Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

Tower City Veteran Discovered in Perry County Cemetery

Posted By on June 17, 2016

A blog post here on 16 May 2016, Was Robert Hunter of Tower City a Civil War Veteran?, has received a response from a regular research contributor, Steve Williams, who pointed out that he believes that the same Robert Hunter mentioned in the 1890 Veterans’ Census for Tower City is buried in the Hunter’s Valley Cemetery, Liverpool, Perry County, Pennsylvania as noted in the Findagrave Memorial.  Liverpool is on the western side of the Susquehanna River and across from Millersburg.

The Findagrave Memorial has information contributed by Civil War author and researcher Dennis Brandt, who also is responsible for the York and Adams County Civil War Veterans Data Base, which is found on the website of the York County Heritage Trust. Information from Dennis has helped to uncover much about Civil War soldiers in the Lykens Valley area because of the interconnectedness of the areas surrounding the Susquehanna River.  In addition to his work with the York County Heritage Trust, he supplies much of his research to Findagrave.  And, on numerous occasions he has submitted information directly to this project.

Steve Williams noted that the 1890 Census information was incorrect in that Robert Hunter did not serve in the 172nd Pennsylvania Infantry, Company I, during the years indicated, 1862-1863, but rather served in the 173rd Pennsylvania Infantry, Company I, from 6 November 1862 to 17 August 1863. It was mentioned in the previously named blog post that he was not found in any 172nd Pennsylvania Infantry records.

Dennis Brandt noted in the Findagrave Memorial that Robert Hunter also served in the 208th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company I,as a Private, from 9 September 1864 through 1 June 1865.

As a basis for concluding that the Robert Hunter buried at Liverpool is the same person as the veteran identified in the 1890 Tower City Census, the Pension Index Card from Ancestry.com was referenced:


Susan Hunter, the widow, applied for pension benefits on 22 July 1901.  Susan is also named by Dennis Brandt as the wife of Robert Hunter, but with unknown maiden name.  By checking the census returns from 1860 through 1880, both Robert Hunter and Susan Hunter, with children are in Buffalo Township, Perry County, in 1860 and 1870, where he is working as a blacksmith.  However, in 1880, Robert and Susan are living in Shamokin, Northumberland County, where Robert is working as a coal miner.

Susan was still alive in 1901 when Robert Hunter died.  The Pension Index Card, shown below from Fold3, gives his date of death as 28 June 1901.


Was Susan with Robert Hunter in 1890 when he was enumerated in Tower City?


From the 1890 Census Substitute for Schuylkill County, shown above from Ancestry.com, there is a Robert Hunter, age 53, a blacksmith, living in Tower City.  However, the spouse’s name is given as Amelia, not Susan.  Perhaps Susan’s middle name was Amelia?  The age for Robert Hunter is correct, the occupation is correct, and Tower City is correct.

It is not presently known when Susan died or where she died.  She has no Findagrave Memorial.  No Pennsylvania Death Certificate has been located for her.  Known census returns for her give her birthplace as Maryland, so it is possible that after her husband’s death, she returned to Maryland.  There is a Susan A. Hunter, widow of Robert, named in Baltimore City directories into the early 1940s, but additional information is needed to determine if this is the same person.

In the absence of a maiden name, it will be difficult to trace her.  The maiden name should most likely be found in the widow’s pension application file, available from the National Archives in Washington, D.C.  However, Dennis Brandt, who may have consulted that file, noted that Susan’s maiden name was “unknown.”  Another other possibility in locating her maiden name is to trace the five children of Susan and Robert Hunter to see if any died in Pennsylvania and if their death certificates give a maiden name for their mother.

The five children are:  Charles Wesley Hunter, born about 1859; Valeria Hunter, born about 1861; Harvey M. Hunter, born about 1864; Mary E. Hunter, born about 1867; and Emma C. Hunter, born about 1869.

