My 3x great grandfather Jefferson Force’s ancestry remains a mystery. He was born 9 December 1833 in Centre County, Pennsylvania and died 20 October 1910 in Pine Glen.1 He married Susan L. Mulhollan, daughter of John and Emily (Boileau) Mulhollan, on 22 March 1857.2 His obituary reads:
“Died at his home in Pine Glen on Thursday, October 20th, Jefferson Force, a well known and respected citizen of that place, aged 76 years, 10 months and 11 days. During the Civil War, he was drafted in 1864 and received an honorable discharge in 1865. He was married to Susan Mulholland in 1857, with whom he spent a long and happy life. Mr Force was a charter member of Messiah Church, of that place and always remained steadfast to the church of his choice and served its teachings. He leaves a large circle of friends to mourn his loss. Funeral services were conducted by Rev. E.A. Meredith.”3
He enlisted in the Civil War on 20 December 1864 and mustered out 17 July 1865 at Alexandria, Virginia. He served in Company E of the 45th Pennsylvania Infantry Volunteers, 1st Brigade, 1st Division.4 During this period the regiment was involved in the advance on Richmond, Virginia, the Battle of Cold Harbor, the siege of Petersburg, the Battle of Chaffin’s farm, and the Appomattox campaign.5 Jefferson apparently was not wounded during the war, or at least not enough to impact his health.6
After the war, Jefferson lived and worked in Pine Glen, Centre County, Pennsylvania, as a house plasterer and farmer.7 Between 1857 and 1884, Jefferson and Susan had 14 children, five of whom died before 1900—nine daughters and five sons.
It’s been suggested to me that Jefferson was the son of Isaac and Polly (___) Force, who both died in the 1840s based on a Bible owned by Mrs. Agnes E. Shope. I have yet to find evidence to prove this supposition. A number of young Force children—including Martin and Agnes—can be found in a variety of non-Force-led households in the 1850 census enumeration for Centre County, indicating that they were most likely orphaned.
Agnes was born 8 April 1839 and may have been Jefferson’s sister. She named two of her sons Jefferson T. Shope and Martin V. Shope—both names of Centre County Force men. Jefferson also named a daughter Agnes E., perhaps after Mrs. Shope. She lived in Milesburg, Centre County and died in 1922. Martin V. Force (12 Dec 1835-28 May 1902) lived in Pine Glen and was Jefferson’s neighbor.
Jefferson and Susan (Mulhollan) Force had the following children:
- Wilhelmina Susan Force (29 Oct 1857-5 Nov 1921), married Robert Askey
- Catharine E. Force (13 Sep 1859-9 Mar 1899), married Albert Gilmore
- Hannah M. Force (1 Sep 1861-1 May 1938), married Johnson Watson
- Agnes E. Force (1 Aug 1863-16 Jul 1936), married John Thomas Fye
- Carrie Amanda Force (23 Aug 1865-3 May 1932), married William Henry Meeker
- Martin Luther Force (6 Feb 1868-23 May 1945), married Delilah N. Hamilton
- John C. Force (16 Jan 1870-27 Aug 1890)
- Lovina Caroline Force (28 Jan 1872-28 Oct 1964), married George W. Youdeshell
- Mary Alice Force (28 Jun 1873-12 Oct 1913), married Richard Whiles
- Martha Ellen Force (9 May 1875-10 Aug 1934), married Jacob Whiles, Wilson R. Smeal
- Lucy Malinda Force (26 Sep 1876-Mar 1960), married William Emetic, John G. Kein/King
- George W. Force (6 Jan 1878-10 Jan 1878)
- William E. Force (14 Sep 1883-9 Oct 1883)
- Albert M. Force (4 Sep 1884-5 Sep 1884)
Jefferson and Susan are my 3x great grandparents.
This post is part of a blogging challenge entitled 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, created by Amy Crow of No Story Too Small in 2014. Participants were to write about one ancestor every week. I’m revisiting this challenge for 2017. This is my eleventh 52 Ancestors post, and a make-up post for week ten.
- Department of Health, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, death certificate no. 103737 (1910), Jefferson Force, Division of Vital Records, New Castle. ↩
- Cordes W. Chambers III, The Mountaintop Thru Newspaper Accounts 1900-1910 (Bellefonte, PA: Grove Printing, 1992), Volume 1, Page 33 (1910); citing the Centre Democrat, 27 Oct 1910. ↩
- 1890 United States Federal Census, Centre County, Pennsylvania, special schedule, Burnside Township, enumeration district 67, page not included, house 24, family 24, Jefferson Force entry; online, FamilySearch, “United States Census of Union Veterans and Widows of the Civil War, 1890” (https://familysearch.org : accessed 20 Mar 2017), image 62; citing NARA micropublication M123, roll 85. No disability is listed in the lower portion of the form. ↩
- Wikipedia, “58th Pennsylvania Infantry” (https://en.wikipedia.org : accessed 20 Mar 2017). One of my Virginia Hocker relatives was captured at Sailor’s Creek during the Appomattox campaign. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? ↩
- 1890 United States Federal Census, Centre County, Pennsylvania, special schedule, Burnside Township, enumeration district 67, page not included, house 24, family 24, Jefferson Force entry. No disability is listed in the lower portion of the form. ↩
- 1870 United States Federal Census, Centre County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, post office: Pine Glen, Burnside Township, page 421, dwelling 22, family 22, Jefferson Force household; online, FamilySearch, “United States Census, 1870” (https://familysearch.org : accessed 20 Mar 2017); citing NARA micropublication M593, roll 1321. ↩