Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thurston Thursday - Alfred Mellin Thurston

None of the usual Thursday genealogy memes really grabbed me, and since I have a Thurston line, I decided to go with Thurston Thursday instead!

Alfred Mellin Thurston (b. 06 May 1842, d. 31 Mar 1927)




Alfred Mellin Thurston was reportedly born to John Thurston and Keziah (Black/Blake) Thurston in Wellington, Piscataquis County, Maine on May 6th, 1842.  He had five siblings I have found.  I have virtually no information on his early life.  I did find him in the 1860 US Federal Census:


Surname        GivenName  Age Sex Race Birthplace State County Location                Year
THURSTON  ALFRED    17    M    W     ME            WI    DUNN  SPRING BROOK 1860


Head of household is listed as Seth Webb, so he's likely boarding away from home at school.

The next time I find him is during the Civil War.  Alfred fought for the Union Army and was wounded, gunshot wounds to the right thigh and left arm:



Name:     Alfred Thurston
Residence:     Springfield, Wisconsin
Enlistment Date:     24 Aug 1861
Side Served:     Union
State Served:     Wisconsin
Service Record:     Enlisted as a Private on 24 August 1861.
Enlisted in Company C, 8th Infantry Regiment Wisconsin on 24 Aug 1861.
Received a disability discharge from Company C, 8th Infantry Regiment Wisconsin on 28 Mar 1863.
Sources:     97

Source Citation: Side served: Union; State served: Wisconsin; Enlistment date: 24 Aug 1861..

Source Information:
Historical Data Systems, comp.. American Civil War Soldiers [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999.
Original data: Data compiled by Historical Data Systems of Kingston, MA form the following list of works.

Copyright 1997-2000
Historical Data Systems, Inc.
PO Box 35
Duxbury.

Alfred returns to Wisconsin, where he regains his health.  Once again we see him enlist:


Name:     Alfred Thurston
Residence:     Oasis, Wisconsin
Enlistment Date:     2 Nov 1864
Side Served:     Union
State Served:     Wisconsin
Service Record:     Enlisted as a Private on 2 November 1864.
Drafted into Company K, 1st Cavalry Regiment Wisconsin on 2 Nov 1864.
Mustered Out Company K, 1st Cavalry Regiment Wisconsin on 29 Jul 1865.
Sources:     97

Source Citation: Side served: Union; State served: Wisconsin; Enlistment date: 2 Nov 1864..

Source Information:
Historical Data Systems, comp.. American Civil War Soldiers [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999.
Original data: Data compiled by Historical Data Systems of Kingston, MA form the following list of works.

Copyright 1997-2000
Historical Data Systems, Inc.
PO Box 35
Duxbury.

Alfred survives this enlistment and returns home to a wife and a life of farming.  Alfred married Barbara Ann Messing (b. 07 Sep 1842 in Hesselhurst, Ortenaukreis, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany, d. 03 Nov 1909 in Cavour, Beadle County, South Dakota) on 04 Jul 1863 in Oasis, Waushara County, Wisconsin.  They will have nine children to help with the farm chores.
 
The next time we see him, he's still in Wisconsin, and it's for the 1880 US Census:


A. M. THURSTON       Household
            Male    
     
      Other Information:
            Birth Year     <1842>
            Birthplace     ME
            Age     38
            Occupation     Farming
            Marital Status     M <Married>
            Race    W <White>
            Head of Household     A. M. THURSTON
            Relation    Self
            Father's Birthplace    ME
            Mother's Birthplace    ME
     
      Source Information:
          Census Place     Knowlton, Marathon, Wisconsin
          Family History Library Film    1255433
          NA Film Number    T9-1433
          Page Number    282A
Around this time, Alfred is awarded a pension for his Civil War service of $6.00 per month.  The pension data shows him living in Cavour, Beadle County, South Dakota already, so he's moved fairly soon after the 1880 Census in Wisconsin.

Beadle County, Dakota Territory 1883 List of Pensioners on the Roll                             Date of Original
Cert#      Name of Pensioner   P.O. Address Cause for which pensioned   Monthly Rate        Allowance
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
217,795  Thurston, Alfred M. Cavour           g. s. w. rt. thigh and lt. arm    $ 6.00        Sept.,1882

Not long after, we see Alfred being issued a Land Patent in Beadle County, South Dakota:



Names On Document           Land Descriptions
Patentee THURSTON, ALFRED M
         
Map                                          State-Meridian Twp-Rng       Aliq.   Sec.     Srv. #     County
Show land description on map SD - 5th PM     112N-060W  NE¼  30                       Beadle

Military Rank:     ---    
   
Document Numbers    
Document Nr:     649    
Misc. Doc. Nr:     ---    
BLM Serial Nr:     SDMTAA 123545    
Indian Allot. Nr:     ---    
   
Survey Information    
Total Acres:     160.00    
Survey Date:     ---    
Geographic Name:     ---    
Metes/Bounds:     No    
   
Miscellaneous Information    
Land Office:     Montana State Office    
Tribe:     ---    
Militia:     ---    
US Reservations:     No    
Mineral Reservations:     No    
Authority:     April 24, 1820: Sale-Cash Entry (3 Stat. 566)

    SDMTAA 123545     PatenteeTHURSTON, ALFRED M     11/20/1884     649     SD     5th PM     112N - 060W     NE¼     30     Beadle
 It doesn't show military rank, so this would seem to be a more usual homestead issue, and not a military grant.  Alfred and family moved to South Dakota prior to this Land Patent being granted, however, as their 8th child, Ida May Thurston, was born July 4th, 1883 in Liberty Township, Beadle County, South Dakota.  Ida May was my paternal great-grandmother.

The last official record I have found yet is from the 1910 US Federal Census, which shows Alfred still living in Liberty Township, Beadle County, South Dakota:

Surname       GivenName  Age  Sex  Race  Birthplace  State  County     Location     Year
THURSTON ALFRED M 68    M     W      ME            SD     BEADLE  LIBERTY  1910
 Alfred stayed in the area, but probably moved with one of his children slightly west in Hyde County, South Dakota, after Barbara died in 1909.  Alfred finally died as well on 31 Mar 1927 in Orient, Hyde County, South Dakota, and is buried in Shue Creek Cemetery Lot 3, 6 miles east, 5.5 miles north of Huron, Beadle County, South Dakota next to his wife.

The photo above is the only image I have of Alfred Mellin Thurston, and was cropped from a larger family photograph showing all of his family members:

The Alfred Mellin Thurston family circa 1907.  Back: Roderick, Jennifer, Joseph, Ida, Edward. Middle: Stephen, Erminnie.  Front: Alfred, Stella, Barbara