Ancestral Journeys

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Posts Tagged ‘Military records’

A Recap of James Suddarth’s Military Service

Posted by dwsuddarth on 6 October 2009

In the last few posts, I have transcribed James Suddarth’s applications for bounty land.  He was eligible for this bounty land because of service in the War of 1812.

What I have found out is that he originally enlisted in the Kentucky State Militia in Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky on the first of January, 1813 for a period of three months.  During this time, he served as a pack horse driver under Captain Higgins.  He continued in this service until about March 20, when he received an honorable discharge on account of being sick.  He was discharged in Dayton, Ohio and made his way back home where he stayed for the summer.

On about the 17th of August, 1813, he re-enlisted at the Casey County courthouse in Casey County, Kentucky, again for a term of three months.  He served as a Corporal in the Company commanded by Captain Jesse Coffey in the 6th Regiment of Kentucky Militia.  During this service he was in the Battle of the Themes in Canada.  James never received his discharge after his three month term on account of being sick with the measles.  He was forced to spend time at Nicholasville, Kentucky, near Lexington due to his illness.  Upon returning home, he attempted to obtain his certificate of discharge by calling at the home of Jesse Coffey two different times, but was unable to obtain the certificate due to Coffey not being at home.

I decided to contact the National Archives to see if, by chance, they had any more information regarding James’ service.  Since he was in a state militia, there are no Federal records of his service.  All records, including enlistment records and muster rolls, would be held at the state level.  I then contacted the Kentucky Military History Museum in Frankfort, Kentucky to find where these records may be located.

The news I received was not what I wanted.  Kentucky destroyed all of its military records in 1874 for all wars prior to the Civil War.   This was done to make room for the vast amount of files which were being created for Civil War service.  They needed more space to store those files.  Making a listing of all soldiers who served in prior wars (the Adjutant General’s Report), they then proceeded to destroy all older records.

Even though I have not been able to find any information regarding who James’ parents are, looking through the bounty land application file has been interesting.  In addition, it has added more to my understanding of James.  He is more than just a name and date.  His military service is just the kind of thing which makes family history research so interesting.

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James Suddarth – Application for Bounty Land, Part 3

Posted by dwsuddarth on 3 October 2009

James Suddarth applied for bounty land once again in 1855. This is a transcription of that application.

State of Indiana
Crawford County

On the 20th day of April A.D. 1855 personally appeared before me William A. Jackson clerk of the Crawford Circuit Court in said state, duly authorized to administer oaths generally within and for the court county and state aforesaid, James Suddarth, aged sixty years, a resident of Crawford County in the state of Indiana, who being duly sworn according to law, declares that he is the identical James Suddarth, who was a Corporal in the Company commanded by Captain Jesse Coffey in the 6th Regiment of Kentucky Militia commanded by Colonel _________ Davenport, in war with Great Britain declared by the United States on the 18th day of June 1812, that he volunteered at Casey County in the state of Kentucky on or about the 17th day of August A.D. 1813, for the term of three months, and continued in actual service in said war under said Captain for the term of three months, that he never received a discharge for the reason that on the day the other soldiers in said company were discharged, he was sick of the measles & not able to be mustered out of service; He refers to the muster rolls of said company for evidence of the facts as stated above. He was in the battle of the Thomes. He also inlisted in the Pack Horse service in said war under Captain Higgins, at Lexington in the state of Kentucky, on or about the 1st day of January A.D. 1813, for the term of three months and continued in actual service as Pack Horse man, in said war for the term of at least two and a half months, and was honorably discharged at Dayton in the state of Ohio on or about the 20th day of March A.D. 1813, on account of being sick, which discharge for the last named service was heretofore forwarded to the Commissioner of Pensions for the purpose of procuring a land warrant under act of 28 September 1850.

