Sunday, March 27, 2016

The O'Neil Family

The O'Neil Family:
First Generation
1.  Peter O'Neil was born in Ireland.
Peter O'Neil and Mary Ebbs were married. Mary Ebbs was born in Ireland.
Peter O'Neil and Mary Ebbs had the following child:
              2              i.   Catherine O'Neil, born 15 Dec 1834, County Cork, Ireland; married Aaron S. Crail, 9 Jun 1857, Indianapolis, Marion Co., Indiana; died 29 Jul 1934, Indianapolis, Marion Co., Indiana.
Second Generation
2.  Catherine O'Neil113 (Peter-1) was born on 15 Dec 1834 in County Cork, Ireland.1415 She died on 29 Jul 1934 at the age of 99 in Indianapolis, Marion Co., Indiana.3,15 She was buried on 31 Jul 1934 in Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Marion Co., Indiana.16 Catherine was also known as Catherine Crail.6,17 This is one fascinating lady!  Catherine O'Neil was born in County Cork, Ireland in 1833 or 1834 and came to America by herself in at age 18, on a sailing vessel. She spoke Gaelic, English, and French. Catherine probably came over as an indentured servant. She was the daughter of Peter and Mary [Ebbs] O'Neil.

During the Famine, probably the late 1840s, English soldiers were in Catherine's village scavenging for food and conscripting young men into the army. Peter O'Neil protested and was shot down by the soldiers. Catherine's two brothers were taken into service. Catherine's younger sister had died some years earlier, possibly from consumption. Her mother died shortly after the incident with the soldiers. Catherine was left with few options and almost no future in her native land. She went to England and then took a ship to America. The ship was held in harbor for a week before the passengers were allowed to disembark and several passengers died aboard ship.

Catherine began her time as an indentured servant and found her way to central Indiana, where she taught in a small one-room schoolhouse. One of her responsibilities was to teach local farmers to read. One of those young men was Ohio-born Aaron Crail, nearly five years her junior. The couple was married, probably at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, in Indianapolis in 1857 by Pastor Daniel Maloney.

Catharine and Aaron were living in Centre Twp. when eldest son James was born in 1858 and twin daughters, Martha and Catharine, were born on Washington's birthday in 1860. The family had moved north to Washington Twp. by 1862, when David was born. John was also born there in 1864. The couple's sixth child, Thomas, was born after Aaron returned home in 1866.

According to the Veteran's Enrollment Census of 1886: # 32, Peru, Miami Co., Indiana [microfilm roll #1605667, Indiana State Archives], Aaron contracted a lung disease resulting from exposure to the elements during his nearly 14 months of service. As a result, he died from that lung disease on 25 March 1868 leaving behind a wife and six children.

Catherine submitted her application for a widow's pension on 7 April 1868. She was granted certificate #114227 on 4 June 1868. Catherine received $8 per month and $2 per month for each of her children until they reached 16 years of age.

On 30 March 1869, Catherine appeared before William C. Smock, clerk of the circuit court for Marion County, to make a "Declaration for Arrears of Pensions" for the time of Aaron's discharge until his death. Her residence was listed as Becks Station, Hamilton Co. Catherine named B.F. Will as her attorney. Sylvester B. and Mary Ann Crail witnessed the document. The declaration was rejected 10 April 1869.

The amount of the pension increased to $20 per month in 1916, to $30 per month in 1920, and to $50 per month in 1926.

Catherine began a trek that took her to several stops in Indiana and one in Illinois. She and the children were living in Delaware Twp., Hamilton Co., Indiana in 1870. They had moved to Peru, Miami County by 1880. Catherine was still living there at the time of the 1886 Veterans' Census.

David was not named in the 1880 enumeration, so he may well have died during the preceeding decade. James and Martha had married by the time of the Veterans'Census.

Catherine was back in Indianapolis living with her brother-in-law, John's family in 1900. She was living in Shelbyville, Indiana in 1909. 1910 found Catherine in Chicago, Illinois with son James, his wife Mima, granddaughter Bess Catherine and her husband Charles J. McHugh.

