Here’s the story behind the challenge if you want to participate. http://www.nostorytoosmall.com/52-ancestors-in-52-weeks. A recap of #52 Ancestors for Week 17 can be found here.
Ancestry shows James as my great-grand uncle, the brother of my great-grandmother Ollie. I included James in my weekly WikiTree/TribalPages birthday list for 07 May found here. When I started the research for this post, I did not know much about James – his wife and parents’ names, birthplace, and death and burial locations.
James was born 13 May 1828 in Newburyport, Essex, Massachusetts to James and Elizabeth (Morris) Vesper. James is missing fromthe record of his Massachusetts birth in 1828 until he joins the 1st Illinois Light Artillery in the early 1860’s. He goes missing again after 1864 or 1865, reappearing in the 1875 Kansas state census.
James and Mary Vesper are in the 1875 Kansas state census with David A. Petigrew, age 9. Don’t know how David is related to James or Mary, but he was part of their household.
In 1877, James applied for a Civil War pension. After his death, Mary applied for a Widow’s pension.
James and Mary are in the 1880 federal census, along with Troy (age 1) and Pearl Vesper (age 3).
James is in two 1882 G.A.R. post records; one in Hepler; two G.A.R. post reports in 1883, one in Hepler.
James and Mary are in the 1885 Kansas state census with E. D. (age 8), M. T. (age 6), H. R. (age 4) and H. R. (age 1).
James appeared on the 1889 Kansas Enrollment of Civil War Veterans. He is listed on the 1892 and two 1894 G.A.R. post records, and one for Savonburg Post, unknown year.
James and Mary are on the 1895 Kansas state census.
James and Mary on the 1900 federal census, with Elizabeth Thompson (daughter, age 23), Ella H. Vesper (daughter, age 20), Harry R Vesper (son, age 17), James G. Vesper (son, age 14), Robert E. Vesper (son, age 11), Sarah F. Vesper (daughter, age 10), and Charlie O. Vesper (son, age 10).
He died 27 October 1900 in Porterville, Bourbon County, Kansas and is buried in Harmony Cemetery, Savonburg, Allen County, Kansas. Find-A-Grave memorial; BillionGraves cemetery (photo request submitted on BillionGraves, not filled as of 13 May 2014). His headstone inscription shows Batery (sic) Co. F, 1 Ill Lgt. Art. (Battery, Company F, 1st Illinois Light Artillery). No mention on the headstone on when his military service occurred, but he is listed on the Sons of the Union Veterans’ Grave Registration database here. Additional information his unit can be found here (PDF file link); select Artillery tab, then 1st Light Artillery, and scroll down to Battery F. Additional information about the unit can be found here. The link provides rank of Sergeant, residence of Dixon, enlistment date of 25 February 1862, and discharge date of 04 January 1864 (1865). Website indicates his unit participated in the Missionary Ridge (Chattanooga) Campaign. This puts him in the same battle as Daniel Kring, Ollie’s brother-in-law, and my 52 Ancestors entry for Week 8.