Friday, February 22, 2013

Damn Yankees!

As I may have mentioned before, I grew up knowing a lot more about my mom's family who were generally all from the South. The Kirkpatrick line is especially rich with stories and is very well documented, including multiple Kirkpatrick letters from the US Civil War (which I will eventually blog about).

David Sellers (1845-1927)
However, until recently I had no direct evidence that I had any ancestors that fought with the Union during the Civil War, but at last I've found one (on my father's side, of course). This is David Sellers, my great-great-grandfather. His daughter Nora Belle Sellers Miller (1873-1948) was the mother of my paternal grandmother Fern Naomi Miller Maxine (1890-1945).

I hadn't known much about the Sellers family beyond a few names. But I knew my dad was fairly close to this grandmother. He took me to see their old house in Minnesota in the early 1980s. But last last year I connected with my Miller cousins, who were able to share much wonderful information, including some great photographs.

I quickly found an obituary for my great-great-grandfather, which mentioned that he served in the Civil War (on the Union side). We had a Yankee in the family after all!

The obituary stated that David Sellers fought with Company G, 146th Regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry. But further research shows a typo and that he was actually in Company G of the 164th and later served with Company B of the 195th Regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

1890 Veteran's Schedule

He died on March 22, 1927. Here's his obituary from the local paper. I've made two corrections. His wife's maiden name was Lower not Sowers - and I corrected his regiment number. 

David Sellers - Obituary

David Sellers, aged 81, veteran of the Civil war and a life long resident of Seneca county, died this morning at four o'clock in the home of his son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Swope.  He had been ill for three and a half months.

Mr. Sellers was born August 19, 1845, in Pleasant township. He was a son of Frederick and Hannah [Shidler] Sellers. On December 15, 1870, he was married to Miss Caroline Lower. Nine children were born.

During the Civil war Mr. Sellers was a member of Co. G, 146th [actually the 164th] Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry. These daughters survive: Mrs. Eva Montgomery, Wickliffe, Ohio, Mrs. Nora Miller, Goodrich, Minnesota, Mrs. Harry Swope, Fort Seneca, Ohio, and Mrs. Bert Adelsperger, near Tiffin, Ohio. These brothers and sisters are left: Reuben Sellers, Sidney, Ohio; George Sellers, Bryan, Ohio; Jesse Sellers, El Campo, Texas, Andrew Sellers, Fostoria; and Mrs. Anna Keyser, Omak, Washington.

Funeral services will be held Friday afternoon at 1:30 in the home and at 2:00 in the M. E. church at Fort Seneca, conducted by the Rev. Mr. Hainen, Bettsville. Burial will be in Pleasant Union cemetery.

The Sellers family - David and Caroline at center, daughter Nora Belle seated on right.

The family portrait above (probably dating from the mid-1890s) shows David and Caroline and their five daughters who lived to adulthood. They had nine children all told. The only daughter I can identify in the photo above is my great-grandmother Nora Belle Sellers Miller (1873-1948) who is seated on the right. The photo came down through the family and the parents and she are the only ones identified on the back. In all likelihood the daughter seated on the left is Eva May - the eldest - but that is only a guess. People! Please label your family photos! 

I can share a little more information about the daughters than was given in the obituary. Eva May Sellers Montgomery (1871-1935) married Chester Montgomery (1869-1926). They had six children and lived in Willoughby, Wickliffe, and Painesville, Ohio, over the years. Nora Belle Sellers Miller married my great-grandfather Edward Nelson Miller. They lived in Tiffin, Ohio; Jamestown, North Dakota; and Willow River, Minnesota. The three daughters standing in the back are (in no particular order) Nina Sellers Palm (1878-1919), Clara Ellen Sellers Swope (1880-1928), Callie Edith Sellers Adelsperger (1884 -   ). The four children that died young were Ida Sellers (1876-1876), Willis E. Sellers (1889-1891), Bessie B. Sellers (1891-1896), and Gertrude Sellers (1893-1896).

I know my partner Eric is quite excited for me to get on with the research into my Ohio relatives, hoping we find a family connection somewhere in there.  Go, Buckeyes!

1 comment:

  1. My 3rd Great Grandfather also served in the 164th Ohio Infantry Regiment. My 3rd great grandfather was named Martin Wenner. He was in E Company. I have the entire roster of the 164th Ohio Infantry Regiment in a PDF file. I would love to send it to you. Shoot me an email at