Thursday, March 31, 2005

Today in Sivils family history

31 March 1863

102 years ago today, Solomon W. Sivels, son of Absalom Sivils and Sarah Trotter Sivils, died during his service for the Union in the Civil War.

There is some discrepancy in his service unit. His online Civil War record says that he served in the 2nd Tennessee Infantry and his burial record that he served in the 2nd Tennessee Cavalry (Union). If he served in the Cavalry, it is possible that he was killed during their "Operations against Pegram March 22-April 2", though of course disease was the big killer. In this unit, 16 men were killed in action and 208 died of disease. His wife's 1890 Special Veterans and Widows Census record confirms that his service was in the Infantry. In the 2nd Tennessee Infantry 27 men were killed in action and 613 were killed by disease. Both units were serving near Murfreesboro, Tennessee in early 1863, but the Infantry was ordered to Lexington, KY on March 11. If this was his unit, one can be fairly sure that he was already ill and in hospital when they were ordered out and he was left behind.

Obviously I haven't obtained his Civil War record yet. It would answer all of these questions.

See his Civil War Record notes online:
Solomon W. Sivils

See the Record of Interments in the National Cemetery at Murfreesboro, TN, noted 24 August 2004
SIVELS, S. W., Co. A 2nd Tenn Cav March 31, 1863, Grave Mark: O 6104.

1890 Union Veterans Census, 13th District (Rockwood), compiled by Robert L. Bailey.
SIVILS, Mahala (widow of Solomon W.). Pvt. 2 TN Inf. Post Office: Rockwood, Tennessee.

Solomon's widow Mahala never remarried and she and their son lived in Jefferson County, Tennessee from the War until they moved to Roane Co., TN just before 1890. She died there sometime before 1900.

Joseph M. Sivels married Lena Headrick the 22nd of September 1877 in Morgan County, Tennessee, where she was raised.

Joseph died in Roane County, Tn in 1919 and Lena moved in with her sister. They had no children. Lena died in Morgan Co., TN in 1920.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


I've never seen anything quite like this in a census record, so I thought I'd share:

Berrien County, Michigan
City of St Joseph, Ward 2, St Joseph Township, S.D. 4, E.D. 77, Sheet No. 17A/205A
14 June 1900 by Grant C. Bort
Broad Street

line 18, 345/371 DOUNY John Head-Hobo WM Aug 1876 23 S Illinois Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Berry Picker 9 months unemployed in the last year
THOMSON John Hobo WM June 1866 33 S Kentucky Virginia Virginia Day Laborer 9 months unemployed in the last year
JOHNSON Charles Hobo WM Dec 1879 20 S Illinois Illinois Illinois Laborer 9 months unemployed in the last year
DRUMMOND Frank Hobo WM Mar 1874 26 S England England England 1872/23 Painter 4 months unemployed in the last year
STEVENSON Walter Hobo WM Nov 1884 15 Texas Scotland Scotland Tragier? 6 months unemployed in the last year
KISSANE Richard Hobo WM May 1880 20 S Illinois Illinois Illinois Berry Picker 9 months unemployed in the last year
HANKS Thomas Hobo WM Nov 1864 35 S Ohio Ohio Ohio Stationary ???????? 7 months unemployed in the last year
SNYDER William Hobo WM Mar 1884 16 S Indiana Indiana Indiana Varsman? 4 months unemployed in the last year
ELMRIS? John Hobo WM Dec 1864 35 S Maryland Germany Germany Butcher 3 months unemployed in the last year
HEITZ William Hobo WM Feb 1871 27 S Pennsylvania Germany Germany Shoemaker 0 months unemployed in the last year
SNYDER Fred Hobo WM Oct 1885 14 S Texas Missouri Iowa Boot Black 5 months unemployed in the last year
SAWYER Thomas Hobo WM Jan 1865 35 S Ohio Ohio OhioCigar Maker 2 months unemployed in the last year
KAMP Claud Hobo WM Apr 1883 17 S Indiana Ohio Ohio Labor in mill 6 months unemployed in the last year
WELCH James Hobo WM July 1849 50 S Virginia Ireland Virginia Labor 4 months unemployed in the last year
QUIN Peter Hobo WM Dec 1839 60 Wd England England England Labor 8 months unemployed in the last year

Monday, March 07, 2005


Ahhhh, the lovely surname Smith. I suppose we all have one: a very common name hard to trace. I have some Browns as well, but my Smith research was hampered by the untimely death and far too common name of "William A. Smith".

I had an awful lot to go on to begin with. Family tradition was that his name was "William Alexander Smith" and he was born 11 December 1874 in Tennessee. He married Eva Anna Keeney 24 June 1903. They quickly had three children: Della Mae, Myrtle Marie and Floyd R. Smith. Then on the 4 of December 1909 in Willard, Missouri, William passed away. He was 35. No one has mentioned what he died of and Missouri didn't start issuing death certificates until 1910.