He makes this declaration for the purpose of obtaining the bounty land to which he may be entitled under the “act granting additional bounty land to certain officers and soldiers who have been engaged in the military service of the United States” approved March 3, 1855, And he refers to his former declarations made under act of 28 September 1850, upon which he obtained a Land Warrant No (not remembered) for 40 acres which he having legally transfered and disposed of, is not within his person now to return.

He further declares that he has not received a warrant for bounty land under any act of Congress, nor made any application therefor, except as above stated.

James Suddarth


Sworn to, subscribed and acknowledged before me the day and year first above written, and on the same day personally came before me William Sanders and R. D. Tucker residents of Crawford county in the state of Indiana to me well person as credible witnesses who being duly sworn according to law, declare that they are personally and well acquainted with James Suddarth; who has made and subscribed the foregoing declaration, And that from their personal acquaintance with him they believe that he is the identical person who performed the military services herein named, and who has received a warrant therefor, and they further swear that they are disinterested witnesses in his claim.

R D Tucker
William Sander

Sworn to and subscribed before me, and I certify that I am not interested in the claim or concerned in its prosecution, and I believe that the claimant is the person he represents himself to be.

In witness of which I hereunto set my hand and the seal of said court (the same being a court of record possessing general jurisdiction) at Leavenworth this 20 day of April 1855

Wm A. Jackson (signature) Clerk
Crawford Cir Court

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James Suddarth – Application for Bounty Land, Part 2

Posted by dwsuddarth on 29 September 2009

In this post, I continue transcribing the bounty land application files of James Suddarth.  James fought in the War of 1812 and sent in three letters of application for bounty land for his service.  This is a transcription of one of two which was completed on 6-November-1850.  This one is for service beginning 18-August-1813, for three months.

State of Indiana
Crawford County

On this Sixth day of November A.D. one thousand Eight hundred and and fifty personally appeared before me a Justice of the Peace within and for the County and State aforesaid, James Suddarth, aged fifty five years a resident of Crawford County in the State of Indiana, who being duly sworn according to law, declares that he is the indentical James Suddarth, who was a Corporal in the Company commanded by Captain Jesse Coffee in the Sixth Regiment of Mounted men Commanded by Col. ______ Davenport in the war with Great Britain declared by the United States on the 18th day of June 1812 that he volunteered at Casey Court House in Casey County in the State of Kentucky on or about the eighteenth day of August A.D. One thousand Eight hundred and thirteen for the term of three months and continued in actual service in said war the term of about two months and a half and did not receive a written discharge. He declares that he remained in said company on their return from from the battle ground of the Thames in Upper Canada until said Company reached Nicholasville in the State of Kentucky (near Lexington) where he was compelled to remain by sickness for a time and that he was not present with his Company when the members received their discharges – that he subsequently called at the residence of said Captain in order to obtain his certificate of discharge at two different times but in consequence of the abscence at each time of said Captain he did did not obtain a certificate of discharge – he further declares that he knows of no val’d reason why he was not entitled to an honorable discharge – as will appear by the muster rolls of said Company.
He makes this declaration for the purpose of obtaining the bounty land in which he may be entitled under the “Act granting bounty land to certain officers and soldiers who have been engaged in the military service of the United States” passed September 28th 1850

James Suddarth

Sworn to and subscribed before me the day and year above written. And I hereby certify that I believe the said James Suddarth to be the identical man who served as aforesaid and that he is of the age above stated

John G Cooper (seal)
Justice of the Peace


State of Indiana
County of Crawford I Cassimer W Kindle Clerk of the Crawford Circuit Court do hereby Certify that John G Cooper before whom the within affidavit was made is and was on the sixth day of November 1850 an acting Justice of the Peace duly Commissioned and qualified and that all of his official acts as such is and ought to be full faith and Credit as such

In Witness of which I Cassimer W Kindle Clerk of the Crawford Circuit Court Subscribe my name and affix the seal of said court at Leavenworth this 13th day of November AD 1850

Cassimer W Kindle (signature)

From both parts of the application made on 6-November-1850, it appears that James originally volunteered at Lexington, Kentucky on 1-January-1813 and served for 2 months and 29 days as a pack horse driver in Captain James Higgins’ Company.  He received an honorable discharge on 29-March-1813 in Dayton, Ohio.  He then volunteered a second time in Casey County, Kentucky on 18-August-1813.  He served in Captain Jesse Coffee’s Company and participated in the Battle of the Themes, in Canada.  Upon returning to Kentucky with his Company, he fell ill at Nicholasville, where he had to remain.  He did not receive his discharge, even after attempting to contact his Captain at home.

