William Ellis’ Civil War Service Record (Pvt. Co. M, 3 Regiment Arkansas Cavalry USA) says he enlisted for three years at Little Rock on 5 Feb 1864 and mustered in on 13 Feb 1864.The “Muster and Descriptive Roll of a Detachment of U. S. Vols.” describes him as born in Union County, Illinois, age 37 years with his occupation as farmer.His eyes were blue, his hair auburn, complexion sandy and height 5 ft. 10½ in.He was absent on scouting duty 27 Feb 1864, detached as escort for a train to Little Rock on 29 Oct 1864,he was sick in Hospital at Lewisburg since 16 Nov 1864 in November and December of that year and owed the army $20 for a Remington revolver when discharged 22 May 1865 at Lewisburg, Arkansas.
30 Aug 1883 William applied for an invalid pension due to a rupture.According to various depositions, he was thrown from his mule while on a retreat from the enemy 10 Feb 1865 by order of Col I. W. Fuller. Jefferson Lane, corporal in Co. M 3rd Ark Cal Vols, testified he saw William thrown from the mule saw him in the hospital and made him a truss after he was able to be up.Jefferson Lane was the son of Daniel Lane and Nancy Ellis (based on the 1850 census).Jefferson Lane could have been William’s nephew.Jefferson Lane is also my ancestor.He was a cabinet/furniture maker.
Keziah Ellis applied for a widow’s pension 18 Mar 1887.She said William died 11 Nov 1886 at Wiley’s Cove (now Leslie), Searcy county, Arkansas.Other depositions from the attending physician, D. P. Redwine, say William died from an abscess near his rupture on his lower right abdomen.Keziah also said she was married to William 11 Oct 1848 at Wiley’s Cove by Alex Ofar.Her maiden name was Keziah Begley, according to this deposition.Their daughter, Martha, was born 14 Feb 1871, according to another deposition by Martha Finley (Hinley?) made 1 Sep 1891 at Blair, Choctaw County, Indian Territory.Martha, your ancestor, was the only child under 16 when William died.I assume the person making the deposition was Martha Ellis under her married name, as it appears she was requesting the money due Keziah, who died “after allowance of claim but before receiving check.”This deposition also confirms Keziah was a Begley.The last deposition before this was dated 4 July 1888.I do not have a complete copy of the pension applications.The complete file may contain Keziah’s exact death date, or at least the date the pension was approved.Witnesses on Keziah’s original application were Jefferson Lane and Howel Horn, both associated with the James Ellis who moved from Wayne County Illinois.
I cannot find conclusive evidence that all the Ellis families in Searcy County were related.However, it seems likely.Jefferson’s wife, Charlotte aka Lottie, was a Begley according to the death certificates of two of her children.This is also the family tradition I heard from my great-grandmother, Virginia “Jenny” Ellis Chandler, in the early 1960s when I lived in Leslie.Jenny was the daughter of James H. Ellis and granddaughter of Jefferson and Lotttie Ellis.The fact William says he was from Union County, Illinois is the piece that does not fit.I have found in other families in Searcy County that people with the same last names I thought were siblings turned out to be cousins or nephews and uncles.This may be the case here.
I have found references on the internet, which I cannot confirm with my own research, of a James Ellis in Union county, Illinois, who was supposedly born in Edwards County, Illinois in1820.This is where the James Ellis, who moved to Arkansas with Harmon Horn from Wayne County (an adjoining county), was living in 1820.So this James could be the son of the older James or a son of the John Ellis living next to James in Edwards County in the 1825 State Census.Interestingly this John Ellis Marries a Birks (Burks) in Edwards County before 1820.Harmon Horn’s second wife was also a Birks.
In regard to the Begley connection, tradition has it that Charlotte “Lottie’ Begley Ellis was the daughter of Henry Begley and Sophia Dowdy.I have not been able to verify this, neither the parentage nor Sophia’s maiden name.I have an inventory that lists a J. C. Ellis as guardian of the minor heirs of Fannie (Frances) Begley dated 11 Jul 1887.Who is this mystery Ellis?I cannot find a match in the 1880 or 1900 Searcy County Censuses.He does appear in the 1890 Personal Property Tax List, but just as J. C. Ellis.None of the known children of Jefferson or William Ellis match this J. C. Ellis.
I hope this is helpful.I would appreciate any additional information on any of the Ellis families in Searcy County you may have.