Henry W. Scott
No sooner had I pressed “Send” last week, when additional questions arose regarding Henry W. and Rebecca J. Scott, his military service and records, their headstones, and much more. Although we found his headstone in the graveyard of Evangelical Lutheran Church, as was indicated on his Civil War Veterans Burial Card, the year of death, 1887, did not mathematically make sense with the U.S. Census records. Henry W. and Rebecca J. Scott, both, are recorded on the 1910 U.S. Census. They were born in the month of August – he in August 1836 and she in August 1845. Henry and Rebecca, as husband and wife, were about ten years apart in age, which holds true on four U.S. Census records (1870, 1880, 1900, and 1910). On all but one of the U.S. Census records between 1850 and 1910, Henry’s middle initial W always appeared. The middle initial also appears on his headstone.
Henry grew up and lived in Todd Township, Fulton County during the 1850s and 1860s. In 1870, Henry and Rebecca lived in Greencastle. On the 1880 U.S. Census, they lived in Todd Township, Fulton County. By 1890, when the Special Veterans Schedule census was taken, Henry’s mail was received at the Ft. Loudon post office, which means they could have been living in the township, around Ft. Loudon. In the 1900 U.S. Census year, Henry and Rebecca were living in the Borough of McConnellsburg, and in 1910, they lived in Chambersburg.
In 1870, when Henry and Rebecca were living in Greencastle, they had two children listed on the census record, Jennie B., 5, and Jesse W., 2 years of age. Beside the headstones for Henry and Rebecca is a very small headstone for Jessie Warner, daughter of H. W. & Rebecca Scott, Died Sept 12, 187-, Aged 2 Y---- & 6. Mos. As Jessie is buried in the Evangelical Lutheran Church graveyard, the family, most likely, attended and or was a member of the Lutheran Church. By 1880, the Scotts had moved back to Todd Township, Fulton County.
Discrepancy number one, regarding Henry’s records, appeared on his headstone, which says, “Died Oct 16 1887 In His 68th Year of his age.” Henry was 73 on the 1910 U.S. Census. Rebecca’s headstone says, “Rebecca Wife of H. W. Scott Died Jan 17 1879 in the 39 Year of her age.” Rebecca was 64 years of age on the 1910 U.S. Census. If she, in fact, died at the age of 39, she would have died in 1884.
In last week’s column, I said that I could not find his Civil War pension record. The next day, I tried one more time and I found a pension record for “Scott, Henry (no middle initial), D, 21 Pa. Cav.” There was no mention of his service in Capt. Sellers’ company, in the 1862 PA Militia. Within seconds though, my hopes were dashed because his widow’s name was Susan Scott. She applied for his pension on July 26, 1899.
I went back to Ancestry to look for another Henry Scott, but how could there be two Henry Scotts in Co. D, 21st PA Cavalry? The 21st PA Cavalry military roster only has one Henry Scott. Going back to Ancestry in the digitized Civil War Pension General Index, I found 137 Henry Scotts, some of them with middle initials, who had served in the Civil War. I went through the cards, one by one, twice and could only find one card, with the 21st PA Cavalry, listed. I also checked through the names for Harry Scott because Harry was a nickname for Henry. Nothing turned up.
The next step was going back to the Pennsylvania Civil War Veterans Burial Cards for Franklin County, which added to the confusion. The following were found: 1. Henry W. Scott, Independent Militia and Co. D, 21st Cavalry, Evangelical Lutheran; 2. Henry W. Scott, Indpt. Militia, Capt Montgomery, Co. D, 21st PA Cavalry; Evangelical Lutheran; 3. Henry Scott, Militia, Capt. Sellers, Co. D, 21st PA Cavalry, Methodist Church, St. Thomas; 4. Henry Scott, Militia Capt. Montgomery, Co. G. 99th PA Infantry, Green Hill Cemetery, Waynesboro. There were three Henry Scotts, in three different cemeteries.
I then found, in the U. S. Census records, a Henry Scott married to wife Susan, with a family, most often living in Washington Township. There was, also, a Henry Scott with wife Susan, and their family, living mostly in St. Thomas Township and Peters Township. Even more curious is the fact that both Henrys were the same age and both Susans were the same age.
Going back to the PA Civil War Veterans Index File, I found 24 different Henry Scotts (including those with middle initials). All the records boiled down to one Henry Scott, who served under Capt. Montgomery in the 1862 PA Militia, and also served in Co. G, 99th PA Infantry, who is buried in Green Hill Cemetery, Waynesboro. Without visiting the cemetery, I am assuming this is the Henry Scott, wife Susan, and children William, John, Ann, Morris, Aaron, Harvey, James, Harry, Sarah, and Charles who lived in Washington Township. With 24 different Henry Scotts just from Pennsylvania during the Civil War, there is more than enough latitude for clerical error. The original muster records would have to be checked to sort out the errors.
In a visit to the old Methodist Church graveyard in St. Thomas, we could not find a Henry Scott, who, as the burial card indicated, served under Capt. Sellers in the 1862 PA Militia, as well as serving in Co. D., 21st PA Cavalry. There were many Civil War veterans, some of whom served in the 21st Cavalry, buried in the Methodist graveyard and the St. Thomas Lutheran graveyard.
What is left? There are two PA Civil War Index cards – one for Henry Scott, who enrolled in McConnellsburg, in Capt. Sellers’ Co. I, 1862 PA Militia and a second card for Henry Scott, who enrolled in Co. D, 21st PA Cavalry. There are two burial cards. The first one was received from the Franklin County Veterans Office for Henry W. Scott, Independent Militia and Co. D, 21st PA Cavalry, Evangelical Lutheran. The second burial card, which is on Ancestry, is slightly different. The 21st Cavalry information is the same, but the Militia information gives Capt. Montgomery’s Company, Independent Militia. Common sense says that since Henry W. Scott grew up and lived in Fulton County, he would have gone to McConnellsburg to enlist in the 1862 Militia. Henry and Rebecca’s second daughter Jessie, died while they lived in Greencastle in the early 1870s, and for that reason Jessie was buried in the Evangelical Lutheran Church graveyard. When Henry and Rebecca died, their wishes were to be buried with their daughter, Jessie. I cannot explain all the discrepancies on the headstones of Henry and Rebecca, except that headstones are a matching pair, with the same type base. Perhaps the stones were placed, well after their deaths, by their surviving children and the dates were not accurate.
If anyone is descended from Henry W. Scott and Rebecca J. Scott, and can shed any light on their family history, please contact Allison-Antrim Museum, Inc.
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