary C. [–?–] MILLER COREY (b. c. 1831)

Children: known children include: William (b. c. 1855), Cornelia (1856 – 1916) – my ancestor, and Edmund McCLELLAN (b. c. 1863) – all apparently with first wife Clarissa; Ira McCLELLAN (b. c. 1870), a son with wife Mary; and stepchildren Martha A. MILLER (b. c. 1864) and Georg A. COREY (b. c. 1866), children of Mary

Source: Civil War Pension Index Card of Levi E. McLallin. 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: 24 October 1862 in St. Clair, St. Clair Co., Michigan; private. Enlisted 11 November 1862 in Co. C, 27th Michigan Infantry. Promoted to full corporal 18 July 1863.

Side served: Union

Discharged: due to disability on 21 January 1865 at Petersburg, Virginia

Biography or Information of Interest: This man has been very difficult to research because McCLELLAN can be spelled so many different ways, and when I’ve found them on censuses, all the names and ages of the children are always a bit “off.” He is a recently discovered ancestor, so I have a lot to learn about him, and he and his family have provided me with many research challenges. Levi served in same company as William J. McCLELLAN, who may have been his brother. He also served in the same regiment (but different company) as William Lee MASSEY. Levi’s great-grandaughter, Mary Jane BARBER, married William’s great-grand-nephew, Howard Merkel YORK 45 years after the end of the Civil War. They were my great-grandparents. Levi’s daughter, Cornelia, was married to two different Civil War veterans, who have already been listed in this series: Sylvester FREDENBURG and Washington Foster JUDD.

Died: between 1880 and 1890 (Levi’s widow, Mary, appears on the 1890 Civil War Veterans Census), possibly in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, as that is where he was living in 1880

Buried: unknown; unable to locate grave

A Civil War Soldier: Cpl. Levi E. McCLELLAN (c. 1823 – bef. 1890)

How Related: My 4th-great-grandfather

Born: c. 1823 in New York

Parents: unknown

Siblings: possibly include William J. McClellan (1822 – 1881) who also served in the same company and regiment

Married: by 1854 to Clarissa CLEVELAND (b. c. 1832 – d. c. 1870); married c. 1870 to Mary C. [–?–] MILLER COREY (b. c. 1831)

Children: known children include: William (b. c. 1855), Cornelia (1856 – 1916) – my ancestor, and Edmund McCLELLAN (b. c. 1863) – all apparently with first wife Clarissa; Ira McCLELLAN (b. c. 1870), a son with wife Mary; and stepchildren Martha A. MILLER (b. c. 1864) and Georg A. COREY (b. c. 1866), children of Mary

Source: Civil War Pension Index Card of Levi E. McLallin. 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: 24 October 1862 in St. Clair, St. Clair Co., Michigan; private. Enlisted 11 November 1862 in Co. C, 27th Michigan Infantry. Promoted to full corporal 18 July 1863.

Side served: Union

Discharged: due to disability on 21 January 1865 at Petersburg, Virginia

Biography or Information of Interest: This man has been very difficult to research because McCLELLAN can be spelled so many different ways, and when I’ve found them on censuses, all the names and ages of the children are always a bit “off.” He is a recently discovered ancestor, so I have a lot to learn about him, and he and his family have provided me with many research challenges. Levi served in same company as William J. McCLELLAN, who may have been his brother. He also served in the same regiment (but different company) as William Lee MASSEY. Levi’s great-grandaughter, Mary Jane BARBER, married William’s great-grand-nephew, Howard Merkel YORK 45 years after the end of the Civil War. They were my great-grandparents. Levi’s daughter, Cornelia, was married to two different Civil War veterans, who have already been listed in this series: Sylvester FREDENBURG and Washington Foster JUDD.

Died: between 1880 and 1890 (Levi’s widow, Mary, appears on the 1890 Civil War Veterans Census), possibly in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, as that is where he was living in 1880

Buried: unknown; unable to locate grave

A Civil War Sailor: Boatswain’s Mate Washington Foster JUDD (c. 1832 – 1896)

Signature of William Foster Judd, a.k.a. Charles F. King, from Civil War Veteran’s Widow Pension Application of Cornelia (McClellan) Fredenburg Judd Crawford.