A couple of things come to mind here for further research.  First, if he enlisted at Lexington on the first of January, was he living in or near Lexington at this time?  Second, he fell ill at Nicholasville, which is near Lexington.  There is no mention of him staying at a hospital.  While he may have stayed at a hospital, it is also possible that he stayed with family.

I have not found much to help lead me to my original research objective of finding my 3rd great grandfather’s parents yet.  However, I believe James to be a very important person in that search.  I believe he is closely related, and therefore may eventually lead me to where I wish to go.  Whenever research on a particular person dries up, researching collateral relatives, like James, can be of great help.

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James Suddarth – Application for Bounty Land, Part 1

Posted by dwsuddarth on 28 September 2009

James Suddarth applied for bounty land three times, twice in 1850, and again in 1855.  This is a transcription of one of the applications he made in 1850.

State of Indiana
Crawford County
On this sixth day of November A.D. one thousand Eight hundred and fifty , personally appeared before me a Justice of the Peace within and for the County and State aforesaid, James Suddarth aged fifty five years, a resident of Crawford County in the State of Indiana, who being duly sworn according to law declares, that he is the identical James Suddarth pack horse driver in the Brigade commanded by Captain James J Higgins in the war with Great Britain declared by the United States on the 18th day of June 1812, that he enlisted at Lexington in the State of Kentucky on or about the first day of January A.D. One thousand Eight hundred and thirteen for the term of three months and continued in actual service (as such pack horse driver) in said war for the term of two months and twenty nine days and was honorably discharged at Dayton in the State of Ohio, on the twenty ninth day of March A.D. One thousand Eight hundred and thirteen, as will appear by his original certificate of discharge herewith presented or by the muster roll of said Brigade.
He makes this declaration for the purpose of obtaining the bounty land to which he may be entitled under the “act granting bounty land to certain officers and soldiers who have been engaged in the military service of the United States” passed September 28th 1850.

James Suddarth

Sworn to and subscribed before me the day and year above [ or before] written.
And I hereby certify that I believe the said James Suddarth to be the identical man who served as aforesaid and that he is of the age above [ or before] stated.

John G Coopor (signature & seal)
Justice of the peace


State of Indiana

Crawford County I Cassimer W Kindle Clerk of the Crawford Circuit Court do hereby certify that John G Cooper Is and was on the Sixth Day of November 1850 an acting Justice of the Peace duly Commissioned and qualified and that all his acts as such is and ought to be given full faith and Credit
In Witness of which I Cassimer W Kindle Clerk of the Crawford Circuit Court Subscribe my name and affix the seal of said Court at Leavenworth this 13th Day of November AD 1850

Cassimer W Kindle (signature)

There are many clues in this application.  Not only does it tell us that he enlisted in Lexington, Kentucky on the first of January, 1813, we also learn that he was a pack horse driver.  Since we know that James was born in 1795, we know that he was 17 years of age when he enlisted.  In addition, we have the name of his Captain.  We can use this information to discover who else would have fought with James, providing further avenues of research.

We also learn that James enlisted in Lexington, Kentucky.  Lexington is in Fayette County, Kentucky and a search of records should be done there.  It is, however, likely that James did not live in Lexington, but simply went there to enlist, as it was the closest big city to where he lived.  In another application file, James states that he re-enlisted at the courthouse in Casey County, Kentucky.  He most likely was living in Casey County when he enlisted at Lexington at the beginning of January.  However, a search should still be conducted in Fayette County.