The Crails and McHughs removed to Indianapolis shortly thereafter. Catherine spent the rest of her life residing with daughter Martha on Belmont Ave. Catherine died there in 1934, just short of her 100th birthday, outliving all of her children but Martha and Thomas.

Following her mother's death, Martha [Crail] Thomas wrote to the Veterans Administration to secure Catherine's accrued pension from 29 June 1934 to January 1935. She was granted $45.92 in accrued pension. As she and her husband were elderly, Martha had hoped that the VA would continue the pension payments, but the pension was terminated on the date of Catherine's death.

Catherine was described by two of her great-grandchildren as a tiny person, weighing about 80 lbs., who appeared to be short and chubby due to her traditional attire. She wore a black bombazine [silky cotton] dress with a high neck and lacy trim, a white lace apron and a white dust cap and a multitude of petticoats. Catherine was a beautiful woman, even in her later years, bearing a resemblance to actress Maureen O'Hara.

At Christmas, the great-grandchildren would go over to her house for their traditional gifts. She kept a box of chocolate-covered cherries [pretty well dried-up from age] for the occasion. Each child got a piece of the candy and a silver dollar.  "Just one," they were reminded. This was a major event and gift for the wee Mc Hughs, Catherine's "childers."

Catherine received a pension of $30 [in silver dollars] per month from the government as a result of her husband's Civil War service. [According to pension records, the amount was eventually $50.]

Death came in July of 1934. Catherine was of "sound mind until the day she died." During the viewing, which was held outside due to the heat, members of the family fanned Catherine's body.

Catherine Crail's tombstone inscription at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis is a simple one "1834-1934, wife of Aaron Crail."

Following Catherine's death, daughter Martha moved to Spokane, Washington. She died there in 1941.

Catherine O'Neil and Aaron S. Crail obtained a marriage license on 8 Jun 1857 in Indianapolis, Marion Co., Indiana.6 They were married on 9 Jun 1857 in Indianapolis, Marion Co., Indiana.6,17 Aaron S. Crail12,69,1819, son of James Crail and Mary A. Jones, was born on 16 Nov 1839 in Marion Co., Ohio.20 He died on 25 Mar 1868 at the age of 28 in Delaware Twp., Hamilton Co., Indiana.21 He was buried after 25 Mar 1868 in Eller Cemetery, Delaware Twp., Hamilton Co., Indiana.21 Aaron, the son of James and Mary A. [Jones] Crail was born in Marion, Ohio. He had, at least, two elder brothers, Sylvester and John. By the mid-1850s the family was in Marion Co., Indiana, where Aaron met Irish immigrant, Catherine O'Neil, who was teaching local farmers to read.

Aaron and Catharine applied for a marriage license on 8 June 1857 and were married before Catholic pastor Daniel Moloney the next day.  The couple had six children, four sons and twin daughters. James and the twins, Martha and Catharine, were born in Centre Twp. David, John, and Thomas were born in Washington Twp., just north of the city. Aaron was listed as a 20 year-old farmer on the 1860 census for Centre Twp. [North] in Marion Co. Aaron then appeared on the 1862 Draft Enrollment List, aged 26 as a farmer. [His tombstone lists him as 29 in 1868, so the 26 is an incorrect age.]

As the Crail family grew, the country was torn apart by Civil War. All three brothers served the Union cause. Sylvester enlisted in the 79th Indiana Infantry. Aaron and John enlisted in the 124th Indiana Infantry.

Aaron's Service Muster Card [on file at the Indiana State Archives] reads as follows:
Entered: March 9, 1864  3 year enrollment
Mustered In: March 17, 1864 at Indianapolis, Indiana
Discharged: June 6, 1865 at Camp Dennison, Ohio
Age: 24
Private, Company I, 124th Regiment [Indianapolis]