How Related: Second husband of my 3rd-great-grandmother, Cornelia McCLELLAN

Born: c. 1832 in New York (probably in Madison County)

Parents: Franklin Foster JUDD (c. 1797 – aft. 1880) and Julia BURLINGUETTE (c. 1797 – 1878/80)

Siblings: known siblings include John (b. c. 1835), Charity (b. c. 1839), and Abigail JUDD (b. c. 1841), and possibly a sister named Harriet (b. c. 1821)

Married: Celis RABAR (d. aft. 1873) in February 1854 at a Catholic Church in Chatham, Kent Co., Ontario, Canada. He divorced her 11 December 1873 in Lapeer, Lapeer Co., Michigan on the grounds of desertion. Married widow Cornelia (McCLELLAN) FREDENBURG (my ancestor) on 18 May 1893 in Lapeer.

Children: With his first wife, Washington had two daughters: Elvira C. (b. 1854) and Rosa JUDD (b. 1857).

Source: Navy Survivors’ Certificate of Washington F. Judd, alias Charles F. King. Case Files of Approved Pension Applications of Civil War and Later Navy Veterans (Navy Survivors’ Certificates), 1861-1910. National Archives and Records Administration. Publication M1469. Certificate Number 16826. Pages 1 – 3. Digital image purchased at Footnote [http://www.footnote.com/].

Enlisted: 15 September 1861 at Buffalo, Erie Co., New York

Side served: Union

Ship: U.S.S. Signal

Discharged: 29 July 1863 at Memphis, Shelby Co., Tennessee

Source: U.S.S. Signal on the Western Rivers, 1863-64. Digital image found at Wikipedia [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Signal_%281862%29]. Photo in the public domain. Photo number NH49977.

Biography or Information of Interest: Before I obtained the pension record of my 3rd-great-grandfather, Sylvester FREDENBURG, I did not know that his wife, my ancestor, Cornelia McCLELLAN, married twice after his death. Thus, I had not known about Washington Foster JUDD. Sylvester’s and Washington’s pension applications were combined, as both were applied for by Cornelia after their respective deaths. While there were not many documents about Washington, what existed has given me great details of the events in his life. For instance, I learned that he was 5′ 8″ tall, with light hair and complexion, and blue eyes. There was no hint, however, of why he used an alias during the war, although he was not the only one between my husband’s and my families to do so. He was assigned to the U.S.S. Signal, which, as a gunboat, served as a convoy escort. On 12 December 1862, the U.S.S. Cairo encountered a mine while attempting to clear the river of these dangers (the Signal and another ship had already discovered these mines while patrolling), and sank in 12 minutes. While assisting the crew of the Cairo to safety (all survived), Washington slipped and fell, rupturing his right side. He was treated by the surgeon of the flag ship of the convoy. By 1890, at age 58, his physician testified that he was still suffering from the rupture, as well as from chronic diarrhea, heart disease, and lumbago. Like many who survived the war only to suffer for years afterward, he died of the dehydrating effects of diarrhea. Washington was fortunate that he was discharged when he was; his ship was later burned by the Confederates and the crew held as prisoners of war at Camp Ford near Tyler, Smith Co., Texas.

Died: of chronic diarrhea on 23 May 1896 in Arcadia, Lapeer Co., Michigan

Buried: unknown, possibly in Arcadia Township Cemetery, Lapeer Co., Michigan?

A Civil War Sailor: Boatswain’s Mate Washington Foster JUDD (c. 1832 – 1896)

Signature of William Foster Judd, a.k.a. Charles F. King, from Civil War Veteran’s Widow Pension Application of Cornelia (McClellan) Fredenburg Judd Crawford.

How Related: Second husband of my 3rd-great-grandmother, Cornelia McCLELLAN

Born: c. 1832 in New York (probably in Madison County)

Parents: Franklin Foster JUDD (c. 1797 – aft. 1880) and Julia BURLINGUETTE (c. 1797 – 1878/80)

Siblings: known siblings include John (b. c. 1835), Charity (b. c. 1839), and Abigail JUDD (b. c. 1841), and possibly a sister named Harriet (b. c. 1821)

Married: Celis RABAR (d. aft. 1873) in February 1854 at a Catholic Church in Chatham, Kent Co., Ontario, Canada. He divorced her 11 December 1873 in Lapeer, Lapeer Co., Michigan on the grounds of desertion. Married widow Cornelia (McCLELLAN) FREDENBURG (my ancestor) on 18 May 1893 in Lapeer.

Children: With his first wife, Washington had two daughters: Elvira C. (b. 1854) and Rosa JUDD (b. 1857).