Items like those found in this pension file can not only help advance your research, but also add life to the family history.

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James Suddarth

Posted by dwsuddarth on 26 September 2009

In trying to find the parents of Lewis Suddarth, I decided to research the other Suddarths found in Southern Indiana in the early 1800’s.  I have been unsuccessful in locating information about Lewis prior to his marriage in 1839, so I am hoping that research of other Suddarths may lead me to clues about Lewis.  I decided to begin with James Suddarth, as I had the most information about him already collected.

James Suddarth was born 22 March 1795, according to his gravestone.  He first appears on the 1820 Crawford County, Indiana census, enumerated as ‘James Suddreth’.  He is the only male in the household and is enumerated as between 26 and 45 years of age.  In addition, there is one female between 16 and 26 years of age and 3 females between 0 and 10 years of age.  Also enumerated on this census, right below James, is a Patience Suddreth and then a Jeremiah Tadlock.

Patience is the head of household and the only female enumerated.  She is also between 26 and 45 years of age.  In addition, there are two males in the household, one between 0 and 10 and the other between 10 and 16.  Since Lewis was born about 1812 – 1813, he could be the male child between 0 and 10.  The male child between 10 and 16 could be John Suddarth, who was born 6 August 1811.  There is a possibility that Patience is Lewis’s mother.  I have not been able to find any other mention of Patience in any records.  In addition, she appears to have died or remarried by 1830, as I have not been able to locate her on any census record for 1830.  I have searched Indiana marriage records and have found no indication that she had remarried.  Therefore, I believe she had died by 1830.

Jeremiah Tadlock was the husband of Sarah Suddarth.  According to census records, Sarah was born around 1802 in Virginia.  I believe she is a sister of James Suddarth.  These three, James Suddreth, Patience Suddreth, and Jeremiah Tadlock, are listed in order, all next to each other on the census.  There is no doubt that they are all the same family.

In researching James, I decided to look into his military service, because inscribed on his gravestone is ‘Served in War of 1812, Shelby Campaign, Kentucky Militia”.   Since I knew he was born in Virginia, I now could establish that he migrated to Kentucky, probably as a young boy with his parents, and then as a young man, to Southern Indiana.  I consulted the ‘Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Kentucky, Soldiers of the War of 1812′, published in 1891.  I found a ‘James Sudduth’ who served in Captain Jesse Coffee’s Company, Kentucky Mounted Volunteer Militia, Commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Davenport.  But how could I be sure that this ‘James Sudduth’ was my James?

Since he served in the Volunteer Kentucky Militia, there are no federal records of his service.  All service records, including enlistment records, would be kept at the state level.  I contacted the Military History Museum in Frankfort, Kentucky and found out, to my great dismay, that Kentucky destroyed all of its military records for service prior to the Civil War, because it needed more room to store the vast amount of records which were generated after the Civil War.  This took place in 1874.  Being able to find no records in the State of Kentucky, I decided to see if James had applied for a pension or bounty land because of his service.  I had no luck in locating a pension.  However, I did find that he applied for, and received, bounty land for his service.

James Suddarth of Crawford County, Indiana, applied for bounty land three times; twice in 1850 and once in 1855.  In one of his applications made in 1850, James states that he served under Captain James Coffee in the Sixth Regiment of Mounted men commanded by Col. Davenport.  I could now state that the James Sudduth listed in the Report of the Adjutant General was, in fact, my James.  The application further states that James volunteered at the courthouse in Casey County, Kentucky on or about the 18th day of August, 1813.  The application goes on to describe his service in the war.

I now had a location in Kentucky where I could continue my research.  If James was from Casey County, Kentucky, and lived there in 1813, it is very possible that Lewis was born in Casey County, since he was born around 1812 – 1813.

Military records, especially pension and bounty land files, can yield great information.  They can give you new clues to follow up on and also provide some background and context to what was going on in your ancestor’s life.  In this case, the clues from the bounty land file gave me a location in Kentucky to continue my research.

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