Ferguson

Albert A. Ferguson’s origins are a mystery. In his Civil War Pension File, Albert A. Ferguson states: “I cannot say exactly what year I was born in for I was bound out when I was a child. My mother died when I was an infant and I only know about what year I was born from what my foster parents told me they said my birthday was Dec 30 and that I was born in 1831 or 1832…” He states that he was born in Woodstock, Windsor Co., VT.

Albert’s adopted family was that of Ambrose (b. abt 1795) and Phoebe (b. abt 1798) Ferguson, also of Windsor Co., VT. Albert was the oldest of their children (as far as I can tell through the census). His siblings were: Sarah J. (b. abt 1835), Cyrus H. (b. abt 1840), and Harvey A. (b. abt 1843).

I have speculated that Albert must have been 2-4 when he was adopted. If his foster parents did not know what year he was born he cannot have been an infant at the time. At the same time, he must have been young enough that he didn’t grow up with much (if any) recollection of his birth relatives or know his own date of birth. Based on this speculation, I assume his date of adoption to be sometime about 1834 or 1835, shortly before Sarah J. Ferguson was born.

Ambrose Ferguson, adopted father of Albert, can be found in the early Vermont census records as follows (follow links to my map of VT):

1820: Ambrose Forguson (1m16-26, 1f16-26) in Tunbridge, Orange Co. (Phoebe was Ambrose Ferguson’s second wife.  They married in 1833…so the female listed in the 1820 census was his first wife Sarah Woodward.)

1830: I cannot locate them.

1840: Ambrose Furgison (1m-5, 1m5-10, 1m40-50, 1f-5, 1f40-50) in Sharon, Windsor Co. (I assume this to be Ambrose and Phoebe with children Albert, Sarah and Cyrus.)

1850: Ambrose Fergurson (age 54), wife Pheobe (51), Albert A. (14), Sarah L. (14), Cyrus H. (10), Harvey A. (7) in Hartland, Windsor Co.

In 1853, Albert Ferguson states in his pension file, he cast his first vote in Monroe, Ashtabula Co., OH.  So sometime between 1850 – 1853 the family left Vermont and headed west. By the time of the 1860 census Albert, Cyrus, and Sarah have left their parents home.

We find them now as follows:

1860:  Andrew Ferguson (really Ambrose) with wife Phebe and son Harry A. in Monroe, Ashtabula Co., OH.  Albert Ferguson (age 24) is listed in the household of H. Kelley (age 35) along with Mr. Kelley’s wife, children, and parents in Springfield, Erie Co., PA.  Sarah (age 23) married, probably by 1857, and is listed in Conneaut, Erie Co., PA in the 1860 census with her husband, Jerry Frost (age 27, b. NY), and their children Amanda (3), and Ada (1). Both children were born in Pennsylvania.  I have not found Cyrus in the 1860 census, but based on the birth information for his children from later census recods, he is probably living in Ohio somewhere near his parents.

1861:  Albert marries in East Springfield the following spring, 28 April 1861, to Malvina, the sister of his sister Sarah’s husband Jerry Frost. They were married by W. or C. Miller. This information comes from the Civil War Pension File of Albert Ferguson.

1870:  Ambrose is still living in Monroe, OH with wife Phebe and son Harry A.  The 1870 census is the last mention in the census of Ambrose and Phoebe.  Cyrus is listed (age 30) that year in Conneaut, Erie Co., PA with his wife Elamina (age 24, b. VT) and children Ella (age 7, b. OH) and George (3, b. PA).  His siblings Albert and Sarah have moved west to Ottawa Co., Ohio.

Just when the Fergusons moved from Erie Co., PA to Ottawa Co., OH is unclear. Albert enlisted in the Union Army at Ridgeway, Pennsylvania in 1865, but one of his neighbors in Oak Harbor, Ottawa Co. states in an affidavit that he has known him since Fall 1862, another neighbor since Fall 1864 (?). His oldest children are born in 1862 and 1864 in OH according to at least one census record. The Frosts have a child born in OH by 1868.

In any case, Albert Ferguson is listed in Salem, Ottawa Co., OH in 1870 and 1880 with wife Malvina (called Lavina in 1870 and Melvina in 1880) and their children Emma (b. abt 1862), Orville (b. abt 1864/5), Anna (b. 1868), and Nattie (b. abt 1874)

Jerry (listed as Jeremiah) and Sarah (Ferguson) Frost are living in Elnnor P.O., Carroll Twp., Ottawa Co., OH in 1870 and in Salem in 1880 with Amanda (in 1870 only), Ada, Melony? (age 2, b. OH, listed in 1870 only), and Wilbur (b. 1870, listed in both records).

1877:  The Ottawa Co., OH death records list a Phoebe Ferguson, age 77 (or 87…there are 2 records) dying in March 1877. In one of the records she is litsed as a widow. So we presume that Ambrose died between summer 1870 and spring 1877 and that the couple (or perhaps just widow Phoebe) followed Albert and Sarah to Ottawa Co. before Phoebe’s death in 1877.

1880:  The families of Albert Ferguson and Jerry Frost are listed as above.  Nattie Ferguson (aka Atta) dies soon after the census is taken in the fall of 1880. She is buried in Oak Harbor.  Harry Ferguson is living with the family of his sister Sarah Frost in 1880.  Cyrus is back in OH in 1880, but he is in Monroe, Ashtabula Co. listed as Cyris (age 41) with wife Harreett and children Ellen N. (17), George H. (13), and Albert E. (9). Both boys were born in PA so he must have moved back to OH sometime after 1871.

1887:  My ancestor, Anna May Ferguson m. William Bredbeck, also a native of Ottawa Co., OH on 1 Mar 1887, at the Methodist-Episcopal church in Port Clinton.

For more information about the Bredbeck family and the descendants of William and Anna May please see my Bredbeck page.

1888:  Malvina (Frost) Ferguson dies in September, 1888. Daughter Emma marries August Brandes in December 1888, shortly after her mother’s death.

The family story about Orville says that he went west and was never heard from again and that Anna May wouldn’t discuss it.

1900:  In an 1899 document which is part of his pension file, Albert Ferguson lists his address as 846 Willow Ave., East Toledo, Lucas Co., OH. Nevertheless, he is listed in the 1900 census in the household of his married daughter Anna May (Ferguson) Bredbeck in Danbury, Ottawa Co., OH as Albert Ferguson (age 63). In a 1906 affidavit (again part of the pension file) he lists his address as 836 Rogers St., Toledo. He dies in Toledo, OH in Dec, 1909.

Jeremiah and Sarah (Ferguson) Frost move to Norwich, Missaukee, MI. Sarah is listed as the mother of 4, 2 living, in the 1900 census. By the 1910 census she is widowed.

I have not located 1900 census records for Cyrus or Harvey (aka Harry).