Source: Navy Survivors’ Certificate of Washington F. Judd, alias Charles F. King. Case Files of Approved Pension Applications of Civil War and Later Navy Veterans (Navy Survivors’ Certificates), 1861-1910. National Archives and Records Administration. Publication M1469. Certificate Number 16826. Pages 1 – 3. Digital image purchased at Footnote [http://www.footnote.com/].

Enlisted: 15 September 1861 at Buffalo, Erie Co., New York

Side served: Union

Ship: U.S.S. Signal

Discharged: 29 July 1863 at Memphis, Shelby Co., Tennessee

Source: U.S.S. Signal on the Western Rivers, 1863-64. Digital image found at Wikipedia [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Signal_%281862%29]. Photo in the public domain. Photo number NH49977.

Biography or Information of Interest: Before I obtained the pension record of my 3rd-great-grandfather, Sylvester FREDENBURG, I did not know that his wife, my ancestor, Cornelia McCLELLAN, married twice after his death. Thus, I had not known about Washington Foster JUDD. Sylvester’s and Washington’s pension applications were combined, as both were applied for by Cornelia after their respective deaths. While there were not many documents about Washington, what existed has given me great details of the events in his life. For instance, I learned that he was 5′ 8″ tall, with light hair and complexion, and blue eyes. There was no hint, however, of why he used an alias during the war, although he was not the only one between my husband’s and my families to do so. He was assigned to the U.S.S. Signal, which, as a gunboat, served as a convoy escort. On 12 December 1862, the U.S.S. Cairo encountered a mine while attempting to clear the river of these dangers (the Signal and another ship had already discovered these mines while patrolling), and sank in 12 minutes. While assisting the crew of the Cairo to safety (all survived), Washington slipped and fell, rupturing his right side. He was treated by the surgeon of the flag ship of the convoy. By 1890, at age 58, his physician testified that he was still suffering from the rupture, as well as from chronic diarrhea, heart disease, and lumbago. Like many who survived the war only to suffer for years afterward, he died of the dehydrating effects of diarrhea. Washington was fortunate that he was discharged when he was; his ship was later burned by the Confederates and the crew held as prisoners of war at Camp Ford near Tyler, Smith Co., Texas.

Died: of chronic diarrhea on 23 May 1896 in Arcadia, Lapeer Co., Michigan

Buried: unknown, possibly in Arcadia Township Cemetery, Lapeer Co., Michigan?

Found! – Cornelia McCLELLAN in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census

Perseverance pays off. Sometimes, boredom does, too. Some of you know that I’ve been home all week with a nasty case of laryngitis; since I teach, I’m pretty much useless at work. I’m not feeling too badly; just a little fatigued, and mostly bored. So I’ve spent a lot of time on the computer the last few days.

At loooooooooong last, I’ve found my 3rd-great-grandmother on a census prior to 1880. Cornelia McCLELLAN appears with her parents and two younger brothers in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census in New Haven Village, Armada Township, Macomb County, Michigan. It took some tricky searches to find them, as her father is enumerated as “Levy MACLALLEN.” Cornelia herself was indexed as “Amelia” and her mother as “Charissa.” Thank goodness for Ancestry’s “correct an error” feature for census records! I sent in the correct and alternate spellings for all three.

I still can’t find these people in 1860, although I have done many rigorous searches late last night and early this morning. A search in the 1880 census for the other family members (I already had Cornelia’s enumeration for that one), gave me a possibility for Levi in Detroit, with a possible second wife (Mary C.), new son (Ira, age 10), and step-son (George, age 14). This Levi matches in approximate birth year, birth place, and occupation (carpenter) my Levi of 1870. Clarissa and Edmund (probably both deceased) are nowhere to be found. There are several possibilities for William in the state.

The 1900 census does not enumerate Levi, or at least, I haven’t found him. I did find an Ira whose birth year and birthplace match, residing in Washington Twp., Macomb County. His occupation is a (stove/steve/? joiner). Joiners and carpenters are pretty much the same occupation, and if this Ira is Levi’s son, above, it’s possible he learned the trade from his father.

Any of you who’ve done this for a while understand what I’m talking about when I say there are certain families that you can trace all the way back to the ship, with plenty of supporting documents; and then there are those that make you want to bang your head on the wall (like this family)! However frustrating the latter are, they are the ones I learn from the most. I learn to use alternate spellings, think creatively, analyze, organize my information, and simply to persevere. And these are the ones that make genealogy so interesting and rewarding!