Thursday, January 26, 2012

James H. McEntire Migration Trail

The property of private citizens was often confiscated for use by the military during the Civil War. In June of 1863, a barge belonging to James H. McEntire of Crittenden County, Kentucky was taken by the United States troops for the purpose of carrying soldiers from Dycusburg, Kentucky to Smithland, Kentucky. The barge, which McEntire valued at $1000, was never returned to him. In 1895, McEntire filed a claim for compensation of the barge with the Committee on War Claims, according to The Reports of Committees of the House of Representatives for the Third Session of the Fifty-Third Congress 1895-95. The committee approved the claim, but it is unknown if it was ever paid.

I love finding these tidbits, but I am always curious about the parties involved. Were they natives of the area? Did they remain in western Kentucky or did they join the migration to other states after the Civil War?

It was fairly easy tracking James H. McEntire through census records. He was found in the household of Preston P. McIntire, a 32-year-old cooper, and Catharine McIntire, age 28, on the 1850 Crittenden County census. Preston McIntire was on the 1840 Harrison County, Indiana census and had married Catharine Craig in that county on 22 July 1838.

It is interesting to me that Harrison County is located on the Ohio River not far from Louisville, Kentucky. Corydon is the county seat. Migrating to Crittenden County via the Ohio River would not have been difficult.

Their whereabouts in 1860 have not been determined, but, by 1870, James H. had acquired a wife (Nancy J. Garrison), two daughters, Adelia and Nannie, and they were living in Smithland, Livingston County. By 1880, the family had moved on - perhaps via the Ohio River to its confluence with the Mississippi River - to Cairo, Alexander County, Illinois. Their family had grown with the addition of two more daughters, Letty K. and Irene, and a son, James A. James H. had discontinued his profession of being a cooper in favor of a new occupation in photography.

He continued this profession while living in Williamstown, Ingham County, Michigan, where he was listed on the 1900 census. He and his wife, Nancy, were listed as father and mother in law in the household of Martin and Irene (McEntire) Nickloy. It would be interesting to know what drew the family to Michigan. Martin and Irene Nickloy had only been married a year. Did they meet in Illinois or did James H. McEntire move the family to Michigan where his daughter, Irene, met and married Martin Nickloy?

Only a few of my questions have been answered, but I've made a start. Now to decide which county records I need. This will be a good wintertime project.


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