This Saturday, 6 April, I will be giving a Beginning Genealogy Workshop in Celina for some new members of the Mercer County Chapter OGS. I plan to discuss most of the major beginning genealogy topics, such as where to begin, recording information, analyzing the data and drawing sound conclusions, citing sources, organization and the various records to look at when doing research.
I plan to spend a good deal of time talking about census records, which are among the first records I look at when beginning any research project. Although never intended for genealogical purposes, census enumerations contain a great deal of information for family historians.
U.S. Federal Census records from 1790-1940 are now indexed and fairly easy to search on-line, with the exception of the 1890 census. The vast majority of the 1890 census was destroyed by a fire, but Ancestry.com has put a number of items together to form their 1890 Census Substitute Collection. Among their 1890 Census Substitute Collection are many city directories, some state censuses and tax lists, and the 1890 Veterans Schedules.
It was the 1890 Veterans Schedules that caught my eye. I had looked at the 1890 Veterans Schedule for Mercer County on microfilm at the Mercer County Public Library some time ago, but now, with the Internet, the collection is easy to search or browse from home. Ancestry.com shows the actual images on-line. Your local or county library may have your county’s census on microfilm and major libraries may have the whole collection.
Veterans schedules are often used as a partial substitute for the 1890 federal census and are a partial head of household list for those who were old enough to have served in the Union military during the Civil War. The 1890 Veterans Schedules record the following information: names of surviving soldiers, sailors, and marines, and widows; rank; name of regiment or vessel; date of enlistment; date of discharge, length of service; post office address; disability incurred; and remarks.
They give enough military information to verify military service and to identify the specific military unit in which a person served. This information can help you do additional research on your veteran ancestor.
Since you can browse through the 1890 Veterans Schedule on Ancestry.com, I focused my search for veterans in the Chattanooga area. I did not perform a name search. Instead I searched for Liberty or Blackcreek Township, Mercer, Ohio, and the index showed all the names in the township. There were about five pages for each township so it was easy to browse through the names. You could easily do a similar search for your area. Below are some names that I found.
Liberty Township, Mercer, Ohio, page 1, District 2, ED 189:
Christian Bollenbacher, Chattanooga. Private, Co. I, 56th Ohio Infantry, served from 8 Oct 1862-8 Jul 1863, for 9 months. (Line 5, house 32, family 33.)
Jacob Ballenbach/Bollenbaugher, Chattanooga. Private Company A, 23rd Ohio Infantry, served from 22 September 1864-5 June 1865, 9 months 14 days. Disability Incurred: veins. (Line 6, house 37, family 38.)
Frederick Kuhn, Private, Company F, 99th Ohio Infantry, served from 12 Aug 1862-19 Dec 1863, [part crossed out & rewritten], Trans. Disability Incurred: [unreadable]. (Line 7, house 44, family 45.)
Henry Kuhn, Chattanooga. Private, Company J [?], 56th Ohio Infantry, served from 8 Oct 1862-26 Jul 1863, for 9 months, 15 days. (Line 8, house 46, family 47.)
Blackcreek, Mercer, Ohio, page 1, District 2, ED 178:
Jasper Byer, Chattanooga. Private, Company H, 23rd Indiana Infantry, served from 15 October 1864-29 July 1865, for 9 months, 15 days. (Line 3, house 25, family 25.)
Emanuel Detro, Chattanooga. Private, Company C, 13th Ohio Infantry, served from 26 May 1861-26 Jun 1864, for 3 years, 7 months. Disability Incurred: Shot through the shoulder. (Line 4, house 30, family 32.)
Asa Snyder, Chattanooga. Private, Company G, 40th 0hio Infantry, served from 21 September 1861-21 September 1864, for 3 years. Disability Incurred: Shot in the hip. (Line 5, house 16, family 16.)
Henry Tricel [sic], Chattanooga. Private, Battery 4, Light Ohio Artillery, served from 2 August 1861-27 August 1864, for 3 years, 3 months, 10 days. (Line 6, house 40, family 42.)
Blackcreek, Mercer, Ohio, page 2, District 2, ED 178:
Elias Slusser, Senior, Chattanooga. Private, Company #, 47th Ohio Infantry, served from 15 October 1864-3 July 1865, for 9 months, 15 days. (Line 13, home 95, family 97.)
Elias Slusser, Junior, Chattanooga. Private, Company E, 46th, Ohio Infantry, served from 3 Oct 1861-5 January 1863, for 1 year, 2 months, 23 days. (Line 14, home 93, family 95.)
George Grougbarger [sic], Chattanooga. Private, Company C, 122nd Ohio Infantry, served from 8 June 1864-26 June 1865, for 11 months 28 days. (Line 15, house 108, family 108.)
Willshire Township, Van Wert, Ohio, page 6, District 1, ED 110:
Levi Rollin, Willshire. Private, Company A, 52nd Ohio Infantry, served 28 July 1862-16 January 1865, for 3 years. Disability Incurred: Rheumatism. He was a prisoner at Andersonville Prison. (Line 20, house 79, family 79.)
Willshire Township, Van Wert, Ohio, page 7, District 1, ED 110:
Henry A. Tindall, Willshire. Private, Company G, 54th Ohio Infantry, served from 22 February 1864-15 August 1865, for 1 year, 8 months. Remarks: Prisoner at Andersonville Prison. (Line 31, house 119, family 119.)
James H. Sims, Willshire. Private Company 34, Ohio Infantry, served from 22 February 1864-24 February 1865, 1 year, 5 months, 5 days. Remarks: Prisoner at Libby Prison, Richmond. (Line 27, house 111, family 111.)
Schumm, Willshire Township, Van Wert, Ohio, page 3, District 1, ED 111:
Michael Pflueger, Schumm. Private, Company C, 41st Ohio Infantry, served from 4 September 1864-13 June 1865, for 9 months, 12 days. Disability Incurred: Camp diarrhea & rheumatism. (Line 34, house 121, family 126.)
Nicholas Geisler, Schumm. Private, Company G, 20th Ohio Infantry, served from 8 October 1862-15 July 1863, for 10 months. Disability incurred: Camp diarrhea. (Line 33, house 110, family 114.)
You may have noticed that some of the dates of service are not equal to the total service time. Some of the discharge dates were crossed out and another date was written in, but it appears that the length of service was not readjusted.
As I scanned the Disability Incurred section I noticed some other injuries: malarial fever resulting in weak lungs, loss of index finger, shot in the right leg, shot through the right limb and back, shot through right arm, blinded and paralyzed on one side, sun stroke and mumps, deafness, blindness, died in the service [the widow was enumerated if the veteran was deceased], crippled left hip and wounded in face. There were a lot of complaints of chronic diarrhea, lung trouble and rheumatism. And a few claimed that they incurred no disability at all.
I also learned that a couple local men were imprisoned at Andersonville and Libby Prison. The stories these men could have told…
1890 Veterans Schedules, database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 April 2013), from National Archives Microfilm, Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Publication M123, Record Group 15.