That service would take him to the engagement at Kenesaw Mountain. In a sworn statement provided for Catharine [O'Neil] Crail's widow's pension application, 2nd Lieutenant George Spees, Company I, related that "on or about the 23rd day of June ~ 1864, while the Regiment was daily engaged with the enemy, before Kenesaw Mountain, from constant exposure, and hard duty, it having rained nearly the entire during the engagements before Kenesaw, the said Aaron Crail was taken sick, with Chronic Diarrhea, and with a kind of Rheumatic swelling of the cords of his lower limbs, That he was sent from the Company to the field Hospital for the treatment of the disability thus incurred. He remained absent in Hospital until on or about the 15th day of September 1864, when he rejoined the Company at or near Decatur Ga, and remained about 4 or 5 days, and then being found unable for duty, was sent to Hospital again..."
"That said Aaron Crail, was a stout able bodied man, when he entered the service, and done duty with the Company and Regiment until taken sick as above stated before Kenesaw Mountain."

In a second affidavit from the pension file, Aaron's physician, Dr. A. G. Ruddle swore before James H. Turner, notary public, that he had been acquainted with Aaron for ten years and that prior to the war, Aaron Crail "was a stout able bodied man with no appearance of disease, that he was called to see the said Aaron Crail a few days after his discharge. I found him laboring under Rheumatic and Neuralgiac affection throughout the system resulting, as he.... believes, from exposure while in the service of the United States, that the disability continued for some short time until the lungs finally became affected, and resulted in confirmed phthisis [consumption], of which disease he died on the 25th day of Mar, 1868...."

The "Declaration for Arrears of Pensions" form filed by Catharine Crail states that an invalid pension application was made by Aaron through William Hamraman, but Hamraman did not forward it to Washington because they expected Aaron to die any day.

On 24 June 1865, Aaron purchased an acre of land from John Osborne for $100. [NW¼ of the NE¼ of Section 11, Twp. 17 North of Range 4E, 16 rods x 10 rods.] Considering Aaron's declining health, and [at the time] five minor children, an acre may have been all the family could manage. [Hamilton Co. Deeds, Book 4, p. 345]

At the time of Aaron's death the family was still living near Castleton in Hamilton County. Aaron was buried in the Eller Cemetery, a small graveyard nestled in a wooded area just off present-day Allisonville Road north of Castleton, in Hamilton County. Aaron left a wife and six minor children, ages 19 months to 10 years.

Aaron's military service record [NARA # 337] is an accounting of a soldier spending a great deal of his service in military hospitals.  He was apparently admitted to the hospital in August of 1864 and remained there until he was mustered out at the end of the war. The following information was provided in the service record for Pvt. Aaron Crail, Company I, 124th Indiana Infantry Regiment [age 24]:

[1] Company Descriptive Book: Age: 24; Height: 5'10"; dark complexion; hazel eyes; dark hair; born: Marion, Ohio; occupation: farmer.
[2] Detachment Muster-in Roll: 17 March 1864 at Indianapolis, Indiana; bounty paid: $60.
[3] Company Muster Roll: Joined for duty 9 March 1864 at Indianapolis for 3 years; mustered in 17 March 1864; enrollment to 29 April 1864.
[4] Company Muster Roll: May and June 1864 - present.
[5] Company Muster Roll: July and August 1864 - absent - sick since August 19, 1864.
[6] Company Muster Roll: September - October 1864: absent - left sick in field hospital near Atlanta, Georgia.
[7] Company Muster Roll: November and December 1864: absent - left sick in field hospital near Atlanta, Georgia - Aug. 18, 1864.
[8] Company Muster Roll: January and February 1865: absent - in hospital at Camp Dennison, Ohio.
[9] Company Muster Roll: March and April 1865: absent - in hospital at Camp Dennison, Ohio.
[10] Company Muster Roll: May and June 1865: discharged June 6, 1865 at Camp Dennison, Ohio by order of the War Department.
[11] Company Muster-out Roll: Greensboro, North Carolina, August 31, 1865; last paid to June 30, 1864; clothing account - unsettled; amount for clothing in kind or money advanced: $50.95. Discharged at Camp Dennison, Ohio, June 6, 1865 in compliance with telegram from AGO May 3, 1865.
[12] Hospital Muster Roll: [Dennison USA General Hospital, 6th Division, Camp Dennison, Ohio] November and December 1864 - attached to hospital November 26, 1864 - sick, present.
[13] Hospital Muster Roll: January and February 1865: sick, present.
[14] Hospital Muster Roll: March and April 1865: sick, present.
[15] Appears on returns as follows: Aug. 1864 - absent sick at Cleveland, TN - April 5, 1864; Sept. 1864 - absent in field hospital, Atlanta, GA, Aug. 18, 1864; Oct. to Dec. 1864 - absent sick in hospital; Jan. 1865 - absent on Safe Guard, Columbia, Tennessee; Feb. and Mar. 1865 - absent, sick at hospital; April 1865 - absent, hospital at Camp Dennison, Ohio; May 1865 - absent Louisville, Kentucky; June 1865 - June 6, 1865 - Cincinnati, mustered out in accordance with telegram dated War Dept., May 2, 1865.
[16] Detachment Muster-out Roll: Camp Dennison, Ohio - June 6, 1865; last paid to June 30, 1864; clothing account: drawn $78.43; bounty paid $60, due: $240; Remarks: mustered out by order by telegram AGO May 3, 1865.

