Saturday, May 25, 2013

SNGF: Locations of My Ancestors on 1 June 1863

Randy Seaver's challenge for tonight's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun is to identify WHERE our ancestors were living 150 years ago--on 1 June 1863--and to post photos of those homes.

Hah! It's taken me several hours just to identify which of my ancestors were living in June 1863 and where they were living. I have no photos of houses before about 1900. None of my ancestors lived in cities, so locations are pretty nebulous.

That said, here's what I came up with:

My Dad’s side:

Morris T. SHARP (b. 1834 in NJ), my 2ggf (father’s father’s father’s father), was living in South Henderson Township, Henderson Co., IL, according to the 1863 Civil War Draft Registration taken in June/July 1863. His future wife (married in 1868), Mary [McFarland] DREW (b. 1836 in OH), was at that time married to her first husband, George DREW, and living in the town of Oquawka, Henderson Co., IL, with George and 3 young children.
I don’t know if Morris’ father was still alive or not. His mother died in 1851, but I don’t know when his father died. Mary’s parents, William (b. 1793 in PA) and Nancy [STILLEY] McFARLAND (b. abt. 1804 in PA), were also living in Oquawka in 1863. Their two youngest sons, Absolom and Benjamin, may still have been living with them, as the 1863 Civil War Draft Registration of June/July 1863 lists them as both still single, working as shoemakers, and living in Oquawka town.
Levi RYASON (b. 1834 in OH), another 2ggf (father’s father’s mother’s father) and his wife, Susanna SULTS (b. 1837 in OH), were apparently still living in Clay township, La Grange County, Indiana in June 1863. According to Levi’s obituary, they moved to Illinois nine years after their marriage in April 1856. Levi’s parents, Isaac RYASON (b. 1808 in OH) and Susanna BUSCARK (b. 1811 in PA) were also living in La Grange County, Indiana in June 1863, in the same area as their son’s family. Susanna’s parents, Michael SULTS (b. 1805, PA) and Sophia HOWELL (b. 1812, PA) were both still alive and living in Steuben County, Indiana, apparently on a farm.
On my father’s maternal side, my 2ggf James Braithwaite MELDRUM (b. 1840 in England) was on the lam. On 16 Sept 1861, he enlisted as a private in Company A of the 47th PA Infantry. According to the “Register of Deserters” for that company, James B. Meldrum deserted on 24 Jan 1863 at Key West, Florida. The next record I have for him is his marriage in August 1866 at Easton, Northumberland Co., PA, so no telling where he was in June 1863. James’ future wife, Nancy Maria STARK (b. 1845, NJ) was probably still living with her parents, William and Jane STARK, in Northampton Co., PA, in June 1863. I know nothing about this line and haven’t focused any research efforts on them. James’ parents, David MELDRUM (b. 1819, England) and Emma BRAITHWAITE (b. 1815, England) were probably still living in Phillipsburgh township, Warren County, NJ in 1863. They don’t appear in the Pittsburgh city directories until 1865.
Also on my father’s maternal side, my 2ggf, Herman SONNEN (b. 1833, Germany) and his wife, Elizabeth MOHR (b. 1838, Germany) were living in New Orleans, LA, with their son Louis (age 3). Their second child was born later in June 1863. Herman was conscripted into Company F of the 5th Louisiana Infantry on 22 July 1863 for a term of 60 days. I suspect that he had served in the Confederate Army before, but don’t know the exact dates, so he may have been off soldiering on 1 June 1863. I know nothing about the parents of either Herman on Elizabeth.