Harvey M. Hunter died on 14 February 1938 in Newport, Perry County.  Oh his death certificate, his father is Robert Hunter and his mother is Sarah Sheesley.  Sarah’s birthplace is given as Pennsylvania.  Thus far, this is the only Pennsylvania Death Certificate located for one of the children and the information on it is not conclusive.

Susan’s death date could also be in the pension application file, as the time her benefits were terminated.

Perhaps a blog reader of family member can offer additional information?

While it is fairly conclusive that the Robert Hunter found in the 1890 Veterans’ Census is the same person who served in the 173rd Pennsylvania Infantry and is buried at Hunter’s Valley Cemetery in Liverpool, some of the pieces of information cannot be reconciled, leaving some uncertainty, and other information is needed.  If it can be concluded without a doubt, then the current Tower City veterans need to add him to their list of Civil War veterans and honor him by name on their local memorial.





George W. Jury – Moved to Kansas and Died There in 1914

Posted By on June 16, 2016


The little that was previously known about George Washington Jury was found in a history of the Jury family entitled Portrait of Our Ancestors, pages 86-87:

George Washington Jury was born 29 December 1939, son of Simon Jury and his first wife Julianna/Juliann [__?__] Jury.  He was baptized at Fetterhoff’s Church, Halifax, Dauphin County, on 12 April 1840.  The sponsor of his baptism was Jemima Hermann, single, and whether or not she was related to the mother is not known.

Both parents of George W. Jury were born in Dauphin County, and the 1840 Census of Dauphin shows that Simon was still in his father’s home in that year….  Thus it is remotely possible that this first child was also born in Dauphin County.  We do not have the 1840 Census for Perry County to determine if Simon Jury appears there that year.  He is enumerated in Perry County in the 1850 Census.

George W. Jury married Annie Gish in Liverpool, Perry County, Pennsylvania, but no date of marriage was found.  Annie Gish was born in 1841 at Newport, Perry County, Pennsylvania, daughter of Jacob Gish and Salome [Keiffer?] Gish.  She died in 1918 in Holland, Kansas near Abilene and is buried with her husband at Newbern Cemetery, Abilene, Kansas.

George W. Jury died in December of 1918 [sic] at Abilene, Kansas.  He served in the Civil War from 1861 to 1865 per Ruth Russle.  He was a farmer and was affiliated with the River Brethren Church.  He migrated with his family to Kansas between 1876 and 1878 since his daughter Mary [Jury] Nolf was born at Newport, Pennsylvania, in 1876 and the next child was born in Kansas in 1878.

Of the eight children of George Washington Jury and his wife Annie Gish we have descendants for only his daughter Mary.  All the details contributed by Ruth Russell for other children are included below.

*Jacob Jury, born in Pennsylvania in 1866, died in Greencastle, Pennsylvania, date unknown, married Susan Magnum.

*John Jury, born in 1867 in Pennsylvania, died in 1869 in Pennsylvania.

*Benjamin Jury, born in 1869 in Pennsylvania, died in Abilene, Kansas, married Martha Mellinger in Kansas.

*Salome Jury, born in 1871 in Pennsylvania, died in 1921 in Bennington, Kansas, buried in Newbern Cemetery, Abilene, Kansas.  Never married.

*Lizzie Jury, born in 1873 in Pennsylvania, died 1964 at Abilene, Kansas, married Henry Lenhard who died in 1951 in Abilene.  Both are buried at Newbern Cemetery.

*Mary Jury, born 18 March 1876 at Newport, Pennsylvania, died 1 June 1963, at Van Nuys, California, married in December 1898 to Luther Slauson Nolf at Solomon, Kansas.

*Henry Jury, born in Kansas in 1878, died in Kansas in 1880.

*George Jury, born in Kansas in 1886 and died in Abilene, Kansas, married in Abilene to Alice Frymire.

It can be seen from the above biographical sketch, written more than 30 years ago, that with much new information now available on the Internet, corrections and additions are likely possible.

