Civil War Blog

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Sampson Wigmore of Tremont – Coal & Iron Police

Posted By on January 10, 2018

Sampson Wigmore, who was born in England in 1840, died in Tremont, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, on 22 October 1925.  He is buried at the Charles Baber Cemetery in Pottsville.

At the time of this writing, no obituary has been seen for him.  There are two records of his death which were first consulted for this post:  (1) His grave marker at the cemetery gives his death year as 1925 (pictured above from Findagrave); and (2) The Pension Index Card from from Fold3 (pictured below) gives the actual date of death as 22 October 1925 and the place of death as Tremont.

Both his Pension Index Card and grave marker confirm his Civil War service in Company I of the 5th Pennsylvania Infantry.

A review of the records at the Pennsylvania Archives gives further details on his service:

On 21 April 1861, at Schuylkill County, Sampson Wigmore enrolled in a three-month regiment, the 5th Pennsylvania Infantry, and the same day at Harrisburg was mustered into service as a Private in Company I.  At the time, he claimed to be 20 years old, would about match his supposed birth year of 1840.  He served his full term and was discharged on 25 July 1861 along with other members of his company and regiment.  No other regimental record of Civil War service has been located for him.

In 1850, 10-year old Sampson, the youngest child, was living with his parents and siblings in Minersville, Schuylkill County, where the father, Edward Sampson, was a coal miner.  The entire family was born in England.

Sampson Wigmore was located in the 1860 census at this writing.

A marriage record from Port Carbon, Schuylkill County, indicates that a Sampson Wigmore married Mary Wertley who was born about 1843 in Schuylkill Haven, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.

In 1870, Sampson and Mary were living in Minersville, where Sampson was working as a coal miner.  A girl in the household, Carrie Wigmore was 7 months old at the time of the census.

In 1880, the family was living in Minersville, where Sampson gave his occupation as Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Police.  A son, Harry, age 10 was living in the household.  When compared with the census of 1870, where “Carrie” is named as a female and the census of 1880, where “Harry” is named as a male, either the 1870 is in error as to the gender, or there has been a gender change, quite unusual for the time.  Harry is found as Henry Franklin Wigmore in baptismal records as born 29 December 1869 in Minersville. Harry became a jeweler in Minersville, never married, and died on 23 September 1943.  He is buried in the family plot in Charles Baber Cemetery in Pottsville.

in 1890, Sampson Wigmore, living in Tremont, reported his military service as the 5th Pennsylvania Infantry.

As of this writing, the family has not been located in the 1900 census.

In 1910, the family was still living in Tremont where Sampson was still working for the Coal and Iron Police.  The unmarried son, Henry Wigmore, age 40, was also living in the household.

In 1920, the last census in which Sampson was enumerated, the family was living in Tremont and the 85 year-old Sampson was still working for the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Police.  The son, Henry Wigmore, then 50 years old, living with his parents, gave his occupation as jeweler with own store.

As confirmed from the Pension Index Card (above), Sampson died on 22 October 1925 in Tremont, leaving a widow, Mary [Wertley] Wigmore.

Efforts to locate the Pennsylvania Death Certificate for Sampson Wigmore were at first futile.  However, a death certificate for Sampson was located in Ancestry.com (shown below), with two major errors evident: (1) The certificate states he was born in 1860, but the age at death states 85; and (2) the parents’ names given are actually the parents of the informant, son Harry Wigmore.

The Pension Index Card from Ancestry.com, is shown next:

Mary Wigmore applied for widow’s pension benefits on 7 November 1825, two weeks after Sampson died.  She received those benefits until her death, which occurred in 1926.

The Pennsylvania Death Certificate for the son, Henry F. Wigmore is shown above.  He died in Tremont on 23 September 1943.  An unknown person, Martha Deibert, was named as the informant.

The widow Mary [Wertley] Wigmore died on 14 February 1926 in Tremont.  Her occupation was given as retired.  The informant was her son, Harry.

More information is sought about this Civil War soldier from Tremont, his family, his Civil War service, and the role he played in the Coal and Iron Police.  Why, for example, was he still working at age 85?

Readers can add information as comments to this post.




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