Finding a child you never knew of: son of an Andersonville POW

Finding a child you’d never known of is always a surprise, especially when it’s the child of a man who died young in the Civil War after time in the Andersonville Prison.

Jefferson C. BEERY was born in 1832, the son of Susannah HUFFORD and her husband David BEERY. Susannah was Christian Hufford’s granddaughter through his son Casper. Susannah was 48 with eight or nine children living when her husband died in the Mexican War. Her children ranged from six to 29. Susannah’s basic information is on page 166 of the 1909 HUFFORD FAMILY HISTORY, which can be downloaded for free from the “flash widget box” on the left side of this page. Information on Susannah’s descendants is at pages 166 and 167; the only mention of Jefferson is that he was dead.

Jefferson was a surviving twin; his twin brother John died as an infant. Jefferson was eight when his father left for the Mexican War, and Jeff never again saw his father. Jeff was ten when his father died.

When Jeff was 28, in June 1861, he married Sarah A. SEVITTS. When he was 30, in November 1862, he left for the U.S. Civil War. He enlisted as a private in Company C, 72nd Infantry Regiment, Ohio. On June 11, 1864, he was captured in Ripley, Mississippi. He spent time in Andersonville Prison and died of disease in late October 1864 in Savannah, Georgia.

And that’s where Jefferson Beery’s story was believed to end until a death certificate was found:
William Beery's death certificate

Jeff Beery had a son: William Beery, born four months before Jeff enlisted into the U.S. Army. William died in 1946 in Sandusky Co., Ohio. Whether William had any children is not known. I can find him on the 1880 census, 16 years old and doing farm labor in Sandusky Co., Ohio, but the next I find him is in 1910 after his marriage had ended. Lots can happen in thirty years.

If you descend from William, I’d love to hear from you: alicemariebeard@gmualumni.org

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