The obituary of George W. Jury, published in the Abilene Daily Reflector (Kansas), 10 September 1914, provides the first major correction.  George died in 1914, not 1918 as previously reported in Portrait of Our Ancestors.


Obituary – G. W. Jury

George Washington Jury was born 29 December 1839 in Perry County, Pennsylvania; died at his home in Holland, Kansas, 28 August 1914.   Mr. Jury served three years in the Civil War in Company D, 47th Pennsylvania Regiment [47th Pennsylvania Infantry].  On 12 September 1865, he was married to Anna Gish; eight children were born to them:

Jacob U. Jury; Johnnie Jury, deceased; Benjamin F. Jury; Salome A. Jury; Lizzie R. Jury; Mary E. Jury; Henry P. Jury, deceased; and George G. Jury.  Five of them were with him at the time of his death.  Mr. Jury united with the Brethren in Christ Church in 1868 and has been a consistent member since.  Mr. and Mrs. Jury came to Kansas in 1878 and have resided here since.  He was a great sufferer for the last few months of his life, but was always kind and patient.  The deceased was highly respected by all who knew him.   The family has the sympathy of a host of friends, as we know Mrs. Jury has lost a devoted husband and the children a loving father.  The remains were laid to rest in the Newbern Cemetery; the services were conducted by Bishop Engle and Elder Cakerice.  A large crowd of friends were present to pay their last respects to a friend whom they will greatly miss.

George W. Jury‘s military record is confirmed by the following documents:


He enrolled in the 47th Pennsylvania Infantry on 20 August 1861 at Bloomfield, Pennsylvania, and was mustered into service in Harrisburg on 31 August 1861 as a Private in Company D.  At the time he gave his age as 21, his occupation as farmer, and his residence at Liverpool, Perry County. He was discharged at Berryville, Virginia, at the expiration of his term of service on 18 September 1864.


The Pension Index Card, shown above from Fold3, states that he applied for a disability pension on 21 November 1865.  This very early application is an indication that he may have obtained a disability during the war and the documentation of that wartime experience would definitely be in the pension application file available at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.  It is beyond the scope of this Project to obtain those files, so if any reader of this post can shed some light on what is in them and/or provide copies, it would be greatly appreciated!

The above card also confirms the death date of 28 August 1914 and the place of death as Kansas.

The widow applied for benefits on 14 September 1914, which she received and collected until her death.  According to other sources, she died in 1918.


The Pension Index Card, shown above from Ancestry.com, shows that the widow’s name was Anna Jury and that she applied for benefits from Kansas.

Another source of readily available information is Findagrave.


The grave marker at the Newbern Cemetery in Holland, Dickinson County, Kansas, names Company D of the 47th Pennsylvania Infantry as his Civil War service.  Additional information can be found about George and his family at his Findagrave Memorial, including the maiden name of his mother as “Harman.”

The Pennsylvania Death Certificate of one of the siblings of George W. Jury, Hannah Jury, identifies the mother’s maiden name as Juliann Harman.  Harman and Hermann are easily interchanged names, so it is possible that the Jemima Hermann who stood for George’s baptism at Fetterhoff’s Church in Halifax was the mother’s sister – or perhaps the grandmother if the grandmother was not married.

The question of whether the George W. Jury who died in Kansas is the same George Jury who is named in the Halifax Bicentennial list of Civil War soldiers can answered with a “no” since that George Jury is buried at Long’s Cemetery in Halifax.  The question of whether George W. Jury belongs in that Halifax list should be answered with a “yes” since there is documentation that he was baptized at Fetterhoff’s Church.  And, whether or not Simon, the father, moved the family to Perry County before or after George was born, the family was clearly in Halifax in early 1840 for his baptism.  Also, if Simon was in his parents’ home in 1840, where was George, who was born in the last days of 1839?  Only the heads of families are identified in the census returns prior to 1850, so it is possible that the 1840 census was misread by the researcher.

The photograph of George and Annie Jury is from a family collection.