My Mother’s side:
My 3ggf, Phillip SWICEGOOD (b. 1784, NC) would have been living with his 4th wife, Mary HUNT, in Davidson County, NC.  I don’t know if any of his 16 children were still living with him. His last child, Alice Elizabeth SWICEGOOD (b. 1849), died 20 July 1863, and is buried at Tyro, Davidson Co., NC, so I assume the family was still living in that area. My 2ggf, Andrew SWICEGOOD (b. 1811, NC to Phillip and his first wife, Magadalena NUNLEY, who died in 1818) moved to northern Georgia before 1850 and didn’t move to Hickory County, Missouri until after 1865. In 1863 Andrew and his wife, Sabray OWENS (b. 1819, TN) had 5 or 6 of their 10 children, including my ggf, John Hiram Richmond Sharpe SWICEGOOD (b. 1858),  still living with them. I don’t know if Sabray’s parents were still living or not.
In June 1863 my mother’s father’s mother’s father, Squire COFFEY (b. 1828, TN) was back with his wife, Drusilla PARKER (b.1833, TN) and 4 surviving children in Maries County, Missouri, living near his mother, Rachel {Boone] COFFEY (b. 1794, NC) and several of his siblings. Squire was between enlistments in the Union Army. He served from 13 July until 9 Nov 1862 in Co. A, Maries County Enrolled Missouri Militia (EMM) and from 21 Aug until 30 Nov 1863 in Co. K, 9th Provisional EMM.
On my mother’s mother’s side, my 3ggf, William L. BROOKSHIRE (b.1796, VA) had just died on 16 March 1863 in Hickory County, Missouri. His widow, Sarah A. (VARNELL) BROOKSHIRE stayed in Hickory County the rest of her life, until her death in 1885. Their youngest son, my 2ggf, Henry Clay BROOKSHIRE (b. 1848, Missouri) was probably still living with his mother in June 1863. One source says that “...after her husband’s death in 1862, Sarah moved the family to Cooper County, Missouri.”
Neither of my 3ggps on my mother’s mother’s father’s mother’s side were still living in 1863. Ironically, my 4ggf, Stephen WOOLERY (b. 1799, KY) and his wife, Hannah Woods BRISCOE (b. 1808, KY) were both still living near Mount Nebo, Cooper County, Missouri. Their granddaughter, Mildred Melvina WOOLERY (b. 1850, MO) was living with her parents and siblings near Spring Fork, Pettis County, Missouri in October 1860, but I don’t know who took the kids after both parents died within 13 months of the census date.
On my mother’s mother’s mother’s side, my 3ggf, Henry W. COLLINS (b. 1802, VA) had already been dead over ten years by June 1863 and his widow, Susannah BARTSHE (b. 1829, OH) was 10 years into her second marriage. I suspect that Susannah and Silas FREEMAN were living in Texas in 1863. They moved to Benton County, Arkansas before October 1860 and their fifth child was born in Collin County, Texas in October 1862. My 2ggf, Robert Henry COLLINS (b. 1849, MO) was living with his mother and step-family at the time of the 1860 census, but I don’t know if he was still with them in June 1863 or not. He could well have been living with some other relative by then. Susannah BARTSHE’s father, my 4ggf, Jacob BARTSHE (b. 1801, PA) was still alive in 1863 and living in or near Quincy, Hickory County, Missouri, with his second wife and a bunch of kids.

Robert Collins’ wife, Rebecca Jane CAMPBELL (b. 1842, MO) was married to her first husband, Daniel W. MILLER (b. 1839, MO) in July 1859 and already had two children by June 1863. They were living on the border of Benton and Hickory counties in mid-1863, just before Daniel enlisted in the Missouri State Militia and went off to fight the rebels. Jane’s father, Nicholas CAMPBELL (b. 1808, VA) was still alive in 1863, married to his second wife and living in Alexander township, Benton County, Missouri. Jane’s mother, Sarah Anne CRABTREE (b. 1817, TN) died in 1856 and both her parents were dead long before 1863.
If anyone can connect to any of these lines, please contact me using the Comment link below. 


  1. Isaac Ryason and Susanna Buscark are my wife's 5th great grandparents. Their son, George W, is her 4th great grandfather. I would like to exchange any notes.

  2. My great grandmother was Nancy Elizabeth Swicegood (1845-1921), daughter of Andrew Swicegood & Sabray E. W. Owens. She married David Benjamin Cordell (1844-1917), and their 2nd child, William Henry Cordell (my grandfather) married Iva Dora Chaney. Their second son, Lloyd H. Cordell, is my father. Greetings to all cousins! Carol Ramsperger (

  3. Andrew Swicegood and Sabray Owens were the parents of my great grandmother, Nancy Elizabeth Swicegood,who married David Benjamin Cordell. Their son, William Henry Cordell, married Iva Dora Chaney ((my paternal grandparents), and they had two sons, Edgar B. and Lloyd H., my father.