Civil War Blog

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The Brothers of John A. Sipe in the Civil War

Posted By on December 1, 2012

In a section describing John A. Sipe, found in the Genealogical and Biographical Annals of Northumberland County Pennsylvania  (1911), pages 627-628, no less than ten Civil War veterans are mentioned in his extended family.  John A. Sipe was a merchant tailor who had a post-Civil War business that centered in Herndon, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, but operated in the rail and river corridor from Millersburg to Sunbury.

In the post yesterday, the full biographical entry was presented along with follow-up information about the military service of John A. Sipe his father, Jacob Sipe, and his uncle, Jeremiah Sipe.  In the post today, Jacob Henry Sipe, the brother of John A. Sipe, and William Ickes, the half-brother of John A. Sipe, will be presented.   In the post on Sunday, the three Vanaman brothers’ service in the Civil War will be noted; David Vanaman, George Vanaman and Thomas Vanaman were brothers of John A. Sipe‘s wife, Eva [Vanaman] Sipe.  Finally, in the post on Tuesday, the two other brothers-in-law of John A. Sipe, Monroe Chronster and Hiram M. Jacobs will be presented.


JACOB HENRY SIPE (1843-1912)

Jacob Henry Sipe, or Jacob H. Sipe as he is found in the Civil War records, was born about 1843, the son of Jacob Sipe (c. 1819-c.1864) and Ruth [Day] Sipe.  With the same father and mother as John A. Sipe, tailor of Herndon, he was a full brother. Jacob was drafted in the 165th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company K, as a Corporal, and served from 7 November 1862 through discharge on 28 July 1863.  The Pension Index Card (above) shows the date he reported in Adams County, Pennsylvania, 16 October 1862, but he was not mustered into service until 7 November 1862 at Gettysburg.  The Bates record (Volume 4, page 1009), states that he was mustered out with his company.

However, two on-line databases found on Ancestry.com, state that the Jacob H. Sipe who served in the 165th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company C, is found in Roll of Honor: Names of Soldiers Who Died in Defense of the Union.(see entry above from U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles).  Those entries are clearly incorrect.  The databases are secondary sources and most likely have confused the records of Jacob H. Sipe with those of his father, Jacob Sipe, who died during the war!  When working with secondary sources, it is always best to return to the original or primary sources (whenever possible) in order to get additional confirmation.  For those researchers who have only consulted U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles and American Civil War Soldiers, an erroneous conclusion could be drawn.  Fortunately, other sources on Jacob H. Sipe easily refute the error.

The Pension Index Card (shown above) has a 20 June 1879 application date for benefits – and the application number stated on the card references the files at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. – which contain primary sources that would confirm that he survived the war.  While those files have not been consulted for this post, another primary source has been located – the 1890 Veterans Census for Huntington Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania – where he was alive in 1890, where he specifically indicated his service in the 165th Pennsylvania Infantry, and where he did not indicate that he had any Civil War-related disabilities.

Another secondary source to consult on Jacob H. Sipe is the Civil War database at the York County Heritage Trust.  This database, constructed by researcher Dennis W. Brandt, relies heavily on primary source material from the pension application files at the National Archives.   The database contains the following personal information about Jacob H. Sipe:

Born in York Springs, 3 July 1844, Adams County Pennsylvania, the son of Jacob Sipe & Ruth [Day] Sipe.

Siblings: William Sipe, John Sipe, Leah Sipe, and Mary Sipe;

In 1860, lived with and/or worked for farmer William Leer in Latimore Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania.

Married Leah Berkheimer, 24 December 1863.

Children: Mary Sipe (born 10 September 1865, died 17 September 1865);  Clara M. Sipe (born and died  25 June 1869); and Jacob E. Sipe (born 19 March 79, died 19 January 1880).

In 1890, lived in Huntington Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania.

Died in Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Veterans’ Burial Card (above), available through Ancestry.com, although not stating a specific military regiment, indicates that Jacob H. Sipe died in 1912 and is buried in the Dillsburg Cemetery, Carroll Township, York County, Pennsylvania.  The death year conforms with the information in the York County Heritage Trust database and with the notation on the Pension Index Card.  While the birth year does not conform to that given in the York County Heritage Trust database, it is close enough to confirm that this is the same person.


WILLIAM ICKES (1838-1906)

William Ickes was the half-brother of John A. Sipe (same mother, different father).  William Ickes‘ mother was Ruth Day.  Ruth Day‘s first husband’s surname was Ickes, and he was the father of William IckesRuth Day‘s second husband was Jacob Sipe, with whom she had John A. Sipe.

In 1860, William Ickes was living in Huntington Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania, in the household of John Day, age 32, a shoemaker.  At the time, William was working as a tailor.

On 27 February 1865, William Ickes was drafted into the 99th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company B, where he served as a Private.  His service ended at his discharge on 13 June 1865.

After the war, William Ickes married Sarah Ann “Annie” Thompson in Perry County, Pennsylvania.  He continued to live in Perry County until his death on 16 December 1906.  He is buried in Newport Cemetery in Oliver Township, Perry County.  The burial record card (below) is from the Pennsylvania Archives via Ancestry.com.

William Ickes and Annie [Thompson] Ickes had at least two children:  Minnie M. Ickes, who was born around 1868 and died young; and William O. Ickes, born about 1874 and died around 1909.  In 1900, William Ickes gave his occupation as “vegetable trucker”, his wife Annie was working as a milliner, and his son William O. Ickes, living in the household, was also working as a vegetable trucker.

In 1890 William Ickes applied for an invalid pension, which he eventually received and collected until his death.  His widow then applied for his benefits, which she received until her death.


Pension Index Cards are from Ancestry.com and Fold3Pennsylvania Veterans’ Index Cards are from the Pennsylvania Archives.





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