Isaac Houtz – Correction and Addition

Posted By on June 15, 2016

As a result of a post here on 18 May 2016, Isaac Houtz – Letters to His Sister Leah, some additional information (as well as a correction) has been received from a regular research contributor Steve Williams.  On 21 May 2016, the following e-mail was received:

I was able to find some information on the Isaac Houtz you profiled in a recent post.

First, I need to correct an error in your post. The 29 February 1864 and 30 April 1864 dates have nothing to do with Houtz’s military record, they’re the dates of the company’s bimonthly muster rolls used to generate the record.  All they mean is that Houtz joined the unit between 1 January and 29 February (it doesn’t say when). It says that he transferred back on 11 April.

[Note:  These dates were referenced to the New York record pictured below.  The correction is acknowledged with thanks].

However, I found Isaac on a list of prisoners of war arriving at Annapolis on a steamer sent from Belle Isle under a flag of truce on 9 March 1864 in the Philadelphia Inquirer. I’ve attached a copy of the article. It says Isaac was admitted to a hospital in Annapolis.


Apparently Isaac was captured as a prisoner of war while with the New York unit but they didn’t record it or seeming even inform his unit about it. So probably the details of his capture have been lost to history. I would recommend checking Isaac Houtz‘s carded medical records for his treatment at Annapolis and to see if he returned to his unit before his June death. Looking at his Pennsylvania muster record, I feel pretty confident the answer will be no, but we won’t know for sure until someone checks the carded medical records.

This record seems to indicate Isaac joined the New York unit on 15 January:


[Note:  The supplied record is from “U.S. Civil War Soldiers Records and Profiles,” a database available on Ancestry.com.  The source of the information is the New York Report of the Adjutant-General].

Thank you for this information, which should help get a clearer understanding of what happened to Isaac Houtz during the Civil War!

Corrections and additions are always welcome and can be sent via e-mail or added as comments to any blog post.

The complete article from the Philadelphia Inquirer is available through the on-line resources of the Free Library of Philadelphia.


Who Was Daniel Jenne of Reed Township?

Posted By on June 14, 2016

JenneDaniel-Census1890V-001a In the 1890 Veterans’ Census of Reed Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, there appears a Daniel Jenne, with no information given as to his Civil War regiment, company, rank or dates of service.


A Civil War soldier named Daniel Jenney has been located in the Veterans’ Card File at the Pennsylvania Archives.  The back of the card notes that the “rolls also show the last name as Jenne.”  Since this is the only person located in military records with this first name and a similar surname, it can be assumed at the start of the research that the Daniel Jenne of Reed Township is the veteran who served in the 73rd Pennsylvania Infantry, Company D, as a Private, mustered into service on 16 September 1862 and mustered out with his company on 5 July 1865.

In checking the data base, U.S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865, several other variations of the name are found on the Military Index Cards, including:  Daniel Jenny, Daniel Jennie, Daniel Jene, Daniel Genny, and Daniel Genney.  However, all this soldiers military records are filed under Daniel Jenny as shown below on the General Index Reference Card from the National Archives (available on Fold3).


Referring back to the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Index Card near the top of this post, two other helpful pieces of information are seen:

  1. Daniel Jenne was about 33 years old when he enrolled in the regiment at Philadelphia in 1862;  thus his calculated birth year was about 1829.
  2. He was “absent sick” on 16 March 1864 at Danisville, Kentucky.

The 73rd Pennsylvania Infantry also served at Gettysburg.  The plaque for Company B on the Pennsylvania Memorial does recognize a “Daniel Genney.”


Click on photo to enlarge.

No Pension Index Card has been located for the Daniel Jenne who served in the 73rd Pennsylvania Infantry, either on Ancestry.com or on Fold3.  If the 1890 Census record is correct, he was alive and he would have been eligible for a pension by “old age.”

There are several family trees on Ancestry.com which have a Daniel Jenne, including one born in Vermont about 1820, but there is no indication of Civil War service, nor is there any apparent connection to Pennsylvania.