After Aaron's death, Catherine and the children remained in Delaware Twp., Hamilton Co.; where they were listed in the 1870 census. By 1886, she had moved the family to Peru, Miami Co. [Property valued at $ 150.] She was listed as "keeping house" so she and the children must have been living on Aaron's service pension.
"Hamilton County and the Civil War" by Joe H. Burgess, 1967 [p. 113-116]:

One Hundred and Twenty-fourth Regiment [summary of above pages]:

The 124th Regiment was formed by the consolidation of three companies raised for the 125th in the 6th Congressional District and seven companies recruited from the 5th Congressional District. The regiment rendezvoused at Richmond and was mustered into service 10 March 1864 with James Burgess as colonel. The 124th left Indianapolis by rail 19 March [Aaron was mustered in on the 17th] and arrived in Louisville, Kentucky that same day. The regiment arrived in Nashville, Tennessee on the 24th, and was assigned to the division of General Hovey consisting of six Indiana regiments [23rd Corps]. On the 5th of April, the 124th left Nashville and marched to Athens, Tennessee. The left wing was detached and sent to Columbus, Tennessee.

In early May the 23rd Corps moved out and arrived at Buzzard's Roost on 8 May, where it engaged General Schofield's Confederate troops. [1 killed and 2 wounded]  On the 18th the regiment marched to Calhoun, the following day they moved to the right of Kingston, Tennessee, where a skirmish ensued along the railroad. The 23rd Corps engaged in another skirmish on the 21st. Following two days of action, the regiment moved on to Cassville and bivouacked on the 24th.On the 25th they marched to Cartersville.

The 124th was involved in skirmishing activity near Lost Mountain on the 1st of June. On the 4th they took the enemy position, which had already been evacuated. The troops then took position to the right of Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia. There was a near continuous rain that stalled troop movement. [It may have been here that Aaron contracted his "lung disease."]  On the 23rd the regiment advanced on Kenesaw Mountain and skirmished with sharpshooters.

The picket fire and skirmishing lasted until 3 July, when General Johnston, fearful of being cut off from Atlanta, fell back to Smyrnna Church. The regiment moved out on the 4th and marched to the Chattahoochie River, where they crossed 15 miles above the Atlanta railroad bridge on the 8th and then built defense works. Col. Burgess resigned on the 9th and Lt. Col. John M. Orr was promoted to colonelcy.

On the 15th, they took the road to the right of Decatur after driving the enemy through the town and then capturing it. Skirmishing continued until the 21st, when the 124th reached a position overlooking the hills and steeples of Atlanta. On the 22nd, General Dodge's 16th Corps was moving to the left flank of the enemy when he was engaged by troops of Hood's army under Hardee's command. Dodge's troops held the line until the 124th moved in to help repulse the Rebels. On the 30th of August the regiment advanced "in a new and bold movement developed resulting in obtaining possession of the communications of Atlanta and forcing its evacuation."

