Ancestral Journeys

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Posts Tagged ‘Suddarth’

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.

Posted in Kentucky, Methodology, Suddarth | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

The Parents of Lewis Suddarth – The Search Begins

Posted by dwsuddarth on 26 September 2009

In trying to find the parents of Lewis Suddarth, I quickly realized that I would need to expand my research.  Up to this point, the records have been fairly easy to locate and have, with a few exceptions, provided direct evidence as to parentage, birth dates and locations, etc.   The records that I have been able to find for Lewis, however, do not provide that information as neatly and exactly.

Lewis is found in three census records; the 1860 Crawford County, Indiana census where he is enumerated as the head of household, 47 years of age, born in Kentucky; the 1850 Crawford County, Indiana census, enumerated as head of household, 38 years of age, born in Kentucky; and the 1840 Crawford County, Indiana census, enumerated as the only male in the household, between 20 and 30 years of age.  All three of these census records indicate that he was born around 1812-1813 in Kentucky.  Lewis would have been about 18 years of age in 1830. I have not found him enumerated in the 1830 census, however.  Therefore, it is likely that he was living with a relative at this time.  Lewis had died before 1870.

I began trying to find out his date of death.  Research into further records turned up a land record dated 21-November-1868, where Lewis’s wife Lydia bought land from their eldest son James.  This, combined with the 1870 census record, would seem to indicate that Lewis had died by this date.  The 1870 census record lists the youngest child in the household, Andrew, as being 2 years of age.  The 1900 Crawford County, Indiana census reveals that Andrew was born in September, 1868.  Since relationships are not indicated on the 1870 census, checking the 1880 census reveals that Andrew is, in fact, Lydia’s son.  Although that does not mean that Lewis is the father, that is most likely the situation.  Further research needs to be conducted in order to either locate a record stating this or to further build a case.  If Lewis is, in fact, Andrew’s father, we can narrow the date of Lewis’s death to between December, 1867 (9 months prior to Andrew’s birth) and November, 1868 (the sale of land to Lydia by their son James).  The actual date is probably closer to November, 1868, as the land was most likely sold shortly after Lewis’ death.  So far, research in area newspapers has not turned up anything regarding his death.

Lewis left a few other land records and a record of his marriage to Lydia Stroud on 26 August 1839. Lydia was born about 1823 in Indiana.  At the time of their marriage, she was around 16 years of age and Lewis was around 27 years of age.  They were married in Orange County, Indiana, which is just north of Crawford County.  This marriage record is the earliest record I have found for Lewis.

Since the earliest census record I could find for Lewis was the 1840 census (enumerated as ‘Lewis Suddard’), I looked to see if there were other Suddarths in the area in 1840. Also enumerated in 1840 in Crawford County was John Suddarth (enumerated as ‘John Suddard’), 30-40 years of age; Benjamin Suddarth (enumerated as ‘Benj Suddearth), 30-40 years of age; and James Suddarth (enumerated as ‘James Suddearth’), 40-50 years of age. James immediately jumped out as a possibility for Lewis’ father.  In researching James, I discovered that he was born 1795 in Virginia.  His wife, Malinda, was born 1797.  Lewis was born around 1812-13.  If James is Lewis’  father, he would have only been 17 or 18 at the time Lewis was born.  Malinda, James’s wife, would have only been 15 or 16 at the time.  Although this is possible, I believe it is very unlikely.  Furthermore, the John Suddarth found in the 1840 census is most likely a brother to Lewis.  According to his gravestone, John was born 6-August-1811.  Census records indicate that John was born in Kentucky, just as Lewis.  In addition, they are enumerated only 3 households apart on the 1840 census.  If, in fact, John is Lewis’s brother, and a son of James and Malinda, James would have been 16 and Malinda 14 at the time of John’s birth.  This, also, is highly unlikely.  Therefore, I do not believe that James and Malinda can be either John’s or Lewis’ parents.  Further research into James and Malinda’s family has shown that they are not the parents of John or Lewis.

In order to find Lewis’ parents, I have been researching the other Suddarths found in the census, as records for Lewis have not been found.  Hopefully, research of James, John, or Benjamin will help point me to Lewis’ parents.

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Suddarths of Southern Indiana

Posted by dwsuddarth on 23 September 2009

In the early 1800’s, there are four Suddarth men whose relationship to each other has always been assumed to be brothers.  I am not so sure.  The four are, in order of birth:

  • James, born 1795 in Virginia
  • Benjamin, born 1801 in Virginia
  • John, born 1811 in Kentucky
  • Lewis, born 1812 in Kentucky

Right away, I think it is apparent that there is a question as to whether these four are brothers.  The large gap in years between Benjamin and John would indicate that either there is more than one family represented here, or there are others that are missing.  I believe that John and Lewis are brothers.  I do not have anything to confirm or deny this, but because of the years and location of their births, I think it is a pretty valid conclusion.  James and Benjamin may also be brothers, as they were born only six years apart and were both born in Virginia.

In addition, I have found some women in the area who are related to these Suddarths.  They are:

  • Patience, born 1774 – 1794
  • Sarah, born 1803 in Kentucky, married Jeremiah Tadlock
  • Sarah, born 1810 – 1820, married James Moore

I think that it is clear here that there are at least two separate families.  Since there are two separate Sarahs with the maiden name of Suddarth, they are most likely not sisters.  Combining this information with the information above, I have broken this down into two separate families.  The first family is composed of James, Benjamin and Sarah (Suddarth) Tadlock.  I believe that they are all siblings.  Patience may also be a sibling, but if she was born early enough, may be the mother or another relative.  The second family would be composed of Sarah (Suddarth) Moore, John, and Lewis.  I believe that these three are siblings, as well.

Looking at the locations of the births, it appears that the Suddarths in Southern Indiana came from Virginia, through Kentucky and then into Indiana, where they settled.  There are a lot of Suddarths in Virginia in the 1700’s and the 1800’s.  Trying to tie the Indiana Suddarths to the Virginia Suddarths has not been easy, however.

I will be writing about each of these Suddarths (as much as I know).  If you are related to any of these families, please contact me.

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Brick Walls

Posted by dwsuddarth on 21 September 2009

Anyone who has done genealogical research for any length of time has run into the dreaded brick wall.  If you haven’t, you will eventually.

My biggest and hardest brick wall concerns my 3rd great grandfather, Lewis Suddarth.  For years, I, and a lot of other genealogists, have been trying to find Lewis’ parents.  There are many theories out there.  But there is no evidence or a solid case built to support any of these theories.   I am convinced that there is no document out there which will directly state the relationship.  Therefore, a case will need to be made using many pieces of indirect evidence.  I have been ‘collecting’, if you will, indirect evidence for years.  Finding his parents involves researching collateral lines, neighbors and acquaintances.  I am going to attempt to present a case study of the research that I have done, along with my thinking behind the theories and conclusions I reach.  I hope to do two things with this.

First, I hope that by recording the research, methodology and thoughts, that I may finally be able to get around this wall.  Second, I hope that this can be used as a teaching and learning tool.  I hope that you may pick up some tips, ideas and methods that could help in your own research.  Additionally, I hope to learn from others of things I may have overlooked, clues I may not have seen and methodological processes that I am not using effectively, efficiently or at all.

Genealogy is a pursuit that is both solitary and shared.  I have spent many solitary hours looking through courthouse books, library and archive materials and anything else I can find which may yield that elusive clue.  However, I have also spent many hours sharing and collaborating with others.  I know we all have.

I welcome and encourage your comments and suggestions.

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