A cousin I was in touch with who descends from Eva's second marriage told me Floyd's name was William R. Simeron Floyd Smith. Quite a name. One guesses that the "R" stands for "Richard", Eva's father's name. But I expect we'll never know.

A very nice researcher named Gail Erickson sent me Eva's family's 1900 census record (this was before I was on I was shocked they were in Greene County (they'd lived near Kansas City in every other census both before and after 1900) but that was a bit silly of me, since Willard is in Greene County. I'd rather imagined William and Eva took off to the mines in that part of Missouri, but actually both of their fathers farmed there.:
Cass Twp., S.D. 8, E.D. 45, Sheet No. 7B
16 June 1900 W.A. McGuin
line 64 124/125 KEENEY, R.B. Head WM Mar 1849 51 M 19 MO Pen Pen Farmer
Louanna Wife WF Nov 1863 36 M 19 9/8 MO Ky MO
Eva A. Daughter WF Aug 1883 16 S Kan MO MO
Elmer R. Son WM Mar 1885 15 S Kan MO MO
Edward F. Son WM Feb 1887 13 S Kan MO MO
Clarence H. Son MW May 1889 11 S Kan MO MO
Clide Son WM June 1891 8 S Kan MO MO
Claud Son WM June 1891 8 S Kan MO MO
Roy V. Son WM Dec 1893 6 S Kan MO MO
Fred Son WM Jan 1895 5 S MO MO MO

Gail also pointed me to a Smith family nearby with a son "William A.", but he was traced and found alive and married in 1910. So, not my William.

Then yesterday I noticed that the 1900 index on ancestry had been updated (I've had a long hiatus from genealogy, moving will do that to you). So I stuck in Smiths in Greene Co., MO born in TN. Quite a list. And one was:
William E Smith Cass, Greene, Missouri abt 1875 Tennessee White Son

So I had a gander:
1900 Greene Co., MO Census, Cass Township
S.D. 8, E.D. 45, Sheet No. 15A/48A
2 and 3 July 1900 by W A McGuire
line 29, 272/272 SMITH Semyen P. Head WM April 1848 52 M 29 Ten Ten Ten Farmer Owns Farm Free of mortgage
Margaret Wife WF Deb 1857 43 M 29 11/7 Ten Ten Ten
William E Son WM Dec 1874 25 S Ten Ten Ten Farm Laborer
Luiza T Daughter WF Mar 1880 20 S MO Ten Ten
Elven B Son WM July 1882 17 S MO Ten Ten at school
Charles E. Son WM Sept 1884 15 S MO Ten Ten at school
Dollie J. Daughter FW Oct 1886 13 S MO Ten Ten at school
Bennie H Son WM Aug 1892 7 S MO Ten Ten

Dec 1874. Boy, did I get excited.

The "E" bothered me not at all. Lots of A/E names get 'misheard' for census: Albert/Elbert, etc. Of course family tradition had it that William's middle name was "Alexander", so, "Elexander?!". But, too, I knew Alexander was an unusual name that the time.

So, I sprinted to the lds 1880:, 1880 United States Census
S. Perry SMITH Self M Male W 32 TN Farmer TN TN
Margaret SMITH Wife M Female W 23 TN Keeping House VA NC
Jas. C. SMITH Son S Male W 9 TN TN TN
Wm. A. SMITH Son S Male W 4 TN TN TN
Sarah E. SMITH Dau S Female W 2 TN TN TN
Louise T. SMITH Dau S Female W 3M MO TN TN
Source Information:
Census Place: Cass, Greene, Missouri
Family History Library Film: 1254687
NA Film Number: T9-0687
Page Number: 24D

"Wm. A." Well, I'm totally convinced. But still, no proof.

Looks like Floyd's name might be William R(ichard) Simeon Floyd Smith. But still, not proof.

Then I found Betty Miller. This is her 1998 query on the Greene Co., MO website:
Smith; Baker, Allen
Searching for information on Semyen Perry Smith, b. 6 Apr. 1848, in Sevier, TN, m. 1st. Margaret Elizabeth Baker then m. 2nd. Margaret Jane Allen on 15 Jan 1875, d., 3 Feb. 1930, Cass Township, Greene Co., MO. and buried at Willard, MO (Wesley Chapel Cemetery). Three childen by 1st. wife: William Alexander, John Gilbert, Sarah Elizabeth and eight children by 2nd wife: Louisa Theodocia, Elvin Beecher, Charley Edward, Dollie Jane, Roy, Julia, Benjamin Harrison, Mary.
Betty Miller--Tue Dec 15 14:54:58 1998

"William Alexander". I consider that independent confirmation.

And it was always likely that the Smith family living near Eva in 1900 (she and William married in 1902) would be related to her husband. Even if Smith is a very, very common name.