The regiment crossed the Macon railroad near Rough and Ready aiding in destroying the railroad for several miles. They fortified and skirmished at the left of Jonesboro and withdrew to Decatur on the 8th of September. They rested there for several weeks.

Hood struck the Union line of communication on 1 October. By the 4th the regiment was in pursuit. On the 12th they crossed the Oostanaula River at Rome and skirmished with the Rebels. They pursued Hood's troops to Gaylesville, Alabama. The regiment marched to Cedar Bluffs on the 23rd, to Dalton on the 28th, and then to Nashville by rail.

The 23rd Corps was placed under the command of General Thomas on 9 November. On the 10th the troops moved by rail to Thompson's Station, marched to Pulaski by the 15th, to Lynnville on the 21st, and to Columbia on the 23rd. After two days of skirmishing with the enemy, they crossed the north bank of the Duck River and took position at Rutherford's Creek on the 26th. At Spring Hill the enemy was encountered and Company C was captured as the regiment forced its way through the Confederate line. On the morning of the 30th, the 124th reached Franklin and took position in the line of battle on the southern edge of the town.

They fell back to Nashville, where they took position to the right of Fort Negley, erecting defenses. The 124th remained there until the 15th of December, when Thomas advanced on Hood. After two days of bloody fighting Hood was defeated and the pursuit began. The regiment marched down the Granny White Pike and reached Franklin on the 18th. On the 19th they crossed the Harpeth River, marched to Spring Hill, crossed the Duck River, and arrived at Columbia. The pursuit was discontinued after the Rebels crossed the Tennessee River at Bainbridge.

3 January 1865: The regiment left Columbia for Clifton, where they were loaded on transports bound for Cincinnati, and went by rail to Washington D.C., arriving on the 30th. There they boarded transports bound for Morehead City, North Carolina. They landed on 27 February and reached Newbern the next night.

On 6 March, the regiment marched with Schofield's column to Wise's Forks. There was heavy skirmishing on the first day. They repulsed a heavy Confederate assault on the 9th. From the 15th to the 21st, the regiment marched to Kinston and Goldsboro, where they crossed paths again with Sherman's Army. Sherman's troops had just completed their "march to the sea."

The 124th was stationed for a time at Lenois Institute. On the 3rd of May they marched to Greensboro and arrived on the 7th. They went on to Charlotte to set up camp. The 124th was sent back to Greensboro on 13 July, where they were mustered out on 31 August. [Aaron Crail had already been mustered out at Camp Dennison, Ohio on 6 June.]

The 124th arrived back in Indianapolis on the 10th of September. A reception was held for the 532 men and 33 officers in the State House Grove. They received their final pay and were discharged from service five months after the war ended.
Aaron S. Crail and Catherine O'Neil had the following children:
              3              i.   Dr. James Crail, born 4 Apr 1858, Indianapolis, Centre Twp., Marion Co., Indiana; married Ama Jimima Simmons, 14 Sep 1882, Tipton, Tipton Co., Indiana; died 25 Oct 1920, Indianapolis, Marion Co., Indiana.
              4             ii.   Martha Crail, born 22 Feb 1860, Indianapolis, Centre Twp., Marion Co., Indiana; married James Nolan, 21 Feb 1882, Miami Co., Indiana; married William L. Church, 22 Jul 1886, Miami Co., Indiana; married Bruce Thomas, 10 Nov 1910, Indianapolis, Marion Co., Indiana; died 27 Jul 1941, Spokane, Spokane Co., Washington.
              5            iii.   Catherine Crail, born 22 Feb 1860, Indianapolis, Centre Twp., Marion Co., Indiana; married William Benner Jr., 16 Apr 1891, Miami Co., Indiana; died 3 Nov 1901, Peru, Miami Co., Indiana.
                            iv.   David Crail was born on 25 Feb 1862 in Washington Twp., Marion Co., Indiana.2,6
                             v.   John A. Crail was born on 14 Mar 1864 in Washington Twp., Marion Co., Indiana.2,6
              6            vi.   Thomas M. Crail, born 12 Aug 1866, Washington Twp., Marion Co., Indiana; married Lillie Thomas, 16 Jan 1893, Marion Co., Indiana; married Maud O'Connor, 30 May 1917, Indianapolis, Marion Co., Indiana; died 13 Jun 1937, Cincinnati, Hamilton Co., Ohio.

