Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Henry M Liggett - 1842-1909 - Grandson of Elizabeth Van Buskirk Bannon Davis

Henry M Liggett deserves a story of his own. While researching Elizabeth Van Buskirk's daughter, Sarah Bannon, I have encountered various twists and turns and been surprised more than once. One of the most interesting, is the story of Sarah's son, Henry M Liggett. It was definitely a stroke of luck that I even discovered him. On the 1850 census, in Auglaize Co Ohio, he was listed as Henrietta! Not finding a Henrietta in later years I assumed she had died young - end of story. That census taker must have been "in his cups" the day he visited the Liggett household! But, alas, one evening as I was checking a forum on the Internet for the name Liggett, I found an old message posted in 2000. It was a short message about a Henry M Liggett that was the son of Thomas Liggett and Sarah FERGUSON born 5 July 1842 in St Mary's, Auglaize Co Ohio. Now I knew who Henrietta was -- Henry M. The age was right, the place was right, the father was right, but --- the mother was Sarah Bannon, not Sarah Ferguson!

I suddenly remembered that also living in the Liggett household in 1850 was a 14 year old David Ferguson! So, Sarah Bannon was married first to a FERGUSON, and David was her son from that marriage! This was surprise #1.

I love to investigate the various people I find in a family, and Henry M Liggett was going to be an interesting one. With the help of several good people on the Internet I learned about Henry's life. He seemed to have a problem with his wife, Mary, and son Frank. He moved away from them and removed himself from them. Was he justified in doing so? I will never know, but tracking his life has been fun. I try to NEVER judge what I find as I research families. Family dynamics were powerful and complex in the past, just as they are today. Surviving 4 years of the Civil War would have to have taken a toll on his mind and his health. Thanks to fantastic customer service at Washington State Archives, I ordered his record at about 1pm in the afternoon and received the record via e-mail about 2pm!!

1. He served in the Civil War for the full 4 years, in Company A, 11th Ohio Calvary.

2. He married Mary Vankirk in August 1865 in Warren Co Indiana (where his mother and brothers were living).

2. In the 1870 census he and Mary were in Mahaska Co Iowa (where his cousin Mary Ann Bannon Tanner lived).

3. In the 1880 census he and Mary and daughter Lilly, were in Phillips Co Kansas.

4. In the 1885 Kansas State census Mary, Lilly, and son Frank, were in Phillips Co Kansas. Mary was listed as a "grass widow". Henry is not there!!!

5. In the 1887 Washington Territorial census Henry M Liggett was in Spokane living with a lady named "Eleanor".

6. In 1890, in Nebraska, Henry M Liggett filed for a Civil War Pension.

7. In the Omaha World Herald in May 1892, Henry is listed as having received his CW Pension.

8. September 12, 1892 moved to Washington.

9. March 12, 1894 Henry was admitted to the Washington Soldier's Home in Orting, Washington. Says he lived in Montesano, Chehalis Co Washington (now Grays Harbor Co). Says he has a brother, John Liggett in Crete, Nebraska. Says he has no chidren and is a widower (both statements not true)

10. February 12, 1895 Henry was discharged from the Washington Soldier's Home.

11. March 21, 1898 Mary L Vankirk Liggett married William Landis in Benton Co Indiana.

12. In the 1900 Chehalis, Lewis Co Washington census, Henry is living alone and says he is a widower (not true, but in his mind it may have been true).

13. In the 1900 Grant, Benton Co Indiana census, Mary L Landis is working as a servant for Frances Davis. A few pages away is William Landis. Both say they are married and have been married 2 years.

14. In the 1900 Benton Co Indiana census, Frank Liggett is living in Hickory Grove, Benton Co Indiana, age 20.

15. On 7 March 1907 Henry was admitted to the Pacifica Branch National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Santa Monica, Los Angeles Co California.

16. On 4 August 1909 Henry died at Pacifica Branch.

17. In the 1910 Benton, Benton Co Indiana census, Mary Liggett is living with her son Frank. She is listed as a widow. By 1918 Frank is living in Berrien Co Michigan.

18. On 23 Aug 1917 Mary filed for her benefits from Henry's CW Pension. She never received a certificate. Through a researcher of Berrien Co Michigan I learned that Mary married a third time to a Mr Allen. Her obituary is included in the story of Frank Liggett posted 21 August 2007 on this blog.

So there in 18 steps is a man's life. I have ordered his complete pension file from the National Archives. I am anticipating further surprises when I receive it.

Just as a refresher, I am researching these folks to prove that Elizabeth Van Buskirk married Charles Bannon first and James Davis second. Sometimes I have to step back and review what my purpose is all about. It is so easy to become involved in the members of a family of so long ago. As new facts unfold I will use this BLOG to inform you all. --- patj

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