So, the question remains:  “Who was Daniel Jenne of Reed Township?”  Is this individual associated with the 73rd Pennsylvania Infantry as shown above?  Why didn’t he apply for a pension in 1890? Why was he in Reed Township in 1890?  Answers to these and other questions are sought by the Project and can either be attached to this blog post as a comment or sent by e-mail.




George W. Ely of Lykens – A First Marriage Discovered in North Carolina

Posted By on June 13, 2016


On 11 November 2015, a post entitled Obituary and Memorial to George W. Ely, provided information about his Civil War service in the 13th Pennsylvania Cavalry, his obituary, his family including widow Rebecca [Rudisill] Ely, and photographs of his grave marker and the plaque bearing his name in Lykens.  A request for additional information about him resulted in the following e-mail from a family member:

I read your Civil War blog post about George Ely.  I have some information about him not contained within that post.  During the war, George and the rest of the 13th spent some time in Fayetteville, North Carolina.  While there, he married Jane Wright, daughter of Hiram Wright and Sarah Bowden, 27 June 1865.  Another soldier of the 13th, David Fields, acted as security for the bond.  David was my 2nd great-grandfather.  George then acted as security when David purchased a bond to marry Jane’s sister, Sarah, 5 July 1865.

After George’s death, Rebecca Ely needed to prove the death of Jane [Wright] Ely in order to receive her widow’s pension.  These notices were run in the Fayetteville Weekly Observer:

This ran 10 May 1915, page 5:


R. Renshaw of Lykens, Pennsylvania., has written here, asking for information as to Jane Wright, daughter of Hiram Wright, who married George Ely about 1865.  Ely is now dead, and the second wife wants to get a pension, but must prove the death of the first wife.
If any can give the information it will be very gratefully received by an old widow, and the information sent to Messrs. Cook & Cook, this city, will be transmitted to her.

And this 10 June 1914, page 3:

Mayor McNeill gave us the following letter this morning, and it may be that some of the older residents can furnish the information desired:

Lykens, Pennsylvania, 30 May 1914.
Chief of Police, Fayetteville, N. C.

Dear Sir:–Would it be possible for you to furnish me with any information that will lead me to get the records of the death and burial of a certain lady who is supposed to have died and was interred in or near you city in the Fall of 1865 or Spring of 1866.

Her maiden name was Jane Wright, was married to one George Ely, who brought her to this place in the Summer of 1865, she however, did not remain here more than a few weeks and returned home again; shortly after she left here a letter was received by a relative of George Ely, stating that she had died, since which nothing has been heard about her.

The people who knew here here at the time have passed away as also has her husband and no information further than the above is known.  It is very necessary that we should have some proofs of her death or whereabouts, if living.

Hoping you can be able to put me on the track of getting the information and that I can reciprocate later on.

I remain
Yours truly,
W. S. Young.

I hope this helps you in your research.

As a result of the e-mail, the following documents were located on Ancestry.com:

Marriage Bond:


Marriage Register:


Click on document to enlarge.


Marriage Certification:


Click on document to enlarge.

Continuing the research, reference is made to the Pension Index Card for George W. Ely, which notes his death date and fact that his widow applied for an received a pension based on his service.  From the fact that she received the pension it can be concluded that her attempts to prove that George’s first wife was dead were successful.  However, without consulting the pension application files, available at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., it cannot be determined what proof was provided.

Pension Index Card from Fold3.

In searching the records of David Fields, nothing has been found to place him in the Lykens Valley area.  His Pension Index Card, shown below from Fold3 indicates that he served in the 13th Pennsylvania Cavalry, Company C, from 2 September 1863 to 14 July 1865.  According to the pension information, he died on 21 April 1917 at Pembroke, North Carolina, but state death records and cemetery records indicate he died on 14 April 1917.


David Fields is buried at McNeill Cemetery, Pembroke, Robeson County, North Carolina.  His Findagrave Memorial does not indicate that he served in the Civil War as a Union soldier.

The news clipping at the top of this post is from Newspapers.com.