        1. Charles McHugh, Notes, Letters, and Interviews from "Uncle Mutt" Charles McHugh, Interviewer: Terry Prall, Informant Address: Augusta, GA, Recipient Address: Arcadia, FL (1991-????).
        2. 1870 US Federal Census for Delaware Twp., Hamilton Co., IN, Record Type: census, Household: Catherine Crail, Location: Hamilton Co., IN, Record Info: p. 53, Film: M593_319 (1870).
        3. Indiana State Board of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, Standard Certificate of Death, Record Type: Death, Name Of Person: Catharine O'Neil [Crail], Number: 22711 (30 July 1934).
        4. Shelbyville City Directory for 1901, 1907-1908 and 1909 (R.L. Polk, Shelbyville, IN, 1901, 1907-1908, 1909).
        5. 1900 U.S. Federal Census for Center Twp., Indianapolis, Marion Co., IN, Record Type: Census, Household: John Crail, Record Info: 3-A, Film: ?T623_387 (4 June 1900).
        6. Catharine Crail, widow of Aaron Crail: Widow's pension file, Record Type: widow's pension, Name Of Person: Catharine Crail, File Number: 160607 (NARA, Washington, D.C.).
        7. Aaron Crail, 1860 US Federal Census, Center Twp. [North], Marion Co., Indiana, p. 764; NARA M653_229.
        8. Catherine Crail, 1886 Soldiers, Widows and Orphans Enrollment, Indiana, Card Index; Indiana State Archives [FHL # 1605667].
        9. Marion County, Indiana Marriages, Record Type: Marriage, Subject: Aaron Crail - Catharine O'Neil (8 June 1857).
        10. Catherine Crail, 1880 US Federal Census, 4th Ward, Peru, Miami Co., Indiana, p. 554D; June 1880; Family History Library NA: # T9_0298 / FHL: # 1254298    .
        11. James Crail & Charles J. McHugh, 1910 US Federal Census, 31st Ward, Chicago, Cook Co., Illinois, p. 18A; 30 April 1910 ; NARA T624_227.
        12. James, Mima, & Catherine Crail tombstone, Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana (38th Steet); Terry Prall / June 1999.
        13. Interview with Ruthjane Prall (Bonita Springs, Florida), by Terry Prall, 1990-2000. Transcript held by Terry Prall (Arcadia, Florida).
        14. Indiana State Board of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, Standard Certificate of Death, Record Type: Death, Name Of Person: Catharine O'Neil [Crail], Number: 22711, Birth year listed as 1933, but age 99, making birth year 1934.
        15. Indianapolis Star: Mrs. Catherine Crail, 99, Dies; Funeral Tomorrow, Location: Indianapolis, Marion Co., IN (30 July 1934).
        16. Marion County, IN Health Department - Death Certificate, Record Type: Death, Name Of Person: Martin Cawby, Volume: 9, p. 293.
        17. Marion County, Indiana Marriages, Record Type: Marriage, Subject: Aaron Crail - Catharine O'Neil, Book 6, p. 577.
        18. Civil War Muster Cards, Indiana State Archives, Subject: John and Aaron Cral, Film: ?? (Indiana State Archives, Indianapolis, IN).
        19. Aaron Crail File (Private, 124th Indiana Infantry, Co. I), Civil War Service File, (Washington, D.C.: NARA), # 337.
        20. Eller Cemetery, Delaware Twp., Hamilton Co., IN Records: Tombstone Inscription, Record Type: Burial, Name Of Person: Aaron S. Crail, Reader: Terry D. Prall (June 1999), Cemetery Record: age at death - 28 y. 4 m. 9 d.
        21. Eller Cemetery, Delaware Twp., Hamilton Co., IN Records: Tombstone Inscription, Record Type: Burial, Name Of Person: Aaron S. Crail, Reader: Terry D. Prall.

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