Sunday, November 19, 2006

Familes and relationships

Of the 1,411 men who actually served in the regiment, at least 285 were probably related in one way or another. (photo: Ira Poats and his family; source: USAMHI.)

There were at least 10 father-son known combinations:

Baker and Almon Borden
James and Daniel Birdsall
Hiram and Henry Bateman
Peter and Henry Lawyer
Elam and Daniel Moe
Carlton and Oscar Neal
Silas and Albert Pelton
Joseph and Joseph Rounds
Hosea and Nathan Tracey
John and Charles West

There were at least 2 uncle-nephew combinations (Stephen and Clarence Lowing and Ezra and Dennis Guernsey) and some 154 brother combinations, which included 5 Austins, 3 Barnhards, 3 Carpenters, 3 Hamblins, 3 Nestels, 3 Shattucks, 4 Taylors (plus a second set of two brothers), 3 Tousley and 3 Waites.

It is not known for certain how many cousins and in-laws served together in the Third Michigan but it was certainly extensive.


Of the 1,411 enrolled at least 933 men were married, representing more than 66% of the total enrolled.

Of those who were married nearly a quarter, or 232 men were married a second time, 32 a third and 7 men married a fourth time.

At least 96 marriages (10% of the married total) ended in divorce or separation (of which 25 are probables), 8 were divorced twice and 3 were divorced three times. It may never be known for certain how many of the men separated from their wives.

Of the total married men at least 256 men died as widowers, 15 of whom were widowed twice.

At least 813 men had one child or more, and 127 had 6 children or more. Three men tied for the record: Andrew Kirschman, Theodore McClain and Elam Moe each had at least thirteen children. In Elam's case, two of his sons, Daniel and Robert also served in the Third Michigan. All three survived the war; Daniel’s sons also survived.


In religious matters the men were probably overwhelmingly Protestant, although this remains speculation. Of the 113 reported religious preferences we know that 82 were Protestant, 27 Catholics, (1 who converted from Protestantism to Catholicism, August Heyer), 2 Universalists, and 1 Jewish.

Next: What happened to them during the war?

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